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New feature!?

Has anybody else noticed the review flashcards feature that is under the "Words" tab? This is a pretty neat feature that I recently noticed. Is this feature new or am I late to notice this feature? Whatever the case, this is a useful feature for many people across this website. Thanks DuoLingo team!!

July 22, 2014



Very nice feature, I basically love any new feature. Thank you so much!

I had a couple of issues and I already sent them here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3808273

Here some screenshots for the curious ones:

First, you see the word: Then you flip the flashcard and check the meaning, and choose 'wrong' if you didn't know, or 'correct' if you knew it (you can also use arrow keys and avoid mouse): After all the flashcards, there is a short review:


I want this. Continue using this, every Words owner, so that Duolingo releases it to Group B as well. ;)


It is going to need some improvements before you want it. I've tried it three times now on two different days, and I got the exact same words all three times in spite of getting them all right, and none of them were my weakest words that needed practicing (which has already been debated in several other threads). My only other real concern is for some words that have more than one meaning - one of my words was 'court' which as a (French) verb means 'he/she/it runs', but I've recently learned that it can also be an adjective meaning 'short'. There are no articles or pronouns or other hint to tell you if they are looking for the verb or the adjective, and only one answer is provided as 'correct'. However, since it's up to you to say if you were right or not, it isn't like you lose anything if you chose the alternate translation. I do sort of wish it required us to enter a response so the computer could say if we were right or wrong, but that isn't really a big issue - since you don't gain anything (XP or lingots) by getting them all right or lose anything (hearts) if you get them wrong, you wouldn't be hurting anyone but yourself if you say you got one correct when you actually didn't.

That said, I hope they do fix these few little issues and release it to everyone, because it looks like it has the potential to be a very nice feature. Flashcards are the one thing I thought Duolingo was missing, and I've been wishing for a way to practice individual words. I really like the format and design of the flashcards, and I especially like the vocabulary list at the end with the words that need more practice.


Update: I just tried flashcards again a bunch of times, and every time I got (mostly) different words; I've also managed to reduce my very long list of overdue words to only three that are not full-strength. I think I've also figured out the issue with the alternate translations: it looks like the flashcard only shows the top option from the pop-up hints, not necessarily just the translations that have already been learned. I have only learned 'tiens' as a verb meaning 'I hold', but the flash card told me it meant 'hey there'. But again, since it's just an honor system and you don't win or lose anything, if you know your translation is also correct then you can just go ahead and say you got it right.

All in all, I've seen big improvements already in just one day. Way to go, Duolingo, you are awesome! :-)


I think one possible explanation for not releasing to everybody is that the feature must be really heavy for the servers. With this new feature, every time you finish the session the page refreshes. With that happening with millions of users, it could be a bit dangerous to try with everybody, so, I think sometimes it may not even be an A/B test after all but an infrastructe test too. Anyway, I hope it doesn't become a problem for them.


I also think you should get Xp for every session you do. 1 Xp is better than nothing.


If they did this, they'd have to change the current honor system method and have the computer score it, otherwise it would incentivize lying. And if flashcards were computer-scored, they'd have to also accept alternate translations the way the lessons do, rather than just taking the top translation. But with or without the XP, it would be nice if it contributed to your streak.


1000 XP means nothing when the whole community can see that your score doesn't represent how much you know. You'd only be cheating yourself ;)


It's new and an A/B test feature. I don't have it yet. Nice streak by the way ;-)


I don't have that feature yet :( it looks cool.


What is this A/B that I keep hearing about? Are they test groups? How do they determine which users are in them?


It's a random selection. On one account you may be in Group A (the testing group) with the feature, but on another account you may be in Group B (the control group) without the feature.


You're right. I just created a new account and it's there. I have to start from the beginning again but at least I can access the Words tab. I used to use the Vocab all the time so I have sincerely missed it and it's worth starting over just to have access. I had to start a new streak about 6 weeks ago so my streak isn't that good but I do have tons of XP points and lingots. Oh well, for me to learn, I need access to the see the words so I'm starting over in the new account.


Some feedback on this, as I am in the test group.

They've gotten rid of "Practice weakest words" on the words list page (replacing it with this new feature). This bums me out, as it's really what I'm looking for out of the list. My hope is it will return at some point.

As for the new feature: I ran a quiz (and a half) to try it out. These are the words it tested me on, and their strengths.


apfelsaft (no capitalization): 1 month, 4 bars

links: 9 months, 1 bar

Mittagessen: 1 month, 4 bars

deutschen: 9 months, 1 bar

computer: (no cap): 11 months, 1 bar

stern: 6 months, 1 bar

rot: 4 months, 1 bar

milch (no cap (I've copied them verbatim; you can pick out the missing caps from here forward)): 22 hours, 4 bars

w√ľnsche: 2 months, 1 bar

auf: 1 year ago, 1 bar

jungs: doesn't appear in my list(!)

deutsch: 11 months ago, 1 bar

integration: 11 months ago, 1 bar

orangensaft: 1 month ago, 4 bars

oktober: 11 months ago, 1 bar


At the end, it told me to keep practicing on the 3 words I missed. I started another session, and it gave me:

ihr: 22 hours ago

mobel: yesterday

computer: (see previous quiz...)

So I abandoned it for now. Will try again tomorrow.

Note that the majority of my list (85%) is at full strength. For the testing logic to choose that many weak words to throw at me (11/15) is almost definitely not a coincidence. So the happy news is, this new feature appears to be giving the user weakest words. If I'm wrong and someone else has a completely different experience, please let us know.

Duo: looks like a pretty good job on this one (aside from the typos -- you've told me often enough that nouns in German must be capitalized :P). I'll repeat that I hope a form of the "Practice weakest" is still forthcoming for Words (application of words and concepts in sentences, rather than just flashcards), but either way, this is a welcome addition.

EDIT: Duolingo, please take note. Possible serious bug. After my test above, it now seems that several words (Mittagessen, Apfelsaft, Milch, Orangensaft, Oktober) have disappeared from my list. They are simply no longer there.

??? (!)


Please note that the previous "Practice Weakest Words" feature and the "Strengthen Skills" feature are exactly the same. They always have been (even throughout the few name changes over the last year or so). Duolingo inexplicably opted to give two different labels to the same feature which has caused a lot of confusion with many users. The functionality of the previous "Practice Weakest Words" is not replaced by this new feature, but it's now only accessible from the main page as the "Strengthen Skills" button (or you can always directly access it: https://www.duolingo.com/practice ).



Yes, so I really don't mind them changing what is available in the Words tab. In fact it is much better that way.


Yep, mostly just meaning the button (and its underlying functionality) has changed on the Words page.


Thanks for taking the time to make statistics!

Duo: I'd really like the nouns to be capitalized. It'd make it so much easier to choose the right translation when something can be both a verb and a noun. Also: if a word has more than one possible translation (I got "buchen", for instance, which I believe can be both "beeches" and "to book"), I think they should all be listed.


Thank you for pointing that out! I have that new feature, too! :) And even though it needs some improvement, I still think it's great!! :D


ugh i dont even have the words tab yet........ i never get any of the new stuff ;( (storms off into room)


I LOVE the flashcards.

Pros: -keyboard shortcuts for easy transition -draws from your overdue words -mostly new words each time -easy way to practice your hard words without redoing a lesson

Cons: -doesn't count toward your streak (or XP or lingots) -if the word has two meanings, only one is shown on card

Like I said I love them. I think once they're cleaned up a bit they'll be even better. The only thing I'd change would be to make them count towards your streak. I look forward to seeing more "mini-game" features like this in the future. It adds a lot to the site. :)


A day later, I really do wish they'd implement a true "practice weakest" feature for the list, not to take anything away from the flash cards (which are decently good).

Example: it's much more useful to be able to say "I need to practice these conjunctions within sentences," rather than just flip a card to test if I know what the individual words mean. That's duo's strength over services like Memrise, so flashcards are a bit of a step backwards.

I like em well enough, I just wish I could drill my weakest words in sentences without having to refresh entire units. That or they should actually plug the current "practice weakest" into SRS, because it's... not. There's no way I have to practice "Wasser" every single day for the last year.


This is great!


Can it be by chance be asked to be used by the users who cannot but is asking to use it?


It really answers the call for "ungraded" forms of practice requested on the forums.


Now to see if it succeeds or fails. Might not even see the light of day.


That looks nice! But I don't even have the Words tab yet :-(


That's kind of weird... but a few days ago I was missing the 'immersion' tab as well... :-o


There's nothing weird about it. It's in AB testing at the moment. One group of users has it and the rest do not while Duolingo tests its functionality and efficacy. If it measures up to their expectations, it will be rolled out to all users. Duo uses this method of testing for every new feature they implement, and there are almost always several different tests going on at any given time.


I don't even see Dutch flags next to people's names in the forum, actually. Maybe my whole account is broken ;-P


This http://s7.directupload.net/images/140722/qog66uoh.jpg is what I see right after I reply to your comment. Funny, hm? ;)


Weird indeed, it doesn't even show up everywhere next to your name !


I just made a post and the Dutch flag shows up next to my name, but not the French one now.


I have noticed that, too. Interestingly, right after I post something, the Dutch flag shows...if I refresh the page or get back to the same forum/post later, the Dutch flag doesn't show anymore. :( I hope they'll fix that soon...


I'm still missing the "Immersion" tab.


I hadn't noticed this until I read another discussion topic. Very pleased to have been granted access to this by the Gods of Duolingo :-)


oh guy, I've just found it as soon as you and I agree! it seems to work!


In retrospect, I'd much rather have the "practice weakest words" mode back.


Here you go: https://www.duolingo.com/practice

The "Practice Weakest Words" button on the Words/Vocabulary page and the "Strengthen Skills" button on the main page have always been exactly the same even though they have confusingly had different labels. The new flashcard feature adds new functionality, and doesn't remove anything other than the redundant link.


I believe a good way to improve this would be to give the word in the context of a sentence from the wild and/or from Duolingo itself.


Is it me or has anyone noticed that the flashcards do not always match what what taught in the trees? I have given up using the flashcards because I get tired of having one part of duolingo tell me a word one thing and then the flashcards tell me another. How can that help me in any way learn which is the correct word/translation?


I've noticed that I have lots of words overdue and when I got to practise them, they don't come up. I keep getting words that aren't overdue. How can target the words that duo lingo tells me I need to work on? Thank you

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