Problem with strength and decay in Welsh.
About two months ago, out of curiousity, I tried learning Welsh. About two weeks ago, I managed to complete all of the skills. It has been difficult. I have a good understanding of the Irish language, which has helped.
But I have a huge problem which may force me to abandon studying Welsh on Duolingo. The strength of skills deteriorates too rapidly. Even if I review a skill without error, it often loses its gild within a day. Within the last two days between 45 and 50 of the skills lost their gild, several of them twice. Review is good, but I think being forced to do too much produces diminishing returns. I'm retired, so most days I can keep up with the need to review. But if I'm called away or have other commitments, the number of skills losing gild and requiring attention adds up. I thought that over time and with diligent practice the problem would diminish. But it hasn't. Perhaps the problem occurs because the algorithm is expecting some prior knowledge of the language. Being a total novice could make it difficult to compete. Is anyone else having this problem?
Duo are constantly tweaking the algorithms in the underlying software, so this may explain the changing amounts of review needed to keep things topped up. The individual course teams have no control over the underlying Duo software, only over their particular language content.
I am sorry to hear that you are incapable of repairing or adjusting this. Unfortunately that makes the Welsh language unusable for me. This situation is not acceptable. I think that in the future I will have to advise my friends to avoid getting involved with a language on Duolingo.
I think it's important to make Duo Lingo work for you. I've completed the Welsh language tree, and although it would be nice if all the skills stayed at 5/5 (and less disheartening), it would be impractical for me to keep it that way. I'm not going to waste my time revising a skill that I know Im secure in just because a computer algorithm says I'm not.
More importantly I don't think it would be good for the retention and improvement of language learning, as my brain would get overloaded on revising so many skills. Even the most enthusiastic proponent of Duo Lingo wouldn't suggest solely using it to learn a language, after you have mastered the basics.
What I do instead is try to focus on one or two areas a day (that I know I need to improve), doing a timed revision. I also use resources online such as Dal Ati (you tube), S4C to improve my listening and comprehension, and am working my way through Gareth King' s Basic Welsh.
You've done really well to complete the Welsh tree in less than two months, llongyfarchiadau! I think it would be a shame if you stopped using Duolingo for Welsh learning but I think it will be easier for you to change your mindset than to get Duolingo to change the algorithm. If you accept that, for the time being, it isn't going to be possible to keep the tree completely gold then you can start doing the number of revision sessions you want to do each day, rather than the number Duolingo is "telling" you to do. I'm speaking from experience here. I have completed four trees on Duolingo. For each one I have kept it completely gilded as I have gone down the tree but I have found that, even for a short tree like Esperanto, to keep the tree completely gold after completion would take far more time than I have to spare. Once I accepted that there is nothing wrong with having a multicoloured tree I started enjoying using Duolingo far more, rather than finding it a chore.
The idea of a spaced repetition learning system such as Duolingo, Memrise, Tinycards and so on is that when you are less familiar with particular words or patterns they will be presented more often, and as you become more familiar with them they will appear less frequently. This pattern of spaced repetition depending on the quality of your recall is based on sound evidence of how people learn, memorise and recall things.
With Duolingo, reaching the 'end of the tree' does not mean that you have seen all the items in a course, nor that you have been able to memorise them sufficiently well for effective long-term recall. That will take a little practice each day for quite a long time.
Overall, a little practice each day is better for long-term recall than attempting long cramming sessions over a short period. The various 'strength' indicators in some systems such as Duolingo are simply a visual aid to help you in knowing which areas will benefit most from some repetition.