Tip for Duolingo to make me WANT to use the app more often
I have read only the first few pages of posts, so hopefully this hasn't been repeated so frequently as to be annoying.
There needs to be some way to permanently tell the app "I've got this down." My wife and I joke about how, on my deathbed, my last word will be "Kartoffel" because, for some reason, I have to repeat the German word for Potato so often that it's permanently scarred into my brain. Same with the following (please ignore lack of accents, my German friends): Kinder, Madchen, Manner, Brot, Wasser, etc.
I do not want to focus on these words anymore. I want to learn new words, phrases, etc. That's what makes learning a language fun and exciting -- the prospect of being able to talk to a native speaker and not sound like a dummy. I can't really do this though, because everyday I have 10-15 bubbles that become un-gold, even though I have not slipped up on any of those words. So before I can learn new words, I have to spend (literally) hours proving to the app that I know the words I have understood for more than a year. Der Mann trinkt the heck out of the wasser.
Here's my suggestion: After you've reached a certain threshold, have a "Lock" Test. In this test, if you pass with flying colors, 95% or above, those skills get locked and stay locked forever. You can still select them to practice if you want, but otherwise, they STAY GOLD! Furthermore, the game does not test you on them, but tests you on more challenging new words, believing that you're capable of remembering what a freaking Kartoffel is. Please do this, at least on the very basic basics. It's no fun to be tested on 2+2=4 when you're trying to teach yourself calculus.
I think they should just make it so the skills don't degrade automatically with time. I think they should only un-gold a skill if you missed two or more things that were taught in a certain skill. For example, if I'm learning dative case and I misspell "Milch" my third time this week, it should definitely un-gold Foods 1, giving me incentive to strengthen that skill. They should forget about how long ago you've strengthened the skill and focus more on how often you miss the words that inevitably come up in your everyday routine.
This would be an easy change if this is already integrated in their algorithm (which I think it is, I just think the time factor holds more weight currently).
I believe that they already use an algorithm to increase the amount of time between reviewing words if you consistently get them correct. I wouldn't personally recommend never reviewing a word, even if you feel like you have it down completely, unless you're immersed in the language. I do agree, however, that you should be able to at least tell Duolingo that you want to review something less often.
I'm going mad with the German Television. There is Der Fernseher - the TV set, and Das Fernsehen - the television as a concept. It shows me four pictures, two of which are identical pictures of TV sets - one 'der Fernseher' and the other 'das Fernsehen' and asks me to guess which one it's thinking about; needless to say 50% of the time I get it wrong. At least you can get your Kartoffel right; I have no such hope and so have to repeat it at the end of the lesson! Often it gives me both of them during a lesson, and I have to remember which one was which.
Another thing: Using either iOS or Android means you lose out on key features available on the other platform. For example: iOS has bots which is an extremely useful feature but then loses out on discussions for each activity meaning the app is essentially redundant since it is arguably the best feature on duolingo and vice versa for Android.
I find myself annoyed that on Android (and Desktop I think), whenever I hit the freeweight looking "strengthen skills" button I'm redoing a bunch of things from the beginning! Like it will always have me redo plurals, clothing, months etc..
I want to strengthen things that are concurrent with my level.