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https://www.duolingo.com/tatou

Some changes in word strength

tatouPlus
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We are pushing an experimental update to some (but not all) of you today.

In particular, with this change: (1) brand new words you've just learned might decay faster that they previously did, and (2) this change should also help with certain pesky words that seem to decay quickly no matter how often you practice them.

Because of this, though, you might see some words or skills go up/down a bar. I've tried very hard to make sure that it's no more drastic than that. If you see some sudden changes in word strength, it's probably due to this.

This change is in response to several recent bug reports and complaints, including:

  1. http://www.duolingo.com/comment/979823
  2. http://www.duolingo.com/comment/978067
  3. http://www.duolingo.com/comment/967122

EDIT: Woah... I originally asked for volunteers, intending it for folks who originally brought up the issues this is meant to fix. But far too many of you responded! Your enthusiasm is awesome, but I can't manually add everyone to the experiment, and that might invalidate the results anyway. To be clear, a certain percentage of you are already in the experiment. Sorry to renege on the offer! :( If the feature is successful, you will probably all end up with it sooner or later.

UPDATE: Some of you pointed out differences in skill strength between the web and mobile apps. We've figured it out and it should be fixed today (Wed 10/23).

4 years ago

95 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

I volunteer as tribute!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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I volunteer as well!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

I will volunteer. I am more than happy to help this wonderful website in any way I can. :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankySka
FrankySka
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me too! but should you not rather have a random sample instead ? ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Salxandra
Salxandra
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I think they use random samples when trying to figure out whether one thing is better or not. In this case, they just need willing victims, as they are trying to assess damage/effects before sharing the pain with all users.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lord_Ian_Klop
Lord_Ian_Klop
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WAIT! IT'S A TRAP!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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Sign me up!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/idshanks
idshanks
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I volunteer! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankySka
FrankySka
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Ooooh! I's already happening, I can see the color changes! Exciting! Thanks :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

Color changes?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

From gold to different colors due to decay.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankySka
FrankySka
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yep, what Zach1337 said: skills loosing strength :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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I don't want to sound critical or anything, but do you mean "losing"? Or is it different in the UK or wherever you're from?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Druckles
Druckles
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In the UK, "I don't want to sound critical" implies you do.

Also, I would like to "volunteer" for the new model.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankySka
FrankySka
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LMAO - yes it does :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankySka
FrankySka
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I probably mean losing ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HerrArbo
HerrArbo
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Anything for Duolingo. I volunteer!

This website realy is the best place to get started with a language with the time constraints I have, so I need to support you! I look forward to seeing these changes in action!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b.gomez555

I volunteer. Always feel free to use me for any future tests as well.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Twigman5

I definitely need this! The words I have the most trouble with are the ones that get shown once or twice in a lesson and then not again for a long while...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tonywangtj
tonywangtj
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I assumed that I am part of the experiment because on my phone I only have a few modules without gold. Whilst on the website here, I now have tons of modules no longer gold status.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_Megan18_

I would love to help!!! =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Party_wolves9182

I volunteer!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
MultiLinguAlex
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Please count me in as a volunteer as well =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nathansk8s
nathansk8s
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am i already in there? as I am one of the ones that is in the discussions you listed. I haven't see a difference. Today I woke up and 15 of my skills had decayed over night :/

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stouset

I volunteer as well! So tired of translating "I am drinking the water" for the nine-hundredth time, despite having two dozen sections unlocked.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stephenamason

There seems to be a discrepancy between the mobile and web versions with respect to decay. On the iPhone version of the page, I have no decayed skill groups. On the web version, I suddenly went from having one to having 29 decayed skill groups, including one that I had already refreshed once today.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dnovinc
dnovinc
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Sign me up :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnieN82

I would love to! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheEugenius
TheEugenius
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I'll volunteer :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bamsanks
Bamsanks
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Yeah, sign me up! (Please)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clearlywhite

Please volunteer me!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lucas-Jones

I would like to volunteer! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aspielman
aspielman
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Yikes - I haven't been able to do more than a token amount the last couple of days, but logging in tonight to find 115 decayed skills when I had less than 20 about three days ago seems fairly drastic to me.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tatou
tatouPlus
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Ew. OK, this is an experimental change so bear with us while we fine-tune it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aspielman
aspielman
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Thanks Tatou. I am still concerned about Italian - having brought all my skill trees more or less back up to gold in French, Italian and Spanish it really does seem that I am having to do far more work per skill in Italian than in the other two.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amslucy

I'm with you: up until the change, I was going to the vocab section brinking all my words up to "full-health", then going on to new material... now I'm working for an hour a day just to keep words at "half-health". If wanted to give the vocab changes a fair chance, but I just can't keep up...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/banay

oh finally. thank you tatou!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lckislin

"you have a typo" :) It's spelled "renege", not renig

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tatou
tatouPlus
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Indeed! Although it's understandably a common misspelling:

But... interestingly... "renig" appears to have been more common in print about a century ago:

And during that time period, most references "renig" in books either refer to backing out (which is what I meant), or discussions of not knowing what the word means:

:)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lckislin

VERY understandably! English spelling is so crazy and a little hobby of mine...I enter adult spelling bees that are fundraisers for the local schools, so that's how I know the word. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesB84
JamesB84
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I would like to volunteer.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pinkie13
Pinkie13
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happy to volunteer !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/immelol4

count me in

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eunoia
eunoia
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I would like to be included. Please and thanks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pinkduckling

I will

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Miss_Kae

I've only been doing Duolingo a couple days, but I'll happily volunteer.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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Must be a bug in it for me. It decayed my "Basics 2" and I know all that stuff. I did all the lesson all over real fast though to get my gold back. You might want to add code to not decay the first keyhole lessons stuff for advance users.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr.Manhattan95

Lay it on me

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimmoran

Love to help. I am exceedingly challenged by languages (English included) If you need to see the results from a very slow learner I'm all yours. It is my 70th birthday.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arielk81
arielk81
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Happy birthday!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
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Am I there? So far, nothing decayed for me. I volunteer, of course!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FJoyB

Sure, I'll volunteer. Sounds fun.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nat-aly

I volunteer too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Katzenschlafs

I would love to volunteer if it's not too late! This sounds like a great update - I always feel like I don't get quite enough practice with new words and concepts because Duo figures I remember them pretty well.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Detonator678

I'll volunteer if its useful. Count me in!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marraz
marraz
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I would like to volunteer too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CadetheBruce
CadetheBruce
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I get this experimental update but not the Fix Errors one? Color me not happy.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brewsterbear

yes please! cant get these verbs to stick agh

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bertyhell
bertyhell
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i volunteer anything i can do to help

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/enoker

I want to volunteer too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_undertoad

Me too! Me too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fantomitzah
fantomitzah
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I volunteer!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/negyvenketto

I volunteer!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uermsi
uermsi
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I volunteer, too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/louis.vang
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I volunteer, too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sommerlied
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I volunteer as well :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jack.Elliot
Jack.Elliot
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i volunteer

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/agca
agca
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I would like to volunteer too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alex_kanaras

I volunteer. I've definitely been wishing newer skills would decay faster.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hdcanis
hdcanis
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Ah, looks like this happened...it's a bit odd that the lesson You Just Did is immediately just three bars (but then I did the next lesson and the previous lesson jumped to four). And my vocabulary list became somewhat sadder sight, looks like there is work to be done there...but if this works it's good (I don't think I need to do more practice on 'le zoo' on "practice weakest words", but there are some tricky ones that could come up more often...)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lara-m1

I volunteer.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BobbieL
BobbieL
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I'd be interested in trying it out.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nawick
nawick
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I want to have more practice, too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pejsekx
pejsekx
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Awesome job, Tatou! I volunteer as well.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nitram.
Nitram.
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I vounteer for sure! Thanks for the update Duo!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WendyHazelM

count me in.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/igor_voltaic

I'm in!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lilyaz
lilyaz
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Volunteer!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DerGoldmann
DerGoldmann
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I would love to volunteer!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Writingsuus

I would like to volunteer :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf
TheGandalf
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Anch'io, per favore.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Louise_O
Louise_O
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I make people test stuff for me at work all the time, so it's only fair that I get a taste of my own medicine. Sign me up for whatever shenanigans you want to check with folks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/captf
captf
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I wish to jump on the volunteering bandwagon!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maynard42

I would like the new model please.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/unPlatypus

I volunteer!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Goran12
Goran12
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I saw my first non-golden skill today, and my wordlist is full of words with overdue status, some of them last practiced just few days ago. I guess it happenned for me too, and I appreciate this change.

EDIT: I thought it again and now I'm not sure whether it really happened for me. If no and you are still looking for volunteers, count me in!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilvioKee

Yay i would like to volunteer as well! :). Thank youu!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ro_ha86
ro_ha86
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would love to. Get too little practice for the newest words, I feel.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CattleRustler

sign me up bro

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aicaramba

I think I am experimenting it :P

I came back today and saw a lot of words which only have 1/4 blocks where yesterday every word had at least 3/4 blocks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lernchen

I'm new to this. Let me experiment :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Salxandra
Salxandra
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I don't know if it's because of your update, but I'm pleased to notice that I'm seeing a lot of words in practice that haven't been there before (not new words just words that never percolated up to be practiced.). I didn't notice any change in my word strengths though.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Markmcopc
Markmcopc
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I'm glad to have some relief from constantly trying to keep the tree gold. I was exhausting myself because some skills were decaying too fast. I know ... it's obsessive.

Anyway, thanks for the tweaks to decay rates. I'm working on weaker stuff a lot more often now, and not so much on things that are easy. For me, it's a lot better.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StuartGlasgow

Pretty sure this feature is being tested on me - I was working through all my weakest words, had got everything to at least 2/4 and was working towards all words rated 3/4 or better when BOOM - suddenly a few days ago I had around 200 words back to being rated 1/4. Good to know what it is!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SirLingualot

Is there any way to make a couple more changes to the practices?

One change I'd really like is (at least the option of) longer practices. Say, rather than 10-20 or so exercises, maybe as many as 30 or 40.

See, I'm really forgetful. If I don't drill thoroughly, often, and fairly long, I forget. I may sound like a glutton for punishment, so maybe this could be some sort of option that can be set.

Along with this, I'd also like to see words and skills learned earliest included also. Unless I re-run the practice about 3 or 4 times, I get pretty much the same questions over and over again. That's fine, but some review -- especially of very old material -- is really essential.

Again, re-covering old, and especially very old (maybe first things learned) material helps me to internalize it.

(I realize this is an old thread; hope you don't mind me posting this here. If it belongs elsewhere, I won't be offended if you move it appropriately.)

1 year ago