The other day I wanted to restart my Italian learning with Duolingo after one year of pause. Upon installing the application, I was surprised to see that my learning tree is replaced by some kind of path. I didn’t like the change, but of course, I decided to continue. After all, I used Duolingo before and after the 2018 redesign and, guess what, I hated that change too (still do).
A year ago when I stopped with Duolingo, I was in the middle of my tree. But now, I wasn’t even close to the middle of the path. Of course, new skills had been probably added in the meantime, but it seemed to me that some topics that I ‘mastered’ are now again locked. Doesn’t matter, I will do them again.
I start challenges. They are very easy and repetitive (that’s something I noticed before, but now seems much much worse). I won’t lie when I say that I did 20 questions for absolute beginners (really Duolingo, you ask me for the 100th time to translate I am a man to Italian?). Challenges don’t simulate me intellectually. I am very quickly bored and I start making mistakes. It definitely doesn’t help that I have to go through four screens after each game (I understand that I have to see ads, but I don’t understand why I have to see animations of gems and leaderboards).
The next day I tried again. It felt even worse. Pointless and boring. The app that once had been a valuable tool for learning new languages became the game that tries to hook you up with the cheapest tricks. Angered and sad, I uninstalled it.
Why can’t we have nice things?