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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MonkGonzo

I'm also out

Dear All,

While I enjoyed my time on Duolingo for many years, the changes which have come about in the last month have been disappointing to the point where this has no longer been a forum of learning for me.

I certainly do thank Duolingo for the many years of enjoyment, and solid lessons they once offered; although, since my goal is to learn the Italian language, I no longer find this to be a useful forum.

Best wishes to all!

MonkGonzo

April 26, 2018

81 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BobbySweetkitty

I hear you. What was brilliant about the gold-tree system was being able to come to the site every day to keep a few targeted skills sharp. The site would focus you to a skill that was becoming "weak." I deeply appreciated being directed to a skill for practice, and it would often bring me to skills that I overlooked. For someone with a busy life, it saved time. Now all skill pods are one color or another and I feel overwhelmed deciding where I should go. It seems as though a great many users were sticking around just to keep their trees gold and keep sharp on their languages, but now they've left - like you. That's terrible business.

Having said that, there is the https://duome.eu/your_username/progress that mimics the tree system. So, as long as you're doing the skills from a web-browser you can still get that targeted practice. The apps are a total disaster. In addition, I've been using CLOZEMASTER, which was devised as a post-Duolingo tool. I was going to subscribe to Duolingo, but now I'm close to subscribing there instead. MEMRISE is also a pretty decent tool. In addition, TANDEM is a language learning exchange where you chat back and forth, and can hire a tutor.

Duolingo's response to the backlash has been a text-book case of what not to do.

The new system is nightmarish. I can say I'm so glad I was able to finally pick up Italian with the previous system, I wouldn't have bothered continuing with these Crowns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daffodil2015

I had no idea that Clozemaster was devised as a post-Duolingo tool, but it is brilliant and it has a much more flexible approach. I only wish I discovered it earlier :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ddeck22

Clozemaster is good, but be aware it has some foul language and provides no guidance. I find that I need to continue through Duolingo to keep straight on all of the grammar components. My daily routine is 5000 points on Clozemaster (takes about an hour), 50-100 on Duolingo (30 minutes), Radio Lattemiele on radio Garden for 1 hour and Memrise for 30 minutes. It's three hours a day of Italian learning, but manageable for me due to a 2.5 hour commute.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

The "foul language" is the best part - I now know how to swear in French! Great for using around people who know nothing about the language . ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daffodil2015

5000 points take about an hour? I bow to you :)))) It takes me a bit longer than that :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ddeck22

Once you get to mostly review of stuff you have already done (by that, I mean, not the first time 8 points). You can end with 200 points on average on each 10 sentences. This makes it easier to hit my points. There is one person on Italian from English who must cheat, he gets about 20,000 points a day consistently. He always wins the board because no one is coming close to that. I usually come in 2nd at around 30,000 to 35,000 points. I think I'm 7th all time at 950,000 points or so. Only about 100 people a week are using Clozemaster for Italian from the stats.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

DavidDeCie. Mi piace molto Radio Garden. Can you tell me where I find Radio Lattemiele in Italy (on the globe). Mille grazie.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ddeck22

Ascoli Piceno, nella regione Marche. Mi piace perche transmette solamente canzoni italiane. Le altre stazioni transmettono canzoni inglesi, quelle non mi aiutano.

Mi piace moltissimo una parte della trasmissione, Copa in Cucina, alle dodoci e quindici (in Italia). Sono le sei e quindici negli Stati Uniti (orientale).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

DavidDeCie. Ah mille grazie per la tua risposta. Sto ascoltando proprio adesso. Fantastico. Una buona serata dal Inghilterra.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

That's interesting as I am currently learning Italian as a way to "test" the crown system and I must say I really like it as the grammar and vocab is really being cemented in my head (I'm a big fan of repetition). Mind you, learning French first has really helped.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BobbySweetkitty

The old system worked off repetition as well, only better. It was succinct .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MelindaDare

Hi BobbySweetkitty. What do the light bulb symbols mean? Some dumb-bells are in gold, and the skills I haven't yet finished are in blue. Does gold mean that skill is considered strong and blue is what needs to strengthened? Sometimes this thing answers the "translate the sentence" tasks for me....so I have to force myself not to look at the answer until I've tried to do it in my head first. Yeah, I like the old way better too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/albaduine

Sad to hear that Monk. Many of us had a lot of disappointment when the new Crowns system was introduced a couple of weeks ago, because we lost our fully golden trees and it seemed like we had to start over. I've been bewildered about how to approach the new system. At first it seemed like there was so much pointless repetition. But I've noticed that it's mainly in the early units. I was happy to discover that the advanced units have a lot of material I've never seen, even though I've had my tree golden for a long time.

I hope you'll reconsider, and try a few of the advanced lessons before making up your mind. Also you probably have a quite a few great insights about Italian that you could share with the rest of us here on the forum.

In any case, best wishes to you! Buona fortuna!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glenn983109

I'm starting to feel the same. The new Crown system seems designed to catch you out and make you spend. Instead of something I've looked forward to every day it's beginning to make me feel bad.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oblakov

Change it back! The changes you made are very very bad! You've simplified the interface to Apple levels, which is a very very bad thing! Very bad. The changes are too drastic and they limits you imposed impair our ability to learn. Don't stick with this, or at least give us the option to choose interfaces: Simplified / Advanced. Simplified would be this new one and the Advanced version would be the old one, because that's what you've done. You've just simplified it, and I DO NOT LIKE IT!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MusicMan97

??? Who are you talking to and what are you talking about?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucagalassi89

So cosa stai provando MonkGonzo. Per me è stato quasi uno schiaffo morale quando mi sono trovato con soltanto 2 corone in ogni unità (in entrambi i corsi che ho completato). Ma nonostante ciò, mi sono tirato su le maniche ed ho iniziato a lavorare al mio albero del corso d'inglese. Le prime unità sono estremamente ripetitive e frustranti, soprattutto per quelle persone che conoscono a sufficienza la lingua. Duolingo ha fatto un grosso errore di valutazione, non è possibile che un utente da 3 anni debba ripetere allo sfinimento "a man" e "a woman". Per esempio avrebbero dovuto far fare una specie di test prima di effettuare il cambio del sistema, per valutare meglio il livello dell'utente. Ma oramai il danno è stato fatto. Sto notando anche io (come ha già detto Albaduine) che nelle unità più avanzate ci sono molte più frasi nuove, e forse è l'unica cosa positiva che c'è stata. Ma questo non giustifica ciò che è stato fatto a noi utenti avanzati. Capisco il tuo disappunto MonkGonzo, ma vorrei consigliarti anche io di provare tutte le unità prima di abbandonare Duolingo, senza focalizzarti al raggiungimento delle 5 corone. Prova a vedere cosa è cambiato, cosa hanno aggiunto, e poi decidi. Anche perché buttare via tutti quei giorni di slancio.... fa male solo a pensarci!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Luca. Una risposta perfetta, e capisco ogni parola. Spero che Monkgonzo rimanga per molto altri giorni.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/albaduine

Sono d'accordo, Luca. La tua nota è molto incoraggiante. Monk, dove troverai una famiglia italiana più solidale da qui?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Oh sì. Non ho una famiglia, poi questa Famiglia è molto molto importante.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RZX5a

Agreed! I stopped French for the same reason and I'm about to do so with Italian. A totally failed upgrade, sadly. What's the point of "learning" what you already know? All it would take is the ability to test out of skills. Sad.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

At least in my Danish course there are still the "big tests", so if you already know a language, you can still unlock the skills and get them to level one in blocks. The skills will slowly rise in level while we're practicing, instead of just turning gold for some time. Have a look at your duome profile, you can still see which skill is golden aka at full strength. There's no need to practice them much more than that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RZX5a

Yes, that's the problem, Max.Em. Since I can no longer test out, the crown system is so easy it's ridiculous, so I'm practicing what I already know. There's no longer a way to bring the questions to a level that would teach me anything. What winds up happening is that I'm getting questions I know and I'm not learning a thing. Time to switch from Duolingo, sadly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Val572575

My feelings exactly, Max.Em. Really too bad. I don't like the "word banks" either, but at least they give a choice to use the keyboard. Stop dumbing us down!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

Which problem? The block tests lead you to exactly the same state like with the old system. The skills are at full strength but 1 crown. You can even test out single skills by starting a lesson and deleting the lesson number from the url line in the web version. Just like before, this brings the skill to full strength, but at level 1. Maybe we'll get a possibility to test out more than level 1 in the future.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eml87

I'm in the same boat. I've been on Duolingo for a few years now and used to practice almost every day (or at least multiple times per week) and since the crowns release I am almost never on. It is no longer a fun and quick way to practice language. I liked the gold tree system for motivation and also to help decide what to practice. I'm really disappointed in the crown levels and wish I could switch back. I don't see myself continuing to use Duolingo and will need to check out some of the other tools that others have mentioned.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lweltin

Unfortunately, Duolingo does not possess all the assets available to really learn a language, so yeah totally see what your saying. Best of luck to you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ofred19

I would advise revisiting the site in maybe 6 months to a year. The Crowns system as it currently exists is pretty limited, but the freedom it grants the individual incubator/dev teams in adding new, more diverse, more complicated, or more advanced content is pretty considerable. I think once we start to see teams unveiling new trees designed entirely around the Crown Levels is when we will start to really comprehend the benefits of the system in its fullness.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KraftigDansari

I hope they actually do this. Right now it feels like they added a little more content but not much. It is still mostly just repetition. That should be what “practice” is for. It seems highly variable across languages too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daffodil2015

If the new trees were designed around the Crown Levels, wouldn't it have been better to roll out the CLs together with the new trees? By that, I mean delay the introduction of Cls until more trees were developed further, so that people could actually see the benefits, instead of focusing only on the shortcomings. I bet there would have been far fewer complaints if the new system actually brought something new.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marghvran

A very interesting insight. One problem is that an adequate overview of one's progress through a complex course simply cannot be displayed on a single tree graphic. It's impossible. Kids and casual learners have lost the attractive collection of golden circles and advanced learners still don't have full details of their performance.

The fun has gone along with easy rewards for the kids and other useful features. It's the loss of positive features that is the problem for Duolingo - not the inclusion of new ones.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

Looking at your streak and your level, there's probably nothing left that you could get from Duo, regardless of crowns or not. For me it's like this already after one year, but I hope that in some months the crowns will actually make our lives more interesting. Anyway, good luck in learning this beautiful language, new material and new resources are always a good idea!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeCreative__

Within the Italian course that they are doing, I think I would agree with you. I think there is still stuff to do from starting new courses from other languages; I find that the crown system when started from the bottom up seems to work better for me, and having a new course with a new base language changes things up. But with them, it makes a lot of sense to me that they start using some other resources (I feel that point comes way before level 25 anyway.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

Oh, it seems like I would have to revise my assessment. @MarkGonzo Sorry for being rude and stalking your profile on duome.eu, but there is a lot of material that you didn't see yet on Duo, as more than a third of your skills are still locked. Actually, what's the value of having basic skills at level five, while most of the others (and more difficult ones) are much lower?

In the last days I learned a new strategy that might also suit you: On your progress page you can still see which skill would be gold in the old system and which ones are "to be reviewed". Using this list, we can actually follow the old system and keep the skills gold, but instead of using the practice button, we can use the crown icon to do more lessons. This makes the skill golden according to the old system, but also the crown levels will increase slowly by time. So we can benefit from both systems at the same time. Once all (or most) skills are gold according to the old strength system, you can start adding new material by unlocking new skills. Conquering the tree on level 1 should have priority over pushing anything to five crowns.

For anyone who likes to stalk my page: you're welcome ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Really sorry to hear this, although I fully understand why. Coffee Break looks good and I sincerely hope it teaches in the right style for you. I more or less reiterate all the other comments here. And of course, wish you well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yibemajam

Good luck with your studies, buona fortuna con i tuoi studi MonkGonzo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marghvran

Good luck! I will probably join you soon.

The change to Crowns has produced some very informative user comments. I had never heard of sites like Clozemaster, duome.eu and Mango Languages until those Crowns appeared. They've certainly received a lot of free promotion recently on Duolingo forums. It takes time to evaluate these new sites. Sadly there may be none left for Duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MusicMan97

buona fortuna! Spero che riusciate!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/killary45

Hi MonkGonzo,

Do you know that it is still possible to find the skills you would have had to revise in order to keep the tree golden every day? If you put your username in https://duome.eu/**/progress where the asterisks are, you go to a progress page which has a lot of information about the language you are currently working on. If I go to https://duome.eu/MonkGonzo/progress I can see that at the time of writing there are eleven Italian units that would have not been gold for MonkGonzo as the tree used to be.

So while we no longer have the nice golden tree to look at, we can still find the units that Duo suggests we revise, and if it can therefore be just as useful to those of us who want steady revision as it was before the Crowns were introduced.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucagalassi89

MonkGonzo! It seems you didn't even complete your tree!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PHN04

While I am also somewhat daunted by the new chasm of nearly-expired learning goals which has now opened up, I enjoy any new challenge which can tempt me to doggedly pursue new goals in my quest to boldly learn Italian.

And it is still free!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Bravo! Andiamo .....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Val572575

PHN04 Right, it IS still free and for that I'm grateful. I'll deal w/the changes and just avoid the repetitions when I can that I don't need.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gatiquo

I understand what you are saying. The crown system has retarded learning and makes Duolingo less useful. Clearly is time to move on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daddia

With the crown addition, Duo just got a lot harder and a lot less fun. I feel I am learning LESS. Will start looking for another language app.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/refusenick

Your streak is still on. Surely you're not going to let it go just like that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellen_ofarrell

Obviously everyone has to pick what works for them. Although I was initially dismayed at the crown system I'm slowly getting it to work for me (after all the lessons are all still there, it's just the interface not helping me). I've also come across a lovely script that suggests lessons to do next in a slightly different priority to looking on duome.eu. I suspects it works better if you haven't yet finished a tree but it does a nice job of suggesting what to do next without having to waste time dithering about it or looking up non-gold skills (I know it works but I find it time consuming checking duome.eu and then coming back and trying to find the skill in question - and the strengthen button from duome.eu doesn't give you any progress towards the crown levels). I hope that helps someone out there! I'm still using Duo to learn Italian and I'm not ready to give up yet. Also - particularly with the new crown system - reverse trees rock! The repetition there is a lot less annoying as it takes longer for things to sink into my brain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Ciao Ellen. A very encouraging post. I've yet to attempt the reverse Italian tree but it sounds pretty good. Tanti auguri, e in bocca al lupo con l'italiano.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max_Moli

Hi Ellen, it seems you are currently learning Italian( thanks duome.eu ). Let me know when you are ready to join the club.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

Ciao Max. I have just joined but my purpose was to have others help me with difficulties. Is it ok to post in English? Due to my knowledge of French it took me just over one month to complete the Italian tree but I joined the club to receive some help when needed. Is this ok or do I need to post in Italian? This is the first club I have joined so I am not sure how they work.

I am currently learning conjugations on Memrise. I did this with French and it helped enormously.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max_Moli

It's perfectly ok to post in English! È molto gentile da parte tua chidere;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Ciao ancora Ellen, if you have a tablet or mobile, would you be interested in joining a really friendly, nicely competitive club run by Max Moli? If you read this, let me know. Ciao.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

We cannot find your message under "If you are learning and loving Italian..." so please try again as there is space. NADJC9.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

Hi Linda, It says the club is full.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max_Moli

It worked . Welcome.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ingochris

I'm glad you enjoyed studying on the platform for this long.

Ciao e buona fortuna!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jakson_Brito

I think that changes are the reason that I'm comming back.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Jackson. Welcome back!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Val572575

I'm feeling better about the whole thing b/c I'm seeing now that even going over the old exercises for crowns, the sentences and words are a bit more complicated than the original so it's not so boring and am learning and reviewing more than before. I think it will be okay after the initial jolt. I recommend sticking it out, unless you are so advanced that you are already beyond what DL offers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Derek106648

I don't mind the new set up, but then I'm new to Duolingo anyway. I would appreciate if the practice sessions told you what you were practising though. Sometimes I can figure it out, but others I can't and if I'm doing poorly I'd like to know what the topic is so I can elect to practise again specifically. The other thing is I did like knowing was where I was on the road to fluency. X% fluency helped focus me on a target. What percentage of crowns am I? I dunno. But I keep at it because I find "the game" a good way to learn.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Hello Derek. I don't think you're alone in your thinking, although believe it or not the fluency meter was never that accurate. Me too, I want to keep learning with Duo, so like many others, I've adopted the tier system which seems to work well. I don't worry too much about getting gold but have to admit, when a skill does go golden, I celebrate. Glad you're keeping at it. Happy learning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Derek106648

Hehe, sure. It did dawn on me that it wouldn't be that accurate. I suppose it was a simple measure of progress. Made me feel like I'd achieved going from 55% to 70% Can't wait until my next trip to Italy to put my learning into the field.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Derek. Hope you're going soon. The Italians I meet in Venice/dappertutto are always amazed that we've bothered to learn their language. Makes ya feel proud of all the learning. Tanti auguri....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Derek106648

Andiamo in un mese! Roma e dopo abruzzo. Ma solo per pochi giorni.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Derek. Oh che bello. Spero di andare alla mia "casa spirituale" in giugno. Preferisco marzo ma sono nata a giugno e poi, una celebrazione lì sarebbe perfetta. Ciao e buona vacanza.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Ciao ancora Derek. If you have a tablet or mobile, would you be interested in joining a really friendly, nicely competitive club run by Max Moli? If you read this, let me know. Ciao.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Derek106648

Sure, I'd be happy to take a look. Let me know what I need to do :)

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