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Kill the Health Limit

What is the purpose of having to stop learning after five errors using the app on a tablet? Is the purpose of Duolingo to learn the language or is it a constant test. I have to stop learning today because I reached my 'health' limit. Please kill the health limit!

April 22, 2018


[deactivated user]

    I'm with you! I use the phone app when I'm not home, but it can get frustrating when new words are introduced in sentences, without ever giving any information/lesson as to what the words are! The phone app, when one knows the vocabulary, is too easy. But when I don't know the vocabulary, I get kicked out before I get a chance to learn via trial and error. This is something apps usually do to get us to buy more time (with real money); but that's not the case here. Once I spend my Lingots there's no way to "purchase" more time.


    Well, you can purchase more gems (the DL currency of choice on the apps - don't ask me why they're not lingots). If you buy a lot you can buy more health. But free education it ain't.


    Chooch, actually free education it IS. And that was one of the reasons many of us signed up for it to begin with. We signed up for a free, fun, educational tool that never shut anyone down who was trying to learn. This new "health limit" is not productive, and from the looks of things, not wanted by many faithful users. Hopefully our voices will be heard and Duolingo will go back to the system that worked beautifully. (Duolingo, please, if it ain't broke, don't "fix" it.)


    Gems are real sterling


    I understand the principle behind the health limit - it forces you to practice if you're getting stuff wrong. However, I don't think it's calibrated very well. We don't get enough health.

    Having said that, there is a serious flaw with the health system which ruins the concept of doing lessons offline . I paid for a Plus account in part so that I can do lessons offline on my phone. This is very important for me because I often use DuoLingo on the subway, and I'm also trying to limit my data usage. The problem occurs when you run out of health offline, which happens very quickly. That's fine in principle, I'll get it back by doing some practice.....only practice isn't available offline, you have to have a connection. It's unbelievably frustrating and makes me realize how half-baked DuoLingo's concept of offline lessons are. It's clear that they didn't think this through at all. Either give the user the option to disable the health system, or let us practice offline!


    it forces you to practice if you're getting stuff wrong.

    I understand this, but the flaw is: how are you supposed to practice if you are not able to continue your lesson? You can't learn if all of your health is gone. So do you just come back tomorrow and continue? Try to remember to do it when your health regenerates? Or you could do it on the computer while you don't have health. (but I know some people prefer to do it on the app.)

    [deactivated user]

      I just learned today that when one practices lessons already completed, one earns more Health. So I did some practice sessions for 10 minutes or so and earned the Health I needed to do a new lesson. I repeated that process a few times throughout the day. It was a really nice surprise. My complaint with Duolingo is the insufficient information on how to negotiate the various aspects of the program, especially on the App. But I sure was happy to make this discovery today.

      [deactivated user]

        well, I guess that was an App glitch yesterday. Today I cannot do any practice, after making my 5 errors. Sigh.... I have looked all over this App for instructions on how to use it; there are none that I can find. No rules; no instructions. And they keep throwing in new words in sentences to be translated, without a lesson explaining the words. So, of course, that's lost Health. I'm done with Duolingo App. Have removed it from my phone. I may just bit the bullet and sign up for Babble.


        You can still do Duolingo on your phone, but just on the browser app (like Google, Safari, Chrome, ect....). It won't be the same interface as the Duolingo App, but you would still be able to do it on mobile.


        Your experience sounds similar to mine, but the app on my I phone 5 does give me the ability to practice as long as I click on the practice block on the bottom of the screen instead of the circle. Hope you can work out the problem; you sound like a devoted language learner.


        Thank you for the info. I won't consider the Plus account for a while.


        Good news for you, James. Other users are saying that Plus members can now avoid having to use Health by turning on the Health Shield. Look for that somewhere in the app.


        The main flaw in my mind is the length it takes to regenerate. Most apps with some sort of "lives" regenerate in 20-30 minutes, not hours. I think if they were shorter it would be more okay. Go get a snack, come back and you can try again.

        Also, it was not unbearable before, when you could practice a lower level you'd already finished (and feel like you were making "progress" as you would re-gild it), but now the "practice" option doesn't appear to do anything towards your tree, plus you can't do it offline.


        This stupid health system needs to go. It's hard to figure out why it even exists. DL says its to keep people from just running through the tree to gin up levels. Which begs the question: who in their right mind would ever do that? Ever? And for some reason they're especially concerned with iPhone users because health only exists on iOS (or so I'm told).

        So the only motivation I can think of is that apple charges them quite a bit to keep the app on its site and health is the way to pay for it. The health system creates an artificial supply limit, so if you are using the app and strike out, you either watch click bait ads or go through a random practice session (and watch ads) or get locked out for a day. Bummer about the typos, but you gotta sit out for a day. Here's your dunce cap.

        The whole thing is infuriating and contra education. Doesn't help that some of these ads are their own Plus ads which as people state here don't even free you from the health-ad traps.

        And agreements with those who push back against "then use the website" answer. Some people don't own computers, or they're at work with strict rules governing what's in their computer. As someone says here, the apps lend themselves to these devices in the first place.


        Chooch, wie geht's! Glad to hear you're still letting your voice be heard about this important issue. It is definitely infuriating and definitely contra education. It makes no sense at all, except to get people to watch the pay per click ads, which bring in income every time someone watches a video, and to get people to purchase gems.

        I don't know that Apple charges them enough to be a major expense, but it does seem ironic to me that in 2013, Duolingo received the Apple app of the year award, and now it's only IOS users who are subject to this absurd system.

        I've tried out the advice of many to use the web version on my tablet, and it just isn't optimized for that. It's great for a computer, but typing on the tablet is so much clumsier. Some have said they consider the multiple choice word box questions to be inferior than those that you have to type out the answers, but they are great for introducing new material, or doing lessons when you're not at your peak, but just want a little practice.

        I think it would be particularly devastating to be stuck with Health if your only device uses IOS. I feel sorry for beginners just starting out using such a device. I wonder how many lessons you'd be able to finish before running out of Health, and have to redo a lot of very basic material when it would be better to move on, or shell out cash to continue. One of the expressed mission statements of Duo is to bring language learning to people all over the world, including places where the people just don't have much money.

        Viele Grüße!


        Yes, the health limit is terrible.


        I agree, gatiquo.


        That's why I switched to my computer.


        Definitely kill it. Leave it the way it was. Why change something that worked beautifully?


        I was a plus member and now no longer, I will pay again as soon as the health rubbish is gone. It is unfair to apple users, yes I can use the web version, something I am forced to do, but it's a pain using the app is much nicer.


        I have an iPad and use the app to do Duolingo when I'm away from my computer, so I have to deal with the "health limit". In my case, I work on my favored language (French) until I make five errors. Then I change to German or Italian (which I already know pretty well) and select "practice" to pick up easy health points. When I"m recharged I go back to French. It works, but it's kinda silly. Get rid of the health limit: My German and Italian are already good enough!


        Use a web browser and there is no health limit. The health limit is only on the iOS app. Since the new crown system I'm almost always using the web.


        The OP didn't ask, "How can I avoid the health limit."

        The OP said to eliminate the health limit because its stupid.

        Lets stick to the topic.


        You cannot do lessons offline in the web browser version. You need a connection. Thus this advice is useless to anyone who needs to do lessons offline.


        Actually, that makes a stronger case for dropping it on iOS. If everyone else is doing fine without health, why do iOS users need it?


        If you're on your ios phone or tablet you can still use the website. Try that.


        How does that answer the question of killing the health limit?

        Some folks like to use the App because it is customized to their platform.

        Lets stick to the topic - killing the useless health limit.


        ok yes, the health limit should be killed. This is just an alternative way around the issue.

        [deactivated user]

          Yes, of course that is a possibility. It's just that visually it is better with the phone app than on the phone internet, as it is slightly larger on the app. (I have old eyes. ;-) ... I have ceased trying to use Duolingo on the phone at all. It's a shame.


          I honestly don't know why they put a "limit" on the app in the first place.

          If you are just beginning to learn a language, and you don't know some of the words and get five errors, "You have lost all of your health, please come back tomorrow and try again!" You come back tomorrow but get some wrong again because you weren't able to practice the words you needed to work on. This severely slows down your learning and it will also frustrate the learners, causing them to lose that fire that caused them to want to learn the language in the first place. They will either end up moving to a different way to learn the language, or give up altogether.

          Duolingo, if you are reading this, please just PLEASE eliminate the health limit.


          Exactly I couldn't have said it better myself. You can't work on improving when you are not allowed to make mistakes and making mistakes is so important when learning a new language because you need to learn from your mistakes the health system simply does not allow it.


          I did not realise that my health went after 5 mistakes. I used to buy more health so as not to lose the lesson I was on. It must earn revenue for Duo.


          They put in a limit so you could pay to remove it - either with a Plus subscription, or by watching ads.

          You can't blame them really. Their product is too good to just give away.


          Just to let you know, if you have Plus, you can equip a Shield and you do not lose your health if you make errors.


          Fantastic I've paid up again! Thanks!


          Thank you Papa for joining the many, many passionate language learners on here that have spoken out about this discouraging and demotivating system. When Health was first 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, if we're using IOS.

          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. Mistakes should be encouraged, because that's how we learn. I made a post about this subject a couple of weeks ago. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26895655

          [deactivated user]

            Thanks for the reference. I read those posts of yours and commented on them. I'm in agreement with you.


            I absolutely agree, I started out on the app but just yesterday started using the browser instead. I ended up getting in this loop of not knowing something and then trying to figure it out with trial and error. Once I ran out of lives, I’d continue deducting what the word meant until I understood. I soon got sick of it so here I am.


            If you google duolingo on your phone you can use the desktop version of it. The desktop version does not have a "health limit" :-).


            I agree! What kind of teacher would throw you out of the classroom for a day if you made five mistakes? This ‘health’ is nonsense! Just get rid of it PLEASE. All I’d does is to make you frustrated AND impede learning. I really can’t see the point of it? Can someone here just explain the purpose ?


            The purpose is primarily to persuade you to purchase gems.


            You're not really going to get a straight answer from DL and thus everyone has their own take on why there is health, or what you ought to do about it.

            Here's DL's FAQ entry on the topic. I don't think of it as a straight answer because it's pretty ridiculous. No one in their right mind "binges" on "Mein Vater isst einen Apfel" 20 times.


            {Apologies to the French forum mod for the German ;) }



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