Disappointed with the "Crowns" .Here's my rant
The one regular thing I had in life was dedicating a certain amount of time everyday ,to keep all my language trees golden. It got to the point of an obsessive addiction . Now, that they've taken that away from me , I have nothing else to fill the vacuum left behind. There's no incentive for me to keep working . I've nothing to work towards. I have to start all over again with the same basic words and sentences. It's a huge waste of time and you get nothing out of it . You took a perfect thing and somehow made it into the abomination it is now. Did you really want to improve the learning experience or there's an inside ploy to make people stop using Duolingo . If the latter is the case , then you've done quite a good job. I quit .
This new "crown" update is sooo disappointing - and aggravating. I consider myself a pretty heavy user... 800+ day streak, I've gone from functional to conversational in Spanish (regardless of what the fluency % said) and from nothing to basic function in French and Italian. I was able to do this because I could see my progress.
My Spanish tree went from fully golded to all-un-gold with 2 crowns in each skill. I would normally spend 10-15 a day keeping fresh in Spanish, and working my way up in the other languages.
I spent 30 minutes just trying to get "Basics" back to gold in Spanish... 30 minutes of the same 5 words (comer, niño, niña, mujer, hombre) over and over and over. How is this helping me learn? It would be one thing if there were a way to test out, but there does not appear to be so. I know there's no real point in having a fully golden tree, I can still learn, etc, etc, but that is what helped motivate me. That is how I truly measured my advancement over time.
I hate to give up my streak and walk away from years invested in learning in this app, but the more I use this new setup, the more I feel it may be time to look for another app.
I really don't mind Crowns that much over the old system, as Max Crowns no longer decay (like the old skill system does), but you are right, I just spent 30 minutes on Portuguese tree (Basics skill) just to get to Max, and make it golden. It's ridiculous.
Duolingo has to realise that the golden skill is not only aesthetic, it is an ingrained visual gratification in this 'language game'. I feel MOTIVATED to progress down a tree when I have all my skills golden as I go along.
But if it takes me half an hour repetitively learning 'basic' words when I'm actually halfway through a tree, so I can regild my old, basic skills, is just ridiculous and at this moment, very demotivating.
I just spent 30 minutes going through Basics 1 in Italian! I have been doing Duolingo for almost 4 years and have a 1313 day streak. My tree has been golden for at least 2 and half years. This new system is crazy. That golden tree is what kept me motivated to do at least 5 or 10 minutes everyday of exercises. I do other learning in addition to Duolingo but this is my quick review everyday. My tutor says 5-10 a day is better than 2 hours 1 day a week. I don't know if I will stick with going through the entire tree again or just practice everyday. Since I'm not sure how "they" know what I need to practice, I'm not sure how helpful that will be. I really wish they hadn't thrown the old system out and replaced it with the crowns. This slightly obsessive, addictive personality liked the old system!
I think the crown system might be okay for absolute beginners, but for someone who has already worked through the trees, being subjected to extremely basic level exercises is tedious at best. I'm not horribly resistant to change, but I detest this new format and will no longer use the site except perhaps for completely new languages in which the simplistic lessons aren't such an utter waste of time.
I, as well, was thinking it might be good for beginners, so yesterday I tried it in my Italian tree, which is at the very, very basic level (as in three skills unlocked).
It's HORRIBLE for my style of learning. I practiced three lessons in Basics 1, can't go back to any of them - yes, I realize that with Basics you'll just do the same ragazza, uomo, donna, ragazzo, mela until you're blue in the face, so it doesn't really count, I will remember them better eventually. But this applies to ALL lessons, including the more difficult ones. You're no longer able to go back and review stuff that you found challenging and didn't remember easily or didn't quite understand in the first go. You're just trudging on, depending on an algorithm to tell you what you understand and what you don't - extremely frustrating. I think I'm a better judge of what I understand and what I don't, what I remember and what I don't. All the flexibility is gone, you're left with just grinding.
I'm only sorry that I didn't start Italian a year ago, so I can at least get the basics before this awful "improvement" :(
Actually, I never used the flash cards, for some reason I never found them useful. In my Spanish tree, I started doing the exact same thing I did now. I started with the Basics, all lessons one after the other at the first two skills. Then next day, I would take a look at the lessons, because you had the vocabulary right there, to see what I remembered and what I didn't. If I didn't remember it at first glance, I would repeat it. If I knew what it meant, I would move on to something else. After I gained enough confidence, I started doing Memrise in parallel. Then I started Immersion.
It was pretty much the same for all skills after that. After I got my tree all golden, I would review selectively what I knew were my weak points. And sometimes I would review what the SRS said, just to see if I missed something.
They say binging is not a good strategy and it doesn't help in the long run. However, some people, myself included, learn best by binging - I would remember over 50% of the words after the first lesson. That's just how my memory works. Basically, my strategy was one full day of new lessons, both here and on Memrise, next day (or two, or three days, depending on the difficulty) reviewing to see what I remember and what I don't and repeating what I didn't or what I didn't understand in the first go. I'm rather skilled at languages, so in about a year I could read newspapers (couldn't watch the news, though, they were speaking way too fast). Immersion helped a lot with that, actually.
The new system no longer allows me to learn how I learn best - I will give it a shot in Italian, I'm just not holding my breath :(
@daffodil2015: Oh, I'm jealous re: your ability to memorize vocabulary...
I agree that the lack of word lists and a self-directed means to practice them is a big weakness of the crown system. I suspect that the "master plan" was to shift people onto Tiny Cards, but I find the TC system to be painfully weak. (I could write a long paragraph about Tiny Cards... but life is short.)
And I hadn't realized the following until I read your comment: It's possible that I feel the loss less than others, because from day 1, I've had to create my own word lists, load them into Quizlet, and practice there. (I need to learn adjectives as the m/f pair, and remember the verb infinitive before the conjugates. My brain is just wired that way.)
Looking back on it, I almost always used the skill-level strengthen. I was doing in Quizlet what you were doing with the individual lessons.
Thanks for answering my question. It helped me better understand the conversation.
I think I'm a better judge of what I understand and what I don't, what I remember and what I don't.
This is exactly why I was never a big fan of Duolingo's SRS system ;)
I suspect if you spend the time to get most things up into the crown level 4 range, then they'll be becoming pretty clear. (As many have said, there's a lot of review built into this process.) Of course, if they don't, they don't. Crown level 5 is there, and it looks to me like it's just what you get if you do the single-skill (timed) practice workaround.
Nobody forced you to use the SRS system. You just used it if you wanted to keep your tree shiny gold. Otherwise, you were completely free to ignore it.
As for spending the time, I think we already had this conversation :p The Spanish tree doesn't hold anything new for me. I just read today a discussion in which a user said something about the "Medical 2" skill and my heart skipped a beat. I thought that because everything changed color I didn't realize there actually WERE new skills. So I went and checked. Nope, still nothing new in my tree. And I did do more lessons in the meantime. Nothing that would make me stop watching the forums and start doing the work :(
Agreed. I was really looking forward to crowns. My Italian and English trees have been golden for a while now and I was excited by the prospect of extra challenge. But now most of my crowns are at level 2! Including things like basics and food. Yes, I don't have to redo the lessons. The whole tree is still open to me. But it does seem strange to me that they there seems to be no way to take language level into account or to test into higher crown levels. Sono deluso.
I agree with you 100%, Rushiil_R. I'm so incredibly disappointed and unsatisfied with this new system. Until yesterday, I also took great pride in keeping my trees golden, and now it's all been taken away. My biggest issue is that I don't even know where to begin - do I start with the basics and spend 10 hours just trying to make one golden? That seems like such a waste. How long does it last once it turns golden? A couple days? Do I ignore all my level 2s & 3s, and just focus on my level 1s? It leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth, and (for the first time) not eager to continue my 466 day streak. I just feel overwhelmed.
FAQ said that a golden maxed crown won't decay and would stay like that forever. Which I actually welcome.
But to get to a gilded skill I have to trudge through up to level 5 crown, which in itself is a drag if you're more than proficient in a skill, especially the basic ones, as they get very repetitive very easily.
A good suggestion to Duolingo is to introduce tiered gilding of skills: say level 1, you'd get rose gold skill, then level 2, you get bronze coloured skill, then level 3, the skill will change colour to, say, silver, and so on and so forth. It makes completing each level visually satisfying, and fulfils the main reason they introduced crown system in the first place: to add depth to a skill. Doing it this way will keep the motivation alive. Someone on Duo dev team should really consider this.
I'm ready for people to stop whining about the lack of golden trees. Seriously QQ. Come on, you're starting to sound like a room full of babies. But that being said I dig your idea of tiered gilding. lvl 1 should be bronze, then silver, then rose gold, then diamond gold, then pure gold. differently colored crowns or something...
If I have to translate the sentence 'the woman eats the sugar' one more time I think I may need therapy... I wouldn't mind the new system so much if we could still test out of the basic bits. My Italian is rusty - but I'm definitely past the ciao! stage :) I love Duolingo and how I've started thinking in Italian again since using it, but having to repeat arriverderci one million times just to get to level 5 in basics is demoralising. I can see how it would be great for a beginner, but there should be more options for someone who already knows the difference between ragazza and ragazze...
Rushiil has a valid point here, I have finished my course, I know my strong points and my weak points, I know what is obvious and where I need more practice, this new system where we are forced to go back to the basic is ridiculous. At least people should be able to choose what system to use.
It’s hard to express how awful and disheartening this update is on day 2.
THERE APPEARS TO BE ZERO NEW CONTENT, just an imperative to do the exact same content an insane amount of times.
I already felt the content was repetitive, but this is just plain nuts. I don’t need to translate the same sentence fragment 50 times to get it. That’s not learning. The old system worked.
I tried to go back into this crown mess this morning, it felt completely pointless and unmotivating.
If we can’t go back to the old system, I can’t imagine sticking around. I’d be looking for suggestions for other apps that might help keep me sharp in Italian.
I am also very disappointed. I was getting to closer to having my very first golden tree, and just like that, this opportunity is taken away from me! They should have at least told us beforehand. I would have been able to finally make my Spanish tree golden in a day or two but now there is no way to do that anymore. :( I am now only using Duolingo to finally get to a 1000 day streak but after that I might just stop.
I agree the new system is nowhere near effectual, in fact there is no sense in this thoughtless act of modernisation. As you said, the bigger frustration is the denial of chance for us to actually choose what we desire. The whole thing is ridiculously fruitless in all terms of improvement. Neither educational nor motivational benefits it brings about. Never been more disappointed with Duolingo. Repetition for the basics forever and ever. No need to mention that Health is being graduated from A/B testing and will join the party to make this repetition literally IMPOSSIBLE. The time to forever leaving the app is approaching... Cause it is becoming crystal clear that Duolingo does not hold enough value for what we think. If you give us the chance to choose between the systems, I'm sure you'll be everyone's favourite in the market once again.
As I experiment and read other's rants about this new crowns thing I am discovering more positives but so much that I don't understand about how it works.
I think Duo should have sent us a more detailed explanation of how they saw this new system working The FAQ on crowns sticky is giving me 404!!!
I have tried it now for 2 days, and it is really boring if you want to level up to 5 (in my case). 40 times translating "La donna beve acqua" is not very challenging. Before the Crowns I already reached level 25, the highest, and therefore is going down to 50x "le ragazze bevono acqua" not very stimulating. The lower part of the tree is a little more difficult, but also repeats things over and over again. So far not an upgrading, I think, more a downgrading. Hope for some adjustments.
May I ask how much typing you got into Italian before the change vs. how much you get now at the higher crown levels? This for me is the singular change in the system (I strongly desired more target-language typing before), but people are reporting different things regarding it, which obviously plays strongly on overall perceptions of the system.
Also, idk if you noticed that. Before the update, doing Duolingo on a computer required writing whole sentences all the time. Now they deleted it and here we have the ´choosing right boxes´ thing, which is boring and teaches you so much less than when you have to actually come up with the whole sentence...
So, like everyone, I'm somewhat surprised and disappointed. I was around....57% fluent in Italian, a language I have loved to learn. However, when this new update approached and fell upon me, I was....confused. I looked for my progress of "57% fluent" and where all my golden trees were, only to see them replaced with crowns. Now I just don't know what to do. Sure, I can continue to practice and practice, but I feel like I won't get anywhere again.
But, I'm standing behind everyone. Strength in numbers.
After all... la famiglia è importante.
Just thought I'd add my voice to the chorus of disapproval. The new crown system is awful, IMHO.
I have just returned to Duolingo after a prolonged absence, driven by the happy circumstance of an unexpected upcoming holiday in a much loved location near Gubbio, Umbria.
I had just started re-gilding my heavily decayed tree. Before, I was no great fan of the speed at which Duolingo had un-gilded skills, but that seemed to be improved in my absence. I was pleased. Now, suddenly, I have no record of progress. Fortunately, I have a good idea where I was, but no obvious way to record that.
And the algorithm that has assigned my "Crown Levels" to skills is simply bizarre. Completely off with the fairies. I am Level 2 in most skills, and Level 1 for some others. But I am Level 2 in skills I re-gilded earlier in the week, and many, many that I haven't looked at for eighteen months or more. OK, I covered the ground in them, once upon a time. But I need some feedback on how current I am with them in the here and now.
I have no idea what Duolingo thought they were doing, but I have a nasty suspicion that driving site traffic was fairly high up the list of their objectives.
It may well backfire, if the comments here are anything to go by.
Really, dude? Duolingo provides the most comprehensive, effective, FREE language learning all because the founder wanted to make language learning accessible to poor people. Didn't have ads for years. And you're here throwing around a "nasty suspicion" that it's all about driving up traffic? Come on, I'd say that about Facebook or any number of other major websites, but to say that about Duolingo, I think that's truly unfair and unappreciative of what they're doing here.
@dreamconscioulsy: It isn't unfair or unappreciative. I gave a reasoned critique of why I don't like the change, which centred around my need to revise some long neglected skills.
Duolingo have made my task considerably more difficult. They acknowledge that themselves in the "Crowns FAQ" thread, and say that they are working on a targeted revision replacement to an unspecified schedule. Targeted revision is a fairly major part of learning any skill, so crippling the ability to do it is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly.
In addition, from the comments here, it is clear that they haven't delivered on their promise to deepen skills as you move through the Crown levels. They may have in some languages, but not universally. Lack of volunteer resources to provide the material, possibly?
Taken together, these factors lead me to believe that the timing of the rollout of Crowns was driven by revenue issues, not educational ones. That's fine - their original business model turned out to be a crock, so they have to do something else. But be honest about it.
There's nothing wrong with Duolingo saying something along the lines of: "We need to make changes in order to secure Duolingo's future viability." But don't take me for an idiot by pretending to be motivated only by the purest of motives. I don't have a shrine to Saint Ahn on my desk... ;-)
Perhaps the Crown system will be better educationally in due course - but that probably won't be until the supporting material and software facilities are fully in place. Meanwhile, I will have to game the system to do what I want, or go elsewhere. C'est la vie.
from the comments here, it is clear that they haven't delivered on their promise to deepen skills as you move through the Crown levels.
If that's the only take you've read, then you have gotten a biased representation. To me it's indisputable that they have delivered on this. The mixture of exercise types is much more demanding than before, which makes the overall system much more valuable.
Crowns is a very bad idea! The old (gold) version was much better! I have reached level 18 in English (72%), level 14 in Spanish (50%), level 11 in Italian and level 10 in Russian. With the new crown system I do not repeat my one year long work from the beginning! This is totaly wast of our time!!!
I already every single last thing of the first two parts of the French tree...honestly, the Crowns system is making me start over again like everyone else is doing and I really hate the interface...I want to know what's being covered in every lesson, not just a "Start Now" button and not knowing what I'll be learning.
I'd understand and wouldn't complain if it were the last few parts of the tree that weren't' golden for me and I'd had to redo it but nope, Duolingo decides that the Crowns system is great.
Vote: No More Crowns
I feel exactly the same way. I had three languages "golden" and very close to the fourth one and my goal was to keep all of them gold all the time. However, to start all over again, and, as you say, with the basic words that have to be repeated ad nauseam (SO many trials to get a crown!) has completely demoralized me. I don't see the point of the crowns at all. Also, we have lost the percent fluent we are (although I didn't really believe it). However, it did make you feel like you were making progress. Please go back to the way it was!
I am glad to see these rants. They are cathartic to read as it lets me know I'm not alone in my thoughts regarding this "Crowns" update. Luckily, I only started Duolingo a month ago, and have not gotten too far down the German tree (19 skills completed). One day I wake up and see this new Crown system in place, and see that all the skills I thought I had completed no longer gilded, having new lessons in them. So now I'm going back getting all the previous skills built up to level 5... and I'm not happy!
What has been the most frustrating is that there's hardly any difference between the different levels of the skills. If you were adding complexity and difficulty, throwing more advanced phrases at me as I progressed and leveled-up, then I would be happy to do these exercises. Except that these are nothing but repetitions of the same old thing over and over again. I just had to suffer through getting the "Phrases" skill up to level 5. The last level required that you complete 25 exercises! And as I was ranting before, there was not any variation to it, just extreme repetition (you don't need to ask me for the umpteenth time what "Hallo" is in English!).
Oh well, had I started with this new Crown system already in place I don't think I would have felt as flustered as I do now. I thought I was already progressing nicely in the basics of the German language, and if I needed to brush up on what I had already learned the timed practices were sufficient (that's where I spent 70% of my time on anyway). However now I have to do ridiculous amounts of exercises just to get my skills all the way up to level 5. Yes, I know I can just ignore the need to get maximum level on the skills, but that's now how it works for me. I'm a practical sort of person who will only move on from one skill to the next once I get feedback that I have "mastered" it.
I just needed to get this out of my system!
As you have discovered, there are no new lessons, so you can easily dismiss the easy Basics stuff and move on - actually it might be a lot better for you to completely ignore them and move on. Fight the system! :p
On a more serious note, I feel your pain, the new system is driving me crazy, too, particularly since I tested it and found, like you, that there's hardly any difference between the levels. As an advanced user, the new system is completely useless to me and what annoys me the most was that the old system (previously known as THE system :D) was much more flexible and functional and it accommodated both beginners and more advanced users. Now it's just... meh.
Having spent a few days trying to work my way round this new system and noted that many of the best aspects of the old system, especially those which motivated me to keep going and enjoy the languages, had gone, I realise the one thing I valued most was the 'Strengthen' facility attached to the tree. I know the 'practice' is there but not attached to the tree and only as a general facility, not for each lesson which was invaluable for revision. I do hope Duolingo takes note of these comments. The old system had so many brilliant aspects to it which have been stripped away!
My thoughts exactly :( Why couldn't they at least keep the invaluable features? I would really care less about the tree being golden, purple or any other color, if they brought back the timed practice and strengthen for individual lessons, instead of the whole damn skill.
I'm only level 13, 38 lessons out of 66 in Italian, but I was initially disappointed in the change. However, as boring as it is to go through "Io sono un uomo" 50 times, I think the more complex lessons might benefit from this. My understanding is that they added additional content to the higher crown levels.
It's still game-ified, but instead of having 66 gold lessons at level 25 as "the end", you have a max of 330 crown levels in Italian.
That said, I use Rosetta Stone and iTalki on top of this, so it's really no big deal. I want to be able to converse next time I'm in Italy.
You're correct on your assessment but they should really be considering tweaking the algorithm for the easier skills. I had to drag myself through very repetitive basic 1 skill (level 4 to level 5 required 15 'lessons' to progress on the current Portuguese tree) - imagine having to answer almost the same sentence 15 times just to get my Basics 1 skill golden. They should really tweak this if they don't want people to stop using this platform.
Is there some explanation for what the crowns and the various numbers on them mean? I've been working through French on a 55 day streak, reviewing what I learned on an earlier go-through (3 years ago), and was almost caught up when the tree suddenly changed and I had to go back and start again. Yes, I've been learning a lot more and covered information I hadn't seen before,as I worked the colors back to gold ... but then suddenly today I've no idea where I am because of all the gold is now colors again with crowns and numbers! What gives? What do those numbers mean? What do I still need to review, and which is my next lesson?!!! Talk about throwing a monkey wrench into the works! It's totally breaking my momentum.
Ok, I'm finally figuring it out. The numbers indicate how many times we've completed that particular set of lessons. And the gold ring shows what proportion of the lessons have been completed within that set (changing to silver when all are successfully completed. Well, yes, I still have a solid gold disk despite having completed it once, but as a married "age'e" I have no desire to waste time learning to flirt, thank you very much!)
I do miss having the option to redo a particular set of exercises without going through the whole ring, though, or to choose a "strengthen" option for quick review of the lesson.
Why is that all my courses on my PC and tablet have converted to the Crown format, whereas the old format has been retained on my mobile (except Czech, which is not available on my mobile)? The Crown format is horrible. The old format was perfect, it made learning languages a pleasure, so why change a winning formula and without consulting anyone? I was just getting over the shock of being presented with the new tree for French, which required me to repeat many lessons, when the new Crown format was introduced.
Did you ever receive an answer from an official spokesman of Duolingo? You received so many reactions.
If I read all this, there is a general complaint about the crown system.
I also think it would be good if you make a summary of this discussion, since you have the possibility to write a summary at the top of the discussion. My opinion about the crowns: I started screaming about it a long time ago, but hardly anybody read my scream for help. (PLEASE HELP! Mi Aiuta! Aidez moi! Rette mich, sonst bin ich verloren! Help!). CivusRomanus worded my frustrations very well.
At first I was very and deeply disappointed and strongly considered quitting, after loosing my golden tree. But, I have some hope now. I have restarted and now I am working on the tree from two sides. maybe there is hope?
I sort of agree. In some languages I like having more easy lessons but, for example, my Hebrew is very good and I'm still trying to find my level in it and going back to "Abba Ba" (Dad comes) which I learned when I was 4 is ridiculous and there's no place to test out either. It's sort of the same with Spanish, French and Italian, none of which I'm super fluent in, but I do have a passing knowledge of them. And Esperanto, I was moving pretty quickly because of the previous knowledge.
I couldn't agree more. I've been in hospital for a few weeks, so was unable to keep up mu Duolingo. Now that I have to go right back to the very basics that I know well, I feel I have gone right back to square one and do not really feel the incentive to keep going. Like you I used to like to keep my trees golden. I am on the verge of giving up altogether. So disappointed.
For me, this is the core issue. By removing gilding decay, Duolingo have taken away the targeted revision reminder/strengthen facility, without replacing it. Their FAQ thread acknowledges that this is a deficiency. They should have fixed it before rolling out Crowns, IMHO.
As I stated elsewhere on the thread, I have returned to Duolingo after a prolonged absence, so I have a lot of revision to do. Essentially every skill needs revision. I have decided to approach that by "levelling up" the Crown level of each skill - I may not level up fully. Perhaps half a crown. I can see that work in the gold progress ring for each skill.
But that only works for someone like me, who is has let all my skills lie fallow for a while. It would be pointless for someone who is current, and just wants to keep topped up. And won't work at all for anyone who reaches the sunlit uplands of 5 Crowns in a skill!
Simply revising "words" doesn't have the same effect, and as you say, the general strengthen option seems to revisit the same stuff.
I am glad to read all your comments and i empathize. As someone who has OCD tendencies , having to get all those crown level completed to achieve the gold status is overwhelming and frustrating to say the least. I was doing Duolingo for most part of my weekend and the repetitiveness is just so insane. For now, am not sure if i can stick to this new format or move on. Anyway, good luck fellow language learners. Cheers!
As an experiment I made myself turn the Basics 1 into a golden ring (pre-crowns I was two topics away from completing the whole course so the Basics topic is VERY basic). It was SO boring with the endless repetition. If the awful crowns must stay at least bring back the 'test out' function so that the folk who do not need the repetition at earlier levels can skip ahead if visual completeness (i.e. lots of golden rings) is important to them/us.
As an additional point I no longer understand how the 'practice skills' function works. It seems to jump all over the place with no indication of what level one has practiced to nor why any one topic has been selected for practice. Does anyone know how it's now meant to be working?
The thing I find most annoying about it is that you repeat the same words and phrases for sometimes as many as 5-10 lessons, which is completely useless for people like Civis Romanus, and many others of us in this discussion and beyond. It may seem ridiculous, but as you say, Rushiil_R, it really keeps people motivated, and a tree you have to work five times as hard for and get no satisfaction out of is not motivating at all. I will try to keep pushing on with my studies anyway, because Duolingo really is an amazing opportunity, but I do wish they hadn't done away with the old system.
I echo the disheartening feelings that have been expressed in this post and respect the few opinions that have been shared to the contrary. The disappearance of “my” Italian golden tree came as a totally undesirable surprise!!! We each create our own learning rituals in accordance to goals or expectations. We hear you Rushiil_R, thank you for initiating this post. The crown system has affected each one of us at different levels. It has hit some sensitive chords that were meaningful to us.
I really enjoyed the fun “learning game” prior to Crowns and I miss it. It had structure and visuals weaved into it. It was a fair game. The tree visuals signaled accomplishments and merits where deserved and offered direction where attention was required. It offered broader options to the freedom of targeted practice. Speaking on the subject of accomplishments/efforts: With the new system if a golden tree were to be abandoned for a short or a long period, it means that it would still be golden at the time of revisiting it. In such case the “gold” misses its precious symbolism. It no longer represents a current status of ongoing efforts. With the rules of the game changed, I am trying to see the glass half full as I work on re-structuring a different approach for my practice ritual. As I do it, I would like to capture Linda7Italian’s sentiment when she says:”…will keep trying… ma con un cuore pesante”. I will have to reassess and take it a day at a time.
My target language is Italian. It bothers me that my golden tree is gone. It was a visual representation of historic efforts and accomplishments. It had history. In its place I have in front of me a tree with multicolored branches and crown numbers. Some branches show level 2 crowns, while others show level 3. As many have already described, without a compass or structure, I intuitively directed my efforts to the BASICS branches of the tree. Frustration escalated exponentially while trying it. I stopped and changed direction by focusing on turning gold one of the higher branches. I selected the level 3 “spiritual branch”, since at a glance it required less lessons than the “politics” branch. I did turn it gold and yes, the review helped to reinforce knowledge; however, I found the experience tedious. A total of 32 or 36 lessons were required to accomplish such task. I didn’t notice any extraordinary increase in complexity or difficulty as I moved through those particular lessons. In the future, I won’t follow that approach. I want to bring back the sense of anticipation I used to feel before this change. To spice up the practice I will go for variety instead of focusing only on one branch. For my Italian tree I will shy away from the basics. As was suggested before, the option to test out of the basics would have been a thoughtful DL gesture.
DL indicates under the general discussion tab: CROWNS FAQ that “…more advanced learners can get a lot more depth by leveling up their skills and earn crowns”. I don’t know yet if there will be an increased level of difficulty as I explore the other branches of the Italian tree. I did peek through the Spanish tree of another learner who was keeping his tree golden. It did show longer sentences and higher level of difficulty in the Subj. Past branch of his tree.
I count myself within the group of learners who experienced pride, and joy in maintaining a golden tree and who had fun with daily practice. I really do not like the aesthetic aspect of this new Italian tree. Is it because my golden tree totally disappeared from sight? For the time being, I will do my best to work with what this new system offers. As I go through my practice I will have to “ignore” the vivid colors at the center of its branches. My eyes repel seeing those colored branches because in DL symbolism it means starting over again. Even if the crowns have levels assigned according to established metrics, I would have appreciated at least the visual comfort of “some” gold for those of us who had achieved golden trees. Perhaps golden centers surrounded by a grey ring would have been a better alternative to what we have now.
I take this opportunity to digress and express how grateful I am to the DL members who have generously contributed to the discussions I’ve had the privilege to follow over the years. I do not visit the discussion on regular basis (do most of my practice on my OS mobile device), but whenever I am at computer I enjoy checking it out. I extend a special thank you to Civis Romanus and Linda7Italian.
It is my hope that DL lends on ear to the innumerable views expressed in this thread.
Another apassionato of Italian here. One of the biggest issues with crowns is they highlight the inequality between trees. For a robust tree like Spanish, that has been developed to v2.0 and is in good shape, 5 levels of crowns may work well. For a relatively undeveloped tree like Italian, it may not. I have noticed more complexity with crowns, but not through all levels.
Don't mention it...
It had taken me sixteen months to complete the first half of the Welsh course, when before last Christmas a new tree was issued, so I had to go again through over 50 units. I had just finished passing them a few days ago... and now I have to take them all over again for the third time, also with the ridiculous 'crowns' scheme!
I have spent the last full hour trying to make the first two units turn gold, repeating again and again the same five or six basic greetings maybe 100+ times, before I reached level 5.
Not to mention exercises in which words have to be clicked, instead of being typed. ..Why oh why?!
I can't believe Duolingo implemented such a crappy scheme, without even giving us the opportunity to choose between the old one and this new thing.
Civis, Never before have I ever heard such words from you. You will probably know that we consider you the head of our Italian family, if this new scheme has driven you to voice this opinion we can only feel vindicated. There are those driven by number, bells and whistles etc which I am not but I can imagine that someome who has maintained a golden tree for several years at level 25, and have to repeat the basics over and over and over, will now be very much “expletive” Off.
Thank you for your support and solidarity! We are in all this together.
Muss, if you had been here in person you would have heard much worse by me, a full immersion 15 unit course of Italian foul language (sorry Linda!).
I posted my own complaint in the general discussion forum, as well. Apparently, someone is conducting a survey on how many users like the new scheme and how many dislike it, and the latter seem to be a massive majority.
I'm not even complaining about the idea of implementing the new scheme for users who have just subscribed to Duolingo. But why force old users to accept it? And why force us to start the course all over again, without even adding something to the units we had passed already? There is no new vocabulary, no new grammar, nothing!
I still fail to understand how the level sysyem (1 ~ 25) relates to the number of crowns.
Before, exercises could vary in length, but they usually included about 20 words or sentences (I presume this was the same for all language courses). But now each mini-exercise includes only 6 words/sentences, and I need to take 26 of them (8 + 8 + 10, repeating them again and again) in order to reach level 5. This means that I now earn 260 points for turning gold one single unit, while before with the same number of points I could have passed three or four units. Does this make sense?
Moreover, I can reach level 25 (the highest) much more easily than before, because levels are still based on the points scored (10 for each mini-exercise). Does this make sense?
And exercises where words have to be clicked instead of being typed allow a learner to rehearse the syntax, but no longer to rehearse the spelling! Does this make sense?
I've got the impression that whoever devised the new scheme lacks the slightest idea of what learning a language means. All these colourful (and useless) trinkets, such as crowns and badges, just miss the point.
OK, I apologize to everyone for the pippone (✱) but I really had to get this off my chest.
(✱) in urban slang, anything that is very long an boring.
I think that as the world awoke today and the globe revolved, it gradually ran out of expletives and foul language.. We would all have given anything to be there with you, to share the pain. DL have obviously screwed up big time with this one , Every post here is about crowns, and not in a good way.
Muss. An actual Meat-Bag who deals with things. I agree with all the things that people are saying, like all the posts are about crowns, or it's annoying. But we shouldn't just sit here and mope like dopes. We need to get up, and deal with it. Crowns are a hard thing, I know. At first, I was but like Civic. But now, I am fine. I just moved on. Did you know that with the crowns, you actually get to redo the lessons for FREE XP. 360 alone from the first basic! And the cool part is, once you get to gold on one skill, it stays like that forever. No need to practice it ever again. Boom. I have to say though, the crowns are an M.B.T.G Idea (More Bad Than Good Idea), . But I don't think we need to abolish crowns completely. I say that we just need a setting that allows us to swap between the old and the new version, so the Hardcore Learners can stay on crowns, diving deep, while the more laid-back can use the old version.<pre>
~From Bill Cipher</pre>
I do not understand why you say that hardcore learners will benefit with the crowns system. Dig deeper? Is your idea of spending two hours on Basics 1 sentence translations "digging deeper?" Also, I found that doing timed practice really allowed people to show their mastery by sharpshooting all the questions and beating the clock. Now they've taken that away.
The hardcore learner can develop a system for mnemonics and find a frequency dictionary. Duolingo isn't anything special as far as teaching grammar or conjugation rules goes, either. Free XP is hardly something to advertise if it equates to doing the same drill until you're well past the point of having your time wasted, many of the programs charging for lessons nowadays have wayyyyyy more to offer than Duolingo. Many only support DL because they are free, but DL are going to lose many learners to better software if they insist on a WMBTG update like this. (If it was optional, that would be a different thing.)
We are both observing this from different angles. You see the "Hardcore" part as a time waster. What I see is Duolingo giving you the same sentences to memorize completely. But that's only for people who just started, and you caught the flaw that Duolingo has made. In order to make basics 1 golden, you need to do 33 more lessons.... 33! I feel that this number is just too much. Duo can still keep the crowns, but it should be more like the more subjects you complete, the more lessons you have to do to make it golden.
I have nothing to say. You have made a good point. But what I said on the post was to make it optional. You are right on the other things though, like the fact that Duo needs to teach languages better. Like seriously, The first words you get in Russian are "Doma" (House) , and a bunch of names. That is one thing that needs changing. Plus, basics 1 and 2 are easy, but don't forget about all the other subjects like verbal future? Are those not counted on?<pre>
I am in complete agreement with you on all of your points. Approaching my Level 24 with the old system, I was horrified to have to 'begin again'. I was about two thirds towards it and the effort it took to reach the next level, made it worth the work. Additionally, with the new system, it is far too easy to amass a lot of points. Somehow, it did not feel as if I had earned my Level 24. It seemed too quick. All that was needed was a dogged determination to stick out all of the crushing repetitive boredom and the points racked up as never before. If you are just starting on a course, I suppose it looks pretty and has PLENTY of repetition, to the point of mind-numbing awfulness. I really can't see the progression in the stages either.
However, to be fair, considering the huge cost of some language courses, should we thank them for trying to 'improve the course' but gently remind them if the 'done untos' are not happy why continue with it? I will reach my Level 25 and then sadly have to say au revoir. I will leave with a LOT of affection for Duolingo and all of the people who have put so much time, effort, blood, sweat and tears into it.
Thank you so much!!
I thought that "use the keyboard" only meant that one could choose words moving around them with the arrow keys instead of using the mouse.
I'll certainly do so. Typing words may be slower, but besides rehearsing the spelling, the learner is also able to use synonyms, alternative forms, etc.
Thank you for your comment. I completely agree with all your points. This update has infuriated me too, and while I doubt all these rants will achieve much, it's good to hear people with similar opinions to mine.
Personally, one of my main issues with the new system is that I just don't feel motivated to practise anymore. Learning new skills is fine, though it's a little demotivating to complete what would have been all the lessons and only reach level 1, but with the new visuals and system there barely seems to be any point in revising previous skills.
Before the update I was slowly working my way up the tree, filling in any awkward gaps in the otherwise golden rows as they appeared, but now they all have little crowns in the corner basically just telling me that I've completed that skill, without giving me any insight as to whether I can still recall their contents. Of course, there are ways I can figure out what I need to practise myself, but isn't that part of Duolingo's purpose?
Of course, there's still that practise button. But personally, if I can't visually see anything improving, it's rather hard for me to motivate myself to press it - especially when I consider that I can earn more XP by doing "lessons", and a good number of the excersises seem trivial and/or tedious anyway.
Another issue is that this difficulty increase with crown level isn't particularly apparent - the excersises don't seem to get any harder, and I don't think I've seen a single new exercise yet (though maybe that's just an Italian thing - we never seem to get any new content). Again, this isn't exactly motivating.
Anyway, I'm not going to quit, but if I can very well understand why some people who have completed the tree may want to. I actually don't see myself as having lost too much progress, as these new crown levels are in my opinion in no way comparable to the old system of gold/not gold.
To summarise my feelings, I would wish for a more pressing and obviously useful system of spaced repetition, and a more obvious increase in difficulty with crown levels, ideally with new exercises and, if this isn't already the case, slightly different exercise types at different levels. At the moment, the little numbers next to the crowns honestly seem more-or-less obsolete to me.
Really I just need anything that would motivate me to revise old units again, rather than just climbing the tree at breakneck speeds and simply giving up once at the top (of course, I would learn some things this way. But learning a language takes so much more than just blitzing through everything and hoping one remembers it all). Hell, even bringing back the old "fluency" percentage counter would help.
Sorry if I rambled too much, but it really feels good to properly complain about things like these. If you made it this far, thanks for listening to my thoughts on the matter.
I don’t hate the new update, and have decided to proceed getting all ones to twos, then all twos to threes etc. up to five. Don’t mind the lack of gold.
My trouble is being overwhelmed by lack of structure. Do i do a single skill from 1 to 2 in a rush, or cherry pick from all my 1’s by degree of interest that day? I think the latter is better, but how to focus it? Too confusing to know how best to proceed, so I start and stop.
And no ability to repeat le lessons at all? That’s awful.
A person who's maintained a level 25 golden tree for years should be the sort of person who has most to gain from this update. How much can they really be benefiting from the endless repetition of the same stuff that they have been doing? At least now there's the chance of the presentation being harder (and maybe some sentences let back in from the previously-too-often-missed exclusion zone) to provide some further value to the enterprise. For me things are, indeed, looking a good deal harder.
There is no "have to repeat." It's a choice. It's probably a bad one for early skills in many instances. The OP mentions "obsessive addiction." Indeed. But it is the manner of addictions to get in the way of what matters. I think this is a good opportunity for many to step back and take a second look at what would really be most effective for their learning.
Oh good I thought - they are going to give me even more challenge. But no - as this person says - the basics 1 is the same basics 1 - so if i want to make my tree golden again I will have to "start again". As it was I was doing 'refresh' every day and it was getting harder, more challenging etc. It appears that I can continue to do that but why oh why couldn't duolingo take my ability level into account so that e.g. basics would appear golden because I can already do all three of those levels but maybe some others would be where my current challenge lies
Why persist in pursuing skills that have ceased to be challenging to you? Basics 1 is basic and easy because it's one of the first lessons they teach you: there by definition isn't going to be a lot of opportunities for variance. But I can say with confidence that the German, French, and Spanish lessons towards the bottom of the tree, which I was assigned crown level 3 at the outset, are noticeably harder for me than they were in in the old system. Some of these are questions that I haven't seen in years.
If it's purely about getting the golden tree, then just spend 10 minutes and run through two exercises in the upper-tree skills after working on more difficult skills that actually need your attention. Sure it won't get you your golden tree tomorrow, but you'll get back to it eventually.
Binging on skill exercises provides exactly zero benefit to your language education.
Yes, Muss you said it well. I haven't really learned how to swear in Italian yet, but I guess it's about time. I've gotten through seven courses, six of which are at level 25. It’s finally gotten to where it hasn’t been too difficult to keep these trees golden, after which I've always had time to work on more challenging material, or something fun like the Idioms and Flirting units. What some people are saying is true, that having a golden tree isn't necessary, but for some of us it's a nice motivater to practice.
One of the most useless of these bells and whistles is achievements that came a while back. It saddens me that my profile no longer lists my name or what country I live in, which happens to be Michael and the USA. Have they decided that my privacy is in jeopardy? Now my page is filled with flags supposedly to celebrate my achievements, that only I can see. Just list my name again and where I'm from, and give me back the clean, uncluttered look to the page. And focus on creating great content for learning languages.
Apparently it will still show your Bio if you fill one in. When I look at my profile page when I'm not logged in I can't see any location or similar information there either (and there seems to be no option to turn any of them on) but I can still see my "bio" entry. You should be able to fill in the information there.
Oh, and the "Follow" button is still on your profile too. This allows you to have followers that you cannot communicate with in any way, and whose progress you can't see except via the Leaderboard, and who you can't give a pat on the back to when they pass a milestone because, as noted above, "you cannot communicate with them in any way". That's been broken for... how many years now? One? Two? But hey, we can have crowns now, so that we can see more ads and repeat 5 words several hundred times.
This site just keeps getting more and more pathetic.
I was going to update my laughably described "bio" (since hey, doesn't a bio fit in 255 characters?) to say why I was done with this place, the pathetic, useless "crowns" development being the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Duolingo had always been at best only marginally useful for language revision, and as close to completely useless for actual learning, despite what in my opinion are Duo's delusional claims to the contrary. As I have observed in the past, Duo is "all translation, all the time" which at some point actually starts holding people back from fluency because with each and every exercise they are running home to their native language instead of thinking in their target one.
However the Bio field, which was once 256 characters, seems to have been halved in size. Maybe this is one of those idiotic A/B tests that seem designed to hack people off by randomly dispensing who can have what functionality; I can't be sure.
What I can be sure about is that they keep cutting functionality or breaking functionality (how long has it been now since I have been able to communicate with those I'm following or who are following me?), yet there is always plenty of bandwidth like introducing the unkillable pop-ups of that idiot owl in the Android app.
There are far better sites elsewhere.
to um6661138 - I found that Clozemaster made me think more in Spanish in two weeks than Duo ever did, because you don't have English AT ALL there. True, it is for advanced users, not beginners - I think beginners would probably be completely lost.
In my opinion, Duo is good (or rather WAS good) for beginners, but you always had to complement it with something else, as the tree wouldn't get you very far, not even in terms of vocabulary. I was surprised that after over a year of learning Spanish, being level 25, achieving level 25 in Immersion even, I had no idea how to say "towel" in Spanish - which I realized once I got to Spain.
But to answer your first question, the way in which you can teach people to think in their target language is to remove the source language completely. Which Duo could do for CL 4 or 5, if they wanted to truly offer something more, instead of tedious repetition and ad watching.
I think the reason there are so many complaints from long-time users is that we've seen the site going from good, I would even say great, to bad and worse with every new "update" and "improvement".
At first (when I started, I mean) we had not only the tree, but also Immersion and the possibility to chat privately with users you found inspiring, users that you followed or who followed you. In Immersion, you had the possibility to chat on the text you were translating, discussing the finer points of language, subtleties, nuances, etc. They took all that away and replaced it with bots - not even close to what it used to be, as the bots were laughable if you tried to have a real conversation, beyond the programmed responses.
Now, with the crowns, they made the site completely unusable and useless for more advanced users. The only thing drawing me back right now, tbh, are the forums.
I don't understand what you mean that Clozemaster doesn't have English at all. Every sentence has the English translation right below it. And for fill in the blank questions, it's hard to imagine how you'd know what to write without it.
Re: "unusable and useless for more advanced users"
I'd understand "less appealing;" I'd understand "less convenient"; I'd understand "demotivating." (I'd also fully understand this claim if it were about the elimination of Immersion.) How did you use the tree pre-crowns? If you kept the tree gold, there's the practice button. It works like it always has, refreshing the skills with diminished strength. I get it's less motivating without the color changes, but less motivating is not "unusable" or "useless." If you picked what skill to work on, of course, that option is still available.
I'll have to reply to myself here since I've hit the nesting level.
Yes, the English translation is there in SOME Clozemaster exercises, in really small letters that you can avoid looking at and answer the question entirely in the language that you're revising. If you go to Clozemaster Pro (which, yes, DOES cost money but not as much as DuoLingo Plus the last time I checked) you can do audio exercises which do not involve the use of English AT ALL.
And on the subject of FREEEEE; most people's time has value. The ads that incessantly pop up in Duo's apps mean that it's without monetary cost, but it's not FREEEEE. Especially with the sneaky little tactic of shifting the close button around so that people don't automatically close the things down. Which I grudgingly admit is effective, if irritating.
On which point I should add; I don't give a flying fig about "free". I would rather pay for something good, than waste "free" time on what this site has devolved into over the years.
How did I use the tree pre-crowns? Remember back in the days when you had topics, which were made up of lessons? And you could skim through those lessons to get an overview of the vocabulary that the lessons covered? That meant that if you saw a word that you couldn't remember or which seemed unfamiliar, you could target that lesson.
Now, instead, you have a start button. And you get to practice alllll the content of that subject whether you know it front to back or not. With not one iota of new content.
Clozemaster will test you on thousands of words in hundreds upon hundreds of different contexts.
Duolingo will have you type "La donna beve l'acqua" 750 times. Only it will prompt you to do that in English.
NONE of my language teachers have a good opinion of Duo. I've had 5 to date. Zero like Duo. No, it's not because of competition. There IS no competition.
I stand by "useless". People CANNOT learn more than a relatively small number of rudimentary expressions from this site. They cannot learn to read in another language from it, they cannot learn to hold a conversation in it. The site is a basically the appendix to a Rick Steves guide book except, after the introduction of crowns, a boring, repetitive, untargeted appendix to a Rick Steves guide book.
It looks like you're talking about "cloze-listening" where it plays the sentence and then you fill in a missing word from what you heard (or the context of the rest of the sentence). I think I'll call myself skeptical that hearing and transcribing single words is going to do a whole lot to get one thinking in one's target language. You've got to be coming up with your own sentences for that; not listening to somebody else's and copying.
Duolingo is my only instructional resource for Italian. Yet I can easily listen to interesting podcasts for native speakers and have conversations (less easily that understanding, obviously, but it's possible, and on interesting topics). I can read newspapers, not perfectly of course. I don't claim that others should expect similar results; Italian isn't my first Romance language, but that is a circumstance shared by millions of others learning Italian on Duolingo.
There's no doubt one can outgrow Duolingo. At level 25 plus another 50%, that's obviously a very relevant consideration, and I certainly don't have the slightest bit of trouble understanding why you find your time better spent on other, more advanced resources. I think that's great, and I wish you the best of luck advancing toward fluency.
I don't think Duolingo has ever been a good as a vocab trainer, so I didn't with any frequency open a bunch of lesson pages looking for unfamiliar words. The correspondence between listed words and ones that appeared didn't appear perfect, anyway.
I agree with everything you've said, Civis.…
I wanted to see what it would be like getting to level 5 in one of the units. To get there I went though more than 25 lessons of repeating I am a man, he is a boy, io sono una donna, lei è una ragazza, etc. When I got to level 5, no new material had been presented, no increasing difficulty. If there truly is new, more challenging material in all of the courses, why not put it in the beginning lessons... and why destroy the existing system, instead of just adding the improved content to our lessons.
What makes it even more devastating to me is having to deal with Health, because I like to practice on my tablet, and it is uses IOS. I recently got through all the new lessons in a major update of one of my courses, and afterwards, I rejoiced that I no longer had to deal with health… it’s so demotivating to feel like you’re being punished for all your mistakes, many of which are just clumsy typos, because it’s harder to type on a tablet. I know I could just use my computer, which I do the majority of the time, but I love the portability of my tablet and being able to practice wherever I am, instead of being stuck at my desk.
Health, now here is my second favourite subject. Like you I finally felt liberated after finishing the tree, yipee no more health to worry about, Five typos and your out. I would rather sever an arm from my body than pay money to use a “ learn any language for free “ free app.
You can use the website! I’m also using an iPad if if you add the website to your homescreen
(Safari>Duolingo HOME PAGE not sub-page>Share button>Swipe 3rd row>Tap “Add to Home Screen”)
It opens it in full screen as if it was an app and pins it to your homescreeen as if it was an app with all the features of the website. You don’t have to deal with hearts but you also can’t listen to music while doing a lesson (which is really, really hard)
I am also disappointed. The heart of the problem lies in the their failure to back up the promise of "digging deeper" in skills. I am approaching the end of the lessons on Italian and was realizing I was going to have to go way beyond Duolingo to further my mastery. So when the Crown news hit I thought "Allright, now I can learn more words about animals, see some new verbs etc!"
But all I have seen for the advanced levels in skill is repetition over and over again of the same words and phrases that was in level 1. What this boils down to is that there is no new content that we are digging deeper in. We are just rehashing the old stuff. No different than the old system but with less clarity about what areas are rustier. And once you get to Level Five you will never see a reason to touch the skill again. This is not a good upgrade. In fact it is a downgrade.
You don't have to use the "words to be clicked" if you choose "use the keyboard" icon on the first screen viewing of that sort of exercise.
Not that that excuses the stupidity of clicking words already spelled out for you, so you never have to type them. That was good practice, don't they know?
All of my progress was turned back to crowns and base level 3, but I don't really care since I've previously kept my trees gold for years at a time and I still re-did any exercises where I wanted to.
I am very surprised to hear that YOU think we HAVE to click words instead of typing. That is merely a default (a rather silly decision by Duo, I do admit). At the bottom of any page that requires the input you will find a keyboard icon, click that and you have your text box back. (The setting is sticky - you only have to do it once, as far as I have seen.)
As for crowns - they are a far better way of showing actual progression than the level. The level is a scam. It is merely an expression of XP points you have gained for a language. You can theoretically get to level 25 on the first lesson alone by repeatedly taking it. Crown level is a true measure of progress through a particular tree. (You can only get to crown level 5 by repeating just the first skill.)
Duo need to do more work so that Crown Levels can be compared between trees. (The data needs normalising). They will be far better than Levels when they have done that.
Enjoy your Welsh - I know it's frustrating to have those changes, but it doesn't remove the fact that you have done the work and it is in your head for ever - all due to DUO.
CivisRomanus and Muss403695 - I totally agree with you both. Yesterday morning I was on the old system and did an Italian Adjectives module that was highlighted for me to do. On completing this the crowns appeared out of the blue!! As I had never heard of these and had no idea what to do I assumed that I had to complete the whole course once more in order to get up to the next level of 23. I therefore started with Basics 1 which was showing as level 2 and by repeating the same words I easily managed to get to level 4 and gained 160 XP points. However by then I couldn't bring myself to do level 5 in Basics 1 because it was showing that to do so I would have to repeat that section 15 times!! However later in the day I returned to Basics1 because I wanted to see what would happen at level 5 but it almost drove me mad because of the very easy repetitions. I then decided to go onto the Past section as I had been working on that the previous day when I repeated 5 out of 8 modules. It annoyingly said I was at level 2 and I would have to do it 16 times before getting to level 3. I started and was nearly at the end but the wrong word in a block had been entered (ebbe instead of ebbi) so I couldn't continue. I have reported it but it was so annoying. I moved onto Colours knowing it to be easy and at the end of the day managed to tot up 360 XP points which is daft. I feel that I am now cheating because it will be quite easy to get to level 23 and eventually 25 going over the very easy basic programmes. As I have had all my circles in gold more than once it is almost like starting over again as a beginner and I do not seem to have the enthusiasm to do it all once more.
I agree with the thought that being able to rack up points on the early lessons is silly.
Why does Basics even need to have a level above 3? You can only type in the single words for man, woman, boy, girl, apple, water, and book so many times before there are no possible combinations left.
For more complex sentences, using different tenses and possessives and other verbs then, yes, there can be more levels needed to master that.
But at the starting level when a beginner doesn't even know any other words, tenses, or verbs then it is just overly repetitive, meaning Level 5 of mastery is identical to Level 3.
Gilding was always a long term goal along with completing the tree and earning that Golden Owl. It also represented practice and dedication. One couldn't keep the tree golden without regular practice. That some people sped through their trees doesn't mean everybody did. It took me 12 and 13 months to finish the Italian and French trees respectively (at one new lesson a day. Keeping the trees gold was my method of active review while I read, listened to and watched native material online. If gilding is made pointless and useful features like spaced repetition and the verb conjugation buttons (taken away last year) are eliminated, what is the point of Duolingo? We are no longer "translating the web" (the idealistic point of Duolingo) and gilding the tree (the fun point of Duolingo) has been made longer, tedious and less useful for learning ( no spaced repetition, no individual lessons for focused learning, etc.) There are plenty of other useful resources out there, many of them free, that are just as effective and with less hassle.
I still hope for Duolingo to make the best of the new system by adding all the lost functionality back in.
Please take a look at my thread and upvote it if you wish the Duolingo staff to see it:
"Suggestion: How everyone would love the Crowns :)" https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26860873
Fortunately you can avoid having to click on the word "tiles" by clicking the "Use Keyboard" option at the bottom of the screen. Once you toggle to the typing option it stays that way unless you toggle it again. Before I found that I was ready to give up all hope of ever finishing a tree again but I was relieved to see that I could again just type my answers if I wanted to.
The greatly increased number of lessons and levels required should at least ensure that Duolingo's ad revenue from clicks increase substantially (perhaps that was a reason for the changes), provided that not too many people are completely disheartened by the new system and give up. My initial reaction was to be demotivated, but I can see how if I do all the extra work Duo now requires of me that I will learn more. However the downside is that I will probably never get all my language trees up to all 5 crowns as the time required would be prohibitive. I just hope that the lessons decay as slowly as they did before in real terms and that we don't lose crowns as fast as we used to lose bars.
Exactly. When I first saw this I thought "Oh, finally, an expanded vocabulary". No, it's just a chance to repeat "I am the man", I am the woman", "I eat the apple", "I eat an apple" only you do it a couple of hundred times instead of a few dozen. And still, there is nothing in the way of reference notes or explanations in the Android app (and little enough on the web interface).
Notwithstanding Duo's delusional claims about third world airport baggage handlers learning 75 languages, NOBODY learns a language from this site. They learn a relatively small number of words and some expressions and at the end of it they have achieved a level of proficiency that leaves them unable to read a newspaper or hold a conversation that does not involve asking for directions to the bathroom.
It WAS a decent enough place to get SOME practice, although the fact that you are constantly translating between your language and the target language made it a site which in the long term would hold you back. Now, you just spend hours instead of minutes talking about eating an apple.
I've been using the app on the way to work because it's better than just standing there staring into space, but if all I'm going to do is repeat various permutations about eating an apple...it's no longer MUCH more productive than staring into space.
I just recently got my full italian gold tree, and like many others i somewhat obsessed over keeping it gold. It's addicting, and that is why I love duolingo so much. It's built like a game, it's supposed to be addictive. But this recent update doesn't feel like it took that into consideration at all. Look, when you've got a game, you need to tell the player at least roughly where he's at. What level of how many. Have him progress quickly at first and then make it harder, but he can't give up, because he can see how far he's already gotten. Even most loading bars use this. And it still somewhat works when you start out, and you unlock new skills pretty fast at first. But Even then, there no longer is the simple do it once and you got it - by the time you unlock new parts of the tree, the one you just did sits at level 1. No sign of having conquered the skill, no seeing that you've gotten 5 skills golden in no time, if you want that satisfaction, you need to work way longer now, it takes away the motivation for beginners, the feeling of "this is actually really easy". And that's just for beginners. Once you cleared the tree and got all gold skills you used to have a percentage, telling you exactly where you are on a bar of 1-100. Now I am sitting on 125 crowns and have no idea what that means. is it a lot? Is it nothing? (It's probably nothing since the system's new) It doesn't even show you what crown level is needed to turn a skill golden (supposedly 5? doulingo should be telling me) There no longer is that "i got so far already so i need to keep at it" feeling. You didn't even get set back, you're completely lost now. All the feeling of progress is gone.
TL:DR duo took the feeling of progress and thus the feeling of statisfaction along with dropping people who were far up top on progression somewhere far down and telling them nothing besides the journey is pretty long from here on
They lost sight on what they really are - a game based on learning languages. I don't rely on Duolingo to learn a language, I use it as a fun primer to get me started on a language I want to learn, and then as a supplement later on.
Now it takes me half an hour repeating very basic, very repetitive 'questions' just to max the bloody first basic skill. It's demotivating, it's not fun, it's no longer attractive.
Just here to echo what many others are saying. I've used Duo for almost 4 years and while I haven't loved every change, I've never felt compelled to complain about it or stop using it altogether. In fact, I think the version prior to this update was one of the best.
I agree with those who decry the loss of their golden trees -- not only were they a good motivator for some but showed you what skills needed brushing up -- and replacement with gimmicky "crowns" that require you to repeat the same basic exercises ad nauseum for the same effect.
But by far the WORST thing about this change is the elimination of sub-lessons, by which I mean the ability to click on a lesson category and have the option of practicing specific groups of words. Without this, we're just being spoonfed extremely repetitive lessons based on Duo's algorithms, greatly slowing down the pace of learning. I don't need to be randomly fed words from an entire seciton, I need to target specific ones.
What possible benefit could come from eliminating targeted word practice, or customization / features in general, such as timed practice? It's as if someone has deeply misinterpreted user feedback or is actively trying to destroy the learning experience. I honestly can't understand how the devs, mods, and executives at Duo thought this was a good idea. Rather than being able to curate your own experience, Duo has been effectively reduced to glorified flash cards, spoon-feeding you extreme repetition and removing the customization that made it a great learning tool.
Disappointed doesn't even begin. This new update is simply terrible. And I know how these things go; much time and money was invested and egos and careers hang in the balance, so there is every impetus to ignore the wave of criticism and focus on the eternal optimists who would be satisfied with anything, but you know in your hearts you dun goofed. I'll be looking for other resources, because this new update has rendered our beloved Duo annoying and a waste of time. RIP.
That's equal worst in my view. There is a tie between having to learn the words "uomo", "donna", "mela", "ragazzo" and "ragazza" a couple of hundred times, and no longer having any choice about which words you want to refresh. I would often skim through a set of lessons looking at the list of words, and hitting any that I did not immediately recognise. Now, to get to those words you have to spend an hour or so repeating a dozen or so words that you already know.
I never had much regard for Duo as a learning tool but as a revision tool it was somewhat useful. But not any more...
The whole point of the crown system is that more advanced work is available in the tree itself. Sure, the crowns don't increase the vocab or grammar taught, but they greatly facilitate acquiring active command of that material. Higher crown levels are much more challenging than what has come before.
Perhaps it wasn't gaining me anything other than a sense of achievement, but the disappearance of my golden tree and Level 25 statement is quite disappointing to me, too. However, it is the removal of the timed practices that is even more disappointing. Trying to think and reply at real world speeds added a lot to the program.
For skill-specific timed practice, click the "Start" button; delete the number at the end of the URL; type "practice".
There's more translation into the target language using the crown levels, though, so I prefer that despite being a major timed practice user before the change.
- I got NO notification about The Crown change: I have adjusted. But my disappointment still is that we didn't get an email about this prior to be prepared. I never got a notice about possible changes. I just went to do my exercises with my goals in mind and someone had changed the whole thing.
- Why did I get No Notification of settings changes???: For a few months, I have not been getting answers to questions or comments notifications so if I asked a question, I have no idea if anyone responded. Nor did I get notices of questions from other uses, so I could not respond and thus maybe hurt feelings of others, which I never would do on purpose.
I don't like this new crowns thing. I don't understand it and haven't seen any explanations as to what it's about. I'm annoyed that now I can't repeat any lessons...just get shunted on to the next one. I've only been doing Duolingo for a few weeks and I thought it was pretty good. Not so sure now. Seems from the other comments here that others aren't happy either.
Is there any way we can boycott Duo until it reverts back to the old system? I just see no point in wasting weeks and even months of my life doing the same basic lessons dozens of times over... And when I am about to be done, who will bet against Duolingo introducing a successor to the crowns system to wipe all my progress yet again?
I’m down to 20xp a day from 100. Seems confusing and pointless.
Do you not see the increased difficulty at the higher crown levels?
Certainly, things could be cleaner in a lot of ways, but it seems to me like the goal was unlock the value that's already in the trees, so people can amp up their learning (as the A/B tests showed users doing), and then integrate more bells and whistles over time.
I'm a construction PM. I like structure (in all senses of the word). To me the ADD nature of it - "do a bit of this and a bit of that as you like" - feels less than helpful. On a macro scale I intend to level up all 1s to 2s, then 2 to 3, etc. But do one skill through? Jump around? If the latter am I really going to remember "Modal Verbs" when I come back to the second exercise in it in a few days or weeks?
I don't know. It doesn't feel ready for prime time. I see some benefit, but for me it needs more structure. To me, right now, it feels no different than reading random topics for fun in my Robustelli grammar book.
Because the lessons are shorter but there are so many more of them to complete (150 for Vocabulary 3 in Spanish) learners are exposed to 50 times as many advertisements. DuoLingo admins need to tell the truth about why the Crown system was implemented. It was all about the money they receive for the ads.
My sessions aren't shorter. 20 questions remains standard (shorter at the top of the tree). That's basically the same as it was before the update and a substantial increase overall from a couple months ago when lessons were often 7 throughout the tree but practices were 17-20.
If people choose to complete more lessons (which they sensibly do because the system is so much more valuable and challenging with a much more difficult mix of exercises, and this will remain the case long after people realize that, yeah, grinding for skill levels in Basics 1 is boring and really there's no reason to do it), then it stands to reason there are more ad impressions, but that's just a case of everybody winning.
If Duolingo REALLY wanted us to "dig deeper" they could instead add additional lessons with more diffcult vocabulary, more difficult syntax and grammar, and more idiomatic language. Instead, they just move around the bells and whistles like a game of three card monte. No matter how you move them around, its always the same three cards.
I suspect that they just do what is easy. Still, if they really wanted us to pay for Duolingo they could make it more valuable instead of adding "Crowns."
Meanwhile, still waiting for Italian Stories...
I felt the same way at first when I saw my perfect golden tree disappear! I found it there was a great incentive to keep my entire Spanish tree golden every day and it looks like I wasn't alone in that. But the more I look at this new system, the more I like it. There are a lot of new lessons that I've never seen before. I was already starting to look at new languages because there wasn't anything left to learn in Spanish even though I know my understanding of the language is still very basic. It's just something new to get used to, that's all.
(I will still miss the fluency level even though I know there was no way I was really 60% fluent in Spanish!)
I, too, have decided that the new system is not absolutely horrible. I'm slowly starting at the bottom to get those levels to 5 (and hoping that one of the commenters is right that when you hit "5" it never changes) and then working on new lessons and trying to move my higher level "1"s to '2"s, etc. It does seem, however, that there is going to have to be a higher level than 25 since it takes so many XPs to get things back up to golden. If I did 30 XPs a day before, I was happy. Now I can zip through about 200 without a blink of an eye.
Now I can zip through about 200 without a blink of an eye.
Is that because you're getting fewer sentences per session? I have observed that at the top of trees, but further down it's pretty much the 10 XP per 20 sentences ratio of the old untimed practice. Or is it because you're just more enthusiastic, with more challenging exercises to complete, etc?
I think the whole XP system was set up when XPs were much easier to come by with the old Immersion system, so I wouldn't suspect any changes will be forthcoming there. This sort of gets us back closer to the original situation to the extent XPs come easier now.
You think the XPs were much easier to come by with the Immersion system? Really? It took a lot of work to get them then, too, only the work was more engaging and rewarding, because you got real life usage of the language - not to mention interesting topics, so really you learned two things at the same time, your target language and something about the topic you were translating from or into.
You think the XPs were much easier to come by with the Immersion system? Really?
Yes, certainly. Translate a 20-word sentence, get 25-odd XP. There are so many cognates for Wikipedia-type history, etc articles in Romance languages that if you had a bit of experience, it hardly required looking up any words, and the Google Translate version was right there to help you out anyway. (And even if it was flat-out wrong, but you just put it into the box to submit it anyway, you still got the points.) Simply read stuff other people had translated, get, what was it, a point for every five words or something.
I have never come close to the sort of average per-day XP gain I had with Immersion since the system was removed.
Yeah, but see, I was talking from the point of view of someone who actually did the translation, not just voted on others. I started doing the translations when I was confident enough in my ability to understand the original text, not just as a means of getting XPs - and I never used Google Translate. I was doing it to better learn and understand the language, not to get the XPs.
And I found the reason I was getting so many XP points with Immersion is because I would spend entire days translating stuff - it was a lot more engaging than writing "the bear eats monkeys" or whatever was in the lessons that I had already finished two times over.
Later edit - as I can no longer reply to you, piguy3, if you put it that way, then yes, I agree it was easier :))
I was talking from the point of view of someone who actually did the translation, not just voted on others.
I did plenty of both :) I probably wound up getting a lot fewer XP this way than I might have, for I had a tendency to spend about as much time on a sentence (particularly translating from Russian — I always looked up all the words I didn't know) whether I was just checking it or writing it myself.
As to your second paragraph, well, one might well call something "easier" if one finds that one does not need to actively do battle with constant incipient boredom in order to accomplish it ;)
I originally planned to keep playing although I dislike the changes. (Especially with the practice button being basically useless)
But then I thought, how do they measure whether the change was a success or not? Probably mostly by whether they got more or less people playing. I don’t want to be an indicator that everything’s fine with the new changes. So I’ll stop playing for a few weeks. And hope they’ll change things.
What do you guys think? Is this a good way to communicate?
I believe an integration of the SRS and crown systems will come in time, maybe something as simple as highlighting in the tree which skill (or a handful) would be up next for strengthening, so the user can click on it, thereby refreshing word strength and moving through the crown levels.
Until that time, you can see which skill is most due for review under the SRS system by checking your profile on duolingo.eu: www.duolingo.eu/[your user name]/progress. It'll be the lowest one with a crown next to it, as far as I can tell.
(You could also determine this without by ascertaining which skill the exercises the Practice button is giving you came from, but the above seems a touch more straightforward.)
I didn't even update my Duolingo and it still changed overnight. I saw the new features on another user's phone and I didn't like them so I was extra careful not to download the available updates. It still happened without my consent. How is it possible? Time spent on DL feels like a waste of time now without much reward.
That's one way of putting it, I must agree I hate the new crowns system. Where before I could do an exercise twice in imediate succesdion if had difficulty with it and go straight to test out if I found the section easy now I have no guide except how many crowns I have, one crown might mean repractice or don't bother doing that again. 4 crows this is difficult and worth repeating or I got this covered?
Just in case anyone missed it (easy to do as DL has no comprehensive single point of knowledge for it s'system) there is an interesting link that shows you thinks about yourself that you never knew...
https://duolingo.eu/yourname/progress where your name is your DLname. Try it, just for fun!
ב"ה Now after dealing with the crown system for, what is it, a week or two -- I'm discovering that it's not so bad. In Hungarian, which I never had an opportunity to learn before but also wanted to, it's helping me more this way -- I can go over and over and over the same thing so that I can retain them. It also makes it easier for me to put my finger on what I find confusing in the Hungarian.
In the other languages, ones I did know something in, I don't have to do more than one crown to move on, which helps too. The lessons are shorter so I can do a lot more lessons in a day.
So I changed my mind -- I think I like this better. My goal isn't points, my goal is the learning.
I definitely get what you're saying, but I feel like you missed what basically everyone else missed: getting your skills to level 5 is optional.
While I was reading the forum that answered some stuff about Crowns, it said something about how casual learners can still get through the trees easily, and the people who want to really learn a lot can go through all the skills and get them to level 5 (I can't quote what they said directly, but it was something around those lines). Which means you don't have to start over and get all of them to level 5 if you don't want to. I get that it's kinda annoying how your skills don't look golden anymore, but Duo's working on a way to fix that. So if you don't want to go back to Basics 1, you don't have to. Once a skill is level 2, it counts as completed. Crowns still has a lot of room for improvement, and change takes time to get used to, so maybe just try and give it another chance.
Indeed, you can decide for yourself if you are satisfied with 1 crown for each skill and stop there. But in order to get to the more difficult stuff (which DL claims to be the main feature of the new scheme) it seems that you have to advance to at least 3 crowns. Just getting from 2 crowns to 3 takes up to 20 lessons per skill and my experience so far is that these 2-3 crown lessons are far simpler than the practice lessons of the old version. I would like to have the freedom to skip over these simple lessons and work on the challenging stuff without having to pass a zillion lessons where I do not learn anything new. DL can be pretty sure that if I overestimate my knowledge and work at a too high a level I will soon revert to simpler levels. But please let me decide what level to work at and do not require me to waste my time on useless lessons before I can see new challenges.
Well now you can talk to real people! That's something that I was missing from Duolingo - real conversations with real people. Move away from Duolingo and find websites/apps/meetups and talk with people. You'll learn a lot more, and it will be more rewarding. I was learning Italian for 5 years with Duolingo, books, youtube, etc (not much human interaction), and I totally regret it. Talking with people, in under a year I felt so much more confident, and better.
Duolingo = good to start with, but that's it.
Get out there and talk with people!
HI. I know that I am a beginner at learning, but I love the crown system. Currently, I only have 7 crowns and am working towards 10 so I can read stories. I also think that it is much better than other games that you work towards coins for nothing, considering the crowns are a way to show how many skills you have leveled up. The old version of Duolingo wasn't working for me and didn't motivate me at all. This new one is so much better, and today alone I have spent at least 30 minutes on it when I can only have 2 hours of screen time, including this comment I am posting now, and any texting or other social media during the day. I know maybe this isn't working for you, but please don't ruin anyone else's day just because you don't like it.
I believe that it is still possible to test past a known portion of the material. My computer login online (www.duolingo.com) allows me to select this option. Perhaps if you step back a moment and think about the actual issue you have. It seems that you are bothered that your tree no longer shows "complete" at the earlier levels. The program has not subtracted content, but rather added content. It is truly your choice to go back and "learn" the added lower level content. You can do several earlier levels a day, while also challenging yourself with the harder levels too. It will take patience on your part to "catch up" that way. You have to decide if it is worth it to you. The method that they have expanded upon is actually intuitive for new learners. It incorporates repetition with new material which allows new learners to learn faster. I am able to allow my five homeschooled children (ages 10 to 17) to learn as many languages as they want and I am confident that if they progress in the program, they have learned the basics well. This is well worth using the program. I am also learning two languages and I find that I can accomplish a lot of mini-levels in a short period of time. I am learning two languages that I took in college years ago. I find that the structure of the lower levels is helpful in making sure I really know the material. I also know that, when I am bored with the repetition, I am free to work on new material that opens up more levels to me.
I'm sorry to say, but there is no added content, the content is exactly the same as it was before. I agree that the program may be intuitive for new learners, but advanced learners (and even intermediate learners, judging by some comments) were completely cast aside. For people with CL3 for instance, there is no option (at least I haven't found it) to test out of known material.
I'm sorry to say, but there is no added content, the content is exactly the same as it was before.
The fact you haven't seen it doesn't mean it's not there. Other users are reporting finding lots in German, for example. OK, so it depends how you define "new." If new has to mean "freshly added," then maybe there isn't much (who knows, some contributors might have added some somewhere already), but if it means "freshly accessible," then, yes, there is. Whether or not there's new material from crowns in French seems secondary to the fact that there's a massive tree revision being rolled out, so there's plenty of "new" there for sure.
I'm begging you, please, tell me where the new content is in the Spanish tree. Fine, not "freshly added", but at least more difficult in the presentation. Something. I'm serious, I want to like this system, I just can't for the life of me find the more difficult stuff - and I've tried several skills already. I feel like I'm missing out.
It is a good question. I would recommend posing it in the Spanish forum. I am not familiar with the Spanish tree myself. From what I have seen occasionally visiting the Sentences tab, the sentences overall seem to be fairly simple. This might mean that fewer of them ever exceeded the difficulty threshold that resulted in them being hidden before. Do you have the new version of the Spanish tree? I have heard that it is in some sort of testing at least?
No, I don't. I have the exact same tree, with a lot more layers to it :( That's why I'm so miserable and perhaps now you can understand my frustration with the new system :)
Later edit - I'm no longer able to reply to your comment, piguy3, so here it is - yep, I miss being more in control of what I want to review and repeat and darn, I miss the timed practice for individual lessons :(
Indeed I do. If I were not seeing the additional writing in target language that was the reason I had so long looked forward to the system, I, too, would be very disappointed.
I think I read that you particularly miss timed practice and the ability to repeat individual lessons. Those happen to both be things I valued myself. I hope they return.
Came across a poster mentioning new material in the Spanish tree, so I posed this question. Here's the reply: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26893293$comment_id=26908917
Thank you, I appreciate your kindness in trying to get me a response from somebody somewhere - I've been trying to no avail :)
The thing is I have tried the bottom of the tree already - I didn't waste my time with Basics 1 when the crowns were introduced. I went all the way to the Subjunctive. Verbs were among the first I tried, because I figured if there's gonna be new material, this is where it's going to be - then I tried Vocab 3 and still no luck. Since then I've tried pretty much all skills. There is no new material there - not for me, anyway.
But I think I've figured it out - there seems to be a new version of the Spanish tree that hasn't been rolled out to all users yet. I found another user inquiring about stuff in the "Medical 2" skill, which I most definitely don't have and which most definitely was completely new to me.
I think the whole A/B testing is getting us to chase our tails, because users getting new content say it's there, and users who don't get it say it's not - and they're both right :))
So here's hoping that I will eventually get the new version :)
Meanwhile, have some lingots from me :)
Personally I’m delighted with the upgrade. So.o.o. Much more. And lots of new stuff. Keeping the tree golden when you’ve memorized all the sentences is not that much of a challenge i give thanks for all the work that went in to extending each section. Start again and challenge yourself .! Mille gracias, bedankt, c. Vielen dank Duo
Wow, what a condescending and insulting comment! Not to mention completely misguided. You get your tree golden FOREVER? So what? Do you actually think that your brain will retain all that knowledge FOREVER without you having to do anything else? Really??? Good luck with that, let us know how it turns out.