https://www.duolingo.com/OctoberAle

To the people who are level 20+

How has Duolingo worked out for you conversation wise? Are you able to perform full conversations with people? Do you ever eavesdrop on people speaking it and go, "Hey, I know what they're saying."? xD

I'm just curious, that's all. I started Duolingo a year ago and like most users I quit. However, I'm back and really have an urge to try it again! This time my goal is speak French and speak full on sentences with it.

2 years ago

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Edited

Before my conversation partner moved away, I was conversational. (Not so much now that I've put Spanish mostly aside to focus on ASL and JPN.) I make it a point not to eaves drop though. :)

One thing I did to prepare myself besides having a language partner was to say everything on Duolingo course out loud.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Delta1212
Delta1212
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I find repeating everything on Duolingo out loud (when possible) to be the most helpful thing you can do (on Duolingo) to improve speaking ability.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sibhreach

Welcome back to DL then! :)

Well, I can say that using Duolingo alone will not get you fluent - so don't get too excited. DL is a great additional tool in your arsenal of language learning, but it shouldn't be your only one!

I am nowhere near fluent (I'm also only 6 lessons past the first French checkpoint - so I'm not far on my tree, either) but I can catch a few words here and there of the spoken French on the radio I listen to. Again, not fluent nor can I truly understand what the DJ's (or ads) are saying - but sometimes I can get the gist! It's definitely exciting when I do catch things or if I'm reading and I get enough to have idea of what's being said.

Sometimes I can even (partly) understand songs! That's impressive being that I've only been at this since June of this year. My fluent roommate is impressed and says that I appear to be halfway through French 1 (were I in a traditional classroom setting).

What you need to be doing (in addition to DL) is listening to podcasts and radio and watching anything and everything in your target language(s)! That will help train up your ear for the natural flow of the language and will actually help with pronunciation (which is my weakest ability). Also, be sure to check out other French language websites for additional vocabulary and other lessons you won't find here on DL (they will help!). Memrise is a popular one for vocabulary - and for just about every language, too, it's mind-boggling!

Bonne chance!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OctoberAle

Wow! Thank you for that detailed response. I'll definitely take your advice and look more into podcasts. Maybe even watch a couple of French kids shows while I'm at it xD.

And yeah I took Spanish in High School and was impressed I could understand some of Shakira's songs.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilmarien
Ilmarien
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Yes and no. I'm capable of speaking Portuguese with people who are willing to humor me, but it's kind of painful and my listening skills are pretty terrible. I can read just fine, though.

Duolingo will give you the grammar and vocabulary you need to get yourself started, but conversation is a skill that can only be honed by speaking with people, not by drilling.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OctoberAle

So what I'm getting at is Duolingo is kinda of the equivalent of your basic High School Spanish class? Which is fine for me but I should find other outlets then.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilmarien
Ilmarien
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It depends on what your basic high school classes look like. I had a pretty effective high school experience in French, with everything carried out in the language, so conversational practice was definitely a thing there.

sibhreach has a nice list of additional options you can look into, and I would definitely recommend them all as well, but I have to stress that no amount of reading or listening to the radio is going to make you able to speak the language. It'll build your vocabulary and listening comprehension, but that's only half the battle. If you can find a local group that meets regularly, or if you like Skype, that'll help, but conversational practice is essential if that's what you're after.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OctoberAle

Thank you!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wildfood
wildfood
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The reverse tree will definitely teach you to write French sentences, especially if you keep it golden and do timed practice until you reach level 25. If you can write French sentences you will easily learn to speak French sentences.

In short, finish the French tree and launch into the reverse tree. Keep the reverse tree golden and practice it until you reach level 25. You will be the next Guy de Maupassant.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OctoberAle

Thanks for the encouragement! I'll definitely look into the reverse tree.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/danielmount
danielmount
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Not full-speed, no. However, I am more successful in written conversations (email). Here's why: In the Spanish course, DuoLingo teaches 2,600 words. Within that vocabulary, there's often a way to communicate a general idea, but I usually have to run through 3-5 alternate ways to say an idea before I can think of one that only includes vocabulary I know. That's hard to do in real time.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/UneJamKuqEZi

I know I'm not level 20+ but I used to be, in Portuguese, but then I deleted the tree to do it again... 3 times.

Right now, I'm somewhere between high B1 and high B2 in Portuguese, and my listening is horrible, but I can pick out a few words here and there. My speaking is average, I can speak Portuguese, but it takes me a while to think of the word and then having to pronounce it correctly. However, my reading and writing skills are great, especially reading. Throw a Portuguese paragraph at me, and I can translate it, with at least 99% of it being right. My writing is a little bit worse than reading, but I can do it easily. Throw an English paragraph at me, and I can translate it, with somewhere around 80% being right. I don't necessarily remember how much I could do when I finished the tree once, but I'm pretty sure, it was very low compared to now. Hope that helped! :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua
wombatua
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I've never wanted to use it for conversational purposes. I'd rather learn how to read German - so I spend most of my time in immersion.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maltu
maltu
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I'm not at that level yet, but if you want to be able to speak French you must do something extra to develop that skill. Easy French on Youtube should help you get used to natural speech, and try and find native speakers to talk to. This can be via social media, or things like Meet Up groups, depending on where you live. I can often understand Spanish and German people, if they are just chatting in shops,etc., but French is harder to follow. I live in a channel port, so do hear a lot of different people around the town.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lorel90
Lorel90
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I can talk about German. In general Dl will not teach to talk, it teaches you grammar and vocabulary. You have to find ways to practice conversation online, in person or even in the imagination with role playing. Dl is a very important first step, but a lot more is require.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jessd47
jessd47
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Duolingo helps to some extent, but the best way to get the most out of it is to supplement it with movies, music, etc. I have a great list of some of those if you would like them! Exposure to the language every day does wonders. I recently went to France and Belgium after 6 months of Duo, and I was actually surprised by how well I was able to communicate. Since then I've continued it on Duolingo and am taking French in school as well. Hopefully one day I can become fluent!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ilovedogs8000

I got a question, how do you take a picture on your profile. I do not know how

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OctoberAle

Hover over your username at the top right corner and click on settings and on the bottom you should have a way to change your profile picture.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ilovedogs8000

Thanks so much! I am going to do that right now

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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No. Not least because there are no conversations in what passes for lessons here.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/layerculture

Find ways to get what you learn from Duolingo out of your brain. The difference I found is that you'll have the vocabulary, verbs and phrases in your head but you'll then need the conversation to be able to use it in the real world or at least outside of Duolingo or similar applications.

2 years ago
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