https://www.duolingo.com/dmg46664

More transparency on vocabulary 'word strength'

Hi there I really wish I could understand or be provided with both the rational and the behaviour for the word strength in the vocabulary.

Further, I wish that: 1) Words didn't increase in strength unless I was given the English and had to write the foreign language version. Picking from a list or remembering the translation is significantly easier than remembering the word itself. Even better would be to have two scores... one for reading and another for writing the word.

2) Getting words wrong should significantly impact their strength. Knock at least a gold bar or two off their score... but it seems impossible to candidly decrease the score.

All the best :-)

4 years ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaBowers

Great points! Unfortunately I think this is one that probably isn't going to change much in the near future. I like to use Anki for forcing myself to remember the hard way, as you suggested in number 1.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dmg46664

Yeah, it's a pity that they don't run the discussions more like a bugtracker... merging duplicates to keep the noise to a minimum. I would love a list of requests for duolingo sorted by votes. Like Google does for Android. http://goo.gl/ZoTK6

This would at least give us an indication of how likely/unlikely a request was of getting implemented/fixed.

As for this request, I find the Practise-words exercise about as likely to give me a problematic word as the "Lesson practise" is. That's unfortunate, as I could use my time more efficiently.

Anki cards used to be great... but Duolingo is a much better version of this... and the audio questions... and when I get one wrong, I can look it up on the on-page discussions which are brilliant. Not to mention having to sync my vocab/audio list with Anki. So Anki is too much of a step backwards unfortunately.

Thanks for the suggestion though :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wolverinealumnus

I definitely agree with this point. I'm only a Level 9 in Spanish, but I've missed enough of the same words to knock those down in strength, but it still shows me as being very strong in those words. If the concern is discouraging me by being too hard, that is misplaced. I will become discouraged if the system fails to evaluate me honestly. I don't want my time wasted out of a concern for my emotional well-being. I also don't want to learn too many new things, if I am not retaining the old things. I am beginning to undertake supplemental measures to strengthen the words that I am identifying as weak, but Duolingo will be more effective it is closer to brutal honesty.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
wazzie
  • 25
  • 11

The problem is if they are too aggressive with word strength, people get discouraged because they feel that DL is 'forcing' them review and practice all the time.
The good news is that word strength remains relative (even if it seems to be full strength), so if you are concerned about how much you are remembering/comprehending, don't wait for the visual indicator that your words are weak, just practice them anyway!
The words you have missed more, or have not seen as often, will float to the top and you can review them more. One trick I use to manipulate my vocab list is to peek (mouse over for definition) the word. When you peek, it sends DL a signal that you are not as familiar with the word, and it will decay faster.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dmg46664

Wazzle, I do practise them already. But I don't think the algorithm is paying close enough attention to my words that are actually weak. Once you complete a sentence successfully with a word, it assumes you know it, even though the same word in a different grammatical context you may be poor at... or you only remember it because it the choices were given. That's why I'm asking for more transparency.

I fully appreciate that the default setting should give more gold for more motivation, especially to beginners... but as you use the program more (months), you should have the option of the system being more critical should you desire it.

Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
wazzie
  • 25
  • 11

One thing I did notice was that DL seemed to 'get to know' me better as time went on. I don't know if this was because they improved their algorithm, but I have seen an improvement. I had the same problem as you, I felt I was getting too much credit at times, but I think once you use the program for a while, those lucky guesses (or easy questions) begin to mean less, and the overall strength of the word become more apparent.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dmg46664

Well I hope this happens for me. At the moment I'm as likely to get a word I deem as problematic (high probability of failure) as clicking on "Lesson practise" as "Practise words". Both only about 33% of the time. If they improved this it would be a much better use of my time (66% less time needed on the site).

crossing fingers. :-)

4 years ago
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.