700 days, two years and 7 golden owls
Before discovering Duolingo on 16 February 2014 I had made some half hearted attempts at learning French but without much success. It was only through Duolingo that I managed to put structure into my learning and my efforts finally gained momentum. Since then I've completed the EN-FR tree twice as well as the FR-EN and DE-FR trees. For fun I tested out of DE-EN and EN-DE and today I completed my final tree FR-DE. While I have now effectively achieved everything Duolingo can offer me in French and won't learn anything new, I still intent to come back to practice for the time being. For me it is this daily routine that keeps my motivation up. As a result, I enrolled again in French classes at level B1.2, I can now read the local French newspaper without much difficulty and even write short essays.
Thanks Duolingo! It's been an incredibly rewarding jouney.
My journey pretty much mirrors yours.
I enrolled into third year French at university. I was put into the advanced stream that usually requires you to have done French from primary school and high school with good grades. That's done, and while I must admit my French has decayed a little in the last two months I feel as thought it would come back to me quickly.
Unfortunately the biggest issue that duo presents is with speaking. You don't really learn to speak. I can also read newspapers without much of an issue, and have read the first two Harry Potter books in French without having to refer to a dictionary every page. For my university course I had to write 1500 words in French about Georges Simenon's Maigret. It was incredibly difficult and I made a fair share of mistakes but I got through it in the end. The best part about the course was that I was able to keep up in every regard to people that had grown up in France and had lived there for years in almost every single department aside from speech. That was the one area that I was severely lagging behind in.
I managed to finish the class with a high distinction. Something that I was not at all expecting. I was incredibly proud of my achievement. I would love to move to France to look for work but if my speaking ability does not improve drastically I feel that may be out of reach.
Keep up the good work though. :)
Congratulations! It sounds like you are much more advanced than me. I never had any French lessons before moving to Luxembourg (I had foregone French at school in favour of Latin - a decision much regretted later in life). Here it is actually possible to get by without much French due to the fact there are three official languages and a large international community. In France, however, it is a different story, it's either swim or sink. I think if you moved there your spoken French would catch up pretty quickly.
Man, that's awesome. I'm glad you have reached your milestone. Here is 6 free lingots from me. :)
Great job! Do try immersion if you are interested in improving your reading comprehension. You may have read complaints about it here, but most of the people in immersion are truly kind and interested only in helping each other.
Thank you so much for sharing! I sometimes wonder if I am progressing, but there are good days and bad ones. I'm primarily focused on French and your post has inspired me to hang in there and keep "climbing" that lovely french tree! Duolingo is amazing. The program teaches in such a fun way that it is like playing while learning. The amazing thing to me is how well it works, even with the subtle aspects of language learning. Thanks again and good luck with the audio comprehension! 8-)
Thank you! So glad I could be an inspiration. And good luck with your future progress. For me the best thing about Duolingo is, that it encourages daily practice. In German we have a saying "a steady drop will hollow a rock" and this is certainly true here.
7 golden owls in 2 years?! You are amazing! I've just begun to learn french and it is already kicking my butt.
Well, strictly speaking only 5 owls learning a language because the other two were English/German and German/English, both languages I already speak fluently.
That shows a great commitment anyway. May I ask you what your motive is for learning French?
For the most part living in Luxembourg. While it is not impossible to get by here without French, it can be rather difficult. Also, I took a much regretted decision in school not to learn French. So now it is a personal challenge to remedy this.
Wow! congratulations! Until recently, I started to use Duolingo consistently, and I really like it. To read about your learning journey has motivated me to keep at it !
Wow :D that's amazing, I hope one day I can get to that level. Just asking, is there anyway to reset the tree, so as to make starting it again easier? So to make it easy to track where I was up to when I leave it?
I believe that if you go to "Settings," then to "Learning Languages," there is a button that allows you to reset or delete any languages. That way you can start a tree again!
There is no point to reset. You should just do the reverse tree. If you really want to do it again, just create another account, assuming you have more than one email account.
Another way to do it is to learn another language, like Spanish, as a French speaker. That's what I'm going to do next month.
What is "reverse tree"? Is it doing the whole tree from bottom to up?
Let's say English is your native language, and you're learning French. The reverse tree would be for you to pretend to be a French speaker learning English or some other languages. This would force you to really know French.
Wow, this is incredible. Congrats. I hope someday I read newspapers and write essays.
Are you reading any books in french? Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, etc?
Thanks. So far I've only read Le Petit Nicolas, which is a popular French children's book. I might give Harry Potter a try next.
I loved Le Petit Nicolas (Mikołajek in Polish) when I was a little kid! :D
Congrats! I am in the process of improving my German through doing the French and Spanish trees. Duolingo still offers me different ways to keep learning something new, but as others have suggested in the past I try to complement my learning with other resources.
I just did the quiz and quit. it said I couldn't come back. So if you do it, do not quit! And also finish learning before taking a quiz
Question: Was the vocabulary and the example sentences very different when you did the reverse course ?
It's a while since I did the reverse tree EN-FR / FR-EN but I didn't notice a huge difference in vocabulary. What is different, however, is into which language you translate mostly, which is the base language, i.e. on the reverse tree FR-EN you would be translating far more into French than into English.
Thx. I can see how that is an upgrade of the intensity/level of difficulty and a worthwhile continuation of the course.
I just assumed that the reverse course may have been made by different persons - and hence a tad different as regards sentences / vocab