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Discouraging learning- Red Hearts

As a person who has access to both a smart phone and a computer I can avoid the dreaded 'out of hearts scenario' My concern is that Duolingo was created for everyone, especially those with less, across the world trying to get ahead in life. As a teacher of many many years the biggest deterrent for learning is failure so when we lose all the hearts we are discouraged and give up. The biggest contradiction is when you make lots of mistakes on your computer you get a lovely message from Duolingo saying 'hey, keep going, you learn by making mistakes!' Exactly!! So think of the people who are on the bus, on the train tying to do their Duolingo only to get shut out after 5 mistakes. They could be practising for their whole journey.
If I did not have my computer I would have given up years ago. Let's get rid of the whole heart thing and offer your faboulous product to all. I think that most of the people who do give up cannot afford to pay for you product. Love you Duolingo, 600+ days on Duolingo. Rossi

December 15, 2019



The life hearts deter learning and are not consistent with the stated goals of Duolingo


How are we supposed to learn new things by getting everything correct? Doesn't that just mean we know everything? Isn't Doulingo supposed to help us learn? How are we supposed to learn when they shut us out and don't let us do lessons? They just want to make money. And guess what....... you get UNLIMITED hearts if you pay for premium. It's just a scam.


except you don't get unlimited hearts. You simply aren't getting limited hearts. It's just a scam.


The point of implementing the heart system is absolutely to make money. There is literally no other good reason for it.

Duolingo's official explanation is, of course, that the heart system discourages "binging" behaviour on lessons in order to achieve status. Which I might have accepted, initially, if they hadn't already implemented the whole competitive leaderboard aspect which absolutely encourages binging behaviour by specifically rewarding the users who binge the most.

Lessons were already designed to (gently) hold you back if you were making mistakes (which is a part of learning, says the little green owl), until you learned to correct those mistakes. The hearts system is a draconian alternative that lets you make a scant five errors before preventing you from progressing AT ALL - not until you take a break, which might actually kind of discourage binging, but until you go back and rehash old stuff. So it doesn't want you to binge, but it forces you to do tedious busywork in the app (or WATCH ADS) in order to regain hearts.

Of course, the truth becomes clear when you read between the lines. Are you struggling? Is the hearts system holding you back? Well why don't you cough up some real-life cash and get Duolingo Plus for unlimited hearts!

Now why would they do that? Why would they give you the option to completely bypass a system they implemented supposedly for your benefit, as long as you gave them money? Could it possibly be that the whole "discourage binging behaviour" is absolute bull honkey? It's almost like the hearts system is just there to waste your time and frustrate you into paying money...

IMO, if someone wants to play the app as a game instead of use it to seriously learn a new language, I think that's their own prerogative and the devs shouldn't be adding in features to forcibly inhibit people from using it how they want. If Duolingo really wanted to discourage binging behaviour, what they would have done is implement a feature that actually does that. Have the owl pop up during a session that's gone on a little too long and explain why taking a break will actually help you retain information. Maybe don't have the leaderboard literally up at the top of the web homepage, making competition against people who binge an implicit priority. Perhaps don't provide an option where you can turn off the alleged anti-binging features if you pay up real money.

But they don't want to discourage binging or encourage learning. They want to dishearten and frustrate people into giving them cash. And therein lies the truth. Duolingo is a crappy mobile game with microtransactions now, and is pretending they're there to give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. You're welcome.


I dont have hearts at all only lingots. Downloaded the app 3-4 years ago


You can refill the hearts easy and free. All you have to do is some pratice rounds. Then you get your hearts back plus you learn even more becouse of the repetition, have fun


I heartily agree with kennigren! The hearts provide me with vital feedback: 1) Slow down and proofread answers. 2) Check my notes before clicking. (I use the Colornote app to document new learning in each language.) 3) When Duo throws in a new word, make a guess, then check it with a paper or online dictionary. 4) Etc. Regarding the requirement to complete a practice round, that is a basic method to improve learning. Yes, it can be annoying, yet a second heart is usually offered. Or, I can take a break from Duo. The hearts replenish after several hours.


I mostly only use the app, but have no issue with the hearts personally. When I muck up, I know I need to pay more attention or practice more, so when I have to do practice to get my hearts back I don't mind, it's all helping solidify things in my brain! I can see why it could be annoying for some, but the hearts are not a negative thing for me personally. :)

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