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Decay time and testing out

I haven't tested out of anything in a while, but with Japanese, I had been using a separate tester account to do alpha testing. As a result, when the course came into beta on iPhone, I switched over to my own account. I was able to easily test out of the first several modules. They decay so fast though! I feel like doing the slower way would have been less annoying. Every day even though I feel like I basically have the practice sessions for everything from home downward memorized verbatim, I have at least 5-6 modules that come up having lost gold in a 12 hour period. The last time I tested out of anything was years ago with Spanish, Portuguese and Italian and I didn't have the goal of keeping those trees gold, so I have no idea how fast they decayed with things I tested out of it, but it seems very quick. Is this especially fast? It is disheartened that I feel like I have actually fully memorized the lessons, but I can't keep the thing gold.

May 25, 2017



I'm doing the slower way, the decay times are absurd. Losing one bar on most of my skills every day. Barely 1/5 of the way through the course and I just don't have time to keep everything gold. Then when I do go back and try to regild stuff, even a perfect score on the refresh doesn't always give a bar. Either the algorithm is off or the skills are packed with far more words than most other trees.


Yeah, that is the thing for me too. I can get everything right, not look at a single hover and still not refresh the skill properly. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

They also need to make it that the hiragana modules don't lose gold so far. You could hardly do the subsequent lessons if you forgot the writing system. I don't need to review two of those every single day when I am getting 100% with no peeks.

I may just have to give up on the gold, too. I have not actually done anything new since the course was publicly released despite getting loads of XP every day. I am tired enough from reviewing things that I don't feel up to doing anything new.

I do wish they'd just sort it out so the decay wasn't so quick though. I mean, I can recite most of the home, food and the intro lessons. I know I don't actually need to review them more this soon.


Stop caring about everything being gold. That's the only way to get through a tree in any reasonable amount of time. Gild it for the tree completed screen shot.


I don't need it to be especially fast. I don't do any of my trees quickly. It just seems like the decay rate is even faster than it is for other languages.


I have the same feeling, the strength decays so fast and seems that none of the modules are related.

I'm doing my Japanese course in a casual way, but every course I finished, it decays every day. So in Spanish course, when I practice something, it could strengthen several related modules, but in Japanese course, they're all on their own. And I never have enough time to practice every module every day.

Is this kind of a bug? Will this be fixed some time in the future?


It does seem that the content of at least the first 10 or so Japanese skills is much less cumulative than in other trees. This could have something to do with this behavior.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is to facilitate A/B testing on the best order of presenting new material in the Japanese tree, as has been done in the Spanish tree in the past.


Geez, I thought it was just me. I'm in another Duolingo course (German) and the skills decay at seemingly a third of the rate that the Japanese ones do. And, the more advanced you get in that course, the slower older skills decay. That behavior makes sense. But here, I can literally spend forty-five minutes in the morning AND in the evening getting everything back up to gold, and almost every lesson post-"Home" will STILL will be decayed the next morning again. I'm getting pretty frustrated being forced to constantly revisit lessons I'd already mastered for Duolingo to understand, yes, these should stay gold, because yes, I get 100% on them every time. I'm a little neurodivergent, and just ignoring the decayed skills is nearly impossible for me... just sinks my heart every time I know it's time to practice.


When I quizzed out of most of the Portuguese tree a bit under a year ago, most of the skills never degilded until they ended the skill strength boosting A/B test about two months ago. Seems they can't find a happy medium.

I would suspect this is a result in part of the end of the skill strength boosting A/B test a couple months ago. But, yes, the system should be smarter. It's really pretty similarly silly independent of whether the first skills are for a new alphabet (the Greek alphabet skill is the source of no shortage of similar requests in the Greek forum) or just simple words that one probably has well mastered if attaining any significant result on the quiz-out.


Oh wow. Yeah, they definitely just haven't found the happy medium yet. I do think I'd prefer never over immediately though with test out skills, especially when an alphabet is involved. I mean, if you are managing to get on reasonably in the rest of the tree, you probably don't need to keep matching か to ka.


I tested out of everything before the first checkpoint, if I remember correctly, and those are all staying gold for me. However, my first "practice" session of each day is always "Home". I'm up to "Weather" now, after 13 days, and it won't give me practice questions from sections like "Transportation" or "Clothes" until I've gilded every single earlier unit. (This seems backwards because conceptually, I think I have a pretty good handle on how to say things like "There are 7 desks" by now, but the newer stuff is new to me and I want to see more of that. Maybe I shouldn't use the "Practice" function at all, but rather go to a particular unit and pick "Strengthen"? I'm not sure how these are supposed to be used.)

It would be nice if "Practice" gave you a mix of questions from all the units you've done so far, but maybe that's not how Duolingo is supposed to work? I haven't used it much (especially not the iPhone version).


I don't think anybody really knows how 'Practice' is supposed to work, but what you've observed is certainly more or less how it does seem to work for everyone. Once in a blue moon it will seem to have content from two skills for me, and it sometimes "misses" a skill, but those are minor exceptions to the general pattern. I haven't used it much, either, and just chose the skills to work on myself.


Yeah, I don't really like doing general practice as it obviously starts at what has lost gold at the bottom of the tree, and with how fast mine lose gold, it means if I do that, every day it will just ask me things like what sound does つ have rather than anything harder. I agree it would be better if it was randomized rather than starting at the beginning for the same reasons you stated, that we have studied something new more recently and know it less well. Memrise is better at having review take this into account, so I know it can be done. Generally I like Duolingo better than Memrise, but Memrise is good at asking mostly things you have learned recently, but knowing when to bring in a much older word for review before you forget it entirely.

I would definitely just strengthen specific units. That is mainly what I do unless I just want a general practice of a whole tree.

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