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Vocabulary knowledge should decay faster/ easier when translated wrong

As far as I'm concerned, the strength displayed behind my learned vocabulary does in no way reflect how well I feel I know them by heart. There are words I used once or twice, when they pop up the third time a day later I can't remember them, so I peek or get them wrong, but they stay at full strength. They should go down a notch or even two whenever I get them wrong and then turn up more often in my practice so I can actually repeat and learn them.

According to learning theory, new words should be repeted after a few hours, then (if correctly remembered) a day later, then again after another day, then maybe five. Then two weeks, four weeks. Whenever you get them wrong or have to peek, they should go back into a lower repeating shedule. There are surely people here on duolingo who prefer all their vocabulary staying golden at all times, but I prefer to learn the language first. Once I successfully have kept a word in my mind for a month, I don't have to repeat it that often anyway and it will stay golden.

Anyway I feel like I deliberately progress through the tree much slower than I could, out of fear to accumulate a huge vokabulary that I in no way would have learned. If you don't want to slow down the "goldening" of skills and vocables to not discourage more casual learners, I would suggest an optional setting to set in my profile which lets me progress slower and makes it harder to reach golden vocables.

June 29, 2013



this is a great recommendation and should be highly considered as the decay algorithms are improved as the duo team has said they are working to do.


I agree, duolingo claims I "know" words that I saw once days ago. Sometimes it feels like I somehow skipped entire lessons.


The learning theory you're describing is called spaced repetition.

Anyway, I've fallen prey to this to in a slightly different way. I tested out of adverbs without finishing all the lessons, because I was confident on the material I had studied so far. I passed the test, and DuoLingo said I had learned 80 words! Not only had I 'learned' words I'd never seen, they were at full strength! Without the strength of these words decaying as I peek, I'll never see them enough to get very familiar with them.


I agree! :) once you've really used the words a lot, they can decay slowly again (since I also don't want "the cat" to keep popping up every few days :P), but at the beginning, they should decay more quickly!


But there is something weird with the decay algorithm. A lot of words do not seem to decay at all - that is, words show up in the vocabulary list as perfect event though it has been three weeks since I've last seen them. Others seem to decay immediately, in a day or so.


I completely agree with this. I, too, restrain myself from advancing too much in the tree, and these day I just keep practicing what I already did.


I think word strength decays fast enough now since they changed it. My German tree was all yellow yesterday and today four leaves had decayed already.


I made my German tree all yellow again yesterday, and today TEN leaves have decayed. Methinks there is something too quickly rotting in this algorithm.


Definitely. Sometimes I will do a huge unit or maybe test out of one in one day, but as you'd expect, I only will remember maybe 10% of the words. The politics and abstract word sections are especially difficult to retain

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