Duolingo Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

From Everything.Sucks

Duolingo ( D(Y)OO-oh-LING-goh) is an American platform that includes a language-learning website and mobile app, as well as a digital language proficiency assessment exam. The company uses the freemium model; the app and the website are accessible without charge, although Duolingo also offers a premium service for a fee.

Duolingo, Is it Really Worth Your Time? Tyler Lau wrote a review for THE CAMBRIDGE COACHING BLOG and listed some of its cons:

1. Its speech recognition software has a long way to go This con is minor since you shouldn’t be depending on an app to get you to a natural speaking level with humans. However, note that the speech recognition task can be frustrating. Sometimes you might say nothing at all or not even complete your sentence and the device will mark you correct. But often, you will be saying a sentence close to how it sounds and the game will keep telling you that you’re not saying it right. If this happens often, just turn the speaking exercise off, because the speech recognition tool doesn’t actually give any real feedback. What you should do is repeat every sentence out loud to yourself for the tasks that give you audio and depend on native speakers to let you know how good your pronunciation is.

2. Keeping up with constantly decaying skills can feel discouraging.

The game has an algorithm that decays each skill over time. Each time you strengthen the skill, the time before it decays again will increase. So for example, if your skill decays after 1 day, once you refresh it, it might decay again after 2 days. When you first learn a lesson, it can be easy to forget what you learned, so this is very useful at first to solidify the vocabulary and grammar you have learned.

As the lessons pile on, though, you might be very discouraged to see a bunch of your skills dropping over the course of 24 hours. My suggestion is to be diligent at refreshing skills after you first learn a lesson until you feel comfortable with the words and have no problem recalling them without help. Once you reach that stage though, it’s best to not be a perfectionist because you will just be discouraged to see your skills constantly falling. Instead, take advantage of the “Strengthen Skills” button, since it will choose your weakest words and grammar points to improve. Do it at least a few times a day to keep your memory working!

3. Some of the translations are iffy

You will run into a lot of useless or bizarre sentences in the game whose sole point is to illustrate the usage of a grammar point or vocabulary item. Don’t take Duolingo to be an exemplar of natural language, but rather to be a tool to give you the skills to understand the usage of vocabulary (especially for grammar). Don’t be thrown off by weird sentences like the one above.

4. If you’re serious about learning a language, Duolingo does NOT stand on its own This is the most important thing to remember about Duolingo. It will not get you to fluency, but it will get you to a basic level where you should be able to have various grammatical constructions at the back of your mind to construct simple sentences. Your reading level should be fairly decent since Duolingo provides a variety of grammar and vocabulary, but if you are learning a foreign language to proficiency, you should supplement Duolingo with a language course or practice with a native speaker. That being said, Duolingo is great for providing you with the basic tools to communicate and to keep you using the language every day

Reviews

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Ken Worth says

"The animations gave/give some people seizures and they don\'t care or allow us to disable them! I even gapped out and ended up with a migraine from the sliding motions of the word bank when I was given no warning about when they changed it."

Will says

"Just enough with the childish animations. If you made an app for kids, there is no need to have cartoons on the adults version. It\'s annoying so stop spreading your leftist diversity rubbish in a language app. Not to mention grossly overpriced for what you receive in the paid version. "

ilya says

"They never fix any bugs and only add silly new features nobody asked for!"

Ed Steller says

"Was great then they changed it up. Believe it or not at one time they cared and actually wanted to help you learn. Now it's all about the dinero."

AnHonestAbe says

"The lowest rating possible for a platform that ultimately reveals itself to be a useless, mismanaged gimmick which is solely after your money.

It will be fun to follow the simple lessons at first. Enough to actually learn a language? Definitely not. Far from it.

If you get involved and finish off lessons you will be granted points. What they term XP. Nonetheless, dedicate too much time learning without giving in to the endless messages which keep popping up to switch to their paid service and your account will be deactivated.

My account was deactivated for good by what must be the rudest and most disdainful support agent to ever be handed such competencies. An Erika which signs off as a “Community Manager”. To be fair, she will be supported by other support agents in deactivating your account so it is definitely a policy of Duolingo customer service to be hostile towards Duolingo users who believe the Duolingo deception that they can learn for free without eventually having to pay for this and that service.

You can’t learn too much or you will be told that you accumulated “too much XP” and that you MUST have done that using illicit means. I juggle a busy life schedule with multiple work-related and academic commitments. Theirs is evidently just guesswork and have no proper monitoring means to support their systems and detect who is actually abusing them. I have no time to play the games they alleged I did. It already had to be a rare light Sunday for me to get down to writing this review after a number of weeks.

Once the account gets deactivated one might think: ‘just open another account and continue with your free lessons’. True, you can open another account. I haven’t, because Duolingo is not worth it. However, progress through the lessons is in stages so you will need to start off from the very beginning and repeat all the previous lessons before you can be back at the stage where you left off before deactivation.

Don’t waste time investing in something which will eventually be terminated and you get humiliated with baseless accusations of “cheating” (yes, that’s the word they use, as if talking to 12-year olds in a classroom) before being sent home packing angry with yourself at having given Duolingo a chance.

Bottom line: THEY ARE AFTER YOUR MONEY.

STAY AWAY FROM DUOLINGO.

Again, STAY AWAY FROM DUOLINGO."

Gash McNash says

"I was nearing the end and it said try new challenges. This reset my progress. I feel as though I’m just handing them money for advertising. Pushing yourself and learning is not rewarded because you lose lives. The hints are often deliberately wrong to cost lives. Customer services does not answer emails but you are pestered with notifications and emails. I’ll be deleting the app and my account"

Nelson L says

"The software is very buggy. Screens lockup text is hidden behind graphics etc. Not impressed. The concept is great but needs a lot of work. Wouldn't recommend it."

Jim Favreau says

"If I could give Duolingo a 0 I would. After several years of enjoying this service, I decided to go beyond the free part and pay for the service. First of all, minimal if any difference in the free service. If you are going to look at Duolingo, just do the free portion, don't pay because it's not worth it. Second, I got locked out of my account. I can't find any support to fix the problem. Last, they charged me again. I can't access the account but they know how to take my money. Duolingo sucks!"

Richard says

"I started to use Doulingo learning French as a time filler after other language apps disappeared. Mindsnacks and one a cant remember but had a frog on it. These were very good and even my 7 yr. old daughter could count to 100, knew colours and days of week in French and could spell them too but Doulingo is completely useless and rubbish. If you want to know how to say "my sister has a cat" in French its great but pretty useless for learning the basics. I don't know any language lesson that teaches you how to say " I have a dog" ,or "my sister likes croissants" before the basics is useful. After some time I realised this was as much as I would get and gave up. now looking for something more educational as Doul is not for me."

Stinus says

"My dad is inattentive when he is using the app, and feels that his hobby allows him to ssh other people in the living room.

To the creators of Duolingo: KYS"

Mary says

"Says its free, but if you want to do more than a few minutes a day you have to pay to upgrade or get hearts. I cant learn a language at a few minutes a day.
I want day to day conversation to help with work. The first three days were combinations of I eat an apple, he or she eats an apple, he is eating an apple, the woman eats an apple etc etc. It asks me to type polish words, i have a UK keyboard nd it doesnt recognise it. Its not free if you have to buy hearts to make any real progress or sign up and pay for PLUS."

Some unknown gamer kid says

"Truely awful. I have been wanting to learn German outside of school for three years now. A few months ago I found duo Lingo, and I thought that it seemed good. I have been learning the language now for a few months and progress has been very slow, why? Because of those goddamn hearts! Run out of hearts and you can’t learn for 4 hours. It takes four hours for one heart to refill, which, let’s be honest, will be lost within five minutes for a beginner like myself. Now, there is a premium version, no adds, unlimited hearts that kind of thing. Guess what? $22 a month please! Or, $260 a year. Guess what? That means that the yearly subscription is valued at the same amount as 12 individual monthly subscriptions. SCAM! Just like all of those other pathetic IOS games that are free on the store, but are riddled with adds at every corner, and the only way out is to pay an absurd amount of money. Please, don’t fall for this crap, these people don’t care about your learning, all they care about is money."

Shari says

"I've done Duo for 805 days in a row, but now that heart system has shown up I guess I'll join friends who quit! Used to be fun; now just a guilt trip. Whoever created this nightmare did a great disservice to this company. Very poor business advice..what a shame."

Christopher Gadberry says

"Duolingo is uneven at best. It used to have potential as an adjunct to traditional language learning, but the latest revision is terrible. The new materials seem rushed and provide information that is of dubious quality.
In addition, this latest revision seems to be driven more by profit than any concern for learning. There has always been advertising, although it has been rather subtle and does not distract from the learning experience. However, with these new changes it appears that the creators are intentionally limiting its usefulness in hopes of gaining even more money in the form of subscriptions.
I understand this, but I also find it disingenuous to continue to bill oneself as a premier language learning app when even the free version is riddled with errors. The claim that Duolingo can provide the equivalent of college-level instruction has always been a bit specious, and with the continued errors in this new material, its usefulness as a learning tool, even as an addition to other instruction, is debatable."

Peter says

"have been studying spanish for two years on Duolingo, up to now it has been excellent, but now things have changed, its set up now to constantly pressure you to buy duolingo plus, which I don't want, so it looks like duo and myself will be parting"

Lieve Doom says

"I want to use Duolingo to study Spanish as a Dutch speaking person. Most of the mistakes happen because of “mistakes” in English. Could anyone tell me why you couldn’t use “university” as a translation for “universidad” while it was given as a correct translation at the beginning?
Such things make me not wanting to continue with the app!"

Bob says

"Bombarded with notifications and emails even on the paid for version. Extremely annoying and not how I expect a paid for product to behave by default."

brodweil says

"Duolingo is great on so many levels, but I have been frustrated so many times when I have repeated into the microphone what has been said, and it isn't accepted - and there is a circular craziness that after I make a check mark that I said it correctly and it wasn't accepted, I must say it over and over again. I just finished saying something correctly 10 times and it wasn't accepted, so I just quit."

Consumer says

"Too much typing, not enough listening and speaking. Typing is not the way most people use language."

Darlene says

"Duolingo is good free app and I'm enjoying reviewing French and now also learning Spanish.
I have one critique and it's this: They often say on the app that it's not about perfection. However, with the introduction of "lives" it has become about perfection. After making five mistakes you can no longer continue. I get that the company want people to pay the money to get Duolingo Plus but I'd rather a time limit per day rather than a certain number of lives. Giving a time limit (perhaps an hour) encourages progress, whereas giving lives makes one nervous about making mistakes."

Peter Bain says

"Been playing this game for quite a while, and it is a game, gems, crowns, charts and hearts, it's not really an educational tool. Had 4 weeks of free plus which took the game aspect away, it has now come to an end. The higher up the levels I get the shorter time my 5 hearts last. I am now getting hounded to purchase plus at a reduced cost. It is still quite expensive and can't justify over 50 quid. Going to try to pursue the game again, but I think my days are numbered."

Margaret Barton says

"I was on an 87 day streak and signed into use a pass made a mistake on the pass and blown the streak, not much interest now, so to me this is counter productive.
Don’t really want to practice now especially as it’s Christmas."

Frustrated says

"I have been learning Spanish with Duolingo for about 18 months. Generally it is fun and useful but I agree with comments about the recent new lessons - lots of mistakes and 2 new voices that are not nice. The child tries to be energetic but is merely annoying. The woman is worse - particularly in the slow version - she seems to be using her last breath with each word and it is excruciating listening to her. Please please please take her off!!

I also wish there are more explanations as to trickier things like word placement. eg where should the adjective go? Generally after the noun, right? But there are plenty of examples where the adj goes before the noun eg buena oportunidad. Why is that? Without an explanation, it becomes guesswork or rote work but not real learning."

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