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

Duolingo-does it work?

I have just started out the whole language learning thing. I'm really motivated and I want to learn a new language. But, does Duolingo really work? I don't really know anyone so I can't ask around. From past experience learning a new language is really hard and boring. I want something fresh, new, and fun. And, something that will actually teach me a new language rather than getting me confused. Will it teach me a new language?

4 years ago

39 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/sqreept
sqreept
  • 25
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

Duolingo offers accessibility through being easily available everywhere and also being free. It doesn't make learning a language less hard. It makes you be more motivated to go through the challenge. It helps (a lot) making repetitions less boring, it's fun, it's full of interesting people that are willing to help. It will teach you the bare essentials you need to kick off learning a new language. You need to complement it with reading, listening, watching TV, speaking in your target language. You'll find pointers to the best external resources all over the forums. But I feel I need to stress this: Although I think it's better than anything I've tried, alone, Duolingo is not going to teach you a new language. Depending on your rhythm and time you may feel the need for something else anywhere from one month to six months into the process.

Maybe an example from my experience will explain it better: In 3 months of using Duolingo I got from knowing a handful of German words (basic survival words) to being able to read kids' stories with the occasional help of a dictionary. Another 3 months after that, I can now watch a German movie (with German subtitles) and understand it (while many words still feel alien). Also grammar started to come automatic now. I estimate I need about another year of Duolingo (plus all the other external resources) to get to the point where I can comfortably say I learned German.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sqreept
sqreept
  • 25
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

I almost forgot about one very important thing: People around here are so nice that they bury you in Lingots from time to time. Thanks everyone and have fun learning!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gronyteen

I think this reply says it all, well done for taking the time to offer such a thorough and sensible response. Have a Lingot.

4 years ago

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

Wow! Thanks a lot. It really helps and I am going to stay with Duolingo.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sqreept
sqreept
  • 25
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

Have a good one!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
jaye16
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 20
  • 11
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 176

Welcome hope you have a great experience on Duo. sqreeqt says it all. I've included two learner created sites to help other learners. You'll note that Duolingo doesn't give grammar lessons etc and you'll wonder how you'll figure it out. Well, you'll turn to the community on the discussion site. http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1352379$from_email=commentcomment_id=1353416 http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1278938

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
  • 20
  • 19
  • 17
  • 14
  • 12
  • 8
  • 3

I'd be very interested to have a follow up in said-year to see where you stand.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sqreept
sqreept
  • 25
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

Yeah. I'll be around to explain where I am but I hope it's going to be earlier than that :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kmw13

Have a Lingot.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
Mod
  • 25
  • 18
  • 18
  • 11
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 9

Hi AshlynFloyd! (Frooozeeeeen!! :D)

Check out this video from a person who uses Duolingo to learn Portuguese http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1422313$from_email=commentcomment_id=1436243

Also, here is a link to the New User FAQ that might help you on your journey http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1426103

Here is my personal experience: I've tried a lot of other things, including Rosetta Stone, various apps, etc. it didn't go so well. I'm not the most self-directed person you'll meet. So, for various reasons, i didn't thrive with those interfaces. (But some do!!) Duolingo works with my own personal learning style very well with the streak and levels, community of people I enjoy and who encourage me.

My biggest obstacle was my own impatience with the tree. I watched how fast everyone else was finishing the tree, and while I wanted to take a little longer (and did, took me about 90 days), I didn't want to take sooo long that I never reached the end. Worrying about my timing, however, I got caught up in watching my lessons change colors and started moving forward before I was fully comfortable with the material. So, take your time, get solid every step of the way before you move forward. And don't be afraid to incorporate materials from outside of Duolingo as well (but don't overwhelm yourself.) Set a goal you can manage. My goal is just to keep my streak going at the very minimum. (I have to make sure I don't get bored so I very often go beyond that minimum requirement.)

I'm happy you're here and I hope that Duolingo fits your learning needs. If by some chance it doesn't, don't give up! Find what works for you and keep learning. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sqreept
sqreept
  • 25
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

Here's a Lingot for pointing out that hurrying through the tree is not a good idea. I did mine in 55 days just to get in the situation where I had to just go again through the whole lot to repair the damage. Latins were saying: "Festina lente" (Hurry up slowly!) and this surely works here. I found that is a lot better to obsessively and patiently kill one subject (kill = be able to go through Timed Practice perfectly three times in a row) and then move to the next. It gives you a strong base to build on. The thing is our brains forget stuff several times (about 7 to 10 times) before the information sticks into long term memory. So focus on forgetting correctly :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
wazzie
  • 25
  • 11

I'm on day 198, and still not complete. I don't feel that I'm moving two slow for my learning speed (which is apparently very slow), but I think its great to point out that retention is the most important thing.. If it takes you 55 days, 90 days or 200+
That's one of the great things about DL, it allows you to set the pace.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sqreept
sqreept
  • 25
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

I guess you're doing it right actually :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
Mod
  • 25
  • 18
  • 18
  • 11
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 9

Thanks for the lingot! I wish my interface allowed me to gift those!

As for repairing damage, I'm currently trying to do that by taking the reverse course. Surprisingly challenging but also a lot of fun. Not so much pressure to not run out of hearts. If it happens, I just do it over again. (I have my priorities right this time). I will say, finishing that first tree gave me a lot of motivation to continue with learning Spanish through the reverse course. :) And after that, I want to learn another language from Spanish. (3 part language strategy, oh yeah!)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Salxandra
Salxandra
  • 24
  • 10
  • 10
  • 2

I haven't finished the tree yet, but I've ventured over to the reverse tree. Yes, it is surprisingly challenging. It forced me to figure things out that I was avoiding. And, it's quite different from the English to Spanish tree. It really helps you to understand things that you would otherwise gloss over.

Once I finish my Spanish tree, I'm planning to finish the reverse tree, too.

P.S. But, aren't the (type the sentence in English that you just heard in English) a little ridiculous? LOL - I'm always trying to type them in Spanish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
  • 20
  • 19
  • 17
  • 14
  • 12
  • 8
  • 3

I agree! I take my time with the German tree. I go over and over the same lessons till I get bored, then I learn a few new skills, and hop, I practice them again a lot.

I don't do timed practice, it stresses me out too much, even if I know the answer, haha!

The reverse tree is nice too, though a bit boring at times (the Spanish one to me, at least) so I go through it way faster. Not the German tree though, I still suck at German ;-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
SD-77
  • 22
  • 18
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6

I learn the lessons, however quickly I can (not rushing but not repeating all the time), and then I keep the tree gold. So if I didn't get the things before, I will get them eventually by practicing over and over. (I get bored quickly, so I can't do lessons over and over again. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ljeanxo

I'm obsessed with Duolingo!! No really, like obsessed. I'm constantly on here. I am even starting to hVe dreams in french!! It's amazing :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
wazzie
  • 25
  • 11

If you want to correct your post, you can always use the edit button next to reply. That way you can fix mistakes and no one has to know (and it keeps the forums better organized)!
Obviously you can only do this with your own post ;)

(the way I just did when I accidentally wrote replay instead of reply)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jheavner724
jheavner724
  • 18
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

I still ask this question sometimes. I discovered Duolingo after I had learned Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese, so I don't get to see if it really works, but I have seen others and seen how it works by playing with it.

From the progress I've seen some people make (like the recent video of a user named Jesús speaking Portuguese) I'm fairly certain that you can become quite comfortable and "fluent" in a language through Duo, though you will definitely lack proficiency (only around 2000 words is not enough to talk about many things in any depth), which is why Duo is best supplemented and good use of the Immersion section is great.

Duo teaches you in a very implicit manner, one that is also game-like and fun, which seems fine by me. The grammar should probably be seen explicitly from other places on the internet, vocabulary should be added and additional practice or some sort of immersion (including simulated immersion, i.e. reading news in your target language, having your phone in Spanish, etc.) should be present/

Overall, however, Duo is one of the greatest tools I see to learn Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese or German. Just be sure to supplement it and work hard and you'll be fine.

You should also probably get audio from elsewhere or practice with speakers, as the Duo recordings can often be pretty robotic and poor (I find the French to be difficult to understand).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
  • 20
  • 19
  • 17
  • 14
  • 12
  • 8
  • 3

The one thing I love in Duo, above all other things, is that you write full sentences. You do not only learn words, which is of course necessary, but you learn to make full sentences which I find to be the most important thing ever. Especially new sentences, not just learning a set of sentences you repeat over and over again (well, ok, they aren't endless, but you'll spend a big amount of time here before you master everything). THAT is priceless.

However, I do not think you can reach any kind of fluency if you don't practice elsewhere. Jesus did mention in his video he practiced a lot with native speakers via Skype; without that and if he were to be a bit shy, he could also not be able to speak at all.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jkl
jkl
  • 16
  • 14
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9

The person u mentioned has a first lanuage of spanish, so its not accurate to state that duolngo made him proficient in portugues since spanish and portguese r quite similar

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jheavner724
jheavner724
  • 18
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

So? If I learned Frisian people would be impressed, I'd know a new language, be able to speak with new people, be able to read new things and I would ultimately know another language, despite it being one of my L1's (English) closest relatives (probably the closest, especially for someone like me who understands Old English, unless you're considering the Scots language – but I digress).

Spanish and Portuguese are definitely similar, as are Spanish and Catalan, or Spanish and Italian, but they are distinct in the same way that any two languages are. If you know Spanish then sure you'll know some Portuguese grammar and a good bit of vocabulary, but it's not, in my opinion, correct to consider the learning process so distinct. After all, what about someone who learns French or German as a native English speaker? Thousands upon thousands of English vocabulary words come from one of those two languages and parts of the grammar closely resembles parts of each of them, yet when someone learns French or German from English, no one plays it off like someone learning Portuguese from Spanish.

You almost always have prior knowledge about a language you're learning, even if the language is quite different from your L1 (e.g. many English speakers will know a few Japanese words, like こんにちは[Kon'nichiwa] meaning "Hello!").

So, I do not think that the example I gave is all so different. Anyway, it was only one example, there are many others.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jack.Elliot
Jack.Elliot
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 21
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

Great point I knew French and German but I am enjoying learning Dutch and seeing the connections to Scots, Old English and Northern English

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jheavner724
jheavner724
  • 18
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

Dutch is closely related to English (after all, they're both Germanic), as is Scots (it is probably the closest language to English today, in fact, though it is often called a dialect), hence the connections. Frisian is also very close to English, probably the closest language except for Scots, though Frisian is most similar to Old English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jack.Elliot
Jack.Elliot
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 21
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

so it would be a pure delight to have look at Frisian here

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jkl
jkl
  • 16
  • 14
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9

so? my native language is polish and i can communicate with ukranians quite well even though polish and ukraine r 2 different languages. so i went to learn ukriane, it would be a bad example cuz i can already understand much of the language from my native language. a better example for the effectiveness of duolingo would be to learn a completely opposite language or to learn a language that one has never reviewed

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jheavner724
jheavner724
  • 18
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

I could understand some French before ever learning it, same with most other European languages and popular languages in general. You're right that, to an extent, it's a different situation, but it's not as big of a difference as you suggest. It is a truly rare occasion that one comes into learning a language without any prior knowledge, especially if their L1 is something wildly popular, like English, that shares many words with other languages due to its words becoming loan words elsewhere.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
Mod
  • 25
  • 18
  • 18
  • 11
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 9

Oh! I missed that part. Thanks for the clarification!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jkl
jkl
  • 16
  • 14
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9

np

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pont
pont
  • 25
  • 23
  • 18
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 11
  • 10
  • 7
  • 5
  • 392

For me, Duolingo works really well as part of an overall language learning campaign. My Italian learning tools also include Michel Thomas audio courses, AnkiDroid flashcards, listening to Italian broadcasts and podcasts, Wiktionary, and conversing with native speakers. This has brought me to a useful level of everyday Italian in a year -- I'd estimate myself at B1 on the CEFR scale for writing, B2 for reading and (optimistically) conversation. There are some things Duolingo doesn't do well, notably conversation, and it's worth experimenting with other tools to complement it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf
TheGandalf
  • 25
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Yep, if you read the Discussions and Google what you don't understand.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Turlagh

duoLingo is NOT an example of "you get what you pay for"!

You get WAY MORE than you pay for....

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simonla

Duolingo gave me the basic framework necessary in order not to be demoralized when time comes to read a book in my target language, or listen to podcasts. I took it relatively slowly. I started the Spanish tree in July, did half an hour every night (EVERY night), unlocking two lessons per night and spending the rest of the time simply practicing previous lessons. I finished the tree on December 31st. So half a year. I supplemented this with podcasts on my commute. I think I can read pretty well and could speak decently; the hardest part remains understanding native speakers. You basically need discipline to acquire the basics with Duolingo (which should be fun), and exposure.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jkl
jkl
  • 16
  • 14
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9

Duolingo is like a first year course in college, possibly 1.5 years

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
  • 20
  • 19
  • 17
  • 14
  • 12
  • 8
  • 3

I've taken 4 years of German in Middle/High school, I've learned more in 1.5 months and half a tree on Duo X-D Well, I also may have forgotten most of the stuff I learned back then, but I'm sure way more motivated by Duo than by my German teacher from back then...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jkl
jkl
  • 16
  • 14
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9

i had to take a placement test at the university for foreign language, and when i was about 75% of the way though i went to take the test and i went onto spanish 3. at the school theres spanish 1,2,3,4, and then spanish literature/communications course that is more of an elective. but if i were to finish the whole spanish tree first ( since a lot on the test comes up at the end of the spanish duolingo ), i would have scored higher

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
  • 25
  • 24
  • 23
  • 22
  • 22
  • 22
  • 17
  • 17
  • 17
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 1028

Depends on your learning style. You won't know till you try it out. I love it, I am understanding and remembering the grammar WAY better than any other method I've tried. I'm learning the vocabulary more securely as well, although I'm not so concerned about it, as I tend (as most of us do) to remember words I use more the best, I've had too much experience with English learners who know a fair number of individual words who can't put even a badly constructed sentence together in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gitanomama

The little lingot rewards for streaks has me motivated to something every day, and after a 90+ day streak, I am beginning to see a real improvement. Listening to Spanish radio, I can understand much more! And don't do a lot each day, sometimes just enough to keep the streak sometimes.

4 years ago
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.