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Embrace the crown system; lose the levels.

Until the crown system was in place, my goal had been to reach level 25 in Italian, German, French, and Spanish.

I did that today, but it was a bit of a hollow victory. I'm abandoning "testing out" - it feels like a cheat - and returning to the arduous but satisfying, and, I believe, ultimately more rewarding, one-lesson-at-a-time.

IMHO, which is worth less than a cup of decent coffee, I think levels should go the way of the dodo, and what should be posted along side our flags (when we post) is our crown-levels. Easy change, and it actually MEANS something now.

Hope everyone is well.

July 10, 2018



I have to say that I really am still attached to the not-so-elusive-anymore Level 25.. I was privately a chaotic wreck when the level medals were taken away some three or four years ago. :-] I don't know why I place so much personal effort into Level 25 specifically.

I do wonder how crown levels would work, though. We already have so many glitches with the flag and number now. Sometimes it takes 12 hours or more for the counts to update (in my experience). For someone averaging six crowns a day, I wonder how much that would slow down the 'system'. And that doesn't account for the people with many high level courses, and literally 1000s of crowns. I feel like that will get messy to view in the forums very quickly. Wouldn't object to at least seeing it on public profiles (giving us a minuscule reason to check out each other's pages again).


Is it wrong to say who cares? Surely the gratification is in ones own Mastery of their new skill, not the arbitrary number, be it Crowns, Level, Fluency grading etc. We are measuring a fairly difficult to quantify thing. I think testing out is great, if you are disciplined. after level 3 runs at the basics, and having started Germanwith a very small working knowledge of basics, it was good to test it out. If there wasnt a level, it would be irrelevant in terms of LEVEL 5 sure, but it would be nice to still have a FINAL EXAM type test out feature for each skill nonetheless. My motto so far is get to 3 on the skill, and if i feel very stong, try to test out. If im feeling not so good, like with a lot of the Pronouns in German so far, ive been going lesson by lesson as i dont want to fluke a test out on getting a set low on the thing i struggle with and get 'graded' something i know i dont have mastery over.

That turned into a biggger post than i inteded, but basically who cares about levels of any kind - Upskill yourself and be happy about that!


I do love the new crown system. I must confess that I have tested out of some of the beginning ones that I really feel confident in. If I cannot do it without losing a heart, I do it the long way. The repetition of doing the same things over and over is how I learn best. I am middle aged and figure my wrists only have so many keystrokes in them, so I am mindful of how much typing and how important what I type is, so I will test out if I feel I really have it. I am only in competition with myself and have a strong desire to really be fluent and to really grasp the rules of grammar.


I like the levels more than the crowns. I'm glad that Duolingo gives us multiple ways to measure our progress and inspire us to work harder. As inaccurate and ridiculous as the "fluency %" was- I liked that too. It didn't really say how fluent you were (and should have been renamed) - but it was a fun metric to try and improve.

There is a difference between crowns and levels though. I'm much better at Esperanto than German, and have spent more time studying it, etc. That is expressed in the level.

Guess which I have more crowns in: German. Why, because it is a three times longer course. So whereas I'm in the progress of updating my Esperanto tree to level 3, 4, 5. My German tree is going to level 1 and 2... and I already have more crowns. It takes a lot more lessons to go from 2 to 3 than it does to get to level 1 and 2. My Esperanto is definitely in the "solidifying" stage; but my German is very much in the "still learning" stage.

The other thing is- when going from crown level 2 to level 3- I tend to work through all the lessons in a checkpoint. I work one section a quarter the way- then do the next section in that checkpoint. Then I go back and do them all to the half way point... 3/4 way point... etc.

If I have 15 sections all 3/4 the way to leveling up- my "XP" will show that- but my crown level won't.

I'm doing stuff mostly the old-fashioned way. I'm not doing the leveling up-test out short cut; except for the really easy early lessons that I have down pat and have no worries about ever forgetting.

Ultimately, it really doesn't matter though- but I think the old 25 level system is more meaningful than the crowns.


I think one of the issues is that not all languages have the same number of skills - or crowns. For example, the Japanese tree is about half the size of the Spanish tree (I believe, without actually counting). Therefore, I could not get nearly as many crowns. However, the content is quite different from English and takes a lot of effort to master. I think it's nice to have a variety of metrics because people are not always motivated by the same thing. For example, my engagement with the Spanish tree dropped significantly after they removed the fluency score; even if it was inaccurate, I really enjoyed playing and watching it go up. (I understand why they removed it, but I still liked it.) Some people need to see "gold", which I don't care about nearly as much. I didn't used to care about levels, but now I do. That and my streak motivate me to keep going.


For that matter, a crown in one language doesn’t necessarily represent the same number of words or concepts as a crown in another. Languages are devilishly difficult to compare.


Very true!


Congrats on reaching level 25 along with the 250 day streak!

I agree that it makes sense to display crown levels now. Maybe that is why they took away the congratulations for reaching a new level - one step toward removing the levels.

As for the testing out - I love that feature. I've been using it on the easier skills where it is painful to complete 20 lessons that don't seem to be much different. When I think I need the extra practice, I don't test out. It is nice to have a choice.


rev_mother has it right: What's the difference between crowns and levels if you can attain both of them by testing out?


Sigh. Again, to all the down-voters, well not ALL the down-voters, just the ones it makes happier to click the down-arrow: I wasn't complaining; I was making a comment, self-deprecating even. If you disagree, next time, retort, have a thought.


But yet I am ancient with thousands of hours working with the oldest systems....that now have no value or meaning. It is like living in a culture with no respect for the generation before. Although I do agree with you in a strictly cognitive acquisitional type way....I want to be visually proud of my cumulative efforts. I want to be seen, remembered and revered for the old wars I fought. Notice my scars? I'm proud. I'm not ready to go the way of the dodo and so will not stupidly threaten to leave our community....like I'm so valuable. Anyway, I'd like to buy you a cup of coffee. So please accept this Lingot....keep the change.


I didn't even know there were crown levels ;)


Testing out is quite helpful for my review. If I make mistakes I know that I need more review. If I don't, then there is no need to keep practicing. When I just do the regular lessons, I don't care about my mistakes. When I test out, I notice the areas in which I need to work. Sometimes I will quit a test out lesson after I've realised that I have a problem with some aspect of that skill. This feature has made my review sessions so much more productive.


Excellent point/idea!


They did take the fanfare away from getting to level 25 but for me that will still be my personal goal for each new tree that I start. I agree with the test out feature, if I use test out to get to crown level five in all my lessons I will have no incentive to come back and practice in the future. At least we can use the lesson count in each crown level as a guage to where we have been practicing and where we have been avoiding. I will use the test out on the upper tree lessons so that I don't have to repeat those so much. But, I learned early on that if I can not complete the test out with zero error, I should not use it and instead continue to practice that skill not using testout.


I like that, maybe test out should exist but for Zero or only 1 mistake. I personally feel dirty getting 3 wrong and still getting signed out. Ok for a college exam that requires a result, but not if your goal is truly to learn.


I think it really depends on why you got them wrong. If you got three wrong from silly typos (which is what causes most of my mistakes) then I don't think 3 wrong is bad... It doesn't express knowledge.

If you get three wrong because you don't know the material... Yeah that's different.


I agree with both of you. If I get more then one genuinely wrong, I'll actually cancel the test and go back. But I do make a lot of typos, especially with autocorrect. :P


yeah agreed, Typos do me in. I guess the 3 is good if you have your own discipline, which is what its all about.


Not at all happy with crowns or the health feature - shame on DL.


I see all of your comments about being unhappy here and disliking Duo. Not being mean but if it gives you so much unhappiness, why don't you try out a different method of language learning?


I kind of look forward to Gatiquo's one-liners. Just like a cat who meows softly every once in a while to remind you he's still there.


You can test-out crown levels as easily as you did XP levels.

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