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New changes to Spanish tree?

I just signed on and got the "notice something different" message at the top of the page notifying me that additional lessons have been added. That's awesome, except for the fact that it now says that I have 76 new lessons to do going all the way back to the 3rd unit in the tree. I can't help but think that perhaps this is not the change that was intended.

As someone that was around 3/4 the way through the tree, that's more than a bit of an annoyance. I've still not even caught up on fixing the avalanche of decayed words brought by the bug-fix several weeks ago when several hundreds words instantly decayed (summer time with my daughters at home has limited my free time to spend with DL, unfortunately).

Is this working as intended or is this a bug? Help please.

July 5, 2013



Hi! We just announced all the updates in this thread: http://www.duolingo.com/#/comment/562900 You are not experiencing a bug :)


It looks like I was typing my original message while you were posting the announcement - it wasn't up yet when I began my post.

Let me preface my comments by stressing that this isn't a complaint about the fact that improvements are being made to the system - that's great and I really appreciate that. I just think their implementations need to be handled differently. The way these last two changes have been handled has been frustrating in a way that I can't imagine you intend.

So far during the summer, I'm lucky if I can spend 15 or 20 minutes with DL a day - before summer, I was usually spending an hour or more a day. I've not done a new lesson since the bug-fix that degraded half my vocabulary overnight because I've been focusing on getting my vocabulary back to 4 bars, and I still have a couple hundred words to go before that's repaired. Now on top of that, I've got 76 - that's SEVENTY-SIX - lessons to do / redo before I get back to actually learning new stuff. I know you like to frame it as "look at this awesome new opportunity to practice", but I don't necessarily see it that way. Much of what I've been forced to do to repair my degraded vocabulary is pure drudgery - revisiting words that I already know fairly well. I'm seriously on the verge of throwing in the towel with all of this because I'm starting to dread what other "opportunities" I'll be given to practice old material before I'm caught up again.

  • 1029

I agree with pinkodoug and he has my sympathies. Why can't Duolingo unlock the shortcuts (perhaps the new material could be the subject matter tested). This would allow experienced users to regain their levels without trudging through previously learned material . This may be less disheartening.Best of luck getting back up to speed.


I've suggested using the shortcuts / "test out" pages for refreshing languages a couple of times in another discussion with one of the developers, but he didn't seem to think much of the idea.


moogy & pinkodoug- Testing out is an interesting idea. I'll let the team know. Thanks!


It sounds like you really enjoy Duolingo, and you also love having a "golden tree." which has motivated you to progress as far as you have.

May I be so bold as to encourage you to do some new material at the bottom of your tree? Let your tree be colorful while you also progress.


In all honesty, I don't really care much about the tree being golden. It doesn't matter to me at all how other users perceive my progress. The reason that I've tried to clear out all of the degraded words is a simple one: their presence renders the "lesson practice" or the "practice weakest words" options useless. The vocabulary list is cluttered up with all kinds of words that degraded due to a bug that was recently repaired, but that I know well. I have to clear them out if I want the practice options to be of use to me for newer material that I'm trying to learn or refresh. Frankly, with my diminished free time for the summer, it makes more sense to spend the 15 or 20 minutes that I can carve out of my day doing that than to press on to new lessons - I don't think that's enough time to really absorb new material.


Hi pinkodoug- I understand that you're interested in the improvements we make, but just not way that you experience them in the tree. Thanks for this feedback. It's good for us to know. We're working on ways to make the tree more flexible, so that we can be more flexible as a result. Right now, we need learners to go back and finish certain lessons in previously completed skills in order to add more words and exercises. Don't throw in the towel just yet :)


With the long U.S. holiday weekend, I have a little more time than normal lately, and so I've done 10 of the "new" lessons. So far none of them seem to actually be new lessons, just the old lessons with one or two words added. Mostly, I've been practicing simple words and concepts from the beginning of the tree that I have no practical need to practice. For someone that's much closer to the end of the tree than the beginning, being forced to go back and practice "el carro del hombre es rojo / the man's car is red", "no quiero zapatos amarillos / I don't want yellow shoes" or "el cerdo come pan / the pig eats bread" is beyond annoying. So far it seems like it's between 5-10% new content and a whole lot of slogging through the basics just for the sake of completing the lesson. I think a better way to have implemented the new words would have been to not reset the lesson progress and just added the new words to the vocabulary lists with a score of zero so that they'd be the next words to come up in a practice session. All of the "new" stuff could be covered in a few sessions of vocabulary practice that way.

Also, and this can't be stressed enough, I think better communication would go a long way. With this change, as well as the other bug-fix I referenced, there was no warning in advance that this was coming, only a sudden, drastic change with an announcement coming only after the fact. Knowing that such drastic changes are imminent would at least diminish the shock.


In general, I like the new improvements to the Spanish tree :) But I agree with pinkodoug that some new "lessons" really were just a few new words. I'm normally introduced a few new words from further along in the tree anyway, so I think these new words should also be introduced the same way. And I agree that "testing out" would be a good idea for quickly going through the new lessons quickly.

I also think DL needs to let us know about these changes in advance. If we know a week before, for example, we could already start going through the weakest words, so we have more time to spend learning the new ones.

Personally, I actually had no problem at all with the added words. I've only started learning Spanish a month ago, so I regularly go back to refresh the older skills anyway. But I can see why many people would have a problem with the changes.

I really don't want to see love and frustration turning into hatred..

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