What do you think of crown levels?

I just turned crown levels on. I see now that I can’t just easily do past levels and make mistakes and still gain health. So I’ll likely buy some gems or coins or whatever when I run out of what I’ve collected.

I like it though. It will make me pay more attention and it shows more clearly what you’ve mastered at each level. A little painful to see my guilded trees go away, but this raises the bar. I like that.

March 26, 2018


I like it for many reasons. This being my favorite:

From a contributor perspective, I have noticed that our more challenging sentences appear more often when trying to go from crown level 4 to level 5. This was not generally possible in the old system. We now have more incentive to write and present harder sentences for those that like the extra challenge. (I'd love to see people show off their Level 5 French Subjunctive skills in the forums.)

I have also noticed more translations into the target language between levels 4 and 5 than in levels 2 or 3. So the crowns are serving their purpose: adding a new dimension to the tree.

The crown system could use some tweaks aesthetically, but I think it is already great.

March 26, 2018

so why do we have to grind through levels 1-3 (after already having learned the skill in level 0!) until we might get to the interesting stuff in level 4? levels should advance, but it doesn't currently feel that way.

March 27, 2018

Hi georgeoftruth,

does this mean that all course contributors or DuoLingo staff have finished a mapping for words and sentences to Crown levels #1-5 in the last months?

March 26, 2018

Course contributors only maintain the course content and have nothing to do with how they're presented to users. Their work does not affect crowns, fluency, golden skills, etc. They are language experts, not software engineers. So any optional feature you may suggest is up to the staff.

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.

March 26, 2018

Hi georgeoftruth,

I am only speaking about the web portal below:

I have also noticed more translations into the target language between levels 4 and 5 than in levels 2 or 3

As already tried to explain in other crown threads, it can be expected that this will finally corrupt a reverse tree.

I do NOT want to have more (newer 2017/2018) exercise type challenges in L2 German (e.g fill in the blank, choose the correct article, select the correct verb from a multiple-choice list, etc.) or more more translations into German as before with the old system, but instead of into L1 Portuguese (source/base) for my reverse PT-DE course!!!

DuoLingo staff has NOT yet introduced "normal tree / reverse tree / laddering tree" user settings, like Camilo's user script "DuoLingo tree enhancer" has added for user customization.

And there is also missing a beginner / low-/upper intermediate / advanced difficulty setting.

See my comments in "Crown System Improvement?":

Where is the NEW switch (it is missing!!!) so I can activate for a reverse tree the 70-100% focus on the L1 source (just switch L2 target with L1 base)?!?
Q: How do you handle your reverse trees and how do you work with the crown levels for your finished courses and reached level 25?

My both reverse trees PT-DE and PT-EN are NOT finished.

Forward tree:

Why should I even want to focus my efforts for crown levels (1) 2 and 3 on "easier sentences" or switched translations for a finished (forward) tree with a golden owl, e.g EN-PT?

Warum sollte ich Angst haben müssen, inwieweit ich bei Skills in Crown levels 0, 1, 2, or 3 für bereits längst abgeschlossene Skills eingruppiert werde?

Warum nicht einfach Level 5 setzen (Golden Owl!) und alle Sätze ab Crown Level 3-5 MIXED / RANDOM?

Unfortunately, you can not switch a single (forward) test course to Crown levels, e.g DE-EN, and keep all others, as Lrtward has already pointed out.

It seems to be a GLOBAL setting valid for ALL courses, so you migrate all trees at the same time.

Thanks for any tips you can give or best practices you would like to share with us.

I am still thinking to wait 6-12 months longer and I have not yet upgraded because of those many (good) reasons.

Somehow I do not really trust this new BETA stuff....
Further 6++ months testing and tweaking won't surely hurt?!? :-)

March 26, 2018
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For reverse trees: People complained on the forum many times that they want more source language-> target language translations. The usual answer is "do the reverse tree".

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)

The best would be a setting option, like I want more English to German translatons / I want more German to English / I want equal. But Duo didn't implement that.

March 26, 2018

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.

March 26, 2018

I posted this comment (updated) also on

March 26, 2018

I’ve had some mixed feelings, but I’ve started going through several trees now and a lot was added for both French and Japanese. The Spanish and German trees seem to have benefited some, but not as much as the French.

Duo is building an amazing resource here. It’s like college 1st year language courses open to the public.

April 4, 2018

Hi Scott,

well, you are confusing it with the new French 3.0 tree update (A/B test):

Viele Grüße aus Deutschland nach Seattle

April 4, 2018
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You can no longer see the list of the new words that you learn in a skill...

March 26, 2018

I really like that you have the option of going to a higher crown level and getting more difficult sentences, or just going on and learning new things. But the fact that we can no longer see what the content of the skills are, or where the words that are decaying are, means that we have just have to randomly pick skills to work on. Which is a serious step backward as far as I'm concerned.
At the moment I don't have crown levels on the app, so there I can see which skill needs work, and then use the website to do a crown level on that skill. But this is a workaround for a problem that Duolingo created by giving an undate less features than the previous version.

March 26, 2018

How do you take the Crown levels off because I want to see how fluent I am in my German?

March 26, 2018

This morning I was on the old system and did an Adjectives module that was highlighted for me to do. On completing this the crowns appeared out of the blue!! As I had never heard of these and had no idea what to do I assumed that I had to complete the whole course once more in order to get up to the next level of 23. I therefore started with Basics 1 which was showing level 2 and by repeating the same words I easily managed to get to level 4 and gained 160 XP points. However by then I couldn't bring myself to do level 5 in Basics 1 because it was showing that to do so I would have to repeat that level 15 times!! I therefore moved onto Colours just for a change and today have managed to get 210 XP points. I feel that I am now cheating because it will be quite easy to get to level 23 going over the very easy basic programmes.

April 7, 2018

it has become very easy to move to the next level! However those unnecessary repetitions are annoying!

April 7, 2018

Yesterday after crowns popped up I managed to get from level 2 to level 5 in Basics1 Italian as I wanted to see what would happen next but it almost drove me mad because of the very easy repetitions. I then decided to go onto the Past section as I had been working on that the previous day when I repeated 5 out of 8 modules. It annoyingly said I was at level 2 and I would have to do 16 sections before getting to level 3. I started and was nearly at the end but the wrong word in a block had been entered (ebbe instead of ebbi) so I couldn't continue. I have reported it but it was so annoying. As I have had all my circles in gold more than once it is almost like starting over again as a beginner and I do not seem to have the enthusiasm to do it all once more.

April 8, 2018

You can turn off the word-selection boxes by clicking "Use keyboard".

Starting particularly from level 3 I have seen mixes of exercises much more challenging than what was available before.

April 8, 2018

I've been using crown levels for a while and my thoughts are mixed.

I dislike that the crowns still don't really mean anything. They are better than the fluency percentages, which were just wrong. But they should either reflect your fluency or your efforts.

If they are meant to reflect fluency, they are problematic because there is no clear correlation between which crown levels you have and how advanced your language skills are. For instance, I speak Portuguese much better than I speak German. Both are level 13. But because I practice German a bit more, my crown levels are much higher. Like the fluency percentages, the crown levels only reflect how MUCH you practice, not how WELL you speak.

This is fine if the crowns are a motivator, because then they reflect how much effort you put in. But, like the lingots, you can't do much with them. I would like it if Duolingo could put in a few more items into the store - maybe some of them only become available depending on what your crown level in a certain language is. These could include multiple day streak freezes (if you go on vacation), more outfits for Duo, maybe even an ad-free day, or an opportunity to test new content early. That way, earning crowns and lingots would actually motivate users.

This being said, I like how the levels now reflect a more natural learning curve. I especially appreciate how the lessons get more difficult with each level. I also really appreciate how now they can be skipped (on the desktop), because when they were first launched, I was getting pretty bored moving through 30 lessons on introductory content for languages I was semi-fluent in and just wanted to brush up on... I also like how skills do not deteriorate but there is still a practice option. It makes you feel like you've earned that lesson and that, while the skill may decay, your accomplishment is yours to keep.

In short, I think crown levels could be better if they meant something or could be used to gain specific advantages. However, I think that, especially due to the fact that we can once again skip lessons, the crown levels are a welcome addition.

August 16, 2018

Hey Seattle_scott, are you still following this thread?

Do you use Discord by any chance? I would like to invite you to a special server where we discuss languages and other topics. You will recognize many famous Duolingoers there!

If you are interested, drop me a line.

April 7, 2019
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