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Personalised Decay Rates

I understand that the decay system is new and so it will take time to be developed and honed until it works perfectly but I feel a range of personalisation may help with the whole process. Currently my words are decaying very slowly if ever and would benefit greatly from words decaying fairly regularly to encourage me to practice across the board.

A slider system (ranging from 1-5 for example) could be set up so each user could choose how fast they want their words would decay. Then a user like myself who wants the words to decay regularly could set the slider to 1 and have words decay on a daily basis. However if there was a user who wanted to keep their completed trees golden and felt that they retained all the required knowledge then the slider could be set to 5.

If this was to be done I think each tree would need a separate slider so users could choose the decay specific trees at varying speeds depending on level and goals.

I think this method may help to remove the pressure from Duo to perfect the system and give the power to each user to control themselves. This may then allow Duo to continue with their great work in further app and learning tools.

Just a thought :)

May 15, 2013



I like the idea. Also having the ability to quickly mark words for more or less inclusion in future prectice would be great as I have some workds I have learned previously I do not need to paractice but others are fairly new to me. I see this does sort of exist but it would be good to have an easier ay to do it.


Or just change the rate of decay based on the total number of poorly recalled words. Got a lot of them? Slow decay. All words perfect? Faster decay.


I think that is kind of how it works at the moment. I think duo mentioned that how often you get the words correct/wrong will effect the speed of decay.

I know that I would like a fast decay on all my words just to keep me well practiced on all my old lessons, but I am sure when I complete the tree I would want it to stay all gold and complete when I move on. I think the current problem is that different people want different rates so it will be hard for Duo to get a decay rate that is suitable for everyone.


Just by a high level glance, the decay rate appears to be about a week but also looks like it depends on how many times you've seen the word and it what forms you've seen it in. Verbs and plurals don't have an explicit decay rate.

To VB's point, it appears that Duolingo accumulates your performance when a lesson/practice is completed. The thing that bugs me is that I don't know if the algorithm considers forms of words when figuring out what to include in practice. I think it's based off the root word.

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A new but related idea: If you peak, that lesson (or the whole category, which contains the word) should decay autmatically...


Great idea, so if someone keeps peaking at words in a certain category it starts giving them more often to you, allowing you to focus on words you don't know rather than ones you already know quite well.

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