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https://www.duolingo.com/Frencher1

My dad says you need tutors...

So I started learning Italian on Duolingo today, and told my dad.

He said that I would only learn the words here, but fluency, ability to hold conversation etc. would be impossible without classes.

Do you think I'd be fluent in Italian at the end of the course of the Italian tree?

4 years ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/sakasiru
sakasiru
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I think that depends on what you consider fluent. Pass for a native speaker? No. Hold a basic conversation? Yes. Where exactly in between you end up will depend on how you learn. How fast you generally pick up a language. How thoroughly you practice the lessons. Whether you turn listening and speaking on or off. Whether you use ressources outside of duolingo to practice grammar, hearing, reading. If you really put interest and effort into it, you can get a decent basis for reading, writing, watching films and talking to native speakers which in turn will expand your knowledge further.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frencher1

Alright, I'll try to read Italian stories at the end of the course tree :) Thank you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
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I think DL gets you to a point where you can then become fluent.
You always hear, the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. If you have zero knowledge of a language, this is almost impossible. Doing things like holding basic conservations with natives, listen to music, watching tv/movies, reading in your target language will greatly improve fluency, but to get to a point where you can do those things, you need a foundation. DL will give you that foundation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frencher1

Hmm.. this gives me an idea, online italian chat. thank you for the reply!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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As most people define it you will not be fluent at the end of the tree. You need to know a lot more than the tree and you need to know it all very well(fast recall) to hold conversation. That does not necessarily mean you need formal classes either. A better answer than you will need classes is you will need more effort that just completing the tree.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AbraxunsIllusion

If you wish to be as good as native speakers at a language, DL won't get you that far. But you will be able to communicate a great deal!

By the way, I have changed my name to I_AM_THE_DOCTOR. Many may have recognized me before as II_AJAX_II. His time is over :P

Anyways, Duolingo is great and all, but you won't become entirely fluent at the end.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/treiscuarenta

Sign your father up to duolingo and ask him to test it out himself for 30 mins per day for 5 days. Then ask him what he thinks. More than likely when you search for him he will be on duolingo on a 6 day streak!

Anyway, you will not be fluent at the end of your tree however, the end of the tree is not the end. You can do immersion translations and gradually improve while maintaining your tree. Overtime you can do other activities like trying to activate your vocab with short conversations etc and head in the direction of fluency. Speaking will help you become fluent not a classroom situation in silence. Talk to Italians....and your father or even better talk to your father in Italian in 2 weeks :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frencher1

Yeah, pretty much the gist of it. Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FKrasniqi
FKrasniqi
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You most likely would not be fluent if you finished the tree, you absolutely have to use other resources such as watching films, television programs and reading books etc in the language you want to learn. But, most importantly you have to learn the grammar, which I've found is quite difficult to do on Duolingo, as a lot of it is trial and error. Duolingo is a great start and you would be able to learn how to hold conversation, but you would have to use other resources to become completely fluent.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kplilly
Kplilly
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I think it's good to try several methods at the same time to make your learning more well-rounded. BBC Languages is free. It's good (and they have a web series to help teach you Italian called "La Mappa Misteriosa."). Mango Languages is good and you can get it for free if you log in through your local library site and they subscribe to it. I also like Livemocha.com. Duolingo is probably my favorite site I use but I think the more sites you use the better. There are tons of movies you can rent that are in Italian too. If you want to practice with me, let me know!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frencher1

Yes, I would like to add you as a friend :) It'd be nice to make a more fun, gamey enviroment.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kplilly
Kplilly
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Awesome! I added you to. If you want to practice speaking Italian just post something on my stream and we can talk back and forth!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pont
pont
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Certainly you'll want to supplement Duolingo with something else, but that doesn't need to be formal classes. I've done fine without classes -- after a year, my Italian is certainly still far from native-level, but I can have satisfying conversations and understand Italian media without much trouble. My Italian's at a higher level than my French, which I studied for five years in school.

A tutor can certainly be a worthwhile investment if you have the time and money (especially an individual tutor), but it's not necessary. In my case I supplemented with a Michel Thomas audio course, listening to Italian podcasts and radio, and talking to a lot of real Italians. (If you don't have real Italians nearby, you can find them on a language exchange site like Italki.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frencher1

Thank you, especially for mentioning the stuff you use!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
Soglio
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Well, you've spent your whole life so far getting to be as fluent in your first language as you are now, and it isn't likely that you'll match that level quickly with a new language. But even a little can make a big difference in some situations- thus, the popularity of the simple Berlitz (and similar) lessons for tourists.

For my part, I've been working on German, just a little every day, for several years now - mostly Duolingo and Rosetta Stone, which take different approaches but are about the same level. Am I fluent? No. I doubt I ever will be. But I'm gradually getting a little better at handling basic transactions, managing simple conversations, and generally "getting by" when I travel in German-speaking areas, even with people who speak little or no English. (My running joke is that I can now carry on a simple conversation on a few simple topics, provided that the other person is very patient - just like at home. ;-)

I started working on Italian - much more recently, and I'm still giving priority to German, but when I was in Italy recently, the little bit I had made a big difference in a couple of situations in which I was dealing with someone who spoke little or no English.

A big thing I credit Duolingo for is that, since starting with it, I'm much more adept at picking up probable meaning from a few words. I used to block the instant I hit an unfamiliar word; I had to understand every word, or I understood nothing. But, for example, at a B&B in Verona, I was able to pick up three words from the host's stream of words that let us know that yes, it was OK if we went to the self-serve breakfast early, but not to make a lot of noise because someone was sleeping in the room on the other side of the wall. I credit the difference to Duolingo's sentences that make me figure out what's being said - what the sentence probably means, or at least might mean.

BTW, I've found it helpful to supplement with reading - children's books, dual language books, news and feature stories that I find online. Duolingo's immersion exercises also seem helpful. I'm not sure how much new vocabulary one learns that way - the hover feature makes it too easy to whiz on by - but it's a way of getting accustomed to the language in actual use without getting too daunted.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frencher1

Awesome reply man, thank you! I'll definitely try immersion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

Do as the others say and use other resources.
The first thing I would recommend is a textbook (with CD) from your local library. I checked out a book, called "The Everything Learning French Book" (I know you are learning Italian) and it is very helpful (but not perfect).
I also rely heavily on a few websites, aside from Duolingo (including youtube; youtube is your friend).
:-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frencher1

Okay, will do that. Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vedun
Vedun
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nope, but you'll also learn something more than words

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frencher1

I guess...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller
Danmoller
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It's impossible to be fluent only with classes either. You need to read real books and watch movies, or do real talking for a good time after you learn some rules.

I think Duolingo is wonderful, specially with those "immersion" exercises. If you find some fun articles and spend your time reading them, it will surely be a great thing.

Believe me, I learned English from some role playing games for Playstation. I had some basic lessons, but never finished the course. After that, trained listening movies, and today I can easily talk to people in English. (My only problem is understanding some accents)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
Soglio
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Even English speakers have trouble understanding some accents other than their own. When I moved to a different part of the US a few years back, it was six months before I understood anything anybody said to me. I wonder if the same is also true of other languages, other countries?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller
Danmoller
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Oh yes. Brazil is very big, and there are places to the northeast and far south where those differences become huge. Sometimes not only accents change, but there is an entire new set of common words.

4 years ago