1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Skills suddenly refusing to s…


Skills suddenly refusing to stay golden? (Edit: also brainstorming possible causes)

For the past week or two, nearly ten skills per day revert. Skills that have been golden for ages (like Color) suddenly reverted when I focused on other German resources for just a few days. This has never happened to me before and I've been using Duolingo for nearly a year.

Has anyone else been experiencing this?

Edit: Just brainstorming because I'm stumped as to why this is happening and more than a little disheartened, have people seen a difference in their fluency percentage along with constantly decaying skills? Personally, my skills refuse to stay golden, but my fluency hasn't really been impacted.

June 2, 2017




I was progressing reasonably well in the German tree, until everything started to lose "golden" bars rapidly. Ten strengthening exercises a day is NOT enough to keep up. It is especially annoying that I now spend half my time on the most basic early lessons. I no longer have time left over to learn new things. Today two of the first five lost gold bars while I was doing exercises!


Aye, same here. Seems like I'm suddenly swimming against the tide just to maintain the stuff I've already done, let alone try and progress further. I think we're supposed to quit our jobs and put in forty hours of Duolingo a week now.


I am very discouraged because even if I have 18 correct answers during a timed practice it doesn't strengthen the lesson :( I'm very frustrated because I have to redo a lesson 2 or 3 times until it is strengthened properly - golden - and it's very demotivating. I loved Duolingo but since this update I'm thinking about quitting :( :( :( How can the operators be reached? Why can't they just leave it like it was before? It was much better.


Yes, due to some reasons like:

  1. Specific for the German course for English speakers
    The recent update of this course. I did the new lessons in two days.
    And some weeks later, they need to be strengthed all in once.

  2. Specific for the people who are moved to Duolingo's new version

  3. In general
    You can find many complaints about this issue in Duolingo's discussion forums.
    Duolingo's Fluency % is unreliable.
    Recently appeared that the Duolingo staff had manipulated this "fluency %" for testing purposes
    (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22225104), and since then .........
    . many people had a drop in their Duolingo fluency %.
    . the strength in the word tab is unreliable
    . skills strength is decreasing much faster than before
    . the fluency % is decreasing much faster than before

Don't worry. Just keep enjoying the course.


I did see complaints about the fluency algorithm, and that could be the cause. However, my fluency percentage has pretty much stuck around 40% and I haven't noticed much change on that front while I recently had a 30+ decay of skills in less than four days. I've been with Duolingo for close to a year and that has never happened to me. Could it have been that those skills were the ones that I did while under the A/B test? As I type that I recall that some of the skills were from AGES back.

Note: I remember when my tree updated to the new tree and the decay doesn't correspond to those.

You seem to be more in the know than me, could this be part of the new monetization strategy? (I do not mean that cynically, I fully appreciate what a wonderful and free service Duolingo is, only that as I was laboring through flipping skills back, it offered to keep skills golden for gems.)


You seem to be more in the know than me, could this be part of the new monetization strategy? (I do not mean that cynically ..... , it offered to keep skills golden for gems)

I don't think so.


Yes very much so!

I have completed both the Spanish and Italian trees and those for the most part are staying golden (just need 30-40XP per day to polish them up which is reasonable).

I had been working on my German tree and now I have to do about 15 skills per day just to keep what I have done golden. It makes any progression very laborous. I know I could simply ignore the fact that some skills are no longer golden but it drives me nuts.

My feeling is that the new decay algorithm takes into account how many skills you do in a day in order to determine how many will decay the next day. Since I don't do much on my golden trees they don't decay much but others focussing on those languages are complaining about the high rate of decay they are seeing.

I wish there was a way to "test out" of already completed skills so you did not have to redo them one at a time (or 2-3 through the practice function).

I did see on IOS that you could pay 30 gems to keep a certain skill golden for 30 days but that seems outrageous!


I was so dishearten that the skills kept reverting beyond my control, I focused on other resources for three or four days (only doing two or three practice sessions a day) and came back to 30+ skills decayed. It didn't seem very dependent on progress being made versus stasis.

While I actually liked the update to the heart and gem system (it at least encouraged my to make progress before addressing the mess that is my tree), I feel uncomfortable with being told to use gems to keep things golden. It makes it appear as if either I'm ignoring skills that need to be refreshed or the tree artificially decaying faster than my skills are. I definitely already know "Bruder." I second the wish for a better practice/ a test-out.

Has your fluency percentage been affected?


I don't put much faith in Duolingo's fluency. The fluency meter is vastly different in various languages where I have completed the trees and keep them golden so not sure how they measure it.

According to Duo I am:

22% fluent in Spanish (Tree has been golden for a month now... but it did take me about 180 days to complete mostly skill by skill). 50% fluent in Italian (tested out of most of the skills and just went through the last few skills one by one) 60% fluent in French (down from 67% when I tested out of everything but then neglected my tree for about 235 days lol - I am a native French speaker) 34% fluent in German (tested out of the first couple of checkpoints and now slowly making my way lesson by lesson while trying to keep everything gold).

I have been working hard to stem the tide of decay in german and that I have to say that I think I am getting a handle on it. The more basic skills aren't decaying as fast anymore, only the more recent ones.

I really have no clue but I think that the decay algorithm is based on new skills you open up... In the languages where my tree is already golden, the decay is very light. In trees that I have had golden in the past, the decay is also light even if I put in a lot of work on it. The most decay seems to occur when I fight like mad the tide of decay and then try to open up new skills.


I did see on IOS that you could pay 30 gems to keep a certain skill golden for 30 days but that seems outrageous!

It just keeps getting better and better....


YES! So It's not just me!!! I am so darned frustrated with that, that I quit Duolingo all together for a few months. Nothing stays golden for more than a week (optimistically), and I also spent all my time brushing up (making re-golden) older lessons that weeks (not kidding!) would go by without learning anything new until I just said "to hell with it" and quit.


I'm really annoyed by this. The biggest advantage of duolingo was that it would tell me in which lessons I'm weak and should practice, but now that doesn't work anymore at all, with so many skills decaying so fast.

And they decay with absolutely no sense, for example skill Relative Pronouns is very simple, it basically has only 3 new words and I did the strengthening at least 6 or 7 times with zero or maybe one mistake (always some typo in English because I think there were exactly zero exercises in which you translate to German in that skill) and the skill is again at strength 2. At the same time the skill Adverbs 4, which I am aware that I don't know and make a lot of mistakes in, stays gold with only an occasional strengthening every 2 weeks or so.

These are the 2 skills I am aware of, so I just started ignoring their strength, but with so many skills in the German tree it's impossible for me personally to keep track of which words they contain, how well do I know those words and when was the last time I practiced, which is why it doesn't make sense to practice here anymore. That's sad, I really liked duolingo when I started and it seemed great and I was planning to start learning another language here after finishing the German tree and practicing it for a couple of more months...


I no longer stress not being gold. You are the best judge as to what you need to practice (and I do) I refuse to redo basic lessons that I can complete perfectly. Colored lessons are a minor annoyance at best.

A test over basics periodically to "stay gold" is something I would do.


This is insane. Tonight, when I sat down, all 27 of the items in the top three groups were gold. After completing 10 strengthening exercises only 24 were still gold!!

WTF?? Do ten strengthening exercises and LOSE three golds?


It's happening to me as well


Same thing here too.


I wonder if duolingo fixed it? My German tree has suddenly stopped making me review all the beginning lessons constantly. The various leaves on the tree are staying Golden longer and I'm now mostly just reviewing recently learned items with a reasonable sprinkling of early ones.

As a result, I am once again making some forward progress! Jippieh!


Mine is sticking maybe marginally better, but it doesn't really seem much if any better. I'm glad yours is improving!

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