https://www.duolingo.com/Rusher867817

Duolingo Friends

Hi! I have never posted on here... but after a year of being here I am very curious about one thing. When you pay for the site, are you able to talk to people? This is one thing I don't like about this app. I see so many of you on my friends list and I only can compete with you guys. I know virtually nothing about you and I don't like that! With every photo/name there is a person behind it and I want to interact more so it doesn't feel strange to post here... as I am now. It feels strange but it was burning inside me to ask this question.

Also if there is not an option to chat, do you think there will be in the future? I love duoling. Like a LOT, it is probably my favorite learning tool overall but I don't just use one way to learn a language. You will never be able to be fluent that way. IMO. Okay I am done rambling! Please feel free to comment and if you wanna tell me more about yourself on this post.. PLEASE DO! :D

July 9, 2019

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

Maybe that should be a plus member benefit. Some messaging or posting ability.

People then have more to lose, more likely to behave. Less likely to spam or troll knowing they could be banned and lose their subscription.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Merk. Excellent idea.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshSellsGuns

A paywall is actually a really good idea. Reduces the likelihood of trolls trolling, and children.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Little_Tatws

I think a chat function (so long as it's with a mutual or the chat request is accepted) would be great! Back when we had the club feature, I had made so many friends that I don't think I would have outside of Duolingo. Even further back, you used to be able to write on other people's timelines, but the timeline feature was removed a few years ago. However, I don't think it should be a Plus only option.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/uphilldweller

" I don't think it should be a Plus only option. "

Agreed.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DJrossonwye

"so long as it's with a mutual or the chat request is accepted"

Sadly, people (especially children) who end up bullied or otherwise manipulated online are often too scared to refuse to join in with manipulative people. They are scared of causing offence or of becoming an outcast, mocked by a group.

Victims, and consequential perpetrators, of online bullying and manipulation often prefer to convince themselves that it was their own choice, rather than admit that they were victims of online intimidation - however subtle.

Duolingo has the correct strategy of posting only on an open forum - "forcing" (culturally) people to interact on an individual basis makes it inherently easy for bullies, by allowing them to poke and test the resolve or weaknesses of an individual over time.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Little_Tatws

Children are also something to keep in mind when creating a chat function. Duolingo does have some restrictions even in a chatless world when it comes to underage people. These are subject to change in other countries due to law differences (it's mostly about age), but the overall feature is that underage users are barred from features like followers/following, the forums, and even mature words like beer and wine.

Sure, there will always be those who try to work around the restrictions, but then that responsibility is placed on them.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

Can you provide the law that restricts children from learning the words beer and wine based on them being mature.

Or have I misunderstood your post?

Because does duolingo ask for your age when creating an account? How duolingo determine you are underaged? Or is duolingo breaking the law in some countries by teaching the word wine?

The topic of mature words like beer and wine comes up every now and then and is normally laughed at. I am yet to see anyone back up their stance with legislation.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Little_Tatws

I think you've misunderstood my post. Duolingo itself, not the law, puts the restrictions on children learning certain terms and access. Duolingo does ask for your age when making an account. Now if you click here, you'll be taken to Duolingo's Privacy Policy. Scroll down to section 11, which discusses cases for people under the age of digital consent.

Now, I can't say that this is 100% foolproof because you can always lie about your age and whatnot.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

Ok true it does ask for age.

I don’t recall ever entering that. Plus you could lie.

It didn’t accept the dates I put in. I just realise I was meant to enter my age not my date of birth :D

So are you saying if I enter my age as 11 or 14 I won’t see words like beer?

So why do people keep making posts about protecting kids from the bad words, have they lied about their age originally?

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

Also children were one of the reasons I suggested it be a plus member feature.

How many kids are plus members? Likely very few.

Also this would help prevent someone making a disposable account just to troll or abuse kids.

Are you going pay $10 to harass someone online?

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Little_Tatws

Okay so I'm gonna reply here because we've reached a limit. Yes, that is true. Depending on where you live, putting yourself under the age of digital consent will result in that. People also tend to not read privacy policies, terms and conditions, etc. That's on them, I guess.

Now, as for Plus... I honestly don't see any reason to bother with the Premium feature on here. I think the main reason people get it is for getting rid of ads (which you can do with an adblock or by being a moderator) and for the progress test, which I remember from when it was available for everyone (definitely not worth $10/month).

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshSellsGuns

That is exactly why it should be a premium feature (if it is introduced). Premium isn't really worth it right now. I do Duolingo at work, and the IT guys have an ad filter already in place, so i never see ads anyway. As for the progress test, that isn't worth $10 to me. Having "plus" by my name to distinguish is kinda cool, but i don't want to pay $10 for that, either. If there were legitimate perks for plus, I'd be more inclined to purchase it.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward

As others have said, Duolingo has tried chat features in various formats. Right now there is no such feature.

Other websites exist for finding practice partners and language exchange partners, however. http://www.conversationexchange.com - you create an account and then search for practice partners. You can search by various criteria such as gender, age, nationality, hobbies. You can search for pen pals, audio chat partners, or video chat partners. You can use their internal messaging service if you don't want to give out your email address.

Also check out iTalki, weSpeke, Busuu, HelloTalk, Tandem, and goSpeaky.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/n35w101

This topic comes up so much I wish there was a pinned comment listing all the options. Then people could just list which one(s) they use in their Duolingo profile in case someone wanted to connect with them.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rusher867817

Right? I have HelloTalk but I don't know how to find anyone with it haha

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Read the hundreds of posts on this under Search. The feature was partly spoilt by bullies, spammers and trolls, often the very people wanting a chat site. Privacy and security (particularly for children) came before the luxury of chatting.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/uphilldweller

It's interesting that a two tier Duolingo is being advocated above, paraphrasing, plus members should get their own chat facility because they are responsible.

Yet the solution to risking adult/child interaction by splitting off adults from children, each to have their own forums, is ignored.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

How does duolingo split adults and children? Does doulingo even ask for your age?

Even if it did, how can it trust the date you give. Are you saying you have never lied about your age online?

Hence my plus member suggestion. Most kids don’t have money for plus and people aren’t likely to spend $10 to spam links to advertise their site or harass people (I hope)

Also it’s not that plus members are mature or responsible, it’s that they have something to lose, especially compared to a newly created account.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/uphilldweller

"How does duolingo split adults and children?"

"They" already have. Check out the ads you are being served.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshSellsGuns

Because splitting an already present feature creates clutter, and is just unnecessary. I personally don't think a child has any business on a forum board anyway. They lack the maturity to know what is appropriate to share which makes them susceptible to doxxing and bullying which isn't just a problem because adults, it's a problem with their peers as well.

Children lack money, so a pay wall is a legitimate idea that could separate the more responsible and invested adults/older teenagers from the trolls, children, or less dedicated users (by less dedicated I don't mean those who have low goals, but those who join Duolingo with half-hearted interest and quit after putting in minimal effort) who are more likely to misuse systems put in place to aid learners.

i am not a moderator and am only subscirbed to a few topics so I can't say for sure, but to me it seems as though the forums are in a good state currently. Good content gets pushed up, bad content never makes it out of the "new" section. I've yet to see any predatory behavior going on, nor have I really heard of it recently.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/uphilldweller

"to me it seems as though the forums are in a good state currently"

I appreciate we all have an opinion on this. FWIW I can only compare the discussion board to another board I am using which happens to be child free, cost free and works well with no downvoting nor deletion of people's scribblings by anonymous.

I often wonder why so few of Duolingo's millions come here? I wonder how welcoming this place is with its downvoting and minus fives?

It's a shame for at its core Duolingo is actually a fabulous resource.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshSellsGuns

I can almost guarantee it isn't downvotes that are keeping people away. Reddit ranks 18 on the Alexa Top 50, and that site essentially revolves around upvotes/downvotes. I don't see a voting system as a detriment.

People don't use forums because 1) they are on mobile, which (at least on my Android phone) lacks the forums. When i was learning German some 2-3 years ago, I was on mobile. I didn't even know there was a forums until I started Japanese a couple weeks ago.

2) people don't care/feel the need to use the forums. I am a forum junky, i like to talk about what I'm learning and communicate with others. It's my outlet and tbh it gives a nice little break between lessons. But that isn't the case for everyone. I know tons of people that never touch forum boards. It just isn't for everyone.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/uphilldweller

Well our OP Rusher867817 hasn't rushed back.

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shelley518893

I don't mind not having chat features on Duolingo because there are real life events you can attend. I have met and kept in contact with some of the people at those events and even met with them outside of events to practice. Do you have events in your area? You can find them under the "more" tab on the website

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rusher867817

Oh. A neg. How helpful.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

Talking about downvotes leads to more downvotes. Just ignore them. Especially if it’s -1 to -4

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rusher867817

Yeah I see that my responses got negged even more. It is just weird to me because I never neg anyone unless they are being really rude or something. I didn't realize I was being that way... I guess I don't understand human nature. People are jerks.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/uphilldweller

"People are jerks."

I always see downvotes and upvotes as a 'viewed' button. To misquote or paraphrase Oscar Wilde the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rusher867817

Oh. That is crazy! haha

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

Not really, it’s human nature.

You complain about something and anon people will make it worse.

July 9, 2019
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