You know I love Duolingo. There’s tons of good about the mass sentence, nonsense sentence, strigine sentence language-learning behemoth.
At least when it is all about the language learning.
Let me set the scene. I’ve had a busy couple of weeks (Eurovision, don’t you know!) and I’ve found it a bit harder to find time for points-amassing lessons. As such, I’ve watched my username slip down the rankings in an owl-induced panic.
Never fear, though. In an effort to shore up my sinking vessel, I’d resorted to some trusty quick ‘n’ easy points winners like the Hindi alphabet sections – reviews you can do in 20 seconds or less for 10 points (or 20 on a double roll). I know all the tricks, me.
All good – right?
The Language – or the Points?
If you’re not lost in the red mist of Duo leagues yourself, you’ll instantly see the problem. It’s become about the points, not the language. As noble a pursuit as Hindi alphabet mastery is, repeated bashing of it is likely not particularly constructive in the long term. Especially since I should be spending time improving my core languages.
So, with some initial FOMO anxiety, I resolved to quietly let go of my leagues and tournaments addiction. Yes, addiction is a strong word… But when it’s a placing in a score table I’m thinking about, rather than the lessons themselves, it seems appropriate.
It helps to know that I’m not alone, either. In my Duo friend updates this week, I spotted that a similarly obsessed friend had been “promoted to the Obsidian League“. Yes, that Obsidian league, the one below the Diamond one that we’d both managed to cling onto for countless months.
If he could let go, then maybe I could, too.
An Almost Break-Up Story
So, while not quite the break-up story this could be (it’s still a brilliant tool when you lead it), I’ll make an effort to use Duo more mindfully from now on. My plea to friends, family, random passers-by, and generally all and sundry is this: if you see me in that zombie-like trance, tapping in stupefaction at my phone, this is your green light to stage an intervention.
Together we’ll wrest control back of that winsome wee owl!