It’s fair to say that Duolingo’s new learning path has caused a bit of a stir in the Duolingo community.
Simply flick through Reddit, app store reviews and social media and you’ll find swathes of dissatisfied Duolingo users begging for Duolingo to bring back the original format.
It’s a big change — one of the biggest in Duolingo’s 10-year history — and will definitely take some getting used to.
For my part, I’ve been using Duolingo every day for over 6 years. The language tree was all I’d ever known. It has always been an inherent part of my Duolingo experience.
But with the introduction of the new learning path, I, like everyone else, have been forced to adapt.
That said, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (for me at least). In fact, when I first heard about the new learning path, I was actually pretty optimistic. On paper, it addresses a number of issues I’d long had with the tree. In theory, it should provide a superior learning experience.
But does it? Or is the new learning path really as bad as the community would have you believe?
In this article, I’ll give you my honest opinion.
Please know that I’ve tried really hard to be as balanced as possible. I know a lot of you reading this completely despise the new learning path. I’ve tried my best to represent your concerns as best as I can.
On the flip side, this isn’t going to be a toxic rant, either. There’s actually a lot I like about the new learning path, so hopefully I can strike the right balance!
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What is the new learning path?
Duolingo’s new learning path is Duolingo’s new approach to teaching its language courses.
The new learning path guides learners along a simple path and removes the guess-work that often came with the traditional ‘tree’ design.
The lessons, exercises and courses are exactly the same as before. The new learning path simply organises them in a different way, providing a step-by-step experience that is intended to make it easier to reach your language learning goals.
As of September 2022, the new learning path is still being rolled out. Some learners have it, others don’t.
How does the new learning path differ?
The new learning path represents a major departure from the traditional tree format. Here are some of the main differences:
The new learning path takes a linear, guided approach, whereas the tree was a lot more loose and relaxed.
It’s built on the concept of spaced repetition, which regularly reintroduces you to previous content to keep it fresh in your memory. The old approach allowed you to move through the course in your own way, revisiting old content as and when you felt like it.
no more skills and crowns
Skills and crowns are gone, and have been replaced with levels.
For all intents and purposes, these are basically stepping stones, and each step has a different task and set of lessons to complete. Once complete, the level turns gold and you can move on to the next.
A level is essentially the equivalent of a crown level in a skill. Rather than pile all 5 crown levels into one, they are now spread throughout the path as part of Duolingo’s spaced repetition approach.
This also means that the legendary levels are a thing of the past, replaced by legendary trophies. These pertain to the entire unit as opposed to a specific skill.
Speaking of units. These are now significantly smaller than before and are now organised thematically. They also come with some easily accessible guidebooks, which replace the tips sections of the old skills.
Opportunities to practice mistakes and old content are still available, however they’re not as easy to come by.
Cracked skills are gone and, for the time being, only IOS users can go back and practice completed levels.
Non-Super learners can still complete practice sessions in the same way by tapping the hearts icon, while Super learners can access the Practice Hub from the menu tray.
Update: it looks like some of the stuff in the Practice Hub is now available to non-Super users (on IOS anyway, not sure about other platforms at the moment).
This includes Unit Review, which gives you the opportunity to practice specific units. If your course has them, you’ll also get to go back over your completed stories.
Stories are now included as lessons within the course, as opposed to occupying a separate tab.
As above, it looks like IOS users can now review completed stories via the Practice Hub.
Why did Duolingo change?
In a recent interview, CEO Luis von Ahn outlined two key objectives for the new learning path.
The first is to decrease confusion. The old tree was a reasonable way of presenting Duolingo’s courses, and each skill was appropriately labeled and organised.
However, while the tree was semi-guided, in the sense that you unlocked new skills as you progressed, there were always question marks surrounding if and when to move forward.
The old crown system meant you could up the difficulty by simply staying put — maxing out every single crown in a skill. Duolingo encouraged learners to both progress through the course AND earn crowns. Sometimes these two things were at odds with each other and it wasn’t always clear when to move forward and when to move back.
While some learners prefer this, particularly those who had grown accustomed to the longstanding tree approach, it wasn’t uncommon for new learners to feel a bit lost.
Von Ahn’s other objective concerned learning outcomes. I can only assume this means increasing the success rate of Duolingo’s users actually learning their target languages.
While gamification is an important part of the Duolingo experience, it was always meant to be a means to an end. For some, it becomes the end in itself, and the original goal — learning a language — gets lost.
Duolingo’s goal is to get its learners to B2 on the CEFR, which is considered upper intermediate. By utilising spaced repetition and a clear path, Duolingo ultimately hopes to provide a better learning experience.
An honest review of the new learning path
Now for the main event. As promised, I’ll try to keep this as balanced as I can.
Let’s start with the things I like about the new learning path.
What I like about the new learning path
1. it’s clearer than the tree
The new learning path makes it much easier to know what you’re supposed to be doing.
One of the biggest issues with the tree was that many learners didn’t know whether to press forward or hang back. Was progress moving forward through the tree, or was it hanging back and earning every crown?
Despite Duolingo recommending what they called the hover method, it was never particularly clear. The units weren’t always well organised, either, which meant the trees were often a random assortment of skills lacking any logical grouping.
The new learning path removes this confusion by guiding learners along a carefully planned curriculum. This eliminates the guesswork that came with the tree and allows learners to focus on what matters most — learning a language.
2. it’s built on spaced repetition
Duolingo have built the new learning path on spaced repetition, the idea that it’s better to spread out practice than it is to cram.
So when you encounter something for the first time — whether it’s new vocabulary or a grammar rule — Duolingo will reintroduce this to you at the appropriate time as you move along the path.
This is basically the approach that Duolingo has always recommended, only now it’s the default approach.
3. it comes with passive learning baked in
For the most part, Duolingo is an active learning tool. It’s something you use to consciously learn a language.
Passive learning, however, is the unconscious approach to learning a language. Things like TV shows, movies, music, conversations, reading etc.
Duolingo’s main passive element is its stories feature. They’re basically just fun mini-stories written entirely in your target language. You simply read through and answer questions as and when they arise to ensure you’re following along.
Before the new learning path, stories were optional, tucked away in a little tab at the bottom of the screen. They weren’t part of the course.
Now, however, they’re well and truly baked in. For the courses that have them, stories now occupy their own steps on the path, which is a great way of incorporating that all-important passive exposure.
4. the units are way more logical
Duolingo’s previous approach to units was pretty random. Of course the skills and the questions within got harder over time, but they weren’t grouped in any particular way.
Greetings and basic vocabulary were included at the beginning of the course, and, in the better-supported courses, grammar would gradually be introduced as well. But beyond this, the courses were pretty jumbled.
Now, however, the units are bitesize and grouped thematically. Everything in a unit now relates to a specific thing. They also come with handy guidebooks that explain the ins and outs of the unit.
5. it’s much better for beginners
The clarity of the new learning path makes it WAY more beginner-friendly. Whether you’re using Duolingo for the first time or you’re starting a brand new language course, the new learning path is, as far as I’m concerned, a lot more welcoming.
Again, one of the biggest issues with the tree was the lack of clear direction. It was never clear whether you should press forward and complete the tree as quickly as possible, or hold back and max out every skill.
What the tree had in flexibility and freedom, it lacked in direction. For someone well-versed in Duolingo, this isn’t really a problem. But for someone just starting out, it was a common issue.
The new learning path puts this right. Having a single, linear path helps beginners know exactly what they need to be doing. This is especially useful if they’re starting their language from scratch. They’ll get all the information they need at a prescribed pace, and can rest assured that progress along the path = progress with the language.
This Redditor sums it up perfectly.
As someone who jumps from language to language, this is something I’m really happy about.
What I don’t like about the new learning path
1. it can feel too linear and restrictive
The new learning path clearly doesn’t have the same freedom and flexibility of the tree.
While I understand why the guys at Duolingo have taken this approach, unfortunately, the new learning path is just way too linear for most old-school Duolingo users.
For many, having the freedom to move through the course in their own way and at their own pace was one of Duolingo’s biggest selling points. While IOS users have the option to go back and revisit old material on the new learning path, everyone else, for the time being, is left out in the cold.
And even for IOS users, revisiting old material isn’t as easy or clear as it was on the tree. Path levels aren’t clearly labelled, nor do they crack like the skills used to. Cracked skills drew your attention to areas you needed to work on, which made it much easier to practice.
It’s understandable why so many are frustrated.
2. it’s disorientating for long-term duolingo users
This is probably my biggest gripe with the new learning path.
Now, in fairness, it’s not so much an issue with the path. It’s more the way in which Duolingo have rolled it out.
For learners that are deep into a course, launching the app to find a completely different layout must have been extremely disorientating. Not just because of the way the path is presented, but, primarily because of where they’d been placed.
I’ve read a bunch of comments on Reddit pretty much saying the same thing: that their position on the new learning path doesn’t properly marry up with where they were in the tree.
Either the lessons are too hard and unfamiliar, or they’re being forced to go through content they’ve already mastered. In both cases, the result, unsurprisingly, is complete and utter apathy.
3. it’s not as easy to go back and practice
The new learning path has made it a lot harder to go back and practice old material of your choosing.
Again, just to be clear, practice options are available, despite many claiming otherwise. We’re all well aware that practice is now baked into the course, so content that you’ve already encountered will come up again as you move along the path.
If you’re a non-Super user, you can still complete practice sessions by tapping the hearts icon at the top of the screen. And for Super users, the Practice Hub is still a thing and can be accessed in the usual way.
Plus, as mentioned, IOS users can go back to any stage of the learning path and jump into a previously completed level.
And yet, with all that being true, practicing is still nowhere near as easy as it used to be. Unless you have access to the Practice Hub, it’s not particularly clear what you need to practice.
The cracked skills used to make this really easy. If they cracked, you knew it was time to brush up. But with the introduction of spaced-out levels, cracking is a thing of the past.
Perhaps more importantly, though, the new learning path makes it difficult for learners to practice what they want to practice. You’re effecively forced to practice what Duolingo wants to practice. Practice Hub mostly contains a selection of past mistakes.
If you want to practice something of your choosing, you’ll need to hope you’re on IOS and you can find the desired level — which is nowhere near as straightforward as it used to be.
Update: as I mentioned earlier in the article, it looks like Duolingo have now beefed-up the Practice Hub with options for non-Super users on IOS. Unit Review makes it easier to review specific units, however it appears these are still of Duolingo’s choosing.
4. stories not available in their own tab
For the courses that have them, stories is one of Duolingo’s best features. As above, I’m chuffed they’ve been incorporated into the new learning path.
But, for the life of me, I can’t get my head around why they no longer occupy their own separate tab.
As with the practice issues, this is very much about accessibility. The features still exist, they’re just not as easy to get.
Again, IOS users can go back through the path and review previously completed stories. But they’re nowhere near as easy to locate as they used to be.
I see absolutely no issue with having a library of completed stories that learners can dip in and out of at their convenience. They can unlock more by moving along the path, then review them in the stories tab at their leisure. Audio lessons on the Spanish and French courses still have their own tab, so this shouldn’t really be an issue.
Update: as above, stories have now been included in the Practice Hub for IOS users. These are available to both free and Super users alike.
5. some have it, some don’t
A/B testing is, has, and probably always will be integral to how Duolingo develops its product. The new learning path is a massive change, so it makes sense to roll it out gradually and measure performance.
However, despite von Ahn seemingly adamant that the new learning path is here to stay, it’s still not available on all devices.
I’ve had a to create a new account to write this review after months of waiting for the new learning path. It’s made it difficult to write relevant and up-to-date articles for all users, not just because I haven’t had the new learning path, but because so many others haven’t either.
But that’s just a personal issue. For most this won’t be a problem. What is a problem is the massive split this has now created in the Duolingo community, with two very big blocks of users getting two very different experiences.
It’s also a problem on the gaming side of Duolingo. In my time with the new learning path, I’ve noticed it’s a lot harder to earn XP than on the original tree. Going back over old content only yields 5 XP.
Now, this isn’t something I care that much about. As I always say in some form or another: for me, it’s language first, game second.
But for many, XP, leagues and challenges are a huge part of why they use Duolingo. It doesn’t seem fair that users on the new learning path are having to compete with users on the old tree. They’re at a major disadvantage. No wonder many are frustrated!
Areas Duolingo could improve
1. introduce a toggle option
While the guys at Duolingo (understandably) want to move everyone over to the new learning path, long-term learners should be given the option to toggle between the two, especially those who are several units into a course on the old tree.
I seem to recall reading something about this on Reddit — that some have been given a toggle option — but, as far as I can tell, it’s not something that’s available to everyone.
Set a definitive sunset date for the old tree and give long-term users enough chance to get used to the new learning path at their own convenience. This should help to mitigate any potential alienation.
2. make it a level-playing field
This one relates more so to the gaming side of Duolingo than the learning side. Learners using the new learning path seem to be at a slight disadvantage when it comes to earning XP, making it harder for them to compete in the leagues.
Going back to previous skills on the old tree would usually yield a minimum of 10 XP, whereas going back on the new learning path (for those with the option) yields only 5 XP.
It’s good that there is now an incentive to progress. But, of course, this makes for harder — and ultimately longer — lessons. This slows down the learner’s XP-earning potential.
The simple solution would be to level the XP opportunities across the two formats while the new learning path is still being rolled out.
3. offer easier practice opportunities
Practice opportunities are few and far between with the new learning path. Beyond the traditional practice approach via the heart icon, it would be helpful to have previous skills/circles properly labelled without needing to tap them.
While the new learning path employs a spaced repetition approach, it would also be useful to re-introduce a form of skill cracking, particularly for learners that are well advanced in their courses.
Unit-level review recommendations could be a good way of bridging the gap.
4. put stories back in their own tab!
This should be a really easy one to implement. Audio lessons have their own tab. Stories used to have their own tab. Bring it back.
Even if it only contains a selection of completed stories from the learning path, it would be useful to have a library of stories to dip in and out of at will.
It would also make for an easy practice opportunity. I just can’t see a reason not to have it.
Update: again, stories are now available to review in the Practice Hub on IOS.
could duolingo go back to the old format?
This is a difficult one to answer. But, if I had to guess, I’d have to say no.
The new learning path is one of the biggest shake-ups in Duolingo’s history. Duolingo have put a lot of thought, time and effort into the new format, and CEO Luis von Ahn has already said it’s here to stay. So while we can definitely expect tweaks and improvements, it’s highly unlikely Duolingo will ditch the new learning path completely.
However, the guys at Duolingo haven’t fully committed to it as yet. It’s still the subject of massive A/B testing. If they were so committed to the new learning path, then why not just roll it out to all users at once?
While there could be several plausible explanations for this, to me, it suggests that they’re still not 100% convinced. They probably want to measure how well users do on the new learning path vs the old tree — and also to see what happens to user numbers.
Because, after all, Duolingo is a publicly listed company. Shareholders want to make profits, not losses. If they deem the new learning path to be unprofitable, then it doesn’t matter how much better it makes the learning experience. In this scenario, it’s not unfathomable to think that Duolingo could revert to the old format, or, at the very least, make some significant compromises.
This is a long shot though. Duolingo are definitely looking at the big picture. It’s clear they believe the new learning path is in the long-term interests of the company, which leads me to think they’re more than satisfied to wait out the current storm.
Change can be challenging. It’s chaotic, often uncomfortable, and wrought with uncertainty. But, as we all know too well, change is unavoidable. Life simply isn’t possible without it.
The same goes for progress. Like any company, Duolingo constantly needs to improve and innovate, or risk being overtaken and left behind. Over the years, Duolingo has undergone a number of mostly aesthetic changes, with features coming and going along the way.
The new learning path, however, is a much larger change, and one that many within the Duolingo community simply don’t want.
It’s abundantly clear that the new learning path has some teething issues, particularly in the areas of practice, accessibility and freedom. I don’t think Duolingo have done a great job of rolling it out, either, which has only amplified the confusion and frustration.
However, I can see why Duolingo is going down this ‘path’. It makes for a more logical, guided and focused learning experience that can only be conducive to Duolingo’s primary purpose — learning a language.
I’m confident this will prove to be popular with beginners, whether they be new to a language course or new to Duolingo entirely. It’s the sort of change I think needed to happen sooner or later. In time, the new learning path will simply become the new (hopefully better) norm.
That said, building for the next generation of Duolingo learners doesn’t mean Duolingo should neglect its current user base. Alienating a community of over 500 million users is hardly a sound business decision. Duolingo should take their frustrations very seriously and actually show that they’re listening.
have your say
In the spirit of listening, I really want to know what you think of the new learning path.
Hold nothing back. Rant or praise to your heart’s content in the comments below.
Update: As of November 1st, 2022, all Duolingo users should have the New Learning Path. However, there are still a large number of users that are still on the tree. I’ve got no idea why—could be a phased roll out or perhaps Duolingo are still A/B testing. I’ll update the article once I know more.
It would have been semi-OK if, when switching over to the new format, they made all the courses as feature-rich as they were before. The main problem I see right now is that if you are not learning one of the more popular courses, you might and up with a much poorer experience than pre-update. Looks like they were willing to sacrifice some courses in order to release early.
Greek, for example was rich in tips with clearly defined subjects for every unit. Now it’s a nameless railroad. No unit names, no guidebooks, clicking on a lesson takes you right to it with no explanations, no way to repeat it in the web version. At this state, I’d hardly call it a completed product and remove it from the list of accessible courses for the new users. It used to be quirky but at least somewhat useful and controllable tool. And now it’s a toy to try the language out at best.
I’m pretty sure there are other courses like that out there (I know for certain that Hebrew has unit names but no guidebooks). And the way they pushed the update before making all the courses as feature-rich as they were before shows their attitude towards the users.
If I were serious about learning it, I’d leave immediately. Right now though, I’m just running a couple of lessons a day in the background while tentatively considering alternatives. But as far as I am concerned, they trashed the Greek course for marketing reasons.
I have to agree (as a long time Greek learner) also the prohibitively “expensive” cost of pushing ahead into legendary status is making it impossible without becoming a paying subscriber. But I guess the shareholders are more important than the kinds of people who helped make Duolingo such a useable tool.
I have been on Duolingo for 4 years. I am grateful for all I have learned and was always conscious that it was free. I therefore excepted its limitations.
I am a native British English speaker living in Belgium and the French course’s use of American English and French French could be very annoying as I’d be marked down for giving a correct answer. (Football in British English is not soccer and in Belgian French it’s le foot, not le football).
But these were minor annoyances. Duolingo was fun. Now it isn’t. I am an adult and I resent being treated as a schoolchild.
So, sadly it’s au revoir to the owl.
I just found that out. I was in the middle of #3 out of 4 modules but went back to do the crowns, plus it was a good review. Then they switched. So, today I’m on unit 10 and just found out they have EIGHT challenges at 10 lingots a piece!!! I’m retired and doing the free Duolingo, so I will run out of lingots soon at this rate. Really upset. Talk about pulling the rug out from under someone.
i totally agree.. as a retiree, I found learning duo lingo has been great for my mind and keeping me occupied.. I was able to earn points easily now this has been taken away and I cannot afford to subscribe.. I was nearly through the Italian course now all I can do is simple exercises worth only 5 points but am not able to accumulate enough to compete in the legendary challenges…. so disappointing. the challenge has gone as I can’t compete earning enough ingots.. or whatever you call them…Margaret
Too right. Here’s what I’m seeing:
Duolingo started as a learning tree with a split trunk. One fork was intended to attract corporations, schools, and individuals with an end goal of being able to pass a fluency test in a language. The other fork was taken by a group of individuals around the world whose goal was the journey itself: they were eager to learn new things and enjoyed being part of a wider learning community. This group was Duo’s early focus because they made useful test subjects — easily motivated by points and amulets and competitions, and open to trying new things. Now that Duo has honed its programme, it is no longer interested in that less-lucrative fork of the tree. Efficiency has replaced joy. Profit has won over whimsy. With deep irony, those who beg for a return to learning choices are branded “resistant to change.” And so the world turns.
This is exactly my issue too. I was close to finishing the Scottish Gaelic course using the “old-style” Duolingo but now that is going to be next to impossible without taking years to accumulate gems (or whatever they are called). I have more than an 1100 day streak and was so much looking forward to finishing the tree. Now I feel really annoyed, deflated and cheated because I feel like I am being forced to pay.
Exactly the same with the Swedish course. Now there are no tips, no explanations on grammar, nothing of any use to actually understand the language instead of just parroting back random words. And I was almost done with this course, too. So disappointed!
Exactly. They went from really in-depth explanations of the alphabet, the structure, the grammar, etc, basically in HOW the language works, to just repeating the phrases you’ll see in the lesson. Which, for certain languages, you CANNOT learn “passively”. I was almost done with the Arabic course, so I know some of the structure of the language, but I’ve actually reached a point where I NEED those Tips, because I now have no idea what is going on. And this is coming from someone who again, had learned some of the structure. I actually cannot learn further with Duolingo. I went and looked at all the languages I have and except for French and Spanish (and their new guidebooks suck, but at least they have more information than just repeating the phrases), are missing any and all information pertaining to HOW to learn the languages. I could live with a new structure and path and whatever (I think the path is stupid and for my learning style, non-conducive to good learning), but the lack of real information about the languages is a deal killer. I have canceled my subscription because why should I pay for something where I am just repeating phrases without understanding them? Too bad, Duolingo seemed like it really could been something great for all folks to learn other languages.
I find the new format very difficult. I used to print the Tips and therefore had a manual to return to. Now there is no detailed grammar “manual” or Tip attached to each lesson. One must just proceed with help from the “Phrases ” and try to figure out why something is done in that way. I’m doing Welsh which is a difficult language and without the “Tips” I am now floundering. Please Duo: bring back the TIPS
I am on 1646 days streak in Spanish and I have reached the level of proficiency B2. For some reason, I still have the old version on my mobile phone and I can compare both versions. For intermediate and advanced users, the new version is just a waste of time. I need to jump from one topic to another based on my needs to improve some language skills or to prepare for my conversation classes. There are days when I need just an easy topic, which is impossible to choose with the new version.
The new version is just a Candy Crush where you have to practice endlessly something you already know. The freedom of learning has gone.
My conclusion is that unfortunately after my paid Super Duo expires I am going to say: Adios Duolingo.
Hi everyone. I am going to rant. I am a super Duolingo user, with nearly 500 days and I had close to 400 crowns. Crowns were one of my main way of monitoring my progress.
The tree gave me the choice to hop to other subjects and slowly work my way through less favourable subjects or lessons that proved to be more challenging. Now there is no choice which greatly lowers my motivation. My yearly subscription is soon coming to an end and I am seriously thinking about LEAVING Duolingo for goods.
I was happily doing Greek lessons on conjunctions and everyday objects, but now Duolingo seems to have decided, that I’ll be better off without practicing these lessons … even though words from those lessons still show up in the timed challenges (but nowhere else). I don’t think that I will be renewing my subscription!
I have been learning Korean for close to a year and really enjoyed the old Duolingo. I do not like this new format. I am a paying customer but will be looking for a new language app.
Well, I tried, but I started falling off. I was failing tests left and right. I was not being reminded to brush up on previous skills that may have been forgotten. I basically lost the control I had over the language up to that point, which I would say was about 40% fluent.
As far as I am concerned, the program absolutely ruined my ability to learn the language I was signed up for, so, sadly, I quit. I just don’t know of any reliable, productive, and astute alternatives. I tried Memrise, but that one, while gorgeous as all get out, is merely a joke.
I have some questions. Are all the courses getting their stories and speach lessons, or less popular courses are still treated like poorer family members, and now looks like ghost’s lessons? Why there is difference between platforms? What purpose does it have? Is the change only for new courses or changes will apply on half done one too?
I’ve had the new update since spring, and the more I use it the more I don’t like it. Duolingo used to be fun, and both the competetive game and the feeling of progress made it motivating. The flexibility of choosing if you wanted stories, grammar excercises, new lessons or fast XPs made it possible to enjoy learning every day, regardless of your mood. The fun is gone and it’s demotivating to use the app now. I’m searching for a new learning app.
I feel the same way. I liked the freedom I had before – choosing stories, or which cracked skill to practice, etc. Now I feel like I’m in a straight jacket. It’s too mechanical now.
I totally agree. Mechanical and boring.
Exactly. I stopped doing the stories because I found the wokeness too offensive. Now it looks like I will be forced into doing them. The new format looks even more childish than before. I’m retired and the old format was silly but now I feel like an adult sitting in a kindergarten.
Still I gave it a shot today. I started from the beginning not seeing where I had left off. The buttons didn’t change after I finished them. They were all colored, so it looks like they decided I had finished that section already. But, I had gone back to finish crowns in the old format. Now, I don’t know where to go. Maybe I need to find another program for conservative adults?
I do like how they’ve added more listening and changing things up. It was a fun program is why I stayed with it for over a year now.
“Wokeness”? You do realize that you are talking about a course that allows you to learn languages used in other countries, other cultures, and thus by other people? People who are not like you? Can you even define wokeness beyond some kneejerk “it am have non hetero WASP male”?
There is the love of different cultures and then there is “let me stuff my liberal views down your throat because I’m a better person than you and need to teach you more than language’. The latter is called “wokeness”. BTW, speaking of knee jerk responses, I’m not a wasp male.
I’m trying to get used to this but, it is very confusing and a big mess. They said the goal was to be less confusing. I wasn’t confused before, now I’m totally confused. The module for occupations has exercises with dates and times, which I finished reviewing. Then there’s ‘buttons’ that don’t open, and one in midair that I don’t know what it’s for but it gave me practice in the previous module. Then when I finish a button there is no indication it’s done. The next day I don’t remember which ones I did. I hate it now to tell you the truth. The only good thing is I get more practice in listening to vocabulary. Why didn’t they ask students what they needed before they did this and do a pilot study and get feedback before rolling it out to everyone?
Why fix something that’s not broke?
Definitely that is something Duolingo should seriously consider fixing. Creative writers should be able to write neutral sentences. No one likes indoctrination.
You nailed it, well, part of it. The “wokeness” thing is very aggravating and totally unnecessary. I don’t need other people’s “woke” agendas forced on me, when I am trying, innocently and apolitically, to learn a language.
DuoLingo is now SO confusing and SO lacking of material meant to keep me brushed up on my past learnings that I was forced to quit. It got to the point where I was failing quizzes left and right, because I was forgetting stuff that, had I been going back when the circle broke, like it used to, I never would have forgotten. Now I am trying, unsuccessfully to find an alternative. Any suggestions? I have tried Memrise, which is cool, because people talk to you, but the learning aspect is seriously lacking, and their program, like the new DuoLingo will never get you to the point of learning a language with fluency.
I know, it looks like Candy Land, right? I am going on a desperate search today for a new learning program. Wish me luck.
My total reply is being “moderated.” So here’s the short version. Exactly. I stopped doing the stories because I found the ‘Wblank’ too offensive. Now it looks like I will be forced into doing them. The new format looks even more childish than before. Is there an adult version?
Same. I have over a thousand day streak and the new format is so rigid that the fun is gone. In their blogs they talked about how hovering between lessons was the best way to learn and I’ve been doing that for years, and now I can’t. Time to decide if my streak is more important than the fun. I’m going to give it a month to hopefully change back and if it doesn’t I’m going to cancel my subscription.
I agree – I have been learning Welsh for years on DuoLingo and had been using the older format to gradually build up my crowns on each level (having done every module to Level 5 (or whatever the top was before the crown), making decent XP each day and comfortably maintaining my league while moving through more advanced modules. Nowadays I find I am resorting to earlier modules and more basic games just to maintain my league ranking – which also has tipped me into spending more money on things like timer boosts because the games quickly reach a point that it is absolutely impossible to complete in time to earn the XP without a boost. It feels like some of these changes were actually made to cause learners to spend more money. I know DuoLingo does need to make money, but we already receive loads of ads and there are many paying super users.
This change has really dented my learning progression (since I will be re-doing early modules to keep up the XP) in the name of squeezing more money out of me. I would hope that DuoLingo finds some way to make this a bit fairer again.
Same here (1000 day streak). This rigid format-by the way rolled out to my phone today – removes user control and fun. It also diminishes the ability to assess my progress in terms of crowns (in the same vein the language / crown overview had been removed earlier). I was on the brink of a super subscription several times, but have lost interest now.
I agree. Afraid duo is going to lose me.
Never did like the stories…now I can’t opt out.
I totally agree with the above comments. I began learning French with Duolingo last December and the fact that I have choice as to how I learn on any given day is the main reason for enjoying the platform. Some days I just want to do a couple of stories, or practice past skills — not touching new skills at all.
I normally have 2-10 different units going at any time and bop between them — I understand that this type of learning is referred to as interleaving. As an educational platform, I’m surprised that they would be so dictatorial as to how one learns.
I like to do stories some days and had saved them up, probably about 30 or so, and now they’re all gone. Since I had so many stories from previous units, you’d think they’d be there scrolling backwards, but I only see 1 story per “path” or whatever it’s called, and only worth 5 points. No more 18-20xp and additional or doing the speaking option?!
I’m not sure if I’m missing something or if they actually just wiped all of that content from my page and progress…
It’s been 7 years of using duolingo and I’m on well over a 1000-day streak, but the new layout is not it, and I may actually just quit and find a new app. What a waste!
I don’t see a Tab for accessing Stories. However, putting “https://www.duolingo.com/stories” into the search bar of my search engine leads me to the usual list. So far (18 Nov 2022) I can still work through the same Stories (with a choice of Read mode or Conversation mode) just the same as I have become accustomed to doing every day over many months.
I especially agree with your last statement. They said they know the best way? But wait, for whom? For sure the ways how a 15 year old, 35 and 55 year old study are different, aren’t they? So who is the target auditorium?
For one thing, I don’t care at all if the characters became 3D and the path looks cool. If anything it is mildly annoying and distracting. It’s really the content that was very good.
I was learning German and really enjoyed rich grammar explanations, as well a freedom to move around the tree. Now the grammar is gone, and instead of a fairly complicated topic of Pronomen Deklination, I have “Let’s talk about this”, “Let’s talk about that”.
I agree with this assessment; I absolutely prefer to choose my preferred style of learning. Some days I have a long car trip and just want stories.
Also, my KEY Frustration is that it appears one can not TEST OUT or Level Up, by doing a lesson with fewer than 3-4 mistakes. This is an enormous difference! Sometimes a certain concept just comes easily, especially if you are studying multiple languages. (for example, my French helps me with my Spanish, on certain concepts like reflexive verbs with objects). So I HATE THE REPETITION if I already have the concept.
I agree with your comment, as I have been using the program the same way. I used to have several units going at once, and reserved Mondays as “Story Day”. Now I can’t learn that way, and have already Quiet Quit by ignoring the emails and letting my streak come to an end. I’ll find a new way to learn French online.
BTW I was a paid subscriber for a while, and would very likely have returned to paid membership when time permitted again. Now they’ve lost me 😮
Same. My paid subscription is coming to an end in a few weeks. I won’t renew and pay that is for sure.
Totally agree. I am very competitive and sometimes sat for hours to up my XP points. Repeating old lessons really helped me as well. I find I will only be doing minimal lessons from now on.
Yes, I would save up gems so I could do a legendary lesson and get double XP’s, 90 XP in 2 minutes. But now you only get a maximum of 30 XP. I don’t have the time to spend hours a day on Duolingo just to stay in the top of my league.
As usual, a company does good, but then thinks into it all too much and ruins what attracted everyone in the first place.
I’ve been using Duolingo since 2014 with a 1381-day streak. I was routed into the new format yesterday and immediately realized I can no longer use my phone for quick reviews to get some xp on a busy workday. The 5xp per lesson makes a disincentive to do it at all because the time needed to maintain my place in the leagues is now out of reach for the time I have available to practice. With the new format, leagues don’t make sense anymore.
First the forum went away. It was an important way to chat with other users. Then the discussions on a sentence were locked. Now access to stories is dramatically reduced. My goals, which were based on getting to certain xp or levels or trees in languages are now totally irrelevant. How do we measure progress? I liked the freedom of Duo, but this system smacks of totalitarianism.
I had planned to sign up for Super in 2023 but probably will not do that now. And I’ll be shopping other language programs for something that suits me better.
Agree 100%. Will be cancelling my subscription. I hate the new system – they have taken both the learning and the fun out of it.
Well said. It’s just not fun now. It’s drudge.
I absolutely agree. I have been using Duo since April 2021, and I really hate this new path. It has taken all the fun out of it. and unless I can choose to revert to the old style i shall cancel my renewal and seek an alternative.
I was two “subjects” short of finishing the Italian tree, but frequently went back to practice areas I struggle with – then suddenly I am being tested on a tense I’ve never been introduced to and it the areas I need to learn about don’t have a guidebook at all. And I am being penalised heavily for getting something wrong! Very Angry!!!
I also enjoy the competitive side of it, and that has gone!
Totally agree with you.
I got the update about a month ago (Oct 2022) and I agree with everthing you say. It used to be a lot,of fun, but isn’t any more. I really resent having my choices taken away.
I just got the update a couple weeks ago. I never liked the game part of it. I’m here to learn. I also never liked the stories so much. They seemed like a waste of time. So I actually like the update in many ways, with one HUGE exception: the final test on each step, what used to be legendary, is now so hard that I can’t even pass them with my dictionary and verbs books. (I am at unit 90 in Spanish and have lived in Mexico for over 18 years.) They are in no way unit reviews. They are testing on material never covered. The only way I’m going to get through them is to write down many of the answers from the first times through until I get do can do them with only two mistakes. That is ridiculous! They just told me on the end of year summary that I’m in the top 1% of Duolingo learners. I’m ready to use other sources for Spanish and use Duolingo for more beginner level learning. (I tend to travel every year and like to use Duolingo to study the language of a place for the year before I go.)
This upFor months now I have been managing a personal lexicon of vocabulary learnt from Duolingo. Without the ability to choose lessons, continuing to do this is nigh impossible. This update is detrimental to my learning ability, and may mean the wasting of months upon months of effort.
Agreed. I also manage a personal vocabulary and grammar list. Now, for Scottish Gaelic all the grammar is gone and I can not longer organize my vocabulary in any sensible order. I also do not like the forced order of lessons–the freedom of the previous format was much better for me.
I HATE it. It’s completely derailed my progress.
I agree. Been looking forward to doing lessons , keeping myself in the diamond league and earning points each day. My incentives of the last 2000+ days are gone. I feel like I’ve lost a friend and am sad.
I was just interested in looking at the new format but after a peek I could not return to my previous format. Don’t think this was fair. A bit sorry that I just paid to renew
for an additional year.
I really hate it. I shall probably not continue as it’s too confusing and demoralising. After almost 3 years I am really fed up.
I totally agree. I’m frustrated and gutted by the new format. My well established way of learning with the old format was perfect for me. Now I’m just lost and feeling like giving up and finding an alternative to Duolingo although since I paid already I’m going to stick it out for the time being but I won’t be renewing for a paid subscription!
I’ve been using Duolingo for the past 6 years straight and have just seen changes in the past 3 days or so that I’m confused about. Under my Daily Quests, some of the exercises are to Speak in 10 exercises and the area under the “dumbbell” for speaking is missing. Also, how do I get the “Earn 10 Combo Bonus XP” that are in the Daily Quest area? Not being able to practice the speaking exercises is really dampering my feelings about this once loved learning platform. Any one have any ides?
You can get the combo xp from doing perfect lessons or getting multiple correct answers in a row but I’m not sure about the speaking lessons I’m sorry
You mentioned several times that the tree was/is/could be confusing for new learners, but I liked the tree right from when I started learning languages on Duolingo. I was never interested in a linear learning path, because that is not how I learn things. Whatever I’m studying, I’m always switching from topic to topic. I study what piques my interest, depending on circumstances and to prevent boredom. And despite this somewhat chaotic way of studying I still manage to learn a lot in a relatively short time.
Therefore the latest Duolingo version is a disaster for me. I tried it for a month, but I lost interest and cancelled my Plus subscription. I’m staying on Duolingo for now so I won’t lose my streak (maybe childish), but I’m doing the bare minimum. I just want to see where Duo is going.
The tree was much better!
The path system takes away a person’s ability to manage and control their own learning and does nothing to improve the experience at all. Every single excuse to justify it is idiocy, plain and simple. Stop telling people what they want and need and simply shit up and deliver on those needs. Duolingo was a class apart as it was before, now I wouldn’t even rate it in any of my lists if must have apps/learning resources. As somehow who produced material to support Duo I am appalled by these thoughtless changes. Paths are unorganised, incoherent, and devoid of control for the user. It’s not useful in any way and Duo must either revert and concede now or disappear. Ende.
It’s worth pointing out that the learner’s sense of agency and control over their own learning is one of the core tenants of andragogy. The new interface goes against most of what we know about successful adult education and was obviously driven by marketing reasons, sadly at the cost of the learners experience and I suspect the long term future of DuoLingo.
I say this as an instructional designer with a long history in the field.
This is an appalling change and I’m dumping Duo as a result.
An awful update that is demotivating. The primary language which I was well advanced in no longer receives any attention from me. I have not done one single lesson in that language since the update. Considering I have a 1200+ day streak that alone shows how much I hate it.
Unfortunately my second language on Duo is not available on almost any other platform so I begrudgingly use Duolingo for that language.
Shame on you Duo for breaking what was an excellent app and replacing it with whatever abomination this new thing is.
Let’s just say this has further decreased my interest in working hard and may be the straw that causes me to discontinue the program tomorrow at my 2400 day streak I will reach today. If so, I will find a different program to continue my language learning. This isn’t the first change (which always comes as a complete surprise), but so far I just rolled with it but as it becomes more tiresome to me, I lose motivation to continue. When they discontinued the forums I almost quit because they were the only way to get help when I was confused. Now I’m forced to other websites for my questions. Duo – I think you’re on the wrong path here.
Well…. I might just be a fan of the new approach. I’m coming up on a 1000 day streak, was in the Diamond league for much of that time, placed numero uno in the leagues many times, have in excess of 132,000 XP, blah blah… so I’m not a total newbie. I am learning Spanish, so I don’t have any beefs about quantity of content as some of the other users do that posted here.
But I am concerned with how much I have actually learned. I suspect I got caught up with the gaming aspects of Duolingo for some time (no… I KNOW I did), but learning the language and becoming reasonably fluent was always what I wanted. Interestingly, this change in methodology has occurred at almost the same time that I decided I needed more direction in my studies. Currently, I don’t see any immediate reason for me not to follow this new process. In fact, day one of the change I was quite “upset” when I logged in and it’s still as awkward for me as anyone else… which is how I got to this post to begin with. I’m searching for any and all information to help me figure it out and how best to use it.
At this time I’m absolutely willing go down this road and who knows, I might actually come to embrace it!
“But I am concerned with how much I have actually learned.”
…yeah, but you are “legendary!” … with more gems/lingots than you ever dreamed of having!
If you make Duo work for serious intermediate/advanced learning, let us know. I’ll be building my “tree” with other platforms.
I’m equally disappointed with the new Duolingo format for languages in which I am trying to get on a conversational level. Could anyone recommend a different platform for learning French, ideally one like the old Duolingo
This was a great app until today 9-26-22 they changed the whole format and it is not better. It’s linear but you can’t travel around when you need a break from a certain concept. I’ve been paying for this app and using for at least 3 years if it doesn’t change I will be ditching this app! Please don’t mess with something that already worked well.
I got this “Learning path” in my app yesterday. So, I probably will not use the app anymore. At best, I will use it to farm minimal XP to not loose the streak when I cannot use the browser version.
If study tree will be replaced with this thing in the browser version as well, I’ll quit Duolingo. As simple as this.
I don’t need some “CEO” telling me how am I suppose to learn something, I know it myself.
Funny thing about Duolingo and me… I generally like the approach and content. And I was often thinking to start to pay for it. But Duolingo consistently ruins the whole experience. It looks purposeful. Timed lessons – removed. Heart system – still there. Now this update. Looks like CEO thinks “okey, they seems to be on hook, now I can make them suffer with no drawback”.
I agree. I don’t even want to do it anymore. You are stuck on this path, you can’t strategize points, it’s hopeless. All the fun is gone when you’re stuck on this path.
I was hitting the point to actually pay for Duolingo. I’ve really been diving deeper into the format and part of that is keeping track of what I’m learning. I’ve found next to nothing for learning Scottish Gaelic outside of Duo. When they brought it out, I didn’t know about it right away because I hadn’t learned about Duolingo. When I did find out about it, I enrolled at once.
Now I have the new format. Hooray… It may work for some but it is not what I had enjoyed about Duolingo over the last two years. I know that I’m not using it for competing but I did enjoy getting pushed by others users to learn more. I just got my first demotion from the diamond league because at 5 points per lesson, I couldn’t keep up. Why try for that now?
If I could find another platform to learn Scottish Gaelic and Japanese on, I believe I’d leave Duolingo now. I do not like this new style at all. IF you type in a word wrong now, even for old lessons, you get dinged and lose a heart. Gaelic spelling isn’t easy to always get right and sometimes it’s a simple typing mistake. I’m not inclined to pay for the software now just to have the unlimited hearts because I don’t like the new format.
However, I’m tempted to throw away all that I have learned to try and start it all over. Maybe then I’ll have a deeper understanding of what the management of Duolingo is trying to do. Maybe then I will understand it and learn more from it. As of right now, it may be the only way I can keep wanting to learn from it.
Have you tried the Learn Gaelic course? It’s done by BBC Alba.
Yep I am with everyone else. Guess I’ll be finding a different app for my language learning when my subscription is up
I’m looking forward to the change even though I’ve been studying for a couple of years, but I’m wondering if I should go back and level up Unit 2 of Spanish. I tested past it and am currently working through unit 5 using the hover method. I’m at legendary in Unit 3, but have left unit 2 mostly at level 1. I’ve left unit 4 at level 4 just so I can go back and practice at that level.
My concern is that I’ll be having to wade through a lot of unit 2 material before I get back to unit 5, where I’m operating currently. Any guess about what my transition will look like?
I’m already looking for a new app to switch over to after the linear tree appears on November 1st. My favorite thing about duolingo, no…the reason in ENTIRETY why I like this app is that I’m allowed to choose what lessons I do and in what order. As well, the old format was much more motivating and fun in terms of “gameification ” . The new format assumes I don’t know how to learn anything myself and need the app to hold my hand and walk me through each lesson as if I’m not an adult with my own mind and experience about how I learn best, but a preschooler that needs constant direction. It’s pathetic, and more importantly it has ruined the learning experience, the fun motivating gaming aspects, and really destroyed any and every reason I have to use duolingo. I paid for one year plus subscription before I knew about the update and I think i deserve my money back because this is NOT what I paid for. It’s unethical to change a product so grossly without permission mid way through a contract I entered into for a completely different product.
I relied on duolingo to help me learn a language of a country I moved to. It’s a big part of my life. I am so utterly devastated right now, but I will not be continuing with duolingo. I hope enough people quit that the CEO finally realizes how bad they pooped the bed on this one.
I still have the old format, and I guess I’m very behind the times because I only just learned that the format will be updated. I study a language with a different alphabet and being able to go and practice just the alphabet in its own tab has been essential for me. Is this still a feature in the new format? Also, I use Duolingo to supplement the classes I take from in-person teachers, so I mostly just use it to focus on the specific topics I need help with. Is it clear what topics the completed lessons are so it’s still possible to do this?
I guess I am one of the last ones to see the new rollout, it still hasn’t hit me yet. But I feel like Duo has missed the forest for the trees.
They seem to take a lot of flack for not making people fluent, but that isn’t the only reason to play. I use a random chance wheel to determine my next language. I have no need or interest in becoming fluent in Dutch or Vietnamese, and I may not want to do anything but 1st crown level of difficulty.
On the business side, ticking off millions of your loyal customers by providing less choice when you have multiple competitors is rarely a wise strategy. I bet they lose hoaxes of subscribers and bail by next June.
It’s November 16th and I only JUST got it.
Very unhappy about the change. Coming up to my 1000 day streak and feel totally demotivated to get there. I liked the tree with its neat files and this feels like someone just threw them all over the floor. I have paid for duo in the past but won’t consider doing so in the future. Not everyone learns in the same way and this way is not for me.
I don’t like the learning path at all. It feels like I skipped several lessons, and I feel like I’m presented with lessons and words I have never practiced before.
The final unit exercise is also way too hard to get to Legendary. For people like me who wish to complete lessons fully (I.e. get to Legendary) before going to the next unit that really stalls progress. Simply because I am not allowed to practice individual parts thoroughly. I find this very demotivating. I really liked the way the other system worked because it allowed me to practice one specific part more.
Right now I am overwhelmed with the amount of new words thrown at me at once and the massive feel of the final unit lessons. I keep returning days (maybe weeks) on end to the final unit lessons with no progress and I find that highly irritating.
Learning with Duolingo used to be fun. But now it starts to feel like a chore.
Not liking this change.
I absolutely agree. I was suddenly thrown a bunch of words and concepts I didn’t understand, in Korean, tried to go back to learn them, but couldn’t figure out how. I went back a bit to ” repeat” but quickly lost my place. I miss the broken tiles and I do not have any stories.
I absolutely detest this new format. I am lost as to where I am supposed to pick up my progress.
How far back do I go to see where I left off before this change transpired? I have been doing Duo since 2016, and this is simply an awful change that is demotivating and pushing me to search out an alternative format for learning my language.
Excellent review! As a long-time learner of multiple languages on Duolingo, this new format is really a slap in the face. I call their new path “the infinite snake.” It makes learning a new language appear to be much more rigid, boring, and difficult!
Before, there were so many learning tools, and each learner could adjust the methodology, to their preferred style of learning. Now we are being forced to get in line to follow what looks like an almost never-ending, rote methodology down a long, monotonous path. Yuk! I certainly see no reason to pay for being a part of Super Duolingo. I have signed up for a 3-month trial subscription to Babbel to explore that option. The people at Babbel and other language resources must be overjoyed with these Duolingo changes!
Hate it! I would do anything to get back to the previous version. I am seriously thinking about ditching Duo after so many years! Please please please give us the option to opt out of this nightmare version.
Do NOT like the new format. i feel like I’ve regressed!!!!
I liked the old version, because we could choose our own method of learning. This seems best, since everyone has their own style of learning.
Now, everything from the main path to the recommended practice types (pronunciation, mistakes, listening, etc.) are guided by AI. I feel like it’s constantly holding my hand and telling me what to do instead of letting me explore the language and learn based on my needs and interests.
That’s my opinion. I’d rather have the freedom to learn what I need to learn for my own situation.
I am taking Scottish Gaelic and can no longer find my word list in the new format, as there is no “more” button with the three dots.
Also, none of my units have a Guidebook icon that supposedly replaced the Tips from the original format.
These issues are seriously hampering my learning.
I actually like the new format. Have been learning Spanish with Duo Lingo for over 2 years using the app and the PC, so currently have both but am moving more towards using the PC as I find it a more innovative way to learn. I’m not really into the gaming side although I do try to do enough to stay in the diamond league (not always succeeding) but never try and compete with the guys that seem to get 1,000’s of xps within minutes (how is that even possible lol). So hopefully this new format will make the leagues fairer.
I do miss the stories and would love the story tab to come back as I read Spanish stories alot.
Okay okay… So, I am ready to be hated because of liking the new update. I have a 44 days streak (which is nothing), and totally like the new update.
It encourages people to not to stick with the old, easy units but rather to progress. I understand that people who hate the new update because it is not neat – or affecting the stable learning plan – but the pros are more than the cons, a lot more.
The old tree, in my opinion, is throwing inconsistent knowledge in a single place. For now, it is easier to learn.
I have a suggestion:
Duolingo could launch another app, totally new & separate.
This way they could bring back the tree version to the market, but this time guaranteed to remain the same.
They could use the version of spring 2022 eg. So no big software development needed.
Free or fee, whatever they like.
They could call it what they like, Duo 20, Duo Nostalgia, the real Duol, Duolingo 1.0, Duo tree or Duo revert…
Then let the customers decide…
It would require conscious choice and effort to change over, so only highly motivated fans would go for it.
Would be interesting to see how many we are.
May the best owl win!
I was only switched yesterday and agree with all the negative comments.
Would also like to comment on a point that was not raised yet – in terms of methodology, the legendary level makes absolutely no sense now as a unit now only covers level one of several skills while legendary exercises are the same as previously and cover six levels. You can’t possibly complete them after completing a unit!!!
Grammar material which was available for some languages only in the browser version is scrapped altogether.
Even though you can go back and practice – it’s impossible to see what you are going to practice until you click on a lesson, it’s a complete mess when you have hundreds of completed lessons.
Maybe I can get used to it but so far very disappointed.
Why also don’t try give any explanation for xp policy change? Not quite fair the way it is rolled out
I absolutely hate the new format. Can’t stand it. So confusing. Thinking about deleting Duolingo altogether even with my 1200 day streak.
Would you be willing to explain why you find it confusing? I can see the validity in some of the other complaints, but it seems like a linear path is nothing if not simpler than a tree.
I’m getting into Duolingo again in hopes of ultimately becoming fluent in German (with the aid of other resources, obviously). So far, I quite like the linear path because it gives more evidence of incremental forward progress.
I’m just curious. Thanks in advance if you end up engaging with me.
I’m sure that many people are satisfied with studying a skill thoroughly before moving onto the next. However, for me, this completely derails the way I’ve done Duolingo for years. I’ve always been very happy with going through and turning each skill up one level until the entire tree has been leveled up one, and continuing on until everything is gold, not doing one skill over and over until it’s gold and then moving on. I’m still very lost on how I’m going to handle lessons daily from now on as I study different languages.
Just before the update, I was so, so close to turning three trees completely Legendary, and now I’ll never get to see the old trees completely violet – not to mention that each Legendary practice is now eight lessons instead of 3-4, so it will now take longer to get them done, especially since I only have so many lingots.
My main question is, does Duolingo ever ask its userbase at large about these kinds of major overhauls before implementing them? Or do they decide to just roll it out gradually and wait for people to stop complaining?
JB – the answer to the “Lingots” problem is staring us in the face. Earning them is a nightmare but we can buy them! I forget the cost, but it seems the only to achieve legendary status is to pay for the lingot thingies. Sorry, I won’t be doing that.
Once I’ve already progressed quite a ways in a language, I’ve finally realized I could have taken a proficiency test at the start to get placed appropriately, instead of trudging through hours of lessons I already knew.
How do I take the proficiency test now to get me placed at the correct level for my current skills?
I left Duo when the changes occurred and am now using Busuu, not as good a Duo used to be, much better for me than the new version.
I use my laptop and my course was changed more than a month ago, my husband uses his phone and he still has the old version. Why the difference?
I don’t like the update. I don’t like how where I was in the course didn’t exactly translate to where I am now. I don’t like it that I can’t stick to my previous plan for completing duolingo. However, most of all I don’t like that I can’t find which lesson is which. I try to time what I am studying especially grammar-wise with an in-person course. This additional repitió helps me to do well in my main course. The fact that I don’t even know where all this grammar situated is annoying beyond belief.
Also, sometimes I realize that I forgot some grammatical rule, and I want to go back and review it. It was very important to know where to do so, and have an ability to practice.
A lot of people on Duolingo use it as a useful supplemental material, the way I do, and this new learning path rendered it useless for this purpose. Now I am thinking of switching to something else.
Yes, it’s completely impossible to go back and find specific things to brush up on. I feel completely overwhelmed where I am right now. The Korean lessons have suddenly gotten much harder for me and completely overwhelming and I don’t know where to go back to learn them. I’m so disappointed, it’s not fun anymore. I just feel like I’m flailing. Sadly, I will be searching for a different app.
Hi, the blog said the new learning path will be available for everyone on Duolingo, but I never received it
My wife is the principal on the Family Plan and she already has the new Path. I don’t and don’t know why? We’re learning Spanish. I’m anxious to try the new Path…when do I get it?
November 2nd, still old tree.
It is beyond irritating that even though they said everyone would be converted Nov. 1st, I’m still on the old UI. I paused my learning so that I could see where I landed on the new path, then assess what I wanted to do going forward (incorporated another app, more listening practice on YouTube etc).
Duolingo, this was YOUR IDEA. And now you’re not even sticking to the roll out date you promised. FIGURE YOUR **** OUT!
New tree for over a month. Path idea is fine. However, the new path is not helping me. (been using the Super version from before and currently). I tried to proceed from where the gold ended, and it was WAY TOO HARD, so I went back to where the gold started (20 levels).
Problem: I now scroll back 20 (less now) levels every time to practice. Might get used to this new method but for now, when I reach a legendary testing level, each test takes longer than it used to and I frequently fail. Fluency at whatever “legendary” testing levels feels noticeably lower than before the path change.
Possibly few users have this problem. I skipped around at first, until I couldn’t pass the “test out” practices. Then I went back to rigorously finishing each level, and had a great learning flow, practiced regularly, and often passed the legendary testing levels. Having a so so and arduous learning flow right now — because I can’t figure out how and where to practice.
I had just finished learning past and future tense and past participle, and now I’m on the new version I am back to saying “I eat breakfast in the morning” – I am way above the level that Duolingo has decided for me and I can’t do anything about it but plod tediously through the predetermined levels, which I really cba to do
Well its Nov. 1 and I don’t have the new path. Is there something I can do to get it or?
Honestly, I am so peeved that I can’t even write down the things that I hate about the new version. In fact, there are so many things I hate about it that it will take a long time to list all of them down. I had reached checkpoint 4 in German and now all of it is gone. I had to restart the whole damn thing and the experience feels like a torture. Not to mention Doulingo now treats us like babe in the woods who do not know how to study and requires spoon feeding. For those who are saying that beginners will benefit from this approach, I was a beginner once, and still a beginner for many other languages and I never had any issue. Removing stories was like removing the earth from beneath my feet. I loved to do them and often did them without actually going down the tree. Now I am forced to do that wretched snake if I want to progress anywhere with the stories. My list can go on and on, but unless Duolingo brings back the old tree, it will have to say goodbye to a lot of people, including me. Offending the people who supported you for all these years is not a smart move. The only people who are happy about this update are Duolingo’s competitors. After all, now there will be lots of people looking for a Duolingo alternative!
The new version just landed on my phone today and I hate it! I had a plan. I was working through the tree doing a level at a time, but picking whichever topic I was in the mood to practice.
Now there’s a never ending linear path that doesn’t even let me choose to pick an easier topic if I’m feeling tired or a harder one if I have time and energy. How is this an improvement? Why aren’t both options available so that we can choose? I might’ve given the path approach a go when I tried a new language but I don’t want my existing learning disrupted.
So, here’s the killer for me. Firstly, I’m not a big fan of forced change, and I have incorporated this into my daily routine in a way that works for me. It was wonderful, and I have been learning a second language at a decent pace. Now, that versatility to utilize it in the time that I have allotted for it is pretty shot. But now, we face the bigger issue… This just rolled over for me today. And the very first lesson I took is completely and utterly filled with words I have never seen before. And not as an introduction to new words, but presented in a way that it makes it clear that I should already know these words, as if I have been exposed them before. This first lesson alone had probably 15 words I had never seen before that I couldn’t even google, because it’s on the suffixes of them that I have to type out. To make it worse, when I happen to get lucky and guess correctly, Duolingo just gives me a ‘CORRECT!’ notification, and no indication of whatever the hell it was that I just typed out or what it means. I feel completely screwed. I actually told my significant other (for whom I am learning this language) that it’s like being throw into a video came that you have never played before, at high level with all the skill buttons, and being expected to just innately know all the controls. Honestly, I’m going to TRY to give it an honest shake, but I’m going to be royally pissed if I have to start all over from the beginning just to pick up on god knows how many words I haven’t been exposed to that it just thinks I magically know now.
This reinforces something we’ve all internally known about Duolingo for a while. It is for beginners/dabblers. So I don’t have my tree to play in anymore, what have I done? Started dabbling in 5 other languages. Get bored, switch language. Yeah, my target languages are suffering, but I should have never expected B2 proficiency via this platform. Even with the tree, it was a pipe dream. So my serious study will move to other platforms (as it effectively already had) and my nursery room playtime in Duo will concentrate on A2 dabbling. When I get that legendary gold badge, it’s bye-bye super duo…unless they come up with another drug.
I hate the new version… mainly because it is treating me like an 8 year old child. ‘We know what’s best for you and you WILL do as I say’… I’m an (intelligent) adult and have developed the ability to CHOOSE how I learn. I have been thru management training which gave me an insight on how I learn best, but because some people can’t (or won’t) think for themselves I am forced into a straight jacket.
A better solution would pehaps be a hybrid of new and old – start new people on a prescriptive path, which they can stay on if they prefer, but allow some branching/choice as you develop if only to keep it interesting.
The new, prescriptive path is insulting, boring and unnecessarily restrictive.
Luckily, I have 2 accounts – because repetition works for me, so I’m doing the course twice! My tablet (which hasn’t updated) and on a Phone (which has). Both have 250+ streaks.
I was considering stopping in one – I will now do so, because the new path is, for me, unusable – I will delete the app.
I have turned off auto updates on my tablet and will continue to use the old version til they force me off, then I’ll stop on there too. I’ve started looking at alternatives as the reason I’m learning French is because my sons girlfriend is French and they speak French at home.
I finished, Spanish/English and 50% of Dutch/German. And then came the new update… I will never be able to finish it now, because I dislike the new app so much. Duolingo is so greedy. They should introduce a new outfit for him a fat suit… the user interface is messy and confusing. And new words are introduced without a proper introduction… I removed the app today after 7 years. I’m so disappointed.
I hate the new version with all my heart!
Not sure how long i will keep using it, it lower my level and have to skip 10 o more levels to get where I was. Totally waste of time and money.
I was close to completing legendary status on four units and stopped because I went on vacation. If I had realized that wouldn’t carried over, I would have finished them. That sucks. Now I’m less inclined to spend an hour working on my skill level because it’s no longer my choice
My progress was lost. The levels I didn’t pass became gold. I’m a paid user and I’m not willing to pay for it, I chose the duo because of the clear learning process and the visible goal. Now I don’t see that goal. Most of all, I waited for 2 years for the new levels of Russian-German, and instead I got demotivation to learning.
Just two words: Goodbye Duolingo
My tree turned into the new path today unfortunately.
I have often made the stories especially the conversation part so that one is forced to talk. And the revenue for that was 20 XP (18-24)
In the new crappy pathway a story gives 5 XP and there is no conversation mode at all.
How can they turn off such a good practice section?
Must say that Duo has lost really big and I guess that Babbel will gain a lot of new customers to their, in my point of view, better and more user friendly product.
Looks like the CEO is on track to loose the long term subscribers and Duo super-fans like me. The new format is horrible. I’m looking for another platform. So sad. So unnecessary.
Ok, now it is on the desktop. Exactly as disgusting as it is on the phone, just bigger. I hope the developer if this abomination will see it in the mirror for the rest of his/her life. I’ve been on Duo for 8 years, and this is not the first time when it treats me badly, but this is the worst one. Can only wish it to cripple financially: this would be the only way they might learn they lesson.
I liked the German program and became a paid member.
1. However, becoming a paid member meant I lost all the crystals I had been getting by watching adverts.
2. Then they messed with the old tree and I lost my hard work. I was not happy.
3. As I slowly got back on my feet I started to notice so many of the stories were LGBPTQ+ and they had turned the classes into a woke festival. Are they trying to groom kids who use this program?
4. I started to complain on the forums but they shadow banned me. Then soon after removed the forums. I quit for learning for many months I was so pissed.
5. I’ve been back for two weeks now. Doing a crown or two a day. But they switched me to this new method on the PC. My tablet has the old method still. I think they’ll disable one or the other and I’ll lose my work. So if I use my tablet with the old system they won’t know how to fit it into the new system. Probably the safest course to choose is to only use my pc with the new system.
6. After reading the other replies I decided I need to try other apps. So I tried the free version of busuu. I’ll be using them in parallel from now on. I noticed Busuu gives me a lot of information I did not get with duo. I think I should always use at least two if not three learning apps. So I’m no longer affected by Luis von Ahn’s exceptionally poor decision making and can make steady progress without getting triggered by him.
The new learning path sucks. Thinking of quitting.
I’ve been studying Spanish for 170 days. I would REALLY like to see a comparison of the old tree to the new path. This could give me some idea of where I am and give me a bit of security in the new set up.
I am also brushing up on French. I studied it in college and lived in French speaking Geneva for 5 months. My placement in the old system put me in unit 7. I tried a few lessons and decided I needed a refresher, so I was doing the reviews at the end of each section, using the keys. It looks like I can continue my review using the Level Up feature.
Being a visual person, I really need to see a comparison of the old tree to the new path.
I also hate it. I feel like in the “design area” it looks like their demographic was a 10 year old. I have been only using it for 84 days (straight), and I had a system I had developed to go back and get “legendary” when I had enough of the lingots. Now I have no idea where I am. Whey would they assume we are all so dumb that we can’t use our own needs in how we used this method of learning our language of choice.
While I know I will “get used to it”, it does not mean I will like it. I really do hate to have my intellect and ability to choose co-opted.
Like some others have pointed out, the old format simply worked better for some people’s learning style. Everyone has a different way in which they learn things, and one of the best parts about the old format was that flexibility to choose what way you wanted to learn. This new format is linear and seems to try and put everyone in a box for how they should learn their language. I only got the update today (grateful I had the old version for so long) and I’m hoping I’ll get used to it, although I’m discouraged by the numerous comments I’m seeing from people who have been using it for months and have only come to dislike it more. Also, as mentioned in this article, I feel like I completely lost my spot from where I was before. Not looking forward to trying to figure out where I really need to be.
Sorry but I do not like the new format. I can figure out the layout but I thought the ide awas to learn by making mistakes and already by 8 AM I’ve used all my hearts and can’t do anything else.
Just received this new format today. It seems that my previous 86 days work has not been registered.
I liked switching between subjects, repairing fractured crowns depending on time I had available.
Do I have to repeat all my previous work?
Looking for a new app
I turned it on this morning to this new path and I have given it a red hot go today for 4 hours and my verdict is it totally sucks.
I was up to level 4 and now who knows where I am.
The first bit was a repertition of what I had done before and the stories are ones I did weeks ago. That is not something that incentivises you to begin.
I agree that this is designed for children now.
With far less speaking, which I already found was far to little for learning a new language.
I speak quiet a bit of the language I am learning by having lived in the country but I didn’t know how to read or write it which is why I started at Duolingo.
I am deeply disapointed in this “new”straightjacketed learning model.
The grammer hints seem to have disappeared or are pathetic and the tools for self directed learning have been taken away.
I think they may have shot themselves in the foot at Duolingo because I am seeing a 90% average against the new ‘path’.
It seems like “we’re on a road to nowhere”.
I still am on the old tree! I am actually excited for the changes and was prepared and I can’t figure out how to get it!
You’ll get it eventually. I only got it yesterday. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do (apparently, I am not typical, judging from the comments). Have fun with it.
Duolingo now incomprehensible and unusable. 1153 day streak and now the end! Adieu!
One big concern I have is that i can no longer do lessons offline. There are many times that I am away from the internet for days at a time and I relied on the ability to complete offline lessons to maintain my streak. This is terrible, limiting, and internet-connection-elitist.
Btw, my phone and my iPad got the roll-out about 6 months apart (for the same account). I haven’t used duo on my phone since the update and now that it’s been unceremoniously forced onto my iPad I hope I don’t drop duo altogether. We shall see…
Agreed…no offline is not good for me. I am going away for 6 days offline and will loss my 600+ streak…very disappointed. Offline was also very entertaining while on planes.
I agree with many of the posters, and will say it without being politically correct – the new Duolingo is GARBAGE!!! The interface is designed for 4 -5 years old kids. The content was reduced. For example the stories do not have two versions – reading and speaking. The tips were greatly reduced. There are so many levels now, that they are meaningless. It is difficult to go back and find something because the lesson icons lack written titles. The little icons on both sides of the learning trail are games that are designed to quickly deplete you of points, so you become a Premium subscriber, without officially requiring everybody to pay for the app.
Like I said, it is GARBAGE! I have been on Duolingo for 7 years, but I am done! I am OUT!!!
Fortunately, there are other language learning resources out there.
It’s nice that Duolingo is considering that spaced repetition is important when learning a language, but I wonder if they considered that andragogy (adult education) emphasizes the importance of independence in the learning process. Unlike kids, adults don’t need or like to be spoon-fed what and how to learn, which is probably why a lot of the complaints are about users not being able to learn at their own pace or in their own style. It doesn’t really matter then if spaced repetition is the “right” or best way to learn a language if the users aren’t motivated to learn period. It’s kind of sad that Duo doesn’t trust users to direct their own learning, but the path update was clearly made for new users and for those who need to be given directions.
It also doesn’t help that the new UI isn’t very informative. Check marks and padlocks don’t tell you anything about the topic or theme. I liked it better when they had labels like “animals” or “weather” even though they could be vague about the grammar lessons.
I personally dislike the new path. The reasons have been already mentioned. As a user who is already there for some time, the new path makes me feel uncomfortable. I really liked the possibility of being able to choose free which lecture to accomplish next (more or less) and listen to a story here and then as well. I am now completely forced to do everything as duolingo thinks is best, but they cannot really know what is best for me now in my situation.
I am learning spanish for almost 7 years now, not only on duolingo, but I also take courses offline. So it is a pity that I cannot practice subjuntivo tasks on duolingo now when I want to, but just when duolingo says “now’s the time”. I’ll just have to what now, discuss my routine and talk about school. This is not what I wanted duolingo to use for, and I do not expect that it will help me as good as it used to do.
Nevertheless, I will give it a try. But as far as I see it now, it seems more likely that I will quit duolingo soon, as it does not fit into my learning habit anymore. I even considered purchasing plus aka super, but so far I am happy that I did not do it already. Qué lastima!
As a new learner I have been learning Scottish Gaelic for six months now. I was unaware of system change. In the old system there were ‘tips’ at the start of every lesson with new vocabulary and bits of grammar, which helped you understand the new content. All the tips seem to have disappeared in the new version! There are just a couple of Guidebook tabs but these just contain three very simple sentences. And I never came across Stories in Gaelic.
Is this just that the system changes are yet to be completed or is that it? Duolingo has never been ery good at explaining grammar rules, but now there is nothing!
I don’t know what Duolingo means by assuring users their progress is saved. I was 8 units away from being complete to cycle 1 (or more) on the German tree.
When I opened DL yesterday, it showed I’m a level zero all the way back to introducing the dative case.
I’m trying to find where I can go to lodge a complaint. I have a paid subscription to DL, and it as though I’ve paid them for wasting my time.
I finally got the new path yesterday. I understand that long-term users were the last to get it. I’ve been using Duolingo everyday for almost 3 years.
So far I actually like the path a lot. I was getting a little discouraged with the Swedish course, and it somehow became easier for me. I also find I don’t make as many stupid mistakes in the Spanish course, which I almost finished. In other words, I find it easier to focus. Maybe I was just bored with the old tree. 😊
None of my progress appear to have been lost. I just need to do the last thing on the courses I already finished to show them as completed.
I guess I am not a typical user, judging by all the negative feedback I saw here. I usually thrive on change though, so I find this new format exciting.
I have a mayor issue with the new learning path.Mainly : where is the grammar ?
I use several paths to learn Italian and not so long ago i noticed that the French/Italian learning path had an extensive and comprehensive grammar section. It explained a lot of nuances in the language, gave some pronunciation tips, ….
ALL THIS HAS COMPLETELY GONE and is replaced by some very basic, non explanatory sentences.
To conclude this : for me : this is a mayor point. I suppose I’m not the only one who needs some context to be able to learn a language . So in short : i want my grammar back, without grammer you can’t learn a language in a proper way.
i freaking hate this cr*p, who came up with this. It’s the most disorganized thing i have ever seen. I dont care about all the fun characters I didnt come onto Duolingo to play Candy Land, i came to learn a language. I am sooooo dissatisfied and who ever thought this was a good idea, was an idiot!
Go back to the old method, where I felt like I was actually learning now it just feels like a cluster f**** its cr*p now
I have been using Duolingo for years and I don’t know what Duolingo were thinking of making this awful update. I don’t understand it and to be honest I don’t think I can be bothered to try. They updated the iPhone version a while ago but the iPad one didn’t change until I logged on today and to be honest my heart sank. I was a Plus member until a few weeks ago, thank god I didn’t resubscibe!
My wife and I were forced to have the new Duolingo two days ago and we think that we’ll be finding another language app. It’s a real shame as we were enjoying the ‘old’ platform.
I don’t see any hearts at the top of my (desktop) page. I did a lesson yesterday, but Duolingo said I didn’t. The new approach is said to be linear, but the path is wavy: I find this irritating but understandable.
I’ve been using Duolingo for almost a year and got updated on both my iphone and laptop this week. I do NOT like the new version all. The top-down view of the character animations makes me feel like I’m floating 10 feet above them and am about to fall over. I literally feel like I’m at the top of a tall building looking down. It makes me feel queasy and uneasy. Also the characters no longer interact with me as the user, but with each other on a plane below me in an unseen world. It’s as if I’m watching a movie from afar. They may look up at me occasionally, but it’s not the same as being on the same level as them face to face.
For me doing away with the Stories icon and free access to the array of stories from all my completed lessons has done away with 50% of the learning arc of the program. I am now forced to use the pathway to access whatever one story they choose for me without knowing what story I’m going to find there. If I want to read two stories in a row, I have to wait until I’m returned to the pathway and find another story icon to yet another unknown story. It’s like fishing through a hole in the side of a boat without seeing the water. So frustrating.
The worst aspect of all of the new version is the linear pathway which makes the sad assumption that the learner can’t figure things out on our own or we are choosing to learn in a way Duolingo doesn’t understand or approve of. Exploration and discovery are KEY components of learning. I don’t want a single pathway. I want to be the master of my own learning experience … reviewing whatever past lessons I want, reading whatever past stories I want, practicing when I want or not, listening to the audio or not. It’s MY learning. Let me learn in the way I WANT to learn. Don’t shove me down a one-size-fits-all pathway!
If Duolingo MUST have this new version to obtain some proficiency goals they think they have to meet, fine. But they should also provide the OLD version to those of us who learn better in the 3D learning environment of the old version and not be forced to endure the 2D path the new version serves up. How do we make that happen?
I’ve been involved with duolingo since its inception. I have usually been happy with it and have always recommended it to acquaintances. Except for a short period when I couldn’t access it because of the country I was in and consequently lost my streak, I have never left it.
so, how long have I used it? As long as duolingo has existed minus a couple of weeks.
Some seem to have known the change was coming. I didn’t. So the new approach, completely new, replacing a program I felt pretty happy with, is a stunning shock. I’ll see how I feel the next couple of days, but the idea of abandonning something I was happy with has now entered my mind. I’ve been lucky to have other methods, also free, at my disposal. It’s hard to imagine it, but that’s probably the way I’ll go. Before I do, I have a comment: I was always happy with the stories (now eliminated?) and almost always enjoyed doing them. the Spanish ones are those I’ve done the most. I’ve been involved with many languages and many methods over the years, and the Spanish ones have been the cleverest, most professionally produced of any I have ever run across — clever stories, dramatically presented, great “acting”. They have been lots of fun to do. Adios?
Thanks so much for going through the update, articulating some of my own frustrations, and suggesting some ideas to improve the situation.
I have been a faithful user for a long time as well, and just got switched over to the new path. While frustrated that I don’t have the flexibility to go through the lessons in my pace, I do appreciate their big picture approach (thanks to your clarification). I think right now, honestly, my biggest complaint is about the XPs… its much harder to get XPs and double XPs, and that is bringing my motivations down in terms of the number of lessons I want to go through each day. I also feel bored keep going through the same lesson.
With the new path, how many lessons is ideal to go through each day?
I agree. None of us learn the same way and the tree was much more freedom.
I’m a newish user but never found the tree confusing. I hate the stories and am very annoyed they are now mandatory. I don’t do well with them.
Also, I don’t know if it’s a bug- I did report it- but now the minute I open the app it pops me into a lesson. I want to know where I am and what I’m learning.
I was enjoying getting through my first year, but now I probably won’t make it to 200 days (at 197) never mind 365. It’s terrible now and I don’t even want to login.
I hate the sudden change
Not sure it’s improved my learning experience!
Change for the sake of change!
I really really dislike this new version – it just doesn’t accommodate the way I learn. I much preferred to spend time and effort on the units that would be helpful to me, such as travel, eating out etc and less on eones such as “going to school “. I’m 65 – I’m not likely to need that! The linear pathway makes that impossible, and so for me removes the incentive to keep going. Also, the cracked plates were an excellent way of doing quick revision that I found really helpful so very sad to lose those. I’m just glad my annual subscription is almost finished – anyone recommend a decent alternative for learning Spanish?
My issue with Duolingo lately seems to be different from others. I wonder if anyone feels as I do about the increasing ‘toddler-ization’ of the appearance of the tool.
It seems with every change, it looks more like something I see a 3-year-old mashing buttons on in their parents’ shopping cart.
I realize it needs to appeal to a wide range of users, but currently, all the cosmetic aspects seem to be very young. A minor thing, I know. I wish there was an adult version. 🙂
That’s exactly like I feel, like I’m sitting in a nursery school. No explanations, just repeat like a parrot. The fun is gone & I’m looking for something else.
Big big disappointment shame I dislike the new upgrade
I have been using Duolingo for over a year learning Welsh and find the new update that was forced on us awful. Gone are the useful tips/hints and examples that were available with the old version. It is far more difficult now to navigate and choose specific areas of learning that you may wish to repeat or target. The documentation from the National Centre for Learning Welsh used the symbols and names from the old format so that you could follow their course areas in Duolingo – that is now broken. Not all change is progress!!
The new format and lack of separation between learning and stories is not to my liking .
For someone who is not very computer savvy, it is very confusing and hard to navigate.
Why fix it if it is not broken?
Sadly, I will not go on learning with Duolingo as this new format is not digestible to me.
I LOATHE the new format. The format is one that doesn’t align to my learning methods. I’d used it for several years for Italian and had just started German…. I’m seriously thinking of just quitting all together because I struggle so much with the new format, I don’t even want to do it. I used to enjoy the app…. now it feels like a chore and not something I want to do.
I don’t like the new format, but I would be willing to adapt to it if Duolingo wasn’t so greedy.
These timed review games are ridiculous. I often finish the regular ones with seconds to spare. There is a rapid match one that I cannot complete at all. You’re supposed to match the words and clear all of them before time is up. I am literally tapping them as they appear, they are repeating the same words over and over again, and I can’t clear them all in time. It is artificially difficult and designed to make you pay *450* gems for another minute. 450. That is ludicrous. They want you to pay your real money to buy gems just to get the stupid stars on these review games.
I was a premium user. Was. I cancelled yesterday. I understand if they need to place ads or make free users spend gems to get a few bucks, but I was giving them money every month as it is. There are plenty of other language learning apps that don’t have the same interest in exploiting their user base.
Going public was very bad for Duolingo. I’m finished with them. I don’t care about the path vs tree, I care about this intentionally inflating the difficulty and charging for every little thing BS.
If it’s not broke don’t fix it.
Just yesterday, I was ready to pay for super Duolingo but I didn’t have my credit card handy. I am so glad I didn’t because I am so frustrated with this new path. I quit my Spanish studies for about a year and recently came back. I decided to really learn the earlier levels and enjoyed choosing my topics and level of difficulty. Duolingo placed me at a level I was a year ago and now I am only guessing much of the time. It’s a complete waste of time. I don’t like not being able to choose what I’m going to work on in the first place but I especially don’t like it when it’s beyond my comprehension. Fortunately my android phone has yet to be upgraded so I may get a little more time on Duolingo. If this restrictive path is my only option though, I won’t be back.
Never mind the Part about it being too hard. I see I can choose any lesson below the level they put me. I still don’t like not being able to choose what kind of exercise I practice, but I can spend a lot of time at the lower levels until I feel confident I’ve got it.
I was on a streak of 1561 days until I received the update and I have stopped dead. I cancelled my ‘plus’ subscription as well. I am repeating many of the sentiments above, but the new set up is boring, linear and not how I want to engage with a language. It has put me into the tree at the start of a section about sport. The next one is about going to a bank. Well, no thanks.
I subscribed to Super DL just two weeks ago. I don’t want this new version. Can I cancel and get a 50 week refund? If so, how does one do that? Thanks!
so it´s november the 5th and I still have the old design, avter reading all the comments I think I shoudl be thankful…I thought it would be changed automatically…I don´t know if I have to do anything or not, but I guess as long as it´s still in that design I leave it be 😀
As an adult learner intent on reviving very rusty French, Duolingo was already not optimal but easily available. It lacked grammar, sufficient useful daily vocabulary, gender/noun affiliation, and sound quality mixed with uncorrected but reported errors. If its owners had improved the platform, I would have paid. The scatterbrained new format is not an improvement and is designed to convert users to either paying or allowing advertising. It reflects the acquisition.
I just moved to private thus leaving the competitive aspect and will not level up. It is not clear I can even use Duolingo to review given the scattered and mismatched lessons relative to where I was. Have to say I will miss sitesurf and some of the incredible “helpers” whose explanations were what I was actually looking for.
“If it is not broken, then don’t fix it”…so, was this some kind of “make-work” project for those who decided to spring, without warning, such a dramatic change on us? All my sense of progress has been obliterated. I have no wish to use this platform when there is so little respect for those of us accustomed to learning with a certain methodology, for years now, only to have what is familiar suddenly disappear and a radically new method, imposed. It is not an improvement. It is a massive loss of our personal learning curve. The refusal to grasp this, in the name of saving face, is a weakness, just as this “path” was reckless to endorse. How unfortunate for so many of us who had been Duolingo’s biggest fans.
Yes, I’m sorry to say I’m a hater of this new format. I don’t like the new linear pathway, I’m missing my cracked skills, and I used to love to see and repeat lessons as it reinforced my learning skills – I can’t do that easily now. I also seem to have lost my friends tab and their progress, which used to keep me motivated. Oh Duo what have you done!!
I found this program almost 365 days ago and fell in love with it. It was fun and I learned a little bit. I tried Spanish since that seemed to be the most useful language. I did some French since I did that in school (and amazed what I did and did not remember). Most recently, I switched to German since my work now is part of a German company.
I didn’t have a lot of time to put in learning any language and it showed, but I was slowly making progress. The stories were the most helpful. Each time I re-read a story, I figured out something I missed before.
Yes, playing the game to get the XP and the achievements were part of the fun. I still have two more achievements to acquire, so I’ll stay for a while, but I’m starting to look at other programs.
Thanks for this review (found by searching google with “does anyone like the new duolingo format”
it’s been two weeks and I’ve been trying to like this new format. I only have one more achievement to go and that is getting my word count up. It appears I have to do that in the language I worked on the longest. I switched languages to one that would be more helpful with my job and the count has stopped moving.
I promised myself once I got the #1 in the Diamond league I would focus on the new language (but try to keep myself in that league)
With the new path I went to the last one that wasn’t all purple so level that up. Just have to take 8 challenges (10 lingots each), but at 40 points that will help me in the league. Since I’m coming back to this language, I’m a little rusty and am ready to fail (I do). I don’t see a practice option, so I decide to look at the next lesson so I can start my day getting lingots (so I can do the challenge). Try the lesson and it starts off teaching me the stuff I had to do in the challenge before.
Just needed to vent since there are no forums in Duolingo any more (not sure about if you have questions about why the answers are what they are – always learned more from that)
There is nothing “innovative” about this update. They literally just took away features in order to push a certain way of learning that was already possible before the update. At the very least give people the option to switch between them.
I think I can see the benefit of the path if I was first starting a language. When I started learning Russian I felt lost. However, I’m now three units in. I learned how to get by using the tree and came to enjoy the freedom of it. Now, I’m not sure where I really stand in the language. They stuck me where they feel I should be, but I’m not sure if it’s where I should be. I agree that there should have been a timed sunset on the old version if they were to do it, and to have an easier way to see where you compare from old to new. As it stands I’m canceling my subscription. I’ll probably keep using the free version and if I can ever get used to the new version of they improve it
I don’t pay to play so I can’t complain. I will say the new path is easier. I don’t learn nearly as quickly. Also they have kept the pronunciations that are impossible to understand.
I’m on a 354. day streak. I’ll keep on for eleven more days just to get the ‘365’ thingy, and then I’m off. Totally demoralised – from almost being an addict to it just being a boring chore. Can’t wait to be rid of Duo from my life now.
The recent DuoLingo update has effectively ruined what was a very motivational means of learning a language, one which you could tailor to your own particular needs. The new look is simply puerile, replicating a story book for the under 5’s. The clarity surrounding the particular aspect of language that each task was targeted at has been removed, and the poorly designed “stepping stone” format necessitates scrolling forever to find where you are, and to which oblivion you might be headed next. It’s a disaster in terms of educational quality and user experience. Evidently DuoLingo’s reluctance to comment on or reply to the hundreds of thousands of complaints about the update on various types of social media shows how well their loyal customers are valued. I personally find it disgraceful.
I am so disappointed. Three major complaints: (1) lockstep learning (2) dumbing down of lessons (3) loss of the content I found most helpful and motivating–the listening section with level-appropriate podcasts and “Paul and Estelle”; the stories conversation mode and writing exercises. I don’t understand how anyone who has done even a modicum of research into adult learning could imagine this format could keep learners motivated. Did they do any end-user testing to see how learners reacted–or did they care? Sounds like the CEO decided that he knew best. Sigh. Trying out new platforms now. This is one paying customer who will not renew unless there is content product improvement (and it exists already–just give it back!!!!).
I hate it – can’t find anything and can’t focus where I want. Finding new place to learn, don’t care about streak anymore!
I strongly disagree with one point you’ve made:
“it’s much better for beginners”
I teach my daughter using Duolingo – she feels very intimidated by the new path. It’s long and unpleasant. Also, she loved repeating her favorite lessons (actually, it was also how I used to reward myself after a longer practice session), now we can’t even find them, we keep scrolling up and down, which takes WAY too much time.
Also: “it’s not as easy to go back and practice” – practicing is the whole freaking point of the app! Also: “not as easy” is an understatement. New version made “going back” a hideous chore.
I do not know if the version for mobile phones is changing too but I currently still have the old one on my phone and the new one on my computer.
(Partially) taking that into consideration this is the way I – with 1000+ days streak – see this change: in the course of the last cca 1,5 years, I have noticed Duolingo gradually introducing more and more changes, all felt like aiming for the users to get the subscription or watch more adds but not very much in improving the lessons, vocabulary etc.. New paths for the computer version are SOOO not helpful or fun (at least in comparison to previous lessons), so they guide you to use the phone version where you can make 5 errors (btw. that is how tests work, not lessons) and you are pretty much done for the day. So either you watch A LOT of advertisements to scrap a few hearts, or you pay for the subscription.
I think that Duolingo should just become a mandatory subscription platform and offer people the old way of learning, this way is not helping anyone.
I find it really sad, I have really enjoyed learning, trying new languages to see how I feel about them, I had a lot of fun and education but with this change I do not think I will stay with duolingo 🙁
I am learning two new languages and relearning one I studied years ago. I have only been on duolingo for 75 days and I loved it. I already miss the tree after only one day. I liked being able to work on different word sets that I had some choice over. Now I appear to have no choice over what I study when. I enjoyed the challenges, etc. and will miss that. I don’t care for the change at all. I just got my family to join together and hope we aren’t all sorry.
I am relatively new o Duingo as was only on unit 2 on the old tree version. I Don like the way this change was just dropped on me with no warning especially since I do pay for it.
My biggest issue is that the new system is SO DULL. Every sentence is almost exactly the same, just a variation. Might be good for learning but definitely is not for motivation!
Also it is so EASY. I’m getting 100 % all the time so I don’t understand how they decided which level to plop you in at.
I feel like I’m not learning anything. Unless I’m missing something Duolingo will bore me very quickly and I will leave.
Worst “innovation” since New Coke. Change for the sake of change.
Too much scrolling. Stories belong in their own tab. With the new format I can’t even tell which stories I have previously done. Will give Babell a look.
My duo just changed to the new format last week! I love it! The lesson plans are much easier to follow and I think the content is actually much better. I was getting so bored with repeating the same material over and over and now suddenly there’s new vocab and even different tenses.
I agree it would be great if the stories were also available in their own tab and not just in the lessons. One more suggestion I have would be to tie in the content from the podcasts with the lessons. I love listening to the podcasts but they would be even more meaningful if there was a lesson I could read ahead of time that introduced the new vocabulary.
One of my issues with Duolingo is that they don’t let you know when things are going to change. They revamped my German tree several times since I began 500 days ago. I’d wake up one day and I’d have some lessons completed in units 6 & 7, but be pushed back mostly to unit 2. A few months later, everything would shuffle up again!
I joked with my spouse (who’s learning Spanish), that I knew changes were coming. I only had 8 dots left to work through. And lo and behold, this new format came out . I was placed in unit 112 out of 114, but I hadn’t finished legendary lessons from units 84 and up. But when I tried to do those, all of these new words came up! It was very frustrating. Fortunately, I figured out that the computer version was still in the old format. I quickly went through at least one ring for each unit, writing down all of the new words before it switched over. That helped quite a bit. At this point, I’m getting ready to finish the course tomorrow. I’m definitely more comfortable with the format, but I wonder how much better I would feel about the newest vocabulary had I learned it in the old format.
Also, the stories! I loved the stories. I only had 12 left to go. Now, they are back, but only sort of. They seem to be jumbled instead of broken into groups and there is no speaking option. That was the best part!
Also, on the targeted practice tab – whenever it has the button to review a unit, I get an error message. I’ve sent in two bug reports to Duolingo, but this has yet to work for me. Frustrating.
That being said, my spouse’s spanish course switched over a couple of weeks ago. He seems to like it, but he was not as far through the spanish course. He does like the speed matches feature. I agree sometimes that is fun, but there is no way I can complete all 3 stars on the upper levels. I can’t type that fast on my phone!
but all in all, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Duolingo. I had a goal of learning some German for when we travel to Europe in a few months. I did not know any German at all, and my last language course was French in high school 30 years ago. I have learned SO much, and now feel comfortable branching out to other videos, newspapers, etc. The format was perfect for me. Fun with lots of repetition.
Through years of speech therapy due to my hearing disability I needed to focus on particular subjects to learn how to speak and structure my sentences properly. This new update is counter to how I can learn. I enjoyed to previous setup where there were subjects I knew I needed practice on, and I could focus on those subjects as I felt the need. I am no longer able to commit anything to memory because it jumps around too much for me to get a grasp onto anything. The previous structure and ability to focus on subjects is what drew me to duo to begin with, I needed that form of learning due to how I learned English through many years of speech therapy. The preupdate way of learning allowed for motivation and for focus on subjects I struggled with, but now there is no way to focus on what I’m having trouble on. I would revisit topics that were challenging for me to make sure I learned what I needed, now I can only practice at specific points. I can’t progress using this method. I will be looking for an alternative.
Hey my name is Svetlana. I’m using duolingo for a long time and so far i like the app a lot. It was a big surprise to see totally new interface and obviously needed some time to get used to it and undestand it. My only complain is about you’d just made the opportunity for coversation in stories section (pc version) and was so cool as it gave an opportunity to nice speaking practice and with new updates it’s gone… and it’s really really sad. Hopefully next updates will bring it back.
I have just got the update today and my 650 day streak has reset to 0. This alone makes me want to quit. My other half has had the path since she started and I didn’t like it much at all.
I have new Duolingo for 3 days now and it seems not to add up my streak anymore. I do lessons every day and I had almost 600 days streak. Now I see I “didn’t” do anything on Sunday or Monday, today it reset my streak to 0 and it doesn’t change after doing a lesson. Is it a bug or what?
I’m also upset with the new look.
This new update is maddening. I miss the badges that we could earn, I miss the final lessons that would turn my badges to purple and challenge me. I love to see my progress in purple.
I miss the reviews of my badges giving me +20 and +10 exp, now you only get +5 on review and you can even lose hearts in review now, which would never happen before.
I think the trail of stepping stones looks messy and I feel like I have lost so much more than I have gained with this update. I am sorry to say that it is horrible and I want the old way back asap.
I hope you can pass this info on to whom it may concern, but I personally don’t like this update at all and am even put off by it. Not sure how happy I am and may not be on my app very often now. So sad because I love learning my languages, but you have removed so much of the incentives to play and practice that it has lost its fun factor.
I hope you can make these issues right even if you choose to keep the stepping stone path. I miss you, old Duolingo, may we meet again.
Great article, and it really answered all of my questions. Regarding the books not having their own tab anymore, I feel like this is because many people (myself included) didn’t really go through the books very often. I think I’ve gone through maybe a quarter of the books available to me at my current level. I enjoy them, and find them useful, but because they weren’t a necessary part of the lesson, I had no inventive to go through them very often. But this new format forces us to read them, and, as I said, I do find them useful in the learning process, so I think this is actually very helpful for people like me.
Than you for the review. As others have Said: rigid, boring, disappointing. I have been learning several languages for over five years. Leaving soon if Duolingo insists on treating us as children…. And not intelligent children as that.
I am most upset about the outright lies in the orientation video and promotional material for this update, such as “your progress will be preserved” and “stories are still there, just interspersed now”. I’d finished 4 crowns on the entire German tree and was working toward 5 and enjoying brushing up on and expanding from my university minor, but now everything is gold, so all that extra learning potential is now gone. I started Vietnamese a couple of days ago, finished a crown tonight, and was one lesson shy of my second crown, but then the format changed and it started me from scratch again, but with far less “friendly” first-lesson material that makes me fear it’s now going to be as bad for newbies as the Chinese has been for years. I had only done maybe half the German stories, but with the whole path gold there are obviously a bunch missing now. I’m a Pro/Super/whatever-the-name-of-the-year-is paid user with a 600+ streak, and I’m at various levels of multiple languages (typically working 3-4 at once), but I’m probably going to cancel the paid service unless it manages to completely counter all my first impressions in the next week.
I have to say this update changed the app quite alot, I have had all the stories unlocked and now that they are integrated in the units i lost a lot of them. I am really sad because I enjoyed this app so far, this being said I think I will no longer use the app sadly
I read your review a few days ago while I was still on the tree system and have to say I was somewhat apprehensive about the changeover, which hadn’t happened for me yet. The day before yesterday (Nov. 14) my web version switched to the new “guided path”, and yesterday my Android app switched too.
I have spent about four hours trying out the new system and have to say I am hugely disappointed. The new “guided path” is very frustrating to me as it doesn’t allow me to practice new structures the way I want to. In the language I’m focusing on mainly (Scottish Gaelic), the lesson tips have disappeared, the new “Guidebooks” have lost their quirky Scottish humour, are far too short, and they disappear once you’ve done a section and you can’t find them again. I was half way through Unit 4 out of 5 and was able to monitor my progress and go back to revise a whole unit systematically whenever I wanted to. Now I have no idea where I am. I’m getting basic thrown at me when I don’t need to practice them and new vocab is appearing only once or twice until I get to levelling up. This means that instead of working in context within the app, I’m having to physically write the new vocab down somewhere else and practise it the way we did 50 years ago.
I am NOT a happy bunny. I will still stick with it because I was almost 80% through the course, and want to finish it, but whether I will continue with Duolingo after that, I simply don’t know.
Well the idiots at duolingo have just screwed up my years worth of leaning overnight what a shambles they’ve made of it!!!
Like so many others you now find yourself lost and no control of your own learning, It either puts you too far forward or back going over the same old .
It may well be good for those that are just starting out but for everyone else who was so far in and liked to combine the leaning with the xp points/ gamey side of it if thats what you want to call it, Its now just a screwed up language app that most of its members will drift away, from. Being the No1 to being bottom of the class great job Duo
I for one will now look for an alternative and let the clock tick down on my subscription 🙁
The new format is really uncomfortable and just takes the fun out of the app. Just disappointing. Let it be an option of choice instead of forcing it!
For me.. I have 420 days strike.. today was the first day I thought about not using the app anymore 😔
I find the rigidity of the new system so demotivating. I really liked being able to choose what I wanted to work on; now it’s just do the lesson that I’m told to!
I previously did lessons in the morning and the evening – now I find myself doing one lesson per day just to keep my streak going. Any recommendations for another app?
What idiot thought the new UI was a good idea, a money making one…. Seem like everything cost XP to do, and it forces you to do it in an order, just rubbish now. Think I’ll dig out what we used to call a book. Bye bye Duo
As a long time user with a 1900+ day streak, I’m sorry to say I’m leaving Duolingo. The new tree and the loss of the stories tab (how I learned the most) have screwed my motivation to continue learning. Hate to go, but my original “point goal” per day was easily obtained by completing a story or two along with a lesson or two which usually took about 20-30 min. Now to complete my goal I routinely run out of hearts and have to earn more, or hit the stories (at only 5XP each?) that effectively doubles or triples my time on the app….thanks for that Duolingo. I’ll find another way to hone my language skills. I don’t begrudge the educators trying to “make it better”, but the new update reeks of them trying to make a buck while we all suffer under the guise of “better learning”.
I am SO glad to see that last paragraph you wrote, because that is precisely how I feel. More than anything else, THAT is why I have lost pretty much all motivation to continue with Duolingo after this update. The fact that as an old user, I don’t matter, my opinion doesn’t matter, I am being ignored and I am being trampled on. That was what I got out of reading that NBC interview with the CEO. He really doesn’t care about the old users at all. First the constant big updates to the German course, then they deleted the forums – this is the final straw for me.
I tried to remain a little bit hopeful about the path for a lot of the reasons you stated – that they have put a lot of work into it, that it’s based on research etc. And I was so so sad to find out that I hated it even more than I feared i would. It ended up ruining my entire day.
1: The old icons are gone. I am a visual learner, and I LOVED them – they made everything so tangible for me. I completely agree with you that if they had made a softer kind of carry-over-version for old users they would have had a much bigger chance of getting more of us on board with the new update. And using the icons would have helped a lot.
2: There’s no way to get a proper overview over this seemingly endless path (I really don’t get why they couldn’t just have added a zoom in/out function).
3: I have started to lose ALL hope of ever finishing my German course, which was the one I started with. Two major updates ago I was around 5 lessons away from finishing it all, then I got pushed back a lot with the first major update and was mad about it for a week, but I trudged on – and now it says I am only a bit over halfway done. I. Give. Up.
4. As you point out, the tiny amount of XP. Also, the fact that you now have to use XP to get skills to Legendary. All of that reeks of greed.
5. The tips are gone. And the guidebooks are thinned down compared to the tips, which I again really don’t get – why couldn’t they just have transferred everything from the tips sections? Also, with the smaller languages the guidebooks are thinned down SO MUCH that they’re almost useless. The tips sections of the Scottish Gaelic course were so well written – and on top of that they were comedic gold. Now it’s just two(!) pages of guidebook that explain a bit of grammar, and that’s it. It’s just sad, and in no way fair to the course contributors. For the sake of them I REALLY hope this gets fixed.
6. As you said, there’s little to no choice anymore in how we would want to customise our learning, and it frustrates me a lot. Also, I have noted that a big part of the ones who are frustrated with this are people with ADHD, which makes total sense. That they get excluded in this way is downright disturbing.
But the biggest part of my frustrations is still that absolutely NONE of them will change ANYTHING, because my old-user-opinion doesn’t matter to the CEO. I hope they lose so many users on this that it will force them to listen. My motivation is pretty much killed, and I deleted the app. I’ve kept the desktop version so far though, mostly because I haven’t found any better free alternative to learn Scottish Gaelic with. For German and French I’m using Memrise now. I don’t think it’s as good as the old Duolingo, but it succeeded in bringing my motivation back, which I was incredibly thankful for.
I am still holding out a tiiiny hope that it will get better or my opinion on the path will change, so I try using it every day, but it’s hard now. And it doesn’t change the fact that I am beyond mad that my opinion on it doesn’t matter.
I have a feeling this was a really long rant, but that’s a testament to how much Duolingo meant to me before. It was so effing brilliant, and they killed it for me.
Thank you for having a place where our rants actually get listened to.
The update advanced me about 18 units. I have to go back to where I actually left off, since I don’t know the words or grammar from where I suddenly got placed. Since Duolingo believes I already covered those units, I only get 5 XP for each lesson. I have to do 20 lessons just to get 100 XP. I’m now just falling back each week. Just to get 200 XP, I have to do 40 lessons. I can’t keep up with the competition. All the fun has been taken out. I’m frustrated with this app. I don’t know why the update placed me so high, but I now feel like I’m failing every week. What a disaster of an update. Duolingo notes me as a failure as it moves me back a level each week. This sucks!!!!!
I loathe the new format…everything about it. One day without warning it appeared on my screen and I got such a shock. I preferred the separation of stories from the main section. Mind you I hadnt had any new stories for weeks, not because my grammar etc was ahead. I guess they were concentrating on their ghastly update. I’m studying Spanish and unless I use American style English I get marked wrong. Example..?I am studying biology WRONG. Should be I am studying for biology. In my country Australia you study biology.
I didn’t think the voices could get any worse but they do seem a bit worse with the update.
I also find that things marked wrong when checked against English Spanish dictionaries are CORRECT.
I was a very enthusiastic student. I’m not renewing my subscription and will try for a refund…good luck with that.
All in all the upgrade is a horrible experience. I don’t need the over political correctness nor do I need the childish pictures. They aren’t even funny or clever.
As a paid user with a 899-day streak, I feel cheated and have asked Duo for a prorated refund. Duolingo was literally the only mobile app I have ever paid money for.
The freedom to choose the level and type of lesson I would do any given day was the only thing that allowed me to complete at least one lesson every day, and the streak is what motivates me to keep going. A week ago, I was pretty excited to be within reach of a 1000 day streak. Now I’m wondering if I should even go one more day to 900.
It’s so sad to see such a wonderful app ruined by the owner’s ego and refusal to learn from an obvious mistake.
The way I see it, all subscribers interested in the long-term health of Duolingo have a responsibility to cancel their subscriptions (and auto-renewals) as soon as possible. Losing money is the only message there is any chance the leaders of this company will listen to.
So is there any possible way to downgrade duo to previous patch? Because this thing is just sooo bad.
Was going on a two year streak.
I will not be using it anymore. They lost me.
Do I hate the “new” format?
I LOATHE the “new” format.
I’m done with it.
What a pity.
I’m so angry with no warning it’s all changed I don’t know what is happening and I haven’t got any access to leagues any more. How do I access leagues anyone got any idea?
There is a petition, to revert back to the previous version, on Change.com – https://www.change.org/p/reverse-newest-duolingo-update?redirect=false . Sign it, if you don’t like the update, and share it on social media – not many people know about it.
I’m learning Spanish and German although my biggest focus is on Spanish. But I’m going to Germany soon so I thought it would be good to revise some areas I knew I was weak in, such as the Dative case. And since most of the German I will be using would be in restaurants, I thought I would look for content related to ordering food.
But of course with the new path I simply couldn’t find anything. I systematically clicked on all the guidebooks (because none of them are named) and eventually found a couple pertaining to the Dative case. But trying to find anything related to food requires scrolling through the massive tree. I thought I would be able to at least use the browser page search capability, but that doesn’t work either because it looks like all of the “text” is actually rendered as graphics so is not searchable.
It’s kind of dumbfounding really. It’s hard to imagine that Duolingo did not think through different “use cases” on how people would want to use the app. But that appears to be exactly what’s happened. Features that are normally standard and common in all apps, such as search or just simply properly labelling things are completely missing.
From a usability point of view the new path is an utter failure and it’s hard to imagine that a company with several hundred employees could come up with something that is so obviously lacking basic functionality.
I know that Duolingo relies heavily on A/B testing and maybe even with the new path they still get good results with their instrumentation. But what they have completely and utterly failed to do is consider the subjective part of how it actually feels to use the app. It’s almost as if they exist without any consideration of what end-users actually want. I almost wonder if there is some kind of groupthink going on in the company where they are so besotted with their A/B test results they have forgotten about the people who actually use the app.
In the end I gave up on revising with Duolingo and dusted off one of my old German grammar books and within seconds found exactly what I want. And for my lessons on ordering food, I just went to Youtube and found dozens of great videos that far surpass anything Duolingo provides.
I’m in Duolingo since October 1st, on November 1st the new version came in. After 2 months of “testing” I can honestly say that older version was much more satisfying to learn. Now I feel that my progress almost stuck in place due to too many repetitions of the same content.
IMHO ideal would be a connection of both versions in proportions 25% new to 75% old, but that’s my dream. Shame that such great app became so… uproductive
Have been using the updated version of Duolingo quite intensively and thought that I would set out my thoughts as to what has improved, what is now worse but ok, and what is just plain disastrous.
What is Better
If you like following a set path and found the number of learning options in the previous overwhelming version overwhelming, then the learning path will be a huge improvement.
The stories are now embedded in the learning, so it is now obvious at what level each story is pitched. There seem to be no stories after about Level 165, which seems odd. Maybe they are coming.
What is worse, but OK
You can still follow the path to learn new stuff. In the previous version, I used to mix and match, so I had 10 topics on the go at once, 2 at level 5, 2 at level 4 etc so that I was confronted by a mix of topics every day. Now I just have to follow the path. It’s irritating, but bearable.
What is disastrous
In a word – revision. I have a holiday to Spain coming up, so I stopped doing German and switched back to Spanish, a course I had completed, in October. For a month, I was happily doing levelling up exercises, starting at a relatively basic level and getting ever more complex. Then at the start of November, it all changed on the app, while the PC was unchanged. I switched to doing all my revision on the laptop. But then the app changed, and this just brought home just how badly Duolingo have screwed up.
1. Just getting back to where the revision finished off yesterday involves a vast amount of flipping backwards on the app. There is no way quickly to scroll up and down. You also cannot easily see where you got to yesterday as the progress bar has to encompass 10 levels, rather than the previous four. This is an easy fix, though.
2. The old and new versions don’t seem to correspond at all. The levelling-up questions, even as low level 150, include vocabulary and grammar I am certain that I have never seen before.
3. Whereas previously, I found myself hitting the “Report” button very rarely in levelling-up exercises, there is new content which hasn’t been through the mill of thousands of people using and correcting and so loads of correct answers are being thrown out in favour of the exact sentence construction which has just been included in the path. And when you only have three lives, this is a tad aggravating. Even using a translation app and saving all the supposedly correct answers, it is taking me up to 5 attempts to complete a levelling-up exercise. Very demotivating.
The new version is sooooooo boring. I liked to have the freedom to choose the topics to study and the division into theme based units was more useful for me as a learner. It´s hard to find any motivation.
Actually the oldest version which also contained grammar units was the best.
I´m afraid the new Duolingo is a tedious flop.
It’s all about revenue – it takes a lot, lot more gems to advance. They either want you to put hase gems, or join the paid option. As usual, it’s all about the money!!
I missed maybe two weeks’ worth of days in four years of Spanish but only lasted about 3-4 days on the new version. I’ve been looking for a replacement since. I’ve noticed that the spoken Spanish is a lot clearer on other apps but I can see the ‘forced path’ approach that is driving away long-termers being an issue on the competitors as well.
I don’t think I would’ve lasted on the new version anyway, but it was rolled out at a uniquely bad time. What I consider to be a strength of Duolingo is that you are left to stumble through things but then you genuinely learn them as you puzzle them out for yourself. I was switched while figuring out le/la vs. lo (pronouns). The rules for this are a lot more subtle than other grammatical rules I previously encountered and the guidance Duolingo offers is only on where to put them, not which one to use. I got stuck on a quiz that I needed to pass. I was reduced to trying to memorize whether it was la/le or lo in specific sentences, without any understanding of why. I wasn’t learning and it was just another chore.
It’s like when they went to improve Duolingo, they only asked users what they didn’t like without asking what worked, so they concentrated on fixing problems without any respect for or curiosity about their own app’s success.
There are things I like about the new format, but I’m doing some Italian at the moment, and I’ve come across a unit with a grammar point I’m not familiar with. Unfortunately, the notes don’t cover this structure, at all, and so I’m having to purely work it out as I go. There’s nowhere to tell Duo about it, either.
I miss the ability to get the benefit of other people’s knowledge through the discussion, too- and it’s so nice if you can help someone else on something. Woozlification
Sadly, this update really isn’t that great for me. The lay out is poor and requires more scrolling than before, lessons aren’t clearly updated, they often don’t cover what they say they do (ie, greetings will have the same stuff about me telling you a radio is not a motor and that I have cats), it focuses on repetition on parts that don’t need repetition (if its the same word as English, it doesn’t need more focus than new vocab or new grammar), there are still features missing that we used to have, there is less freedom in me deciding how to learn and focusing on the specific parts I need help on and so on. I used to use it as a refresher for languages I knew, and the new locked path system has made it fairly useless in that regard. I can’t really decide the specific block I want to work on anymore. The pacing also seems off and feels more like playing a linear board game than studying. I finally broke my extremely long stream, despite having paid for the previous version. I tried it for a month, and it just seems to be an overall inferior set up. It was fine in the new language I was studying, despite massive repetition on cognates and insufficient repetition of new concepts, but it also took the fun and flexibility out of learning.
I hate the new path. I really loved the TREE. I was free on it, learned every evening as I wanted, what I wanted. I was going to pay for a new year for a family, but now I am waiting with payment, if they are going to give me back my favourite toy or not.
Finally they thought about spaced repetition. But… I can’t see new tree, I still have old. It was released first of november, but still have old tree and can’t change it.
I absolutely hate this new path. I can barely stand to do one five minute lesson when I used to spend hours on it. I feel defrauded by Duolingo because I paid for super and then they switched to something I would never spend money on. The new path is trash and I will not be renewing my subscription.
As a relatively new user to Duolingo, I am not aware of the old tree format but as an over 75 year old, I am completely offended by the cartoon characters. When I started looking for a language learning program for adults, I decided to try this one but it is far too infantile for me to spend real money. I don’t care to compete against others so leagues and XP’s aren’t even in the equation. I just want to be able to learn a 4th language in the comfort of my rocking chair. When I want to watch cartoons, I’ll turn on Disney+.
Honestly, I struggled in grade school and didn’t enjoy learning.
Like most grade school children, I was forced into a constrained learning method, and that method did not suit my abilities.
At University I excelled. I really enjoyed myself. I was given the freedom to use the materials they provided me and learn my way, at my pace, and with my own frequency of review.
I feel that Duolingo has just stuck me back into grade school.
I’ve been using Duolingo for over 5 years (current streak 2058!). And I’m on the verge of giving up. I’d finished legendary Portuguese before the changeover, and this is the language I want to practise the most, because I’ve moved to Portugal (well, I’d love it if they added European Portuguese, but that’s another story…). So I was using it to practise certain tenses and liked the new stories as they were added. I can’t do any of that now, and to add insult to injury I’ve now lost the challenge games (Ramp Up & Match Madness) in Portuguese. So I can’t do the main thing I want to do every day. Yes, I can practise some Portuguese, but only what they choose and it’s so similar every day. I’m fiddling about in French because I don’t want to lose my streak, but it isn’t what I want. Have tried to engage Duolingo several times on social media, but they refuse to acknowledge me at all.
Hi! I can’t fing duolingo audio lessons –now they don’t have own tab, they have just disappeared. I even bought Duolingo Super, but I can’t find them. Please, help!
I remember when Coca-Cola rolled out “New Coke” because somebody in their marketing department thought that this was a great idea without listening to loyal consumers (the ones who are actually buying the product). This ended up being an embarrassing disaster for the company, and Coca-Cola eventually brought back the original recipe as “Classic Coke” until “New Coke” was ultimately phased out. I feel that Duolingo is currently at the “New Coke” phase of its existence. It’s ignoring the consumers that made it a top-notch app. Now, many of these consumers (including myself, who was just about ready to upgrade to a paid subscription), will be searching for other language apps that allow for more freedom in the learning process (not a “learning path”). Just like Coca-Cola, Duolingo is now at a crossroads: do you blindly follow your marketing department (the people that you are paying) and hope for the best, or do you listen to your consumers (the people that are paying you) and get back on track as to what has made you popular in the first place.
What’s funny about your example is that while the sequence of events you list are true, virtually all critics agreed that New Coke tasted better than original Coke. So much so that even people strongly in opposition to New Coke still thought it tasted better when it came to blind taste testing.
I dislike this update. It was not confusing beforehand. I don’t understand why the UI wasn’t user-tested before release because then it would have been abundantly clear that it was a mistake.
I used to love duolingo but now I am so frustrated by the new system. I like finishing every section before moving on and that means turning the legendary trophy full purple. I feel like I’m loosely learning things but in the legendary, it gives me so many words and phrases that I have never encountered with no option to click the word and see the meaning. I end up just google searching so that I can try to pass the levels which in my mind is cheating and it doesn’t allow for proper memory skills to build. I feel like when they switched me to the linear, they assumed that I was further ahead in my skills and I just end up confused and feeling left behind.
The new update is horrible. Plain and simple. I stopped using Duolingo, and I was previously an avid user.
I actually enjoy the new path. I’ve been using Duolingo for a little over a year and I had a lot of complaints about the old tree.
Firstly, I got into the leagues and thought it was fun until I got to diamond and realized that I wasn’t actually progressing my course but instead just doing things to farm XP. So basically repeating old easy lessons or spamming the lightning quiz. I had no time to actually progress since it lotted me less XP than just farming old material. So after I realized this, I opted out of leagues.
I realize that doesn’t have much to do with the change they made but it’s important because it shows how easy it is to get a learner off their path when the system’s gameification is not balanced properly.
My biggest complaint about the old tree would probably be the cracked skills. I hated them so much because they always stole my learning time away from new material.
In 12 months I barely made it through 3 units. Not because of confusion but because it always seemed like when I logged in, it wanted me to do other tasks besides advancing my course.
The only real issue that I have with the new update is that they removed the helpful lectures at the beginning of each unit and instead replaced them with cheap little guides.
That plus the UI is not very intuitive. I keep losing track of where features are located. In fact, I found this article because I was googling to see how I could access the stories feature.
Overall I like the update very much and have been far more productive than ever before.
I honestly do not know how you can say, “the units are way more logical”! I cannot see any logic in the current units. The unit names have no relation to the content of they unit, and the material in each unit is disconnected. As far as I can see, they’re just presenting me with random stuff and I have no idea what I’m meant to be learning in any given unit. In fact, I barely notice when I move from unit to unit, because they all present the same random mix of disconnected material. Also, it’s now impossible to revise material when it crops up in my evening class, because the unit names have no relations with the unit’s contents.
I don’t understand why you claim the tree was confusing. From when I first used Duo Lingo (about 18months ago) it seemed obvious to me that the idea was to both move forward and collect all the crowns. I really liked being able to have some units at level 4 and others at level 1 so, when I was tired, I could complete a lower level unit and, when I had more time, I could collect the crowns.
I’m an adult, learning for fun, and I’m now being treated like a child – I have to do the unit Duo Lingo tells me to do, rather than pick and choose what I want to do today. I have found the whole experience totally demotivating. Fortunately, Memrise is also a free language learning tool, and I now use that to keep motivated. It lacks the game elements of Duo Lingo, but I was never interested in them anyway.
My advise is to introduce a ‘dyslectic option’.
This one would come up with the retry button if there was an obvious mistake like reading ‘here’ instead of ‘there’ or missing a word like ‘the’ or ‘my’ or confusing lookalikes like ‘I’ and ‘It’.
I am already very happy the Duolingo is pretty forgiving with typo’s, keep that up.
I don’t know if it has anything to do with dyslexia, but I really need more practice befor I can do a ‘level up’. I have the impression that there is less repetition since the update, which is a really bad thing. Why not add optional extra repetion lessons for people who need them?
And please break the ‘level up’s into smaller parts. Eight of them is really too much. One or two would be better, because they emphasize on the mistakes instead of your progress, and that is not duo-lingo-like!
After a streak of over 1100 days I lost my interest in learning with Duolingo. The new path-model is boring and un-motivating. I lost my interest in doing daily language exercises because it isn’t fun anymore. I won’t continue my paid subscription.
The new learning path arrived this morning, without any warning. I have been using Duolingo for nearly 10 years, learning multiple languages as I move to work in different countries.
I loved the old tree. As a language teacher, I liked the fact that I could pick and choose the language sections I wanted to focus on. The new learning path takes all the intelligence out of the learning system and you are stuck in a blind alley with no idea what the next group of lessons will focus on. This makes it really difficult to match Duolingo to my language classes. As Duolingo is primarily useful for vocabulary building, rather than as a full language course, this is an issue.
I currently have a 907 day stream and am a subscriber but I don’t know if I will renew my subscription again.
The new Duo path is just boring. In the old model, I could move to a new topic whenever I wanted or jump to stories for some amusement. Perhaps as we move up through the levels, they could start to incorporate some choices. “Learner Autonomy” has been a buzz phrase for a while and Duo seems to have taken that important concept away.
I’m learning Vietnamese with Duolingo and I feel the lectures don’t “fit” the new structure so well. Vietnamese has no stories, no speaking exercises, no matching pairs exercises and certain other features are missing. So I feel the playful elements are unavailable and now you have to follow a strict path. For a while there were also the no challenges you could access via the league. This has been brought back recently. Also the course was not taken care of really and the new “captions” doesn’t fit, eg “express surprise” is just random adjectives (not necessarily connected to surprise). I never learned Spanish, English or another “big” language but for Vietnamese I feel the curse is somehow thrown under the wheel to fit a new design. At least they got rid of some grammar mistakes (English and Vietnamese) but I don’t really have fun anymore
I suppose the old “tree” could be a bit confusing for kids, and adults with poor language education, but for adults who know what adverbs and tenses etc are, theres nothing confusing at all about the tree – it lets you choose your own path through the new language according to your needs and preferences and mood on the day. The new “path” is ridiculous – endless lessons on the same subject until you’re so bored with it you want to kick something, and then on to something else you’re just not in the mood for. Way to destroy motivation, frankly. Not only that, after reaching 3 crowns in every subject in the old Italian tree, I’ve been unceremoniously dumped at unit 49 out of 51 in the new path. That’s just so utterly stupid you have to wonder if the people organising this are in the right job. Since they have no control at all over where you are in the path, despite the fact that a bit of basic programming would have given them the tools to flick a switch and put you where you want to be, there are two options – battle on with lessons that are far too hard to really learn anything in a unit that’s far too high, or bin the language and start it again from scratch. I even tried going over the earlier units which are now “gold”, but you don’t get all the lessons, you only get a “practice” lesson containing a few questions. Complete disaster. If there’s no option coming VERY SOON INDEED to go to the old tree again or at the very least be put into a sensible place in the new path, then starting again is the only option. I’ve been doing Italian for 4+ years now so I’m just left feeling fed up with the incompetence of the move to the new format, and if I’d paid for it I’d consider that fraud!
I had subscribed to Duolingo for the past two years. I dropped my subscription for 2023 because the Scots Gaelic course is now pretty much useless. Because of the unusual spelling and grammar, mildly structured grammar and vocabulary tips are essential. The previous iteration of the course was much better. It looks (and sounds) to me like the previous course was badly cut and pasted into the new format, and much was left out. I suspect that most people studying minor languages will have the same complaint.
1,700 day streak down the drain…I will never use this app again and I have talked dozens out of people out of never using it and going with other language learning apps. We were going to pay for this app at the school I work at but I talked them out of it. I hope they lose a lot of money with this decision.
I got forced to paths in November. I’m a Super user. Today, if I don’t do a lesson in the next 26 minutes, I lost my 106 day streak. It’s so hard to learn in paths. Reviewing is far too difficult. Repeating a lesson over and over until you fully grasp it is too difficult, and I have absolutely no idea what any lesson is about. When you take a break from learning, reviewing and getting back on track is impossible because there is way too many steps to scroll through. I made so much progress in the old tree system and it’s all gone. For the past month I was basically just repeating the first lesson to keep the streak going and it seemed ridiculous so that is that.
I hate the new learning path. Sorry, but I truly do. It has been three months and I have not changed my mind, so it is not a “I don’t like change” thing.
The lessons are too short, and I liked the way it was possible to easily switch lessons before. The path looks like candy crush and feels about the same as well.
Please bring back the tree, optional if it must be, but please do!
I believe there is a tale of two learning paths and it is spread over different device types. Version 1 is doable. Version 2, which hit my iPhone first and then my iPad is also making me think I need to move on to another learning medium. I had gone back and restarted the older versions for a refresher. Now, even at level 1, I need to know all verb tenses. Not sure how new people are impacted.