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  5. About "fluency". . .


About "fluency". . .

As I read through discussion posts this morning, I am struck by the number of posts inquiring or complaining about the new "fluency" percentage that appears on our home pages.

I believe that many of these issues would be resolved if the title were changed from "Fluency" to "Mastery of Tree Skills." Or another way to indicate that what is being measured is not actual mastery of the language, but rather, the percentage of tree skills that a user has learned (however Duolingo determines what it means to have learned something).

We can use this post to let Duo know how we feel about the fluency indicator. Add your comments to this post and let the numbers do the talking!

June 5, 2015



It's not about tree completion though. You won't get to 100% even if your tree is golden and every single word taught at full strength. If I recall cit correctly, it's more about what percentage of words of an average text you should be able to understand.

There was a post about it as the AB test launched where they explained it but I can't find it right now^^


The link https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8726201

We realize that this is an estimate and that it is not perfect. However, we've decided to label it as fluency because our ambition is to provide the best estimate of fluency possible, not just some measure of "course progress". We'll continue to improve the score over time and include more modes of assessment into the calculation.


I understand that, but when the strength bars are showing full, you have no idea what you should be practising!


why do i achieve a higher fluency %, and then a few minutes later, go right back down?


If you look here https://www.duolingo.com/users/TheDeeplyBroken, your fluency_score is 0.4798643676. This gets mapped to 47% on your screen. When it was 0.48, it was mapped to 48%. So while the drop is small, it appears like a fall of 1%.


this still doesn't answer the question of what is it that duolingo suggests we do to improve the fluency number?

re-gold our tree? I did that thinking that it might move the number up........did not budge it......I was at 54 when the thing appeared.....it went to 55 a day or so later.......and when my tree was almost totally not gold.....I concentrated on getting everything gold again, thinking that would do SOMETHING to the number....even a little move ........nada....sitting at 55 today......

so - what is it that duolingo thinks this thing does to help us learn? what is it supposed to be motivating us to do? .........I don't get it....and no one seems to be telling us anything......

even a hint?


Perhaps, you could do some Immersion, if your language has that - translating some uploaded documents might help a little in the long run, and the better you get, the easier it is to rack up the XPs :-)

EDIT: In the last half-hour or so, I've been doing a great deal of Timed Practice in Strengthen Skills. After doing a day of translations, finish it off with a few Timed Practices by clicking on the Strengthen Skills button (but go to the Lingot Store and buy a Timed Practice first; you have to buy it only once, though)


I think the fluency percentage is ridiculous, and does not help me at all.


"It is calculated based on what words you know, how important those words are, how well you know them, and how likely you are to forget them. It will increase over time as you learn more words and strengthen your skills, but it will decrease if you don't keep up your strength."


it may change at the beginning......but I can tell you that completely re-golding a completed tree did not change it AT ALL - so it's very unclear what they are calculating and what the source of the data is.

I was also told that the flashcards might now be involved in the calculation......but have no idea if that is true - and after practicing the flash cards for awhile, I went to check to see if it actually updates the 'last practiced' - and it does not - several of the words that were in the flashcards I practiced were still showing ' 1 year ago' ........and when I looked at the words that were the 'oldest', many of them were in the lessons I reviewed in the last few weeks while I was making my tree gold again..........

so it's really unclear what they are doing with this so-called 'fluency' number.........I don't see any value


Just want to add that a second person (me) has had the experience of re-golding a completed tree without an increase to percentage.

Whatever they're actually doing to create these random scores is a mystery, and does not reflect at all how many words you know nor how well you know them.


Mine keeps going up in a crazy way - 1 or 2% every time I use it. It now says I am 33% fluent in Spanish -I am not! I have only just started learning, whereas in French, which I speak quite well, my %age stays at 60% even though I finished the tree a while ago and visit daily to strengthen a couple of skills. It doesn't make any sense and is therefore not encouraging or helpful in any way :(


All 3 of my numbers feel arbitrary AND they haven't moved at all since they first started appearing. Meanwhile, I've spent all my time translating in Immersion, so it seems as if Immersion is not part of the algorithm. If that's true, then I don't know what factors are be considered.


Please get rid of the 'fluency' display, at least until it works properly! Am fed up of working hard only to see my score going down. Lots of other people having the same problem. The modeling algorithm is not good enough.


I agree with you. If the score decreases, then show the user the exercises needed to improve skills.

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