Same words repeated for weeks

  • For many weeks now, I continually see and correctly answer the same words. I do at least 100 words/day, 6 days per week. Before the upgraded system was in place, I could look at my list of vocabulary and see I'd corrected answered, say, "mehr" (more) over 20 times, yet I'll continue to see it in my daily routine. I get 98%-100% of the first 50 words correct.

    As a result, I'm never seeing new words. It's the same words repeated. I thought this would take care of itself after a while--just a repeat of old words to make sure I still knew them. But it's been at least 6 weeks and I'm still seeing words I knew stone cold repeated every day.

  • @mikk-tõnissoo
    I think I'm done with Lingvist after next week. It's been about a month since I've seen a single new word. I do at least 100 words every weekday. I've done 725 words so far this week. I have 89% accuracy today.

    Despite all this, the list of words to practice grows longer each day. At 2400 words learned, I guess I've hit a level where the system wants to repeat old words so often that I will continually fall further and further behind. How many more times in a row must I answer "tapfer", "stiftung", or "kloster"?

    @mikk-tõnissoo said in Same words repeated for weeks:

    I checked these words you mentioned and with every correct repeat the next repetition time has increased further and further into the future (but not as quickly as previously). The next repetition time for most of these words is between 1 to 5 days from the last time you answered them.

    That's great, except that in 1 to 5 days, they'll pile on top of the growing list of words to repeat. The algorithm will insist that I practice old words at an increasing pace. From email to Lingvist's support, I understand my account is affected by multiple algorithm changes over time. I wonder if I'm simply trapped in a corner as the algorithms changed around me.

    Without any indication of forward progress and with the steady increase of words to practice day over day, I believe I'm done. It's been a fun ride, Lingvist. Thanks for all the fish.

  • @mikk-tõnissoo
    Thanks for replying.

    I think the most frustrating element for the user is that there's no way to measure progress. The dots don't accurately portray how much progress has been made. The GUI always shows a dot filling up if you get the word right, but then it's back to the same number of dots next time the word appears.

    It would be helpful to see some sort of progress indication. Instead of feeling frustrated by continual repeats, users would have a sense of accomplishment as they built up successes.

  • works@Lingvist

    Hi Kayvan,

    We have improved the accuracy of our spaced repetition algorithm in the past few months so when you are asked to repeat a word it is ~80% likely you will remember it. As you have exprienced the older version of the algorithm as well, then one of the consequences unfortunately is that for some words you will initially have to put in a bit more work than previously (if you have got them wrong in the past or if the words are difficult words in general). However as you keep repeating and answering correctly, the intervals will increase consistently (and they have done in your case). I checked these words you mentioned and with every correct repeat the next repetition time has increased further and further into the future (but not as quickly as previously). The next repetition time for most of these words is between 1 to 5 days from the last time you answered them.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are aware that some users prefer longer and quickly growing repetition intervals in general in order to move through new words even though they would benefit from repeating old material first. We've got some specific tests coming out for this soon!

  • @mikk-tõnissoo
    Is the web version working well? For a few weeks now I've seen my number of words left to practice steadily increase. Even increasing the number of words I practice per day hasn't helped.
    I'm also seeing several words repeated. The "learning level" dots stay on 3, no matter how many times in a row I answer these correctly. Is this a perception issue on my end or an algorithm issue?
    I'm repeatedly answering some words correctly such as: branche, teilweise, wappen, stiftung, tapfer, and darunter.

  • works@Lingvist

    Hi Steven,

    In this case you are correct - I checked this word and unfortunately there was a bug with an older version of our iOS app. When you correctly answered "automóvil" (12 times in a row as far as I can see) the app wrongly counted this as incorrect due to a bug. The bug has already been fixed and I see you've updated to a newer version since then. However once your answers were incorrectly measured to be wrong, you have had to build up the correct streak since then - which is why you've had to repeat this word so many times. We've made a note and will improve the handling of such cases in future app versions - very sorry for your bad experience!

  • @mikk-tõnissoo
    Thank you for having a look and explaining the algorithm.

    If the algorithm indeed only shows words that are 80% chance correct, then the cause might be that it doesn't remember how many times I have had the word correct in the first place? Maybe not every card I practice gets saved, or saved wrongly?
    Or some words happen to be "stuck", because it's always the same words that have the issue.

    I have attached a screenshot of the word automóvil. I am very confident I got it right 20+ times in a row. Could you check what data got stored for this word?

    I have also attached another screenshot. Having already done 200+ words today I still have 200+ words to practice.

  • works@Lingvist

    Hi Steven,

    I've taken a deeper look at your issue and what has happened the following. Our spaced repetition algorithm schedules repetitions based on your personal memory strength and the general difficulty of the word. We ask you to repeat the word when you are about 80% likely to remember it which means on average 8 correct repeats out of 10. One reason for this 80% level is to make sure your vocabulary memory has reached a sufficiently good level before moving on to new words.

    However this 80% target may not be ideal for users' learning experience and we actually plan on testing some variations of this soon (perhaps even let users change this).

    One more note - I checked the next repetition time for your word 'sana' and it will be in the year 2023 🙂

  • @steven-de-blieck said in Same words repeated for weeks:

    Some words like "sana" I have had correct for at least 10 times in a row but it keeps showing up with 3 stars.

    Yes, this started a week or two ago. It was working fine until then. Now, it's as though the system doesn't remember that I've entered the word correctly, so I get the same words day after day.

  • @marina thank you for the reply. I have already contacted support some days ago. They recommended using the web app but same issue. Some words like "sana" I have had correct for at least 10 times in a row but it keeps showing up with 3 stars.
    Some days I have to practice 200+ words before I get new ones.
    I hope the support team can identify the cause and solve this issue. I currently have premium via friend referral and am thinking of extending afterwards. But with this issue it's not fun anymore to keep having these same words again and again.

  • works@Lingvist

    @steven-de-blieck Hi Steven, this should not be happening if you answer the words correctly. Let's say, you can have 5-6 repetitions but if you answer all of them correctly, the word really should go away. If you think that there is something wrong going on with the repeats, shoot us an email to and attach screenshots/ include a list of words you are questioning.

  • Has this been resolved?
    I seem to have the same issue.

  • Regarding the first issue I mentioned in my previous message, same words are repeated again and again. i'd like to point out that the repeat word counter is stuck at 200 words, no matter what. I am using the Android app for the Spanish course. I've checked both the Android app and the web based app and the issue exists in both. trying to logout and clear the cache didn't seem to help. it's a pity, since Lingvist seems to be a genuinely great app (except for these bugs).

  • Same thing here using the Android app - no new words, and same words are being repeated for review. this issue is the second one i am encountering during my first week of using this app. It will surely be the last if it's not getting fixed in a matter of few days from now.
    The other issue I encountered yesterday is a message that prevents me from reviewing words because I am a Free user and not an Unlimited users.
    I think that both of these bugs are related.
    Lingvist, fix your bugs or at least reply and say that you're working on this. that would be something.
    otherwise, i am off to one of your competitors.

  • Lingvist graduate

    Same here. It started a few days before Christmas and it is still the same today. I expected they would solve the problem right after the new year, however, what I found was 1000+ words in the repeated stack after a short vacation.

    I spent 5+ hours just to clear all 1000+ words and got to do 20 new words, and the other day 400+ more were back.

    I still have a few days off for my vacation so I could just waste the whole day on Lingvist right now, but it would be difficult to keep up once I go back to work.

    I do think the algorithm problem is more serious and more important than monetization at the moment. No one will pay for a broken product.

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