https://www.duolingo.com/Nacho.Danders

Oops! Lost my streak

Two days ago I got 47 lingots for getting XP for 10 days straight 47 times. Today instead of lighting up the number 470, however, the little flame in the corner sat next to a newborn 0. Duo slipped my mind one day too long. I knew the sight would come—but I expected to be upset when it finally did. I always stressed on the days I struggled to find time to squeeze in just 2 XP or spend my inexhaustible hoard of lingots on yet another streak freeze, but I couldn't let it die. Something made it too important.

Four hundred seventy days ago (well, longer than that. I've used my share of freezes) I started on Duo with the goal of attaining a basic grasp on the French language, starting from zero. My enthusiasm could not be curbed as I leveled up and up! growing my vocabulary, drawing sprawling connections to words I already knew. The clockwork fell into place in my head, even the cogs that I didn't think fit anywhere—all those exceptions to rules and rules to exceptions! It amazes me how the meaning of sentences that once seemed utterly indecipherable now come to me without even a moment's thought. Me from 470 days ago would be proud. But oh, what a narrow path on this linguistic landscape I've tread. Looking at the text that lies out there, and listening comprehension, and speaking—oh! it's hard to measure that I've gotten anywhere at all.

Four hundred seventy days is a long time to be enthusiastic about anything, especially not knowing where or how long it will take you in the first place. I cannot say with certainty if I have reached my goal (vague as it was) since all those days ago, but judging from how laborious the whole task of inching away at progress has felt in the last few months, I can concede that the goal is not as important to me as it once was. J'ai beaucoup appris et ça suffit.

And so I see the zero at the top of the screen not as a mouth open in a shameful "oooohh" but one that is open in a sigh for a challenge well tried. Many people feel revitalized after some time away from Duolingo, so I foresee this, the first of the month, as the first day of an indefinite vacation. Maybe I'll be back in two months? three? until I can't stand being away? I expect the French language to beckon me to study it again someday when I feel what I felt four hundred seventy days ago. (I also expect the Hindi for English speakers course to come out before then, in which case I'll be back for that ;)

Alors, merci, merci et au revoir, mes amis. Ce n'est pas la fin!

PS. It might be neat to see a place on your profile that shows your highest streak, but I see the trap, as I experienced it, in playing for said streak.

August 1, 2015

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Carolyn250

What a mature reaction! I wish you well on whatever you choose to do on your "vacation", and hope, that if I come to feel the same way, I will leave with just such a light-hearted attitude. (I sometimes feel that my streak has become a rather harsh taskmaster).

August 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nacho.Danders

Thanks for your kind response! I hope you never feel needlessly burdened with practice on your way to two straight years.

August 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/salihua

I was close to 300 when I lost it the first time. It didn't bother me because I knew I hadn't lost a thing. I still had time. The second and third times I lost it were even less important. The second time I used it as an excuse to start a new language and to time that. The other way to think of it is how amazed people will be that you have a 25 in French and have only been on Duolingo for 20 days!

August 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nacho.Danders

Thanks for the encouragement. Strange how a silly number can change the way you feel about what you've learned, as if answering two questions a day for 900 days were somehow more beneficial than spending a solid hour for five days at a time.

August 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/erethizon

It is nice to see that you appear to have acquired what you came for. I understand where you are coming from. I don't understand how anyone can stay motivated to learn a language for a very long time without something in their life compelling them to do so. Without a French connection in your life the desire to keep at it will fade away.

August 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nacho.Danders

I think you've summed it up very concisely. There was always something pushing me to study and so hopefully when I'm ready to try again I will have found something that will be pulling me instead.

August 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bangtansweetpea

You should stay and keep learning! There are loads of discussions on how to stay motivated, reasons to learn a language, etc. If you're bored with French, look at these discussions to see what you can do with the language or try a new one!

August 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nacho.Danders

It's tempting, and I guarantee I'll be back in some capacity in due time. I've barely tapped into the things one can do with language. It probably hasn't helped that Duo was very nearly my only avenue for studying, so next time I'll do it right ;)

August 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLBXipiNkv

Me too. I lost my streak for the 1st time and the highest I believe I got was 174 streak days. I was just simply sad that it went down to zero, but then after that I got used to it. This doesn't stop me from learning a language, though.

August 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nacho.Danders

Mhm. It's not so much that I miss the number, but seeing it gone and knowing that I won't be trapped into doing another lesson right away has allowed be to step back and reevaluate the program's place in my life. 174 isn't bad! but I can see the benefit of putting streak-getting behind you. You need weekends, you know?

August 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLBXipiNkv

Of course we all need a break! =) I know at some point I will break my streak anyway. Never fear that nothing else is lost, just my streak. ;) After all, we can always learn a language anytime we want, heh.

August 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/underwood.jones

Streaks are overrated ;) I personally am all about the levels, which is why I hated loosing the XP bar...I found a thread that suggested using a third party plugin to bring it back but if I'm not using my own computer it is a bummer not to have it. Sure wish the progress bar would return...alas...perhaps someday...

August 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nacho.Danders

I'm actually pretty perplexed that the developers haven't brought back the bar by now, at least in tandem with the coach, considering how many have requested it. I don't like being surprised when I level up. Kind of takes the meaning out of it.

August 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nacho.Danders

नमस्ते । क्या हाल है?

August 25, 2018
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.