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Cheat bug auto-strengthen skills? Is it available in all languages or just Dutch? Please report! :)

So yesterday I encountered something weird and I tried recreating it today... lo and behold it worked! Am I missing something here or is it truly a bug? Please do try and re-create, I'm curious if it's just me, just the Dutch students, or if this is something across all of Duo? (and perhaps this is a known issue but I didn't find anything in search!)

So here's my skill tree, I see I need to strengthen Indef. Pronouns:


Okay, trying it out... and failing (either on purpose, or not, doesn't matter)


Next, do the first lesson of Basics 1 (I don't know if any other lesson will work but I'm just recreating the problem here. Will experiment more with other lessons):


Okay, easily passed the lesson! But wait... there's more?


Woo! I completely strengthened Indef Pronouns! Wait a minute.. say what? Last time I checked there's no Indef pronouns in the first Basics 1 lesson (or adjectives as you see in my report at bottom of this post).


And here's the first bug report I sent Duolingo yesterday, where it was Adjectives basics that was the culprit:

"I was so surprised I forgot to screenshot it, but perhaps you can see what I clicked/did. It feels like I cheated! Ca 03:06 GMT+1 (~5 minutes before I sent this ticket)

So I saw my Adjectives Basic needed strengthening. I failed it twice and did thus not strengthen it at all. I then saw my daily streak was 0 so I did the first lesson in Basic to quickly get a 1 day streak going. I finished it, and in the post-reward screen, or whatever it is called, said I now completely strengthened Adjectives Basic and it went to full gold. To my knowledge there's no adjectives in the absolute first Basic 1 lesson...

If this is not a one-time coincidence, but a persistent bug, people might make use of it... Next time I see it I will do it again just to screenshot it properly but I hope you know what went wrong!"

November 16, 2014



I've noticed this. I think the reason it happens is that when you do the one you fail, you do strengthen some words but because you fail to finish the exercise duolingo doesn't recalculate whether or not the skill as a whole has been strengthened. However when you sucessfully finish the other skill that triggers the update.


That's been my experience: sometimes all you need to strengthen a skill is to answer a handful of questions correctly, not all 20 or 18.


I've encountered something similar in French, but it only strengthens skills besides the one you are strengthening that are similar/have to do with that skill. I've never come across that, that's weird...


That's a long post. However, you do not even have to do that. You can fail a strengthening session (not the "strengthen skills" on the RHS) then go back to the home page and press CTRL + F5 to refresh the page disregarding the cache and it colors itself the nice golden color! However, in reality (since you did not strengthen the skill), when you wake up and get on Duolingo the next day, they are right back to the way things were...waiting for you to strengthen them again!

The only person you are cheating is yourself. If you want to feel good about your accomplishments, just do not do it.


Your suggestion did not reproduce the error (I tried it twice), but I still agree that really is no point in attempting to 'cheat' the system.


That's strange, because I just did it again. When I said "fail a lesson," I meant "fail a strengthening session." I'll change my above reply to reflect that.


I understood you. I tried to do both a skill strengthen (not strengthen skills) and a lesson strengthen. Both times I did a non-timed practice and followed your instructions. The skill did not turn gold for me after a failed lesson.

You are doing non-timed sessions and not timed ones right?


Correct. I am also using IE. It could very well be browser dependent.


Good point (not that any of this really matters-but I still find it interesting), I am using Chrome.


It does work for Spanish too, although I'm not sure why.

Although it doesn't add any words to the "words tab" (when sorted by most recent), so, it isn't actually doing anything besides providing a false visual.


Isn't really a glitch/bug that would be useful. Just a flaw in coding or something else maybe.


I had a similar thing in German where I strengthened both "Questions" and "Numbers" after a SINGLE lesson! I didn't know it was a bug otherwise I would have screenied it!

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