https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis

Goodbye Duolingo

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I started my Duolingo account in February 2015. And it has been very much a love/hate relationship. Duolingo does so many things so well, and so many things so atrociously.

The start of the end for me was when Duolingo started removing the things that provided real extra value, such as discussions and personal messaging, i.e. the things that make a community and lead to extra learning. I learnt so much from the forums because the course notes are still not available on the apps! The final straw was when I lost my 860 day streak in French on 17 July 2018. I've always said that the streak metric is ten times more demotivational than it is motivational.

When I had a streak of over 800, I was motivated to keep it. Now that I have a streak of zero, what motivation do I have to put up with all the weird things that Duolingo does? I hate being interrupted in the middle of a lesson by ads and Duo (It looks like you're doing really well! Can I distract you and make you do worse?) and I hate that the three versions of Duolingo (the website, the Android app, and the iPhone/iPad app) are so different from each other. It should be the same learning experience on all three, and any other way that Duolingo has. One of the weirdest features is not being allowed to practice anymore after making a few mistakes! How counter-intuitive is that?

The worst thing that Duolingo does is give its users the sense that they're not important and not listened to. The minimum time to get a bug fixed is 6 months to a year, and some very well known serious bugs are permanently in the "will not fix" category, i.e. not touched in over three years.

I'm sick of being treated this way by the developers of the app. The course editors fall into three categories: competent, amazing (Sitesurf (French), some of the editors from Dutch and Norwegian (Duolingo is preventing me from searching for their usernames, Lynn, Merlin's Beard, and one other who I can't find)), and awful (one arrogant Dutch editor, all the Irish editors). Being told that you're using your native language incorrectly by an editor who is a second language speaker is not on, especially when they have no idea what they're talking about! Being an editor does not mean you're right about everything, only that you have the power to be wrong with authority and teach the wrong things to thousands of people. Duolingo needs more Sitesurfs, Merlin's Beards and Lynns to make the communities work. The way you're treated should not change by the language you're learning (I'm looking at you, Irish).

So, anyway, Duolingo has finally reached the tipping point for me, or if you like, the straw that broke the camel's back. It was 51% good, 49% bad before, now it's 49% good, 51% bad. So little has changed, yet it's enough to drive me away. I wonder if Duolingo has any metrics to measure user retention and loss? Will they see that losing my streak drove me away or will they interpret it as my streak resetting because I stopped using the site?

Duolingo still has a lot of growing up to do. I'm not holding my breath.

July 21, 2018

108 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Jane-German

Yes. I hear you. It is definitely a love-hate relationship. There is so much good - but the bad seems to be getting worse. For me, the most frustrating (isolating/insulting/demotivating) issue is that people's feedback on individual lessons is ignored. YEARS later, Duolingo still has not bothered to comment or make the necessary changes to crucial errors. It really does feel like we are not listened to.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryAnne993219

Let me be frank: a lot of the suggestions are not good. Second, I have received about three emails that my answer is now accepted. Third, I complained about a female voice in a situation that did not make sense and a few minutes ago I got the same exercise with a male voice.

In my opinion, there is way too much complaining in this forum.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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I've received dozens of messages say my suggestion was accepted. Suggestions for fixing actual bugs (not course content) have all been ignored.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Oromolearner

I feel you, but just go with it. There's only so much Duolingo can do with so little money. Just keep it with Duolingo it's the best language learning software, free or paid.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/arctic.
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I agree with much of what you said. Especially the part about learning from forums, rather than course notes. I would not be where I am in my learning journey if it weren't for all of the wonderful contributors and fellow learners in the discussions. Along with Sitesurf, n6zs, and many others, I have also seen you explaining French concepts to confused users in the comment sections throughout the years. I am sorry to see you go. I hope you change your mind and return one day.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste
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Noooo, not you too! :( You've been one of the people in the French forums keeping me sane. I'll miss your comments popping up in my inbox.

I hate being interrupted in the middle of a lesson by ads and Duo (It looks like you're doing really well! Can I distract you and make you do worse?)

Isn't there a setting to turn off the "motivational messages"?

The worst thing that Duolingo does is give its users the sense that they're not important and not listened to. The minimum time to get a bug fixed is 6 months to a year, and some very well known serious bugs are permanently in the "will not fix" category, i.e. not touched in over three years.

Duo does listen to its users, but it's impossible for them to reply individually to every request/bug report due to the sheer volume. When it comes to fixing the bugs, they have limited resources, and not only do they have all the bugs users complain about, but they also have the course contributors constantly asking for bug fixes and features in the Incubator, and they have to triage. The less major a bug is the longer it's likely to be before it's fixed. How difficult it is to resolve is also a factor; some bugs are a lot more complicated to deal with than they seem.

Not that I'm pretending they're perfect, they aren't. They don't always (IMO) make good decisions and handle everything perfectly. But I believe they do try their best with what they have.

I can only agree with calling Sitesurf and the Norwegian team amazing! They're as awesome in behind-the-scenes work as they are on the forums too. :)

I wonder if Duolingo has any metrics to measure user retention and loss?

Do they! Practically everything on the site is A/B tested to see what retains users best. I've even heard they're going to A/B test what colour the bird is (kidding).

I'm sorry you lost your streak, and still sorrier you're leaving because of it. You have been one of the most reliably helpful, sensible commenters on the French forums for a long time (probably others too). You will be missed.

Au revoir et bonne chance dans votre vie sans Duo.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/WolverineIAm
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Why do people value the streak so much? It's just a number that amounts to nothing. I wouldn't be bothered the slightest if my streak went back to zero. It's about the languages and its course content. I sometimes get the feeling a lotta people care more about the streak itself than learning a language LOL.

Also we are getting duolingo for free and they need ads to make some revenue. I don't mind the ads, as it's a short time of my day, and it's nothing compared to how much value I get from their free language courses.

Certain people really need to learn to appreciate things more. Anyway goodbye. :D

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Mod
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Why do people value the streak so much?

I love to give away lingots to people that ask good questions or make good comments. I use lingots as an "up vote". Today I got 64 lingots for my streak. When I lose my streak (and I've lost a couple of big ones) it is like being broke. I really want to "up vote" a great comment but I can't afford to. It's dumb, but to me it's a big motivation.

I also feel that, like it or not, a long streak lends credibility. So does a "25" beside one of your flags. Everyone knows you could cheat your way to a 25 if you really wanted to, but it still carries an air of importance and lends credibility to a person (IMO). When I lose a big streak I feel like I lose some of that credibility. Dumb, I know, but that doesn't make it less true for me.

And finally, I've had more than one night when I tumbled into bed, exhausted, and realized "Oh dagnabbit I haven't done my Duolingo today!" Then I lie there, wrestling with myself, thinking "Well I have a streak freeze, I should get some sleep" and "What if the freeze got used and I didn't notice? What if it doesn't kick in?" and I get my tired butt out of bed to do my lesson. I've also taken my mobile along on camping trips and made sure I quickly got my daily lesson in when we went into town for supplies and I could get a signal. My streak represents a lot of dedication, prioritization, effort, and a fair degree of discomfort. Not a big deal, mind you, but relevant to me.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/StephanieE189429

I left Duolingo for something like 8 months after I lost a streak. I was a little dissapointed it was gone, but it was mainly that I lost that that little push to start doing Duolingo that day or I would lose it. I think I was already not as dedicated with Duolingo as I had been, and did not quit right there but only sporadically used Duolingo in the weeks after, before stopping all together. I think the streak can give you the needed push to get you to work through the rougher patches and if you lose it in that rough patch you certainly lose a motivational trick. I guess if you have already completed the tree and just practice over and over to maintain your skill, the streak also helps then motivate you when you have nothing else to work towards.

I think a 'longest streak' held option would be nice, it is hard to motivate yourself to work on something everyday and why shouldn't it be a little point of pride? Or maybe '100/500/1000 etc day streak' badges. But it wouldn't have stopped me quiting I think.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
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The streak is like an acknowledgment of a good habit. (Well, hopefully good). Sort of like a chip for being sober so many days. Or a mark on your calendar for exercising every day. It's actually one of the reasons I bought a smartphone to replace my old flipphone, so I could do at least one lesson every day if wireless was available, which it is most places I travel. And yes, I'll spend money to repair my streak if I need to - the charge isn't that much and usually the break is unavoidable.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeremy114182
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I totally see where you're coming from with the credibility thing and the streak. Just know that the little golden ring and globe around your profile picture gives you more credibility than anything else. :)

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nick.Blank
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I think the chat should be back among users.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BroccoliMa

Lingots are pretty much useless though. I've ran out of things to spend them on. I could give them to other users like you do, but those users have probably also ran out of uses for them.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/trinitythex

Lrtward, exactly, what you said. Gave you a lingot for it :D Because I agree :D

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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Why do people value the streak so much?

Because it's a psychological trick that highly motivates you to go on. And it works for many people. They are attracted by all the candy and blingbling Duolingo provides, that's why Duolingo uses it very successfully. And then users are crushed when the streak ends.

I wouldn't be bothered the slightest if my streak went back to zero.

Sure, because you understand what's really important here and don't need to be tricked. Same with me when I lost my 1,128 days-streak 2 years ago, because it was totally fine with me. The issues that Duolingo should simply acknowledge are:

  1. Many many people rely on their streaks
  2. They won't go on after they lose it
  3. So why don't add another "Longest streak" feature? Because
  4. Duolingo doesn't want to/is not interested to/comes up with their "not enough bandwidth" arguments. It's actually sad because great people like CJ.Dennis are leaving.
July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Robospy1

Yeah but it is kinda annoying when you didnt miss a day and all the sudden duo is just like "Welp, you lost your streak, repair it for $3.99!" like what?

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/WolverineIAm
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It's good you see past the illusion, but the 2nd point you made, yeah it's pretty sad that a lotta people are like that.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/trinitythex

I think the streak thing is just a 'thing' that bugs us a lot when we lose it. I'm not sure how to explain it. It's kinda giving us bragging rights, and a feeling of accomplishment. I just lost mine because of connectivity issues and I feel sad about it. I'm not a competitive person but still, it was over 200 days working on Irish...

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SporadicAspirant

I hate being interrupted in the middle of a lesson by ads

I think this alone would make me quit. Mostly I use the web version and have not yet experienced this.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/gatiquo
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So much of what you say is true. The major disgrace is the Health feature on the Ap that allows only a few mistakes -- and then practice is over. The real disgrace is that it was initiated to SLOW DOWN learning. What an absurd tactic for a program which purports to ENHANCE learning. Don't get me started on the crowns feature -- it is evil.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/trinitythex

I don't even know what to do with the 'crowns.'

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/wyattsyoung

ITS FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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What would you think about a free cake that was uncooked in the middle and burnt on the outside? What about a free car where the brakes sometimes didn't work? Free is not a good excuse for poor quality.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/yibemajam
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So true, have a lingot CJ Dennis, can't agree with you more. I lost a 654 day streak and I am still trying to get it repaired. Fat chance it seems. I am really demotivated about it and can relate to your post. I am now spending less time on Duo because of this. I bought Duolingo plus for a month because I knew I was going away where the internet service wasn't so good and I didn't want to lose my streak. I practised everyday except for the day of travel when I couldn't get an internet connection. However, since I had a freeze streak for a day it didn't affect me. However, despite practising every day and even buying more internet time as duo plus wasn't downloading properly at times, I still lost my streak. I was advised to report it after posting about losing it on a discussion forum which I did. I reported it as a bug as, on the day I lost my streak in the morning when I completed my daily lesson it was showing I had met my daily target, and I had a 654 day streak, in the evening it was showing I was on an 8 day streak, and later that same day it was showing I was on a 2 day streak on my mobile and 1 day streak on the laptop. I therefore thought it must be a bug, and reported it as such but my streak wasn't repaired. I have sent another report today under purchase issue and I'm waiting to see what they will do, but I'm not holding my breath. It's really frustrating not to be listened to.

Some people are saying Duo is free which I used to say too. However if you think about it, it is not completely free. They are making money out of us users by the ads and by our contribution in translating texts, which I used to do for French. If there are no users, there wouldn't be any ads and they wouldn't be making money! So it is definitely not totally free. I do appreciate Duo for enabling me learn a few words in so many languages, and I used to always tell others about it's virtues. However, I'm no longer enamoured with it as I once was and won't be asking others to use it as I used to.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Robospy1

True

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KoukMarios

Well certainly you don't take a free car with bad breaks and run with it for 3 years hoping the breaks magically improve. Duh.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CaitlinErv

Duolingo is free, and you're right that's not an excuse, but it is a valid reason for improvements to be slow. They don't have the capacity to cater to everyone's demands like other services do. If you don't want the cake, simply don't eat it.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KoukMarios

Word.

July 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MasterZsword

I may be the only one, but I thought this comment was mocking the fact that whenever a user complains about an aspect of Duolingo, users typically respond by saying along the lines, "It's free, so why are you complaining?" So, the irony of the comment is that he agrees with the OP and disagrees with those who always resort to the "it's free" comment... Maybe just me. ^ ^

Anyways, I got a good laugh out of it regardless!

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo
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So is banging your head against a brick wall.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/xMira_
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I literally cracked up and my dad thought I went crazy.

Thanks.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CaitlinErv

I align more with the "it's free" statement, but your comment made me laugh so much!

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
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Does that work for learning languages then?

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ArpsTnd
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Duolingo needs more Sitesurfs, Merlin's Beards and Lynns to make the communities work

I have never heard of Merlin's Beard and Lynn, but I am familiar with Sitesurf. I agree with that. J'ai appris les phrases à Duolingo, les règles de grammaire à Sitesurf. In the Spanish tree, I couldn't find a mod like Sitesurf, that's why when I leave a question in the comments, it is left unanswered :(

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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Lynn is, along with Andrew, one of the two marvelous pillars of the Norwegian course. When this course came out, even most of the other course contributors and moderators applauded them for having created the best course here. I haven't met Lynn personally, but Andrew and these people are really jaw-droppingly inspiring.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Timo-opettelee
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I kind of agree with CJ.Dennis in that there's a lot of good and bad in Duolingo, and people like him who have used the app for a long time tend to have good awareness of the velocity in which Duolingo introduces new features, as well as the direction things are heading.

Personally I think many of the new improvements have been hit & miss, and there's some definitely good things from the past that no longer exist. I enjoyed Immersion a lot, before one day it no longer existed. On the other hand, the addition of Stories has been a welcome improvement. The version on iOS has been a nightmare to use in my opinion, while doing exercises on web is as good as ever.

Kudos as always to Duolingo for achieving many great things, but I can equally understand why some users are feeling the need to look up alternatives.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ClassicSteven
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Considering that we don't pay hundreds of dollars for this service, I think they're doing an excellent job. And losing the streak, who cares, man? You know the languages, right?

I've studied languages in the traditional academic setting. I learned. However, I didn't love studying them with the exam always hanging over my head and having to go at the official class pace. "Learn these declension tables by tomorrow." And, I never ran across a school that offered Danish or Hungarian or even Hindi. I love this. And I love that it is free. We have it really good here.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Deliciae
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You better be back for Tree 4.0, just sayin'.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Don_Cristian
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I don't like the fact that you can't do too many mistakes on the mobile app, that's why I never use it any more. I only use the desktop version and there have been many things that I miss from duolingo like the immersion. Also I liked the feature that allowed to talk directly with other users. In my opinion duolingo was the most useful for me in 2014-2015. Now the only advantage is that it has just more languages.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Catsy_Brave

I think the poorest form of duolingo is that without its contributors - who are volunteers - the site would have no languages. The Korean course is in shambles because they have 2 contributors. I just got an email that a submission I made months ago just got approved. That's how few staff (unpaid volunteers) they have.

The forum for Korean is so inactive and lots of the posts are the same questions over and over. My post from more than a week ago is still visible on the front page. I feel that the forum for my own language learning is a giant pitfall and I can't learn anything from it.

My biggest frustration was zero tips and hints on the mobile app. I'm just blindly hitting words until it says I'm right.

Lingots are a giant farce and the day streak is worthless. I only have 250 lingots and I don't know wtf to do with it. I already finished the Korean tree. There's nothing left for me here because I wanted to study Korean seriously.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fishedout
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Sorry to see you go. You've obviously done very well in your French learning. Maybe it was just time to move on? I came on to the discussion board just now to say something different. But first about the streak. I still have mine and who knows how much that simple thing keeps me invested? But now, after a month or two with the Crown system I'm feeling like I'm back in a groove, but it's a new groove. The fun game stuff is very reduced. I lost that sense that Duo "knew" when it was time for me to practice something. And I do miss the option for personal communication, all though I am communicating with you right now. What I do like is that I am learning a lot more french than when I was keeping a completed tree gold. Now I'm no longer focused on getting the next lesson up a level. I'm just going through the tree lesson by lesson, (starting maybe three fifths of the way down) knowing that eventually if I do it every day they will "level up" but that's not the important thing. The important thing is that I am learning more french. And it's not the only thing I'm doing to learn french. Duo has inspired me to get a french language conversation partner, to watch french movies, travel to french speaking countries, even watch the Tour de France! So I don't feel like I have much to complain about. Bon chance CJ!

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BSMP-18

I have something to say about the streaks

They should not be seen as a demotivation if you loose them, but as a measure of how consistent you are or have been throughout a period of time. It also helps build a strong learning habit. For me at least it made me schedule a consistent time in which I do at least one lesson daily. And that is in the mornings. If later I can go back and do a few more good! At the end of the day, if I loose the streaks it only means I was too busy that day doing some other important things that I couldn't do my duo lesson, and that is fine. The driving force should be the desire to learn a language, and loosing streaks wont make you forget what you have learned. Start again.. that is the best part.

It would be nice though if duo gave a "longest streak" record feature where you could showcase your 5 longest streaks in your profile. That would be a nice touch.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/uni-cat

That's sad that you feel like you have to leave. I wish you good luck in your language learning elsewhere. Good bye for now! :)

<pre> -unicat </pre>
July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryAnne993219

I have to say good-bye to this thread and stop following. Too many glass-half empty comments.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GinTemosha

I think the streak could be an okay idea if there was also a visible tracker of overall days of use, not just consecutive. I actually plan to deliberately break my streak soon so I don't get anxious about it or end feeling devastated at the loss of a really high one.

If this site had anything good left to off you, I hope you will come back and just forget about the streak counter, boycott it like I intend to do by regularly letting it break. If you learned as much as it was going to give you and need to move on to new education sources, then good luck and congratulations on the new adventures.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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Hi CJ.dDennis,

are you going to just sign-out, deactivate your account or are you using the new Duolingo data tool to permanentely delete it?

Well, you could wait and see where staff is heading to with the next updates in the next 2,3 or 5 years.

I am almost sure - as an IT Java (JEE) backend developer - that the current version of the "crown update" and how tree updates are made won't be the only fixed solution in the feature (required SR enhancements).

I guess it's always nice if you can revert your previous decisions made based on old facts.
What you write today, might not be true anymore in ~3-5 years.

So if you want to have my advise:
Don't overreact and don't permanently delete your DL account :-)

Ich wünsche Dir alles Gute auf Deinem Weg!

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GedG150
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You can quit but that doesn't change the fact that Duolingo is the best language learning website at the moment. No other website (Babbel, Roseta stone, Memrise, etc.) allows you to make progress like Duolingo does.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/seacc3
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....and for free.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/xMira_
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Memrise is free, lingo deer is free... freeness doesn't necessarily mean anything.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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@xMira_

Quote: lingo deer is free.

You may have followed Lingodeer's Reddit discussions: https://www.reddit.com/r/Lingodeer

Lingodeer has switched to a payed service after level 1.

There used to be a cheaper "lifetime membership" for ~20$-32€ available (which sounded great), but a user has written now on Reddit that the app update only shows monthly/.../yearly subscriptions for him/her and those prices are already discounted for the first year.

I still do not have a suitable Android device, but it is sad to hear that Lingodeer's "lifetime subscription" accounts (for all languages) might be not offered anymore.

I do not really like this pay $$ per year language software offerings even with an auto refresh booking activated, like Lingvist (89€/year) also does it now.

It somehow feels to me like you are constantly throwing money out of the window instead of just paying for the usage of the software (e.g CD) once.

January 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/xMira_
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Umm... Lingodeer? Memrise is a big competitor, just not as popular. Yes, you're right about Duolingo being the most well known, but that doesn't mean it helps you learn languages any better.

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/bandwagon

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GedG150
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Lingodeer only allows you to learn Korean, Japanese, etc. I don't see how it can be better than Duolingo if you can't even learn the most popular languages (French, Spanish, German). As of Memrise it's too slow, lacks theory, community and sentence practice.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
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Not quite on the original topic, I took a look at Lingodeer and Lingvist, both of which are often recommended. Not too impressed, they don't have quite the depth of exercises that Duo has, although I like Lingvist's challenges. Haven't checked their web availability, I believe Lingodeer is only available as an app. However, the tools in ALL of the online sites I've looked at are very similar. (Fluencia, Clozemaster, etc.), so as I tell my ESL students, pick the one or two you like best. While a lot of the basic vocabulary will be the same, each one will approach grammar in a different order, and will have slightly different word lists.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/xMira_
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I don't see what everyone's problem is with me recommending it, tbh, lol. I was just saying it worked for me, I'm not a saleswoman. Not one part of that word is true about me lol. I mean other than the female part but I digress.

I was just saying that it worked better for me.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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@GedG150

Quote: Lingodeer only allows you to learn Korean, Japanese, Mandarin,...

Their website is not updated yet.

You need to check their Reddit, Facebook/Twitter channel announcements!

I don't see how it can be better than Duolingo if you can't even learn the most popular languages (French, Spanish, German).

Indeed you can.

They have been added as BETA courses: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27507235/LingoDeer-teaches-Portuguese-Spanish-French-and-German-for-English-speakers

Recent Android (and IOS) versions include all of them; I personally verified it on the Android platform for Portuguese.


However, there are compatibility graphic bugs with the Android emulator KOPlayer (Memrise, Duolingo, Lingvist, Mondly,... all working on it).

Another user wrote about the Bluestacks emulator (if I remember correctly) on Reddit and how LingoDeer behaves there.

As I have a quite limited computer system here:

I wrote to their support a really long e-mail about my emulator graphics (flickering and switching portrait<->landscape mode, quite longer load times, DirectX vs OpenGL rendering) problems on KOPLayer with the two last recent Lingodeer Android app versions, but in the reply they told me that they do only support offically real smartphones tablets and can not help me any further.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/xMira_
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Thank you so much for the hard work you put into your replies. :)

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SchonBaume

Duo's staff could do better, they have recently made ridiculous change, I am talking about the Crown feature, the old version of Duo used to be more handy, suppose a 10 lessions in a Skill, you simply could review what you have studied so far, if you have passed 4 lessions out of 10 lessions in a Skill, you easily could go over the previous lessions at will. but with the new crown thing , you have to just progress, how is it possible to get to the next lession when you are not fully learned the previous lessions. there is no option to repeat an individual lesson in a skill now, Duolingo forces you to do the next one instead. That's what we have lost. And that's what makes the learning harder for us.

Please remove this Crown feature and get back to the previous Duo. At least you could give users the chance to choose whether they want Crown feature

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Edmond40906
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Sorry to see you go. I just found the forums this month, basically. (Or more technically, I clicked the Discussion button for the first time just a few weeks ago.)

Before you go, I have one question I have been meaning to ask someone with many circle flags next to their name. Did you learn those languages? How well?

I just finished the level one Spanish tree, and I'm trying to gauge whether to stick with this app and level up, or move on to another site I have to pay for. Can I actually learn the Spanish language here?

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jimo54
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Great question (Can I actually learn the Spanish language here?), and one I've asked myself more than once, and not just about Duolingo. The TL;DR version: Sí, se puede.

Now for the somewhat longer version. I've been using DuoLingo for about four years off-and-on, mostly off. I originally started with German, because I wanted to brush up on and improve the language skills I acquired while living in Germany many years ago. That worked pretty well, I think. Later I added Spanish, which is where I spend all my time on Duolingo these days, as well as on some other sites and sources. For reasons I'll go into in a moment, learning Spanish suddenly became fairly important to me a couple of years ago.

For quite a while, though, I didn't make much progress despite dutifully dialing into Duolingo daily to do the 50 XP (madness, I know) I'd promised myself and Duolingo I'd dedicate to Spanish. After some months of this, at least partly due to work pressures, I stopped using Duolingo. Months went by. Then my wife and I went to Spain (again) late last year, and I spoke virtually no Spanish with anyone. It's deceptively easy to get by in English in Spain, if one is willing to restrict interactions to places and people that require only English.

Then one day during our trip we went to our bank to withdraw some funds. Miguel, the very friendly English-speaker who works at our bank, wasn't there. So, I asked the fellow who greeted us when we walked in whether he spoke English. "No," he said (in Spanish). There weren't many people in the bank that day, since it was the Christmas holidays, and we really needed to withdraw some funds to settle a debt to someone we do business with in Spain. So, I took a deep breath, dug deep into my memory banks and managed to get the idea across that we needed to withdraw some money, along with the amount. He evidently understood, because he quickly went to work. I even responded to a couple of his questions, including one about my NIE, and we soon walked out of the bank with the euros we needed. "Wow," I thought.

A few more months went by, and another sort of pressure started building. I really do need to learn Spanish, because my wife and I are planning to move to Spain late next year. And I still don't speak the language. Then, exactly 140 days ago, I made a decision. I'm going to learn Spanish, and Duolingo is my best bet for getting that done. And I realized that only through focused and energetic effort was this going to happen, if at all.

The first big milestone for me came at the 105-day mark. I'm a college lecturer by trade, and 105 days is equivalent to a 15-week semester. At that point, I made an assessment of my progress, and I was frankly amazed at what I'd been able to accomplish with a sustained effort over the course of 15 weeks by applying myself with about the same level of effort I'd expect from my (successful) students. (I actually made a post in the Spanish discussion forum on this topic.)

I recently made another assessment of my progress when we visited the Azores over the past two weeks. Spanish and Portuguese are obviously different languages, but I was amazed at my ability to understand a fair amount of (written) Portugese, thanks to its similarity to Spanish.

Next month, I'm heading back to Spain for a short, mostly business-related visit. I've signed up for a number of private lessons with the Cervantes Institute while I'm there. This will be the beginning of a new effort to capitalize on all the vocabulary and grammar I've learned on Duolingo to start building some fluency in speaking and listening.

So, long story short, it is definitely possible to learn Spanish on Duolingo, and other languages, as well. As lots of people point out, it probably shouldn't be the only tool one uses. I personally do frequent work with Spanish-language newspapers on line (El País and BBC Mundo), as well as TV shows and movies on YouTube and Netflix, on-line and print grammar tutorials and references, etc.

Is Duolingo perfect? Nope! Do I sometimes get frustrated with the automated grading? Most definitely! But I do my best not to get bogged down with this stuff, and I report "errors" (as I see them), and I do sometimes receive acknowledgements that the "errors" have been corrected. In fact, I received one this morning. And, as I assume you understand if you've read this far, I am personally getting a whole boatload of value in return for the effort I've expended over the past 140 days.

To bring this monster post to a conclusion, I think it's clear that Duolingo doesn't work for everyone. I also think it's quite clear that Duolingo gets that. And I'm personally quite grateful for that, because if they did try to please everyone I'm pretty sure Duolingo wouldn't be very useful for those who really want to learn languages.

I, for one, have been extremely pleased with all the changes that have been made over the past months, both in terms of content and approach. For me, it's definitely helped me to learn more Spanish than I first imagined would be possible.

Finally, to speak to one of C.J.'s original points, I guess I'd also be really bummed if I lost a long streak, especially if it was due to circumstances beyond my control. But then I have lost a number of streaks over the past four years, and each time I've managed to start a new one by simply dialing in and doing some more lessons.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EL5tEL
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Thanks for sharing your story. I learned French a year ago for an upcoming trip to France. I am sure that I could have gotten by with English, but there were a few situations that I was pleased that I understood some French.

Duolingo gave me the confidence that I could learn another language. I used other sources too - but if I hadn't believed I could do it, I would have quit.

I am frustrated when features that I liked are removed. But I stay because I am learning.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Edmond40906
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Thank you very much.

Like I said earlier, I JUST found this discussion site, since I have done ALL my language lessons on the iPhone, which does not have a discussion section.

I thought I could get some real advice from the original poster instead of a "avoid this site, it's bad game design" vibe he is pushing.

Some of us are here because we want to learn to speak Spanish and to speak Chinese and to speak French, and whatnot, but I don't want to pay money or spend a good amount of time until I can determine whether it or any website will work or not.

Making everything fun to use like a game is an admirable effort, but if we don't materially improve our foreign language skills at the end of the game, what's the point of this "game" in the first place?

CJDennis completed nine language courses in three years! I am hoping the man is now a polyglot to some degree. Since his knowledge is leaving this site, and ipso facto the discussion portion just now discovered, I thought it would be valuable to get a read on how fluent he is in those nine languages.

So thank you for your response. It's very valuable, possibly more valuable at this point, since I am concentrating on Spanish right now.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
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I'm fluent-ish in French, but due to practising with real people. My Dutch is so-so. I have a good introductory level in Spanish, Italian, Norwegian and German. Russian is harder because the Duolingo course doesn't focus on the genders. Hebrew is a bit easier because the genders are much more obvious. And Irish I know practically nothing despite spending the same effort as six other languages I know better.

  • French: tree completed
  • Dutch: 45/56 tiers completed
  • German: 30/58 tiers completed
  • Norwegian: 21/48 tiers completed
  • Italian: 14/38 tiers completed
  • Spanish: 44/63 tiers completed
  • Irish: 8/34 tiers completed
  • Hebrew: 6/39 tiers completed
  • Russian: 4/35 tiers completed
July 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/xMira_
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I mean, yes and no. Duolingo will help you get to a certain level, but not very far. It's a good jumping off point. There are also courses on apps like memrise or lingo deer (what I use right now, they have a beta spanish course)

There are also lots of other resources that you don't have to pay for. It really is up to you, at this point. :)

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sofia_Williams
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I really felt like you after the removals and I left Duolingo for some months in the school time, and I was thinking that I would never come back. However, after seeing people speaking more than 3 languages perfectly I felt embarrassed and I realized that I have a great chance to study more than 10 languages in a fully free site, then I immediately came back and changed my mind.

I am sure that after some months or maybe a year you'll come back :)

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Semeltin
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Vaguely related to your post because it's about the difference between the editors in the Norwegian and Dutch course (their attitude).

I hate the Dutch forums because they simply delete many comments. Whilst the Norwegian course is full of references and comments concerning those references are tolerated, these are deleted in the Dutch course. I, however, like to see those comments and they are usually more creative than "I see what you did there".
Not only that but they've also deleted grammar/meaning related questions I've asked.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Multi0Lingual4
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Honestly, be glad the forums are being cleaned at all.

Not that your complaint isn't valid, but I'd rather have a tightly-regulated forum than a whole bunch of nonsense. Hopefully there's a way to find a balance.

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/arcsec

My main complaint about Duolingo is that they seem focused on quantity rather than quality of courses. I see they are pushing out new language courses all the time, but once a course is released they don't give a crap about what happens to it. For instance, the English to Vietnamese course has been completely abandoned by maintainers for at least a year and a half, it is full of mistakes and mistranslations, but Duolingo staff don't care about all the users complaining and would rather pump out more low quality courses than find people who can make their existing courses better.

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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For French learners

"To those unfortunate souls who really need help with the French language": https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28119142

Adam also had great tips and linked a suggested resource list in his thread "Completed the French tree in 60 days" (1-3 years ago incl. several updates): https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/8215155

Yesterday I added some comments, quoted some statements and linked other threads especially in Adam's thread.

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

CJ.Dennis, I'm late to write a response since I was on vacation and missed your post. I just wanted you to know that I appreciated your thoughtful comments and interesting questions in the French sentence discussions. You will be missed, but of course you have to do what is best in your own language journey. I hope you do continue talking, reading, writing and listening in French. Best wishes to you in wherever your path leads you.

Bonne continuation !
Tex

August 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryAnne993219

Goodbye.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Chau12.

Goodbye

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RachelF12345
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Bye.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/wyattsyoung

The fact that such a thing as duolingo being free is amazing. I've bought Rosetta Stone before and it cost 300$ But I felt like I wasn't going anywhere with it after several months. I used duo for one month and felt like I had done Rosetta for a whole year. Stop complaining. People literally give their time and effort to provide a platform free of charge and yet here you are complaining about some bugs on an app that makes hardly any money.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Alpengluehen
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Nobody is complaining. It was just said that it isn't fitting any more. If you've never seen a whole apple and think half an apple is the most beautiful thing in the world you'll be happy with it. And you're right it's much more than nothing. I'am just sad seeing someone leaving that contributed so much, one who gave their time and effort to provide a platform free of charge by giving advise for free.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BroccoliMa

Pointing out flaws is how you improve a product.

Companies can only benefit by listening to the feedback on their customers' needs.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/yibemajam
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So true BroccoliMa. Without pointing out the flaws Duo may think everything they are doing is perfect. No human being is without flaws let alone a company! Duo please listen to your customers' feedback otherwise you will end up losing your customers and thereby your revenue.

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KoukMarios

Very well said.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryAnne993219

Well said.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/m1shootr

I agree. RS is a waste of tine & money.

July 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolinaViking

I fail to see the need for such public displays and exits. If you don’t like it, I get that. Just leave. Write them directly. Posting it here is really just for show.

You can practice any time you want, as much as you want. You aren’t being honest in the way you phrased that. Again, you can practice as much as you want on any form of DL. You’re simply not able to select a specific section, you’re going to get practice focused on where you need it.

I totally agree that DL tends to be very slow to make corrections. That’s something they need to work on. But they’re very transparent for the most part.

Now, something many don’t seem to get here is that DL isn’t meant to take you for years and years. It prepares you for other tools that will carry you deeper into your language journey. I don’t think it’s fwir to criticize it for that aspect when it isn’t designed to be the only tool used to get people speaking.

Enjoy your time away. There are many wonderful programs, apps, books, and other systems of language learning out there. Some of the very best require not only an investment of time but of significant money. Don’t let that demotivate you, there are some phenomenal tools out there.

Best of luck.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
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Agree. I've seen lots of changes to Duolingo (I've actually been using it for about 5 years, with a few vacation breaks where I lost a streak). Some good, some bad. Actual bugs - (Ie., program not working the way it was designed to) are few and far between, and usually attended to right away. Design problems take longer to fix, there are usually reasons for the design the way it is and it takes planning and programming and testing time to fix them - and your bug may be someone else's just perfect. As far as reports of problematic or missing translations - it very much depends on the course, which is developed by volunteers, as to how quickly the response comes. Welsh was amazing - usually 24 hours or less. Other courses take a lot more time - I recently got a lot of Guarani responses, for instance, after more than a year. That can be frustrating, but it's a function of who is developing the courses, not a fault of Duolingo staff.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Renee015
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So true.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DDeborha

Thank you for your sharing your honesty. Maybe they may listen.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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Hi Dennis,

Quote CJ.Dennis: I learnt so much from the forums because the course notes are still not available on the apps!

Probably you used the Android app (good for you, higher chance to go without health!).

I read about 2-3 threads about for the new English-Spanish course that several users now have on IOS several "tips and notes", which are clearly not available on the web portal!!

Sorry, I have not seen any screenshots.

So something looks to be going on in the background at the Duolingo US HQ :-)

I double checked my extended user profile for the EN-SP tree and the "has_explanations" and "explanation" (html coding) variables clearly are still quite limited on the Duolingo web portal to 13 (old) or 9 (new) "tips and notes" for this tree.

Might take a longer time until everyone gets it (A/B test, cross mobile platform rollouts) once code implemention is final...but there could be a little hope...

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/thesilent3327

YES!! This post represent my feeling for DuoLingo perfectly! I also hate that app version has different (removed) features that the website version has. That's why I changed to LingoDeer to learn Japanese. LingoDeer has everything, you can get detailed explanation about what you about to learn and it's completely free. But the minus is LingoDeer doesn't have discussions like DuoLingo has. But, I still have a faith in DuoLingo. I belief there will be major update in the near future to make this app great again.

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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@thesilent3327

Quote: I also hate that app version has different - removed - features that the website version has.

For the English-Spanish course it is now actually switched: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28102715

The IOS mobile app shows you more than you can get on the web portal for this particular (and updated) course :-)

Quote: But, I still have a faith in DuoLingo. I belief there will be major update in the near future to make this app great again.

Your dream comes true.

Official reply from staff/admins to the topic "mobile grammar tips and notes": https://www.duolingo.com/comment/28102715$from_email=comment&comment_id=28130912

Offizielle Rückmeldung von Staff/Admin zum Thema "Mobile Grammar Tips & Notes": https://www.duolingo.com/comment/28102715$from_email=comment&comment_id=28130912

LingoDeer has everything, you can get detailed explanation about what you about to learn

I also think that grammar/note popup panels, like Lingvist does it (incl. verb conjugation tables, tenses, etc.), directly within the lesson exercises would be a good additional thing.

I still enjoy all the available (web) "tips and notes" for my English-Portuguese tree.

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/thesilent3327

What a good news! :D

July 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tydogg10

I feel you

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jimo54
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Adiós. Auf Wiedersehen. Adeus. Bye-bye.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidKnight63
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I disagree with your opinions, but goodbye nonetheless

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SimonCoad
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There is a lot more positive here than negative. I have moved on tons in italian in the the last 3 months.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/xMira_
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Thank you so much, omg. I agree so much with this, especially the forum editors part. I've had some bad experiences with forum editors, who know who they are and no bad blood or anything and I have apologized because it did get out of hand but nonetheless it still happened and.. ah. anyways. I recently switched over to lingo deer, which has improved my language learning soooo much. I totally recommend. ;)

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GedG150
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I bet it did :)))))

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jimo54
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So, why are you still here?

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MasterZsword

Perhaps because Duolingo is still being used as a complement for her language learning studies? It's just a guess. She's recommending another site, but she never said she was abandoning Duolingo. "Switching over" could mean that Lingo deer may be more of an authoritative site to her than Duolingo now.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/xMira_
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And I find the forums rather helpful.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tommy-G-

"I learnt so much from the forums"

Learned. Just saying.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Deliciae
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I hope you're ready, because the Brits will eat you for tea.

(Both "learned" and "learnt" are correct, with the latter being more prevalent in BE than in AE.)

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tommy-G-

DL is just so educational. Grazie!

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Deliciae
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Di niente!

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Scutigera

That's the great thing about these forums. We do learn so much! Often about our native languages no less.

Time that you learnt something too! :)
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/usage/learnt-vs-learned

And here is a bonus one for you:
https://writingexplained.org/lighted-vs-lit-difference

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ruel-Stroud

Better to try out some alternatives ....

https://www.memrise.com https://www.lingodeer.com/ https://helloenglish.com

DUO

I was only joking calm down!

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/carbsrule
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I was hoping this was going to be a "I've done so many exercises in my languages that I no longer need Duolingo. I'm going to read some books, watch some movies, and have a bunch of conversations. Ciao!"

July 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/yibemajam
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@ CJ, thanks for your encouragement. I just wanted to update you and maybe encourage you to come back to Duo if possible. I found out today that Duo has restored my streak which shows that they are listening to complaints, even though it might take a while, for me about three weeks. Please try to report the loss of your streak and they will restore it if it was through no fault of yours as they have done mine. Anyway good luck with your language learning whatever you decide.

July 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/theDaye

A lot of the feature changes you dislike are due to Duolingo trying to monetize the app. I finally gave in and just paid and while I find it a bit expensive, it has the added motivation of me not wanting to have wasted $100 so I keep at my French daily.

January 4, 2019
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