Come join me on my quest to complete the German Tree in 25 days!
I am beyond excited and have been planning my trip to Germany for about six months now but I'm your typical procrastinator who leaves everything till the last minute. On the top of my to do list was to learn German before I leave, but do you think I actually did that? No, I waited till it was 25 days till I leave before I even started the German tree. I'm going to be optimistic and believe that it can be 100% completed before I leave. And I'd like to invite you to come on the journey and complete your tree in 25 days too!
Here is the break down of what has to happen in order for the tree to be completed.
There are 122 skills and 459 lessons in the new German tree (which includes the extra skills you can buy in the lingot store). So if you take both numbers and divide them by 25 you can see how many you have to do each day.
So 122÷25=4.88 (~5), and 459÷25=18.36 (~19)
There we have it, we have to do about 5 skills or more accurately 19 lessons per day to complete the German tree in 25 days.
Are you up for for the challenge?
Sorry, but this is going to be a negative post.
The fascination with trying to finish a tree in duolingo is strange to me, and I think the explicit goals in duolingo can unfortunately be counterproductive such as in your case.
If I were you I'd focus on a select few skills and create a strong basis on which you can build using your experience while you're there, rather than trying to cram in as much as you can and possibly ending up remembering nothing.
Language learning is not a sprint. Trying to learn a language for a short term goal such as a visit to the country is setting yourself up for failure. Learning a language takes consistent effort over an extended period of time, and you have to have something to motivate you to continue learning even after your trip. If your aim now is to simply learn the language to be useful on your trip, then your motivating factor is going to disappear once you're back and all the time you would have spent cramming in information now would have been wasted.
I'd say use your time now learning more about the country you're about to visit so that you can fully appreciate the opportunity of being able to go there. A country is not just a place that's there to teach you a new language. Yes, do get some sense of the language before you go. Then use your experiences visiting the country as enrichment and motivation for continuing your language learning experience once you're back.
Hey man, no problem. That's definitely a valid point (or a bunch of them really haha). I definitely agree that it can certainly be counterproductive, especially if you don't understand something and keep going anyways. You can end up pretty frustrated, unmotivated, and at the worst start disliking learning German.
While I agree that it's not a sprint, I am putting a lot of time into this. Two hours in the morning and one to two at night depending on how much review is needed. In fact, I don't even expect much besides knowing "hello, how are you?" at the end because I know that I either a)won't have retained the information, and b)duolingo isn't built for much else than giving you a base to start learning the language. I also expect to use Duolingo offline once tgere, so if I unlock all the lessons I can easily go back and review them any time I want.
I'm still highly motivated after four days, but like you said, it'll probably disappear... Fpr now I'll keep going until it does. This challenge will be hard, I won't learn as much as someone who takes their time on it, but it's something I'm currently willing to put my effort into.
Plus, hey, if I don't conplete it, that's okay. I'm sure that I will definitely pick up some stuff once I'm in Germany.
I appreciate hearing what you have to say and while I'm taking a hard route that doesn't necessarily end well, I'm interested in at least trying :)
Thanks for taking the criticism constructively. That's how I meant it.
Irrespective of what exactly you end up doing in preparation and after you return, I sincerely hope that your trip will help you break through the new learner barrier which it seems so many people end up not getting past.
Let us know how your trip was!
Haha no problem. I think the Internet needs to take a lesson on how to do that some times ;P
Thank you very much! I'm hoping it'll be the push I need. I'll be going for six months so I certainly hope I get something language wise out of it haha! Eother way, it'll be an experience. I wish you the best in whatever comes your way too :)
Edit: Also thank you for putting up with all those typos
Hi, Im doing something similar. I started the German tree 2 times already and had given up on it after some time. Now, the 3rd time im eager to finish it. A year ago i went to private German classes for about 5 months until they cancelled it because of lack of interest, so i have a little advantage, im not starting from zero.
I was in Wienna after my private German classes and had a lot of fun trying to speak German, often people wanted to help me out and asked if i speak English so i dont have to try so hard, but i was like No, sir we are speaking German :D
I had lots of fun after 5 months of private classes, but even those 5 months proved little. I wish you a similar great time in Germany as i had in Wienna. :)
I definitely think it's a good aim. I mean, you're not going to become fluent in that short a time, and doing a tree fast doesn't = knowing it thoroughly, but the German tree in particular seems very thorough. For a solid overview (which you can then go back and practice) it should give you a good foundation.
I like German, and I spend more time on it than on the Romance languages, but it's just not where my passion lies.
I think you should build some practice time into your plan, otherwise you're not likely to retain much. Lessons go by quickly, so if you're willing to commit a lot of time to German, I think you can do 19 new lessons a day and also strengthen a lot of your previously learned skills.
I was almost done with the tree until Duolingo updated it 3-4 weeks ago. To help me remember the vocabulary, including genders, I used Memrise. There's a Memrise course specifically devoted to Duolingo vocabulary: http://www.memrise.com/course/335725/comprehensive-german-duolingo-vocabulary/
Even if you don't use it in the next 24 days, you might like using it later to solidify what you're doing now.
In addition to Duolingo, I also used Deutsch Interaktiv for grammar: http://www.dw.com/en/learn-german/deutsch-interaktiv/s-9572
I'm taking the challenge! I just came back from Spain and I used duolingo along with Michel Thomas audio (which you can download from his site or get from itunes) and I think these two sources complement each other very well. His stuff will give you speaking confidence and troubleshooting capabilities while duolingo will help you with writing and building extensive vocabulary. Good Luck!
So I've been working hard to accomplish the nigh impossible 25 day challenge...very motivational! Taking in account some of the comments on this post I have tried to gauge my progress. Based on number of lessons alone I am right on track to complete the 25 day challenge but I am already having to put more and more time in reviewing to continue to make meaningful progress (just like some people here predicted). I figure with a compounding 20% for reviewing and the increasing difficulty the eight sections of the German tree sizes up like so:
Section | %-of-total-effort-to-compete-this-section-and-maintain | Day number of 25
1 4% 1/25
2 3% 2/25
3 7% 4/25
4 12% 7/25
5 14% 10/25
6 17% 14/25
7 19% 19/25
8 24% 25/25
According to this recalculation I am 3 days behind schedule! Yikes! I need some self motivation...ahem..."Go Urgent Sponge Go!"
This Is a very cool Idea, however I know I couldn't do that! Id most likely get so overwhelmed I go to my bed and sleep till 1 day before the trip! Ha!!! Anyway, good luck in Germany and have fun!
Your fellow Duolingo-er (is that a word?), Jane Doe (People call me that on the internet)
I've just started my German Tree but for an extra challenge I'm learning it from Spanish, my first forign language. When I read this I was thinking "Yeah!!! I can do this!" but than realliy started to hit. Sure I did a Golden Esperanto tree in 30 days but that's probably one of the easiest languages, and thankfuly it helped me with the Acusative case, but German is so irregular, I fear the fustration towards the end of the tree. It's still a good challenge and if I wasn't trying to become literate in Chinese in six months, I would probably join. But I think I will take at least 3 months and keep my tree bright Gold. I wish I could join, but I still wanted to wish you good luck and have a great time in Germany!
go by lessons for pace not skills. i finished the original tree in 90 days. Advice from someone who has done it pay close attention to word genders from the beginning. adjective declaration is the trickiest part i believe and you must know the genders. cases are tricky but come more naturally.
Sure anything is doable....It's just clicking, typing and saying. It's not like it's a big feat of the human spirit or anything. You should definitely go for it and you're going to make it. I think that it's better to blitz through the course once and give it like 2-3 hours a day, because it really helps with understanding pronunciation and help create a "mask". Then you can re-do everything again and again at a more leisurely pace. I would definitely be up for the challenge but seeing as I am already halfway through, it would be unfair. Definitely doable, I started about 140 days ago with Duo and my progress has been very fast. Planning to finish something like 6 trees in half a year or so.
Good luck, I've been going for nearly 2 months now, but the first month I went really slowly. I am almost done with the tree now, but you will find the hardest thing is to keep your tree golden especially as you get further down. I get about 20 skills coming up for review every day and then have to try and learn new lessons on top of that! To do it in half the time you might be getting 40-50 skills coming up for review by the time you come to the last few days.
I am going to Germany, too, in a month, to Leipzig, to be exact. And I started at the end of July to go down the tree with your same aim. At the beginning I wanted to finish it for that date, too, but I am still halfway now (42 completed skills - even if the change of the tree makes this number much smaller than what actually is)... I wish I would have met you before, it seems you have a great motivation! So, good luck to all of you! Deutsch ist lustig!
So how's it going so far? Are you keeping up your pace? Are you able to assimilate the material well?
It's a very interesting discussion that you've had here: the need to choose (in your particular case--having so little time) between learning only a few things very well or learning tons of stuff, perhaps not so well, but thus giving yourself a wider base to spring from once you get to Germany. I certainly agree (as you seem to also) with lots of the things Bruces and MagicMuffins said, but frankly I'm not sold that their ideas are best for someone in your circumstance. I tend to think that you've chosen the better way here; even if you don't learn the material soooo well, you'll have a much bigger arsenal from which to draw even a little bit of vocab for certain conversations. Plus, I think the exposure to more material will help you internalize some of the patterns of how German and English are inter-related (how Latinate words are formed in each language, for example, so that you can easily make a word like "Spezialität" from the English "specialty" right on the spot, even without having studied it).
I myself have always enjoyed the adventure that is inter-personal communication with someone from a different language/culture. It's a lot more fun when you can't just walk right up and manifest your thoughts in the local lingua franca. Only when the differences among us are most accentuated do you most easily discover that there is, after all, but a single fire of the human spirit that burns within each and every soul on our little planet.
You'd be surprised what can be achieved with sufficient determination - like the person who managed to do the entire Turkish tree from nothing in, I think, three days flat! And while I think the tree is shorter, Turkish isn't even an Indo-European language, never mind a Germanic one which has family traits in common with English :)
Definitely a turbo boosted rush through the tree leaves gaps to be plugged later, but 25 days for someone who's sufficiently stubborn and really wants to do it? Definitely doable, IMO.
I doubt I'm going to manage it myself, but I don't doubt someone else could if they really want to.
Good luck! Could I make a suggestion? How about deciding how much time you can spend in a day on German, say 3 hours because you're leaving soon, and practice the heck out of all the lessons before the first check point until you have them down cold, than continue from there. Then how about in about 7 to 10 days you get an italki tutor, and meet for a 1/2 hour to an hour every other day to get some communications basics down? I think you can realistically learn quite a few basic communication phrases and be comfortable with them as opposed to cramming the whole tree in and retaining just a little. All the best with your endeavor! Looking forward to hearing about how you did!