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Why do so many words stay "Overdue"?

I've got about 300+ words in my Word List that say I haven't "practiced" them in weeks. What does it mean to "practice" a word? I redo lessons all the time, and "strengthen skills" all the time. Every single day, I'm doing lessons that include those words that continue to show as "overdue", no matter what.

So, what do I need to do to make them show that I've recently worked on them---aside from actually working on them, which clearly isn't the answer?

I read on here that just looking at the (useless) flashcards should update the word list, but that doesn't seem to be the case for me.

May 23, 2017



To practice a word is to use it in a lesson. I just ignore it, but I think they eventually refresh or get used as you strengthen your tree.


I see a number of skills on your tree that aren't gold (in the half or so that you've finished), which typically means that some of the words in them haven't been strengthened recently. Even though I keep my French tree gold, and have recently clocked over a hundred points a day (I do see that you have about 2000 in the last couple of days), the algorithm still shows words that need practice.

(Note that just finishing a skill doesn't mean that you've encountered all the words associated with that skill, so some of them may be registered on your list but not yet strengthened. I'm not sure exactly how this works.)

For me, if I look at the flashcards and mark them correct, that does indeed bring the words I've looked at to full strength, but I don't do it often, because it doesn't give any XP, and I like to see a record of my progress.


I find it both frustrating and irritating that I must "strengthen" the same lessons virtually every day. How on earth is it helpful to have to endlessly type "woman", "man", "boy", or "child" in the beginning lessons when the words get used in later lessons. It is basically stealing time that would be better spent practicing newer words.


Don't do it, if you don't have time to keep your entire tree gold.

The problem with the "random" strengthening is that it starts with the lowest skill that needs gilding, rather than the least recently practiced skill. In that sense the algorithm seems a bit off, to me. Eventually the skills do stay gold longer, but still.

If you don't have time to keep your tree gold, I'd say don't use the random strengthening function. Choose the skills you want to strengthen, and keep track, so you can keep moving.

And if you don't have a lot of time, maybe do a bit of strengthening, but do a couple of new lessons every day. Later, once your tree is done, you can focus on making it gold, if you want. (This worked for me with French, anyway, but I had some background in the language. I've neglected German lately.)


The Memrise logic seems much better. It makes me revisit words I've missed and randomly revisits words not recently used, but it doesn't constantly beat me over the head with early words that I haven't missed.


I agree, that makes more sense.

Part of the problem with that for Duo may be that if you make a mistake at the sentence level, the program might not be "smart" enough to distinguish that from a mistake related to a particular word in the sentence.

(Just speculating. Not sure if time is the only factor that gets used here, or what.)

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