Need help with motivation.

I have reached a point that I just don't care about Duolingo any more. It is not DL's fault at all. I have come too far into language learning to quit. I would like to keep my streak going.It is a way for me to gauge my commitment. What was once a pleasure is now a chore. Many outside factors have affected my performance and attitude. I have zero control over that. I just need some advice. Last time I felt this way, I played around with other languages. It was fun at first, but quickly became a frivolous waste of time. After many years in academia, I have a pretty good idea of what a waste of time means. This a plea for positive help from someone who has walked a day in my shoes. Thank you.

November 8, 2018


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Motivation is fleeting. If learning your language is useful to you, you will need to continue on with discipline alone.

However, if it is just a waste of time, just quit. Continuing on just because you've already spent a lot of time doing it is the sunken time fallacy.

November 8, 2018

Djedida, Thank you for your analysis. I Iive in Florida. The family that lives in my mother's home is Cuban . I think that it is important for us to communicate in Spanish as well as English.I love them very much.Research shows that by 2050, the majority of American citizens will be Hispanic . Understanding of the Spanish language will be essential for survival. Looking at your language learning , I read about a communicator that is on the track to success. I look forward to reading your future posts. Cat.

"majority of American citizens will be Hispanic" it does not prove that they will speak only Spanish or Spanish will be the main language in America.

True Dat! Language changes from moment to moment. The economy may find it easier to leave the standard American voice, English. It happened in the canning industry. It would have been too expensive to change all the canning factories to the metric system. Who know's? thanks for your response. Cat

RE metric - actually you only have to change the labels. For years NZ had stuff labelled 454g (ie 1 pound); next time they upgraded the factory it would come out at 500g.

Language learning gets more satisfying when you can detect some progress, and when that progress isn't too hard to achieve. I'd stop doing new lessons, and spend some time revising. Use your page to see which skills Duolingo's spaced repetition think you need to revise. Once you've got them all to gold, start using the Strengthen skills lessons to practise words from across the course that need to be revised. After a while you'll have filled in enough of the gaps in your knowledge that you'll notice some tangible progress, and hopefully your language learning will become more satisfying again.

Thank you, Hugh! VERY GOOD advise . Tangible is what I need right now, Thanks for the reminder. Cat

Hi Cat, I think I am experiencing that lull too. Have you read all the stories? Usually when I don't feel like tackling grammar the stories are a nice relaxing 'break'. Also, nothing wrong with taking a break from duolingo. You can feed your love of Spanish learning by listening to music, finding a great series (I recommend Extra and Español en Episodios, both on youtube), listening to podcasts or anything else you enjoy that doesn't feel like such a chore. I mix duolingo up with other apps too, because otherwise I get bored (my attention span is all of three seconds). I recommend BliuBliu, Readlang and Lingvist as some of my favourites that really improved my Spanish. I also take at least one day off a week from all of these since I think regular rest is just as important as commitment. Still, I agree with all the other comments, you are such a positive presence on this forums you would be missed if you went away for too long!

Set your goal to 10xp and just do basics one each day. I wanted to study without Duolingo for a while but maintain my streak, so that's what I did.

EmmaLou, I have done what you suggested. I am turning all of my three to fours. It just seems like time stands still. I am making careless errors. I took too long to return to a skill. My memory is failing me. I have many new chores and no energy to complete them.Since my highest goal is fluency in Spanish, I will keep it my focus. Thanks.

You can even make it 1XP.

Lemniscatarum, Thanks for the best advice. I never even considering going below ten. How simple! When my son signed me up for Duolingo, he set my daily goal to 50. It was a complement, but I changed it as soon as I found out it was possible. 1 xp! Yeah! Baby steps are better than no steps at all. Love, Cat

Aug, I speak your language!!! My advice is to do less lessons, and maybe just take a brake from duolingo. Take it from your mind, and think of other things. Take a vacation! When you get back to duolingo after a vacation, you will like it once more(not a promise, however...)

Thank you. Unfortunately, I just got back from a wonderful vacation. I used my vacation lingots. The outside uncontrollable factors are my big problem. I'll resume my yoga and visits to homebound friends. That is something I can control. thank you for caring. Love, Cat

Yes. You used streak freezes on your vacation? That's the point. Don't think about your streak, or duolingo for a bit.

Crazy, I did. I just want to get the passion back. I need to get in a hispanic environment. Thanks for listening. Cat

I don't use the streak for exactly that reason. I used to, and it made doing the lessons feel like an obligation, something I had to do every day or it meant I had failed in some way, and I got really anxious about it. I ignore the streak function now. My motivation has been very high since then, for about 6 months now. It's an internal motivation only. I want to learn French, not just because it's practical for me but also because I have an intense interest in the language and culture itself. I don't think I could ever commit myself to learning a language I really wasn't interested in learning, no matter how practical it might be. I also have made a rule for myself where I won't start any other trees until I've finished the two I'm doing now because it's too much for me to study more than two languages in depth at once. And since I eventually want to learn a Nordic language, it motivates me to work on the trees I have now, because the sooner I finish French and Italian, the sooner I can begin Swedish or Norwegian.

thank you Sens44, In the beginning the only reason I saved lingots were for ICU units, where electronic are not allowed. Then, I found that giving people lingots made them happy. That, in turn, made me happy.I appreciate that you took the time to respond. Cat

I would ask what you want to do with the languages you're learning. If you're studying just for the sake of studying, your lack of motivation is probably a healthy realization that you're not getting anything out of it that's useful to you. Some people learn a language because they want to have social contact with people from another culture. Others want to be able to read literature from a specific culture. Others want to travel. Do you have a goal like this, or would a goal like this be meaningful to you? If not, maybe your emotional self is telling you the truth and your time would be better spent doing something else.

lksaltern, Me llamo Cat. Mucho gusto! You are probably right. I cannot give up on Spanish. There are important people in my life that only speak Spanish. Physiological factors are affecting my memory. DL is an excellent gauge to understand the level of my short and long term memory. My goal is fluency in Spanish. Today is the anniversary of my DL experience.

El gusto es mío, Cat. A few years back, a friend sent me a scientific journal article about ways that had been shown to improve memory and brain function in elderly people. Towards the top of the list of helpful activities was studying a foreign language! So DL could be doing more than helping you monitor your memory; it could be helping to strengthen it. (I could try to hunt down the whole article, but it was in Danish--so maybe that wouldn't help.)

What other things are you doing to supplement your DL study of Spanish? I've found conversation with native speakers to be the most helpful. (You probably have plenty opportunity for that.) I also look for books in both print and audiobook form. I read the book first, looking up words I don't know. Then I listen to what I read again and again in the car to review it and practice my listening skills.


"ways that had been shown to improve memory and brain function in elderly people. Towards the top of the list of helpful activities was studying a foreign language" My understanding it is USING a foreign language rather than just studying it - but studying is a good start.

Of course, what is the fun in studying a language if you don't also use it? :)

In hindsight, I probably should have said "learning" instead of "studying"--which is much more restricted in meaning. Using a foreign language is probably the most effective way to learn it.

Judit, So true. My mom lived to be ninety -eight. She worked two crosswords a day, plus reading a complete novel.I excersize my brain with puzzles, literature, and language. I try to use the Spanish language as much as possible. Until a recent medical report, I was planning to join the peace corps. I have to make new plans. thanks for your resonse. Cat

Layne, I watch Spanish tv. I read everything I can, including cleansing product instructions. Right now , I am mainly homebound . Tomorrow , I will go see my second family. They are from Cuba. thank you for your response. Cat

Just count your blessings with two families! Two! And keep learning.

Linda7, Do you use any more learning apps? I think that I am going exploring when I am finished with turning my Spanish tree golden. I have heard a lot about Memrise. Mr. Heiss recommends it. I think I will be ready by Christmas . Your friend, Cat

Cat, Cat, Cat....really, I miss hearing from you. And I really hate to see that you feel your fire is burning low!

Do you know what matters, though? Your fulfillment. And if languages fulfill you, then you need to pursue them. A lot of people burn out on the Duolingo strategy or layout and think they have burnt out on languages. This is a sick idea! You pursue the language first, then choose Duolingo or any other program. Anything other than that is mislead...

So, if you need to just maintain your streak here for its own sake and shake up your learning methods a bit, do that. And it's what I highly recommend. I am mostly on Duolingo for the forum now. Once I lost my streak, I felt liberated and it gave me the freedom to explore and let go. I never quit anything....I just found other ways to feed my passion that were more motivating and exciting to me! So, watch movies in your target language, find music and learn the words...anything that gives you a new perspective on your goals and makes it light you up again.

You are in my thoughts and prayers...I hope that you will not let this decrease in motivation shake your pursuit of whatever you chase! <3 much love

Just take a break when you need it, the more you force yourself to do it when you don't feel like doing it, the more you'll lose motivation (vicious circle). Just dare to take a break when necessary, either completely quit for a bit or just do the very minimum (like one exercise / day = 10xp) for a while.

If for whatever reason you need a break - TAKE IT and don't worry about. Taking a break might set you back a little, but you'll also notice that with renewed energy you're often able to progress very quickly again.

Forcing yourself to do something when it comes to learning is a double negative: you learn a lot slower when not motivated and forget things faster. So if it almost grinds your progress to a halt, why not quit / do the bare minimum for a while? Wait till you have renewed energy and then be happy about how quickly you suddenly seem to be able to remember things again.

Thus maybe it's a break you need instead of motivation :)

After many years in academia, I have a pretty good idea of what a waste of time means.

Ssssst, I'm currently getting 2 pieces of paper, already more than frustrating enough xD. Traditional education and research institutions are in dire need of modernization, there's really no excuse for how dysfunctional they are in the 21st century. It's ironic how unscientific the core around which science is built is (they don't / barely question or improve themselves nor tolerate critique, not to mention the ***kissing/ego).

Elvper, Thanks for the response. I think that I am tired. Even though my husband and I went to the Smoky Mountains, my mind is not where it should be. My lessons are difficult. Reviewing the tree at crown levels three and four take a lot of time. I can't remember my vocabulary like I used to. In 2009, I was in a five car collision. I had to withdraw from nursing school, because I could not remember life saving information when called upon. Thank goodness that wore off. I was capable of caring for my mother until she was 98. Now ,my husband has stage four cancer. I think that these things affect my ability to retain information. I will not give up. I just need another suggestion besides take a break. HELP! Cat

Hopefully things will get better for you and that your husband pulls through it.

Sounds like you need a release for your stress. To have some extra energy to deal with things in general you could do something like drinking warm water or tea (warm is the key) + eat a banana first thing in the morning as breakfast, they kick start your digestive system and thus give you extra energy (gastrointestinal system function is reduced during sleep). Another thing you can try for energy is some HIIT training in the morning, which is short but intensive exercise (something which you can do in many different ways, depending on what you want or are able to do). Listening to a bit of whatever type of music relaxes you before doing Duolingo lessons could also help you to reset your mind a bit (e.g. traditional Chinese music). Lastly, something like breathing exercises can help, it increases the level of oxygen in your bloodstream and thus also in your brain to improve your thinking and memory while also working a bit relaxing: e.g. breath in quickly 2 times in rapid succession, quickly release less air than you took in and repeat at an interval of 2-3 seconds for the entire thing, until you can't take in any more air to do a full release (repeat the entire thing a few times) - it's also how some divers prepare for long dives as it increases the level of oxygen in their blood allowing them to stay under water for longer. Perhaps one of these things could aid a bit.

The situation might not really put you in a position where you'd want to go do / try some new things, but changing up a few things in general (changing variables) might also yield you some new good to alleviate some of the bad. Even if doesn't feel like a good moment, trying a few select or random new things could give you a little boost of overall motivation.

elvper, I can't do the banana thing - too much potassium for my poor kidneys. I'll come up with something - blueberries will probably do the trick. Your advice about water/beverage temperature is on point. Your body quickly absorbs the body temperature liquid. Otherwise, you have to wait for the cold/hot liquid to reach body temperature take effect. I learned that knowledge from Deepak Chopra years ago. Thank you for your time. It was not wasted. Your, friend, Cat

Hi Cat,

the only chance I see you basically would have on Duolingo is:
To set the goal coach to Basic 1XP on the web AND to make active usage of the "timed practice" (as it goes faster, is not that boring, you jump from one 50-75% skill to the other skill more quickly once the previous skill has regained its 100% strength value).

Please note: If you use the app or both, it will be overwritten with 10XP.

You can also keep your Spanish->English reverse tree going a bit...but I do understand very well that time or nerves for a regular 10XP lesson might not be there because of circumstances of life.

Duolingo uses much more typing (on the web) of FULL sentences vs. single words, so it takes more time!
Do you use the mobile tapping app? Obviously the missing Spanish sound for translations won't help here with your reverse tree; the web has different / better possibilites (Tampermonkey userscript).

I agree with you.
Dabbling into many other languages, if you want to only speak / practice Spanish is a waste of time:

  • When you do NEW lessons without reviews, you will quickly forget what you have learned before ("forgetting curve").

  • Especially if you have to constantly focus on "Overdueness" spaced repetitions:
    That is when you do not regularly review in time on the same/next day or 4h-12h hours (default Memrise SR intervals) later your learned NEW stuff.

  • I could not have learned Portuguese only with Duolingo without DAILY flashcard drills (that is more short-term repetitions than Duolingo does, typing in my target language where Duolingo only offers multiple-choice exercises or translations into English on a higer ratio)


Maybe it is time for you to try OTHER Spanish resources like:

  • Lingvist: (a bit more than ~5000 Spanish words are now there, 3000 are free, "fill the word into the blank"), the Spanish audio is superb and high quality

  • Clozemaster (single word typing like Lingvist):

  • Kwiziq:

  • AnkiSRS (flashcard Windows application, also available to sync with IOS (commercial) or Android (free, OpenSource) apps and 10-15k Spanish sentence "shared decks":
    Not every Anki card in a deck uses typing with cloze deletion.
    Normally you can self-rate your answers with multiple buttons.
    It will be much quicker to review words/sentences than having to type out single words (Memrise, Lingvist) or sentences (Duolingo).

Maybe you can catch those few seconds or 1-5 minutes per day for Duolingo which you may still have available....

When you just start a very quick review session, the trick works and you can get going for a bit longer (e.g 15-30 minutes, 45 minutes, etc.).

Be aware: "Timed practice" quite often does not work for my own PT-DE reverse tree (writing in Portuguese, for you in Spanish, as it is much more difficult than only writing in English).

Related threads:

Is something unclear? Feel free to ask!
Maybe I can try again to explain it a bit better in my 2nd non-native English language in more detail how I see or use it on my own.

Best regards / Viele Grüße

Thank you so much Mr. Heiss. I appreciate your time . Your friend, Cat

Streaks are illusions. They may get you turning up each day - but why? Why do you want to learn a language? There is your motivation. Do you want to travel? read stuff in the primary language? connect with friends or family? or do you enjoy the nuts and bolts of how a language is put together? Thinking about what got you here is what will get you through - because for most of us really learning a language is a hard slog.

Judit29...., How are you? I am fine. I want to learn Spanish out of respect . A Cuban Family lives in my mothers home. On Easter Sunday 2017, the neighbor from across the street approached me to inquire if they could move in to my mom's home. My Spanish was very rusty, but I heard the neighbor express that it was her dream to Iive in my mother's home. The home is very pretty. I do not want to need an interpreter. I want to communicate with understanding on my own - with a slog-a hard slog.. You have a contagious smile . Your new friend, Cat

I am sorry to say but Duolingo is by its own design will become obsolete to their users.

At some point in time you will have out grown the need for their service. And that should be okay! So far I would say that I have been learning Spanish for the last 6+ months. And I figure that the expected life at least for me using Duolingo is 12 to 18 months. Leaving me with at most a full year more.

Andrew, I think that DL is a firm foundation for language learning. At some point , DL will become obsolete usage. DL will continue to be an excellent reference and a spring board for anxious language learners. Cat

I agree with this. It is only good for those that continuously want to learn languages, but maybe not be exceptional in their languages. I hope those that want to be fluent in a language can recognize when they are done and move on.

If I do a third language it would be either Chinese or Japanese. As these are the next big business languages after English.

But I wouldn't start another language until I become fluent in Spanish.

And after that, I will be done no need for more than that! Well in my opinion at least.

Andrew, I have tried Chinese. Years ago, I went to Hong Kong with absolutely no knowledge of the Chinese language. Body language and money pulled me through. Although Chinese is a widely spoken language, I don't think that I can live long enough to learn all of the nuances. Everything is so different in China. During my last visit to Asia, I was made of Kryptonite. I know better now. Love, Cat

It must be more beautiful in person than what you see on TV. I have Asia on my bucket list of places to one day see.

The sad part is living in the United States there is many great places which I still would want to see first before heading to Asia.

Thanks for sharing.

Andrew, Do not take Asia off of your bucket list. My son has been there twice making documentaries. He said that the only necessary word to know is "noodle". That , and thank you. Manners go a long way in Asia~ so do american products. Make sure the label says Made in the USA. It is important. Everyone loves gifts. Remember that Asia is HUGE. The beauty outweighs the blight. Your new friend, Cat

Inside every chore resides elements of fun, Find and cherish them. Your streak is an illusion, while Your intelligence and ability to exercise your mind are real. Someday, when your friends become forgetful, or you're traveling in exotic lands, You will thank yourself.

Go for it!

SD, Very thoughtful! You have made me think of my other chores. I am doing a mountain of dishes , I pretend that I am a princess trapped by an evil stepmother. Imaginations make life much more enjoyable. Your new friend, Cat

Cat, I think I can help you:

Apply the language.

All of us here on Duolingo are learning some language. But what is the ultimate purpose? The purpose is to eventually be able to speak and understand a language, because...uh...

I have a suggestion for you. Try out BrainPOP Español, or a Spanish YouTuber. If you can understand these videos, you will be learning, and it will feel like less of a waste of time. Also, remember that language learning is good for your brain, so even if you never become bilingual or trilingual, your brain still might "live" longer.

This is also more fun than translating sentences.

If you'd like some humorous Spanish practice (as this is your highest language so I am assuming that's the one your practicing), try out the YouTube channel HolaSoyGerman.

By the way, is a real website, so you might want to edit in a space in your post ;)

Best wishes,


Gio, thank you. I appreciate you. Love, Cat

Hi Cat!! I totally know what you mean. I was going through this, but I think I'm now on the upswing because I have found more reasons to want to learn languages. Maybe take a break from Duo, and try listening to music in your target language, reading, writing, etc., but maybe just try to engage in it other than Duo. This might give you a breath of fresh air!

Don't worry though, I'm new to this but from what I've seen it happens with everyone! Best of luck!

Compso, Thanks for the comment. I am sure that I will turn myself around. Music will probably my best bet. Love, Cat

There seems to be many good comments to consider....something I do when German seems to be getting the best of me is to do one set of exercises to keep the streak going and then work on another language or two (not closely related at all). It took a couple of months, but I'm again working on German and looking forward to it each morning. Another strategy I've used is to work on a language that is more closely related to German, i.e. Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch to have an exposure to a Germanic language, but not necessarily German. For this approach, I can only work on one closely related language at a time. :) Best wishes, Chris(tine)

An additional thought: For a similar but new experience, the reverse tree as it presents new words and sentences. Also, it provides extra practice.

Thanks Buck, all advice is under consideration. I appreciate your time. Love, Cat

Yesterday I was so demotivated that I couldn’t even keep my streak going. I need some advice too.

I can give you some advice:) Try to think that it is a challenge that needs to be beat.

Remember why you started in the first place. Why you devoted yourself to learning a foreign language. Think of your goals that you had when you first started Duolingo and if you've already achieved them, make new ones! Sometimes when we're having trouble, it's best to go back to the basics. It's not much but I hope I can help you continue learning. Have some lingots to help you find your lost inspiration.

Your friend, Shake it's

shakeira, thank you for putting me back on track. new goals are what I need. Your Friend, Cat

Sometimes it's good to take a break particularly from Discussion where so many options are given to you. Rest a while and you'll know what you want and when to restart. (Sorry to give you yet another option).

Here's a bit of advice for you.


Seriously, thoughts create feelings and feelings result in action or inaction. Get back to basics and see what thoughts are driving your feelings. You already have the answers and your thoughts will lead you to them.

Seriously, emminent death. It is as basic as you get.Cat

My thoughts are with you. You had mentioned before you were facing some serious challenges in life.

I understand you are in Florida? If you are in Central Florida and see a red Honda van with a hand painted ensō on the front plate, wave...but make it quick. I'm heading to Vietnam from Orlando airport if no passenger tries to sneak in their comfort squirrel like last month...

Songve, Good luck on your journey. I hope that you will be able to communicate via internet. Don't do it if it is too expensive. Your memories will be forever. I am envious. You are on the way to a great adventure. Document as much as you can. Be careful. Have fun. Cat

I actually have this quite often, myself. Very recently I came close to quitting, even. Not just Duolingo, but the study of Russian. I just couldn't see any progress. I was so slow, I felt I was moving backwards, instead.

I don't really use Duolingo as a study tool; only as a directional tool. In other words: I go where my tree tells me to and focus on that until I understand the material. I use my streak solely for the purpose of keeping track of the days I've been working on my target language. My exp goal is on 1xp per day. ...and I spend about two to four hours per day everywhere else working on Russian.

And I still got demotivated. It's logical, of course. Russian is very far from just about any other language I have any background in. I'm also busy with Real Life (tm) and have multiple issues to conquer.

What got me back on track and enthusiastic was actually rather simple. I re-read a (bilingual) book far above my 'level' and didn't have to spell out what I was reading. I was actually reading! I had made progress, I just couldn't see it due to focussing on all these rules and all this vocabulary I was cramming.

I can't give you solid advice, as I'm not aware of your situation, nor know you as a person. I do hope, though, that my own experience sheds some light on your own. Don't give up, don't surrender. If you can't see progress, and even make mistakes in simple material ( I had this happen, too; just lack of focus ) it is not the end of your efforts. You're still picking up. You're still working on this language and you will achieve your goal.

...and try boots next time. Because 'These boots are made for walking, And that's just what they'll do. One of these days these boots? ...are gonna walk all over your target language!'

Hi Cat dear,

If you feel you lose motivation, take a break.
If you feel it your duty, or your chore, if it weighs down on you: Take a break.

Don't let Duolingo or anything else shackle you.

What I do is I take a break with learning languages, until I find my motivation again.

Cheerio, and most imprtantly


Hi Cat,

Quote Cat: I think that I am tired.
I have many new chores and no energy to complete them

Quote Elvper: To have some extra energy to deal with things in general

As there is no PN messaging system available:

Sometimes when I am stressed and need to draw new energy I go along with:

  • "Magnetic resonance therapy" (Magnetfeld Resonanztherapie)
  • "Bioresonance therapie" (Bioresonanz)
  • electroacupuncture (eap) (Elektroakupunktur)

No, they have nothing to do with "Chinese acupuncture" :-)


There is a fourth (complementary) therapy which I know of which is called "Ozone therapy / big blood wash / autologous blood treatment" (Ozontherapie / große Eigenbluttherapie).

Maybe you or your husband had a chance to check this if it may help or you are feeling good when used as an additionally procedure?

I am not sure if I really should be writing this publicly on a language forum.

If a moderator or staff member sees this comment, I would be glad for a little feedback if I may run into any problems if I leave this or I better should delete it again.


Cat, I wish you both all the best!

Mr. Heiss, You are very kind. Your responses mean a lot to me. There should be no problem with your advice. As you can see by many other responders, lack of motivation affects many people. The advice can be used by all. I believe that Duolingo wants the learners to stay .It also makes the forum more effective . If you chose to delete it, so be it. I am glad that I got to read it, before it disappeared. Have a beautiful weekend. From, Cat

Once upon a time, you posted that you would rather everyone use their true image as their profile picture. Close your eyes and imagine Granny Clampet. Now, you know what I really look like. I like the kitty better.

I'm sorry you are struggling, life tests us for sure. I think your time on DL has been far from wasted - the discussion you started here has given fellow learners a chance to share their experiences. You reached out, helped others and found support. Here is a lingot and an upward arrow.

LeanMise, Thank you for your response. I agree with you. My time is rarely wasted. This discussion served the purpose of comraderie. I recognize and respect many responders. The forum seemed to be the most logical place to start. It was nice to know that Rev. Mother and I were on the same page. The coincidence helped me to rally around for her sake, instead of mine. Lowering my daily goal to one xp was miraculous. I am not that much of a slacker. Thanks again for the positive advice. Your new friend, Cat

You're already level 25 and have a pretty good streak, I'm assuming you have almost every word memorized, what I think you need to start doing is going beyond duolingo, assuming you haven't already, cause DL alone won't get you to fluency no matter how much you use it, an excellent tool for sure, but definitely can't be your only resource, start practicing, start only watching tv shows in spanish with Spanish subtitles, find maybe a blog or youtube channel in Spanish that interests you, if there's any Latino-concentrated communities around you, go take a visit, make a few friends and conversate in Spanish with them, in my time with studying Farsi(Persian) I've felt the struggle many times, I thought it would be easy since when I learned spanish, I already had a really good foundation so reaching fluency was a piece of cake for me, I thought I was a natural, so when I started learning Persian, one I had absolutely no foundation in, and a language that is nowhere near as similar to English as Spanish is, I struggled, and gave up twice before really pushing for it until I reached a decent conversational level.

With every language I learn, I immerse myself ASAP, a problem many language learners have is putting that off 'til they're "ready," I'm saying this assuming once again that you haven't done that, this kinda turned into a rant but I wanna deliver my personal experience and advice to you, tell you what helped me

Basically, the most important thing I learned, don't let Duo be your ONLY resource, or one that you use 90% of the time or so, go beyond, go practice, you look at my level in Spanish and see that it's low, but that's because I stopped making Duolingo my main resource a long time ago, I became fluent by putting myself around my Spanish speaking family and doing almost everything on my computer in spanish

Thank you JHB, Everyone has been so kind with their advice and thoughtful words.Immersion is my goal. It is going to take a while. Until immersion is possible, I will keep up with my vocab and grammar. I am going to go listen to some Spanish music and clean my kitchen floor while pretending to be Cinderella. It helps. Your Friend, Cat.


Hi Jerry,

interesting feedback.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

I am definitely "guilty" and even after two years learning Portuguese I have not the best feeling that I am "ready" now for speaking or listening to TV shows or visiting local exchange tables on
Text chatting on might be a bit easier, but I have not continued it since last Nov/Dec.

Sadly to say, that my strategy concept set before summer 2018 - to focus on the really important advanced grammar skills and verb tense skills (incl. four Subjunctives) - has not worked out yet.

I think the EN-PT tree update in June 2018 put me back and pretty much crashed my I do not get back into it very well, dunno why.

Either I would need to focus much more on specific skills instead of simply PRACTICE (skill re-strengthen) sessions and/or I need to invest much more time (45-90 minutes at least) XP-wise to be able to level them up to L3-L5 lesson-by-lesson.

Currently I am not really in the mood to do this (no nerves) because of personal reasons.
Obviously buying a grammar book would not help me any further as offline tracking will be much more difficult.
I think that online tracking of progress really helps.

My reverse tree PT->DE to constantly practice Portuguese typing (on crowns L0-L2) is not going too well either...
......I do too less NEW lessons and I also do not re-strengthen ALL previous skills (even I try - but I can not catch up with words decay on a dialy basis).

And this course is really really tough for many NEW and complex Portuguese words when I try to translate the "not so easy" German words (I am a native speaker) incl. the "jumping Subjunctive"!!!

So no, I can not say that Duolingo is getting too boring at this time...but of course I have to agree with all your above highlighted points.

Quote: you look at my level in Spanish and see that it's low, but that's because I stopped making Duolingo my main resource a long time ago

Then you have probably not learned Spanish totally from scratch here on Duolingo, if you mean that level 11 actually means that you had completed your course before (golden owl).

I do think that you have used the intro placement test, checkpoint tests and skill tests-outs (completion, crown level L1).

Isn't "Duolingo dabbling" (learning the first easier skills) for other languages put you around ~level 10 before you completely "dive into" and you get "bomed" with more difficult grammar?

Your updated Spanish tree is now a mess of course:

Do you still have plans to continue / finish it or would this maybe be wasting your time when you have reached such a high Spanish fluently level?

Most people who start with a language from scratch easily reach language levels ~17/18 before they can complete their tree (golden owl, all skills on first crown level 1).

  • My EN->PT course took me ~1 year (69 skills, now it is 91 skills).
  • I had finished it at language level 16 with regular daily review practice to re-strenghten old skills (true for about the first half of my tree and a little bit over that mark)
  • and I levelled up to level 17 two days after receiving my "golden owl".

Many German learners need even ~1,5 years or longer.

Longer trees like Spanish (113 skill, 520 lessons) or Portuguese (91 skills), French tree V3 (95 skills) or V4 (119 skills), German,... might take a bit longer than only 9-12 months.

Crowns and skill level ups to at least L2-L3 or more might easily push you to the max language level 25 (speaking about XPs) without even be able to complete the tree and receive the golden owl!

My 2cents

Best regards / Viele Grüße

Maybe you should try to find different ways to study

If you dont care about DL, but still about the language, put DL aside for a while. Just replace your daily core with listening to Spanish music, watching Spanish movies..Spanish radio...anything to do with the language you want to learn. For myself I listen to Czech pop music a lot, have a link to the Czech news on television, throw my Czech to anyone who wants to hear, see my Czech is improving while conversing with my Czech teacher. For me watching, talking or listening Czech can replace a day of DL without feeling bad or wanting to give it up.

I love Daffy Duck! Sometimes, I think I am Daffy Duck. Thanks for the smile. From, Cat

have you tried duolingo stories?

Why are you learning the language? Just to have an advantage at work? To learn about a culture? To travel?

Why you want to learn may change what you need to motivate you. If you want to do better at work, go an entire day, recording what you say at work, and see if you can translate everything discussed on the job. If you want to learn about the culture, take a break. Go to a museum, cook meals from that culture, find a social club, watch some classic films from that culture. If you want to travel, start looking into a trip to a place with that language. You may not be able to go, but you can start dreaming about it, and save later.

First, why don't you decrease your time spent on Duolingo per day? Only do it for 5 mins for now. And set your daily xp goal to 1xp. Also, rotate through your different languages. You may want to do a lesson in Spanish and then come back later and do another lesson in another language. (I see 8 other flags besides Spanish next to your profile. I don't think you'll have an issue of having not enough languages to rotate through :)

Maybe you may want to try the Duolingo stories? Best wishes!

SbC, Thank you for summarizing the thoughts of the of contributors. BTW, the other language flags you saw were a waste of my time. it looks like you have played around in the language department also. I appreciate the advice offered. Cat

SBC, First, Thank you for your response. The 1 xp alternative as a daily goal certainly relieved all pressure. Second, why High Valerian? The language is only relevant to Game of Thrones. I tried it. It was meaningless to me. Subtitles suffice it for me.

I do like the stories!

@Cat, I only am doing HV becuae I just wanted to try it out. I'm not planning on becoming fluent on going above level. 2 Some people I've seen have gotten up to level 8 in HV. Persoanlly, I just think it is a waste of time learning that 'language'. But others may have different opinion. Anyway, I hope you still keep on Duolingo! I love your positivity and enthusiasm! (not to mention your kindness)! :) Best regards

SbC, HV was just an experiment for me, too. It was as difficult as Esperanto. Constructed languages do not flow for me. In Spanish, I have a feeling when I am doing right. Real languages serve as a real purpose. They are not purposefully confusing. The confusion occurs when I try to apply English construction to another language. I honestly don't like it when Americans use language as a code or means of superior knowledge. To me, language is so that humans can understand each other rather than trick them. There is an old story where a son was punished for disrespect towards his father by causing the son and all of his issue to confuse language. I learned the story a long time ago, but it stuck. Have a nice weekend! Sunday are my favorite. From, Cat


Quote: Only do it for 5 mins for now. And set your daily xp goal to 1xp. Also, rotate through your different languages. You may want to do a (review) lesson in Spanish and then

I totally agree:$comment_id=29581711

come back later and do another lesson in ANOTHER language

This will probably stress her even more as Cat might have already forgotten what she had learned in the other languages before, when several days or weeks have passed by (longer breaks); reviewing therefore will be (much) harder.

  • She would have to force a normal 10XP lesson in ANOTHER language for review or learn new stuff...which makes the lesson not a really quick one.

  • "Timed practice" (with staff's tweaked code) got IMHO too hard if you do not do it regularly and you have already made good ground like she has with Spanish.

I would just 100% focus on Spanish for's easier to collect 3-6XP+ there...preferebly in the EN-SP course (higher translations from Spanish into English which is easier).

Viele Grüße

Mr Heiss, Thank you for your defense . Your advice is always top notch. I am grateful. From, Cat

@Thomas.Heiss it may or may not stress her out. It entirely depends on her and what she feels like. She doesn't have to take my advice or she may take it and it works out for her. I do this myself and I find it super efficient, more fun and I learn a lot more. Also, I was scrolling through your comment, up above and I noticed you mentioned you could explain in your "2nd non-native language." If you don't think it is too personal, what is your native language and what does "Viele Grüße" translate to and from? Thanks and best wishes!

I am doing 10 minutes a day but that is not the problem.

perhaps you need to switch up your routine with Duolingo, have you done all the stories yet? & how about reviewing what you have already learned? & try some you tube videos or listen to some music in your target language, either way you should be very proud of all your accomplishments, we are all here for you!

Justkat, I am taking everyone's advice seriously. Since it is the weekend, I am going to start with music. Thank you. Just Cat.

I've been using Duolingo for around a year now and I also found it kind of a waste of time. It's more of a hobby to me.

Thank you,Lone Wol! Misery does love company. Hobbies love company, too. What I need is a new hobby! Duolingo is a necessity for me. You have given me something to think about, while I prepare for my son's visit home. A new hobby or the resurgence of an old one~whatever. I want him to be proud of his mom instead of sorry for her.Your friend, Cat

Motivation is really within you.. That's my problem too.. i always ask for motivation (watching videos, reading and listening about motivating in learning foreign language) some really helps but it did not maintain my motivation. Until i just said to myself that i really really want to learn! i want to become a translator, or i want to read manga want to watch series that i love without subtitles.. i just do it! you just need to do it.. there's no other way to motivate yourself but asking what your reason on why you learn that language. what is your goal? (ask yourself always) and make your study a fun learning.. (so you will not get bored) search on what method is best for you to learn.

As with many things in life, there are plateaus. You may be on one. Keep on keeping on the inspiration wi show itself again.

Apparently on one level you don't think it is a waste of time. I think you may benefit from friending someone on the platform and making it a point to keep ahead of this friend in weekly xp. You may want more than one friend as it doesn't work as well if you get stomped every week.

Thank you Linda, I have someone in mind. Perhaps , we can use each other as motivation. your new friend, Cat

Something similar has just happened to me. I became ill in August and had to rely a few times on my streak protection. Mostly I wanted to do Duo but was too fatigued. Now my husband is very ill and I have little time. what I have done is to temporarily reduce my goal to 10XP per day. This is fairly easily accomplished, and often I do more, but when I only do the basic at least I have done my goal. Do you think this would help you until your motivation returned. You would still be learning but at a slower and less demanding pace.

Hi Cat, I feel the same way. I have stopped going on Duolingo, recently and I lost my streak. I would really, really, really recommend not losing your streak, because after I lost it I stopped going on Duolingo for a long(ish) time. But MOTIVATION:

  1. Add a new language!

  2. Go on different courses as well. Just to make sure you're 110% okay with the lessons you've covered.

  3. Talk to a native of the language you're learning (Irish hinthint ;)) I found when I spoke (in very broken Korean) to a native it inspired me to become fluent.

  4. Take a break (streak freeze or only 1 xp a day) and come back stronger.

Love: Mia xxxxxxx

you just need to motivate your self.

Have you found your motivation yet?

I have not been doing this for very long but it is fun!

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