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  5. The Hearts system is HATEFUL.


The Hearts system is HATEFUL.

I was distressed and disgusted to see the Hearts diminishing in the corner of my screen.

Punishment-based learning? Really?

AND if I get too many wrong, and run out - too bad!! No more learning for you!! Duolingo - have you actually lost your mind?? If it’s money you want - make it simple - make it affordable. NOT THIS, PLEASE.

I have always big-upped Duolingo. Fix this, or I’m moving to your competitors and slagging you off every chance I get.

I refuse to be slapped on the hand every time I get something wrong. I already 12 years of that, and I’ll be damned if I let you do it too.

November 18, 2019



Fix this, or I’m moving to your competitors and slagging you off every chance I get.

Duolingo has made it clear they intend to move towards a Freemium based strategy for their applications. So far, the web version is still safe, but it's unlikely the app based version will change.

I abandoned the app version of Duolingo months ago. The web based version is so much better. You definitely have a right to be angry. For me personally, if Duolingo had been a freemium app when I started, I would have quit the first day.

It's not a bad idea to try out Duolingo's competitors, not out of anger, but because you might find something you like better.


My question for everyone is: if the free version is getting worse, why do the devs think that would drive people to a paid version? To me that's counter-intuitive. If the free version was GREAT and getting better, and you knew what you were getting in the paid (say, the ability to add additional 'correct answers' to material where you know you're right, which would mightily reduce the frustration level in a course like the Vietnamese course, etc) then I'd go for it.

But pay for a product which has been largely declining in quality over the past two years? No way.


Duolingo is good if its for free (but not freemium) , but if you are willing to pay for a language learning program there are better ones out there. It sucks that they are trying to move towards a Freemium based strategy. The app used to be very good. It was never perfect, but you couldn't really complain because it was probably the best FREE language learning app that you could get. A Freemium service is never a good free version because it purposefully tries to make the free version bad, so that people would upgrade. Maybe adding this will reduce the amount of new users they get and users will stop using the app and they reverse this system. I used to recommend Duolingo to my friends, but now I wouldn't because of the heart system that will probably just disappoint them.


Maybe the way this is phrased is over the top but I agree. I've been on Duolingo for a long time, and I've never been afraid to make mistakes before. This new system really does penalize people for getting things wrong - and WOW, that "get a heart by watching this ad video" thing is so very messed up (especially since the ONE ad video I was willing to watch was...let me say...not espousing any political positions I agree with).


The ads arent supposed to be for people who agree, its trying to change your opinions. If you dont agree thats fine, but that is the point of the app.


Yes, the Hearts system is horrible.

Use the web, not the app, then you won't need to put up with it.

And don't threaten. Duolingo won't care. Sort out your attitude, ask nicely, and if enough people ask nicely, something might get done.


Duolingo barely responds to massive user complaints. Example: the reintroduction of the hearts system.

People should be free to convey their emotions freely. This isn't about a user's professionalism.


And yes, HikingHeather is right - I should have just laughed at the tone of your post. Perhaps I'm even grumpier than usual tonight. Grrrrr....


It was just so out of left field and over the top I literally laughed out loud. If it was only 1 or 2 things I probably would have just grumped, maybe downvoted or just ignored, moved along. But it was sentence after sentence of pure over-the-top wonder. It was great lol.


Hi Hiking H. Have a jolly lingot!


I think Babbel is much better value for money, i got my first year for £30 through the website. The lesson structure is fantastic.


I love Babbel. Frustrated with Duo's shortened lessons, I looked around, and found my new "main thing". I'm still doing a little bit of Duo daily, but it's not my focus. I feel like I'm learning much deeper with Babbel, and the voices are real people, not computer generated, and it's very calming.


The amount of people in this comments section who clearly do not understand the fact that this is clearly intentionally aggressive and exaggerated is honestly absolutely hilarious.


nowadays you cant tell, if i had wrote this it wouldve been as a joke, but with many others this is just how people think things get better.


Fact is: Nowadays people write stuff like this in earnest, so you can never know if something is a parody or serious.


100% agree. The absolute worst feature of Duo. It's the only thing that makes me feel like quitting. As others have said I almost always use the site and not the app


I have learned a new word today, slag. with the hearts update, this may be the most useful thing I get out of duolingo today.


The hearts can be replenished by practicing which only takes a few minutes and practice is helpful for review in my opinions, but yeah the heart system isn’t my favorite either. I still love Duolingo


same! I hate how the hearts system keeps you always worrying about when you can't learn anymore. I wish that unlimited hearts was for everyone, not just plus members.


I agree. Back before I got plus and I used primarily mobile Duolingo, my phone's auto-correct would always shave away my hearts if I was going quickly.


I don't have the heart system on my android version and it's updated to the latest version. It sounds horrible though and I hope this feature never makes it to the website version as I tend to use the keyboard to learn more and ofc make more mistakes that way....


I get why your upset. I have enoggh punishments at school, let alone a ¨free¨ lerning program. it feels like a huge dissipointment when you lose a life, and one you lose are three, what happens? you go to a better program. Doulingo be crazy bro.... stupid punishing owl...


use the website also its the same thing


Honestly, I’ve been using Duolingo off and on long enough to remember how the “Hearts” system used to work on the app. And do you know what?

I actually LIKED it.

The way it used to work was this (hope I’m remembering this correctly, it’s been awhile): you would get three hearts per lesson. If you made three mistakes-you’d have to start the lesson over. That’s it. It didn’t matter how many times you failed the lesson, you could always try again.

People complained about that system too, but I honestly felt it accomplished what the current system does not, which is to say: “Hey, you don’t seem to be understanding this new material too well, why don’t you try again?”

I never resented it because I never felt like I was being punished by being exiled from the app or forced to waste my time reviewing old material because I didn’t pay for premium (I should note that the old “Heart” system existed before there was a premium model).

I’d LOVE to have the original hearts system back on the app. It actually helped me. The new one I just avoid by only studying Japanese on the app (which thankfully doesn’t have hearts for me yet) and studying everything else on the mobile site.


While I tend to agree that I do not like the hearts/health system and I think it would be a detriment to my own learning, I couldn't help but chuckle at the over-the-top tone of your post.
Hateful? Really!?


I am shocked and appalled by the unmitigated gall and audacity of your comment!


Lol “and I’ll be damned if I let you do it too”


Whenever you lose a heart, couldn't you just quickly restore it by doing one or more lesson practices? I've lost many hearts over my time with Duolingo, and I've never needed to spend real money restoring them. Just 1 or 2 minutes of practice (which I would've done anyway) per heart restored.


And it's good that that works for you, but there's a very real trend over people becoming discouraged because they feel as though they're being punished for not already knowing content that they're just now trying to learn for the first time (one or two exercise types introduce new words without offering hints, for example).


What if you're just starting to learn a new topic and it gives you the questions that don't show the answer when you click on them? Or the audio questions that don't even hear what you say? What happens if you get five of those wrong? You're done with the lesson without any XP! The heart system is absolutely ridiculous.


Hi JioMc! As people have mentioned in this conversation, the health system (which includes the hearts) are what helps Duolingo keep running and offering 100% of all content free for all users. We test the health constantly to make sure it is not too frustrating and actually helpful for learning (as in, it helps some users focus better on their answers, practice more, and pace themselves a little more), but as you can imagine, it is quite difficult to please everyone.

All Duolingo learners are encouraged help us keep this service running and support our mission either by joining Duolingo Plus, or via ads (together with gem allocation & mindful learning). This is how we can keep offering all content to all users without anyone having to spend money if they cannot or do not want to. Please remember that you can practice to keep things moving along. We do not block any learning content or put any learning material behind a paywall, and we intend to keep it that way. Please remember that you can practice to keep things moving along.

That said, we appreciate all feedback, and this issue is something we hear about from time to time. This has become my standard answer to people frustrated with Health, hearts, and the like, so apologies if you have read this response before.


I remember using the Duolingo apps without the heart system. Why does it have to be implemented now? What has changed? I remember Duolingo being free without the health system.


After looking at these comments, some of ya'll need to chill, she's just pointing out her opini- cough oh sorry, I meant fact. :)


Totally agree




Being new to the heart system is allowing me more time to get in touch with the creativity of the user base. This is the nicest thing I have to say about the heart system. Duo - let's stop the madness! Free us from your "Heart Disease!"


And, worse, it’s now imposed on those of use that were lucky enough not to have it. I wasn’t even aware that Duolingo had updated until suddenly hearts and gems appeared.

Between this unnecessarily punishing system and those distracting full-screen video ads, I too am about ready to jump ship for another language course.


DuoLingo jumps the shark at every opportunity. I use it for fun but for learning you’d be hard pressed to find worse.


Ok hateful? I agree the heart system should be removed but it is far from hateful. They have to make money somehow. I agree they should keep the ads on the app after each lesson but the whole "buy hearts now or watch an ad for hearts" is indeed a bit much. If you think it is hateful then you have not seen hate once in your life.


Further to my comment earlier. I have now deleted the duo app and will be using the duo site on my iPhone. I hope someone from duo reads this. And caress.


I LOVE HEARTS, they help me to focus. THANKS Duolingo!


what is the hearts system?


ahhh, yes, i remember when i used moble.


just use the website!

[deactivated user]

    I just got the hearts system on Android, so I uninstalled the app. (I never used it on iOS because of it.) Oh well, it was good while it lasted.


    No, the hearts system is wonderful. It tells you when you need to slow down and spend more time practicing what you think you already know before learning something new.

    When I finish a lesson (or run out of hearts during one..); I use the hearts menu to do enough global practice sessions to restore my health to 5 hearts. This ensures that I get enough practice to make the next lesson easier. And there's no pressure in the practice sessions - if you make a mistake; it just repeats that exercise at the end of the session; and keeps repeating it until you get it right.


    I'm probably going to get a lot of downvtes because everyone is voting based on opinion, but here is my cup of tea. I believe there's nothing wrong with the heart system.

    I use the web where the heart "punishment" is only used in tests, making the heart system on Duolingo is easily avoidable. If you truly hate it so much, then just use the web.

    In real life, you do lose marks if you get things wrong. There were also coursework marks that would be in the learning part. If you keep losing hearts, then it just means you need to try to understand the content better instead of moving on and claiming you know everything. And if you get it wrong, then you get it wrong. If you weren't caught up by losing marks in school tests, then I see no difference in losing hearts on Duolingo.


    Except once you've lost your hearts you're not allowed to learn from what you did wrong and understand the content better. There are also so many mistakes in the translations - to lose hearts for correct answers is exceptionally frustrating. This is a dis-incentive to learn.


    No, it's used in lessons. I'll be trying to squeeze in a lesson before bed. If it's a hard (new) lesson, I'll make mistakes. Then BOOM - I'm shut off and have to discontinue the lesson. Meanwhile, I'm trying to fill my lesson goals to keep up my streak. Tick Tock.


    As much as you have the right to be angry, know that this wont help anything. If they are making more money than before (they will if there is even 10% paying) they won't care about losing a few costumers, or even a lot of customers. Also, being angry tends to have people not wanting to comply. Be reasonable, they will be more likely to listen.


    I don't think the hearts system is hateful. It's actually a benefit, not a harm to learners. Duolingo does not put the hearts system just because it harms users. IT HELPS THEM RETAIN THE LEARNING THEY GET.

    I know this will get downvoted a lot....


    I honestly do not see it as a benefit. It takes time away from learning new content because of typos or even just clumsily worded yet accurate translations. It made me fearful of making errors, which I do not think was useful to me.

    Finally, in the overblown prose on offer here, I might say:

    If Duolingo is not going to offer instruction prior to quizzing, it is a cosmic injustice that people are penalized due to the inadequacy of the tool! (seriously not every topic has useful tips).


    I think that it is possible to create a learning system which is encouraging to learners and helps them to retain their learning without making the system harmful to their mental health. I actually had to leave Duolingo back when Hearts was still around because my stress levels would be so high about not getting a question wrong that, when I did, I would experience panic attacks, and I wasn't even a teenager at that point.

    It's good that you personally find the hearts system useful, but something to keep in mind is that a lot of people don't. I certainly don't, and I will be sticking absolutely with using the web system until either they move Hearts to web–in which case, I will likely stop using Duolingo altogether–or they replace the Hearts system with a far more productive and beneficial system.


    It is affordable. It is under $100 for a year. What language course can you take that will effectively teach you a language for 100 bucks per year? Duolingo teaches you dozens of languages for that price. It is kind enough of them that they have made the bulk of their content free with the heart system. What makes you feel that they should run a business completely free? Who will pay for all this content to be created and maintained, for staff, for servers, for technology?


    They (duolingo) have most of their courses for free though. Do you consider it is ethical to sell a product that is the work of unpaid volunteers, for your own profit? I don't.


    Go somewhere else if you don't like duolingo.


    I already have, don't worry.


    It's actually all entirely free, nothing is hidden behind a paywall!! We just have to watch a few ads to keep it running that way. Heck yeah, I'm in. :)


    Personally, I don't mind the hearts that much. In no way does it make me feel "distressed" or "slapped on the hand". The hearts are not there to discourage you or make you feel these ways, they are simply here to tell if you are mastering the lesson or test you are taking. For example, if you are taking a test and you run out of hearts, it's not that "no more learning" it means you probably need to go back into the lessons and study a bit more, so that you can pass and master that subject. Hope this changed your perspective a bit! Use the hearts to your advantage!


    The lessons are the "test" though. We are not taking a test based on something we learned prior. We are going through a process of learning by being exposed to info and trying it out, sometimes intuiting correctly, sometimes incorrectly. When we get it wrong, it should just move on and then circle back to that point.


    it is just a heart on a screen..... if that is your biggest problem then life is pretty good!


    That's very true. I saw other comments about someone having panic attacks because of stress caused from fear of losing hearts, which honestly is just so mind-blowingly senseless.


    Every time you lose a heart an Angels gets its wings.


    This seems like something that affects you on an oddly personal level.


    Just answer them correctly then.


    And if you're only beginning to learn? So you haven't been able to pick up on the phrases? Unless you've discovered some way to photosynthesise and instantly retain any and all information in front of you–which would be very, very impressive–answering all questions correctly the first time around is an absolute pipedream.


    When I first started using Duolingo, if you missed more than 5 answers, you had to start the lesson over. I don’t see how that is too much different than the hearts approach. When I run out of hearts, I use gems to purchase more hearts.


    Same here. I think you have to have some sort of balance on these apps and the hearts are not physically harming anybody at all.


    If you're 12, best to remove age as per Duo guidelines, if you're older, have a change of heart and just use the web;-) (Scuse the lighthearted pun).


    I don't think she's referring to her age -- I think she means she had 12 years of that in school (1st grade through 12th grade). :-)


    Hi Ginger sq. Yes, I realise, I was being a tad ironic as it sounded just like a 12 year old.


    The difference between being "a tad ironic" and being "deliberately catty and cruel" is something you are failing to appreciate. Sure, the poster is angry. But even angry as she is, she isn't hurting anyone or trying to hurt anyone. If you are calm and rational enough to think up oh-so-clever and ironic ways to be nasty to somebody who is already upset, you should be calm and rational enough to think better of it.


    Everyone does not feel the same way as you on this and to some, hearts is a motivator to do better.


    Sorry about that, but are you twelve? That is one of the details I saw. Sorry.


    Grow up! You're going to 'slag off' Duo, just because it's not to your personal liking! That's about the maturity level of a 2-year-old, if that. Mature people are able to easily recognize that just because they don't personally like something, doesn't mean it's bad. How about, 'I don't personally like the heart system, but you might, because everyone is different'.

    Then there's the other obvious issue - you're intent on seeing it as 'punishment' and a 'slap on the hand'....okay, clearly you have issues. Because that's a REALLY harsh viewpoint. It's called 'being marked wrong when you do it wrong'. Don't want hearts taken away? They study more, and put in more effort. Stop blaming the system for your inability to study more. It seems very obvious to me that you have issues with getting stuff marked wrong....you 'had 12 years of that already', it's 'punishment', it's 'a slap on the hand'. Um. Issues. It's like you're dragging your own private past issues into this, but, instead of acknowleging that you're dragging past issues into it, you're making Duo out to be horrible.

    You know what? Everyone learns differently. Hearts work for some people. It ENCOURAGES them to study more, and pay more attention, and learn better. That is how I'd see it. So stop acting like it's horrible, and, instead, just say that you personally don't like it one single bit. There is a big difference between those two things. One is acting like a know-it-all, immature toddler who thinks that just because they don't like it it's awful, the other is being mature and recognizing that while you don't like it at all, others do, and it's not a one-size-fits-all issue.

    'I refuse to be slapped on the hand every time I get something wrong'. Okay, then, what do you want? You don't want to be called wrong, when you're wrong????? Insert eyeroll here.

    I think this is the most immature, hateful, self-absorbed post I've seen on here. Fine, leave - and go find an app that never, ever tells you you're wrong - I'm sure that'll really speed up your learning.


    Wow! Take a break, have a nice cup of tea, relax and let go of all that stress.


    Grow up! You're going to 'slag off' Duo, just because it's not to your personal liking! That's about the maturity level of a 2-year-old, if that.

    clearly you have issues.

    It seems very obvious to me that you have issues

    acting like a know-it-all, immature toddler

    I think this is the most immature, hateful, self-absorbed post I've seen on here. Fine, leave ... I'm sure that'll really speed up your learning.

    Lmao, look who's talking.

    Don't want hearts taken away? They study more, and put in more effort.

    Hearts are a problem when you're trying to learn. Even for level 0 lessons, several exercise types present new vocabulary and grammar without offering hints (not to mention that vocab hints don't help for grammar and even don't show the correct conjugation in some courses). If they were an issue with practice, or if OP was only talking about testing out, then you'd be correct, but they aren't and she isn't.

    You know what? Everyone learns differently.



    Congratulations. You managed the lowest upvote/downvote total I've ever seen on a comment. And I haven't voted on it yet.

    Which is odd, because it's not the worse comment I've ever seen. Not quite.


    Your ignorant comment is more hateful than the actual post itself. The most I can see is that YOU need to mature. Oh! How the tables have turned.

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