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Duolingo should show us how many hours we spend learning

Duolingo should have an activity tab showing us how many hours we spend studying everyday (as a graph or something pretty with the owl).

Would be really nice to monitor how much time we spend on activities until we master a certain level =D

August 18, 2013



Although knowing the number of hours that I have spent learning Spanish would be helpful. It's not particularly something I would want as public information.

  1. Privacy - If you spend a lot of time doing Duolingo, it could parse data about your location and activity that you don't particularly want to be public.

  2. Currently, those of us who learn slower than others are on an equal playing field compared to other learners. But, if my bling included the number of hours spent, I would have an enormous number and I would be horribly embarrassed. The current system reflects effort, not time. I'm proud of my effort. I'm not sure if I'd be proud of the amount of time I've spent.


they could do at as it is not public information but private


I agree with you on both points.


i couldn't agree more.


Interesting point of view, however memory science has shown that people take varying amounts of time to absorb what they are learning so there is nothing to be embarrassed about. I myself have noticed that there is some words that I find difficult to remember however they do eventually get absorbed. Like you it takes me a long-time to get things deep into my memory but once they are there (with thanks to spaced memory repetition) they are there for a long time.

  • 626

Great idea. Should show the total amount of hours spent, both for each language you learn and all languages in total.

  • 626

I should also add that I read somewhere that it takes roughly 10,000 hours to learn a new skill and be quite proficient at it (e.g. playing the guitar). I wonder if the same would apply to learning a language? Or at least the basics of a language.


I think that the 10,000 hours to learn a skill may be one of those easy but empty statistics that are often invoked with no clear rationale or documentation of effect (e.g., 10,000 steps a day for health, 32 chews per mouthful).

In addition to the definition of "mastery", I think the number of hours would depend on the particular skill, the motivation and capabilities of the learner, and the quality of resources available.


I heard that you need 500 hours of instruction to be fluent in a foreign language. Note that fluency does not equal mastery.


Fluency is kind of better.


The 10,000 hours figure has a very specific source: K. Anders Ericsson at Florida State University. It has been forwarded by Malcolm Gladwell and Penn & Teller and others. This figure came out of a study of top level performers in ultra-competitve fields. More here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnY This is a TED talk entitled "The First 20 Hours - How to Learn Anything"


According to several language authority bodies referenced by this Wikipedia article about the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_European_Framework_of_Reference_for_Languages), a B2 level of proficiency requires approximately 400 hours of study and a C2 level (mastery) takes up to around 1200 hours. As others have mentioned here, your mileage may vary since everyone learns at a different pace. But I find it comforting that consistent answers are given by multiple language organizations.


I have heard of that study, too. The 10,000 hours applies to anything you wish to be proficient at be it languages or mathematics or soccer.


Actually, the 10,000 hours statistic (roughly 10 years) often cited refers to "mastery". For base proficiency, 20 hours has been found to be the more applicable statistic. In both cases, it's varied & active practice (vs. drone-like rote). 10,000 hours can seem nearly impossible, but 20 hours, most folks can handle. 20 hours won't yield fluency, but it's enough to get a suitable start.

[deactivated user]

    I like this idea! Having a graph could prove useful.


    It would be hard to implement to get an accurate time. You could start a timer with an interrupt from the keyboard/mouse/touch screen and then count the time till the next interrupt and call that time spent learning. But you could go make a cup tea in between interrupts. So that would force a maximum time limit between interrupts that could be a lot more or a lot less than the real time you spent focused on using duolingo between those two interrupts. I actually put this in a python program I wrote to give me an idea of how much time I was actively using it. I made the timer stop if I was idle 30 seconds(not using mouse or keyboard).


    It's definitely doable. Duolingo implemented a time tracking function for the users included in the 2012 statistical study of Duolingo's effectiveness, downloadable as reference number 9 from this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duolingo


    Not really related to your post but I see that you're at level 25 and on a 151-day streak ! That's pretty awesome ! How good would you say you are now ? And how much time do you spend on Duo everyday ?


    I'm guessing 90 minutes or so a day. I have been here for about 14 months though still struggling to complete the tree. It is probably taking me much longer(2 to 3 times the time) than the average person. I think I'm doing ok but the sure amount of verb conjugations to learn is a bit overwhelming. If I knew in the beginning what I know now about the difficulty in learning a second language I might have took up guitar practice instead ha. But I'm not giving up.


    You refresh a lot of your lessoon I see. You should really get it over with and then use others ressources. We're at the same place on the tree so I know it's getting tougher but don't give up ! You're almost there !


    Mylo what type of those resources would you advise? I personally find duolingo super convenient and fun, and couldnt yet find any other resource that matches its efficiency.


    I really like duolingo too but i feel like my listening abilities haven't upgrade as much as my reading or writing. So I'm trying to find podcasts and stuff like that on the internet to improve it.


    Spanish is really hard because of verbs conjugations, I'm glad it's my native language, I've learned english since child, and went to France about 6 months, i didn't liked French, but I'm aiming to learn Italian and German. This is my second/third day at duolingo, and it's amazing to see people like you with a 152 days streak... ¿Qué tan bueno eres para el español después de tanto tiempo amigo?


    Escribiendo Español es más difícil que leyendo Español. "Writing Spanish is harder than reading Spanish." I think I have that right ha I checked it on google translator.


    Perhaps, "Escribir español es más difícil que leer español." ;) Regards.


    @rocko I must say you inspire me. I also practice a lot and only advance lessons when I feel "ready". I would love to hear how well do you feel about your language comprehension now, having taken a similar route to the one I am taking in the program. Thanks and rockon!


    Difficult to say how well I am doing. I do not really try to to test my abilities other than on duolingo. Reading Spanish > listening to Spanish > writing Spanish > saying Spanish. There is definitely a big drop off in ability going from English thought to a Spanish phrase for me. It seems where I am storing Spanish knowledge in my brain is totally unrelated to my English knowledge. I do not have a microphone so I do not try speak Spanish. I already knew reading would be the easiest and that is roughly my short term goal.


    I agree! Oh and worksheets for homeschool students like mine! This would help alot!


    Worksheets, quizzes, or tests would be wonderful for homeschooled students who have to be reviewed and approved by their board of education or other reviewer ... who may not (likely is not) familiar with the program.


    As much as I agree with this I don't think this will be an accurate representation of your progress. I say this because if you keep track of the time you are doing in lessons what happens when you fail a lesson? Does that time count even though the lesson was failed? This feature would work well with the timed activity that is already set in place I think. I feel that overall for tracking progress the tokens are the best representation of your progress.


    Yes that would count. We all learn from our mistakes. At least this is true for me, but almost every time I fail a lesson, the next time I try to pass it, I beat the lesson. So I think it is very important to count every minute of practice, whether you beat or fail the lesson.


    that is all good and I agree with that, but this could be done simply by using a stop watch. You start it when you get on duolingo and stop it when you get off and write the time down somewhere. I don't think that this would be something the duo team would spend their time developing when the user could take a little more action on their part instead of shoving all of these feature request at them.


    DuoLingo has basically confirmed this feature on a different thread


    This is exactly why I want it. When the lessons were easier, I could amass 500+ coins for a day but now I might put in more hours than previously and not even earn half that. The coins are not necessarily reflective of effort, just of success. I don't need a public record of my time spent, but I would like to know for myself.


    You're right - the time it took to do a thing is not directly related to how well the thing was done, It is interesting that DL's chief developer has been quoted as saying, "...you need at least 30,000 users before you start noticing any patterns." The study DL paid a couple of professors to do in 2012 only included 88 users who had each used DL for at least two hours over a two-month period. I'm no statistician, but I don't think such a study could prove much at all in a mass market, statistically-relevant way. It would be useful for each of us to know how our individual time spent here is translating into improvement in our language skills.


    That would be great! Maybe they will think about doing that in the future =)


    You know you can already see a weekly progress on how many points you scored at the homepage?


    Nice idea I would really like to know how much time I spend learning!!! Duolingo should do this I hope they pick your idea!!!


    It would be interesting to see (Duolingo already logs it for its data-driven research purposes, because that's how it was discovered that 34 hours on it (for the average beginner/near-beginner) is the equivalent to an introductory college semester), though quite difficult to do in a way that would allow fair comparison.

    For example, I would probably log several hours a day on a straightforward "count log-in time" counter... ...but given that I am prone to flitting between browser tabs mid-lesson, it would be completely unfair on someone who spent a lower amount of concentrated time learning.


    I sent a support question asking if there was a way to do this in early July. The response was no, but that they were "taking notes of your feedback and sharing them with the team". Hopefully, they will note this discussion as well.


    I would be interested in seeing when individuals began their learning. So "A member of Duolingo since..." type of entry in your profile.


    This is a great idea. Maybe they can make it so you can set weekly goals of how many hours you plan to practice to keep you accountable on studying and learning your language(s) of choice.


    Totally support you! Great idea!


    Kind of like the feature in Khan Academy, with a graph which is private and shows points earned, time spent, and exercises you've done.


    excellent idea, it would be not only interesting but also motivating


    That's a great idea! I spend so much time on here, it would be very cool to see how much.


    I agree with that, hope they do that in future


    Great cause if I tell my mom I learn a new language on a website she will just say that I spent five minutes learning one word.


    Can we look at verbs and conjugating verbs on this site ? :)


    YES . I'm agree , we can manage our free time and devote it to learning :D


    also, sometimes I leave the app open while doing other things so I dont start a level over again. How would Duolingo know if I was working or not? it would only know when I was on the app.


    I set a timer on my iPhone when I study and keep track of it myself with a goal of 3 hours study a day. better than candy crush or tv


    Yeah even if it was just a private (no point in making it public I'd say) stat showing the number of hours one spent on a language, I would be curious to see it. I thought they would have done it already, as they say that "Thirty four hours on Duolingo teach as much as one semester of university language class", which we thus can't confirm, even though it seems a bit hard to believe anyway.

    But yeah I would be curious to see how many hours I spent on Duolingo at all, and maybe weekly as well.

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