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https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

How fast a completed gold tree 'decays,' FYI

I just returned from 16 days vacationing/taking Spanish classes in central Mexico. When I left I broke a 204 day streak (no big deal to me) and my completed tree was gold. Upon my return I had 30 'non-gold' skills in my tree, and had gained 31 lingots -- thanks everyone. :)

24
3 years ago
6

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_
_pinkodoug_
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That trip to Mexico sounds great. I wish I could break away for something like that, but what spare time I have automatically goes to my young children and the rest of the family.

I know that you already know this, but for the benefit of others reading this, I feel like I should point out that decay will, of course, vary from user to user. Each word in a user's vocabulary has a strength and a decay rate unique to that individual. Some words, and skills by extension, might take weeks or months to decay while others might decay in a matter of days or even hours.

cGlua29kb3Vn

20
Reply13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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That's a good point.

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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"Earn Lingots while you sleep!" ;)

Congrats on the trip and course. Do you have a post talking about it? I'd love to hear!

6
Reply13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Two weeks in Morelia, an inland city -- we have beaches, bugs, sun, and heat here in Minnesota ;) -- of 800,000 or so at 6,300 feet. Great weather, 78/58, low humidity, with an occasional afternoon T-storm. Flew into Aguascalientes because tickets were half of Morelia and took the bus (Primera Plus, about like First Class Air) to Morelia. Took classes at Baden-Powell in Morelia, four hours a day, with great teachers. Had an evening conversation group, too that met for an hour but most nights we stayed longer or had an 'after gathering' that may have, at times, included tequila. Apart from people associated with the school, I encountered VERY few people that spoke any English. Everyone I met was friendly, accommodating, and helpful, and I received a few invites for meals, to hang out. I am in my sixties but have always gotten along will with the college crowd (former prof), and language was not a barrier. They were more afraid of me than I was of them :) and had an "OMG, what if this guy starts talking to me in English!!!" look, but warmed up quickly once I tried my weak Spanish. I had an exceptional time. First time in Morelia, have been to Guanajuato and Queretaro, if I go back for Spanish classes it will be a return to Morelia.

16
Reply43 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Brilliant description, thank you for sharing that. I occasionally (okay, frequently) look at travel sites to see if there are any incredible deals to Mexico, Puerto Rico, or the Dominican Republic. They all feature these monstrous resort hotel complexes which I am sure are delightful but honestly you'd never know you were in another country. Your experience sounds delightful. Tequila, I think, qualifies for "cultural immersion" which is a very important part of language acquisition. Plus it lubricates the tongue. Well done!

5
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SDPhil
SDPhil
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Duolingo actually annoys me on how fast the tree decays. It's been the same 10 skills decaying for me recently and I actually make them gold again but a couple of hours later, they have decayed again. :( I don't like moving on until my foundation is golden....

5
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Why don't you run through them a few times? Since you know them well and don't need hints, a couple of review sessions should keep them gold for a while, especially if you do Timed Practice.

3
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_
_pinkodoug_
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Timed practice doesn't really make a difference. Word strengths and decay rates are adjusted based on the number of questions answered, not on the number of XP earned. Both exercises ask the same number of questions (20), but if you run out of time before answering all of the questions you could potentially not improve as many words as you would by completing an untimed review.

If you know the material well, both take the same amount of time to complete. If you don't know the material well, you get more opportunities to fail which equals more opportunities for your words' decay rates to increase. There's no real advantage other than the possibility of of accumulating a few extra XPs which are pretty meaningless anyway.

5
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KTKee-EnglishEng
KTKee-EnglishEng
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One curious thing I noticed is I strengthened a section with full hearts and it didn't turn gold. But then I immediately tried a timed practice on the same section only answering 2 questions correctly and it did.

I wish DL would give us the info about how things work upfront rather than relying on contributors like yourself. Do they think knowing will destroy the magic or put people off? http://tinyurl.com/kt5n56z

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_
_pinkodoug_
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It's not really a mystery. A skill's strength is the average strength of the words that are taught within that skill. When you practice, whether with a global practice or a skill-specific practice, word strengths are strengthened. If the nine words that are improved are not sufficient to bring up the skill's score enough to turn gold, the skill itself won't show an improvement. In your case, you needed to improve 10 or 11 words to bring the average up enough, which is why it improved only after practicing an additional two words. This indicates that you're only barely clinging to gold on that skill, so I would expect to see it degraded again when a few other words in that skill decay a bit more.

See these posts for more details:

6
Reply13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_
_pinkodoug_
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@ktkee - No, punctuation is completely ignored, and there's no penalty for missing accents. I often wish they had a "strict mode" option to require accents.

6
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KTKee-EnglishEng
KTKee-EnglishEng
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Does correct punctuation or use of accents makes any difference? It doesn't in the tests so it shouldn't.

1
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SDPhil
SDPhil
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I have probably strengthen them at least every other day for the past 2 weeks... I would think that it would be gold for a while after that... (By the way, I only do Timed Practice. :-p)

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_
_pinkodoug_
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When you practice, do you get many questions wrong? Do you peek at the hover hints as you practice? Both of these things will increase the rate at which the strength of words, and by extension skills, decay. I've made a couple of recent posts that detail how words / skills decay as well as how practicing affects strengths and decay rates based on comments made by devs as well as my observations during the time I've used Duo. I'm linking to them below because you may find them useful.

7
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/territech
territech
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Thank you. What you have written is very interesting. I only started using the hints after reaching level 13, and yes my decay rate seems to have accelerated. Now I know why. I didn't connect the two before. It's a trade, because if I don't use the hints it takes longer to complete the lesson. Either way, I repeat the lessons enough to learn the words.

I have also changed my strategy. At first I tried to keep everything fully gold before trying a new lesson. Recently I decided to just keep them above minimum. I want to read outside of DL, and to do that I need to learn the rest of the grammar. After I learn the grammar better, then I will focus on building vocabulary through repetition.

Does anyone have any comments about this strategy?

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Ha ha, maybe it's looking for individual strengthening of the skills, is that what you are doing? The decay rate irks me as well. Some things stay golden for weeks, but others only for a day.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SDPhil
SDPhil
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I do individual strengthening and "strengthening skills" button.. I just don't know what to do anymore...

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Another bug, never fails. ;) I'd suggest abandoning the "Keep everything gold" quest until you finish your tree, when you can focus on reviewing without the thought of remaining skills. After I finished my tree, I spent almost three weeks maintaining my tree, and that kept it golden for a while.

2
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcAhuevo

Terministe tu arbol? Porque no escribes en espanol aqui... ;)

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Because many readers here would not be able to read my post. ;)

9
Reply33 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcAhuevo

Usa ambas lenguas, asi!

Use both languages, like this!

4
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_
_pinkodoug_
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How about we just let people communicate in the manner they choose without badgering them?

14
Reply23 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcAhuevo

Sorry if it sounded like I was badgering him, that was completely not my intention! I intended for that to have a much more lighthearted tone.

Well, I shouldn't have written it anyway, because the intended tone of written word and its percepted tone can often be quite different.

I gave you and rspreng a lignot... hope that makes up for it ;)

14
Reply53 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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He just gets straight to the point. :) From your response, I knew you hadn't come into contact with him before. I understood what you were saying in your original post. ;)

4
13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_
_pinkodoug_
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I leave the touchy-feely stuff to people like Alexis. Sometimes my responses are perceived as being gruff (I've even been called rude by a few), but I prefer to think of them as direct and unladen by frivolous niceties.

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23 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Your first response from pinkodoug, I bet. ;)

3
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcAhuevo

AlexisLinguist - Yes, why?

2
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcAhuevo

Ok! I gave you a lignot too for explaining the legacy of pinkodoug.

1
33 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Ha ha, I don't know too much, he's been on longer than me. He's a great help on the forums, though. :) I'm returning your lingot, I have over a thousand. :/

1
13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcAhuevo

I'm returning the returned lignot.

1
43 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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You always know the right thing to say. ;)

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BigMish17

That tree does decay fast. Even tho I have 16 skills left to learn (I'm on business skill on the Spanish tree), pretty much everyday I have like 6 decayed skills in the morning.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bankswallace

I have not had time to practice because of illness and now I've lost the Robot and I can't go up against other humans. why can't Duolingo leave things alone I'm thinking of packing up because practice is now boring.

0
Reply3 years ago