https://www.duolingo.com/mndrix

Finished my German tree

After 129 days on Duolingo, I finished my German tree with all skills golden. It feels great to have come this far. Thanks to everyone who created the V2 tree. It was great. I thought I'd share a bit about my experience for any that are interested.

Why I chose German: I studied it in high school for three years and lived in Germany for 6 months. For the first two years of my daughter's life (she's 12 now), I only spoke to her in German. Her first word was German (die Decke). At that point, her German was better than mine so I quit :-) Anyway, when I heard about Duolingo ten years later, German seemed like the obvious choice.

Resources outside Duolingo: While at work, I've started playing Antenne Bayern Hits für Kids in the background. That's been a great way to broaden my vocabulary. I also bought Die Eiskönigin - Völlig Unverfroren and watch it for practice. Since I have 5 young kids, I've seen this movie in English a lot of times, so it's easier to understand the German version and pick up new words or phrases. I also watch Tatort episodes on YouTube to stretch my listening comprehension.

What's next: I plan to keep my entire German tree golden and to broaden my reading and listening comprehension with online, German media. Starting January 1st, my wife and I are going to work through the Spanish language tree (neither of us knows any Spanish). We've set aside Tuesdays as "Spanish only day" to help us practice. On that day, we'll only speak to each other in Spanish.

Anyway, it's been a lot of fun. Thank you Duolingo.

December 29, 2015

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SamijaH.

Awesome !!!!! Congratulations and I have to say I like your idea about making Tuesday only Spanish day. I am married for a german guy and ever since we met we have been speaking on english to each other and now that I am learning german because I plan to live in Germany (forever :P ) I had idea that he should start talking to me on german , even though I am only around level B1. I also finished my tree and I am keeping in golden for more then a month now. But, problem is ... He says it feels weird for him to speak to me in german and he doesn't do it. He always promises he will do it and then it lasts for 5 minutes and its over. I have no idea how to make him feel comfortable to speak on german with me so I can learn. Sometimes when I try to speak german with him he just replies in english , or sometimes he replies in german (rarely). I wish we would also have at least one day a week like you guys do , so I can practice :D hehehe

Sorry for long story :D hehehe

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mndrix

Thanks for sharing your story. When I lived in Germany, people would sometimes respond to my German by speaking English (their English was much better than my German). When I continued the conversation in German, they usually went back to speaking German eventually. I don't know if that would work with your husband, but maybe if you just kept speaking German he'd see your determination and be more comfortable continuing in German.

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/annqueue

There's a funny thing that happens when two people both speak two languages. If they're both trying to speak their non-native language, eventually one of them gives up and speaks their native language. It's usually the person with the poorer second language ability, because it's very difficult to answer in a foreign tongue while hearing your native tongue. When I first got to Germany, folks would reply to my German with English, and it was very hard to convince them to stay in German. I often gave up. Sometimes I would ask them to please speak German because I needed to practice. You have to be sensitive to context here; I wouldn't do it if I was buying train tickets and there was a long line behind me - no need to make everyone wait on my slow language. Anyway, as I progressed, eventually they would give up and keep speaking German to me, because I'd outlasted their ability to speak in a foreign tongue.

I had a German boyfriend who came back to the States with me. We'd met and conversed almost exclusively in German up to that point. Eventually we used both languages about equally, and the last time I went to Germany to visit, we spoke much more English than German. Because he uses English in his job and I have fewer opportunities to practice German, his English is now better than my German. So it is possible to switch.

Samija, If you can find a German speaking group in your town, you two should go together; that would help your sweetie adjust and give you a head start before you actually move.

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SamijaH.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I already moved to Germany and I am here for quite a few months now. But I started learning in February this year ... so 10 months ago. That is why I am still not so comfortable with the language. The thing is : my guy and I both speak on english to each other. That is his second language, but also my second language. But we are at that level of proficiency that it feels like it is our mother language. (We are both at C2 level for english.) But now that I learn german , I would like to change that and I will try to apply advice from mndrix. I will just reply to him in german until he gives up and talks to me in his native language :D Hahahaha

And I tried to make friends in this town, but people are not so friendly. They are just polite, but not open for new friendships , as it seems. So I kind of gave up. :(

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SamijaH.

I see your point there and I think it might work. I will most definitely try and even if he speaks with me on english I will speak with him on german. I think your idea might actually work after a while. Thank you for suggestion :D

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AndyHix

Only around B1? B1 is awesome!

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SamijaH.

Hehehe thank you , but I strive for perfection. The only time I will feel comfortable enough about the language is when I am able to speak it as I do english (which is also my second language) :P :D

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Its_Jamesy_Boy

Congrats!! you and I are just about the same level and streak days, but you blew through your tree way faster than i did, I had been on and off for months before my streak. Nice job!!

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Awesomegirl4321
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December 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Taraerose

Wonderful y buena suerte!

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutscheMaus

Congrats on finishing your tree! I am still plugging along on mine, not in a hurry, just making sure I try to retain as much as I can, mainly by going back to any gold circles that have re-colored and lots of reviewing. :) Good luck on your Spanish! Spanish is such a beautiful language and also so useful! I am also taking Spanish on DuoLingo, but I have been focusing most of my time on German...need to get cracking on the Spanish again! Anyway, congratulations on your tree!

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CamillaJones1

Wow, I'm impressed! My parents are also fluent in German.

December 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza

Congratulation ! I love the fact that you have your wife to practice and set up goals ! German is truly an amazing experience ! Good continuation

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/-zenon-

Super, herzlichen Glückwunsch. Ja, es macht Spaß mit Duolingo zu lernen. Ich wünsche Dir genau soviel Erfolg mit Spanisch.

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Pfiff

It took me far longer, but I finished my German tree yesterday too! Well done!! Here's to another year of language learning. :)

(May I ask, was there any fanfare (like for finishing a lesson or levelling up) when you completed the tree? I had Duolingo on mute at that time, so I might never know.)

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sjodni

It was just like finishing a lesson, but another, one of those loud sounds, and the image popped up.

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mndrix

I didn't notice any special fanfare. Although, I was so excited to finish the tree that I wasn't really paying attention to the sound :-)

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Brooke177

Congrats! How long every day would you say you spent on Duolingo?

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mndrix

I usually spend about 30 minutes each day. I have my goal set at 50 XP per day. During the last two weeks, I probably spent 1.5 hours each day (earning about 150-200 XP per day), since I was trying to finish before the new year.

Since I had learned German previously, I also used the Test Out feature a lot. That was especially true for the first half of the tree.

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/closethatdoor

Wonderful! I too think your Spanish Tuesday is a great idea; having someone else helping (& giggling, if the kids get involved) will be fun. Will it be tapas & paella too..?

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/josewilhelm

That's a very nice achievement man, seriously, well done! Also thank you very much for your suggestions. I started listening to Antenne Bayern Hits fuer Kids too, and it's very useful! I find your idea of language-only day for practice helpful too, I will implement it with a friend that's also learning languages like me. Still, too bad that I'm the only person in my home that actually speaks English and is learning German. Spanish is my native language, if you or your wife have any questions feel free to ask.

January 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/WanderingMonk

Congratulations!!

December 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/skiesofsaturn

Great job! I hope your journey's with the Spanish language also fare well!

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/solopipe

Great job. And you did it the right way by keeping everything gold.

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tarekdhib1

VERY COOL

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mfarooq28

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sjodni

Great job!

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Savieus

Wow! Nice job!

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/slothingtonn

Congratulations! :) And good luck on learning Spanish :)

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/francy.ben

Great job, congratulations!!

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/John-AI4FR

Well done!!!

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TravisHeredy

I have a question. You know how when you don't use duolingo for a couple of days some parts of your tree start to backtrack and you have to redo that skill in order to make it golden again? Does this still happen once you complete your tree or does it stay golden permanently.

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mndrix

It still backtracks. I spend time each day keeping everything golden. So Duo is still a helpful resource for me even though I've finished this tree.

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/amitabhakolkar

Super!! All the best on Spanish learning

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JaimeSmith8

Very cool. Congratulations. I've finished the spanish tree and am working on german. I'll have to check out the links you've mentioned as a supplemental study.

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Gatepc

Congrats! I'm working on German now. Might I ask what level of understanding and speaking can be expected using only duolingo, upon completion of the tree I mean!

January 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mndrix

It's hard for me to say since I studied German quite a bit and even lived there before starting with Duolingo. Others who have used just Duolingo may be able to answer better.

However, Duolingo says my fluency is 43% right now. That seems pretty accurate for listening comprehension and speaking ability. I'd say I'm closer to 60% fluent for reading comprehension though. I suspect that Duo can get you pretty close to those levels by itself.

January 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MaxKhazim

I'm Max from Syria, please sir can I know if this program is enough to learn the German language, and if it's contains a good vocabulary, I'm about to graduate from medical college and I want to continue my study in Deutschland,Danke schön

January 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mndrix

Duolingo will give you a very good start on learning German. After that, you'll be able to improve your German using other resources. Viel Glück

January 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MaxKhazim

Thanks a lot,)))

January 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelSibulo

have you made yourself certified? :)

May 25, 2017
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