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Constantly strengthening the alphabet

I feel like that very first unit, the alphabet, just keeps decaying at an absurdly fast rate. And from what I understand of Duolingo's algorithm, that's probably because the words we're given to demonstrate the alphabet sounds haven't come back around in the course yet, meaning that from Duolingo's perspective I'm not strengthening them through natural progression in the course. Is that something that will resolve itself after I get a few more units in, or do I just need to resign myself to regularly translating γιώτα Ιλιάδα for the rest of my time here?

September 19, 2016



I haven't been back revising the first few units for a while but it does look as though alphabet has decayed more than others for me as well. For now,, I'd probably recommend cherry picking your revision on modules.


Yes, I have had this issue as well.


I understand what you mean. You have an interesting theory.

But I also trust Duolingo's algorithm because eventually - I estimate after ~ 25 review sessions, which themselves will become more and more infrequent - it will just remain gold and you will never have to practice it ever again.

At this point I have about 1/3 of the Tree complete and it seems the rate of decay for alphabet has slowed considerably. That seems to contrast with your experience which leads me to believe that, since we have the same Greek level, you seem to doing more new content and not as many review exercises.

No single module will receive adequate strengthening from content integration in other modules alone. Plus I am sure that there are other lessons out there with esoteric words that, like the alphabet words, won't get integrated as frequently or at all. Review exercises are necessary for every module even though they often take much longer than the new content. I'm sorry if that sounds a bit critical.

At the end of the day I still am learning how to type well in Greek and I consider the alphabet stuff a game, a little pebble in the Greek mountain and a typing lesson. Perhaps an irritating pebble in ones' shoe? But a little one nevertheless.

In defense of the alphabet lessons - for English speakers who don't have word names for their alphabet letters it is actually important, when you are speaking to somebody and you want to spell a word out loud (or more often - to be told how to spell a word).


I certainly agree it's very useful and it's also worth remembering we're in beta. Or β. On the keyboard side, some letters I'm nailing on a western alphabet keyboard but having a letter that looks like u on y next door is all too much for my brain at the moment!


...sigh... I had a nice response, then foolishly clicked "home" by mistake. Let me try to recreate what I said...

You are partly correct, in that I am trying to regularly get new material into my lessons. When I first started Duolingo, I was religious about keeping my tree gold before starting anything new. I quickly discovered that I would reach a point where progress then stopped; too many skills were decaying for me to have any energy left for anything new. So now I'm trying to find a good balance between reviewing and learning new things; my balance may, perhaps, still be a bit off, though a quick glance says that I'm at roughly 1/3 of the tree as well, maybe even less. That striving for balance between old and new is part of the reason that the frequent returns to the alphabet unit frustrate me. I only have so much time and energy, and doing the alphabet unit might mean that I don't get to another one that needs reviewing.

I do fully agree with you that it's an important unit. But I'm still frustrated.


Hi Joe, I understand completely! Those 10 minute reviews add up. A person works hard to set aside 40 minutes a day and then has to do the Abc's again for 1/4 of that time! If I was learning the language by 'hitting the books', that would be a definite misappropriation of time! Also it is definitely irritating (no offense devs) trying to write a phonetic English translation of the Greek Alphabet names and I feel that in the future the alphabet names should be reduced to simply their own names in Greek (and maybe...not able to decay).

Thank you for writing back about it and your comment really resonated with me as I share the same issue: "I quickly discovered that I would reach a point where progress then stopped; too many skills were decaying for me to have any energy left for anything new."

Although I am at Level 11 on the German tree which is typically the point at which most people finish it, I hit a complete standstill halfway through trying to keep the bottom half gold. Like trying...to move a mountain.

My estimate with the Greek tree has been that if I complete one new module every day (or an average of four new lessons), it will be an 11-week trek. What I am not able to calculate is how much additional reviewing I will need every day. So I try to set aside one hour and then divide it as needed.

Lastly you are right, I was mistaken and I see we are at about the same point on the Tree.

καλή δύναμη / Good Strength!

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