My experience with German on duolingo


Just wanted to share my experience with German here.

My starting point was some basic vocabulary and grammar. Finished the duolingo tree in two and a half months: about 150 XP / one hour each day (yes, I'm a bit of maniac about those things). At the end of the tree, I was level 16, and 46% language proficiency: whatever that means.

Tried a couple of A1-level tests, and passed both with some room to spare. Tried A2, and passed that as well, but with some difficulty. The main issue is around listening and writing: duolingo tends to do more translating to English, rather than to German, and its listening examples tend to be easier than what is given at A2. But this is still a good result for duolingo, as I essentially went from below A1 to A2 in less than three months. Also tested my German with native speakers at work, and could hold a basic conversation.

A few more observations:

a) Not sure how the language proficiency meter works. Went very quickly to 30%, then got stuck at 46% for a month while making reasonable progress. Now that my German has actually improved, the percentage dropped down. b) The strengthening algorithm behaves a bit weird sometimes. For example, it asks me to repeat the math section every other days. At this point I complete 20 questions in like a minute, and "zwei plus zwei macht vier" is a formula I'm unlikely to forget.

But, again, great tool. Next one is French!

  • romank66 -
April 2, 2017



About the fluency meter, It's kinda broken; as in it rarely makes sense. I do insaine amounts of Spanish, but I can't get it above 50%. Nobody has ever gotten in above 90% as far as I know. I usually just ignore it. :/

And about the strangthening algorithm: It can seem kinda wierd at times, but after completing the tree and keeping the tree golden for a few months, the system starts making sense.

April 2, 2017

Congrats on finishing the tree. Did you have a daily progress goal to finish in that time? Did you use any material other than DL to study German before taking the tests?

The %-meter is definitely broken. I close the app on my phone and open it on the computer and it changes %'s.

April 3, 2017

Thanks! The answer to both questions is "no" - I did not have a daily progress goal, and I did not use other resources. Normally, I wanted to add a new skill each day, but it wasn't a goal as such. I also went to German newspaper sites here and there just to check how much I understand.

April 3, 2017

Congratulation! I am learning German from Duolingo for last 6 months and have reached to level 15, could you please share your experience, how I can pass A1 or do I have to refer to other sources?

April 3, 2017

For me, duolingo was enough to take me to A2. If you're at level 15, you should definitely try an A1 test ( is one place for that). Please be aware that I did not do a formal certification, just a sample test to assess where I am.

April 3, 2017

Thanks you for your spontaneous reply.

April 3, 2017

its not that hard , i am just 14 and i have passes A1 and A2 levels officially by Goethe institut max mueller bhavan mumbai , you can give these examinations as there are many centres of goethe in india ,

April 8, 2017

Congratulations! That's awsome!

I've just finished the German tree (It took me about 75 days). I am impressed with your dedication. I find the "fluency" score to be not much of a motivator. I finished with it at 43% having not gone above 45% and with no change as I worked the last third of the tree. Of course if no speaking is required it's not really about "fluency" anyway! I wonder if someday they'll give us the satisfaction of noting which trees we have finished on our profiles or something. I can't imagine 'bragging' 43% on LinkedIn, although I know that I actually did put in some time and effort to get there. The levels are a bit unsatisfying, too. If you test up the tree like I did in Spanish then you'll finish the tree at a lower level than a language you started with less knowledge. I would really like to study Catalan and am less motivated to continue with Spanish because my husband says it's "so Mexican" to him. I am hooked though. I try to do my 20 minutes before my twins are up at 6:30 :) Cheers!

April 5, 2017

75 days is more or less what it took me as well, so I'm similarly impressed - it wasn't easy for me. Yes, it'd be nice if they somehow recognized people who finished a tree.

Thanks for the feedback!

April 5, 2017

Have you tried using the flashcards ("Words") tool? I'm curious whether that affects the fluency score.

April 2, 2017

There used to be an immersion section that you could read things in whatever language you were working on, mostly Wikipedia articles. I took a break from Duolingo and haven't been able to find it since.

April 2, 2017

I did - although it seems to have disappeared a month ago. The words section is still there, but no flashcard button. Back then it was not doing much to my fluency score, and I found that words sink in much better with context rather than via cards.

April 2, 2017

That's strange, as I still have the "Review Flashcards" button. Just in case, did you click on "Words" then look to the right of the page? Hopefully it's still there for you.

For me, I'm now using Tinycards, as it's basically the same idea as the flashcards, plus they have a German deck with words that matches the lessons.

April 2, 2017

It's definitely not there, and it used to be. Perhaps duolingo are phasing in removal of more features. Same applies to the quiz (see below).

April 2, 2017

Congratulations on finishing your German tree and thank you for sharing your story with us!

I'm the opposite, as I'm coming to German from French. With my experience so far, it's difficult for me when using the app because there is no way to slow down the words, so I guess on the pronunciation. Thankfully, on the web, I can slow down many sentences. But so far, I'm enjoying it as it's much different from French! Haha, the 3 genders are a bit confusing, but I'm managing.

I recommend trying to take the quiz as well to track your progress. It's 25 lingots and after you finish your quiz, Duolingo saves your score so you can see your progress!

Anyways... bonne chance en fran├žais! (Good luck in French!) :-)

April 2, 2017


So far I'd take German any day over French. Three genders is nothing compared to a language in which the last three letters are never read, and each word is one syllable. Anyhow, life is meant for challenges.

I did take the quiz in the past, and it was quite useful. However, it has disappeared together with the flashcards a month ago.

April 2, 2017

Haha, so true! Not only do you have to know when to stop pronouncing a word, you have to know if two words connect (the liaison). I will definitely admit that's what I love about German... you pronounce pretty much everything!

April 3, 2017
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