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How long it takes to become skillful at duolingo.

How long did it take to get good each at lesson? Even though I got past basic 1 and translated a few sentences, I still struggle with getting more then 1 star. I want to become fluent in portuguese, french, and spanish, but I'm not making as much progress as I thought I would make.

February 21, 2013



It depends on the unit. I passed all the units of the French course and I remember that some of them were very easy and I just passed all the lessons in a row and tested out; the other were hard and I practised them a lot even after I "learned" them. There were also extremely hard lessons that did not seem worth spending much time. I struggled through them, very often making notes, and then just left them behind.

The fact is that even if you don't practise some words that are really very common, you'll learn them anyway because they are frequent in the language and you will see and hear them all the time. If you don't practise some relatively rare words and forget them, this is no big deal too, because you won't encounter them too often while reading or communicating.

Take your time and study as you like. You can always return to the previous units and revise them if you need it.

P.S. The problem may also arise from learning three languages at once. The closer are your levels in different languages, the more you tend to mix everything up. I'd suggest to pass the course of one language first, then practise it in "real life" like reading, communicating, watching movies etc. And then add another language.

Let me share some experience. I am a native Russian speaker and I began learning English at the age of 8. This means that for 21 years of my life I've been learning and using English. I started to learn French about half a year ago and German in January. I never mix French with English or German with English because English is all but native to me. The same is with Russian, of course. English and Russian just stand apart like lonely sturdy pillars :) But switching between French and German requires an effort because I am not so good at them yet. And it would be even harder if I started French and German at the same time.


Keep a notebook close by to make notes in when you want to remember something about one of the languages youre learning. Unless youre really good at NOT mixing up languages, it takes practise. Learning ANY forgein language does. MY grandma learns French with me; she and I both are language fanatics-she taught me alot of the Spanish I know now. When we started taking French lessons w/ a tutor, grandma kept mixing Spanish into the French. I had no trouble, but then again, French and Spanish don`t seem that similiar to me. Also, try writing down every new word that comes your way and make flashcards. Practise writing sentences and talk to family members in that language(The look on their face is priceless-try answering the phone in one of your languages, too:) Hope that helps!


I find note-taking essential in learning any language but I rarely confuse the different languages I'm learning, anymore than I did when learning several languages at school or university, even when they were similar, although I know sometimes other people find that more difficult. Even now I don't confuse learning French with the Italian I learned some years ago although they have similarities. I guess you just have to find your own limits and work within them. Some can cope with several different languages at once while others can't.

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