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Major issue : lessons are extremely short

Since yesterday most of the times the lessons seem much shorter than usual. This is also the case for new lessons (I saw some other reports but most people stated they were reviewing and they assumed it was because there was little to review).

I first noticed the problem yesterday on Android, with new lessons being about 10 sentences or maybe less (I also had one or two normal length ones), and today I tried two lessons in the web version and both only had 5 sentences.

I hope the Duolingo team can give priority to fixing this issue. Please upvote or comment if you are also experiencing this.

July 27, 2014



Same problem, it's really annoying.


This is exactly what I'm seeing now. Trying to finish the passé compose lesson in French but I'm not going to cheat myself out of learning the skills with only five questions per lesson. Hope this gets fixed soon.


I just did "nature" on French as a new skill and there were 14 questions in each lesson as opposed to 18 or 20 in previous skills.


Yes indeed. I opened up an issue on this, and three short months later the response was "You shouldn't always expect to get 20 questions." I asked for an explanation, but instead I got a statement that they don't divulge their reasoning.

In the last few days, I've seen the tests get even shorter. Something has changed, and not for the better. If they want people to help translate the web, I think they'd do well to be more transparent.


I think when learning a new skill, the last lesson can sometimes be a bit shorter if there is simply no material left to teach. Also when reviewing I sometimes you will get less questions if there is not much that need refreshing, that doesn't seem abnormal to me. But what I got yesterday and especially this morning - a mere 5 lessons for all the lessons in a new skill - was just ridiculous and clearly a bug.


I've checked around on the French tree reviewing lessons. Before I got 20 questions. Some parts of the tree I reviewed have 20 questions, and some only 5. And, yesterday, I went through French passe compose as a new exercise, and there were only ~ 5 Qs per lesson, all = translate French to English. One thing I noticed in reviewing lessons today, to see what what was going on, was that a "review lesson" tab appears- never seen that before. Don't know if it was there for p.c. lessons I did yesterday. I agree that this is not an improvement. Gee, maybe we're been put into the A or B of an A/B test, to see if, like, people get through the tree quicker if there are many fewer questions per lesson. /s~

edit p.s. I am on a desktop.

edit p.p.s. I just posted "report from the front". seems that Duo is up to something. There's something happening here What it is ain't exactly clear. ~ It might turn out just fine.


This seems to be completely arbitrary from day to day. The skill I did yesterday had 14 questions each per lesson. Today I checked the same skill again and it varied between 5 and 17 questions per lesson. On reading your comment I just had a look at Passé Composé, which I did a while back with ca. 18 to 20 questions, and yes, it has also shrunk to 5! I, too, had the "review lesson" button added recently and I'm also working on a PC.


I'm doing French on a desktop and on my phone, I switch between them. On my phone, I have between 20-30 questions each lesson, but only 10-15 on the desktop.


Yes, I have experienced this, and it has been brought up a few times. I posted a thread earlier but I later decided to delete it upon reading others. I have done about 10 lessons in different areas to check and it appears to depend on where you're doing it. The mean I got was 5 questions per lesson. The most I got was 14, and the least I got was 4. I only got 1 fourteen, 1 seven, 7 five, and 1 four. Hopefully this problem does fix, and it appears to have been lasting over the last (as of Sunday, July 27) for three days.


I have a "report from the front" that may help explain (partly) what is going on.

As I said in an earlier comment, I went through French passe compose lessons yesterday. Only five questions each, all French to English translations.

I just redid lesson 2 and lesson 3. All questions were again asking for French to English translations.

Lesson 2 again had 5 questions, but none were the same as the ones I got when I first did the lesson.

Lesson 3, again, at first attempt, also had 5 questions. The first two questions were different from the ones when I first did the lesson. I quit the lesson b/c I missed the second question. And, then I "redid" it again. This time, there were 10 questions! And none of the questions were the same as when I originally did the lesson at first attempt, moving through the tree. And, the 10 questions also did not repeat the two I got when I first "redid" lesson 3.

So, hmmmm.... seems that Duo is up to something. There's something happening here What it is ain't exactly clear. ~ But, it might turn out to be okay.


Just started a new lesson "Abstract objects 3". Last night, after noticing "nature" only had 14 questions per lesson, I also checked this skill to see the number of questions per lesson and it seemed there were about 18 or 20. However, today there are only 5! Some of the words that are indicated to be covered in the lesson didn't show up at all and all questions were translating French to English. "Strengthen Skills" only had about 10 questions today. Has there been any feedback from Duolingo if this is indeed a bug or if the system has been intentionally changed with shorter lessons from now on? I do appreciate, however, that Duolingo is work-in-progress and also that I am availing of a free service here.


Just flew through "Abstract objects 3". Seven lessons at 5 questions each (even though each lesson was to give 6 or 7 new words). All questions were simple French to English translations. Getting 12 or 13 points for 5 questions is good value but somehow defies the purpose of learning I think.


I am continuing to think about this issue. After having 5 questions per in passe compose lessons, I next went to "Abstract objects (1)". Twenty questions, at least for the first lesson. And, having been "spoiled", 20 suddenly seemed onerous. After all this time of my "accepting" 20 lessons! I put off doing the lesson!

What I think would be ideal (my view only) would be 10 or 12 questions (including BOTH French to English and English to French) per lesson. That would make sense though, only if when "redoing" a lesson resulted in a different set of questions that covered the words (stated as lesson content) that weren't covered the first time around. And, that was the norm- knowing that one would get new content on "redo lesson". That was the case when I redid passe compose lessons- new questions- but alas still all French to English.

However, agreed, I really don't find it very useful to have only French to English questions in a short lesson. As you say, ~ doesn't really help with learning.


I agree, 10 to 14 mixed style questions would be ideal. Since I started on Duolingo in February it has been consistent with 17 to 20 questions per lesson translating both ways. And as you say, sometimes, after falling at the last hurdle, it was disheartening having to start again with 20 questions. Today I was asked to refresh an older skill and again it came up with only 5 questions French to English after which the skill returned to gold. The unspecified "strengthen skills" were also 5 questions one way today, which is definitely too short for my liking. I sent a query on "Support" asking if this is a deliberate change or just a bug which may be fixed again. So wait and see.


It would be lovely to get some feedback from the team as to what is going on with this, and other issues such as the word list and flashcards; I don't mind being part of an experiment, but I'm not clear why we cannot have a little information about what is going on!


I agree. It's a pity how little we hear from the Duolingo team recently. I tried reporting this via the support option as well, but no reaction... As usual :-(


I'm still getting some variation in numbers, but not the really short lessons. Has anyone else noticed a lot of repetition? I did a 'strengthen skills' and I think of the 19 questions about half were repeated exactly through the lesson, even though I got them right first time of asking. It was a bit disappointing not be tested on more words and phrases.


Check out this thread- may be same as what you are experiencing. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3864793


They are short issues, but I love it this way. There is no reason why a person could not get on and take at least one lesson a day.


I don't think you'll learn much if you miss out on 3/4 of the lesson content and only are required to answer 1 question right out of 5 (if you use one heart refill).


It is my hope to use these lessons with my students. If I can keep them involved, then I win! If there is an easy day, then they will feel very good about it. They will learn that some days are easier than others-just as it is in life.


I have also experienced this. Sometimes I didn't mind, like when I am short on time and wanted to keep my streak going, but I also think I won't learn as much if this continues long-term. Sometimes I am really studying, doing multiple exercises, and I would want to get the most from each exercise.

I am also finding that the "Strengthen Skills" button is not bringing my skills back to gold like it used to. And some skills, particularly whichever skill is on the left on the second line (same position for all of my courses), tends to never go back to gold unless I practice only the particular skill.


It appears since last night, it has gone back to 20 questions exclusively, at least for me, and it's been that way for both French and Spanish.


I don't think I still encountered the problem today. But I use Android mostly where the problems seemed to be less severe from the start (never had less than 10 lessons in Android I think).


I've just done a timed practice with only ten questions


Now the last two lessons were okay again for me (via the website), but I don't know if it will stay this way.


I had the same issue with android some days ago (appr. 12 exercises or so). Now I tried again the web version, and got only 5.


Have had a few shorter than normal sessions the last couple of days, on both Android and desktop.


I did some exploration. On the web version, I had 20 questions when doing an undirected strengthening of skills. When trying to practice a specific skill, usually only 5, but sometimes the full 20. When trying to do a new lesson, only 5, or sometimes 10-12.

When switching to my android phone, 16 questions for a new lesson, targeted practice and also general practice.


We should probably ignore the problem. Based on what other commenters have said about Duolingo's response to the problem, it sounds like it could be a blind study. Why else would they say that they're keeping their reasoning secret?

Or maybe they're just tired of people complaining whenever they try something new.


Did you see anybody saying that Duolingo responded? I didn't see anything. That said, in the meantime it has been several days that I didn't notice any problems, so maybe it's fixed by now.


There has been no response to my query so far (with 30 million Duolingo users it may be in the queue for some time yet). But the problem seems to be fixed now.


Singlestone, 2nd comment from the top. I guess that was a while ago, though.

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