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french stuff

hi I would like to know how fluent and how long you people have been using Duolingo for.

2 years ago




I've had an account since June and worked on Spanish for a while, then switched to French in August. My streak is 87 days currently but I've been working on French for around 99 days and am going to finish my tree tomorrow (yeah, I could do it now but I have stuff to strengthen that I'd rather focus on during the day today -- that and I like the nice round 100 days in French to complete all skills).

Am I fluent? Not by a long shot. Duolingo won't get you to fluency no matter how you slice it. It isn't designed to do so. It'll get you to "advanced proficiency" by their advertising - somewhere around B1-B2 depending on how well you retain and how much you practice. But I can tell you how I feel in the four main aspects of language acquisition:

Reading: I have gotten to where I can read in French pretty well. I don't know every single word but I'm familiar enough with it to get by for the most part with easier, more conversational writing and with the aid of a dictionary I can get by really well.

Writing: Nowhere near as good as Reading, but it'll come in time. 100 days is RIDICULOUSLY fast to try to actually become proficient anyway, so I'm not expecting to be able to write off the top of my head without a lot of hesitation and double checking for quite a while yet. Funny how that works - one would think one could read and write at roughly the same level but that's just not how it works with a second language that wasn't acquired natively, heh.

Listening: Pretty bad, but getting better. It's hard to really pick up how actual people speak French from a computer program with somewhat slow and bizarre TTS on occasion (the female sounds hilariously surprised when saying stuff like œuf and singe and the male says oui funny and overemphasizes what the female voice uses as liaisons so yeah, it's odd). I've watched a few Youtube videos with closed captioning and with the writing I'm able to follow along so the listening skills are coming along slowly.

Speaking: I can only BARELY speak better than I could before I understood a word of French. My speaking skills are horrible. This is where a computer program cannot really, truly help someone -- you gotta have real people to help you learn how to speak a language with interesting pronunciation rules. Some languages are more difficult to speak than others and to become proficient in speaking a language one really needs someone to speak it with. I'm not saying that EVERYONE will struggle with speaking but for me, French is a very complicated language to pronounce correctly (I fall into Spanish pronunciation an awful lot but I think that's because of where I live and what I'm surrounded by, but regardless, for me I can't really speak French well at all)

((and before anyone asks - my 100% shield in my profile pic did NOT come from a language tree. It came from the free English Fluency Test in the Testing Center. The fluency shields in the language trees only go up to around 60% or so - one cannot achieve a 100% through this program alone.))

Reply22 years ago

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I suppose you can increase a lot of your writing skills by doing the reverse tree (FR> EN). That's because you have to write in french a lot more.

Reply2 years ago


Yeah, one can and I've done a little work in that tree already (although for whatever reason my flag likes to not show up consistently, oddly enough). The writing will come in time, I just worked through the tree a bit too quickly to really be proficient at this point. Course I still have one skill left (haven't officially gotten my golden owl) and I strengthen all the time but until I can do those sentences with zero mistakes I know I'm not proficient yet.

Some people acquire languages more quickly than others. I've learned through this process that about a hundred days is plenty of time for me to get to where I can read a language with latin characters that I had no previous experience with whatsoever with only some difficulty but it isn't enough time to cement in all of the aspects of language acquisition.

Reply12 years ago



Reply2 years ago