Crowns = too much senseless repetition
Could we at least take a test to move to the higher level material? I'm sure I'm losing "fluency" because my 50-100 points a day are spent repeating "I am a woman." "You drink milk" in my target languages over and over.
I would have been happy about the reset to crowns if there were additional vocabulary and more difficulty sentences, but I haven't seen that so far.
Please at least give us a test to move along to the more difficult grammar and give to Level 5 by showing what we know.
- I cannot preview what words I will learn anymore. Previewing words makes me remember the words better.
- The test out functions is removed. The system is updated while I am refinishing the French tree.
- The tree will not decay anymore. I don't know what skill or words are weak and need pratice.
- The number of pratices is too high for level up the crowns, especially for the basics, which do not have many variations.
- We are not able to pratice individual lessons anymore, when I go away for a long time and come back, I will probably forget all the words in a particular skill. I do not have much time to practice the 20 languages I am learning so this often happens. The crown system is much more time-consuming than the old system.
I would add: 1) One should not be able move on to the next crown level until successfully testing out of the current level; otherwise, what the heck is the point of just looping through redundant questions.
2) To learn a target language one must think in the grammatical construction of that language. Level 5 should be nothing but translating from native language into the target language. Why at level 5 are we still translating from the target language (French) to my native language (English) ?
The crown system doesn't bother me all that much as a foundation to improving Duolingo as a language tool but the management seems to be focused solely on beginners with little or no interest in advanced learning. I think this is a mistake which someone in the very near future will capitalize on. I'd hate to see Duolingo go by way of the Blackberry.
Level 5 should be nothing but translating from native language into the target language.
At first I thought this, too. Level 5 definitely needs some work yet it seems to me (which would probably bleed over into Level 4 as well), but now I don't think it needs exactly what you propose here. It's still important to hear the language, which under the current set-up wouldn't happen with translations only in this direction.
Perhaps the ideal form would be translations into base language were you didn't get to read the target language text, only hear it. If at level 5 there weren't any write-what-you-hear exercises, having "translate from speech" exercises be only on level 5 would avoid the "which language am I supposed to type in?" problem that would otherwise result.
Incidentally, material for the more advanced skill levels is certainly being worked on. An article in Fast Company I think it was had an interview with a Duolingo developer showing prototype reading comprehension exercises. The crown system is the basic infrastructure for incorporating capabilities for more advanced learning.
That means the crowns system is still under construction and we are forced to use it with a very low degree of completion.
The people @ Duolingo do not care that they have implemented a system that demotivated thousands of people from learning their language. Instead of replying, they've buried any discussion thread (which were by far the most popular) so they do not appear in the popular section. I reduced my daily goal to one lesson. I wake up and look through this nightmare of all these pods and have no idea what do to, so I do one randomly and it feels like a a waste of time. Waiting for an update... praying they fix this mess.
Discussion threads get old and fall off the popular tab. There is nothing new about this. Anti-crowns rant threads were at the top of a bunch of forums for a week. Can we stop with the silly conspiracy theories?
Why don't you just start from some checkpoint (3rd?) and go systematically? The fact you seem to have no clue where your areas of weakness are is, in my view, a sad effect of over-reliance on SRS.
I too find the crown system demotivating and repetitive, and agree 100% with all the points made by abcabc21 : 1. I cannot preview what words I will learn anymore. Previewing words makes me remember the words better. 2. The test out functions is removed. The system is updated while I am refinishing the French tree. 3. The tree will not decay anymore. I don't know what skill or words are weak and need pratice. 3. The number of pratices is too high for level up the crowns, especially for the basics, which do not have many variations. 4. We are not able to pratice individual lessons anymore, when I go away for a long time and come back, I will probably forget all the words in a particular skill. I The crown system is much more time-consuming than the old system. DL - PLEASE let us opt out of this new Crown system if we wish to continue with the old system... I can't bear to practise "I am a boy ... you are a girl" any more !!! And since I'm a bit of a novice at DL - what's with the 'health' system? When I'm feeling inspired and want to carry on, I'm blocked because I have no more "health" !??? (
Why do so many users seem to think that it's mandatory now to first get level 5 in a skill in order to move on to the skills at the bottom of the tree? If you think a skill is too repetitive for your taste: move on! Don't waste your time, like you put it, on "I am a woman", focus on the tougher verb tenses and interesting vocab skills.
If you want to check the old skill strength, look here: https://duolingo.eu/v_reynolds/progress
This is true. I too had initially thought that reaching level 5 was mandatory, but it's enough to reach level 2 or 3 to consider oneself acquainted with the topic(s) of the relevant unit.
However, level 4 contains more challenging sentences than the earlier levels, and in order to test oneself with them the only way is to go through all the repetitive exercises, which are really boring if one takes them in one single sweep.
Maybe Duolingo could think of some way of letting learners choose a level (i.e. the degree of difficulty of the sentences to be taken), and then send them automatically back to level 1 if the mistakes they make exceed a maximum limit.
I guess I've noticed the difficulty gradient between levels 3 and 4 being not so steep. It's a different mix for sure, so if just in the course of learning things I get close to level 4, I'll do an extra lesson or two to achieve level 4 and make sure my skills hold up there. But it seems they tend to. If it's more that that many additional lessons, I leave the task for another day.
I like the idea of a staged quiz-out that could still be accessed even after unlocking the skill.
I know this is somewhat pedantic but I know that some people use their obsessiveness in 'completing' steps on game-ified platforms such as Duolingo as motivation for them to continue using it. As such I'm sure many people who previously sought to maintain their skills at gold before moving up the tree are now struggling to translate that into the new Crowns/Levels format and are getting drowned out by the repetitiveness while trying to reach Level 5.
Different people prefer to learn differently!
Indeed, instead of keeping the easier parts on gold, I now focus on the real tough parts, i.e, the verb tenses which I find hard to memorize.There are so many repetitions before you reach level 5 and they really help. But learning a new language is keep repeating, also the simpler parts. I understood that there might come a way to move faster like I experienced in German where I ended much faster after a few good answers. addition: it takes a lot of simple and useless repetions to reach level 4/5 but at these higher up it becomes less simple and more interesting. But it is a too long and waisty way to go before you get there . Many parts in my German are at level 2 although my German fluency was close to 70 %.
The number of stars you have in a skill (supposedly) determines the difficulty of the material you have access to, even for skills far down the tree.
My biggest problem with the crown system is that it is a much more tedious process to unlock the same amount of material. I have to jump through a lot more petty hoops in order to learn and practice the same content as before. I came here to learn a language, and now it feels like I have to pull teeth to do so.
To unlock the next row of skills you have just have to pass through level 0, which entails the same number of lessons as previously.
Crown level 2 for me is about as hard as things ever got before. Crown levels 0 and 1 are pretty much the same as they were on average. Sure, to get material that's harder yet I have to unlock crown level 3, but then that's unlocking a level of difficulty I could never, ever get before, so I can't really see it as a basis of complaint.
I finished my tree, long ago, and after the conversion to crowns everything was reset to level 3. Except for Reflexive Pronouns, which was at a 2 and obviously the next weakest unit in terms of my daily practice.
I agree that doing the same eight words over and over again to reach level 5 in Basics is stupid, but you don't have to do any lessons that you don't want to do if you've previously completed the tree.
If you still need to do lessons up to a certain level in order to unlock new material for yourself, then I can't comment with any authority on that.
But if you're back at level 3 for the higher lessons then you can still pick and choose what material to practice and slowly work your way up to level 5, and ignore the levels of the lower placed, easier lessons.
If the color gold for the entire tree is what you are ultimately after, then you have no choice but to do stupid repetition.
If you're trying to get the more complicated tenses commited to memory, and don't give a fig about the color of the lesson icons, then things haven't really changed.
I also finished my tree long ago, maybe not as long ago as you did, because DL gave me just two crowns on all of my Italian levels. But now I have the feeling that I am not challenged at the level where I actually am. Whatever topic I select, the lessons I get are much simpler than the average I used to see. Each lesson seems to focus on only a very small number of words that are repeated over and over again. The same sentences appear forward, backwards and sideways and sometimes even repeat themselves. It may be that after marching through the level 3 exercises things get more interesting again, but having to complete 16, 18 or even 20 stupid lessons to get there (and repeat this for each topic) is utterly demotivating. DL is not picking me up where I am but forcing me to work below value. Unless they change their minds soon and offer something else to the more experienced students of the past, I think I will not continue this for much longer.
Ciao Mabby. I'm in exactly the same place and totally agree with your thinking. It makes sense. I lingot you, sir.
I'm afraid I do care about the color of the lesson icons, because Duolingo trained me to care! It was a lot of work to finish the tree and keep it gold, and I thought it meant something. I would love some sort of short cut like the test out feature that helped me get a lot of points fast initially.
I finished my tree, long ago, and after the conversion to crowns everything was reset to level 3
Nothing was reset, there was no level before, just the skill strenght that is hidden now (but still existent). You were set to level three, which is quite high. Depending on your number of repetitions before it could have been higher, but the levels are not thought to replace the strenght indicator. You can easily see this if you compare a skill that you kept on strength five over years to a skill that you just earned in a new language: they were both at strength five before, but now the crowns reflect how many times you already reviewed them.
Nevertheless I'd like to have back a strength indicator. Currently I use an additional script to see which skill could need some practice.
Even ignoring the colours and crown levels, what has changed is the decay feature did a good job of suggesting what to review next. What is now completely missing is any help from the system about what to review or work on next. For me the SRS was a key feature or I might as well pick and choose what to learn from a text book. I'm currently relying on the duolingo.eu to look at what skills haven't been worked on in a while but it's clumsy using two websites and trying to find skills on each one.
There is now a new SRS: the Senseless Repetition System ;P
Hopefully there will sooner than later be additional to fill up the chapter extensions /crown levels. For now there seem to be just the same material stretched into senseless repetition: "I give her milk" 45 times, thank you, now I definitely really absolutely will remember how to say that (on the occasion that that sentence ever gets relevant irl).
It is quite a miss to implement a new system /expansion before having enough new content to fill it with.
No, it is simply not that case that such guidance is "completely missing." It's right there via the practice button, as it has been. If you compare what happens when you use the practice button to what's shown on your duome.eu progress page, you'll see it duly selecting from the decayed skills, just like it did before.
Thanks for the helpful comments. Like some of the commenters below, I did finish a couple of these trees a long time ago. Most of the "old strengths" following the link Hermesianax provided showed 100% , but all of the skills levels reflected 2 or 3. Before tackling any new language trees, I used to regild my completed trees as my first Duolingo task daily. It just seems like you've taken a step backwards when the colors previously signified you needed to work on the areas. Now I guess you're supposed to diagnose your weaknesses yourself and work on those, from what you are suggesting. Even so, the amount of vocabulary and the level of difficulty hasn't been extended, has it?
the amount of vocabulary and the level of difficulty hasn't been extended, has it?
The level of difficulty is greatly increased. There's a lot more translation into the target language. Vocab increases depend on tree revisions. Before, sentences that were too hard (b/c of difficult grammar or what have you) were forcibly "retired." That stricture is now alleviated, and the harder sentences have returned, and there is a much greater incentive for contributors to add more.
I think the level of difficulty may depend greatly in which languages you are studying. I'm only really working on Italian to and from French and can't see any increase in difficulty as I work through the crowns and definitely no new content or harder sentences. However the full sentence multiple choice format which allowed more than one correct answer (which I used to find really challenging as you had to go through each sentence carefully to see if it was a possible translation) has completely vanished. I appreciate the system will now allow for more advanced content at levels 4 and 5 but it isn't there yet for the language I'm working on.
I agree the system varies by tree. For instance, I see much more obvious gradation in Dutch than I do in Japanese.
People's experience as to the ratios of translation into or out of the target language of the tree seem to differ. Many people mention observing it, but some don't. For me when I'm at level 3 and 7/8 of the sentences involve typing in Dutch (divided between write what you hear and translation), it is hard to miss. The specific mix seems to vary by skill.
Assuming that French to/from Italian is a paired reverse/ladder tree set-up for you, you've wisely dodged the longstanding problem of inadequate translation into the language you're learning, but I think a lot of the logic of the crown system is to reduce the need to such workarounds so that all users, not just those fortunate enough to come up with or happen upon them, can benefit.
It's so weird. You can skip large sections of units at a time (click to pass 16 units or something) but it won't let you pass individual units that each comprise several lessons. I liked how it showed you vocab at the beginning before, and it showed you what lesson you were on so you could get a sense of your progress. Allowing you to pass units was so helpful because it could allow you to focus on what's helpful to YOU. As someone who has a French minor, the things I could use a refresher on are things like the conditional tense, subjunctive tense, etc. I don't need to go over basic greetings dozens of times, I've got that stuff on lock. This change renders this tool extremely lame for intermediate to advanced learners who are using this program to try to refresh some things they may not have studied in a while.
I was at first happy about the crown system because I thought the levels would have more vocab as you got "deeper." They don't. :( The English from Spanish tree still has a lot more interesting Spanish vocab and phrases than the Spanish from English tree. Disappointed!
There's a new Spanish from English tree in testing. You'll probably have it soon. It probably will have a lot of missing translations. That's how these things go. It's the price we pay for new content.
Yes, English from Spanish is much better than Spanish from English. But what irks me now is that whenever I leave first and second personal pronouns singular and plural out, they mark it as wrong. That's so cheap.
gmbka Not only is it cheap, it's incorrect. I'm surrounded by Mexicans and Puerto Ricans and they never use the pronouns. Using them shows an amateur.
Yes, good idea, but I believe "Crowns" were introduced to maximise the number of user hours Duolingo can show they have, so that they can sell more advertising, or perhaps even push up a sale price for the company. With a clever bit of re-programming and no more language in-put from Duolingo, they have made us do four, eight, twelve times the number of questions per 'crown' level to get back to where one was yesterday, whereas before 'crowns' one had to do 1 x 20 questions. So, without spending HOURS on Duolingo EVERYDAY one cant progress to learn anything new, and the better one gets, the more and more boring repetition one has to do to learn anything new. Surely thats the wrong way around? So yes it has become de-motivating AND less effective as you have describe. If they think advanced learners that have stuck with them this far wont abandon them now - i think they will find they are wrong. How sad.
If this is true, it doesn't work for me. I spend less hours per day now, since I'm just doing 1, 2 or 3 lessons per day and don't try to run after the golden circles anymore. It was like an obsession before....
I followed the advice received here to ignore the low levels and pick only those units for practice that benefit me. But I don't know whether this can be done when you have not finished the tree yet.
You can review all skills that you got to level 1, and the order in which you can unlock them is still the same. Getting to the golden owl takes exactly the same number of lessons or test sessions like with the old system, so nothing has changed in this sense.
Before I used to have to use pimsleur plus duolingo because duolingo moved too fast and didnt have as much repetition. Now duolingo serves as both because it really instills things within you if you are trying to get level 5 in everything. Minor details that you might have thought you knew are covered better.
Even if you don't have to achieve level 5, there's too much repetition. I usually come back to review a lesson I did yesterday to consolidate what I've learned, but the lesson is padded out every time you finish it with more and more meaningless redundancy. I won't be able to hang around on DuoLingo if this continues.
It's not meaningless redundancy if it's having you translate the same sentence to and from your target language. It is meaningless redundancy if it's having you translate the same sentence into your base language twice, but, unfortunately, that quirk is nothing new. I had sentences repeated half a dozen times in a single practice session over a year ago.
Used to be the level of redundancy stayed the same regardless of how many times you did the lesson. That I could deal with. But now lessons are padded out with more junk each time you finish them.
You're saying that the lessons get longer, like more sentences apiece? I certainly don't see that.
The thing is I want to be in control of what I want to review. But everything changes once you finish a lesson, which is ridiculous.
I certainly share your frustration to a certain extent. I redid the constituent lessons of skills a good deal myself and would like to have a way to access them or some close substitute.
However, there are also important things to learn among the many sentences that were not part of those lessons. A lot of people never even seemed to have realized that large amount of additional content was there via the strengthen button, so I can't really fault Duolingo for wanting to make accessing it more intuitive for everyone.
The lessons get longer in the sense that the number of sub-lessons (dunno what they're called) increases each time I finish them. A two-fold lesson becomes four-fold and so on, all repetitive. :(
So just do two sub-lessons then, or one, or three, or whatever you want. There's no need to go achieve the next crown level just because it's possible to do so. If you're comfortable with the material, great! Move on to some new stuff.
Duolingo instills the idea that "gold" is good, red, blue, and green are not so good, so of course, there is a tendency to try to regild everything as quickly as possible. I'm just not seeing the value in it because so far, I'm redoing basics that the old strength indicators said were at 100% strength (so why only 2 or 3 level in the Crowns system?). Yes, I know I can start wherever, but eventually, I'll want everything gold again, so I'm starting at the beginning (again, this is the way Duolingo was set up: you finish the basics before jumping ahead unless you test out.) It would seem odd to jump around now.
I still love Duolingo...I don't have the time or money to attend language classes right now, so it's been an amazing resource. And I've been a big champion of it.
In my case, the problem is multiplied by the fact that I have two logons (long story, but I'm also a teacher) so I'm dealing with ugly trees in multiple languages and under two logons. I'm thinking of retiring one so I can focus on the remaining one, but I'll be sad to see my long "streak" end.
As much as I try to learn to stop chasing the gold since the implementation of the crown system, I do find myself at loss about the progression within chapters.
I just reviewed the cases chapters in the German tree and I noticed the ridiculous amount of repetitions. There is little to no new material introduced in level 4-5.
Out of habit (chasing that gold!) and curiosity I decided to complete crown level 5.
Now I do wonder what will happen if (hopefully more like when) there is new material added to the chapters, will my crown levels drop? or how does it work?
I think if we could just get timed practices before we reach level 5, it would be less tedious. I know that when I was first going through Portuguese, I used time practices to keep me sharp, and to keep me from cheating by just looking up the more complex sentences. I'm back to basics now, and I know myself well enough to know that once I get back to the more complex lessons, I'll probably cheat here and there again.
I find that repetition is certainly helpful to ingrain the language, but on the lower levels it is boring to type over and over, through 40 sessions, "___ is an animal". There should be a better way to learn the vocabulary for various animals. Apparently Duo also doesn't realize that... un formica e un insetto....not an animal. So I agree with abcabc21 that the number of practices is too high for the lowest levels. It may help when there are more vocabulary words and grammar to master.
I was through the third checkpoint before they went to Crowns. I don't mind repeating a bunch of the lessons below the first checkpoint but the first one is a hurdle that will bore a lot of people.
Who says that you have to do 40 repetitions before you can go on with the next topic? And once you have a skill golden, are you planning to never review it again? The numbers of repetitions are so high to reflect also the progress of learning and repeating during a couple of years, we're not supposed to reach the top level so quickly. Choose to practice a skill for which you believe to gain something, a skill that is worth it while you practice, not a one that bores you. Once you're bored, move to the next one that seems to be worth some practice.
I could not agree more. There is a limited amount of vocabulary on the highest levels. There is no reason that an Italian Level 5 exercise about food should not go past bread, fish, chicken, coffee, ice cream and milk. Would it be so hard to learn about different kinds of Italian food?
With food there could be a lot more material, but this involves the volunteers who create the material, not the programmers who create the framework. Especially in the basics I see the problem of how to create basic material at a non basic level.... I guess the vocabulary will always have to stay low, they can just ask for more translation to Italian.
I actually think the crown system is - and could be even more - good when you start learning a new language with it (my case with norwegian), it just has to actually get less repetitive, harder as you gain more crowns in a given skill, and I also think the number of crowns should vary according to the need for repetition (for example, grammar skills should have more crowns as you need repetition to learn it). Now, when you finished your tree a long time ago (my case with the german tree) it really makes no sense that the basic skills are not already golden.
Good comment; I agree. I think the transition wasn't perfectly set up, but for learning a new language I think its great. As for more translation in target language, I have found that reverse trees seem to be a better option. And that is not to say that crowns are useless, but that reverse courses offer a quicker transition to a little more challenging stuff, and that I find crowns work better when going from the start like you. Doing italian from Portuguese, I think that the new system is better, and am interested in how it will work going forward.
I think you can basically profit from the system as long as there's some portion of whatever tree you've less than completely mastered. I agree the very top of a long-finished tree isn't likely going to be much of a challenge, but below the third, fourth, fifth checkpoint, things are likely to be different.
People's experiences of the difficulty gradient do seem to differ. For me it is really obvious.
Have you thought about not repeating those levels? Like making a different choice. That may be able to solve this challenge you are facing, but if your will is not strong enough, I am not sure what to tell you. And yes there are some issues for people who have transitioned over at the lower levels, but what I don't get is why people would do that to themselves? If you are here for learning, shurely you wouldn't do something pointless like repeat the basic skills 100s of times :/
So, maybe just dont do that.
Have you thought about returning to grade school and practicing your native language again? Why not? BECAUSE IT IS A WASTE OF TIME.
Can either of you explain to me how it is worth my time to have to type "I am a boy" after I reached level 17?
If you've mastered a unit, ignore it. You'll feel pretty silly to have spent time on it when they get around to introducing a crown level quiz-out option.
I think a lot of the annoyance at crowns is particularly because it's gone live to all users without any opt-out with a lot of features missing that are clearly going to be needed to actually make it work properly (e.g. if you test out of a section and get 100% throughout you should be at crown level 5 not level 1). Also the fact that no existing skills ever converted at more than a crown level 3 which is clearly nonsense and Duo had all the data needed to be able to make a more sensible assessment... And things like the general practice/strengthen button not progressing crown levels, and largely losing access to timed practice. Another annoyance - the number of decayed/ungilded skills was a good gauge of how much practice to do any given day - now I need to mess around with duome.eu to find that out. I really don't understand why they felt they had to take the SRS/decay factor out of the interface when introducing crowns when it's clearly still there in the back end...
That's a very good point. It is exactly equivalent to that. The others don't understand that it is not helpful to go over stuff that you already know like the back of your hand. If you want to test out of the elementary to get to the more advanced things like verb tenses, you should be able to do so!
The others don't understand that it is not helpful to go over stuff that you already know like the back of your hand.
Everybody understands this, well I would have thought. Which is precisely why it's so mystifying why so many people decided that doing exactly this was the first order of business for them upon the roll-out of the crown system.
Are you just starting out in some language where you have a background? Great, then pass the check-point quiz-outs. Would it be nice if they had skill-by-skill quiz-outs? Sure. Duolingo thinks so, too. They're working on it.
Sure, but 2/3 or more of posts indicating some objection or issue with the crown system are predicated on doing something perhaps almost as time-wasting. Which makes such objections look... not well thought-out.
My objection is I can no longer practise/strengthen my skills. An example: I want to do the third lesson of "Dative Case 1" on my German tree. Well sorry buddy, you'll be practising the first lesson that you memorised months ago!
I don't mind if you like the Crowns System, that's your opinion and your preference, but it isn't mine. Can we please have an option to change to each system depending on our needs, weakness's and preferences. Is that really too hard?
Yours sincerely- Reptile
Change it back! The changes you made are very very bad! You've simplified the interface to Apple levels, which is a very very bad thing! Very bad. The changes are too drastic and they limits you imposed impair our ability to learn. Don't stick with this, or at least give us the option to choose interfaces: Simplified / Advanced. Simplified would be this new one and the Advanced version would be the old one, because that's what you've done. You've just simplified it, and I DO NOT LIKE IT!
Very sad that Duolingo seems to be getting worse with every change and has little to no interest in listening to its dedicated end users at all.
I've been doing DuoLingo almost daily for almost 18 months, and like others, I am really annoyed by having to go through the most basic exercises to move to the next level. 34 hours might be the equivalent of a college semester, but by the end of that, you should be able to move on to the next semester and not just repeat the first.
Tip: the users are not obliged to go to level 5 in every skills. Finish the tree with skills at a level you think appropriate then after that practice 2 or 3 times a day clicking on different skills until you know everything. If you want make everything gold in months or years but keep in in mind that it is not mandatory.
It does very much take away from the game-oriented nature of Duolingo. One of the beauties of this learning app has been to harness the addiction /drive of completing levels to unlock new ones.
Imagine "angry birds" but with the added reward of actually learning something.
One of the beauties of this learning app has been to harness the addiction /drive of completing levels to unlock new ones.
Before crown levels, the only things like levels were additional skills. The process of unlocking them has changed very little. Now there are just other things to unlock, too. It seems to me that people would naturally prioritize whichever sort of unlocking seems more useful and fun to them.
I don't know anything about Angry Birds, but if you were playing Mario Brothers and decided you needed to collect every single coin in every single level before moving on, I think you'd generally drive yourself up the wall trying to do it. But that seems like pretty much what you're choosing to do when you decide that getting everything to level 5 right away is your plan.
Curious. I grew up playing Mario on the nes. And I tried to collect every single coin because I desperately needed the lives (I was not a talented player...).
But you didn't decide you weren't going to the next level just because you happened to miss a few. That's the point of the metaphor ;)
yes, i have the same problem. my thing keeps saying "hello, how are you?" over and over again. it got so frustrating that i quit for a while, then came back because i wanted to catch up with my friends. (it was kinda like a parrot)
I find that repetition , however tedious, does help embed a language, its tropes and idiosyncrasies in one's mind. So that working one's way through the levels, rather than skipping them, is in the long run a useful exercise on the road to becoming instinctively fluent in a language, and not just a matter of being an anal completist.