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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahGodard

About hearts ....

This is far from an original topic, but really. The hearts system needs to go.

For many of us, getting answers wrong is a way of learning. It's better to get the answer wrong and redo it at the end of the lesson than to "cheat" and gloss over it. Getting things wrong aids in retention, especially with new vocabulary. Hearts would fundamentally change the way I use Duolingo. (Besides, typos and silly mistakes are inevitable, especially on mobile devices.)

It would pain me to leave Duolingo, as I really love it and have been an avid user for quite some time, but if hearts stay, I may seriously consider switching to another service or method. If they come to desktop, I can almost guarantee I'd have to leave.

I have no idea who might see this, but if anyone with any say in the future of Duolingo is reading this, please do all you can to right this wrong. Thank you!

November 28, 2019

57 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taupecat

I just got converted to the hearts system on the app. I'm really tempted to leave Duolingo forever, except that I really want to learn Danish (and then Norwegian; will be going to Scandinavia this summer), and haven't found any decent alternative.

Let's call this what it is: a bait & switch scheme. Duolingo claims to want to keep language learning "free", so they bombard you with ads, keep pushing the free trial for their paid version (and you have to dig really deep to find out how much the paid version actually costs), and now this stupid hearts system.

According to the app, you need a hear in order to START a lesson, yet if I make enough mistakes and lose all my hearts in the middle of a lesson, it will kick me out of the lesson I'm already in until I load up on hearts again.

I hate this system, and it's making me really hate Duolingo. I can deal with the ads; I can deal with the constant upsells; I can deal with the crazy Danish bears that steal men's wheels and hand beers to the cat; but I can't deal with the bait and switch tactics that are trying to nickel & dime my language learning.

November 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mwbrand1

and haven't found any decent alternative.

A good alternative is to use the browser: www.duolingo.com.
My understanding is that Duolingo currently has no plans to bring Hearts/Health to the web version.

Let's call this what it is: a bait & switch scheme.

Duolingo is moving towards a Freemium app model: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemium.
This is the reason for the changes you are seeing.

I recently learned in the following Forbes article that Duolingo is currently not making a profit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2019/07/16/game-of-tongues-how-duolingo-built-a-700-million-business-with-its-addictive-language-learning-app/#2b905c0b3463
The switch to a Freemium based app helps Duolingo to generate additional revenue and hopefully allows them to sustain their business.

November 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahGodard

I agree wholeheartedly, though I do want to reiterate that I really don’t mind ads. I think it’s amazing that duolingo is free, and I don’t mind watching ads to keep it free. That being said, I don’t want duolingo sans-Plus to just be a free trial, and it’s starting to feel that way.

November 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ablarry91

It ought to be interesting to see how Duolingo changes if/when they have an IPO. "Free education" is a very noble platform, but that's not how Wall Street works.

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mwbrand1

Here is just one of the many recent posts on this topic with much discussion: Heartbroken by Duolingo’s hearts punishment system.

Feel free to jump in.

November 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahGodard

Thanks for sending this my way! I figure, the more people talking about this, the better.

November 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShadowKarambit

oh yes

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke110762

100% agree. I have hat this 'feature' since the beginning of my journey. I have learned far more using the website than I have using the app. I really only use the app now when I am unable to use my computer and I need to keep my streak alive. Kind of defeats the point as I am really not learning anything. It is possible to use the website with the phone browser, however it'y very clunky and not a very pleasant experience.

November 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anto591307

I still prefer using the phone browser version than the app. Especially since I prefer using the Keyboard Mode (no word bank) and I don't think it exists on the app.

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roody-Roo

If anything, the mobile browser site is less clunky than the Android app. And no hearts or ads!

December 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gavin2227

Why is the heart system on mobile but not computer? It makes me not want to do duolingo on mobile. Duolingo on mobile would be so useful without hearts. Like while traveling, or somewhere you dont have a laptop / desktop. Also if they added the fourm on mobile I would like it even better.

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neapolitan.Cat

you can go to forums on mobile, just enter duolingo.com and you will see the forums button. You can avoid hearts by using duolingo through duolingo.com, that's what I did in the beginning but when I went there again I found out that they also moved hearts there. You can try though...

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gavin2227

I wish they just didn’t use hearts. When they added them it got a lot of people away from using duolingo on mobile and made duolingo on mobile disliked.

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neapolitan.Cat

yes, I feel the same BUT you can get rid of the heart thing if you do duolingo from desktop. One time when there was ONLY one more question to do and I only had one heart left...well...you know what happened...:'(

November 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahGodard

Very good point! I have switched mainly to the desktop version now, but sometimes it is much more convenient to use a phone, as I'm sure you understand.

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neapolitan.Cat

You can do it on mobile if you do it through the site instead, but make sure to delete the app first or it will send you to the app, where the hearts are.

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahGodard

Ah, I have tried that as well, but I find using the mobile version on my phone can be clunky and hard to navigate. I'd much rather be using the app.

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roody-Roo

I have the app on my phone and it doesn't interfere with using the mobile web browser version. I just run Chrome browser and leave duo open in a browser tab. I use Wi-Fi at home and work for a smooth experience. It is all synched with the Android app, if I ever want to use it. And no hearts or ads!

December 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/memesMoral

im new and I noticed this the day I got it. the heart system really got on my nerves sometimes. I want to learn not cheat

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChwaraeRygbi

The hearts system has killed Duolingo for me. It’s almost impossible to learn a hard language on the app version now. At the moment, I can still play on the website version as I did before; without hearts and unlimited play time. I will never play again if this comes to the website version.

I understand the need to monetise, but this will repel so many people and basically makes the app version unplayable. I hereby challenge the CEO of Duolingo to try to learn Welsh with five wrong answers allowed per five hours. Good luck!

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahGodard

I'm sorry to hear that! But I agree with you entirely. I also admire your dedication to Welsh - what an incredible language! Dw i'n trio dysgu Cymraeg, ond fedra i ddim siarad Cymraeg yn dda hyd yn hyn. Dw i dal angen ymarfer, ond dw i'n mynd i wella. :) Have you ever tried using SaySomethingInWelsh? It's a great resource to practice spoken Welsh, and you can choose either a northern or southern dialect. But you may well have used it before!

December 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BigBoyLucas

I agree. What has set me off recently is that they tightened up some lessons, which now make you lose hearts where they didn't before (Notably, the word matching exercises on mobile). Generally I've accepted the hearts system but this feels unnecessary and just causes me to run out of hearts.

November 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Njordisk

Agreed. It's a sad decision.

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/v.eneficium

i agree, i only use duolingo on my laptop now because of it. if you want other recommendations, i used memrise to help me with my finnish, that's a really good way to learn a language :)

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Antti809377

I do not have hears yet. Hopefully newer will :)

But. I sometimes have to take a 6 hour bus trip, and it would really b a shame if I couldn't do duolingo during the trip because of having to wait for new hearts.

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrLingua

I'm new to DuoLingo as the of last two weeks. I joined to further develop my Italian. Honestly, although a bit of a nuisance at times, I think I like the heart system. It forces me to think and make more memory commits and practice never hurt anybody. If I make mistakes, I should do more practice. After 14 days I have accumulated almost 7000XP and my Italian has significantly improved.

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TcWVHi

I'm totally in agreement with you on this

December 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gembitas

Health needs to be removed

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonathan372192

Yeah, i plan on leaving Duolingo due to this heart system. I've found other platforms and real life lessons that can help me.

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dugggg
  • 1443

Is the heart system only on iOS?

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neapolitan.Cat

no, it can also be on Android but it is not on desktop.

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MyotisMan

I completely agree, Noah. I admit, though, that after I've attempted the same translation four times, it's so frustrating that sometimes I wish I had a heart! ;)

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FelisCatusCuteus

I agree

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Razvyedchik

Definitely supported, have a lingot.

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/captainhappy

Kindness always get returned in some way

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JulieHanfo

if they come to browser, i will want to leave too. i really don't mind the ads, but i don't want to be punished for making a mistake. also, i'd buy plus if i had the money.

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/darksteve1

yes though i can agree with you the hearts system gets you to do more practice which gains more hearts but this is just my opinion.

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/captainhappy

At least you can still practice...but I still agree with you

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ghostly.

Definitely agree with this.

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dkahn400

Has anyone ever had a good word to say about hearts?

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RuthAnnFarrar

Their a nice challenge and people can't just cheat using them!

December 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahGodard

What do you mean by cheat? People still had to remediate their mistakes before, now they can just do so fewer times. People learn by making mistakes. If anything, they’re more of a motivation to look at the answer, so I don’t really see what you’re trying to say.

December 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RuthAnnFarrar

Hearts are a bit of a blocker for learning. Sirecly if somebody wants to be at a higher level and get a few questions wrong then they have very little chance. Especially if you simply just spelled something wrong. Hope you continue to use duolingo. it is really a great place to learn languages.

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Saskia390132

I got Duolingo plus because I wanted to support free language learning. It is a bummer though when you try to recommend an app just to learn it changed to the negative.

December 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daremigio

I have just left a post, before I saw this thread. Totally agree. The hearts system is a powerful disincentive to learning.

December 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jon786634

It’s not new. It’s supposed to be slightly annoying so you will consider buying plus.

December 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahGodard

Not new to all, but new to some. And yes, I know Duolingo needs to make money and I absolutely support it in that. If I could pay for Plus I would, but I can't, and I'm not alone in that. I just don't want the free version of Duolingo to become a "free trial." I would gladly be shown twice as many ads if it meant not having the hearts system.

December 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrp545428

I agree. The hearts are a disincentive. Part of language learning is failing. Not only that, it locks you out of even trying or practicing - I’m about to kiss my streak goodbye because of this terrible, poorly conceived heart system. Duolingo developers. You need to get rid of this.

December 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrp545428

For some people it isn’t possible or practicable to use a website version and the mobile is the best option. Having the hearts on mobile doesn’t make me want to use the website, it makes me want to spam the developers until they change this awful heart system.

December 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasBisb1

thanks for living who that wrote this

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NYCIngrid

I have been using Duolingo for years and am very grateful for all I have learned. I was also frustrated by the change, but now I understand how to keep working forever, just like I used to. This is advice for a mobile device, since, as we know, the desktop version has not changed. At any time (even when you have hearts), click on the heart (or the space where they would be if you had any left). Then choose "practice." You will earn one heart for each practice lesson you do. These seem to be the same lessons you used to be able to do by clicking on the barbell, but now you get a heart for each one you do. It's great! We can continue to learn for free or, if we choose, we can pay and get unlimited hearts, the ability to work off-line and a few other perks. I hope you are able to enjoy Duolingo again!

November 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahGodard

I do know about the practice tab, and I'm glad they're there. That being said, this doesn't always rectify the change hearts bring. We learn by making mistakes and correcting them, but the hearts system keeps us from doing this. For example, when learning new vocabulary, I go through the entire lesson getting every question wrong, so that I don't pass the lesson until I know every word, without looking. By doing this, I look at each new word at least twice, and those I have more trouble with, I spend more time with. This is my method of learning, and I find it extremely effective, but the hearts system prohibits it entirely.

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShadowKarambit

yes I agree

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NickGeorgo1

My opinion in all this is that the heart system is fine. It costs 450 gems to refill hearts, and you can earn 450 hearts in no time. I have more gems than I know what to do with. I don't think I'm being too careful. I make plenty of mistakes, but there's tons of ways to make up hearts.

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrancisEke2

I love to learn with you. Thanks

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/itzel092205

hi

November 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VVoov

I still haven't experienced the hearts system in my years of Duolingo. I've used both the Android app and website- I guess I've been lucky. If it comes to the website then I'll probably have to adapt to the change. I haven't heard anything good about hearts from the iOS users.

November 30, 2019
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