Enfin j'ai complété mon arbre - Une réflexion sur l'Union Européenne

This is a sad day for Europe, indeed.

I'm Italian, and I was raised as a European citizen, learning to take our continent's history and heritage as a whole, while still appreciating our countries' differences as something that enriches us, culturally and otherwise.

When I was in middle school I started studying English and French; while I kept speaking English throughout all my life, I had abandoned French on the way, and was very glad when I discovered Duolingo: I took it as an opportunity to brush up my knowledge and expand it through all the great courses that our community lovingly builds.

Today, after more than a year, with long pauses and a lot of streak freezes, I finished my French tree.

Today, England and Wales confirmed that they no longer want to be part of the European Union.

We will have to wait and see what that means for the rest of the continent, or maybe for the whole world.

My only appeal to you, all of you, is that you keep learning languages. Get curious about other people, their culture, their food; destroy the barriers that divide us, and make humanity the only important thing.

Thank you, Duolingo, for making this possible, and available to anyone.

June 24, 2016


Hello, I am English, and I most certainly do want to be part of the European Union (along with millions of others who voted 'remain'). Sadly, a slim majority (52%) do not, so arrivederci :'(

Congratulations on your achievement.

June 24, 2016

I also am being taken out against my will.

This is not only a sad day, it is a disaster. Let's hope the spirit of international co-operation still lives within the rest of Europe.

Viva L'Europe!

June 24, 2016

Agreed. Those of us that are learning languages out of choice are inherently outward looking and do not want to leave. Let's hope the rest of Europe sticks together.

June 26, 2016

I should think that very few of us are learning languages for the sake of it (let's face it, a lot of it is very tedious), but rather because we want to be able to engage with the world and be a part of a global community, rather than an island.

June 26, 2016

Congratulations for your achievement !

I totally agree with you :) Even if the European Union is not perfect, I think that isolationism isn't a solution, and we need to communicate and become open-minded if we want to build something strong. Thus I'm happy to see all these people on Duolingo everyday, who prefer to learn and share !

Keep on working everyone, it is worth it !

June 24, 2016


It is indeed a sad day. A terrible day:(

June 24, 2016

In or out we wouldn't be on this site at all if we were not passionately interested in other languages, cultures, peoples and countries. That will not change.

June 25, 2016

Congratulations on finishing your tree! I'm sorry your achievement was overshadowed by the news of this sad day. I live in Switzerland and this was the topic of conversation everywhere yesterday. People are very concerned about what this means for Europe and whether it is the start of a period of instability. It certainly is leading to economic stability and here among the expatriate community we really feel the impact on the relative values of the currency, with the value of the Swiss franc and dollar going up as the pound and euro go down. In this era of globalization the economic implications are felt worldwide. Also there is a fear that this could signal an unexpected outcome in the US presidential race.

June 25, 2016

On the plus side, it will most likely cause Scotland and maybe northern Ireland to have a referendum, and they are mostly pro European Union.

June 24, 2016

Sorry, I don't see my country getting even smaller and more inward-looking as a plus. Just England and Wales on our own in the Atlantic, what a fun party...

June 24, 2016

Een paar lingots voor u mijnheer! I hoop ook dat Schotland en Noord-Ierland met ons terug komen :)

June 25, 2016

Not to be a buzz kill or anything but the title should be: "J'ai enfin fini mon arbre", or, if you meant "Anyhow... I've completed my tree", you could go for "Enfin... j'ai fini mon arbre".

The verb "completer" does exist but it strictly implies that you are filling something missing like in the sentence: "Je l'aime parce qu'elle me complete", (ie: "I love her/him because he has what I don't").

June 25, 2016

Does it really mean only that? My dictionary seems to agree with my take on the verb:

  • compléter vtr (ajouter les pièces qui manquent) Je dois acheter des verres pour compléter mon service.

  • compléter vtr (parachever) La police s'active pour compléter son enquête.

While your example only explains the meaning of "se completer":

  • se compléter v pron (être complémentaire) Luc et Gilles forment une bonne équipe parce qu'ils se complètent.

This all fits the parallelism I made when I wrote that phrase, directly translating the Italian "completare" into the French "compléter".

Can you provide a link to another dictionary that says otherwise? Not to argue, obviously: like everyone on this site, I'm just trying to learn. :)

June 25, 2016

I'm only telling you what's colloquial. Using compléter is not incomprehensible, it just sends an odd message. The message you're sending is that you had sort of finished before, but you came back and filled up the two or three things that you had left behind during your progression. There's an inessential aspect to the process. Like you'd never say that Usain Bolt has just 30 meters left to "compléter sa course", it would make no sense, but you'd say that he has won the Jamaican Championship to "compléter sa collection de médailles", as in he already has a lot, and this one is not so important, you would use compléter on the other hand if it was an olympic medal, it's too important.

You can see the word being used here:

June 26, 2016

Little Britain ?

June 26, 2016

60 million people isn't that little. We'll be fine.

June 6, 2018

Congratulations for completing your tree. I'm sorry that Brexit passed.

June 28, 2016

Congratulations! Your text is very interesting, but that day was sad. I give you one Lingot. Good luck!

June 25, 2016

Firstly, congratulations on your achievement.

I'm British and voted to leave, so allow me to contribute another point of view...

I don't consider myself to be a "little Englander", or insular or any other derogatory label that's now been placed on 17.6 million people. I respect and admire other countries in Europe, and have travelled widely throughout the world, so am fully onboard with your pleas to "get curious about other people, their culture and food".

However I do not believe that the EU and Europe are one and the same. Believing that the UK is best served outside the EU is not the same as believing we should cut all ties with Europe.

The EU is simply a political and financial organisation. Furthermore it seems to be particularly heavy-handed, authoritarian and undemocratic. Ask Greece or Cyprus what they think of the EU.

In the wake of the Leave vote, the EU leadership's immediate response has been to grab as much money from the UK as possible and to attempt to make the process of leaving as unpleasant and difficult as they can, presumably "pour encourager les autres".

That sort of attitude was exactly why I voted to leave, and I am now more convinced than ever that it was the right decision.

June 6, 2018
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