https://www.duolingo.com/musa_meditans

The tyranny of the time zone

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Given all the mechanisms and incentives Duolingo provides to get its users to maintain a streak (Coach, extra lingots, etc) is there a good reason why the developers have not added a time zone customization setting? Not being able to manually set the time zone/Duo not automatically updating to whatever the system time is makes it a lot more difficult to maintain a streak if you do a significant amount of traveling.

I've moved countries (and continents!) twice since I started using Duo about a year ago, and now the site is stuck on a 10-hour differential from where I am now. Weirdly enough, Duo's current time setting isn't set to the time zone where I was when I first started using the site (which is the explanation I've seen on other posts), but rather where I was 3 months ago...either way, it's kind of annoying.

I know there have been several posts about this before, but as a slightly disgruntled expat who used to be semi-diligent about getting her 10 points on Duolingo every day, I feel it's worth bringing up again.

4 years ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/arbaro
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More generally, it would be pretty great to decide when a new day starts to confirm with each individual's schedule. Sometimes the most convenient time for me to study is 12:03 AM.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stigjohan
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It's weird, because I switched time zones earlier this autumn, and as far as I can tell, Duolingo also switched to the new time zone right away. Is it possible that Duolingo uses your system time and you forgot to set the new time zone on your computer or mobile phone?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
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It doesn't use your system time. As to why it changes for some people and not at all for others, I have no idea.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
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It would need some limit on it. A person could use it to get a two day streak extension in mere minutes and then do that every other day instead of getting points daily. Though I guess a person could do that buying a streak freeze every other day too. Or by getting points a little before and after midnight. Maybe Duolingo could require 24 to 48 hour wait for it to take effect.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AirAndy33

Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away. What i'm trying to say is the streak dosn't matter, its the progression through the language and your confidence with it. Those who cut corners and do things to rise their image can't hide the truth from themselves, and will only hurt them in the long run...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/musa_meditans
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I believe that most users of this site aren't interested in cutting corners. As for myself, I know that I am fully invested in the "gamified" aspect of the site (as silly as that sounds to admit) and I just want to be able to play the "game" by the rules! :P

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
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I think a 48-hour "time out" period would work best.

This is how I see it working out:
Day 1: Button to Request timezone change
Day 2: Nothing changes
Day 3: Button changes to "update now", duolingo reminds you updating could result in loss of streak and to make sure that they are not jumping more that 24 hours ahead of the past points earned.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/G0108

Or they could just make it so that you can't constantly change it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
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They could also require you to buy it with ligots. That would make it as expensive as a streak freeze to use. So a person would not have a real advantage over simply buying a streak freeze.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
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Not really though.
You have to buy a streak freeze ahead of time. I think the concern here is you could miss midnight, then temporary change your timezone so that it is before midnight, practice, and get credit for that day.
One is proactive and one is retroactive.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thenoblesunfish
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They could always just enforce it in the least-charitable way, meaning that changing the timezone ends the day as far as the streak is concerned (so you must already have your check mark to change the timezone and maintain a streak), and then you have until midnight in your new timezone to practice again.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
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Yes, this makes the most sense. One could change it at will, as long as one day is subtracted from the streak for each change and one earns a checkmark (thus “restoring” the original streak count) between each change, so one could experiment as needed to determine one’s preferred “timezone”, and no system gaming could occur.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnKuAlGa

Try logging into the mobile app on an Android device. As indicated in their support page listed below, Android devices cause your time zone to be changed automatically. Not sure why this can’t also happen on iOS devices.

https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204751974-What-is-my-time-zone-set-to-

3 years ago
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