https://www.duolingo.com/Douglas_C

Some love it. I don't.

When I started out, I just wanted to learn some Spanish. But, grinding away at it day after day for years on end is tedious. Duolingo helped with that. They helped by providing tiny little incentives that were worthless in the real world, but just enough to give me something to shoot for. Incentives like:

Leveling up - Earning lingots - Extending my streak - Finishing the tree - Keeping it golden

Then they took away my golden owl and gave me crowns instead. Frankly I was discouraged. It felt like starting over, but I made the adjustment and worked to earn crowns instead. Yesterday my tree was updated again and half my crowns were stripped away. Now I know they are nothing but a few pixels on a computer screen. They have no real value, but they are there because the programmers know that they work to keep people invested and coming back. They give us something to aim for, something to pursue, something that rewards my brain for its hard work.

Imagine a girl scout who has worked hard for years to gain 40 badges on their sash. Then one day they come to a meeting and are told that the scouts have updated their badges. Now there are more to earn. Yeah! But the scout master comes over and rips half the badges off the poor girl’s sash, saying that they are no longer valid. How will she feel? Will she be motivated to earn them again or will she want to quit?

The crowns were meaningless. I know that, but half of the ones I had before are now gone and I am just not motivated enough to go get them again knowing they may be changed or stripped away again in 6 months. Duolingo has made all their incentives meaningless except for my streak. But that is just not enough to keep me here. I am writing this with a 1038 day streak. I think I may go see what other sites offer Spanish lessons.

It was fun…

Then it wasn’t.

7 months ago

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Corey284553

I took two quarters of Chinese (101 and 102) at a community college, but they didn't offer Chinese 103 in the spring. When I transferred my credits to a four-year university, they wouldn't accept my credits from the community college Chinese class, even though it was the same textbook. I had to start over again at Chinese 101. With the same textbook. With the same exercises.

Yes, it was tedious. Yes, I would have preferred not to have to start over. Yes, I would rather have taken some other classes instead of repeats. But I'll have to admit, I learned a lot more the second time through. I got a better grade. I could focus better on the basic stuff I struggled with the first time and could devote more attention to the things that I had first found difficult.

Now I'm going through Duolingo Chinese and I'm seeing the benefit of all that duplicated effort. I still remember most of the characters and sounds, even though it's been 3 years since I took the class, because I had a lot of repetition.

You'll probably get good results by starting over somewhere else. But that doesn't mean the other site is better. It's just the repetition. Repetition is boring. But it works.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

That’s why I don’t get why people get so angry at a bit of repetition. It’s not like duolingo resets the tree every month.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Black_Panther
  • 25
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 5

Actually...

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnjaKlisaric

You shouldn`t fell discouraged. The ultimate goal here is to learn the language, right? You still have those crowns in the place it matters the most- your mind. And no one can take your knowlegde of Spanish away from you :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoelEscalante0
  • 25
  • 17
  • 15
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 372

I feel very motivated with doulingo because i never imaginate i was going learning english and other languages now my life is more easy, i feel an abert einstein in front my of friends because they dont speak any languages. :) Thanks a lot Doulingo and mods admins etc.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ClarkStephen
Plus
  • 25
  • 24
  • 24
  • 11
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 737

I'm not saying that this necessarily applies to you, but I do think it applies to some people, so I'll let you decide for yourself if "the shoe fits."

I think there is a mistaken idea out there that if we are passionate about something then it should always be fun. I disagree. Many things worth doing take work. I'm passionate about learning Spanish and Russian, but many times it is just hard (especially Russian). I'm passionate about playing the piano but sometimes doing scales and finger exercises is tedious. If we quit whenever something takes work, the only things we'll ever be good at are playing video games and eating ice cream.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DutchFortune
  • 17
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

And even plenty of video games require effort to be good at.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

Good luck on other websites. I recommend Busuu and memrise, they are good in their own ways.

But aren't you running the risk of other websites also updating? losing stuff?

Duolingo to the best of my knowledge has had two major updated in like 4 years, one being crowns and two being the updated spanish tree. I would imagine this trend is likely to continue. Maybe it is safe to stay here :P

Do you have access to the test out option. It doesn't take long to get to crown 5 if you know your stuff and after being around for 1000 days I think your probably know your stuff backwards and forwards (probably another reason to explore other websites )

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Basia84216

Well, I agree with that. That's the problam with most language learning websites. By the way, I can't seem to be moving anywhere with memrise. I am still at stage 1, downloaing all the time the same basic expressions. What do I do wrong?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

You have to do each word or phrase like 5 times, till the flower thing blooms.

Once you get this for all words and phrases you should be able to move on to the next stage.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Basia84216

Thank you. I have this free (emo) version so probably this is why I can't get to the next level.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lizardthe.Wizard

Where is the test out option? I've been looking for something like that but I haven't been able to find it edit: never mind, I found it right after I posted this.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FredGold

click on the subject (grey circle with purple centre) and a key appears

a test out is worth several lessons, xp wise, so save some for days when time is at a premium...you get to xp 50 quicker and get your daily sticker

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paulmexicodf

There is always a silver-lining

1038 day streak, wow that is impressive, however this is your opportunity, look at it like this. Although they now have the crown system, in reality there is only about 100 hours of actual learning material on this site for spanish (my opinion), if you have been maintaining a 1038 you should be moving on. I come here to help on the discussion now, nothing more.

There is a whole Spanish language world out there, books, movies, grammar books, conversations etc etc etc. You should be ready to leave Duo and start embarrassing a whole new set of learning experiences, perhaps this was the push you needed.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FredGold

it's a big world out there for such a small life

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/6KfM6mAA
  • 25
  • 7
  • 6
  • 3
  • 539

I know the feeling! Every time I set a goal for myself, Duo moves the goalposts.
But I've learned more here than anywhere else, and it's free, so I just keep going with it.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/painai2
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 24
  • 19
  • 15
  • 13
  • 10
  • 1658

Ever since I've been on Duolingo, there have been changes. I think now it is the best it's ever been. The Crown System really does help me master a skill. Change is good, when it makes something better.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kelly_Tacker

I feel the same way. I was having a really hard time with German, but when the crown system was introduced, I had to redo everything, and it all got drilled into my head. I don't have any trouble now.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

Check out SpanishDict's video courses: https://www.spanishdict.com/learn/courses

They have some you pay for, but these are the old free ones.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

I just had a look at this site, they seem so poorly made. some badly cropped images that half covered the words it was teaching in the flash card?

Does the quality improve later?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

lol why do people down vote this? It doesn't change the fact that the flash cards for me were half covered by an image.

[Picture of a woman] ujer with the la mujer half covered

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamohtSMA
  • 25
  • 25
  • 15
  • 1907

I was feeling your frustration exactly. I went from maintaining a gold tree, to 158 crowns at level one and two. Then another rewrite slashed 246 crowns to 198 and inserted tons of new skills a crown level zero. I was furious.

Then I discovered a new strategy. On all those new skills I did the 4 exercises on my app to see what it was about, earn 40 points and get a level 1 Crown. Then I moved to the browser bases site and tested out of levels to make the skill a level four crown.

There really is a lot of new vocabulary, twists on idioms, and mixes of structure. This morning I hit Crown 370 out of 550. Who know maybe my owl will return at 550.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Edmond40906
  • 15
  • 12
  • 6
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2

I felt the same way at first, then I tried to test out of the sections they added. I did really well and now my tree is actually much farther than it was before the change. (I had not finished the course before the switch.) ...Al primero, me sentio' lo mismo. Despues, decidio' tratar los examenes para avanzar mas rapido. Ahora, tengo mucho mas puntos que antes.

I can not vouch for my conjugation in Spanish, but here's my best attempt. ;)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ashajones4

I understand why you would feel the way you do all those changes would frustrate anyone, Duolingo should have your achievements in spite of the changes made. But if this helps you could focus on why you are learning the language and you have a good streak going maybe that could be your motivation.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Katie611429

I really don't think it matters how much times duolingo updates things. I mean, it's their app. You're not supposed to get your motivation to learn a language from golden owls and crowns, you should get motivated from the fact that if you keep practicing, you will eventually improve in the language or even become fluent.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StarlitTardis

Then why did Duolingo have golden owls and crowns in the first place? I can't say for sure, but it seems like they were implemented specifically as motivators. Because psychologically, stuff like that can motivate people. It can be very difficult to maintain motivation towards a long-term goal, such as being fluent in a language. Goals that are more short-term, like the ones mentioned, can help to keep people's motivations up until they get closer to their long-term goal. It's natural that people would feel demotivated when their short-term motivators are changed / taken away. Not everyone is able to keep up motivation without them.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mahu11

I understand how you feel and I also felt like that for a short while. However I now feel that the updated DL Spanish is simply fantastic. I'm a long way off, but I feel when I'm finished, my Spanish will be such that I will be able to communicate without problem (my goal). I didn't feel that before - I felt I would get good knowledge - which is not quite enough to be confident speaking and understanding. In each exercise I try to look away from the screen and translate the spoken sentence (hard for me) before looking at the text (much easier). Now I have much more incentive to push myself as I can see my goal.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Miguel992

Honestly, I don't mean any offense. These are just my opinions for what they are worth. I have been reading so many complaints by people. And the most critical seem to be by people who have been here a considerable amount of time. Honestly, do people expect nothing to change? Are people seriously happy logging on and doing the same exercises over and over just because some algorithm says it is time? I have heard over and over how the new material is too easy and it is a waste of time, but yet these same people evidently had no problem doing the exact same stuff they have been doing for years in some cases. I finished my tree about 3 years ago. I realized at some point it was time to move on to other means of advancing. I still use Duo every few months as a quick easy way to review and I couldn't have been happier to see that they added new content and changed things around. Yes, a lot of the new content is things I have already learned, but It has definitely helped reinforce and even cleared up some problems I still have with grammar. And more importantly, I can tell it is a much better and more complete course for people just starting out learning a new language, which really is the main purpose of a program like this.

I truly understand the frustration of change, especially when there are changes shortly after already starting the new format. And I think Duo could do better with this as well as some other things. But in the long run, I really do feel they are doing well with their mission.

I wish you luck with the continuation of your learning.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dccow91
  • 25
  • 368

¡Quién movió mi queso!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Geotwo
  • 17
  • 9
  • 2

I felt the same way. I had 97 crowns, and then it went down to 77! It takes away the desire to continue. I know enough to just read a book.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rachel302774

I understand your feeling, and taking away rewards can make anyone feel less motivated. Be encouraged though by completing the new levels. Duo added many more words, and when you complete the lower levels you will accumulate more crowns and more quickly. Within two days I earned back the crowns I lost plus many more. I also saw that by adding the new words and categories, they were trying to more effectively build a learning tool to give us more conversational phrases, learn difficult concepts in smaller doses, and add more vocab. Try it out for a week; I think you will see the benefit of the change. That said, I still agree with you that it would have been nice to not feel like we all went down in levels just to turn around and skyrocket up, but I feel the changes once again made this a better learning aid.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cameron2138

you'll learn the language soon

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnKidd4
  • 23
  • 13
  • 11
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 373

que lástima.... espero que encuentres lo que buscas - (wlingua) no esta mal por ejemplo. pd: 'fluencia' también ofrece clases 'online' .... buena suerte con todo.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lizardthe.Wizard

I tried out fluencia and I liked it while I was using it but after the free trial ran out I didn't think it was worth paying for.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jane254678

Douglas_C

I understand what you mean about the daily grind, and I have been here only 25 days.

Check out FluentForever.com. There is a related book, Fluent Forever, by Gabriel Wyner, who started the website. GW is an opera singer who needed to be able to speak French, Russian, Italian, and a few other languages. He taught himself about 6 languages, and in doing so, developed a unique system for learning languages. I would rather let him describe the system himself; he will do a better job than I could. Maybe you can borrow his book from the library.

I bought the book from Amazon. GW's system makes sense to me. Now I plan to use his system as my base for learning Spanish and to use DuoLingo for practice and drill.

Good luck to you.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/McGuireV10

Might want to double-check that site, it's just advertising for a Hindi tutor who lives in London.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jane254678

You must have it mixed up with some other site. The site that I am familiar with is run by an American.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kelly_Tacker

McGuireV10 is right, the site is definitely for Hindi only. This is the site you're talking about https://fluent-forever.com/

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jane254678

Oh, okay. Thank you both. I stand corrected. :-)

7 months ago

[deactivated user]

    hello, i prefer testing out the whole tree from time to time rather than reaching level so or so. that is to say to start always from the beginning rather than stopping at level 25

    7 months ago
    Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.