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I was a very satisfied Plus member so I pay $10 a month to support Duolingo. I generally do my exercises in the morning while I’m having coffee and in between morning chores. It seems like I only get through three or four exercises and I’m locked up and held hostage to pay more for more health or stop my study session way before I’m ready (generally with a nearly completed exercise hanging to add to the frustration). Especially when you’re in reviewing very simple (mastered) material it is unrealistic the amount of time/the number of exercises which results in being locked out of the system.

I know I can go to the website and continue to work, but the website has no oral pronunciation exercises, which give my experience level is where I need the most practice. Also the web site version seems to have a bug which silences all sounds on my iPad at random intervals and I need to reboot my iPad to fix the problem.

I think using the health/lock-out feature is a cheap and irritating way to increase revenue, but if you must use it for financial survival the theshholds should be raised to levels such that frustration does not alienate customers. I have got enough history and experience with Duolingo I’ll stick it out, but if I were a new user I’d be considering a different app.

April 22, 2018



Regina, thanks for speaking out about this "unhealthy" and demotivating system. However, I have good news for you. It sounds like Plus members can now avoid having to use Health by turning on the Health Shield. Look for that somewhere in the app.

For the rest of us who love using Duolingo on our IOS devices, it's another story. When the Health system was introduced ten months ago, there were hundreds of protests from people who despised using it. Now that we have the Crown system most of our units require using it.

I think the punishment aspect of Health will be its own undoing, because it causes discouragement and lack of motivation to be constantly punished for making errors. We need to be encouraged to make mistakes, because that's how we learn. I made a post about this subject a couple of weeks ago. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26895655


You're correct, if one goes into the "shield" on the app, the shield feature can be turned off. Tried it and it works!


Does it work on iPhone?


Duolingo makes decisions based on user data, so if you stop using the mobile app (and others do too) it will be more likely that they will make a change.

And yes, I too hate health. I'm using the website now. You can say things out loud - just not as an exercise.


I also hate the health feature. I too practice first thing in the morning and try to get 100 XP's on the moble app and then later I will work for about an hour on my computer. I have completed my tree 10 times and continue going back up the tree to keep the tree gold and also to make sure that I know everything. On my moble app because the keys are so small I sometimes hit the wrong key or possibly two keys and then I have a mistake and loose a life or health or what ever they want to call it. Then after five mistakes I loose my health and am locked out. I know you can go back and review earlier lessons, but when i'm working on a particular topic i want to work on it until i am sure that i have it right. I've now gotten to the point where I will do one lesson on the moble app when I first get up just to maintain my streak and then later in the day when I get home study for a couple of hours on my computer.

I travel a lot and need the moble app but it's not worth the frustration. BTW i'm not complaining about Duo Lingo, because I think it's great and I don't even mind redoing all the lessons because I do them anyway. I just want to be able to work without having to deal with the health issue. I'm a serious Spanish learner and wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for Duolingo. I'm on my 1625 day and look forward to studying everday, but the Health feature has to go.


The first thing I would do is cancel the $10 per month commitment, and let them know it's because of the aggravation of the "health feature". I've never used the app. I only use Duolingo on my laptop, but the health feature I've heard people complain about sounds really awful.


I've spent a lot of time recently defending crowns (don't hate me) but I AM TOTALLY WITH YOU ABOUT HEALTH (sorry for shouting). Mistakes are part of the learning process. It seems like a blatant attempt to squeeze money out of us. I am also a plus member - so I'm willing to support DL's good work with my wallet - but don't interrupt our learning. It is counter to their mission statement.


Is there anyone who actually likes the health feature?


Yes. If I am getting things wrong, then I am not concentrating or learning so I need a break, furthermore it motivates me to do well!


Hi, this is the Spanish forum, for getting help with Spanish grammar, vocabulary, resources, etc. Could you please edit your original post and use the drop-down list at top left to change the topic from "Spanish" to "Duolingo"? That way it won't clutter up the Spanish forum, and you'll attract the interest of folks who want to talk about ways to improve Duolingo.

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See if this "Help" article is of use to you: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/360002594392-Since-Crowns-were-launched-can-I-still-earn-Health-by-practicing-

I don't have health (it's an A/B test) but it seems like the above link could be useful to you. Hopefully they will discontinue health or fix it soon - it's been very unpopular since Crowns was released. They don't currently work well together.

Look in your settings and make sure you have the mic enabled. I get speaking exercises all the time on my laptop.


I fully agree with you. Each morning I look forward to using my phone app to do my lessons sitting on the front porch. If I didn't have any health I would spend my time practicing previous lessons. Now I can no longer do that. I wish I never upgraded, I was fine with the old system. I care for an elderly parent, I spend a lot of time in waiting rooms, I need to be able to use the app on my phone freely during these hours of sitting in the hospital waiting rooms.

I feel this upgrade will slow my progress--not enhance it. I Only started about 6 weeks ago, I figured after I got through the first couple months I would pay the monthly fees and continue on, but not now. The app is no longer a fun way to practice Spanish. I am so afraid to make a mistake, and sometimes I have the correct answer and they mark it wrong, I have even verified my answers on the Spanish translation dictionary, and my answer was wrong...but it takes away my health and I can't continue.

Bottom line, this was not in the best interest of those of us who want to learn to speak Spanish.



Sounds like a real pain. Glad I am on web


I only ever here bad things about this health system.

I would like to know what data they have that supports its existence. I am glad I didnt end up in that A/B test.

It sounds like a frustrating mess, especially now if you do older skills it doesnt seem to count as replenishing the health.

Just sounds terrible, demotivating and an necessary barrier.

They should have a period where people can opt out of the system. I suspect people continue not because they are motivated by health, but because they want to learn, want to maintain streaks and keep their progress.

So starting a new account isnt an option.

[deactivated user]

    Warning! I use an Android phone for DL 99% of the time and didn't have the health monster (it's like that mean lady with the ruler, waiting to rap your knuckles if you make a mistake) until I signed on to DL on an ipad last night. Now the health feature is on my android phone. I didn't do any updates, and I don't see the option to turn it off in settings. Very unhappy! My day will be in full swing by the time I get unlocked, and I fear that my 2-year streak is over.


    There are multiple ways to restore health without paying money, such as practicing earlier skills, watching ads etc. But if any of those are not to your liking you can always finish your lessons on the browser version of Duolingo as that does not use the health functions.

    If health is a cheap and irritating was to increase revenue they seem to be going about it in a cack-handed fashion.


    I always use the practice method. Makes it much easier and means I learn more.


    Is there a way to practice earlier skills on a mobile device to regain health? All of my mobile exercises have a health meter attached to them and therefore can''t be accessed except on the Web version. I


    I have the same issue. My app has no practice version, though the web one does.


    Regina, I agree with Lrtward's excellent suggestion to change the topic heading on this post from "Spanish" to "Duolingo." You have created an important and well written post about a subject that is on a lot of people's minds, and more people are likely to see it if you make the change.

    It's easy... just click edit at the bottom of your post, then use the drop down at the top left to change the topic to "Duolingo."

    Thanks and best wishes.


    If Duolingo was a video game, I'd understand the health feature. But it makes no sense as part of a legitimate learning app. I love Duolingo. I just really dislike the health feature.


    If it were a video game, the health would reset every time you restarted the lesson. The system now is like a video game where you only get 5 lives per day... Nobody would play that!


    I am so with you. I don't even use the app anymore, but, yeah, it's glitchy and crashes on my iPad and on the phone browser. I was planning to pay for a membership, but until they fix this, I won't. What's the point if I pay and still have to deal with lessons being shut down? My learning has slowed down because it takes ages (with the glitches and crashes) and is frustrating.


    Add me to the list. This isn't fun any more. I can understand Health as a way to slow down new lessons - I don't like it, but I can understand the reasoning. With Crowns, we now have Health everywhere. It's been my habit to work on old material when I'm out and about, so I'm only on the phone, never on the web version. Lately, I've only been doing one lesson per day, simply to keep my streak going. It's no longer worth the effort.

    The problem is compounded by the ease of losing Health due to odd glitches. I've tapped a word only to find that I missed and the word didn't enter the sentence. I've had the iPhone spell checker replace words incorrectly. Here's the latest - in my Esperanto lesson today, this sentence popped up - "Vi gustumus la trinkaĵon, sed vi pli ŝatas teon." I answered "You taste the drink, but you prefer tea." Duo says no, the correct answer is "You taste the beverage, but you prefer tea." I lose one tick of Health. The next time this question comes up, I answer "You taste the beverage, but you prefer tea." Duo says no, the correct answer is "You taste the drink, but you prefer tea." I lose another tick!

    I really enjoy using Duolingo, but this is a deal breaker for me. If Health doesn't go away soon, I'll be finding a new learning app.


    I've had the same experience: I answer an exercise. DL says, "NO, it's THIS way." Then it offers the same question again further down. I now answer with the suggested alternative, and it corrects me back to the original answer I posted. WTF? This has happened enough times to become really frustrating. Or it offers an 'alternative correct solution, one that is a contraction of the version I did, or if I typed a 'contraction' version, it will guide me to the expanded, literal one. Very frustrating. I have a six-month membership, and was so glad to eliminate the ads (NONE of which were relevant to me, so completely time-wasting.) This 'health' thing is befuddling. It went away when I paid for the membership, but has slipped in a couple of times since then, as well. Many glitches in this excellent-idea program. I AM learning, so I'm overall very pleased, and have posted recommendations on my FB page (of approaching a thousand Friends), several of whom have gotten back to me, saying they were now starting Duolingo, and glad to know about it.
    But you REALLY do need to fix the inequities and glitches!!!!!!!!!!

    [deactivated user]

      I agree once I had 1 more question and 1 more life and I lost it shouldn’t they’ve given me 9 XP if you finish a lesson you get 10 XP. I think how many out of 10 questions you get right that's how much XP you should get.

      Who agrees?

      [deactivated user]

        How do you guys have BIG streaks and I have a 19 day streak


        Well said. I loathe the health feature-it really is putting me off. I find myself looking up translations on google to avoid losing health. Not the idea at all. I guess the idea is to make you think and check twice before answering, but tolerance of making mistakes is important in learning. If as they say it is an important feature educationally you should not be able to buy yourself out of it.


        I am fed up since I got the App. I was doing soo well and really enjoying duolingo but now it’s just irritating. I really cannot be bothered with all the stupid things designed to to get you to pay. I subscribed to Plus then unsubscribed but it still appears that I am on it. Don’t know what to do. Any advice welcome

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