https://www.duolingo.com/LupoMikti

511 Day Streak Gone in an Instant: Why I'm not that upset...

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So it finally happened thanks to the recent time change. The streak I had been keeping alive for over a year now has finally vanished into thin air. The thing is, I had a streak freeze because I knew the following Monday I probably wouldn't be able to (or remember to) do Duolingo. So imagine my surprise this Tuesday morning when I go to Duo expecting my streak freeze to be used up and my streak to still be at 511 and see a 0 instead.

Now, this certainly isn't the worst thing in the world, and I thought I would share my feelings on this for those that may just be starting out with long streaks.

When you get to a certain point (I think it's probably the 1 year point) you sort of realize that the number doesn't really matter anymore. You've practiced a language (or more) every single day for over year. That's the real accomplishment. And yeah, it's sad to see that number go. You feel as if all your work has just disappeared. But remember, the fruits of your labor are evidenced not by the number by your name, but the knowledge you have gained.

... Of course, I wouldn't mind being able to repair my streak :-)

11/8/2016, 3:36:28 PM

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/QuadraticLingual

I'm sorry to hear that you lost your streak.

But you're right about it just being a number. It's just a variable in the servers. What matters most is what you've actually learned. Sure, it's a bit disappointing, but it's like building a tower out of blocks. If it falls down, you build it back up again!

But remember, the fruits of your labor are evidenced not by the number by your name, but the knowledge you have gained.

Exactly! You're not aiming for the highest streak, you're trying to learn.

11/8/2016, 3:42:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/buck72
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Sorry about your 511-day streak, but congratulations on all of your language learning! :)

11/8/2016, 7:02:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
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I found the streak useful early on to establish the daily habit and kept it going until it was close to 500. But one day I was tired and couldn't manage 50xp so I lost it, but it actually pushed me to start using other resources more and I made great gains in my language comprehension. Now I use it to mark off 100 day segments of concentrating on a particular language. I find after 100 days a break is constructive. I am working on Russian again now after 100 days of Polish. It is going so much better after the break.

11/11/2016, 8:11:20 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/LupoMikti
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That's actually a really good idea. I think I'll start doing that as well. I've been needing to finish my German Tree 2.0 (never did once it launched) and finish up all the other languages I have.

And yeah, I've been using outside resources for a while now. The problem is retention of vocab. Flash cards have never in my life helped me memorize vocab, so things like Anki and Memrise just aren't cutting it. Any suggestions for other ways of building up vocab?

(Particularly in German as I'm currently taking my first class of it at Uni. Funnily enough, I actually tested out of all the lower division German, but chose to start out in the second to last class anyway. My listening skills have improved greatly in the past two months because of it, but I still struggle on production and there are too many words I don't know).

11/12/2016, 7:54:14 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
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I did use memrise to learn the extra vocab I needed for German but I made ample use of the ignore function to concentrate only on words I couldn't already recognise. I don't worry too much about production as my aim is to understand, but even when your goal is to actually speak the language I think words you understand move into your productive capability once you see them used in context often enough, through reading and listening, so gaining understanding is a best initial step anyway. I used the 5000 words by frequency course and went through it in about six weeks using this method. I am impressed by memrise's own new courses which incorporate videos. I am using the Russian one, again making good use of the ignore function, particularly as with sentences you can drive yourself mad trying to remember the exact word order used when it comes to review the sentence. I only review words or sentences I find particularly hard to recognize. Once you are reading it is easier to recognize words as they are in context, so you can expect to do better reading than with flash card type things which is why plain memrise doesn't suit me. But the videos are very useful for listening practice.

But the main thing I did was to watch lots and lots of tv series in German. As I worked through the memrise course I would spot the new words I had seen and reinforce them that way. Netflix was a very big learning aid and they add more content in other languages all the time. I just wish they had Russian available. Then I moved on to audiobooks. Now I read and understand spoken German really easily and seem to have the mental space and time available to think about what I'm hearing to note how it was said as well as what was said and to learn new phrasing and vocabulary there in context consiously as well as unconsciously. I keep telling myself thus will eventually happen in Russian although for now it seems much too fast.

11/13/2016, 8:50:45 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/LupoMikti
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Thanks for the advice! I guess I'll give Memrise a try again in conjunction with all the listening practice I've been getting. I've been wanting to try audiobooks too, so I'll see about getting started on that not long after. Did you start out with English subtitles + German audio, German subs + English audio, German subs and audio, or just the audio? I always hear mixed reviews about learning with subs on or off.

11/13/2016, 6:02:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
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I used English subs for a little while but soon swapped to German ones. They are far more useful especially for learning new vocabulary. I think practice handling two streams of input is useful too. The subtitles are rarely exactly the same as the audio as the audio is designed to lipsync as well as possible and also subtitles are written so they tend to use different tenses than the spoken version. I found it very useful to see two ways of saying the same thing. For this reason don't rush to turn them off even when you can understand most of the action without them. They are a useful learning tool, make use of while you have it. Audiobooks will take you further. But in the beginning the whispersync feature offered by audible is a good crutch, where you can read the book along with the audio. It is available for many German books. I read two with that to begin with. Actually I read along with the book and then listened again without it. It was quite helpful in making the transition to just listening and understanding.

11/13/2016, 6:24:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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(Also, subtitles generally have to be much shorter than what there is time for on the audio track -- if the subs are any good, that is. Good subtitles are an art form. That's another reason why you get two versions of the same content, like you mention.)

11/13/2016, 6:30:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/daughterofAlbion
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I am impressed. I can't subdivide my brain that way. I find I can't take in the audio and visual information simultaneously!
My method is usually to watch without subtitles, then watch again with, and fill in what I did not understand (when I no longer need to concentrate on the action fully)

11/13/2016, 6:59:53 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Lorel90
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I am very sorry.

11/8/2016, 6:43:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
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I felt the same way as you did when I lost my 178 day streak about 200~ days ago. The number did not matter to me, but my new Golden Owl in Spanish did :)

11/8/2016, 4:09:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Mirifis
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Actually I lost my 640+ streak a few weeks ago. And apparently I did not mind... It wasn't very important.

11/9/2016, 9:34:07 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/guitarluehe
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OH, what a bad luck. You are right. As such, the streak seems to be worthless sometimes. But in my last 2 years it was my streak, which made me learn a bit every day. During a flight to Australia and in my bedroom in Caesar's Palace after gambling during the night. So in everyday life I am now used to my daily lessons. Is the adventures during my holidays or severe illness what could keep me off my studies. But up to now, I could keep my streak. I am now striving for the one-thousand target. I hope Duolingo is offering you a streak-recovery program.

11/8/2016, 3:54:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TheAgentKid

HOLY I AM SO SORRY

11/8/2016, 4:10:37 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeeva06

don't worry,just keep go on....

11/8/2016, 4:18:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
Plus
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Excellent post. I was sad to lose my nice long streak (400-ish days), but the habits formed and the language learned are going nowhere :)

11/9/2016, 2:36:17 PM

[deactivated user]

    O man, that got to suck.

    11/8/2016, 4:10:35 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
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    How did the time change cause you to lose your streak? If you did a lesson on Saturday and Sunday, the streak should have stayed in place. I'm just curious how the streak was lost. Sorry for your loss, but you're right it doesn't matter too much. The important thing is that you learned a new habit of language study.

    11/9/2016, 9:37:57 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/LupoMikti
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    I had a streak freeze equipped but it wasn't used up on Monday like it should have been. I reached my goal both Saturday and Sunday, but when I got home Monday, I was so exhausted I wanted to take a nap. Since I got home at about 8pm, I thought I'd be up by 10 or 11. I slept to 4am. I realized I missed Duo, but thought "Oh well, I'll just equip another streak freeze." I bought one and a few hours later did a lesson only to find my streak now at 1. I'm 100% certain I had a streak freeze equipped because every time one gets used up the first thing I do is buy another.

    11/10/2016, 2:59:41 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
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    I wish Duolingo at least kept a record on your profile of "max streak." Maybe then streak losses wouldn't be as depressing

    11/15/2016, 8:32:35 AM
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