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When to expect the updated spanish tree?

It is in the title. I am working on my level 3 crowns and I am seriously itching for that new material. Does anybody know when one might expect the update? Also, what does it include? Does it bump the spanish tree up to the level of some of the more in-depths trees such as Norwegian and German?

April 27, 2018



I have the new tree (at least, the version with the greatly expanded lower level lessons), and I wish I could switch back. There is ZERO new content for advanced learners, but tons of repetitive and often convenient but incorrect lessons aimed at users who are only trying to learn a little bit.

Not much to wish for there.


What do you mean by "often convenient but incorrect"?


That's just great! I was eagerly awaiting the new tree, hoping there was something still worthwhile, and you dashed all my hopes :(((

Joking aside, how is this a NEW tree, then, if there's no new content? Duo is really going downhill.

Just FYI, I don't know if you tried it or not, but for Spanish I found Clozemaster to be a breath of fresh air (and foul language at times :D). They have a lot more vocabulary and in terms of grammar I just discovered the imperative on that site. First time I saw "mirad", I thought it was a mistake :))


At the end of the day, Duolingo caters to people just starting out with a language. If they rearrange things (which often requires a new tree version) and in so doing keep them around for 3 months on average instead of 2, that's going to be a much bigger win in terms of overall site traffic (and overall amount learned) than focusing on keeping people who have been around for a year for another six months. And so that's what they do.

Glad you're enjoying Clozemaster!


Thank you, you're always so nice, polite and helpful :)

It's true that most people only think from their perspective, as users and that perspective doesn't always make money. I am grateful to Duo for having taught me the basics in Spanish and that's actually the reason I've been so vocal in my criticism and why I keep hanging around even though the new system is driving me bonkers :p

I do believe that this is a case of fixing what's not broken and that they could actually make money if they tried to cater to people who are interested in more than just the basics. I would be willing to pay and I'm sure others would be too, just like there are people paying now for the privilege of not having ads and downloading offline content.

I guess I just don't get why they wouldn't even consider it.

Coming back to what you're saying, it's clear I don't understand how internet traffic works, as I'm completely baffled - how is it a bigger win to keep people on for 3 months instead of 2 than to keep people who've been here for years for a few more years? :p How is it a bigger win to alienate your most faithful users, who come back day after day and help beginners fall in love with your site (like it happened with Immersion)?


Thanks for your kind words.

Notice how I set up the time periods. It's a 50% increase in time for each, but there are necessarily more people who have been active for two months than have been active for a year (for one needs to at one point have been active for two months to come to eventually be active for a whole year, but people, many people presumably, I would posit the vast majority, will inevitably become inactive during that ten month period). Same percentage change affecting many more people -> much greater overall change.

The risk of alienating anyone is why they introduce new tree versions gradually, A/B testing them. Any new tree version must increase user engagement, or it will not be fully rolled out.

Watching a speech by Luis from a few years ago (so the numbers are probably larger now), I think he mentioned that 50,000 new users sign up for Duolingo every six hours. The vast majority of them are joining on the app and, I think, are unlikely to ever really interact with anyone on the site (and if they do, it'll be through a club). One of my best friends is about to finish her second tree, and I don't think she's ever visited the forums once. Her experience I believe is much, much closer to the norm than that of people like you or me. Clearly, only a minute fraction of the new users find their way to the forums, or they would be completely swamped. However, the set-up of the skills before the first or second checkpoint probably have a massive impact on whether they stay around or not.

There are a lot of things that can happen with a new tree version, some not very visible at all. For instance, the Spanish from French tree is rolling out a new version (accompanied by a lengthy incubator update, which is how I know anything about it), and one of the biggest changes is just setting up the vocab of the tree much better such that the auto-generated hints will be much more useful. I don't know how well you read French, but Google Translate should do a good enough job if need be: https://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/es/fr/status

Of course, none of the above explains why the Spanish tree version didn't also move in the direction of more content. The Dutch and French (from English) tree revisions certainly did. I do know that Duolingo encourages contributors to keep revisions somewhat limited in scope so that it's possible to diagnose what is causing the issue if by chance there were to be a reduction in usage owing to one.


Thanks for the detailed explanation. You're probably right, most people will join on the app, which is yet another big question mark for me - why would you make your iOS app so unfriendly? I use it on the go and since they introduced Health it's driving me mad. It really goes against all education and pedagogical principles to send someone to a time-out of 4 hours if they make mistakes. I usually make spelling mistakes (in English, mind you!) because the keyboard on my phone is way too small or, when I try to dictate the answer, auto-correct will change it to something else and I would click the check button before checking myself to see if it's correct (crazy me, I still want to have the "timed practice" in my head at least). It's insane to ask users to sit on their hands for four hours (or alternatively to pay real money to be able to keep learning - there's no paying with the useless 5,000+ gems I have) - I've never gotten to the point where I would have to wait, but the sheer idea seems ludicrous to me.

Either I'm not keeping up with the times (which is entirely possible) or there's something flawed with Duo's approach. I understand wanting to make money and I was the first one to defend them on the forums when new users were complaining about this, that or the other. It is a free resource that costs a lot of money to maintain, I get that.

What I don't get is why won't they try to communicate better with their dedicated users, who are actually quite invested in the site and are spending a lot of time here, instead of relying exclusively on metrics or A/B testing.


why would you make your iOS app so unfriendly?

Certainly don't know. There probably is a certain amount of monetization incentive. For many, particularly those just starting out, the exercises from the practice option, which also restores health, probably fit naturally into their learning.

I will admit I was surprised by the vagueness of the e-mail I got upon the introduction of the crown system. I think it could have helped if it had said more. However, I wouldn't be surprised if even different versions of that e-mail had been tested, and that's the one they found to be best from their standpoint.

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