Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Duolingo's future

Firstly, I absolutely love Duolingo. I love the way they have implemented, basically a game, and turned it into an educational experience. My question is, what do you think is next? Are they going to add more features? The language side in my opinion, with the tree, the community and the activities is totally mastered, and just needs a little polishing. I am talking about the interactive, customization side of things.

I mean, we already earn XP, so you could add a lot more features for you to have fun and spend your Lingots on. Perhaps an avatar, fully customizable by buying items for him/her using Lingots. Changing your interface colours, text, fonts, styles, all a while using Lingots that need to be earned.

However, I did grow up playing RPG's/Role Playing games with my dad and continued with them throughout most of my adult life. Maybe, just maybe, I need to get out more...

Saludos a todo

3 years ago

65 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SebastianBenetS

I would prefer to have a much greater choice of bonus skills than the three you get at the moment, especially as the Christmas skill is only available at Christmas. Skills focussing on cultural aspects would be great, or skills based on what the contributors for that specific language think would be useful for everyday life.

I'm not sure how far I'd want customisation to go. I wouldn't want an avatar, but changing the interface would be great. Really anything to spend my unused, and unusable, lingots on.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

The problem is that lingots have absolutely no relation to actual things like human labor and money, and many of the suggestions, wishes, "needs" and "shoulds" that people mention here do have a relation to human labor and money. I wish I knew what those that have invested millions in Duo expected Duo to do, or what Duo told investors of plans and goals. That may give us a clue as to what Duo actually will do. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PropheticT

Based solely on a single, half-remembered TED Talk by one of the creators of DuoLingo at Carnegie Mellon, I believe the funding for the site was originally to come from paid translation services. Users are given free language instruction and, in return, we provide peer-reviewed translation services for which DuoLingo is paid. Not a bad deal.

The idea for this crowd-sourced, volunteer translation came from the same Carnegie Mellon team that envisioned the ReCaptcha "are you human" test for websites. They wanted to find a way to turn the millions of seconds people were spending every day typing these word-images into websites into productive time. Now, when you see one of these checks that has two words side-by-side, only one of them is actually the test; the other is an unknown word from a scanned document that was not recognized by the scanning software. After a sufficient number of humans have entered that unknown word identically, the software determines it is correct and whatever document it came from is updated appropriately. This means that every time you enter one of these Captchas on a website, you are actually helping to make some document, book or article available to the world in a digital format, just by doing something you were going to have to do anyway. Also not a bad deal.

I guess the upshot is that we should all spend more time in the Immersion section translating articles, since that is how DuoLingo stays in business.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Wow, I didn't know that. I wasn't aware we were translating those articles for paid customers and that was funding DL. I will make more use of my time in there from now on.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

As for "unusable" lingots, I read a post a while back about using the lingots as sort of "appreciation currency." It has certainly changed my outlook on lingots!

I'd love to see bonus skills that focus on cultural aspects. The Christmas skill was interesting in that way. Specific situations beyond what already exists in the tree would be great too ("ordering at a restaurant," "emergency medicine"). I know there are other ways to get those vocab lists (MindSnacks, MangoLanguages, even lists on Memrise), but as long as we want a pony...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Good idea

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brian_as_himself

yeah, it is, actually. who needs more golden tracksuits? "everyday / real world" lessons would be fantastic! things like "i cant find my registration officer, i got robbed at the club last week. but i swear this my mothers car" while a bit specific, lol, is WAY more useful than "the Horses drink stawberries"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

I believe the logic behind the absurd, dadaist sentences (though the bank never uses verbs improperly like drinking strawberries), is that the funny sentences early on stick in your brain and add variety as you practice a limited vocabulary. As you progress up the tree, the sentences get more complex and more realistic.

That said, without context many of them are still bizarre.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

It's true. I often ask locals in Cadiz if their crabs enjoy drinking milk

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

Most people didn`t like the heart system but it did make duolingo a game. Now, the game aspect is mostly gone. Without the chance of losing there is no winning. One simply does the exercises.

What duolingo needs is more of everything: more words, more exercises, more bonus skills, you name it. Time for duolingo to step up to the plate and actually teach languages instead of just giving us a taste.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

I agree partly with what you are saying Rob although with a 531 day streak, I imagine you understand an incredible amount of Spanish and have an enormous amount of knowledge to show after using a FREE service?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

Duolingo is a good start and I am very thankful for what it has taught me. Unfortunately, I have had to go to other sources to increase my learning. Duolingo could be so much more if it wanted to be.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Wanted to be, and had or chose to use resources to achieve those goals. A soup kitchen for the homeless may want to freely offer more than soup, but may not be able to do so, and/or its financial supporters may not be willing to support expanding the venture.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

True, duolingo may not have the resources. If so, it might be worth considering developing the courses now offered to a higher level instead of trying to offer every language ever conceived. I have stated before that I think duolingo is spreading itself too thin but I do not know how many actual active members duolingo has. I know a lot have signed on and a lot have left. It would be nice to know just how many active members duolingo does have but that is none of my business.

One might ask what is the meaning of success regarding a language learning site. Is it the number of members that have signed on? Is it the number of members who are active each day? Or, in the final analysis, is it the number of members who actually learned a language? If it is the latter then duolingo has a long way to go.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Feraz.I

I would say the latter and agree that it has a long way to go. It gets you off to a great start and certainly teaches a lot of basics but it is not really in depth language learning. There could be more... for example it needs a lot more target language to english translations within the tree rather than at immersion (where feedback is not necessarily immediate)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

I understand.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

It's still gamified, especially using the timed test. You still gain points and level up. Badges for silly achievements would be an easy addition though: "streak of answering questions perfectly," "100 dictation sentences transcribed," etc.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SuperDescartes

They removed a lot of the gaming aspect with the XP bar, that was crucial. Yes I'm still whining about this because I want it back and the coach sucks.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

I'm either in a different a/b group than you are or I'm completely missing what you mean: XP is still earned, you still get levels. You can still wipe out on a timed test, and you can always impose your own "three strikes and you're out" on the untimed. That said, sometimes gamification is antithetical to learning, unfortunately--I see the argument for removing the hearts.

Anyway, so not going down that path. Do you have an iOS device? Have you tried Mindsnacks? It's gamification done really well. The games are actually fun--and explicitly designed as games. The practice involves native speakers, photographic and illustrated clues, and centers around phrases and theme packs (e.g., "staying at a hotel", "cheering at a game"). The diverse games lean a little too far on timed pressure than I'd prefer, but they're fun and aim at many aspects of learning. The answers tend to be prescriptive (no gender or synonym flexibility like Duo allows), but this also means that the answers are always correct--no "technically correct" answers being used as stimulus, so no weird vocab creep or super awkward phrasing. It also does spaced repetition so you'll get older units sprinkled here and there.

You can get the first few levels for free, and then the full version is $6. I very rarely pay for apps, and this was absolutely worth it in my opinion. If you're looking for a truly gamified Spanish (and French) practice, I highly recommend it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SuperDescartes

Oh I'm not talking about the XP mechanic but the old system we had of tracking our XP progress, th XP Bar, the bar that said how many XP points you needed to the next level. Mand others and myself included found it to be an amazing motivating tool. As for the hearts, I agree, I miss them slightly but I see the advantages, learning is more casual now and less frustrating, which is better for a lanauage learning tool.

And hmm, never heard of that appp before! Sounds interesting, I may check it out, its always good to have supplements to duo. However, I doubt Ill pay for it as I'm pretty stingy when it comes to apps :P but the first few levels should be still be good!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Yeah, I noticed the XP had gone, or something has changed? I like the gaming aspects, statistics appeal to me and makes me feel like I am accomplishing something. The exercises racking up in round numbers also bothers me. Perhaps at the end of each round, you could have a quick fire round to increase your xp by a percentage. The round numbers just makes the XP feel too much like farming. I am sad I know, but my language learning has always consisted of fun, since I live in Spain I already have the natives to talk to and ask about milk drinking crabs.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanD_8
DanD_8
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Even without hearts, there are still "games" to play. Chasing the next level if my favorite part, but keeping the skills gold is also a game.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

I wish the levels were not so spread out and had a level cap of say, 2500.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JBW.
JBW.
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Without the chance of losing there is no winning.

I somewhat agree. In a game, there has to be a balance between difficulty and the user thinking the game isn't fair. A lot of people get really mad whenever they can't beat a hard level in a game or something, and if not mad, simply discouraged. With the new system, never losing might be a good thing. Whenever I start a lesson, I know the only way for me to lose is if I quit. I know I can lose single activities, but not having to restart the lesson every time I lose all my hearts is less discouraging as a whole, and stimulates more progress in my opinion.

If you like the heart system better, I guess you should have the choice to use it though.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

Actually, I`m not into games. The last game I played was PacMan. I found the Heart system annoying so I was happy to see the change. All I really want is for duolingo to get serious about teaching the existing languages and forget about trying to offer every language known to man. I know that will upset many waiting for those courses but if duolingo is going to be effective it needs to set its priorities towards actually teaching a few courses.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JBW.
JBW.
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I see... (Almost) anyone can work on a language they know in the incubator. So if Duolingo updates their site to be better at what it does, gradually things will get better, as these changes should also affect new languages.

I am :-). But yeah, I think we are on the same page here.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AureliaUK
AureliaUK
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Without the chance of losing there is no winning.

Rubbish. You win with every improvement in your knowledge of the language you are learning.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

I was referring to the gaming aspect.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elgatobandido
Elgatobandido
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What is next is to increase the size of the vocabulary lists on the trees. They should have at least 2500 not counting verb conjugations of the same word.
Eventually advanced trees for when the original is completed, or even a three tree system, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
Also more bonus skills and more spaces to buy bonus skills with your lingots.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Sounds great!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JBW.
JBW.
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The three tree system sounds great for learning words, but think about trying to keep all of them gold!! I'd recommend simply a new mode where Duolingo is adding new words consistently and you can learn in the same way as lessons. The only differences, are that the words wouldn't be split up into lessons, but you'd play like on a flashcard basis.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rehmpasc
Rehmpasc
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I agree and would also love functional enhancements for duolingo: More courses including more vocabulary. Optionally a chat function or something where you can exchange with others and interactively correct them and be corrected in the language you are learning. This could work in a way where you earn lingots for tutelage by helping others that learn your language and spend it for tutelage of the language you are learning.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heflinator

Yes, communicating with other students is really enjoyable and helpful, as you can imagine. If duolingo could develop and add an interactive site for students, that would operate like the old Livemocha.com site operated (before it was destroyed by Rosetta Stone), it would be awesome!! When you helped a fellow student with writing and pronunciation, they helped you in return and the degree of helpfulness was rated by every contact (earning lingots here). In addition to learning another language, I was also intrigued by the ability to make friends and learn about their culture. I have friends from that old site that I still communicate with today who live in Colombia, Ecuador and the USA, via skype, whatsapp and viber.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AureliaUK
AureliaUK
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Unfortunately there were problems with the peer review process on LiveMocha, ie that there was an ever-growing pool of those who pretended to review but didn't add anything of value. Some appeared to be linked to bots that posted "Nice" or something similar and gave three stars to every contribution regardless of its quality and within seconds of a contribution being posted. They were abusing the system to accumulate points to further their own study but not genuinely helping anyone.

There were also those who were clearly not native, or even very fluent, English speakers who were wrongly "correcting" contributions from those learning English, and I believe it was happening in other languages as well.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Probably leading to violence when would-be-students have been mislead by wrongly corrected contributions thereby asking locals to smell their armpits instead of asking for a beer and a scone.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heflinator

Sure, I agree and disliked experiencing everything you mentioned. I've read many livemocha.com corrections that were very poor examples of English, especially lacking any degree of writing style. I live in the USA and hear native speakers abusing English on a daily basis.

What I liked best about the site, was being able to evaluate and select the people to join my group. The decision was solely based on my opinion of them...and that was the key!! It was easy for me to recognize the serious learners and separate them from the more casual participants. When I finally had a good group, it was wonderful!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Excellent idea, a chat function. On most simple websites, other than FB they have chat functions

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/toussaintlou
toussaintlou
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What I would like is for someone to develop a Virtual Reality, Interactive experience with the new HTC headset (I've heard it's unbelievable but not available yet, commercially) that allows me to travel and interact with native speakers. I could choose the setting (airport, customs, police station, store, taxi cab, hotel, train, plane, etc.) and voice recognition would help me hone my new language skills. I know it's going to happen, which is what motivates me to continue collecting languages.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cruise2525

I love your idea of the Virtual Reality Interactive Language Experience. Add the special features language options for subtitles. These can be turned on and off or can be changed as a student becomes more familiar with the contents... One might start with subtitles in one's native language and then switch to the foreign language or turn the subtitles off altogether. This could be designed for individuals, for children and teenagers learning to communicate with relatives and friends, and families and individuals who are planning to travel or live abroad. Here are a few more ideas: Bon Appetite, (Food Quiz) Plan your Vacation (Geography Game), Sports on the News (Quiz Game), and The Great Outdoors (Farm Life and Camping). These are designed to span the globe.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Very interesting ideas.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

Although I wouldn't mind being able to change colors and so on, that aspect is not that important to me. The only exception would be the font as I'd like to be able to see the accents more clearly. I would be more interested in an expansion of the Spanish course with more words.

As to the future, I think that they will focus less on translation and more on teaching words and phrases that would be helpful in everyday life. The test center appears to be a focus and I would expect that to continue, but they have a long way to go for that to be generally accepted.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

What is the test centre?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/astrylian

In the future, it would be useful to reward those who take the time to explain grammar points during lessons. I appreciate the fact that lessons are made by contributors, and that my language learning is boosted by community involvement. I've checked the threads and appreciate it when a helpful native speaker has clarified a point. Perhaps something like the translation tier but for assistance? I only see that functioning well if there's a "verification" option. However, I suppose that non-natives can also "verify" too.

That might be a problem, as I often see explanations that are simply untrue. But this conflict also happens in the immersion section, where people disagree about translations. I can't think of a better solution to end those petty translation conflicts, the erroneous information, or the occasional resentful down vote.

As for customization, the avatar thing exists via mobile, as far as I remember, but not on the website.

In fact, I would like to see a better flashcard system implemented, as I know that the definite/indefinite articles are not included. It is frustrating to have to resort to other websites for their flashcard services, because of such a simple problem. With Romance languages, German, and others that have gendered nouns, it just makes absolutely no sense to not include that information.

Ultimately, I wouldn't mind if Duolingo allowed us to write and practice those concepts we learned. I do miss the old Livemocha, and I remember being prompted to write a small blurb relevant to what I had just learned. If we could collaborate and check the entries of others, that's the best step I see for this website, not things like lingots (which for me, remain unused) and avatar capabilities.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Excellent points. I like how you can upvote, and/or give Lingots. Lingots need to have more value in my opinion. Perhaps also a separate upvote, an educational thank you up vote for people taking their time to explain grammar points which in turn could earn them Titles in their names, above them, decorative, Teacher, Helper, Grammar Genius, etc

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/luckygutsy
luckygutsy
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I'm interested to see if they add a handwriting feature for languages that don't use the Latin alphabet. For example, handwritten cyrillic looks totally different than typed cyrillic. Teaching the handwritten script would be a good bonus skill, since it's non essential if you just want to chat to the Russian guy at work but could be useful for people who want to, say, move to a country that uses that alphabet.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Wonderful idea, and easily implemented I think

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ebrillblaiddes

Easy to add a thing people can write into; not so easy to check it automatically.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cruise2525

On the first tree, we were introduced to vocabulary and grammar in general. A second level might have a greater focus on dialogue in common daily and weekly activities and situations. I want to suggest a different idea. Have a family visit a foreign country for vacation where they are assisted by a host family or relatives and friends. This is a tree which might be used by an individual or an entire family learning a foreign language. The children in these families might be different ages.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dumoc

This is brilliant. Good ideas.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elgatobandido
Elgatobandido
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Some ability to store notes would be nice too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dumoc

I agree.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Amorack
Amorack
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I would like more opportunities to use Duolingo to speak with native speakers. That's one of the best forms of immersion one can get, and IMO, much better for learning than translating webpages. Even longer translations during the skill practice would be nice.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cruise2525

At times I've peaked into the immersion feature and also have felt overwhelmed. I'd like to be able to attempt all translations at my level rather than only the ones others haven't done. I'd like simpler and much shorter translations: for examples: postcards with pictures, simple business letters, travel brochures, itineraries, purchase orders, and brief dialogues that increase in difficulty and length.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AureliaUK
AureliaUK
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Maybe, just maybe, I need to get out more...

By Jove, I think you've got it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Thanks, that was great, especially the part were you understood satire.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/redrosebeetle

I would be leery of requiring Lingots to change interface colors, texts, fonts, styles, etc, as that can be an accessibility issue for the vision impaired.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

More in a customizable way. Image auras, or stars, icons around your name that cost Lingots. I don't know, but anything is better than not being able to spend them, in fact, how about just showing the amount of Lingots people have by their name? That would create competition. Being rewarded by correctly spelling all words, receiving Lingots, etc

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cruise2525

I don't think the styles or fonts need to be changed. I know I have to scroll down to enter my answer now that I enlarged the print. In respect to my vision, it's as much an issue of contrast and clarity. Here it would help some to be adjust the print by changing it to bold to help the reader see the accents. For example, "à côté" means next to while "côte" means shore. Accents change the meaning of a word entirely.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Yeah, that's true I didn't consider this. Have you considered holding CTRL on your keyboard and scrolling out slightly so you see the whole screen? Also clicking F11 will allow the screen to go FULL SCREEN so you don't need to move anything. You should be using the keyboard short cuts suggested in the settings menu also for maximum comfort. I use full screen, keyboard short cuts, a bit of classical music and I can spend hours being immersed

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/josh850314

Maybe there could be like a multiplayer battle or something. I would like something like that. I've always been a competitive person, so i would look forward to it.

-Josh LUV YA!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

They once tried one-on-one "dueling" and it was a flop.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Yeah, I think the main idea is to have more incentive to get loads of lingots, which in turn are really earned! not just by going through the motions

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/josh850314

Yeah in all honesty, if there was something like that, the loser of the battle should get lingots too because they put some work into it too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Silent-Hill

Yeah, winners all around, but more winnings for the victor!

3 years ago