duolingo is 4'REAL !!!
I actually was able to hold "my very first conversation" in Spanish, with a customer who spoke extremely little English.
it was a bit of a struggle at first, but once I found by intently listening to the words (I knew), as she spoke I was able to get the gist of what she needed...... case resolved !!!
It must have felt awesome! Hope more of those opportunities cross your way!
Cool, I have never met someone who speaks French, but I look forward to it.