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Updates to the German Tree

We are introducing some tweaks to the German tree and its structure and content. We've been carefully testing these changes beforehand with new users. For example, we decided to break down the German grammar wall (several grammar skills after one another) and integrate the nominative and accusative skills into existing skills to make it more natural. Also, long skills with 11 or more lessons were shortened to no more than 10 lessons per skill. Then, some infrequent words were removed and replaced with better vocabulary. Since we count words a little differently now, some users may find their word count has changed too. These changes should improve the learning experience and Duolingo's efficacy. You'll notice the updates over the next few hours. We're eager to hear what you think of them.

April 25, 2013



This is nice, I don't mind doing more lessons to re-learn many skills cause there is always something new to learn in them, people should forget about the golden cups and notice that this is just about practising and learning without a "mastered" point, only different levels of knowledge...


I don't mind extra lessons, I do mind when entire grammar lessons disappear, these are crucial to understanding the language and progressing.


This is my post for general reports and suggestions

  • The "Tips and notes" button looks grayed out now as if it were inactive: http://s1.ipicture.ru/uploads/20130426/8zEYrzZf.png. The previous version with a blue exclamation mark (if I remember it right) was better.

  • I think the "Notice something different?" notification on top of the tree should not reappear after the user closes it manually. It would be also nice to have a link to this discussion there so that people could learn all the details without looking for the thread manually.

  • How come "Formal You" is so far down the tree? "Sie" is definitely used a lot earlier, so I guess by the moment it is "officially" taught everyone has already learned the difference between "du", "ihr" and "Sie" elsewhere.

  • The seventh lesson of Dates and Time has only 8 questions: http://i.imgur.com/qupwdCU.png. At least it opened so for the first time.

  • Cutting down Adverbs: 2 to 10 lessons instead of 12 is good, but even so there are too many adverbs in one skill. I'd cut it into a few parts of 3-4 lessons or dismiss the whole idea of learning adverbs in a special skill altogether. I think it would be much better to learn adverbs gradually together with the other concepts.

  • Adding lessons to Prepositions doesn't look as a good idea to me. Prepositions, conjunctions and adverbs are very hard to learn when there is a lot of them. Introducing some basic prepositions like "in", "at", "on" together is fine, but mixing them with less common ones like "despite" or "along" is not very efficient. They just leave a mess in the learner's mind. I think the best idea is to give prepositions in the lessons on cases. In fact, they are often given so: we get sentences like "auf dem Tisch" or "im Haus" in Dative Case skill.

  • I would also like to bring the attention of the German team to this discussion about "soweit / so weit": http://duolingo.com/#/comment/33428


Well, I've just finished getting all my previously mastered skills back! I have not found many new words there, it seems to be more a rearrangement and optimization than adding new content. My whole experience was mainly revision, which is not bad and quite refreshing. For those who were sad about losing their golden tiles: it only took me 3 days to restore my tree to gold, and I am at about two thirds of it.

It is hard to tell if the new tree structure is better because I have already learned the concepts that changed. I've updated my previous post with new reports and suggestions.


I'm grinning, because I was worried I was the only one worried about losing golden tiles! We humans are motivated in interesting ways ... and now back to restoring tiles ... ;-)


The genitive case lesson is gone again. I was glad when it came back and I was able to finish it, but I'd like to have it again for the sake of practice. Also, where is the display for number of sentences translated?


Thanks team! Always good to see and try something new! ^_^

Just wait for my avalanche of reports and suggestions :D


Awesome news! Deutsch ftw.:)


Very nicely done!


It looks good. I can see that some of the skills that I have previously learnt are now locked down, but when I hover the mouse over them they still recognise that I have passed lessons or even fully completed the skill.

My question is will "Practice All Skills" still strengthen lessons and skills that I have learnt, but which are currently greyed, out whilst I progress back through the skill tree?


The skills should not be locked anymore. That was a small bug.


Am I missing something? Has the genitive case been incorporated into some other lesson?


It was incorporated into Genitive Pronouns.


Thank you for your reply. But, there is only one portion to that lesson. Should there be more?


You count words a little differently now. How so?


Might I have an answer here? I've noticed that "new" words that I've already encountered come up in the new lessons. While I have nothing against more lessons - I certainly need them - I find it a bit odd that words I learned, by and large, a year ago are now considered new. Or is Duolingo keeping secrets?


I have noticed this as well, words I've already learned are presented as new.


I like the look of the new tree so far. Can't wait to check out the new lessons! Thanks!


I'm noticing a high amount of repetition in the new lessons, namely Food and People. I will see a word or phrase five or six times.


Note the discussion about the "adverbs 2" skill in http://duolingo.com/#/comment/11640?from_skill=6cf986e2f1e5e4ccc55f4041519dbbca

seems like a good chance to take care of that as well


A minor issue is that in the new "strengthened words" section after a lesson, there are words I don't remember from the lesson showing up, and often there are duplicates, some with the "new" tag, some without. Strange.


I finished all the skills that were unlocked before the update came up. Today I unlocked "Verbs: Preterite" and it has "+6" on it. I don't think it is important for me to know how many lessons were added to this skill as I clearly could not see this skill before the update.

Another issue is that this skill has one golden bar while it should not have any as I have not done any lessons yet:



These are no big problems, rather small bugs.


Thank you for continually trying to improve Duolingo. I can't believe how effective this program is!!!

Just a comment re: recent changes.....While it is clear on the app, on the ipad website version I can't actually see what the new icons on each lesson represent? In a visual design sense, the new tree is not as clear as the old one.


Thank you for everything you do, even dealing with frustrated learners! I am really excited about the tool you are creating.


Don't know if it's related, but appreciate the new timed review (if it's new) ... the former timed lessons were difficult to finish in time and discouraged me from doing them. Like the new ones a lot.

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