That moment when you are lying in bed late at night and you realize you never practiced Duolingo that day so your streak will be gone...
Unless I'm sick, I never go to bed until after midnight. Since I started DL, part of my routine at night is to do at least one practice session before I go to bed, and then as much as I have time for later in the day after I'm up. I refuse to buy a streak freeze on principle, and if / when I reach a point where my streak ends, it ends. I'll not cheat and artificially extend it.
Frankly, I don't see how anyone sees it as anything but a cheat. Before the streak freeze became available, a long streak required the commitment to, at the minimum, sign on each day and do some work. Now anyone can take the occasional day, or days, off without doing anything constructive to maintain their streak and get the same result. Which is more meaningful, having a 100 day streak that's honestly acquired through daily work, or one where the user took 10 days off along the way?
I don't know. If you are staying up until midnight to ensure you get a lesson in, you really aren't necessarily doing something constructive everyday either. You could easily stay up late every other night, and not do any work the next day.I don't feel that there is any correct way to learn on here.
So, which is more impressive? Well, if you get a lesson in at 11:50pm and 12:10am every other day, I'm not going to be that impressed.
I'm not staying up late for Duolingo, I'm up anyway. I assure you, I'm doing several constructive things during that time. Since I'm up, I just make a point of doing a lesson when I'm taking a few minutes to wind down before heading to bed. The majority of my work with DL is done the following morning after I'm up again (as I said in the previous post, I should probably point out).
Although I have only a short streak at Duolingo to protect, I usually do a little weakest word practice shortly after midnight, just in case I forget later that day. I do it right before or after I go over to the Gas Buddy site to maintain my 2100+ day streak there (I post gas prices later in the day.)
At Gas Buddy, there's no cheating, and I don't plan to buy a streak freeze here, either. BTW the biggest risk to your streak is probably power or internet outages, not forgetting.
@wazzie I'm not judging anyone. I don't care about the length of your streak or anyone else's or whether someone got their streak with a couple dozen freezes along the way. I'm only stating how I feel about using freezes personally. I managed to keep a streak going for 220+ days before Lingots were even available. I don't think it's that surprising that I can keep it going a bit longer without resorting to using a freeze. I could buy a freeze every day for the next month and have Lingots left over, I just don't see the point. Anyone who cares to will know when the day comes that I miss a practice because my streak will be reset that night.
Whateves... It really is all about personal motivation (it really has to be when learning a language right?). I like to save up my Linglosts so I can track my process using Certificate Test, and that alone is enough motivation for me to keep my streak (especially since I have seen a few post with people who used their streak freeze are receiving Linglots based on their 'new' or 'true' streak numbers).
The fact is, you will never know if I use a streak freeze, and I will never know if you secretly have one equipped that you use every 30 days. I just think we need to stop judging each other, and trying to figure out whose streak is real and whose isn't and focus on the learning :)
I often spend a good part of my time participating in discussions on DL, both in the language I am learning (Spanish) and in my native language (English). Both help me learn. When I help Spanish speakers learn English, it helps me in two ways: first because I mostly (90%) write the explanations in Spanish, which is a challenge and, second, it requires me to think about the differences in the grammar between the two languages.
One day, I got caught up in these comments/discussions about the languages. About a half hour after midnight, I realized that I had not done an "official" DL lesson. Luckily, I had "streak freeze" enabled. I don't consider it a "cheat" to myself because I was actively involved with DL and I was learning my target language. It would have been disheartening to have my streak re-set.
I only add this story here because you say "Frankly, I don't see how anyone sees it as anything but a cheat." So, yes, I think that my streak is "honestly acquired through daily work".
@rubrum I feel the same way, more or less. There was no reward for maintaining a long streak for me until 2 or 3 weeks ago when Lingots became available to everyone. I have kept it going because it is my own way of motivating myself to do something with DL each day. I don't want today to be the day that I break the chain, if you will (see http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret).
I haven't spent any of my Lingots except for buying a double or nothing for no good reason. Assuming my activity level remains the same and my streak doesn't end any time soon, I'll be earning 150 or more Lingots a month for the foreseable future, and they'll just gather dust as far as I can tell haha.
@pinkodoug it would be good if users could exchange lingots with each other. Not that I'm complaining. i have 120 and i dont know what to do with them. i also do not use streak freezes, and i hope i'll be able to get a longer streak. i would try to get a really long streak even if there would be no reward.
Do you also not insure your car?
That's all the streak freeze is - insurance. You have to buy it ahead of time and it's there to protect your streak in case of some unforeseen circumstance that prevents you from practising for one day.
But of course, it's your decision to make on whether to buy it or not. As you say elsewhere in this thread, the streak freeze should really be a personal motivation, not a way to show-off to others. And as a personal motivation, we all know whether our own streak has been saved by a streak-freeze and if so, how justified it was. Whether or not someone else's streak has been maintained using a streak-freeze shouldn't really concern us.
I don't liken this to insuring my car, but to extend your metaphor, I see it more like taking a safe driver discount when you've had a couple tickets and an accident due to an error by the insurer.
You're 100% correct that streaks are ultimately only be important to the owner of the streak. I probably should have used the word "meaningful" rather than "impressive" in the hypothetical in another post. For me, extending my streak by 100 days during which I could take time off, whether 1 day or 30 days off (my normal usage will earn more than enough points in 100 days time to buy 30 freezes) renders that streak meaningless, which is why I won't buy a freeze. This is also why I view it as a "cheat" because it preserves a metric in an illegitimate (IMO, of course) fashion.
I think that the color of the flame should change(blue?) if you use a streak freeze, to show that it's not a true streak. I also won't buy freezes or extra hearts. For me, personally, it would be cheating. Admittedly, I do occassionally peak, and yes I'm cheating when I do. I need to stop that!
Yes, the option to buy a streak freeze only became available to me the day after I lost my longest streak! I would have loved a "streak rescue"! (And I'll point out to Pinkodoug that the reason I lost my streak was because I always practise before bed, but that one day I lost track of time and went to bed after midnight, so I had done the same amount of time I always do, and therefore would not have been a "cheat" in my eyes!)
I recently went on holiday with no access to internet for one day, when I had a streak of about 55. This was just after the streak freeze was introduced. I wrestled with myself a bit about whether to use it. I decided not to, telling myself I was above caring about silly streaks. But, I kind of do care a little bit ;)
well, guys, I really don't understand you... but that just shows that everyone is different. My best streak ever was 6 - and I said :"OK girl, take it easy!", when I lost it. ( ;) ). Do not think that I'm a phlegmatic slacker, or something like that (at school I'm a best student in my class). I love learning here, but I focus better on my skills points than on my streak.
Well you are still in school so studying is part of your routine. This is not the case for most of the people here. Our day is filled with a bunch of things to do so. The idea of the streak is that it is a reminder that you need to find a minimum of a few minutes to study a bit, otherwise you might end up staying away from Duolingo for months...
Another point is that ( and I read about this on lifeHacker) if you want to introduce new things into your life, you need to make sure that you do it for at least 21 days (continuously), and keep notes so that if you miss a day, you have to start counting again.
This is one place you do not have to apologise for any errors in second-language use. And anyway, your english is fine :)
I'm interested to know - is duolingo popular in Indonesia? It would be great if an English from Bahasa Indonesia or an English from Javanese course was added using the new community tools...
hahahaha I love all your stories. I mean it's sad, ofcourse! Here's a tip guys, if you're trying to do DL last minute to save your streak, just do a practice lesson, one correct sentence should be enough to save yourself. Seeing that many of us sometimes are only left with a few mins, doing an entire new lesson may not fit in that time frame. So try 'practice lesson' next time ;)
I lost over 80 days in Spanish 109 days ago. I didn't realize how much that bothered me, that my 80+ days would suddenly become 0 days, until it happened. I know that my streak is really x + y - 1; but the fact that it says "x" bugs me. Silly, really.
Silly, too, that I'm obsessed with maintaiing a streak on so many languages every day. It's obsessive, and it's ineffective. There's no way that I can claim to be "learning" five languages. All I've done is to have maintained a little vocabulary. Only Spanish and German really count. For the others, curiosity made me start and it's just annoying pride that makes me work on them a little bit every day.
But if I were to wake up to realize that I let any of them slide the day before, I would have to suppress some naughty words. It gives me a clue about myself, but I don't know what it means.
It is obsessive! You're so right! I'm the same way. I feel bad that my uncle just lost a 100+ day streak on here. See, for me, I am an achiever, so I like to have the feeling of accomplishment of diligent learning every day, so when I lose that, it is disappointing to me that I have lost my work. I'm not sure about you, but that is the case for me.
Whether "streaks" have anything to do with progress depends on whether daily practice helps you to progress (which, of course, it does), and whether Duolingo is your only way to practice every day. If your skills decay, it will get harder to motivate yourself to refresh those skills. That's why the number of people who quit learning a language is always going to be many, many times greater than the number who will continue. Daily practice keeps the work of maintaining what you know smaller and more manageable.
It's like daily exercise or quitting a bad habit. The effort is smaller to do things like that daily. You make it harder if you skip a day.
I haven't check myself, but there was a comment from one of the developers (several months ago when the streak was a hot discussion topic) that just checking one sentence will not preserve the streak. Maybe they changed it. I will test and see!
EDIT: You are right, apparently they changed the rule. I remember I tried it a few months back and it didn't work.
It is frustrating. The thing I don't understand is why I didn't get an e-mail or text reminder the days that I lost my streak?!? I have the short term memory of a goldfish. Saturday I was bored, on the computer, and never once thought of practicing Duolingo! I checked my e-mail, a reminder would have been great, but there wasn't one. I didn't understand how the streak freeze worked until I read this discussion! As soon as I post this I'm going to go buy one!
I logged in with 15 minutes to spare, but then got lost in answering email. Midnight came and went. Aye! Fortunately it was the first week after streak freeze had become available and I was insured.
Oddly though, the Duo encouraging emails that say things like "continue your 3 day streak" reverted to time-zero.
The latest I get off of work is 11 PM and I tend to sleep around 2 AM - 10 AM, so I can get home, start lessons before midnight (applies to current day) and usually finish after midnight (applies to next day). So when i had a headache when I got home from work yesterday and went straight to sleep, my streak was safe!
I am confused... what's so great about these streaks that they are worth such a heated discussions? Who cares anyway about some streaks?
Oh, I thought that by getting more and more of them there are some rewards, apart from satisfaction, and that's why losing them is such a shame.
If you value Lingots, there's a reward. For example, in 6 days, I'll get a bonus of 25 Lingots when my streak reaches 250 days. Personally, I don't care about that because I don't use Lingots at all. For me, maintaining the streak is simply a way of ensuring that I spend at least a little time each day working on Spanish with DL. My streak represents an unbroken chain of days on which I exercised my Spanish skills dating back to January. Missing one day makes it easier to miss a second or a third, and as I said in another post, I don't want today to be the day that I break my chain.
I am not much interested in streaks nor lingots at the moment since I joined DL only today :) BUT, I have an important question to you seeing as I am too learnign Spanish, just started mind you, but still, and I am curious (seeing you're on level 22) how do you find learning with DL? Do you know a lot already at that level? It would be great if DL could get me some solid basics of grammar and maybe a little beyond so I can start reading.
It provides a good foundation for moving on to more advanced studies, but it's not something that's going to make you fluent on its own (not even close - yet, it's still relatively young). I think people will generally have the most success if they don't rely solely on DL at this point. There are numerous free resources online that serve to augment DL very well (I'll list some examples below).
As for my experience with DL, I can read a lot of Spanish news and technical articles without too many problems, but I do have to stop and look up a word fairly often. When speaking, I have to choose my words carefully - they don't just flow (yet!). I have a hard time with following native speakers at conversational speeds, but I'm getting better. DL doesn't do much to help with that, but watching and trying to keep up with Spanish language videos and TV helps.
- http://memrise.com - vocabulary drills that many people find useful (I don't care the site personally)
- http://www.youtube.com/user/languagenow - a good series of video grammar lessons.
- http://learner.org/series/destinos/watch/ - a video series with companion materials available that is intended to help novices learn the language. It's over 20 years old, and it looks it, but it's a great resource.
I just had that thought ... and I checked ... and yes I got my lesson in for today. Whew!!! Close call. :-) Studying Spanish hasn't been the dominant thought in my mind for the last several weeks so it's taken a real effort to keep it going. So far so good. At day 104 currently, and am about halfway through the Spanish tree. Great post topic by the way -- the best ever.