1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Troubleshooting
  4. >
  5. Why do some languages decay f…

Why do some languages decay faster than others?

[deactivated user]

    My Spanish tree seems to decay WAY FASTER than the French and Portuguese trees.

    When I left DuoLinguo yesterday, everything was 5/5. Today I had two skills at 4/5 in Portuguese and TEN skills at 4/5 in Spanish.

    The same thing happened a few days ago and I worked my butt off to get everything back to 5/5.

    If this keeps happening (10 skills decaying daily!) I foresee this is going to get too frustrating.

    January 4, 2015



    If you only strengthen them until they turn golden (average word strength at 80%), then they will de-golden faster. You need to strengthen them AFTER they turn golden to get it into the 90s-100, where it will take much longer.

    [deactivated user]

      So I would need to go to Words, see which words are rated lowest, then find those in the tree, and strengthen those lessons even if they are at 5/5?


      I am not certain that those strengths correspond, but that might be a possibility. You are really just trying to get the average to rise. Even one extra strengthen after getting it gold will help, if you do it everyday. :)


      I wrote a long post on how to make a Duolingo tree stay gold. But the simple answer is a) don't go too fast; just do one new lesson per day b) always do two or three strengthens per day, and if you have any weak skills, pick the ones that are furthest down the tree (most-recently learned) to strengthen first.

      If you do that much, don't worry if the tree sometimes has weak skills in it. They'll go away soon enough.

      The problem you describe usually seems to come from doing bunches and bunches of new lessons with zero review followed by a binge of strengthening exercises. A durable gold tree seems to result from steady, even progress.


      Just keep practicing. The more you get them right, the more the decay rate will slow down. Duolingo is trying to tell you that you are going too fast through your skills. It is entirely up to you if you want to listen and slow down, or plough on regardless and have a colourful tree. :)


      My Spanish tree has always been the one that decays the least. It all depends on the user. If it is getting to be too much to regild all at once then do it over a few days. Doing it altogether means they are likely to decay at the same time again. Sometimes slower is better.

      [deactivated user]

        Yeah, it's confusing. I don't struggle with Spanish. I barely make any mistakes. As a "reward" I get very rapid decay. :(

        French, on the other hand, has been more of a challenge for me, so I'm making more mistakes as I go, and the tree doesn't decay as quickly as Spanish.

        It's all very odd.


        I think if you go quickly through new skills and particularly through new tenses it unlocks previously unused sentences and the program wants you to see them and so lots of skills decay at once. This happened once I got towards the end of the portugese tree. Suddenly ten were degilding every day so making forward progress became very difficult.


        There does seem to be a bug that causes certain trees to decay faster though - I have one tree that decays at about twice the rate of all my other ones despite similar behaviour on my part in terms of revision, typing mistakes and so on... I also have the handy extension that shows word strength and it definitely has lessons decaying when the word strengths are still high. That particular tree also has quite a few bugs in the lessons themselves so I think there is a genuine problem. From what I can tell, some of the lessons don't cover all the words they are supposed to and therefore you always have some words at zero strength because they never come up in the questions. As a result the rest of the lesson degilds at a rate of knots because it's always hovering on the edge of gold. And there's one lesson you can't regild at all because the sentences you get given for revision don't cover enough words. There comes a point you have to just move on with the tree but it is frustrating.

        Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.