How did my Percent fluent go down?

I was "44%" fluent, then I learned 2 new skills and now i'm only "41%" fluent... just curious how that works??

March 31, 2016


I do not know the exact answer, but based on what i have noticed, i could give an educated guess. It seems as though fluency percentage can drop as some skills weaken.

Over time skills weaken and you have to strengthen them either manually; by going to the exact skill that has weakened, passively; by progressing through the skill trees, or directly; by hitting the strengthen skills button.

After strengthening weakened skills through any of these methods, it appears that the fluency percentage tends to go back up.

March 31, 2016

I tested the fluency meter a few weeks ago and found out the following:

The more points you achieve in less time, the more increases the fluency. But it also depends on the level. In a lower level you need only a few XP to increase the fluency. In a higher level you need much more XP.

I noticed, if I achieve more than 500 XP in one day then the fluency increases by one percent (level 22). If I achieve only 10 XP or less a day the fluency meter will decrease a few days later, because these are not enough XP for the studied period.

In conclusion: The interplay of score and time affects the fluency meter.

April 1, 2016

thanks. I guess you are right

November 22, 2017

Only the Owl knows! Seriously, you have to ignore this misleading "fluency meter". Nobody knows why it goes up or down. It obviously is fatally flawed. I speak fairly good German, but am given a grudging 51%. At this point, I find it a joke.

April 1, 2016

I was going to ask this question. So glad that I finally figured it out. Like most here, don't really care, but was curious.. after spending several months away from practicing going from almost 40% proficiency in Spanish to a 14%, My weakest languages I'm learning are according to duo higher in proficiency than Spanish, which is the language I am actually most fluent in. Ha!

June 8, 2017


March 31, 2016

Must have missed a few more than average. Or the stakes are higher as 'fluency' increases.

March 31, 2016

I was wondering the same thing when my 54% fluent went to 50% overnight. I was watching it go up a percent every so often to just drop. Perhaps you're rated against other users of that language feature and a whole bunch of new users were added. Or someone changed the calculation algorithm in the global application. It is a motivation killer to have it drop without understanding.

April 24, 2017

I've noticed that when you only use the Duolingo app to do the lessons, it barely moves even after 2-3 months. When you use the Duolingo website on a computer, then the fluency shoots up almost 1 % after one or two lessons completed. I think the mobile app is somehow broken in tracking the fluency, or it only "activates" when you use the website ( on a computer.

September 26, 2017

Case in point: I had a 48 % fluency in German for the past 2 months (I only used the Android app). I just finished one lesson on a computer at, and my fluency jumped directly to 50 %.

September 26, 2017

OMG. I was wondering about that. I'd started using the app exclusively the past few months, even though it was kinda easy compared to the website due to insufficient typing. Just because it was easier to get to the app. But despite daily practice in the "insane" category my fluency kept dropping or barely moving. Like today I just tested out of 2 categories in French (Politics and Medicine) and did 2 strength trainings and my fluency stayed at 38% - I'm going to try the website right now.

September 29, 2017

Hah. Confirmed. Did ONE single unit in the web interface, fluency instantly jumped from 38% to 40%.
And 41% after completing the unit. This is after having done dozens of units and surely hundreds of strengthening exercises. Only to have fluency slowly drop from 40% down to 38% over the last few months.

September 29, 2017

Did you check if all your past lessons are stil golden? With time you have to revisit old lessons and do a practice test. It could be another issue altogether.

April 1, 2016

Yes they're all still golden.

April 1, 2016

I was at 56% fluency in Spanish one evening when I went to bed, the next morning I logged back in and I was 51% fluent. It is nonsensical.

April 23, 2017

I finished the Italian tree 9 days ago after 6910 XP in 60 days, with Level 14 and Fluency 67%. Since then I've been working on trying to keep my tree golden as skills fade. The average number of skills fading per day has been about 12, and my %age of gold skills has varied from about 70%-100%. Through this period, my Level has increased to 15 (when I hit 7500 XP) and my Fluency has varied between 67% and 68%. Earlier today, I got the tree fully gold once again, and my Fluency was 68%. I looked a few hours later, and my tree was still fully gold, but my Fluency had dropped to 67%. So that seems to indicate that there isn't a direct correlation between keeping all skills gold and maintaining the Fluency %age.

March 8, 2018

You are right. My fluency was at 67% for weeks. I recently got to level 22 (or maybe it's 23 - can't tell on my tablet), and after a couple of days my fluency dropped to 66%. I'm still keeping all my icons gold and doing at least 1 strengthening (blue barbell) every day - so AT LEAST 3 lessons. Yesterday and today I've done about 10 lessons to see if it would go up but it hasn't budged. I tried going back to the beginning and doing the strengthening in each icon in order. I have done about 7 or 8 of those and still nothing. I think as you get closer to the level 25 mark they hold back on your level but that's foolish.

March 31, 2018

Congratulations on that 157 day streak, Smakanda! How long have you been working on Italian to get to level 23?

April 1, 2018

MattBrick82: I've been doing Italian on DO for more than 2 years. I used to go a few days without any lessons then 'binge to catch up. I read the more successful learners do a few lessons every day so I'm more consistent now. I' ve also started doing tinycards a little and I just started doing the Italian lessons SlowItalianNews.

April 2, 2018

Fantastic, SmakCanada! Keep up the great work. Thanks for encouraging us all. I totally agree with you about the auditory exposure. I have recently started watching a Mexican telenovela dubbed in Italian. By the way, I would never smak Canada. I love Canada and the people there. :)

April 4, 2018

Thank you btw SMAK are my initials

April 4, 2018

Haha, I know SmakCanada. I figured it must be something like your initials or your favorite team or something.I was only joking. I bet you kind of want to smak America sometimes though. You can admit it. :)

April 4, 2018

Congratulations, Graham! How long did it take to complete the tree?

April 1, 2018

Hi Matt, I gave some summary info about my completion of the tree in a post a few above this. I don't know if my approach was the most effective, but I never intended to learn a new language. However, we planned a trip to Italy for August 2018, so I thought it might be fun to try and learn as much of the language as I could for that. So I pushed through the tree as quickly as I could from top to bottom. Now I'm focusing on strengthening skills as they fade from 100%, to practice my weakest skills.

April 3, 2018

Thank you Graham! It sounds like you really put your all into whatever you put your hand to. How was your trip to Italy? And did you use your Italian? Thanks also for the add.

April 3, 2018

I don't really know, and I care less. Not about your situation, it's just that fluency is stupid. Don't worry about how fluent in a language a computer says you are, it's how confident you feel learning the language that matters.

March 31, 2016

I agree, I don't really care about the number. I just thought it was strange I learned 2 more skill and the number went down, but yeah.. whatever.

March 31, 2016

Basically, it is like the switch on your toaster oven:

Its connected to nothing.

November 28, 2017

Lol... All you hacks that "don't care". Please. If you didn't care then you wouldn't.... Well, you can guess the rest of that sentence. Like anything else: progress, achievement, scores, and recognition are important to those that want to move forward.... Not caring equals not trying and denial. Keep learning and keep fluent...

January 14, 2018

I was at 44% in French and just went down to 31% the next day

January 25, 2018
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