https://www.duolingo.com/spenerish

Thoughts after finishing the French course both ways

Over the past three years, I've finished the EN->FR and the FR->EN courses (and the EN->PT too!). I even spent a big chunk of my gap year doing Duolingo exercises and I can confidently say that it was not a waste of time. I honestly can't thank the Duolingo team and all the contributors enough for developing these remarkable and free courses.

Some thoughts:

  • I originally finished the EN->FR course over the first two years. The FR->EN took me only 3 months (and before that, the EN->PT course only took me 4 months). I found that after finishing one tree, you generally have an idea of what grammatical concepts will appear and how you can approach them, making it easier to conquer other trees.

  • After finishing the EN->FR course, I enrolled in French classes at my local Alliance Française. I highly recommend this. I enrolled in the B1 level class and Duolingo provided the perfect amount of background for me to keep up with the class and still learn a huge amount. The teachers are also native or fluent French speakers so they have been valuable in improving my listening and speaking skills.

  • Doing the reverse tree helped fill in some holes that the original tree had. Specifically, I felt that the original tree didn't provide enough exercise with COD/COI (direct and indirect objects) and there were plenty of them in the reverse tree. Another hole was the lack of futur anterieur in the original, which the reverse tree helped fill in. And that's not to mention doing the reverse tree gave me a lot more EN->FR sentences, which a lot of Duolingoers are demanding.

  • All in all, Duolingo has been such a positive experience and use of time for me that I can't recommend it enough. I earned my GED using online resources like Khan Academy, so I will always be a fan of online education. However, it's hard to find free (or even paid) resources that beat Duolingo in terms of scope and polishedness. I'm finishing up my gap year by spending three months in Lyon this summer, and it's all because I met Duolingo three years ago. I think it's amazing that the internet is being used to change people's lives like this.

My next steps in terms of language learning are to continue Alliance Française courses and work intensely on my listening and speaking. I might revisit Esperanto or work on my Portuguese a bit more. My next steps in terms of life, I'm not so sure about, but Duolingo has opened countless paths for me to step into (as cheesy as this sounds).

Thanks!

November 18, 2015

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Skepticstate

Merci beaucoup pour votre mots!

I think we all need more posts like this! It is so easy to become discouraged when you are slogging through your tree, not sure if you are really learning useful information about French or whatever language you happen to be learning. You hear people talk negatively about the value of the language, or the system, or your skills personally... It's hard some days. And then you read something like this, and it lifts us all up! We are learning something worthwhile, and you CAN DO IT! Positivity is just as infectious as negativity, and we all need more positive influence in our lives, in our world. So again, thank you! I want to give you 100,000,000 lingots, because the boost in spirits and motivation you have given me is invaluable!

Merci Beaucoup!

November 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lepaslandas

vos* mots

November 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/NtateNarin

Congratulations on your achievements and thanks a lot for your thoughts on the different trees. I'm about to finish French soon, and I may do the reverse tree. I have other language resources, so I may just use them for now instead and just keep my French tree golden once I finish it.

Anyways, keep up the great work!

November 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sdr51

Congratulations! May both your horizons and your studies continue to expand. The more sights you understand something about, the more you can become sure of your place in them. Best of luck in the adventure!

November 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/IAmJon

Good post! I have just finished my English to French tree. Like you I took 2 years to do it, a long time and I'm glad I stuck with it until the end. But I'm not sure what to do next. I guess I should try the French to English tree. Did you do the placement test thing? I'm not interested in basics one or whatever.

I watch French tv shows quite often. I've tried Lang 8 but find it difficult to know what to write about. I don't think I am as motivated as you. I'm not so interested in my language learning becoming really formal, as that may take the fun out of it. I am sort of shy about speaking too.

I happy that I've finally completed a tree, I just don't want my skills to go to waste and forget everything I've learnt.

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tenpounder

Parabéns! Great words. I share the same feelings about Duolingo and internet free learning. I would suggest you to French spoken courses in EDX. You will certainly find a subject of your interest in French or Portuguese! Saudações

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kermit511

great work. I still have a way to go. I agree with using different sources of learning. I went to french classes for two terms earlier this year and I have been using coffee break french podcasts to improve my french skills. anyway, I agree with your comments about duolingo and the duolingo community. all the best for the future

November 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Michele129966

Merci for the uplifting post! I bet you will learn so much French when you are in Lyon for three months! Please report back after you go! All that practice with listening and speaking will be amazing for your language skills. Bonne chance!

November 20, 2015

[deactivated user]

    One thing I learned with Duolingo is that it's a really good site to learn, even though I'm not so into this stuff, this was actually fun :) Congrats on your achievements mate. Cheers!

    November 18, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/stevecaicco

    Congratulations!

    November 18, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Lili118

    Thanks for the post.

    November 18, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Carolyn250

    What an uplifting post! I am sure that the life paths now open to you will lead to future success. Congratulations!

    November 18, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/frednurk0

    Thanks for your comments, I also finished my french tree and am now doing the reverse tree. I also revise the french tree to keep it golden. I am in my sixties and just wanted to learn french, and if you want to learn you have to stick at it. My french tree took three years but I got there. I did study other languages just to spark my interest (Turkish is good for that) when I tired of french but I had to do both! Like you I have booked into language classes to give me more skills with talking and listening, probably the only downside with Duolingo. Again congratulations

    November 19, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/DawnMarie3

    great idea on finishing in the reverse tree! I would have never considered that, and I am just about complete my first (EN-FR) course! :)

    November 19, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/jslocombe

    Awesome work, and thanks for sharing!

    November 20, 2015
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