https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

I finished my French tree...after 2.5 years

So, I started my French tree 2.5 years ago, got a third of the way through it after a few months, and then life interrupted me. I practiced every once in a while and learned a lesson once in a blue moon to try to maintain what I learned, but I really didn't hit it hard again until this June. I work in media and occasionally have reason to work in the French Canadian market and really wanted to become fluent, so I buckled down and got to it, finishing the last two-thirds of the tree in 2.5 months.

At one point, I posted here that I was getting confused...but then I switched from using the app exclusively to doing the lessons on the website. I didn't realize how much more information is on this site! The grammar tips and lesson structure worked much better for me.

I am currently only 40 percent fluent and Level 14, so I'm going to work on getting my entire tree gilded and reach Level 25. I've also already started the reverse tree. I also use Memrise, lots of YouTube videos, Quebec and French radio and TV to help me. I also get all my news in French and have switched my Twitter and Facebook accounts to French. It's all helping. I plan to try Babbel soon. Plus, I'm hoping to spend the holidays in Montreal and may move to Upstate NY to be near the city sometime next year. (I enjoy French that much.)

This is the first time I've learned a new language! I swear, earning that little trophy at the end of the French tree means more to me than my college degree did 20 years ago! Woo hoo!

August 24, 2016

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

Félicitations ! The little things to immerse yourself do seem to help. I've found repetition to be very important. I switched my phone and computer settings to as well French. Now when I use the gps to find places, the voice tells me to "tournez à droite." It makes me smile.

Have you tried a grammar book? I am working through Easy French, Step by Step right now and it is very helpful to explain some of the grammar concepts that duolingo glosses over or doesn't explain at all. https://www.amazon.com/French-Step---Step-Myrna-Rochester/dp/0071453873/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472064360&sr=8-1&keywords=easy+french+step+by+step The nice thing is you will already be familiar with most of the words in the book (so it won't feel overwhelming), but the grammar explanations are very clear and concise. I've found it to be helpful.

Bonne chance !

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

Merci! I've been thinking about getting a grammar book because that's what trips me up the most. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

August 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/clouds29

Congratulations!

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

Merci! I'm ridiculously excited. :)

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tilden20008

Congratulations! Good luck getting to level 25! Spending a holiday in Montreal sounds like a great motivation.

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CarlosQuin342077

Congratulations. I expect to reach the same level in a couple of months. Here's my routine. 1. ~ 100 xps in Duolingo. Half of them "Strengthening my skills" and rest new stuff. 2. 150 "xps" at Lingvist ( i love it as much as i like Duoliong; i think they are complementary) 3. about half an hour of France24 News (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKEk1YCOz8Q) 4. 10-20 pages of a french novel ( i'm reading one by Amelie Nothomb) I thought it was going to be difficult to be disciplined but I've done it for a couple of months now and i'm not bored yet.

Can you provide links to some of the TV programs you watch?

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

Thanks for providing your routine! I like to listen to France24, too. I'm understanding more and more of the broadcasts, which makes me happy! I need to read more French books/texts. I read a lot of articles, but maybe it's time to try a novel. :)

As for TV programs, I used to use TunnelBear to access Netflix in Canada and France (the Canadian site was particularly great because it offers French and English subtitles for most shows). But sadly Netlix cut off VPN access. :( Now I use a slightly (very) iffy streaming sight called voirfilms.org to access French language shows I can't get anywhere else. I especially enjoy "Un village français" (France) and "19-2" (Quebec). I use the site on my iPad and get annoying popup ads each time I start an episode, but other than that it works well. No guarantees on malware, etc. if you access through a PC. Maybe someone else has better sources to post. I wish there were more French titles available on U.S. Netflix and Amazon.

August 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MelanieRiley

Congratulations! The day I finish my trees will be a day indeed. You deserve all the success you receive!

August 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KhaiVirtue

Congratulations! It's motivating to read your story and also see what other learning methods you have. :) Thanks for sharing.

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

De rien! I love reading other people's stories and finding out what else they do to learn. It's really motivating. Glad I finally have something to add! :)

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ruferales

Seems like you got serious about it, keep up the good work!

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

Merci! I really did, and I will. :)

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/parnstermia

Good job!

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Hadia4Satti

congratulations :)

August 24, 2016

[deactivated user]

    Félicitations à toi ! Do you like Memrise? I have tried Memrise again and again and have never really liked it.

    As far as You Tube, do you know about Français Avec Pierre -- I love his videos. On his blog (the link will be in the description of his videos or on the front page of his YT channel), he posts transcriptions and a podcast version of the videos for free. He sells a course, but you don't need to pay a thing to use the videos, transcriptions and podcasts.

    August 24, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

    Merci! I've been using Memrise for a couple of years. I'm currently on the advanced course. I used to like it more than I do now. Since they started pushing their premium service, the review section in the free app takes forever. It tries my patience...which I think is the point. :) However, I have found it helpful to learn vocabulary. For example, I powered through 300 XP yesterday to finish my French tree, and it was only possible because I already knew a lot of the words through Memrise. I'm hoping Babbel will help me get a better grasp on grammar. I like the free lessons I've tried, and they have a few good B1G1 deals when you sign up, so the cost won't be bad.

    And I just found out about Français Avec Pierre! I love his videos! I also like Learning French with Alexa and Easy French. I'm really trying hard to boost my listening skills. For Québécois French, I love the website offqc.com. There are literally years of helpful posts about using Québécois expressions in everyday life, often with clear pronunciation tips and examples. J'adore.

    August 24, 2016

    [deactivated user]

      I will have to check out offqc.com. The French in my family is really French Canadian and New England French. I am actually really bad at understanding spoken Canadian French simply because I haven't made enough effort. When I was up in Nova Scotia a few years back (for studying Scottish Gaelic), I could understand some French speakers but others might as well been speaking Mandarin to me!

      I love Pierre. His videos are very diverse--some cover grammar points, others are interviews, some cover a specific topic and there's a couple with him reciting a story. Good fun, and Pierre seems like the kind person I would get along with IRL. Sometimes I have his podcasts playing while I review my Duo French tree to keep myself from getting bored. I used to use Alexa--I think her materials a very, very good. But I had renewed my subscription to her site a few months before she revamped it and changed the format, and I have not been able to get back on, my account seems to be gone and they have never replied to my emails. So I kind of got screwed out of my money and I'm still pretty peeved about it. I still use some of her stuff that I bought on Audible before signing up for her site, and I miss the dictation lessons on her site. But I won't recommend her to anyone, at least not for any of her paid materials. C'est dommage.

      Quand même, bonne chance avec ton continuel apprentissage !

      August 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

      Oh, that's too bad you lost your money! I only use her free lessons. Guess I'll keep it that way!

      August 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/somalaks

      Good Job!

      August 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

      Good for you! It sounds like you're making very good progress. I've not used the app, but am glad that you confirmed that you learn much more with the website, which is what I've suspected. In addition to all the learning resources you've already mentioned, you might try looking at a children's book such as Le Petit Prince or picture books in French. Not everyone enjoys them, but I quite like them. Another thing I do to help me remember vocabulary is to search images in the other language. Then, put it somewhere you'll see it. The last tip is that I write down all the French sentences. This helps a lot with spelling and accents, especially in French.

      August 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

      Merci! Since I'm always on my iPad and have an aging laptop, I was exclusively using the app. I didn't realize there was such a difference between the app and the website, but the difference was striking for me. You do have the opportunity to speak with the app, but the website makes you write more and provides very important tips that aren't in the app. Plus, the discussions on here are amazingly helpful, and app users totally miss out on that.

      Thanks for the tips on Le Petit Prince and writing down sentences. I'll give it a try!

      August 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Craig-Humps

      I'm reading "Le Petit Prince" now and at first I was a bit put off by the fact that it's seen as a childrens book, and while that is true, it's a bit deeper than a normal childrens book (or novella) and I'm really enjoying it. I managed to get a copy for my Kindle with the English translation side by side, which helps to verify that what you are reading is correct. Although, I am still looking up things I don't know in a dictionary, just to understand how and why they are written the way they are.

      August 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/FredMefford

      I use a lot of children's books and easy readers, because......that's my level right now. I've ordered quite a few from Amazon, they help.

      August 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/djenkines

      Can you give me some of the titles of the French books you are using?

      August 25, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/FredMefford

      Some of my favorites are the Blaine Ray Workshop series. Titles are, "Pauvre Anne", "Fama va en Californie", Presque Mort". Barron's publishing has quite a few too. "La Course de Chars", Le Blog de Danny", "Un Nouveau Monde".

      August 25, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

      I didn't know it was possible to get Le Petit Prince with a side-by-side French/English translation. What a great idea! I'll have to look for that!

      August 26, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Thijmen98

      Félicitations! You're not the only one that started a long time ago learning French. I started about three years ago but everytime I stopped after a few months. And then a few months later I thought: "I really have to pick it up again", but that failed every time after a few months. This went on and on until I reached the last year of the secundary school. I had to do my French exam at the end of that year so I decided to end the tree as soon as possible to know as much words as possible before jumping in that last French exam. So eventually I finished my French tree after, I guess, 2,5 years as well. :)

      However, I was wondering, don't you want to reach level 25 instead of level 24? :)

      August 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

      Ha! Level 24 is a typo. Blowing through 300 XP points to finish the tree last night fried my brain. ;) Félicitations on finishing your tree!

      August 24, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Thijmen98

      Thanks! I suppose that at the end of the tree you couldn't stop anymore because you really wanted to get that golden owl! :) When I reached the last skill I thought: "I'll do that one tomorrow and I stop for today", but half an hour later I couldn't resist it and I finished that skill! :)

      August 25, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

      Ha! I saw the golden owl was in sight, and I just couldn't stop myself. I'd worked towards it for so long, I just had to have it! I probably didn't absorb as much as I should have by jamming so many lessons into one night, but I already knew a lot of the words through Memrise, and I'll go over it again in practice.

      August 26, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Thijmen98

      I'm sure that by repeating all skills you will eventually absorb all words, it just takes time. :)

      August 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AriSanskritam

      Congrats! It's wonderful to see how passionate you are about your language! I'd advise you to listen to Mireille Mathieu & Charles Aznavour. Their French is very clear, their songs: amazing. Yahoo.fr is also a great tool to everyday vocabulary, politics, etc <3

      August 25, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

      Merci! I didn't expect to fall in love with the French language, but I definitely have. Thanks so much for the recommendations for Mireille Mathieu & Charles Aznavour and Yahoo.fr! I'll check them out!

      August 26, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmendaDeAlwis

      Wow that's great!!! keep it up.

      August 25, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/FLchick

      Congratulations; your persistence paid off!

      August 26, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Lawjiawern

      Congratulations, I am just starting and I hope I have the commitment to finish the whole thing. I'm liking the site so far :D

      August 26, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

      Thank you! Just keep at it even if you need to take a break for a while. Some people can power through it with great persistence, others need to go with the ebb and flow of their life and interests. No matter what, don't give up, though. You'll get there. :)

      August 26, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/DawnSocher0

      Woah, that is super cool!!! You're really dedicated and influencial. I really want to listen to this tape recoding of a really cool history tape and I keep putting it off, but now I'm going to do it( I know not as cool)!! Good luck on your French!! I am now official following you!!!

      August 26, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

      Merci! And history is super cool! (I'm currently reading the People's History of Quebec because I'm a geek like that. ;) Good luck with your language lessons and with history! Following back!

      August 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/DawnSocher0

      Merci for the luck and for responding! Us geeks gotta stick together!!!

      August 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/DawnSocher0

      Wait did you give me a lingot?! Than....Merci! Merci! Merci!!!!!!! This is my first ever gift lingot!!!! I have to give one now!!!!! Enorme Merci(did I say that right)!!!!!!

      August 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmieRL

      I did give you a Lingot! Three in total so far! ;) Oui, I believe énorme merci is correct, but I just say merci beaucoup to make it easy. :) I need to explore more colorful ways to say thank you in French!

      August 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/DawnSocher0

      Me too. Thanks for the lingots!!!! Tu est bien!!! Hopefully I got that right too!

      August 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/viveksingh8

      Congratulations!! Good luck getting to level 25 :)

      August 28, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Anglea

      Congratulations. :) After four years and two months I still haven't finished a tree. Duo says that I'm 57% fluent in French and yet I still have a quarter of the tree to go. I try to keep it golden as I go - & I don't want to finish it unless it's all golden. I supplement Duolingo with the Michel Thomas course and reading lots of French newspapers and listening to French music. (The latest Celine Dion album is in French). In the last 4 years I've gone from knowing about 10 words in French to being pretty fluent.

      August 31, 2016
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