Strengthening - bug or a feature?

I just tried the blue barbell to see what types of exercises I get. I don't know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn't what I got. Note that I have the owl and many skills are at level 2 and 3. Here is one question to tap the pairs:

In exact order left to right top to bottom: reserva reservation un a phone hotel taxi telefono hotel taxi

Note how the first two are in pairs and the next ones lined up above each other in pairs i.e. phone was above telefone, hotel was above hotel and taxi was above taxi.

This is way way too easy. How is duolingo picking these for me? Also, this was about the third or fourth question. The first one was one word : aqui to pick from the list, next was "Yo tengo un telefono" I looked up tengo/telefono in my word list and both are listed as full strength having been viewed days ago.

I haven't done strengthening since decay went away and didn't realize you could still do it until I saw it in a discussion so I tried it. Am I the only one to whom it doesn't make sense?

Edit: After the post I went on. Next question: Translate this sentence: "A bus" My wordlist has it at full strength 4 days ago. I mean is this a joke?

July 29, 2018



The crowns obscure the fact that your skills are still decaying in the background. The crown level is irrelevant to the practice button algorithm.

Order of tap the pairs exercises is random. Selection of words to appear in that exercise is partially random. A bad selection and probability of placing a word next to or above/below its partner just turned out an easy set for you.

The word list and strengths have been ... I don't want to say broken, but people have noticed for a number of years that Duolingo seems to have multiple methods of tracking strength and time of last seen versus time of last deliberately chosen for a practice session.

If you were to do strengthening exercises more often, I think it would improve the selection because in the background - obscured by the crowns - your tree would return to (hidden) gold (presuming it isn't at the moment).

All that is my opinion and guesswork only.

My opinions aside, it could be the algorithm is broken in some way.

Duolingo have said something like they are looking at ways that spaced repetition (which at some point the strengthen button did take notice of, although not recently for me) can work alongside the crown system.

July 29, 2018

Yes, the word list is definitely not correct, or at least it doesn't take into consideration each time it is presented to me i.e. in pair picking which is odd because I do recall them peppering those exercises with some basic words. They could sneak spaced repetition into the program without us even realizing it. And to some degree, I think they do. I recall getting off-topic questions at the beginning of lessons and some out of place words as mentioned above i.e. in animals I got non-animal words.

July 29, 2018
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