1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Motivation has really been pl…


Motivation has really been plunging recently... :(

Am I the only one that has been losing motivation recently? Like my profile says, "10K XP a week", I haven't been doing that recently. I have a lot of free time which I just spend in the discussion forum. I'm just sick and tired of doing the same lessons over and over and over again. I REALLY want to get to level 25 soon but with lack of motivation, it feels like I'll never get there. I've heard of the skill levels and I'm on edge waiting for it but it feels like it will never come out):

Anyone else feel like this?

January 20, 2018



A few thoughts...

First of all, everyone studying languages plateaus periodically. It is completely normal to get bored or frustrated. What works for me in those circumstances is switching it up: reading fun things, watching YouTube videos, reading about Italian politics on online newspapers, dipping into one of my grammar books to read on a topic of interest, reading random words in my monolingual dictionary, whatever.

Secondly - Enthusiasm is half the battle, but you are setting out to run a marathon on day one with no appropriate ramp-up to it. I know people like to wave XP around like badges of honor, but 10K XP a week is too ambitious. That’s 1429 points a day, every day with no break. 100-150 lessons a day, every day. There is no way your brain can absorb all that, and doing the same thing over and over won’t help either. Every study that’s every been done in language learning shows that spaced repetition is the best method. Do a bit, advance, go back and repeat what you did a day ago, repeat what you did five days ago, advance again, repeat...

If you want to actually learn a language, slow down. Do less and think about it more deeply. Level 25 means very little..it’s just time really. It takes time to learn anything to a high level. You cannot speed it up by doing 10x as much in 1/10 the time. As an analogy, I am starting ukulele. I will not play like “Iz”in a month, were I to practice 20 hours a day every day for the whole month. All that would happen is that I would have bleeding fingers and I would hate my life.

Try to remember why you wanted to learn a language. It wasn’t for worthless virtual currency. It wasn’t for level 25s to show off to virtual strangers. It was for...what? Only you know. There’s a solid reason at the core, so go back to that.

I personally also recommend only doing 1-2 languages at a time, to avoid frustration, but I recognize that many here disagree with me on this, and find constant change of languages energizing. I don’t know if doing less would help you or not, but you could try for a while to just do 1-3 maybe.

Anyhow, good luck. Languages are the path to opening the world, and are magical. But they take dedication and lots of work, and sometimes it’s a slog and we would all rather be off doing something else.


One other thought. This is the darkest time of the year, and things are grim and dark and seasonal depression engulfs many. It could just be seasonal malaise as well.


Wow. First off, thank you for such a helpful response! I appreciate the newer perspective. You are 100% correct in every aspect. Thank you.

Also, I do timed practice so half the total XP a day.

[deactivated user]

    I wholeheartedly agree with this post.

    I think that your are probably aiming for an unreasonable number of weekly xp's. Someone already post something about the law of diminished returns where simplistically it can translated to the point where your benefits are lower than the effort you put into it. Cramming too many lessons in too little time... your brain will not absorb such quantity of information.

    Also, Duolingo has a limited number of sentences. Doing a lot of exercises to get a huge number of xp's will mean A LOT of repetition. I myself aim for 100-150 xp's a day (a healthy dose I think) and also struggle with repetition, nevermind the number of xp's you're aiming for.

    Besides, you're in school... surely you have a lot of other subjects to study. Most people you see here with a lot of flags next to their names are adults who can afford to study a lot of languages on their spare time.

    You're doing well with French... keep up with it. Maybe add German, and that's it. If you can acquire a good solid knowledge on these two (plus great skills in English which I think you can have) you will already be way ahead of your peers come college time. Then you can think on adding other languages to your portfolio.

    Give it time and perseverance.


    I'm already doing german. It's the only thing that is keeping me sane


    I have periods where I lose motivation, for sure. For me the most important thing is to keep working through it but being careful not to overdo it and burn out - while I'm feeling productive, I can easily spend all day on Duolingo / Memrise / Readlang, but when I'm not really in the mood trying to do so would only make my mood worse.

    When I'm out of motivation I write out a list of small, daily goals to achieve, anything from "keep daily streak on Memrise" to "review three skills on Duolingo" or "read three pages in Welsh".

    What sometimes helps for me is to also take some time to reflect on the progress I've made, either recently or since starting a language as a whole - again, this can range from "I'm sort of finally understanding Polish prepositions" to "two weeks ago I had to look up 50 words per page in Welsh, now I'm down to 10". (Although it's worth noting that this sometimes backfires and makes me feel worse if I feel as though I haven't made enough progress, or if I start comparing myself to other people who've arguably made more progress. I suppose only you will know if this sort of reflection will be beneficial or detrimental.)

    On Duolingo specifically, something that's helped get me out of a few ruts has been joining EXP competitions - I start off just "playing" Duolingo, working to earn points rather than to learn, but as the days go on my motivation creeps back, and I think the public "accountability" of being in a contest helps to speed up the process.

    Also, try using quite a wide range of resources if you're losing motivation with Duolingo specifically - that way you'll still be able to make progress even if you spend a few days/weeks being relatively inactive here.

    I hope you get your motivation back soon - I know how terrible it can feel to have it all sucked away. Best of luck!


    Wow thank you so much for the helpful response and courage to keep going! Much appreciated! Have a lingot


    Y E S... I don't know why but this week I have been feeling utterly terrible, and I have no idea why. The worst part about this is that when I normally feel bad like this (albeit not as bad) I turn to language learning and Duolingo and it's helped me through it. However for some reason I feel no motivation to do any Duolingo or language learning this week at all...

    Throughout this past week various events have revealed to me the worthless and wasteful life I have lived so far. I've had days like this before but somehow I made it through them. This time it seems so much worse, though. I honestly don't know what to do anymore.


    I feel ya. We're in this together


    All the time. You have too many irons in the fire. Focus on French for a while until you get your 25.


    Sounds like you are wasting your time as you already learned what duolingo has to offer.

    Cut way back on your duolingo time find other ways to challenge and learn target language.


    In addition to the great advice other people have given, I'd try and do timed reviews on the last few lessons you've done. The first time I tried I got very few questions answered, but having time pressure and challenging myself to beat the clock made reviews surprisingly interesting. Now I regularly use the timed reviews for drilling stuff I've gone through once or twice without the timer.


    Even me! Some know me as that kid who somehow has enough time to get 10,000-12,000 EXP per week but honestly despite having achieved that goal I've been feeling a bit in a rut this week so to speak. I think it's due to the fact that this month (January) is a known "depression" month. It might also have to do with the fact that my school decided to suddenly give me more work this week, haha.


    Haha I'm always trying to keep up with you but it never works


    We all have those days when we feel miserable about the learning. I sujest you leave duolingo for a while and when your calm enough go back. I'm with you!:D


    to motivate you I will give you a lingot


    I’ve been feeling a bit burned out to. I think this is a plateau. Find some new french music to listen to, their are lot’s of great playlists out there... or maybe watch some short clips. I have discovered some really great animated shorts lately, and I really recommend an animated series called Mofy in french (it’s about a bunny and the animation is all made of cotton balls) Find inspiration and pat yourself on the back for all you have achieved so far!


    You could also look up France24's 24/7 YouTube channel. It's a great way to pick up new vocabulary (even if politics and journalism isn't quite your forte), and it is also very informative, with news from all over the world. That's what I like to do in my free time to polish my French.

    Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.