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  5. Bored out of my "tree." Is it…


Bored out of my "tree." Is it just me, or did the crown system take all of the fun out of Duolingo?

I've had the crown system for a month. I have to admit that I hated it when I first started. Now, after a month of working with it, I still hate it.

I've found the suggestion that the difficulty level of the material progresses as you go from one crown to the next is exaggerated. You can get the same sentence repeated ad nauseam (or up to 96 times) from crown one to crown five.

I find the new system really demotivating. I still do daily practice but I'm enjoying it much less. Rote memorization is really old school, I don't see how incorporating it into a digital platform is really a step forward.

Can I go back to the old system, please?

April 25, 2018



I am with you. Having used the crown system for a couple of weeks I find it very boring and repetitive. I also feel any progress I have made is far less stable than under the previous spaced repetition system. Sure, I’ve finished my tree, woohoo, but I am not getting the interactive reinforcement of learning by having DL “teach” me by identifying and focusing on topics where I need practice. Yes, the practice button is still there, but it has been sadly stripped of all explicit reward.

At this point I sadly regret converting to DL Plus. I wanted to support DL because I felt the old system was valuable but now I feel that I’m only paying for a simple repetitive system with no brains.


Main thing I miss is the unit decay. The crowns system doesn't represent how memory (at least, my memory) works. Even if I achieve lv5 in a unit, I'll forget it without spaced repetition. Using the review button to cover weakest words doesn't visibly do anything (no increase in crown level, etc), so I end up not knowing what to review, which demotivates me from doing it.

I know that the duolingo.eu site lets you see your unit progress, but that's a hack. Bring it back as a core feature please DL!


That makes sense. I got annoyed with the unit decay myself, (it didn't line up with what I actually felt I needed to review) though I do understand the benefits of spaced repetition and can see it as beneficial for most people overall. I wish it was an option for each person to customize it for themselves, but I don't know whether that is complicated to set up.


Personally, I have actually had a lot more fun with the crown system. It has definitely helped me stay motivated to keep progressing through the tree, and I am excited to continue leveling up skills as I go. It is a lot of repetition, but that is a key feature of learning. I also think that this update has to be taken in consideration with the Labs as well; personally I find the tree is meant to lay the foundation needed to go into the stories and podcasts.

I do agree that the practice feature is no longer very rewarding, but that was something they mentioned they are working on. If getting repetitive sentences is really the issue, I don't think reverting back to the old system avoids that.


Maybe it depends on which language you're learning as well.

I like the French stories they've added much more. I've been finding those helpful and I like the fact that they incorporate more idiomatic usage. But going through the tree just feels like a total slog. I have gone to the fifth crown in some skills. It does help with memorizing and incorporating the vocabulary so it's automatic. It's just that afterwards, instead of feeling like I've accomplished something, I just feel really bored. It's like I've improved the skill, but I really couldn't care less about the potential for using it.


Is there any english story?


I remember Duolingo asking people to write English stories and send them in. But this last year, and I don't know what happened after the deadline.


I guess if they are working to improve it, that's hopeful. And if they are making links with the stories, that would strengthen things in a good way. I'm also thinking in terms of how the "gameifying" features work. I think kids, especially, will be bored by the crown system.

I actually like the timed element of the practice feature and it worries me that you say they're going to change this because it's one of the few things I still find fun. And I think that used to be available for the individual skills (at least, I think it was available). I also liked being able to attempt to "test out." I used to use that challenge myself even if I knew I might only get two of the questions right. I liked the beat the clock aspect, because I'm using the French tree to review and consolidate skills.

What I notice is that as I'm progressing through some of the skills that I haven't used as much, the way some of the sentences are set up to repeat (within the lesson when the same statement is presented in a variety of ways in English and French) is actually structured in a helpful way. So that part of the repetition actually works.


very true. I enjoy the repetition as a newer duolingo learner, and I find that by the time I hit 5 crowns on a skill, I actually have it down. the repetition is a necessary part of learning. maybe it's a little unpleasant, but it really helps you learn.

I think the difference is switching from a slightly more gamer/fun learning platform to a slightly more serious learning platform. Therefore, there may be less motivation, as it is less of a game. However, the learning capacity has improved.


Maybe. I just think there there must be different ways you can accomplish the same thing beyond endless repetition. For conversational French, I liked the Foreign Service Institute Language Series course called Mastering French (put out by Barrons). I don't recommend it to people without letting them know it is really repetitious. What's good is that they really mix up the sentences and show you different ways of structuring them (like inversion questions). That's something I notice within some of the Duolingo lessons, which is helpful.

I guess there are good and bad ways to approach repetition.


True. And, no system will please everybody. It's the hard truth that there will be "haters".


I've normally got such a good attitude. It's hard to be a "hater." I used to like what was here. I'm still practicing, but it's not as fun.


I agree....it's not overwhelming


I couldn't agree more! I think it has removed the incentive to keep the tree healthy and I no longer want to practice what I'm weakest at :(


I don't even know what I should be reviewing. I had completed two thirds of the tree before being involuntarily switched to the new system. And the lessons I've completed that have been converted to crowns are all over the map. So what should I do? Go through the entire tree so I have one crown for each lesson? Or should I even out the ones I've completed so they're all up to the same level?

And if the system is supposed to get more challenging as you go up the crown levels (i.e., if the idea is that you're supposed to complete the whole tree at crown level 1, and then proceed through the tree again at level 2), it would make more sense to introduce some new vocabulary words so that it was a little more challenging and so you could build on what you'd learned at the earlier crown level.


Adding additional vocab at higher crown levels is not feasible. Contributor svrsheque explains why in this thread.

Personally, I work on a skill while I find I'm benefitting a lot from it; then I go to the next one. If in the course of doing this I wind up quite close to the next crown level, I often choose to go ahead and get it to make sure that my skills are sufficient with the greater difficulty level that is expected there. Between crown levels 3 and 4 I've generally found that it is. At lower levels I find the difficulty gradient steeper, so the additional interest from the next grown tends to be greater.

Obviously one does not have to start such a pattern from the top of the tree. Incidentally (relating to your comments elsewhere in the thread), I hope that timed practice will make a generalized return, duly connected to the crowns system.


It's not just you, but I'm still ultimately undecided. The crown system is, I think, an elegant attempt to answer a nagging question: How do you keep improving trees and allowing for more in-depth learning, without scaring away prospective new students?

I never would have considered the necessity of answering such a question, but I'm probably not the average user. As long as their is more content for a language, I will probably see it through no matter how hard it is. Most people are probably not like that.

There are definitely flaws in the system. One user mentioned (in another post) the difficulty they were having determining which words were in which lesson, making it harder to practice particular words. And I'm not sure I'm sold on the appearance of the tree with crowns (perhaps a level 1 tree should be bronze, level 2 copper, 3 silver, 5 gold or something like that? who knows..)

I'll be eager to see if the lessons do in fact get much harder at the higher levels. I'm re-gilding everything I've "lost" and so haven't had much experience at the deeper parts of my trees.


Í think it is hard for people to realize that a golden tree would be at level 1 the whole way through. So they feel it is necessary, to regain the picture of gold by trying to get level 5, but I think they are missing the point. You can continue down the tree once you have level 1 because that was gold. You can go back and do a lesson here and there to do your own review, so you get the benefit of doing a little bit each day so that it stays longer in your mind. Doing everything all in one day, is not just boring as it deprives you of the real daily repetition. You can do more than one lesson per skill, but the whole thing????!!!! Will that really be beneficial in the long term? Think of a class in which they go over the material for at least a week. It is best to review a bit a day for months. If this is new material you can go up to another level, but just crunching through several levels for a visual effect is a bit silly. If you do some every day, you will still eventually get that visual and you will not have killed yourself with boredom. Again, regilding would be to level 1. Consider doing extra lessons here and there to alleviate boredom. Oh, and looking for the old system: www.duome.eu/Ren918302/profile You can click on the dumbbell for the old practice. Other people need to put their own user name there. You have quite a few Crown 5's and once you get there the dumbbell disappears here for that skill, because you can now access the practice for that skill on the Crown page.


The link you've given for www.duome.eu doesn't exist on the duolingo.com site. When I look at the profile page on that site, I don't see information with the level of detail that's given on duome.eu. Thanks for sharing that with me. And thanks for the other information.

It seems what people liked was the interaction that InsGadget mentioned. I feel the same way. Also, what you're calling the "visual effect" is related to the way people measure progress in the new crown system. And this system is also geared towards kids in some senses because schools use this. I don't know how kids would interpret progress in this system. Part of what makes something motivating is that you can see progress in meaningful ways. I'm still trying to figure out what that means in the crown system.

As soon as I complete the six to eight repetitions of the exercises on level 2 of any skill, what am I "rewarded" with? A pop-up that tells me I get to repeat the stuff 18 to 30 more times (and the stuff you get is just the same set of about 30 sentences repeated ad nauseam). That's not really motivating, fun or interesting. It's actually kind of demoralizing. I just can't get excited about facing the next "wall of reps." It's a bit too much like having a job. And now it's also my job to figure out a way to make something that doesn't strike me as intrinsically fun (repeating the same 30 sentences over and over and over and over again) more interesting. This doesn't make me feel like I'm "progressing."

Essentially, the crowns are or should operate as a reward (a gameifying element) and the system should be geared towards making you want to work to achieve them. The new system feels poorly designed in these terms.

Any method I can see to make it more interesting means ignoring what the crowns seem to be there for. So why even have them? I've got 187 of them and I completely don't care if I get another one of them ever again. They're not working as a gameifying element, which is the only thing I can see that they would be designed to be.


I know that Duome.eu is not a part of Duolingo.com but the user that created that site is in contact with Duolingo and there is some future for that coming to Duolingo at some point. Meanwhile, I don’t have it yet but they have rolled out another A/B which has different colors for different levels. I have heard Purple for Level 0, blue for Crown level 1, green for Crown level 2, Red for Crown level 3, Orange for Crown level 4 and still Gold for Crown level 5. So I hope that tests well and we can all get it!

I have no doubt that there is plenty of room for improvement. The new crown system does allow for new content to be added to the tree, but when??? Sadly the French team had just added content to our tree just before the switch to Crowns. On the old system any skill with new content reverted to the needs practice color and so when the switch happened those skills were not even 1 for me, but I am still happy to have that new content. I don’t think future additions will cause that, but I don’t know.

Did you try www.duome.eu/(your username)/progress ?

Here is another discussion that should prove useful: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26865733 It lists ways to access hidden Duolingo links and might help you out.


Great points! I do sometimes feel a bit silly trying to get everything to level 5, but I do learn new material whenever my anki flashcards run low for a particular language. As a rule of thumb, if I have less than 20 flashcards for a language on any given day, I learn something new on Duo. Otherwise I just keep mining for gold! hahah


Thank you soooo much for the link ! I can now go back to my old routine ! You're saving me !


Thomas, I'm thinking about what you're saying. I'm trying to figure out what's missing and how what I'm doing with the system might be different from what's normally intended. For French, I've been using Duolingo as a review system and I think my way of challenging myself was to do a lot of timed practices (and I think this used to be available for more of the skills). And I used the test out option a lot. If I was using the test out, it wasn't so much about actually making it, it was more about seeing what I could come up with quickly and reviewing what I couldn't do quickly. I didn't realize it, but I was finding my own way to "gameify" the system and to use it to work for my purpose of trying to be able to write quickly. That's probably not what most people are doing.

Maybe what I'm responding to for the French tree is that I can't get the timed practices for everything and the test-out feature is gone. So maybe it's not working as well for my way of reviewing.


Interesting. I've never used the testing option so I guess what is now available with the crowns isn't much different from what I was already doing...


I'm the same way, I didn't use the tests. For me it's just a race to get to the end of the tree, (while reviewing some older skills in order to not completely lose the info I learned.) I don't care that my skills aren't gold, because that's not my objective (and also I think the tree looks pretty all different colors.) Normally, I'd be super perfectionist try to get everything perfect, but for some reason on duolingo, I just don't care. I just want to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible, and that to me means getting to the end of the tree.


I've tended to see the test out options as a "one and done" sort of thing: get to the part of the tree where the material is beyond your current knowledge; then work normally from there, with maybe the occasional single-skill quiz out for particularly familiar vocab that happens to show up late in the tree. I hope the single-skill quiz outs (and tied to crown levels) come back, but what did it mean to you to use them "a lot"? Were they an ongoing part of your learning process by some means? Maybe on another account where you reset the tree to regain access to them, once you'd either passed or done the lessons?


The crown system doesn't ask you to strengthen your skills after you have learnt them. This means that once you have gotten a skill to a high level, there is no reason to refresh it, so you can just forget it.

There's no point spending loads of time learning a skill to just neglect it later and forget it.


Me too! The vast number of levels is very demotivating. The bigger issue is health. Can you imagine any school teacher throwing a child out of a french lesson because they have made five (often trivial) mistakes? Worse can you imagine a child being excluded from a Norwegian lesson because he has made five mistakes in the previous french lesson? These recent changes are a big mistake and I no longer recommend Duo to anyone


That last paragraph is exactly what I feel too!

(not the last sentence but the paragraph before LOL)


I had to analyze that a little before you added the brackets (but I did manage to interpret it!)

I hear some people claiming that everyone who doesn't like the new system is somehow "resistant to change."

I don't mind change. I just don't like this one. It seems like they haven't hung onto any of the stuff people found enjoyable in the old system. I don't think I'd find this motivating if I was a kid either. I don't find that the crowns work as a gameifying element at all. It's a little like the lingos. You keep getting them but there's nothing to spend them on (except cheering on other people who complain. But maybe it is nice to give them away when someone says something especially witty).


Here have some more worthless lingots! I don't need them.


Thanks. I'll give you one of mine. :) I'd love to give you two.

I'm going to have to follow you because I just got 12 more for complaining. :)


I love change, but why fix something that isn't broken? And I agree about the lingots. I can only spend them on agreeing with someone's post. What else is there to spend them on? I actually bought the 'Flirting' facility and found it so childish I wanted to delete it. But no option. I can't delete it either. I will continue to spend my lingots on agreeing with the people who think this whole thing has gone down the pan!


Many people share your opinion but the lords of duolingo are committed to the crown junk.


I use to have to spend 30 minutes a day now I have to spend an hour or more to make any progress . Repetition is always a learning mechanism, but I would like to see more changes between the levels rather than changes of the same sentences.


To be honest, I really enjoy the crown system. It has helped me to fully delve into the world of language and the numerous different sentence structures that it contains. I think that with the crowns and the different levels I can gain a fuller view of the language. Personally the repeats help me to really root it into my brain until I can never forget it.


Sarah. Like you, I feel that I'm benefiting from the repetition. Especially the way it's set up within some of the lessons. Once I've gotten a crown 5, I know that the lesson is quite thoroughly drilled into my head. I just feel less motivated. And maybe I was doing the same thing but using the timed practices to do it. I want to make sure I can write my responses fairly automatically so I used to use the timed practice feature to race against the clock.

So I'm not able to use the learning hacks I used to enjoy.


In general I've enjoyed having more things to accomplish, but I'm not convinced I'm learning anything. It seems more boring somehow, less gamified, and perhaps most importantly I haven't noticed a real difference in level as you move through the lessons. Lesson 14 of 15 should be harder than lesson 1 of 15, but it's got the exact same questions.


Serious well done on your streak Sharon!


I believe "Crowns" were introduced to maximise the number of user hours Duolingo can show they have, so that they can sell more advertising, or perhaps even push up a sale price of the company. With a clever bit of re-programming and no more language in-put from Duolingo, they have made us do four, eight, twelve times the number of questions per 'crown' level to get back to where one was yesterday, whereas before 'crowns' one had to do 1 x 20 questions. Without spending HOURS on Duolingo EVERYDAY one cant progress to learn anything new, and the better one gets, the more and more boring repetition one has to do to learn anything new. So yes it has become totally de-motivating AND in-effectual. If they think us advanced learners have stuck with them this far and wont abandon them now - i think they will find they are wrong.


You don’t have to spend hours. They actually were trying to prevent binge playing, because spreading out your learning is better. It is better to do a bit each day, then to do it all at once. You can’t retain the information as well from a binge session. This is happening because people are hooked on that visual of a golden tree. Level 1 on all skills equals a golden tree, but no, people are desperately trying to get to level 5 as soon as possible. That is not where you were!

By the way the French tree was just updated with new material before the crown system came. That is why a lot of skills had faded to require that we redo them, before the crown system came. Of course that meant, that when the crown system came those skills were less than level 1. I am one advanced learner that will still be here.


I'm not sure what new material you're referring to because I haven't come across anything new yet. I wasn't beginner or advanced I was right in the middle.

Duo dropped many of the lessons I had completed back to levels 1 or 2 but rather than face new challenges in levels 3, 4 and 5, all I've done is repeat the same sentences over and over and over until I'm bored senseless. I've moved on to other lessons but returning to complete older lessons to level 5 is simply mind numbing repetition.


You may have already done them, because the lessons that had new material came in an update before Crowns and would have been 0 if you had not done them yet.

Check here: https://duome.eu/MzMolly65/progress


Remember that not everyone has the new French tree yet.


More information about the roll-out in the post here (also stickied at the top of French forum). It may be a few months until the perhaps half of users who don't have the new tree version get it.


Oh, I did not know that. I had it at least a week before Crowns. She does have a couple of purple lessons which are before Crown level 1 and she had done quite a few of the lessons.

MzMolly65 I don’t think that there was anything added to Basics1 and 2 which are the ones you brought up to Level 5. Please try the purple lessons. They say +6 lessons. Oh and you can click on the dumbbells to practice any lessons that are less than 100% strength except for the lessons with new material which must be done as if they were never done yet to bring to gold for the old system. Practice won’t count towards the Crown levels though.

Maybe you didn’t get the new updated tree yet, because you still have the dumbbells for the purple ones also. Yes, now that I read the post piguy3 gave us, you definitely don’t have the new tree yet, because you only have 78 regular skills still. Thank you piguy3!


I agree totally. I always felt I was progressing when I could 'level up'. Now I seem to be repeating infant school French. I do not want to keep answering, 'The bear is eating lemons'. !!!! When would I ever conceivably use that phrase?


I keep hearing that binging is bad for you. While I agree with that sentence when it comes to alcohol or food, I strongly disagree with it when it comes to learning. I always learned best by binging, because that's how my brain is structured. That's why I could never use Lingvist, with their 50 words-a-day limit unless you pay (and I don't want to pay, because the structure of the site doesn't suit my needs, I spent hours on it during the free-trial period and it's just not compatible with my style of learning).

When I'm excited about something (i.e. Spanish, in this case), my brain retains a lot of information very quickly. So if I have ten hours free one day, I will spend them learning Spanish - because it's fun, it doesn't feel like work. As soon as something starts to feel like work or becomes boring (as is the case with the new structure of Duo), my brain will refuse to cooperate anymore, I will get distracted and I will forget what I learned 30 seconds ago.

I am not hooked on the visual of the golden tree, and frankly I couldn't care less what colors they decide to use. They could make it salmon pink, for all I care. My problem with the new system is that I haven't seen the improvement or the more difficult content in the Spanish tree. I understand that some people got it, I didn't (and I feel very jealous, btw :p)

I haven't tried to get to CL 5 in Basics, because I figured you can't do much to improve "I'm a boy". I did, however, get to CL 5 in later skills and have repeated the same sentences over and over, in various formats. For my learning style, that's deadly. Not only did it take the fun out of it, it made things boring. I totally agree with Jasminarelda.


I think this post is so interesting. Did you binge on the Spanish tree before the crown update? Or is that more about non-Duolingo things? If it was on the Spanish tree, how did you do it? Given that you don't care about the skill colors, is your disappointment with the crown system more that it didn't leave you better off than that it left you worse off? Or is your particular annoyance the now-omnipresent Health system on iOS?

If you want something Duolingo-y to binge on, it definitely seems like the reverse tree might be the place to go, especially given the less-than-glowing review of the new Spanish from English tree I just saw here.


Yep, I binged like crazy when I started, in 2015. I spent my whole summer vacation glued to the screen. I would go through skills as if they were going to cut me off the next day. I would do like 50-60 lessons a day, until my body screamed stop, but my brain still wanted more. Next day, I would look at the words in each lesson and if there were any that I wouldn't remember I would redo that lesson. If not, I would move on to new lessons. The following day I would do the same. Once a week, I would redo all lessons up to that point, just to make sure there's nothing unknown left. And then, to make it even more challenging, I got timed practice, because it wasn't enough to know the words, I wanted to make sure that my brain is capable of recalling them quickly.

Then I moved to Immersion - again, whole days spent translating and polishing and researching words and idioms (I'm a translator by trade, so it's in my blood to do research :D)

I've done the same thing on Memrise, I'm doing the same thing on Clozemaster right now.

My problem with the system is that now I can't focus on particular words that I know get me in trouble even three years later (like I will confuse conejo and cangrejo - rabbit and crab - no matter how many times I repeat them), I have to focus on whole skills.

I tried the reverse tree right after I finished the regular tree, but for some reason it didn't work for me. I moved on to Clozemaster, which caters better to my binging needs - and I know my method works even by their metrics, I'm getting 97% correct answers while doing over 1,000 sentences a day.

@Piguy3 - Thanks, that's actually very helpful. And you taught me something new today, I had never heard of "coney" before :) Here's five lingots for you ;)


Thanks for the run-down. No idea if it'll help, but it turns out that the antiquated English word "coney" (as in "Coney Island") for "rabbit" is related to "conejo." So if you take the more obvious fact that "cangrejo" is related to "Cancer," the crab, maybe it'll be easier to keep them straight with the respective con/can beginnings.


While it's not just you, I think crowns are an improvement in several ways. But I wasn't making any progress are re-gilding my French tree, now at least I've got a plan for working through the entire tree multiple times.


I like the system, but I'm starting to get bored. I used to get hundreds of XP a day but nowI 'm only getting 10.


I had been learning 5 languages before the crown update. It seems the Heart Health is for ALL of them, not a heart health per language. Really puzzled how I can enjoy the language learning experience that used to be!


Come to the web version where there is no Health, just click Home above.


I totally agree with Ren918302 (and most others) - I don't wanna be bored out of my skull...


Beer111, the other English idiomatic expression for this is quite ironic in the case of Duolingo: I'm bored out of my tree! I'm adding it to the title of the post!


I'm missing the spaced repetition. Honestly, IMO, that's the meat and potatoes of Duolingo, and it's the one thing they've completely eradicated with this new crown system. I know they've talked about bringing it back somehow, but until then, I'm just going through the motions to keep from losing my streak. I spend more time studying with other French resources/materials.

That being said, I do love the stories feature. It's a great way to practice listening comprehension, and learn some more advanced vocabulary.


Spaced repetition still exists in the background and you can see which skills have faded from the old Gold here: http://www.duome.eu/GeneralGinne/progress Thank you to a user who created the Streak Hall of Fame and collected all these stats for us. You can click on the dumbbells to practice those skills which have faded. The skills at 0 crown level that are grayed were skills that were updated by the French team before crown came into effect and needed to be redone. Remember that if all skills are at Crown Level 1 that would equal a golden tree in the previous system. Anyone else can use the link by putting their own user name in.


Nice! Thank you for the link. Good to know not all is lost...


I'm enjoying the stories too. I kept asking to have extra review exercises at the end that would run people through the new vocabulary, and they appear to have added the matching exercise. I think they could even go a little further.


This new crown system makes it so utterly confusing as to how well I'm brushing up on skills. The old bar system would only improve if I actually did well on my lesson. With crowns I can screw up repeatedly without learning from mistake and still just get a new level, what use is that? Now I have a really hard time figuring out what words and syntax I'm actually struggling with because I'm rewarded just for finishing. There really needs to be an option to toggle crowns on and off with the bar system


I agree with you I hate it also and wish they would return it to the old way. I also find it demotivating and boring.

Bring back the old system!!


I'm with you on this I have had this new system for about 3 or 4 weeks it is kinda getting on my nerves and like I'm homeschooled so I can't be on duolingo all day I have better things to do I would much rather have the old system back!!!! IT IS SO BORING AND IM AHEAD OF MY SISTER ON DUOLINGO AND I DONT KNOW HOW!!!!!!!!

[deactivated user]

    I'd really like to go back to the old system as well. I really don't even understand the crown system. Just now, I noticed some of my completed lessons are colored red, some are blue, some are green. Does that signify something....? I don't know, I dislike the system so much I don't really care enough to investigate.


    Purple is Level 0, blue is level 1 which is actually equivalent to the old golden skill, green is level 2, red is level 3, orange is level 4 and gold is now the color of level 5.

    Check here for your old gold status and you can practice by pressing the dumbbells which can regild your lessons that are less than 100% which had been already done once. http://www.duome.eu/RJR99SS/progress


    it is soooooo boring


    I totally agree with you! I am on my day 804 but have lost a lot of interest now and the most annoying thing is that using my phone first thing I only get 5 "lives" then am blocked out for the day so I then have to get up and use PC to finish the amount I want to do. And I now lose lives for stupid typos! Grrrrrrr not fun anymore


    Absolutely! Really there are 2 separate issues. One is crowns which is irritating and boring but my way of dealing with that is to work through each module and do 3 lessons. However the health issue is serious. It is simply an absolutely appalling system that has totally wrecked my enjoyment of Duo foe exactly the reasons Delice17 has detailed. Previously I could use my iPhone and cover a lesson when I found myself with five or ten minutes to wait. Now with big fingers on a little keyboard I can quickly use my lives. Can you imagine being thrown out of class for making five mistakes? what kind of teaching would that be? Worse still being blocked from your Norwegian class because you made five mistakes in your French lesson. As comments via this medium seem to be ignored by the administrators of Duo I am really tempted to use an alternative medium to try to get this invidious* feature removed.

    [Invidious definition: likely to cause unhappiness and resentment]


    I would also add I have nearly 5000 lingots on PC but these are not transferred to my phone to use to replenish the health!


    I let my streak lapse (over 400 days). No regrets.

    Another thing was that, in the French course, the conversational bots went away. They were fun, especially when I tried to give more than a short answer.


    i 100 persent agree !


    It sapped all the fun out of it. Gonzo. I am so sad. If I could test out of the early ones, it would be really good. But my nature (and they know this -- they know how we learn; that's their whole raison d'être) -- is to do the levels in order and complete them to Crown (Clown? I feel like an idiot doing these) 5. I'm level 23 in Welsh and am back doing hundreds of "I am eating bread" repetitions. It's agony.


    Wow. And you have an impressive streak happening. I think my mistake was to try to do the lower levels until I got to level 5. That was horrendously dull. I was two thirds of the way through and when the switchover happened, I didn't know where to start because everything was at a different level. There were some 3's and some 1's.

    Gradually, what I started trying to do was move everything up to level 2. Apparently the idea is that you're supposed to go all the way through the tree at level 1, then do another run through at level 2, etc.

    I'm still not excited about it, but I'm less irritated.


    I feel like the crown system has some benefits. I have always had a hard time staying motivated when learning languages, but this has helped me want to continue. I'm a really competitive person, so I have to make sure that each skill is gold. This also prevents me from moving from a skill too fast. The repetition can get a bit boring, but it really does get ingrained in my head. Of course, there are flaws, the main one being that it is harder to go back and practice what you have forgotten. Now that everything is staying gold, I don't go back to it as often as the things that are no longer gold. So to end this tirade, it helps me personally, but I still see that it has a lot of room for improvement.


    I usually don't like change, but I'm actually excited for the new system. One of the things that annoyed me the most under the old system was coming back after taking a long time off and all my skills had gone down to almost nothing, when in fact, I actually did remember a lot more than duo gave me credit for. I like that the newer system does away with that and allows me to choose what skills I want/need to review. I'm also hoping that the practice lessons will now incorporate all the skills I have learned and not just the ones halfway back up the tree where I've had to do practice after practice to get the skills to turn back to gold and slowly work my way back to the current skills. To be honest I haven't used the practice button much yet, because I find my own skills that interest me, and even some I don't remember. I've yet to reach level 5 in any skill, nor do I feel that it is super necessary at the moment. I think the frustration comes in if you feel like you have to reach that level 5 in every single skill, every single time. Personally, I enjoy that I can learn a base level of information and continue on to new lessons without having to max out every crown level along the way. Then once I have completed the tree and even while I'm working my way through, I'll have the freedom to pick which skills I want to strengthen or if I want to start from the top and do the tree over again. I figure too, that since I'll have learned a lot of other skills in the meantime, coming back to do level 2 will not seem as repetitious, since it will have been awhile since I did that skill on level 1. I really believe the new system can be just as fun and engaging, if you approach it the right way. Don't be OCD about maxing out one particular skill when you haven't even finished the tree yet. You only need one crown in each skill to advance, so don't get bogged down.


    Wow. What I find truly concerning about all these comments is the fact that not a single person here mentions how well they are doing SPEAKING and INTERACTING out there in the real world. Crowns or no crowns, whatever, the question is how well can you communicate with others in your chosen language (s)? Isn't that the real goal and hence the ultimate reward? That is what, in my opinion, you should be asking yourself. I never, ever get bored if I know I'll get eventually to where I believe I need to be, which is native-like fluency. I speak several languages fluently and use DL only to play and work on certain skills. Duolingo is just another tool, very helpful and fun, but just another tool among many. It's disheartening to see so many of you getting getting trapped in the video game entertainment/reward aspect of this application instead of picking up a good book or two and truly focus on enjoying the language, as well as spending quality time with native speakers. Believe me, it works.


    I live in France and speak/interact with native French speakers everyday (heck, I'm married to one). That doesn't mean I still can't be annoyed with the crown system (although at this point, I'm just going with the flow since this method is here to stay). Duolingo is just one tool of many for a lot of users, but that doesn't mean people can't voice their opinions on the new system.


    You're right, everybody can and should voice their opinions ... and their opinions lead me to think that many people use Duolingo as a "language based video game thingy" instead of as a learning tool- which is silly, but at the end of the day is their prerogative, of course.


    While I'm not one of those people you mention, I figure if that's going to help them learn something new, why not? Since the system is gamified by definition, it's only natural that some people are going to take it as a game, period. So what? Who cares, as long as they're learning something new?

    Moreover, speaking and interacting with people in your chosen language if you only do Duolingo is going to be very difficult, anyway. The vocabulary is rather limited, so you're never going to achieve near-native fluency based on Duolingo alone. I'm guessing a lot of people know that already.

    I can interact with people (after using several resources, not just Duo), but that doesn't mean I can't be annoyed (just like GeneralGinne above) with the new system, because they've taken a site that used to be great three years ago and turned it into a total mess, as far as I'm concerned.

    The iOS system, for instance, seems designed to either a) discourage people from learning altogether or b) making people pay for the privilege (which I thought was counter to Duo's stated purpose). I'm guessing it's b), as they count on people being hooked enough to pay. In my opinion, that's going to backfire pretty soon, since there are other paid sites that offer more. Granted, you can move to the web platform, that still doesn't mean that the iOS platform is totally flawed.


    When I mentioned that it was fun, I also meant that I found it more motivating. That's what I found different about Duolingo. It's about practicing skills, but it used to be more enjoyable. I'm still practicing, but I'm noticing I'm enjoying it much less. It's more like grinding through high school French than it was when I started.

    I don't understand the view that language learning necessarily has to include massive amounts of mindless rote memorization.


    I concur with the above comment. Please give us the option to go back to the system or put the old system back in place.

    • 2370

    What i really miss now is the possibility to choose an exercise and repeat it until if have truly learnt it. Now I have to wait until the sentences pop up again. That can be days if you work on a PC and spend half an hour per day. So we have a repetition system, but not a clever one.


    "So we have a repetition system, but not a clever one."

    I think that's part of the issue. At times the number of repetitions you're asked to do doesn't make sense for the level or the content.

    For instance, to get to level 5 on food, one of the first five lessons, you have to repeat the lessons 84 times. The reason this doesn’t make sense is that they use the same words throughout the 84 repetitions. It might make sense if they added new ones at each level.

    For present tense 2, you repeat the lessons 96 times. However, this might make more sense because verbs are important. But do you really need 96 repetitions of this material?


    Concur. I liked that the "skills decay" feature showed me which areas needed some refreshing. Also, by doing the refreshing, you added "health" to the meter.

    It's not as much fun as it was, at least for me.


    I feel the same. I was really motivated with the old system, to practice. Now I am repeating the same childish phrases ad infinitum. What am I learning,


    I've gone from doing 3 to 5 lessons a day to doing 3 to 5 a week. The new system is very very very bad.


    It took all the fun out of Duolingo. It is not just you. It makes it harder to learn. Like busywork spoils a brain. Makes a headache, sore writes , sore fingers, irritable day.


    I am slowly reconciling myself that just doing Welsh to the end of the tree, all 5s, will take the rest of my natural life.


    I am miserable. Bored. Slow progress and all boring. I just made it to the first level in all 5 crowns and know how to say I like a desk and twelve. 100s of times. I had the whole tree finished and am at level 23. I haven't even opened French or Spanish (level 25 for both) in over a month. I just don't feel any progress if I do. I don't need to learn how to say 12 in French any more but I have to go back to that? No thanks. I don't know how to do a "Good bye, Cruel Duolingo" post after 1357 consecutive days but I'm getting close.


    I could not have said it better. Back in March I was looking at completing the French tree by June. I think I've done two lessons in the last six weeks and I was doing three to five a day.


    I came onto Duolingo early last year and had kept a continuous streak. Even while traveling, I made ime to work on it. Now...meh. I let the streak lapse, then did it for another three weeks and let it lapse on a trip.

    The Duolingo system felt more intelligent before the advent of the crowns. It seemed to keep track of where I needed to refresh. Now, it's more like a cheesy video game.


    What I really resent is that it feels like work now. Before when I kept up a streak, I was actually having fun. Now I do it, but it's complete drudgery getting through the levels. And it's hard to feel like you're accomplishing anything.


    I am replying to my own post after a month or so. I still am demoralized but I'm keeping at it. I'm glad I did -- in a way. I am now (back) up to the second level in Welsh having gotten all the drudgery of the first level up to 5 crowns. From here on out, I'm sticking at 4 crowns and moving forward. The pleasant surprise is that the learning pace picks up and gets actually challenging. Before the crowns, at least in Welsh (and French and Spanish), I felt I had reached a proficient level and would never get better -- just keep the levels finished and it was a simple game at that point. Now, with the levels getting challenging more quickly, I'm learning. Real learning. So, I'm pleased that is the case but -- the crown system is still God-awful and the early days are prohibitively boring.


    Add a note: I haven't looked at French and Spanish since the first days of the crowns. I've stopped learning those at all. I don't even open the pages. That's because I'm unable to spend that amount of time on the early, mind-numbingly boring and time consuming repetitive "I have five apples" part. I just can't do it. I don't have the time or the interest.


    Maybe you don't really need to. Just a thought. When I was first switched over, it seemed like I needed to go back and redo a lot of the things I had already covered, but that's not really necessary. I think I was also having an issue with needing to feel like I was accomplishing something. That feeling is oddly lacking with the new crown system and seemed to be present in the old system.

    Right now, on one hand, I might be getting more practice and getting to practice on more refined skills as I move up. On the other hand, I don't really care as much and it's harder to stay motivated. For some weird reason I found the old system a lot more compelling.


    Fair point about not really needing to. It was that sense of accomplishment, though, that attracted me to the system at first and continues to. The loss of an attainable (and desirable) goal is gone. I don't care about crowns. I just don't care. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels for nothing. I just can't say "I have ten goats" that many times and stay interested BUT I USED TO LOVE THIS. So, they had broken a code (at least with me) and now have screwed it up. Oh well -- I'm still at it. Just only in the one language and not nearly enjoying myself as much. Which, one day, will lead to no motivation.


    Before I get all excited about being able to test out -- it's only on the big computer. Not on the apps yet. That's okay. I can wait and just work on the Mac.


    Totally agree. Also, what is the meaning of the Crown level?


    I also find the Crown system very repetitive and boring. I prefer the random opening of revision exercises system that existed previously


    Amazing streak gurl


    The reason I don't like the crown system is you can get an answer correct (word for word, accents all correct) and it marks you wrong. You lose health and wants you to buy more. If you run out of lingots, then it wants you to pay real money. Not going to happen if I am correct to begin with. But then practice mode, instead of health they are almost all repeat in the foreign language. It NEVER understands me so I end up giving up because I can't finish the level. What a demotivator.


    The reason I don't like the crown system is you can get an answer correct (word for word, accents all correct) and it marks you wrong.

    This is, unfortunately, an old bug. I don't think it has anything to do with the crown system. Contributors request you file a bug report with screenshot when it occurs.

    they are almost all repeat in the foreign language. It NEVER understands me

    I'd recommend turning off the microphone in settings. If you want electronically-aide pronunciation practice, the speech recognition built into your phone is almost certainly better than what Duolingo offers. Use your phone's speech recognition to enter your answers.


    I'm sorry but this doesn't make any sense. If you get an answer wrong, you missed something. Maybe you've hit a glitch? Why would you think the crown system has anything to do with somehow getting marked wrong for a right answer? Also, if you have trouble with the microphone portion, then why not just utilize the popup to say that you can't speak right now and it won't do those?


    I disagree, Ren918302. I think it's an improvement. Oh well, everyone to his own poison, I guess.

    [deactivated user]

      I am happy with the changes. I was tired of trying to always keep up with the gold level of every lesson. It was depressing to log on and find out that 6 or 7 levels were not gold any more. I think this takes away that pressure.


      6 or 7 skills, I believe there were no Crown levels and XP levels were never missing. You can still practice anything that you feel like you may be forgetting without that reminder that it had been a while since you practiced certain skills. It was not a perfect system, because it was by amount of time passed since I practiced something and maybe I had not been practicing it because it was solidly in my mind. Some skills that I practiced more often remained gold, but I knew that they needed more work. I am all for less pressure, but some other people were so hooked on that gold tree that they are putting tremendous pressure on themselves to get everything to level 5 when the old gold was equivalent to Level 1. I hope everyone takes the time to relax every now and then.


      I'm finding it interesting how people to respond to the rewards and challenges of the system.

      I've seen a few posts by people who are sad because there's no fanfare sound effects when they level up. This seems like a minor thing but the people who miss it really miss it. Of course, there are also people who really hated it and are glad it's gone.

      Maybe the people who liked the cheering will have to post about it and receive cheers from the community.


      I'm actually learning better this way. I'm happy with the drilling, as I'm much stronger with my articles now then I was the other way. But I can see see why a lot of people don't like it.


      I prefer the crown system. Many days I don't feel like learning new words. And the crowns give me great motivation to practice what I've already learned. Before, there wasn't any sort of reward system for practicing old lessons. I also believe the difficulty difference is much more noticeable in the mobile app than on desktop. On desktop I always turn off the word bank, but on mobile you can't. Earlier lessons rely a lot on word banks, fill in the blank, and multiple choice. It's also mostly asking you to write (or choose the words) in your native language, which is a lot easier than the other way around. It's much easier for your brain/memory to read a foreign language and figure out the English (or other native language) than it is to read it in your native language and have to pull every foreign word from your mind. Then in the higher lessons there's no word bank, multiple choice, or fill in the blank. You have to type most things in your foreign language.

      I will say that I do miss the original, individual lessons. Sometimes I just struggle with a couple words and I'd like to be able to just focus on those. And since they've hidden the individual lessons, there's also no longer a way to see the word list in each lesson. I've had to rely on third-party extensions for my current word list just so I can make flashcards.


      It seems that we have a bimodal distribution here. Why not give us a choice? I would like to go back to the old system.


      how do you like it it is soooooooooo RETARTED


      It is to the discredit of those still following this thread this utterly offensive comment wasn't immediately buried in downvotes. Instead it's been rewarded. For shame.


      Just gave Mattie 5 more Lingots for those very wise words.


      I could not have said it any better myself. Before the crowns I was doing 3 to 5 lessons a day. Now I'm doing 1 to 2 a week.


      Here is 20 Lingot for you very wise words.


      I totally agree with you: an awful lot of repetition of easy, basic stuff has to be gone thorough to learn something new. I like the stories but there are so many expressions that I never encountered on the tree and I have reached level 25!!


      I'd hang in there with the stories if you can. There is new material in them, and it might be nicer if they made a connection between the stories and particular lessons. I noticed the first French story used reflexive verbs, something that's not covered in the earlier lessons. So it might make more sense to have that story when you're studying reflexive verbs (you've mentioned that you're on lesson 25. I don't think this is covered until lesson 57, and you can't skip ahead in the tree).

      But while you're learning, any time you read something, you're going to have to look a ton of stuff up. At least the stories are quite short. In the comment sections, I kept asking them to give reviews of the new vocabulary at the end. Now there's a matching exercise, which is okay but doesn't feel like quite enough of a review.


      Hm...there are a few reasons why I kinda agree and don't agree. 1) It really has you memorize the words, however, it seems to take an incredibly long time to earn another crown.


      I just gave you a "lingot". After 1340 days at this, I have plenty to spare. I loathe this new system. Until we get a way to test out of the basics, I am bored to death. Before, I was doing three languages (two at 25 level and one at 23. All three trees competed and then Welsh re-completed when they added more to it and I had to practically start over again.) I haven't looked at the first two since this stupid program started.

      I sure hope they get lots of new students from this crown business. Because the old heads are clearly unhappy.


      The strange part of it is, when I stopped trying to "finish" the earlier levels, I started to realize the learning on some of the later ones is deeper. That said, I'm still bored out of my tree and I find that facing the "wall of reps" is demoralizing because it does feel like an "endurance test."

      Maybe if they supplemented the learning material with some additional explanations at each crown level, that might be better. As it is, even though the learning might be deeper, it's still feels like I'm no longer really accomplishing day to day.


      What can be done is the previous exercises can be randomly activated with the crowns in place and we should be able to go to any exercise only after we have achieved the crown. The " crowned " exercise can be made tougher to clear


      Yes, I do find the new system boring and repetitive, but two thing I miss which I found helped motivation were the "fluency levels" and the bonus lingots for passing a level. Since the change to crowns I have moved up a level in French and German, but no bonus points! I do not feel that my fluency is improving under the new system; probably getting worse as I am not learning any new words.


      We still get 2 lingots for getting through the crown levels.

      I think my understanding of the grammar is getting more deeply engrained. I just feel less like doing it. And by the time I get through a crown level, I just couldn't care less. I like to get through the levels because it makes me feel like I'm getting something done, but I understand that it's not really necessary to get to crown 5 before moving on to the next exercise. You could probably just do crown level one in everything.


      PRAISE THE LORD I THINK YOU CAN TEST OUT OF LEVELS NOW!!!! Ahem, sorry for yelling. :- I am so excited and happy dancing. Thank you Duolingo. Thank you. (I hope I'm right.)


      I just got myself a new phone Thursday didn't even bother install duolingo.


      I hear ya. I haven't (and won't) go that far but I've completely dropped my French and my Spanish. Haven't touched it since the crown system started. Now, maybe I can go back to them.


      Maybe its silly, but I really enjoyed pushing myself to higher levels of fluency. Of course I wouldn't say its necessarily accurate, but it also helped when discussing my progress with non-users. It gave me a sense of pride. The crown system doesn't do that for me.
      Also, I tried going back to the basics to get up to crown 5--y'all weren't kidding about the "ad nauseam" repetition. I can see how it can be useful when learning new sentence structures, vocab, and conjugations; but damn. How many times did I just have to work with the sentence "Je suis une femme" when I'm already towards the end of my "tree." You'd think there should be a test out option, or if you are using those same words and sentence structures in more advanced lessons it would take that into account.


      Honestly, you could just make up a random fluency number and it wouldn't be far off from Duolingo's. They got rid of it because it was essentially meaningless. Duolingo doesn't make anyone fluent. At most it makes people "conversational". Most courses max out below 2,000 words.


      I "loved" how I was 10% fluent after doing the first skill in a new tree and then 18% after a couple more. It was so ridiculous it was funny.


      The fluency made use of which words were high frequency words and which less frequently used. In the beginning you learn words that are used a lot and your fluency goes up more quickly. Then later you learn words that are used much less often and it takes quite a few of them to go up 1%.


      Assuming this is correct, conflating "% of words in a text recognized" with fluency is not going to win any sympathy from me. Saying I'm 10 (or whatever) percent fluent in French because I know "le," "la," "un," and "une" is silliness.

      You're the first person I've ever seen make any assertion about what it was that number was concretely based on. Do you have a reference? The top 10 or so words do constitute a tremendous percentage of written text on average, but the top 100 constitute a much larger chunk, about 50%, and getting a fluency measure reading of 50 was a much taller order.


      Exactly, this is why you could never have 100% fluency. Some people mistakenly thought this was a percentage of the course content, but that was not correct.
      They did not specify that this is how it worked, but it really fits what was happening. https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/205933480-What-does-my-Fluency-Score-mean-

      Think about it: you don’t need to know every word to create conversation. The more you know the better your conversation will be. It is the same with writing, but now I think even more vocabulary is useful.

      You are right that I have no proof, they never mention this anywhere but then to really do it right you would need to know the frequency level of every word in the course and I don’t think that their algorithm was that advanced. Still in order to get such percentages early on, some words had to be weighted more than others and it explains why later in the course we were struggling to add 1%.

      God knows that it was not perfect and the decay rate would affect it also. Who says that we forgot it because we didn’t practice it? Well it could happen, but maybe not! It was still useful to some of us. We have other tools to see if we have spent time practicing (xp), and now we have a tool for how much of the course is done (crowns).

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