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Why I Don’t Like the New Duolingo Update: The Duolingo Path

I knew a while back that Duolingo was planning on moving away from the traditional Duolingo tree to the new Duolingo path, but I didn’t think it would be as big of a deal until it hit my app. I don’t like the new Duolingo Update (also known as the Duolingo Path) and here’s why, plus what I’m using instead.

1. The Duolingo Tree Was Easier to Understand at a Glance Than the Duolingo Path

I’ve been obsessed with completing my Duolingo Trees since 2017. For reference, here’s what the Duolingo tree used to look like:

Duolingo Tree Before the Update

And here’s what the current Duolingo Path looks like:

Updated Duolingo Path

Just looking at these pictures one after the other, the tree version makes it easy to see how much progress you’ve made in a condensed and easy-to-understand way, whereas the Path is spread out and not labeled.

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It’s difficult to see by just looking at the Path what I am currently studying, what’s coming next, and what I have studied.

When I look back at lessons that I have completed, it’s hard to know exactly what I’m looking at:

Duolingo Update: Duolingo Path

2. Duolingo Added Stories into the Duolingo Path and Took Away the Tab

Before the Duolingo update, you could find Stories in a separate tab. Some users weren’t sure when they were supposed to complete the Stories as they were going through the tree, so Duolingo must have decided to fix this by incorporating the Stories into the Path so you can’t miss them.

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Although I understand wanting to add the Stories into the tree so you know at which level you should complete which Stories, I think they could have done this without destroying the tree.

In fact, they had started to do this on my app, which showed a few stories to do in between certain Units.

Now that the Stories tab is gone completely, you can’t just choose to go and work on a bunch of Stories and see your progress there, instead, you have to find them individually throughout the Path.

I really liked the way they had Stories set up before, showing how difficult they were, how many XP you would earn, etc.

I can see why someone would prefer the Path in this case, though.

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3. The Path is WAY Too Long

Since Duolingo has tried to make the tree look like steps that you take to get to the end of the path, it’s not easy to get around. I used to love to scroll to the bottom to see how many lessons I had left until I earned my Golden Owl, but now it takes freaking forever.

Plus, I noticed that they took away my Golden Owls in my Italian courses (where I had earned them before-English to Italian and Spanish to Italian).

I don’t think that they added new lessons for Italian, instead, I think they spread out the lessons that were there before in a new way and it made it so I had no longer finished the course.

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4. It Doesn’t Motivate Me to Keep Learning

Maybe this is just me, but whenever I open the app now, I get frustrated and don’t like how they are showing my progress, so I’m not motivated to keep learning.

I think this has to do with some of the points above, that the Path is too long and not condensed enough to see how much I’ve done and what there is left to do.

5. You Can’t Choose to Study Something Specific

I saw this complaint on Tiktok and definitely agree, if you want to work on the Present tense, it was clearly labeled and you could go there and work on that, then go work on something else.

Now it’s the eternal scroll to figure out where the Present tense section is and then the same if you want to find another subject to work on.

Did I miss anything about this new update that you don’t like? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list. Maybe Duolingo will see it and change back to the tree! (Please Duo!)

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6. I’ve Found a Few Applications & Websites that Are Better than Duolingo

Although I still love Duolingo and think that it’s probably the best app out there for beginners, with the updates, I decided to go looking to see if I could find anything better for intermediate or advanced learners.

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I don’t know how I’d never found these apps before, but I’m obsessed with them now and they fill in the time I used to spend on Duolingo.

The first one is LingQ, which you can use to read or watch anything and it keeps track of words you learn and words you know. If you love reading or watching Netflix and want to make native materials more accessible, this is the answer.

I honestly think it’s a game-changer.

The second one is Conjuu, which is an app that drills conjugations and actually forces you to learn them properly. They only charge you $6.99 to use the app forever (per language), so it’s not a recurring payment.

It’s 100% worth it, in my opinion.

Looking for more Duolingo alternatives? Check out my full list here.

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Scott

Monday 1st of May 2023

Great article. I’ve been using dúo for Spanish for 3 years and the path is a fail. It was initially called “a skin” but it’s so much more than that. I’ve given up leagues and only want become competent in Spanish. That’s all. Much appreciated.

Hatty

Thursday 16th of February 2023

I think they must have changed the format to bring it more closely in line with conventional language courses. It feels like you are back in school scrambling to keep up. I really learned more on Duo then I ever did in a classroom but it was because of the constant repetition and going at your own pace. I never even noticed it was gamified. I haven't touched the app in months since the update and am currently using Lingo deer which is similar to Duo before it got "improved". I'm considering a subscription with LingoDeer.

Tania

Sunday 5th of February 2023

I loved Duolingo and was making great progress until the changes. My daily lesson feels more like a chore now. Why did they get rid of the cracked eggs? So disappointed. This is not what I paid a subscription for, I feel cheated.

C Hughes

Friday 20th of January 2023

First, I found you by "Googling" "I don't like the new Duolingo format." I was a Duolingo junkie and was on something like a three year streak. As soon as they changed to the new format, I lost motivation and my sessions quickly fizzled out to where I haven't touched it in weeks and don't have the desire to go back. I contacted Duolingo and told them that I didn't like the new format, but got nothing back from them. Thank you for your article; I will check out some of the apps you suggested.

Cisca

Wednesday 11th of January 2023

I totally agree. The tree was much better.