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Crown System Improvement?

I realize the motivation behind the crown system, making it more difficult to progress and ultimately giving users more exposure to learning materials, and that's absolutely great. The problem is, there is no way to prove one's knowledge on lessons already known in a quick fashion. For example, in German I have progressed through roughly half of the tree. However, if I want to reach rank 5 in the crowns for each lesson, I would need to do all the lessons for each individual subject, totaling to around hundreds of exercises for content I already know and content that is very easy. If I am to the point where I can structure sentences in future tense, something of a higher value farther down in the tree, why do I need to spend hours practicing how to say, "I am a man"? Now I realize that this problem seems trivial, due to the fact that you can go through the entire tree with all level 1 crowns for each lesson. However, if I want to embrace this system, and truly use it to its full potential, then it seems as though I would need to spend hours going over content I already know. For learners that were far in the prior system, this seems like a deflation in the value of their previous efforts and simply more of a drag for any future ones. In order to improve this, I would recommend a type of test, similar to how checkpoints work, where one could test out of needing to do dozens of exercises to reach level 5 in a lesson, and simply reach it by a more advanced test. But who knows? This is just my two cents and likely the system will remain the same regardless.

March 20, 2018



I agree too! We're working on trying to add this.


Thanks for responding! It's nice to know the Admins are actually paying attention to feedback.


Could you look into another issue since the conversion please? Why are there no more english to french exercises in the french course since the switch to the crown system? It is these exercises that really test if we have learned the material and vocabulary. Thanks for looking into this.


Is this true at all crown levels, or just the lower levels?


A developer! Please, please can you answer whether there are plans to give us an option to toggle the crown system on and off? I appreciate the work that went into it and understand the benefits, but for now I really just want to use the strength bars. I had no idea that enabling it would do this, and do it permanently. I feel as if I've lost all of my hard earned progress.


Please have an option to toggle crown system for each lesson on/off. We can switch the crown system on when we want to for each lesson and not deal with practicing beginner level stuff when we have completed the tree, years back. Please, please think of the years of hard work that went in maintaining the trees for so many languages.



The crown system is very disappointing, because the feature "test out of individual skills" is missing in the update.

Fortunately, I don't have the update in this account yet (4 trees gold for several months)
I made a new account, took the placement tests (and checkpoints) in:

  • Dutch : level 11, 2 crowns in 79 skills, 1 crown in 16 skills, nothing in 28 skills (Dutch is my mother tongue)
  • English: level 10, 2 crowns in 42 skills, 1 crown in 5 skills, nothing in 8 skills

In all these trees I have to start with "man, woman" etc. in Basics 1 to reach crown level 3.
And it is not possible to "test out of individual skills"!

I would never have used Duolingo to brush up my school knowledge

Edit: 2018-03-24


After a month trying to work in the crown system

Personally, I really need the "test out of" feature for each "crown level" per skill.

Users with prior knowledge are able to choose from which "crown level" they want to start exercising the lessons.

I am brushing up my English
(Dutch is my mother tongue)

  • in the short course "English for Dutch speakers":
    I get very easy sentences in "crown level" 3
    That's why I would like to "test out of" each skill in "crown level" 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4.

  • in the very extensive course "Dutch for English speakers":
    I get challenging sentences in "Crown level" 2.
    So, I would like to "test out of" each skill in "Crown level" 0 and 1.

Edit : 2018-04-25


A great and well-presented suggestion.

Just for clarity's sake, I think you mean "test out of"; "test out" alone means something like "get an initial view of" / "sample" / "take for a trial run."


Yes, it should be "test out of". Thank you very much.

Maybe you can tell me, if I should correct this sentence too?
"I am brushing up my English"


I don't think there's any possibility of that being misunderstood, but I think I'd only ever say "brushing up on" (b/c why have an idiomatic phrasal verb expression with only one preposition when you can have two, I guess!)

Unclear how generalized this preference is, though: https://bit.ly/2Fgq6HT. It may be a dialect difference. I'm from the U.S.



Thanks for this information.
https://bit.ly/2Fgq6HT is a very interesting site.


The sooner, the better! Thanks.


Hey Luis. Thank you for your attention ;) We're looking for the results and new features and we do appreciate your works. have a good one <3


I am also finding it frustrating to see that I have so many basic exercises to plough through, when up until the changeover my trees for German French & Italian were pretty well gold, and I was getting very close in Russian. Please introduce a test so that we can focus on the more challenging parts of the courses in our practice time.


The crown system is pretty awful. It doesn't allow me to go back to things I know I need to practice no matter how well you guys think I know it. I want autonomy, not to be herded.


DuoLingo MUST also NEED to know if you are a complete beginner, lower-/upper intermediate or if you are more advanced.

But DuoLingo has been missing those L1 (native), L2 (second, e.g English), L3 language / course difficulty settings for more than 1 and 1/2 year!!

Now these must-have required informations are still missing?

How shall the "conversion algorithm" work correctly for the "Update now to Skill crown levels" button without this information???

Look how www.bliubliu.com enabled a learner to set the native and L2 language level in their settings that their system is able to guess similar words which you could know.

Other learning portals also have varying difficulty settings!

It makes to me no sense that a learner (with intermediate skills, tree progress, finished tree, etc.) is RESET to any lower crown levels (1 or 0) if he/she is not a true beginner / starter or has has still not completed the tree (has not received the golden owl)!


Related thread:

Crown system resets all skills to Completed: 0: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26648699


Crown is pretty much useless to me. No incentive to continue at all.


Very important information from Lrtward in this thread: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26612939$comment_id=26659554

Quote Lrtward: "When I got the crowns system, it affected ALL of my courses simultaneously, even the ones that I am taking from Spanish or French."

Thank you so much.

This is the information I was desperately looking forward.

The message notifier "Introducing Crown Levels: Get five times more exercises and reach higher fluency as you level up." with the blue "Update now" button did - of course - NOT tell, that it is an all or nothing approach.

As this message pops up on EACH of my courses (I also checked for DE-EN and EN-DE) I would have personally expected (as an IT specialist and developer) I could selectively choose the BETA "Crown level" update for not more than 1-2 forward trees to try it out.

So this is obviously not the case....

I will CANCEL the update on the web portal and wait for the "final product" after ~6-12 months.

Maybe they add a better conversion algorithm which straight jumps over levels 1, 2 and 3 and just activates level 5 for future strengthen exercises and randomly shows some of the more difficult translation sentences (which we all want to see on the web portal; typing (in L2) = RECALLING):

That would probably be the other implemention choice instead of having to do re-do ALL lessons step-by-step and level-ups.

It was said in 1-2 other threads, that most skills will be set to levels 2 or 3 after the conversion, and some more recently strengthened (golden) skills will be even set to "Crown level 1".

This is definitely not what I was looking forward for my EN-PT forward tree I have been working on for ~1,5 years.
I am also looking forward to a SRS for (useful) sentences, even I use Memrise for word SR reviews already.

I better stick to the stuff I know how to work with, especially for PT grammar skills (if I can somehow reactivate all the non-working user scripts since 20 March 2018) and finish my two reverse PT trees first.

Let's see what brilliant features or re-engineering come(s) in 2019....for sure there is some room for further improvements.


Agree. The old system allowed you to look at the lessons and review if you believed you needed it. Not anymore.


Can we have the option to go back to the old system? Crows are not working for me...


My favourite workaround is provided by the onofficial but very useful webpage duolingo.eu/your_username/progress

https://www.duolingo.eu/ftuchiya/progress is showing the

  • golden skills
  • decayed skills + skill strength
  • unlocked skills for "crown level 0"

of your active course in duolingo.com

1) Every day you can check in that webpage

  • which skills are decayed
  • in which skill is "crown level 0" unlocked

2) then, do the lessons in the skills you like in www.duolingo.com or in Duolingo's App.


Thanks Pentaan!. I have just seen it. A very useful advice.


Thank you Pentaan, that is a great help!


I'd definitely agree with this. Even though the crown system was meant to introduce users to more difficult content, the effect has been the opposite, at least for the web version. Before, when I logged in on the computer, I'd get practice spelling out the words in both English and Spanish. Now, I'm at crown level 2 on many of my skills, and so I'm only spelling out the English words, and not the Spanish ones. It seems like rather than offer more difficult options on everything, crowns reduced everything to somewhere between the app and web versions.


I fully agree


I have been using the crown system for a little bit now. There are a couple of things that I like about it, and a couple of things I don't. I have to say I do like the concept of having the different colors which show areas you are more or less advanced in, and I also appreciate the added incentive of getting additional points to get deeper into each area after you have completed the tree the first time.

I have two major complaints. The first is Duo has too many repetitions of the very basic units in the upper crown levels. There is no way that anyone will have completed several levels on the tree without having demonstrated all the knowledge possible about silly sentences like The man eats bread. I don't need to complete as many cycles of the early units because all the words and grammar are reinforced throughout the program. The second problem is the crown idea itself. Duo's old idea of percentage of fluency at least attempted to answer the question of how fluent are you. It really didn't work that well, but at least it tried. Here we have a total number of crowns which means really very little. I have been doing Spanish on Duo most religiously for over four years, but I also work on multiple other languages. I had completed the Spanish course to level 25 and completed German and French trees before the new system came in (Levels probably around 17 or 18 then). The new crown system seemed to rather randomly assign me to levels in various units. But I am now moving from the 3rd to the 4th crown level in Spanish and the 2nd to the 3rd in German, but I have so many more German stars because the German tree is so much longer (more than 1 1/2 times as long. We need to have some metric that I can take to somebody who asks me how well I speak whichever language. This is not that.


The answer to how well you speak a language after (just) Duolingo is in the vast majority of cases "not much." Of course you may be doing other things, too, but then, naturally any Duolingo-only metric is not going to reflect that. The fact that the horribly misleading (after all, some/many people didn't figure out it didn't work well) fluency metric is gone raises the credibility of Duolingo a fair bit by itself in my eyes. It was a blight on the site before.


I do agree. I do have background in Spanish, French and German so I am pretty cognizant of both my abilities in these languages and to some extent how to interpret my level in the other languages I am studying. And I do a lot of side work on covering the other languages. I guess it was because Duo used to offer to post your fluency on LinkedIn. I never wanted to do that because I had no idea how anyone would interpret 68% fluent in Spanish, and I knew it was bogus because they told me I was 72% fluent in French which I struggle in sometimes. But I guess I am trying to find a way to measure. I lived for a couple of years in Germany, speaking basically only German and I have a similar ability in Spanish I think though it won't be truly tested until I actually retire to Mexico. But I have an above average facility in English so I never feel comfortable comparing myself to native speakers. I doubt I will ever consider myself bilingual, but the real question is how hampered would I be in various situations.


This is an excellent summation of why many of us don't feel the Crown system will do a good job capturing our progress and our actual level. Thank you!


Touche! Although this was planned as a motivator, all my motivation has drained away. As a perfectionist, I was used to practicing till all lessons became golden before I went to sleep and frankly this new crown system is giving me nightmares. Please add an option to toggle the crown system on/off for each lesson or bring back the test-out option. Learning new languages will be an even bigger task because some of us will be stuck on converting a lesson to golden before moving forward. The crown system is really monotonous.


Oh you just spoke my mind. These crowns are so boring. Let me know if you learn how to turn it off.


totally agree !


I prefer the strength bars over this crown system and I want to cancel my decision about this crown system, What can I do ?


I was thinking of the same exact thing! Thanks for posting this to the discussions! :D


I so agree. The lack of a testing out option is the pits, and makes these lessons annoying and boring. It's very nice that the system recognizes that I have some facility with the more advanced stuff (future perfect, conditional, subjunctive, etc.) from all the work I've done so far. However, to have me at level 2 for basics 1 and basics 2, and then have me at level 3 for some of the more advanced skills (people, formal you, etc., in my case.) makes no sense. I think that until they come up with a way to test out of lessons or lesson groups, we should be allowed to use the previous system. Otherwise... I'm out of here!


4 crown improvement suggestions by 4oYBIxtO: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26861599/Suggested-improvements-of-Crown-system

The good and bad of Crowns (incl. suggestions) by Luke.Crowe: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26861444


Sorry, but I can't find another place to put this feedback, which is not about crowns per se. Since the revamp, within each lesson the male and female voices have extreme differences in their recording volume. If we set the volume at the level that is appropriate for the man, the volume is way too loud when suddenly the next speaker is the woman. This is really uncomfortable, especially when one is studying in an environment in which one does not want to bother other people so much, but to be honest, it is disturbing and annoying even when one is using headphones.


I haven't noticed that in any of my Duo courses. What language are you learning?


It seems that Duolingo is becoming a game for boys, you're right it is useless to do exercises that we do not need because they are too simple.



Quote georgeoftruth: Yes, the reverse tree is affected, but that shouldn't be its purpose anyway. In my opinion, we shouldn't have to tell English learners to learn their own language and take a different course. Tough break for advanced multi-language learners, in a sense, but we're not Duo's target audience. Their data usually dictates what they do.


Quote jzsuzsi: If higher skill levels give more L1 to L2 translations, that fixes the original problem. (But decreases the usefulness of the reverse trees, I agree)

That might fix it short-term for the L1-L2 translations of crown levels 4-5 for the (content limited) EN-PT tree, yes.

But this does NOT fix e.g any quality or content differences from course contributors (PT natives) in grammar, taught sentences, sentence complexity (length), used connectors and different taught (NEW) vocabulary for e.g PT-DE.
I once read a thread (dunno which, have not marked it) where a user tried to explain (I do not say I understood it well!), that the "EN-PT course may not be the best of quality or complexity to learn / practice Portuguese" (something like this)???
I have no idea how to interpret this, sorry.
I can not look back to directly quote it and what the real meaning of the user was or who :(

The thread said something like that the "taught (native) Portuguese" is of much higher quality (and also more complex) in the PT-EN tree, or was it the PT-DE (can't remember anymore which one) tree; probably the first English one.

Well you see, I am in no way a Portuguese language specialist nor am I a course moderator/contributor to be able to try to summarize this correctly.

Sorry, I have no personal idea how I shall explain this to you as I do not yet understand it for myself what is really DIFFERENT in "Portuguese sentences and quality" (e.g low error reports) comparing two courses. My English skill as my 2nd language (not native C1/C2 level) is the second limiting factor...
There definitely is (quite) NEW / different vocabulary in PT-DE which I have not learned before in EN-PT!!

The same is true for the suddenly showing Subjunctive sentences and connectors in early skills of the PT-DE tree.

Same will be very true for NEW (different) vocabulary in the other PT-EN reverse tree.

If DuoLingo programmers and BETA "Skill crown levels" feature now force a more simple one-way special forward learning schema and more (but still mixed) L1-L2 translations for levels 4+5, I simply can not use it for PT-DE and PT-EN to practice writing in Portuguese.

I do want to also complete the two reverse courses, learn lot's of NEW vocabulary, see other (new) sentences of different complexity directed to a "native Portuguese speaker".

Let's assume I can practice with this on a higher intermediate/advanced PT difficulty as EN-PT will NOT give me the very same content?!!

This is one of the reasons why without further user settings (I made at least two concrete suggestions) the BETA "Skill crown levels" feature may not be usable for everyone and every course.

If you want to hear more about forward vs reverse tree grammar complexity, sentence length and quality (e.g error reports, quantity of added alternatives, etc.) I think you would need to ask either the course moderators or contributors for PT and SP trees both forward and reverse directly.

However, as you can imagine, I am not the right person (as a upper-beginner) to discuss details on such a higher language Portuguese/Spanish expert level, sorry.
I would like to repeat:

I heard (only) good things about SP-EN (reverse tree) incl. an update for more added skills from users in several threads.

Therefore the same would apply here (reverse) as with PT-EN / PT-DE.


I want to offer my own feedback and frustration with the new Crown system, which overall, surprisingly, I actually like. I had completed 72 out of the 84 skills in the Hebrew tree, but had taken a break from Duolingo, and returned to find my tree reset to the crown system. I was given 3 crowns in the first 63 skills, and then given either 1 or 2 crowns in the remaining completed skills. The problem is, there is vocabulary "in the middle" that I have not retained, and I have no way if identifying which vocabulary is in any particular skill, except to earn another crown in that skill. The "lightbulb" does not list all of the vocabulary covered in a skill, at least not in the Hebrew tree. At 3 crowns, I am having to complete up to 30 practices before earning a 4th crown, just to identify gaps in my knowledge. There is no way to reduce the number of crowns I have in a particular skill either, without resetting the entire tree and losing a profound time investment. What started out as mundane but rapid progress with easy lessons, is quickly becoming massively frustrating as I am completing 18 or 27 practices per skill on slightly more complex skills, without the ability to repeat a single lesson or identify more quickly which vocabulary I need work on. My favorite part about the crown system is that I don't "lose strength". I'm OK with my skills not being "Golden" at 5 crowns, as long as I'm making progress and I'm confident that I know the vocabulary. Reviewing from the beginning when almost everything was set to 3 crowns is a little much though. :(


But remember you can review a lesson set without having to earn the next crown. It's better that way anyway, believe me. I had reached level 25 in Spanish, having completed the tree at least 3 years before the crown system and practicing virtually every day during that period, although not this last couple of weeks. But even so my basics were set to level three like most of the rest of that tree. So I have to complete maybe 80 or so repetitions of the most basic exercises to complete them to level 5. But the bigger issue is how comfortable you feel. You can simply review each level once or you can use the strengthen component to do a general review. In the end, Duo only uses statistics to measure your ability. You are the one who knows what you actually know, understand and can use appropriately.


Hi. In previous years I have completed the whole Duolingo course in Spanish and French. But it got reset and even though I have successfully completed levels 4 to 7 in French and 5 and 6 in Spanish I can’t get a perfect score on the quizzes even though I almost always get perfect on them. Please help out. I can’t bear to once again have to complete the previous levels. They are too easy for me as I have already completed these levels a few years ago and have also taken another course in these languages. I do a lot of quizzes because I am a plus member. Thanks so much. I love Duolingo.

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