https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

Duolingo's ironic atmosphere

how many people here have found duolingos atmosphere to be a bit stifling and ironic? let me elaborate.

for example, if you debate over the pros and cons of "the XP system" or "the new GUI" or "lingot systems" or just whatever latest superficial thing, that will warrant you some upvotes.

in contrast, if you try and discuss the genuine effectiveness of the program, well. its boring and unrealistic, that will warrant you some downvotes.

furthermore, if you talk about the things you like, how good duolingo has been, your appreciation to the contributors, and so on, that warrants you some upvotes

but if you talk about things you dont like, shortcomings in the program, or dissatisfaction with the quality of a courses content, well, thats just angry criticism and warrants some downvotes

or if you talk about how fun and easy it is to learn a language, how you can learn through immersion and duolingo practice, how exiting it is to converse in different languages, how its a lifelong process and adventure, that will warrant you some upvotes.

however, if you tell of the hardship aspects of it, the hours apon hours of independent study, how it expands far beyond duolingo and requires a lot of practice that will feel debilitating at times, if you speak of the challenges, headaches, time, and effort that comes before the rewards, or speak frankly of timeframes and methods to achieve such things; well, people dont like to hear that it can be hard and boring, that warrants you downvotes.

so there it is. i would like to say i do appreciate the concept of this place, as an educational resource, and i do appreciate this community for being as civil and decent as it is, and am grateful for the value in both of these things, i also would like to remind everyone what duolingo is: duolingo is a host interface to a wealth of educational content provided by volunteers, duolingo serves as an introduction and a form of practice to various languages, and by this nature, duolingo is one of the largest communities of people who have yet to achieve high degree of proficiency in their target language in the world.

okay. now with all that said i want to finish with my offering of criticism:
while portraying language learning as fun and quick and easy certainly is appealing, there is no way around the fact it can be hard and boring and take a long time. and while having access to this vast educational resource that was graciously compiled by volunteers for free is a great service to mankind, there are a lot of shortcomings in the program we want to see addressed. and lastly i want to remind people that the GUI, the XP, the lingots, the streaks, all of that stuff; its a superficial pictureframe that encompasses the educational content here, but isnt actually in and of itself educational content.
i want to see more positive feedback to negative criticisms, because the program and community could do better for the sake of education.

March 11, 2019

88 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CloisteredSavant

You have a good attitude, and an interesting concept of a run-on sentence.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

i guess i got what i was asking for with the negative criticism remark.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
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This, honestly. I was very much expecting a comment pointing out your writing style rather than what you actually wrote.

nəvighsəqaat aat

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Yes, when I first found DL I thought it would be a community interested in learning and discussing language - and although there are many discussions like that, they seem swamped by those chasing lingots or XP or creating cliques. Sometimes I feel like I have walked into a bad teen movie where the prom queen holds court.

But I hang in and try and help new learners - while also picking the brains of those with more experience. If I help one new student or learn one idiomatic use of a word it is worth the frustration of watching people obsess over things that don't matter.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

i pretty much stick around to lend answers to people with inquiries about korean grammar, and can relate to this sentiment very much so.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Bad teen movie?

You mean Zombie Apocalypse Movie... correct?

The undead hordes lurching around.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Nanase-Miyuki

I'll give my opinion on Duo's forums.

I feel like most of the posts here in the forums are about streaks, XP, lingots, spam, and adding language requests without referring to lrtward's link than about providing tips and resources for helping us learn a language or give honest opinions about our learning experience, the platform and management. I made an honest opinion about the quality of the Japanese course here and questioned the prioritization of fictional languages or lesser known languages over languages in high demand that have been in development for too long (ex. Arabic for English speakers) or have yet to be added, and people don't like what I say and called me out or down vote. When I tell people of minor changes like separating a tree into parts and showing all courses you are taking in your profile regardless of what language you speak which in my opinion improves organization and gives a clear outlook, I get down votes. People here down vote many good posts or comments and is misused at times.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

perfect example instances of the phenomena i described. thx for sharing.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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That is pretty much most forums. It is because if the bike shed is the wrong colour it will result in the nuclear power plant exploding... so we must get that bike shed the correct colour (True story: Perl6's official mascot is a bike shed that is the exact wrong colour).

As per why fictional languages like Klingon get courses before Arabic... it is mostly just because Klingon is a conlanguage for what essentially is Yellow Face and Hispanic Stereotype characters in a silly show that only worked to not be as silly about twenty years into its run time. Yes... modern day Klingon depictions are less of the "attempt to get away with racist depictions" that they started off as... but still...

There is a difference in effort to teach Arabic an IRL language with millions of years of history and having a course to teach Klingon, a language that is essentially OVS Esperanto, but with a syllable library based upon scary noises and far too much z,g,x,k--the scary alien language consonant noises.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/danielloperena
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Yeah I've seen this, it sometimes feels weird and a cult-like behavior the whole upvote and downvote attitude and makes me feel scared, I guess people like to be kept motivated, but also I think is harsh sometimes to show that much discouragement to different ideas with the downvotes they do.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

the voting system certainly does promote a "pander or be steamrolled" mentality and yields some bogus results, doesnt it?

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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The upvote/downvote system seems to have made the notion of "❤❤❤❤ posting" (that is the technical term) worse... but prior to forums having upvote/downvote systems, the issue with ❤❤❤❤ posting was... well just as bad, but it appeared in a different form.

Essentially, the mechanism was a solution to a problem that was not properly understood--but darn it, that is not going to stop us from trying to fix it.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
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I know exactly what you were trying to say. Dumb filter, tbh.

Anyways, I know because I was once part of a community where it was the norm. (I've censored the word for forum's sake, but it is viewable, unlike what you wrote.)

Strangely, that place didn't have an upvote/downvote system. Instead, threads at the front page were sorted by those that had the newest activity. So if a thread from 3 years ago received a reply, it'd jump to the front page. This was called "necrobumping." I guess this practice helped contribute to the excessive amount of that.

nəvighsəqaat aat

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Oh yeah, I was one of the people pointing out that Karma systems were meaningless awful and terrible and did not do the job they were being expected to do.

Then people just accused me of saying that because I had an average karma rating, and I wasn't able to get more karma.

Nobody even calls it karma anymore.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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You're right. I am rather disappointed with this community too.

It is in some ways better than it used to be. You don't get downvotes for telling people real tips on activities and progress after Duolingo, while watching stupid advice like "just speak and speak" or "just do the reverse tree and keep practicing here forever" get tons of upvotes. At least not as much as in the past. :-D

But right now, the community has shown as very hostile. What disappoints me more than DL itself discouraging the faster learners are many of the users themselves, usually from the no testing out camp. They claim to wish everyone to learn well, but they envy tons of Xp points to the faster users. Not just the cheaters restarting their tree over and over, that would be understandable frustration over the unfairness. But there are really horrible thoughts floating around, about previous experience being an unfair advantage, about a faster learners definitely not learning well and just cramming, and so on. Instead of cherishing the diversity in approaches and learning from each other, a part of the people around here went to the "you either learn like me or you're doing it wrong" mode. And they cannot stand someone is better at language learning than them, that is very sad and immature.

And the funniest are the people bragging how they are after true learning and not some stupid imaginary xp points. They are on a website dedicated to gamification of langauge learning, that is the only advantage. If they didn't care about the points at all, they would be working hard with a coursebook instead. :-)

Some learners also don't make a difference between language learning and Duolingo. Duolingo is a tool, not a synonyme for it. They interpret any criticism of Duolingo as frustration with language learning. It gets really absurd, when an experienced learner complains about DL being too easy and test outs making it bearable, and some ignorant answers like "don't give up on learning, do the hard work in the lessons and you'll get the xp too, and lots of knowledge".

Really, what I've seen in this community recently, after a longer break away from Duo, is one of the things making me consider leaving for good. Do I really want to be part of this community? And do I really want to use a tool that incites this in its users?

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

that brings up an interesting question. why do people give even a shred of interest to the xp or whatever? i guess im level 25 but duolingo was nothing more than basic vocab, typing practice, and light listening practice to me. to put it in perspective, my hours of independent study dwarfs my time spent on practice here by a wide margin, and theres STILL a very long way to go before i can get certified in korean.

its as if these ppl are fighting over the flag someone put at the tip of a mountain, the mountain being the real-world language.

but anyways its not like theres any shame in using an educational asset to learn, just like theres not any shame in dumping it once you have graduated from the content either. thanks for reading.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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For me as a learner: it is just one of the pieces of gamification and artificial goals that helps in the times of low motivation. Gamification is one of the main purposes of Duolingo, but it needs to serve a purpose and promote learning. I am not sure Duolingo staff themselves are sure about what are the goals in this game and whether they are well designed anymore. That's why people still care about the level and not just about the crowns.

For me as an experienced learner just reviewing: this small picture by the name is unfortunately taken for something it is not and without it, it often doesn't even matter to give advice to someone asking for it, in the spirit of learning in a community. There is no proof of my real life level on this site, and people automatically assume that the person with level 25 must be better than someone at a lower level.

This is something I hadn't realised myself, it was brought up by another user in the main thread about the xp. But it is true. If you don't have the level 25 badge, people don't believe you. And this will be much more common from now on, as exactly the more advanced learners will most probably still wish to test out (or leave Duolingo behind) and may not reach level 25 even at the end of the tree.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sophiafilm
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But it is true. If you don't have the level 25 badge, people don't believe you.

It's not absolute truth. Many users look at the answer's quality, rather than a level badge. I don't care about user's level at all. It's always clear from the answer does a user know what he is talking about or not.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

im sure you probably already know our very own "wintertriangles" is better than me, and hes lvl 14.
thank goodness for him, too.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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It's not absolute truth, sure. But it is noticeable enough. The user writing about it in the looong thread had experience from trying to be active in the sentence focused threads and helpful, and really was discouraged.

You are right it is not absolute truth, but it is a part of the culture in this community.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Some people are ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤. The only real solution is to point out the ridiculousness of what they are using to be a total douche bag.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Yes, only a few days ago someone was slamming me for only being level 18 in Hungarian and having a short streak. While in the "real" world I have been working towards C1 for a couple of years having passed B2 before even starting DL for recreation. And at the other end someone may have hit level 25 by sheer grunt and have no idea how their language works.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

that really is unfortunate. there isnt always an abundance of other people that have learned the same language around to so much as explain some grammar, or lend study advice, or even point to supplemental educational material.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Seriously? I've not run into your advice on Hungarian... but the only issues I've had with your posts is that you have a different learning style than me. And... why how dare you have a learning style, all must conform to my style! xD

That... and sometimes if I am in a bit of a sour mood I am inclined to misinterpret some of your stuff as being emotionally deaf. Not even rude or anything just somewhat tone deaf... and I have to be somewhat annoyed already to even misinterpret it like that.

Other than that... your advice is usually fairly okay. I've not really seen anything that would have me being all, "well, she is terrible! BURN THE WITCH"... or anything close to that.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

I am inclined to misinterpret some of your stuff as being emotionally deaf

I'm wondering if this is cultural. As a Kiwi engineer I'm considered to be too emotional. And I admit I have difficulty with some of the out pouring of emotion I sometimes see online - I mean who thinks that? let alone says it out loud?

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

yes, that highlights one of the ironies i mentioned before, that because duolingo is made for beginners, it stands to reason almost everyone here is just a beginner; and those who are knowledgable and stick around (for whatever reason) are likely not going to be high lvl or active in discussions.

im not really trying to hide the fact im not certified behind this lvl25, and for all you know i could have just done the basic levels in timed practice a lot, or some such thing anyways.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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The problem is lack of such practice toys for the intermediate learners. At that level, you have the serious resources, which are still less numerous than the beginner ones, especially for some languages, you start with some media.

But there is almost nothing for lazy gamified review. That's why many more or less rusty intermediates stick around.

It is changing though, some new services are emerging and offering better service to the intermediates. But it is a slow process, and not happening at an equal pace in the various languages.

But my guess is, that the combination of new products on the market and Duolingo's more and more pronounced dislike for the faster learners will eventually lead to homogenisation of the userbase here.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

well said, but ive not personally seen any sort of improvements or changes in my time here.
not even the infamous "general practice wastes my time because it makes me re-do beginner lessons" issue has been addressed whatsoever.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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I've seen some improvements in a few of the courses I am on.

Usually a course gets a new Language Tree once a year.

Korean has not gotten to the next part of its release cycle to get one.

Yes... the Language tree updates have a release cycle... it isn't even hard to notice... and it is about a year for each tree.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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McPwny: there have been many changes over the years. Some to the better, some to the worse. Always unexpected, rarely explained, and usually accompanied by the chaos of A/B testing.

As you asked about the more advanced learners still being here. One of the reasons is simply the connection created over the years, and some hope DL would improve and widen the spectrum of learners they focus on. That was logical to expect years ago. But it hasn't happened.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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I mean... my levels in Korean, Japanese and Hindi are pretty much me practicing learning the writing systems.

And they would be higher, but I decided to take a rest from that.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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If somebody has issues believing that you can have abilities outside of the number by your flag.

Point out that Duo Lingo has a trademark on speaking languages--and if you ever see a website outside of Duo Lingo communicating in a language, alert the staff so they can send a DCMA strike down notice.

Darn other places to make use of languages are interfering with Duo Lingo's intellectual properties!

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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For me... the xp, flag levels and what not are mostly just something to keep the material amusing enough to help lube me continuing to go.

It makes me giggle and laugh, and I can go on a bit more.

Beyond using it as a tool to help you feel better about your own silly nonsense--you can just disregard it.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MorganVar60
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Even if Duo didn't have the fun gamification features (which are nice), it WOULD still have instant feedback and correction whenever you get something wrong, which is very important and reassuring. No need to imply that people are lying if they use Duo and don't care about points. That's kind of hostile, yeah?

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Even if Duo didn't have the fun gamification features (which are nice), it WOULD still have instant feedback and correction whenever you get something wrong

Exactly. A big plus. And, often, when you get it wrong people who can discuss the pros and cons of your translation with DLs. And occasionally little gems of grammar or usage.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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And also sometimes people will accidentally say something profound and not even notice it.

They'll be like, "so last Tuesday morning I was eating a chocolate bar--and then I noticed that village I was wanting to raid"

And then you would be all "Did you just say Chocolate?"

Except... less of a scenario that combines a Raul Julia meme with a Spongebob Meme... and more of a constructive learning experience.

Yes... I am saying Spongebob Memes are not constructive memes. Rual Julia movies on the other hand... well The Street Fighter movie is a crime scene, and forensics can tell us a lot.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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Coursebooks have a key to exercises (if a particular one doesn't, I don't recommend buying it). And a lot more information on the grammar and usage. For feedback (including feedback on short texts rather than single sentences), there are other free services online.

Really, I don't get what is seen as offensive about pointing out gamification is absolutely key to Duolingo. If done right, it is very good and we've seen the positive effects ourselves. The only problem is the recent chaos, due to combining too many gamification mechanisms together in a weird manner, and an absoutely unprofessional attitude of Duolingo towards the users as far as communication goes.

The fact that Duolingo is a sum of the content and gamification is not supposed to offend anyone. It just means that both parts need attention from the staff, and that the users shouldn't underestimate either of them and claim it to be unimportant. If the content is unimportant, go play candy crush instead. If the gamification is unimportant, there are better learning resources.

Yes, I definitely agree the community has its positives, the sentence focused threads are definitely a good thing, even thought the quality of discussion sometimes varies. But the community overall has a few problems, as we've seen since the introduction of the Leagues. And if the faster and more experienced learners start leaving Duolingo more then before, those threads about sentences will be much poorer.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/sea-mist

"If the content is unimportant, go play candy crush instead. If the gamification is unimportant, there are better learning resources."

Mereade .. What you said in your post interested me as I'm unaware of better FREE learning resources than here for the German. Would you mind telling me what these are so I can check them out if I do not already use them. (I do use several other things but I find Duolingo to be the best language program so far)

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Do... do you play any long running games?

You have a game with releases and updates every year... and they kind of become a jumbled mish mash of gaming concepts that are just a mess together.

Think runescape... and possibly with the help of Duome.eu... maybe soon the Elder Scrolls game. One day... DuoLingo might have its own forum on Lovers Lab for mods to install... one day.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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You're right. That's why there are so popular unofficial World of Warcraft servers with old versions of the game, that Blizzard decided to release their own old version server. And people are paying for it, excited to play the game "before it was dumbed down for the casuals" :-D

I may have just have had wrong expectations about the direction of this game.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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I am not implying people are lying, just not realising the irony of some of the more preaching messages.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MorganVar60
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There is no preaching in saying, "I don't care about the experience points; I'm here to learn the language." Maybe they just don't care about the experience points and want to learn the language. You are the one saying that we should respect different ways of learning. So if somebody doesn't care about XP, and the change doesn't affect them at all, then maybe they have the right to say so.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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The same thing can be worded in various manners.

Some probably mean it like you describe.

But it is pretty obvious some of those posts have the main purpose to tell everyone "praise me for being such an adult not caring about games, and you others are worse than me".

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MorganVar60
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Maybe some people do mean it that way. But there also exist people with delicate feelings who take any difference of opinion as a personal attack. If you are worried about the tone of the conversation on Duolingo, maybe it would be better to call individual rude people on their rudeness than to make broad criticisms of posters with certain opinions. I don't see that improving matters at all. If people have a right to complain about the new system, then people also have the right to defend it, and to say why.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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reply to MorganVar60's post bellow: no, the problem is not me misinterpreting the posts. this is not the case. That sort of weirdly patronising attitude is simply there. And it doesn't make sense in a community like Duolingo. It is also a rather new thing, I'd say, one of the reactions to the recent changes.

This whole thread is about the trends and more general observations of how we act as a community, not primarily about calling individuals out.

I totally agree people can defend or criticise the system as much as they want. But most of the "argumentation" strategies of the pro change users basically boil down to dislike for other learners being better at the game than them, and also disrespectful attitudes towards others like in this thread: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/31191043

That thread is a great example of trying to appear extremely virtuous and insinuating that the not content people are actually just spoilt brats about to leave language learning they are failing at without the points, so basically the opposite of the reality.

Attitudes like this were simply not common at all before the Leagues.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MorganVar60
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reply to Mereade's post; I'm sorry, I just read through that whole thread. It was a sensible, frank, polite discussion of the pros and cons of the new system. You're comments about the poster's "patronizing" attitude are literally the only thing that came across nasty and inappropriate.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Okay... you say you do not care... but mentioning it kind of makes it seem like you do...

But then, we are all required to click on every thread and read and reply... and it is not even possible to not go to the forums. You are required to review all posts before you can even leave your domicile. There is that mechanical firing device pointed at you and EVERYTHING

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MorganVar60
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Firstly, I never said I didn't care about points. I like points. The point caps for testing out don't happen to bother me at this particular point in my Duo career, but I didn't say that.

What I DID say was that if people like the point caps, for whatever reason, and argue in favor of the point caps, that does not mean that they have evil motives or are trying to put other people down. That's it. That's all I said.

This thread is about the atmosphere on Duo, and that was what my comment was about.

However, you seem to be arguing -- in a nasty and sarcastic way, I might add -- that if people don't mind the new point cap system they have no right to say so in the forums? That kind of attitude is what is hostile and counterproductive, not arguing for or against point caps per se.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ampharos64

'If they didn't care about the points at all, they would be working hard with a coursebook instead. :-)'

I agree with your main point about faster learners, but I wouldn't, because it simply doesn't work as well as spaced repetition. Now I'm done with Duo's tree, I'm using Anki more, which doesn't give out points. For language learning, I'd never recommend anyone pore over a textbook for ages unless they were blessed with a truly photographic memory, honestly.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

I'd never recommend anyone pore over a textbook for ages unless they were blessed with a truly photographic memory, honestly.

If you mean just staring at it - possibly. But reading text (in your TL), answering questions (with both questions and answers in your TL), grammar exercises that test concepts discussed, meeting a few idioms in each exercise … Actually very useful.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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I totally agree. The view of a textbook as a torture tool you need to be bored with and stare at, that is really far from the reality.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ampharos64

I think it's just more efficient to use a SRS or similar like Duo, personally. I can read a textbook, but unless I Anki it I won't remember it. So, it's not textbooks in and of themselves, but that there's no need to pore over that textbook and actively try to learn the phrases for ages, let the software and real exposure to the language take the effort out of remembering it. And it's more fun to make your own exercises, and to find native speakers to talk to in a real-world test, than to answer often-artificial textbook scenarios.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Going to have to agree with you there.

Textbooks are a wonderful resource in what should be a swiss knive of learning. People keep trying to use them as hammers and making everything else a nail... and that is where problems come from.

You can have any tool you have become a hammer if you try hard enough--and then view everything as a nail! Just some home repair advice.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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What do textbooks have to do with photographic memory? A good one includes a wide range of stuff with lots of exercises. I don't know why textbooks have such a bad name, there are lots of great ones on the market.

And if you "pore over it" for a few months, you are likely to get very far and get access to the much more fun parts (like movies for example) significatnly earlier. It is a much better time investment than Duolingo, unless you need the gamification to keep going. And if that is the case (and there is nothing wrong about it in this community), there is no point preaching to others how unnecessary the xp is.

Duolingo is not spaced repetition. Even the old decay system was not that good at being an SRS, but it was an honest attempt at it. Right now, the main part of Duolingo (=the language trees, not talking about the various other things like clubs etc) are not too deep going courses with more exercise. Too repetitive, but definitely a lot of it. But there is no SRS on Duolingo. You can use it a bit like a Leitner system, but there are other ways to get through the tree too.

Really, what sorts of textbooks do you people have experience with, that you are so traumatised?

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/sea-mist

"I don't know why textbooks have such a bad name, there are lots of great ones on the market."

Textbooks can leave a huge gap in learning if one also does not have a teacher. My weakest area of the German I'm learning is my ability to understand the German I'm hearing and that this area would be even weaker for me if I was using a text book for my main way of learning.

And I am like doing spaced repetition here.. I myself do only one lesson in each subject I have open per day and use duolingo's duome to tell me when I need to revise my words when I get to level 4. This is all something a textbook can not do.

Duo sentences are way more interesting too (Im always waiting for the next crazy kind of sentence come up) then the boring kind of sentences you get in most textbooks.

In my case I are not using duolingo for the gamification but really like how I get translation practice, learning and the listening exercises all at the same time and the fact it does not remind me of being back at school (my school days were awful) and of cause it's free.

I also get a lot out of looking at the comments for each exercise as peoples responses also interest me and there is so much information there. I live alone, housebound .. bedbound a lot of the time and it helps me not feel so alone (doing ones main language study by text book.. just you and the book is a very lonely thing to someone in my situation).

A text book having none of this just can not hold my attention so well, in fact I brought two and I have not been able to interest myself in them enough to even start using them.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ampharos64

The textbooks I'm most used to are the usual ones for the English school system.

I'd rather make my own exercises than have to do textbook ones that were probably designed for teenagers -who were probably equally bored by them-, honestly. I talk to myself in French all the time and describe things I consider relevant, I don't need a textbook to tell me 'describe the smiley schoolchildren in this glossy photo!' or 'write about a trip to Paris that includes these landmarks, even though you never actually want to go there, and even though wild chevals couldn't drag you to tourist-traps like the ones the textbook describes!'.

I think with a paper textbook you're likely to forget as fast as you learn, which makes it inefficient. If it bores you that worsens the issue even further. I take your point about it not being quite a conventional SRS, but think Duo is sufficiently like that, and able to be used that way, to be considered in the same category. Duo requires much less active effort to learn than a paper textbook, the repeated and varied exposure to the vocab does the trick.

I think textbooks have their place - but in combination with a SRS. I never recall a thing from language textbooks UNLESS I SRS it, and doing that is more work than just using Duo, which has effectively created the sentence cards for you. It's not textbooks in and of themselves, but the effort to actively drill vocab/phrases that isn't a great method. Active recall just comes automatically with enough exposure.

And if you can read actual books you don't need a textbook any more.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

don't need a textbook to tell me 'describe the smiley schoolchildren in this glossy photo!' or 'write about a trip to Paris that includes these landmarks, even though you never actually want to go there

If your goals include CEFR exams (and possibly others) writing a half page or so essay on a topic not of your choosing is standard - so it's good practice :-) The point is to force you to expand your vocab and get your out of what may have become a rut (my initial vocab was heavy on food, family relationships and agriculture but CEFR had 18 other topics which I had to be able express myself in).

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ampharos64

Oh, I can understand picking one for the vocab, though I still think running the contents of a textbook through a SRS is the more efficient way to do it than spending ages studying the thing. Depending on language -I know it's not as good for Hungarian as French-, Duo covers loads of common vocab though, and there are more fun ways to acquire more. Harry Potter, which I'm reading now in French, might not have conventional classes, but does have a fair bit of school vocabulary, for instance. Often enough a fair bit of vocab will be the same whatever you're trying to talk about. If I can practice describing places to myself -at the moment I'm also talking to myself about what I'm seeing as I play a video game in French-, then I could describe the tourist-hell parts of Paris if I were required to, using many of the same words. Same result, different route. A more engaging one, imo, one that means I actually recall a lot of vocab immediately - I'm even excited to come across new words I can add to my descriptions. No amount of describing boring glossy photos would do that.

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Your complaint falls into the category of:

"How dare Duo Lingo not be my one stop shop for learning another Language! Duo Lingo is terrible as I should NEVER find the need to make use of other websites and resources to help with my educational experiences! WHERE ARE THE FOREIGN FOOD RECIPES!"

Duo Lingo does what Duo Lingo does, of presenting various educational material in a game based form in a decent manner. That being said, you signed that contract in blood with that guy with the horns in the middle of the cross roads when signing up with the Green Owl... and are forbidden from making use of other resources as well as Duo Lingo. It is the standard part of signing up for educational websites, and why you cannot make use of multiple education websites as learning resources. IT WAS YOUR OWN HUBRIS... insert skill share sign up code here... YOUR OWN HUBRIS BROUGHT YOU HERE... skill share dot com!

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MorganVar60
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Who are you talking to? You seem to be responding to Ampharosa64's post, which says:

"Now I'm done with Duo's tree, I'm using Anki more, which doesn't give out points. For language learning, I'd never recommend anyone pore over a textbook for ages" etc.

This clearly does not describe someone using Duo as the only and only language source.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

There are no rules, and if there were they would be impossible to enforce, surrounding up and down votes.

Sadly, most people just use them as a very quick agree or disagree. Rather than giving a counter argument it is just easier to downvote. Instead of expanding a good idea and figuring out if some small tweak would make it better, someone will upvote it.

Some people will just randomly upvote or downvote things.

At the end of the day, they do not matter at all. Other random people‘s opinion of you as a random internet user should be seen as just that. No reason to put much thought into it.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

i was just using the upvote-downvote thing to contrast what you might expect from education seeking people on an education oriented platform with the atmosphere here is focused on.

i mean, i graduated beyond the rudimentary duolingo content a long time ago already. it wasnt that good of a platform. not that it really makes an impact on me personally who gets stuck in the mud here or anything, but i was kind of hoping for the sake of the more serious future learners this place could do better; starting with ppl prioritizing you know, education.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ARCANA-MVSA
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A good learning environment depends on the quality of the users. Some profiles on here exist purely for the purpose of posting spam, wasting time/space, etc. They shouldn't exist here, but they're here nonetheless.

One problem is that there isn't a reliable way to tell which accounts are real and which are fake. Some people are focused on learning, but simply aren't on here very often because they lack the time. Others are more interested in playing a game than learning a language.

Another problem is that the upvote/downvote system really doesn't have clear rules for usage. Good idea? Agree with the idea? Upvote. Bad idea, unnecessary, or disagree with it? Downvote. What if it's a mixture of the two? If it's a good idea and can be supported, I usually upvote it, regardless of whether or not I agree with it; but not everyone is this way, and that can pose problems too.

Half of DL's own problem is that it focuses a bit too much on the gaming experience. It's good that people enjoy themselves, and it's good that it feels like we're playing a game; but I've been seeing people starting to forget that it IS just a game, and that games in the long run mean nothing - because it's the learning, not the gaming, that matters.

Just my thoughts.

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

its as if it focuses solely on the game aspect and completely neglects improving the learning aspect.

dare i even say it makes sense to keep the learning aspect inefficient to keep ppl coming back for more.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Upvoting/downvoting is a mechanism that, while today seems to be the source of ❤❤❤❤ posts (the technical term), was actually made a standard part of forums in an attempt to stem and mitigate the flow of ❤❤❤❤ posts within internet communications.

It was an attempt to solve a problem that was not fully understand. As a result we should all lynch Cowboy Neil for the horrors he has exposed the internet to.

(YOU FOOL KATRINA! NOBODY HERE IS GOING TO GET SLASHDOT MEMES FROM THE 90S!)

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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But being wrong on the internet is illegal... and these criminals need to go to jail... for being wrong on the internet.

And... for the your appearance on the internet matters thing... I'm trying to come up with a joke involving Instagram Influences and Klout and what not.. but none of the Influences I am following have given me something to say here. So you are clearly going to have to downvote this comment.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Garry917152

Ooh! I just gave away a lingot to you. Enjoy however many electrons that adds to your stash! Seriously, I appreciate your points. While it's nice to see virtual points adding up, the real benefit is the learning, not the "gaming", and I value this site (and others) for that.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

Down voting discussions are like a Rohrshach test. If your feelings are easily hurt and you cannot control your mind, downvotes are haters, or hatters as I recently read in a Discussion. Whatever meaning you choose to use is just your thought. I look at it as a dead horse, great for constantly beating but a waste of time.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/McPwny

it seems you missed the point in my post. the voting thing is just one way to illustrate that the things prioritized by the community trend counter to educational interest.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Larry11215
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I look at it as fun like playing an electronic game. Serious language learning takes serious time and serious commitment - and some prior experience helps. I don't think one could really learn a language using this type of program alone.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jc_beta
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The members you are complaining about are likely 15. The game-like format of Duolingo pulls kids away from time wasting games and into something that actually teaches real skills that will help pull one's life in a positive direction. Those of us who do speak foreign languages to a reasonable fluency know that duo alone can never take one to that level, but I tell you, I believe it is the best ways to get someone started and interested.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/redneckray

Huh?

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

You said it all.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
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Maybe a command line interface for Duolingo is a good idea. I would probably use it. (Maybe it could just be a version of the Duolingo website without JavaScript, which most command line web browsers do not support.) That would certainly reduce complaints about the GUI.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
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I'd totally be willing to try a CLI Duolingo. I feel it would be most used by Linux nerds like me. i use arch btw

nəvighsəqaat aat

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Well, the guy behind Duome.eu kind of stole an idea that I had been wanting to do that involves a bit of reverse engineering the DuoLingo framework.

However, figuring out a way to make an API/SDK to interact with DuoLingo via third party software items would have a part of the testing phase that would involve a command line mode--or some variation of REPL mode. Even if it is just loading up node.js' own REPL modes.

And yes... Text Based Web Browsers do not support the Internet. The most recent update made on various Text Based browsers was in 2003/2002. The less awful one to work with, has a terrible code base to go through--and it is at the point where it is best to just scrap the project and rework it following various clean coding practices.

Hell, just even applying PEP7 to the new code base would do more... let alone not mixing MVC elements as much as links2 does.

But yeah... we need more stuff to interact with the modern day internet that can be run from the command line with a ncurses/pdcurses/cdk type interface. Maybe making use of a variation of X11 or Wayland to allow access to the some graphical display.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Glavisto

Your name does not lie for I understand not.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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It more has to do with a lot of the bad criticism being rather poorly formed and not well done together.

Yes... I've posted a few criticisms on courses. Most notably the lack of spaces in Japanese Sentences and the lack of notes on how to pronounce consonants in Chinese Pinyin.

In the case of the former, somebody did mention off hand that sentence particles can be thought of as spaces in sentences--but that is not a common statement... until the fire nation attacked! Wait no... I will bring it up when people mention it in the future. "Spaces in English represent the point where you can breath in... sentence particles represent a noise you make to connect things in Japanese... they serve similar purposes. Breath in around the particles (after... before? Whatever!)"

The solution to the Japanese issue is... weird, illogical and lacks any kind of contemporary way to adequately explain to others. Yes, I have made a sort of explanation... but it is a terrible explanation, and somebody should make a better one--but I do not envy that position.

With Chinese... my criticism was... well... rant like... because learning Chinese is a slog ❤❤❤❤ show anywhere you go, and I wanted to indicate that I know there are a LOT of hurdles education on Mandarin, the Written System AND Pinyin require (without taking into account Cantonese or Hanyu).

My criticism could have been explained better... but gosh darn it--the various mistakes I've seen Chinese courses make (which, let's be honest, DuoLingo is FAR from the worst) and my inability to be all, "hey these guys over there have figured something out" had me flustered and irritated.

It is essentially a matter of these things being inadequately communicated... or the complaint is about something which lacks any kind of proper solution at this point.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jam890908

It has been my experience over the more than a decade I've been on various internet forums (probably half of that time for a particular game or service) that people tend not to want to think too deeply about the environment they are in because it reveals to them the flaws that they've been ignoring and can crush their desire to continue existing in said environment.

Like being in a mediocre relationship and not wanting to come down from the honeymoon phase.

I've had this experience myself with various communities/products, where I was in denial about just how extensively I was more annoyed with it than happy and so rather than confronting that, it would either manifest as me being bitterly angry about everything or trying to defend its flaws to death without any honest evaluation of what could be better.

I've become a lot more self-aware about that stuff and try to be more balanced in my perspectives, but I also have a very deeply embedded desire to be fair, reasoned, and reasonable.

Some people just want to get on with life, have a good time, and not think about it too hard (and such people are a valuable piece of the puzzle that makes up any functioning society). But putting a reactionary upvote/downvote system in the hands of those people is one of the worst ideas human society has ever had. And the reason is just because if you put something like that in the hands of someone who, for whatever reason, just doesn't reflect very much on the long-term impact of their actions (especially an action as seemingly innocent as clicking an arrow), many of them are going to abuse such a system, based on reactionary emotion in the moment, to attempt to dictate how what the environment is on a moment-to-moment basis. Thus, "I like" gets upvoted, "I don't like" gets downvoted. And even those who are more reflective can easily fall prey to the temptation.

As you can imagine, reflecting deeply on the flaws of the environment often isn't going to be met with applause by people who don't want to think too deeply about the environment. As it happens, you may have struck on good timing with this post, as a lot of people are currently hanging about who are upset with the environment and the ways in which it has been changed (e.g. the change to XP from testing out).

If there were any ideal time to get reflective, now would probably be it, while the honeymoon phase is shattered and many are confronting the aspects of the environment that they don't appreciate.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/VeronicaTh362204

All these comments are very interesting but seem irrelevant in their way. The points and lingots and other are supposed to be encouragement to perservere with the lessons. They are not cast in stone, you have the right to ignore them or 'obey' them..the choice is yours. This whole programme is voluntary, so why criticise it. If it does not suit you, then you know what to do. Personally, I am in the very early stages of learning Polish and at times I find it hard not to have an explanation of reasons for certain words and I have not succeeded in finding the lesson notes of which others speak. But eventually the explanation 'comes out' in the phrases. I would also prefer a little more advance explanation and it is probably somewhere on the site that I will find eventually. I am really grateful that a lot of people have put a lot of effort into all the languages, voluntarily, and can offer a free and user-friendly way of learning. Perhaps this way might take a bit longer, depending on one's dedication, than going to 'live' lessons, but it is non-routine, and can be done whenever there are a few free minutes in the day. And in the few weeks I have been learning, usually I can write the dictated phrases without any problem, can hear the different intonations and put small sentences together. Thank you, Duo Lingo...

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Teagan_Grey

That was great. Have a lingot for your trouble.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ben400
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Technically the downvote button should just be left alone with.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jc_beta
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I down voted you but also gave you three lingots because I'm loco

March 13, 2019
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