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New Prevalence of Multiple Choice Makes Me Want To Quit & Cancel My Subscription

I'm a paying subscriber. I subscribed largely out of feeling gratitude to DuoLingo for what I've gotten out of the German, Spanish, and Portuguese courses, which I think has been immense. I use Duo exclusively on web / desktop.

I recently noticed a change which bothers me to the extreme -- in Spanish, German, and Portuguese, the course seems to be dumbed down...with very few typing exercises now, and MANY more multiple choice ones. In German in particular, there are a lot of multiple choice spelling exercises...and in many cases they're testing me on spelling mistakes I don't actually make.

It's a massive waste of my time and it irritates me. I am level 21 in German, 20 in Spanish and Portuguese. I want challenge. I want to be pushed to a new level, tested on the harder material, and when I'm working with the more elementary material I want the added challenge of having to type out a whole sentence, where there are multiple places I could make a mistake.

Right at the beginning of my learning, these basic exercises might have been appropriate, but for me, now, they are woefully inappropriate.

I used to like DuoLingo's algorithm. I could just hit "Strengthen Skills" and sit back and let it manage my time for me...it saved me a lot of mental energy, and Duo did an outstanding job at serving me exercises that were appropriate for my ability level.

Now it seems like things have radically shifted, and I hate it.

They sprung this change on me without my consent. I do not consent to it and I will not continue to use the site as much, especially for these three courses, with this change.

If things continue on the path that they have been on for the past 6 months or so, which seems to be the path of the Web version becoming more like the Mobile version (I thought the Web version far superior because of its greater open-ended typing stuff), I will not only use the site less, but I will cancel my subscription.

What do others think?

I feel severely alienated from this site and I feel like it does not value me as a user...none of the bugs I've reported over the past six months or so (of which I have reported dozens) has been fixed...and yet I keep seeing change after change made to the site, and many of the changes are breaking features of the site I care about and making the site less fun or less useful for me.

December 13, 2017


Sorted by top post


Umm... can it be that your skills in the languages you've learned the most have simply overgrown what Duo has to offer?

I mean, I'm only 2 weeks on Duo (a greenhorn, yup) working on my German, and I really think (same as you did when you were in the beginning) that Duo is an awesome tool for learning, but no tool can be universal. Some day I will have to get out of this cradle and walk... and it will not mean the cradle got worse, right?

I said I'm only 2 weeks on Duo, so I don't know what it was and cannot compare that to what it is though. I can only assure you it (still?) is great. Even though it might have become less useful for you because you came to requiring things which are not (any more?) here...

December 13, 2017


This is a good question, but no, because I was actively getting something out of the German course a month ago. Something changed, and it's not my ability...I don't feel like I've exhausted what the old course had to offer, especially in German...Spanish is another question.

I agree with you about no tool being universal. Thankfully I'm at the point where I can get a lot of out immersion, so I think DuoLingo has already done its job there.

And hopefully, even with all the changes that I dislike, DuoLingo will still be good enough to do this for you and others.

I'm just frustrated because I felt like I was getting a lot out of it and then there was a sudden change in the structure of the course and the exercises...the change was abrupt and was not announced or explained anywhere.

December 14, 2017


The Portuguese multiple-choice exercises are more challenging now, as the option answers is not that predictable and easy eliminatable? I like it!
Don't you agree?
There was a new thread started about this some days ago....maybe I find it...

However, I have not counted how many M-C challenges vs typing challenges exists and if the latter has been reduced.
Has it?

On Memrise there are user scripts like "all typing" which manage to support the complete deactivation of multiple-choice and show L1-L2 full typing translation exercises.

  • Why the heck is no DuoLingo staff internal backend programmer able to support this environment, that users can themself (configured on the web portal or scripted) turn OFF all / many multiple-choice exercises?

  • Why is there no sentence length difference and challenge type ratio for a difficulty level if you have:

  • a) completed your tree (golden owl)

  • b) finally managed to reach e.g levels 20-25?

  • Why is there no offical DuoLingo programmer API where user script programmers could simply hook in (most old user script lost their functionality as they have been coded for the old Python web portal!)?

Deutsch (@English native speakers: Please feel free to translate this to a "perfect English" summary, I better don't write it myself!)

  • Werft doch bitte nicht alle User (incl. App Kiddies, Teens) in den gleichen Topf!

  • Einmal mit dem gleichen Kamm über alle Köpfe: Das klappt nicht!

  • Kein DuoLingo Programmierer wird es jedem (fortgeschrittenen) User gleich (identisch) recht machen können!

Also was machen?

  • 1) Flexibel programmieren
  • 2) zusätzliche Anfänger (Easy vs Advanced vs Expert) Einstellungen
  • 3) Customizing Möglichkeiten vor jedem Strengthen-Start, etc. über M-C vs Typing, incl. L1-L2 vs L2-L1 Ratio

Manche Studierenden möchten - das besagt auch dieser Thread - wirklich ihren Kopf einschalten und herausgefordert werden.

December 13, 2017

[deactivated user]

    This is a great site, but you have to remember that what it is designed to do is give you a working knowledge of the various languages. It is meant to be sort of a middle ground more than enough to get by when traveling ( which would be just a few things yes, no, please thank you I want simple things like that it is not meant for that, but that does not mean that it is meant to teach you every word you likely to encounter while traveling. In other words, it is great for vacation and maybe shorter term study abroad trips,but that does not mean I would rely solely on it if my intent was to live/work somewhere for months or years or become a citizen. I am not saying you are meaning to do any of this with any of your courses, rather reminding you that this is meant to be a middle ground of sorts more than the basics, but not meant to teach you every work that you are likely to hear on a regular basis.

    December 13, 2017


    I know, and I think I've already gotten that out of the three languages, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.

    What bothers me is that, just a month back, German was still actively challenging me...I had gotten through the tree, but there were still a lot of vocabulary words (and by a lot I'm thinking probably hundreds of words or more) that I was shaky on and could use more practice in...and also there were adjective endings and articles that I was routinely messing up and wanting to get more practice in.

    A few weeks back, DuoLingo was doing an excellent job of giving me the exercises that I found genuinely challenging.

    Now, there is a radical shift and it feels like it's gotten mind-numbingly easy. It's dramatic, I'm seeing glitches like it giving me the same sentence over and over again (this never happened to me regularly before...it would only happen very rarely as a glitch, appearing once and then not happening again...now it's happening in multiple sections back to back) and it's also giving me really stupid multiple choice spelling questions which are for spelling mistakes I have never made. It just doesn't make sense for it to be wasting my time with these exercises. And most importantly, it's NOT giving me the tougher stuff.

    I went through some of these practices and out of the whole practice, each 10XP I would only have 4 or so open-ended typing questions, it was all multiple choice.

    December 14, 2017


    To be honest, I'm not really noticing a difference. But that might be because

    1. I'm comfortable enough in Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese that multiple choice vs. typing doesn't usually have any impact (as they're all in the same family).*

    2. I'm so new to German that neither multiple choice nor typing would lead to a correct answer because I'm so new and struggling so much.**

    3. I am going to Europe in April, so I reset my trees except for Spanish to make sure I'm reviewing with notes from start-to-finish. **Said trip is also why I'm starting to learn German in earnest. Since most of the languages I was studying earnestly were all very closely related... I'm only just now remembering what it's like to be a true beginner learning a new language ;) I need to start pulling out the big guns again. Flashcards. Notes. Journaling. Oh my!

    December 15, 2017
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