https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

Just finished my French tree: in 27 days.

Feels good, like I can use the language some again. I'm not claiming huge bragging rights about the 27 days, since I had quite a bit of French in school (4 yrs high school, 1 yr college), but that was over 40 years ago and it got a bit rusty. Use it or lose it, and never say die.

Felicitations a tout qui m'a precede (et tout qui me suivra).

Wish I could figure out how to get accent marks into ordinary computer text!

September 3, 2015

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

For typing special letters with accent

  1. http://french.typeit.org/

  2. If you are using Microsoft OS installed PC, install US-International keyboard as per instruction here:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/306560

ôéèaàáÄaäö AND many more you can type while maintaining QWERTY keyboard.

FYI, installing French keyboard means you have to memorize a non QWERTY layout.

The one and only weakness with US-international keyboard set up is that one can not type

oe for boef

Well, some say there is a walk around but I just type oe as it is not the end of the world. lol

For smartphone and tablet, yes installing French keyboard is the answer as it is nice and easy.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Transitioning

Can't help but tack this on; for Linux machines, running:

setxkbmap -option compose:ralt

in terminal will set right-alt as your composition key, allowing you to make accented characters like é (hold down right-alt while pressing ', release right-alt and then press e)

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

Exactement! =D Merci pour ceci, mademoiselle! A lingot for your trouble!

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

Many thanks! This should be very helpful!

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

Je vous en prie et bonne journée! =)

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SirFurboy

If you are using a Mac the keystrokes are all under the option key and available. Works on ipad bluetooth keyboards too. You need option e, followed by a vowel, option ` and then a vowel, option i and then a vowel, or option c to get the special c (I think it is called a cedilla).

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

Merci pour cela, monsieur! =D Was hoping for someone using Mac to also elaborate. A lingot for your time!

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sassicat

thanks - really helpful :-)

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/med-ben

Bravo, but keep it gold :D

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

Thanks, and good advice. Most of it is, but I've got a few waiting. I couldn't resist pushing ahead to the finish line.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Malwen
  • 1714

That's impressive. I did 5 years of French at school over 20 years ago. For the past year I've been averaging 20XP/day but I'm still less than 2/3 of the way down the tree.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/007woofwoof

Malwen, like you….I keep plugging away…with small victories…and much determination…Your progress confession encourages me…I am working on adverbs…and ce n'est pas facile.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

What's impressive with you and Malwen is your huge streaks! My wife hit 465 days today, doing Spanish and German (using insurance only 3 times). That just leaves me in awe. I have my doubts I'll ever manage that degree of consistency, but that's the best key to hold.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/the55565

nice

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/china-eats

Yes it is nice!

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WakeMeAtThree

Congratulations!

Try installing the French/Canadian keyboard layout in your control panel (windows) or system preferences (mac). I find it easier to use for typing accent marks than ALT codes.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/M_Sherlocked

Wow! Any tips pour moi? :)

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

Just one. Go your own speed. I did this because I found I could, but it's not for everyone. You need whatever time you need to assimilate what you're learning. (Your body grows neurons during sleep to store it.) I was drawing heavily on what I'd learned years ago. The neurons were there, but I had to refresh the retrieval paths. And I also needed to assimilate what I had not known before. So be patient with yourself. Learning fast means a greater need to go back and learn some of it over. You need to find your own pace for optimal progress, and that develops with experience.

Maybe another. Timed practice is good for improving fluency - thinking and responding fast to what is presented, grabbing whole thoughts rather than just individual words. Also, always keep trying to understand the fast audio input until you're convinced you just must slow down. It pushes you towards the natural pacing of the language. But of course, fast means error-prone until you've got a good handle on the basics, so make those solid first, and then move quicker.

Tomorrow, don't expect to pick up where you left off. You'll need to get warmed up before running, or you'll just get cramps.

Hmph. Listen to me! You'd think I'd become a language expert! (But I am fairly expert at learning in general.)

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

Oui, d'accord. Merci bien! =)

https://youtu.be/MHk1tprdCf8

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/M_Sherlocked

thanks for writing such a looooong message! :-)

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

Bravo, monsieur!

Well, maybe time for a reverse tree(meaning finishing English TREE for French speakers) perhaps?

P.S: Kindly give your advice, tips for beginners like us pls. =) What are the DOs and DONTs? Am all ears.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

See reply to Wolflover13 above. Cheers! :)

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

Merci! I totally agree that timed exercise is important. At first I did not like it at all but now I find it quite useful. If you can not immediately recall, it is not quite yours. =)

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/EPKsweetiePie

congrats

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/osebird

i just opened my keyboard preferences and added french canadian, i also have arabic, so you can switch between the keyboards by clicking on the language in the tool bar on your computer

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Michele129966

Felicitations! I have a question. I'm pretty new here. How come the level next to your French circle is 12? At least I think that means level. I thought when you finsihed a tree it would say 25. That is the highest number I have seen on here. Is that not correct? Can someone explain?

In any case, my background is similar to yours - 4 years in high school and 2 years in college about 25 years ago. A trip to Quebec this past summer sparked my interest in learning French again. Duolingo has been great! I am on day 20. Congrats again!

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Malwen
  • 1714

Hi Michele, in Duolingo the level you are at is based on how many XP you have earned rather than how far down the tree you are. See http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/XP

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Michele129966

Merci beaucoup!

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/china-eats

Amazing! How'd you do that monsieur?

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

A bit of doggedness, I guess. I have 10 days above 250 points, 3 above 500, top one at 702, so at that rate I get some ground covered pretty fast. And I go to bed tired. It really helps to be retired!

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/china-eats

Amazing!

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SirFurboy

I completed mine in 20, although I gave it a lot of time! However I now have a problem gilding the tree. I had some forty lessons that need guiding. Yesterday I did 32 exercises and reduced the number to 35! I presume it is picking up that I don't know everything and making me practice all the stuff I scraped through on the way to my 20 day completion! Whatever the reason, I was rather hoping I could go down to about 5 lessons a day to maintain the tree, because I cannot spend that much time on it endlessly!

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dkahn400

Keeping the tree gold is the great thing. I breezed through the French tree fairly quickly as my conversational French was already quite good, and I tested out of quite a lot of it. Then overnight huge chunks of base colour reappeared. To regild it, I found it helped to concentrate on sections between checkpoints. Once you've got one section gold again, go on to the next one and don't worry too much about the previous one slowly fading as long as you are making progress elsewhere. Keeping the tree gold forces you constantly to revisit topics so the grammar and vocabulary are continually reinforced; it's a very clever system.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

I can definitely see the sectional idea from my progress with Spanish (which I have not studied before), for I have sometimes needed to refresh a series of skills (even though gold) just in order to feel ready to go on in the tree. It feels less urgent in French, but still useful. Thanks.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

I kept everything gold until about the last 2-3 days, but have about 8 waiting for attention now. I also repeated certain lessons or skill strengtheners more often than it was requiring, just for practice, speed, vocabulary review, etc. When I have done that, I don't think those skills come up for renewal again quite as fast.

I have also been experimental in my responses, not really trying always to get a "correct" response, but rather to see how Duo would treat some sort of looser expression of meaning. That has varying results, but it surely increases any record of responses marked wrong. In addition, I have typed so fast sometimes that I have entered typos before recognizing they ought to be corrected, and have often been scored down for it. So the computer record of my accuracy is not exactly accurate itself.

Faced with 40 non-golds, I'd just forget about how many there are. I'd always do the earliest tree members that are currently demanding attention, even if it means repeating them before you get to later ones. And I'd always do "strengthen" twice or three times on the same skill, even if it's gold after one. Also, I'd look over the set of lessons to see if any look particularly hazy to me, like they might have vocabulary that could use looking at again, or ones that had long sentences or complex constructions in them. In fact, I'm going to go through my whole tree again that way, trying to pick up more subtleties and fine points, because not everything is equally fluent or even firmly learned.

With your tree done, you have complete control over just where you put your time, with all parts of the course available. The work of learning a language is never done, so pay less attention to computer demands and more to what you can learn and from where. The tree's color indicators are just a tool to prompt you to do that anyway, but you might be more effective yourself at figuring out where your skills are weakest.

For that matter, go to the library, read a book printed in French, or a magazine, or a newspaper. Or find a movie with a French audio track and select that. If there are English subtitles, use them or not, depending on how much help you need. With your tree done, and a dictionary in hand, there are tons of avenues open to you. Have some fun with it. Come back to Duolingo when you're convinced it will help, and you may also whip the computer well enough by then to cause it to back down. I always found that school was the starting point for learning, not its culmination. The same goes for Duolingo. It's just good to have good tools in one's box.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SirFurboy

Thanks for the reply. yes, I am reading Le Petit Prince, so not just doing Duolingo now, although I would read faster if I was not spending so much time on Duolingo! One of the problems I have is one lesson simply will not turn gold. It is one bar short but despite doing the lesson maybe five times now, it will not go gold. I am also fairly convinced it is filled with a bunch of new words I have not seen before so maybe Duolingo rejigged the lesson and it is going to take a while to get through it all (it is adjectives 3 causing this problem).

Anyhow thanks and congratulations on your own tree.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

Thanks. I've seen new words come up like that also, so I don't think you're experiencing an anomaly. Lesson practices, and especially skill strengtheners, must pick and choose among the material to present, and it doesn't always seem to hit my actual weak spots. In addition, I'm quite sure that there's some sort of random number generator at the bottom of the sentence/phrase selection process, no doubt weighted to favor certain things based on response records, and some lessons are long enough that no single time through hits all the possibilities. (I have some software engineering background.) So that's another thing that makes going back over stuff beneficial. It's not all simple repetition. (And sometimes it's too much repetition and not enough variation.)

Le Petit Prince? Now there's a good idea. I'll have to try that one too. Good luck to you.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/cumberbap

Congrats! Duolingo has helped me both pick up and refresh my old languages that I used to learn too. Learning french for 10 or so years and german for 2 so it's great to have such a wonderful resource like this!

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

I sure think so too. I especially love the coordination between written and aural learning. My high school French teachers emphasized that a lot too, conducting all classes in French, and demanding that we respond in French, as much as possible. I always felt that was very helpful to getting command of things. I've also taught a little engineering (in English) to Japanese and Chinese native speakers who got their English out of books and had focused on written skills, and could see how much strain it was for them to actually try to use English to communicate. That will never happen after learning on Duolingo.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/karenawa

Thats nice

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Abdurrezagh1

You're super. that's incredible what you did. I salute you with admiration Wow.

September 5, 2015
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