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.
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...
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.
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?
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?
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
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.