Experienced Duolingoers: Has it been worth it?
Yes, I'm talking to you, people with more than one completed tree. Has it been worth it to start a new tree once you finish your first/second/...?
I can't help but doubting if I should keep on doing this tree (Norwegian) now that I've already completed my main goals (German and Spanish).
What are your thoughts on this?
Edit: It looks like Norsk will come in handy next year, so I'm going to take it lightly until then and then start really focusing on it :D
Thank you all for your answers!
Of course it depends on your personal goals and preferences. If you find that Norwegian feels pointless for you and you're not having fun, I wouldn't advise you to continue. But personally, I came here for Italian and I stayed for French, Esperanto, German and Spanish (and probably some more after that) - some of those are useful to me in my life, and either way I like hanging around here to learn something.
I came for Japanese but stayed for German, and I would never have guessed how much I would gain if I hadn't learned it. The problem is that with languages most of the time you don't know what you're missing until you learn one... I guess it's time to draw the line. Thanks for your answer.
It's one of my hobbies. I like learning languages, comparing their structures, seeing how they may affect the way people think. But as far as actual use is concerned, Spanish, and maybe Portuguese are the ones that I will find useful. Maybe Irish, since I'm traveling to Ireland in September, but the Irish also speak English. I do occasionally revisit Spanish here to strengthen grammar, but I'm way beyond actually learning anything new from Duolingo. For me, it's not useful, it's just fun.
I was in Galway and western Ireland a few years ago. As a tourist, you're going to have to search out actual Irish speakers, unless you're spending a lot of time in smaller towns and villages in the Gaeltach, or in the Aran Islands, say.
For me, it has definitely been worth it. I've already had a few opportunities to use the Spanish I've learned here to help someone find the right bus, to get help during a crisis, and to help me find my friend who was in the hospital in a Spanish speaking part of the world.
During the crisis, I didn't get to use much of my own Spanish, because we ended up accessing an interpreter. But, I was able to correct some information going between the interpreter and emergency services.
So, yes, very worth it. :)
Let's see... I've been here on Duolingo for almost 4 years now. The list of languages by my name as I'm sure you can guess isn't so much an indication of languages I'm learning as it is of languages I wanted to give a try. I do plan on learning to be conversational in all of them at some point though.
As far as trees I've completed: German, Spanish and Dutch hold that position. Like you, I chose German simply because I could. I had 4 years of Spanish in high school, but still couldn't speak it at all. I wanted to learn something different and German was it. Then I did the Spanish tree to improve my Spanish. And lastly I did Dutch purely because it was close to German.
But none of these trees has really given me confident command of the language. It took a lot of outside resources and time to get to Intermediate levels in Spanish and German. If you're finding that Duo can't really satisfy you anymore, then please do move on to other resources. Improve what you have already and work towards fluency. If you want to continue with searching for another language that intrigues you that's fine too, but your main goals are not complete with Duo alone.
The relationship between trees where I've gotten the golden owl (I don't really think they're "completed" until I've actually worked through them thoroughly, something I'm only close to having accomplished with Russian) and languages I really care about learning is... complicated to say the least. I certainly recommend constantly keeping your overall goals in mind, and checking from time to time if how you're spending your time corresponds to them, and if the goals you had established still reflect what you really want to achieve.
Personally, I find some of my most rewarding time on Duolingo to be when I sit down and focus on learning a little bit (i.e. very frequently one skill, or part of a skill) of one of my central objective languages well. Depending on the experience you had with the languages when you started the trees, I'd imagine you probably have a good deal of fruitful engagement left with your German and Spanish trees (to say nothing of reverse / laddered trees, for which I've heard that the German-Spanish duo is an especially good combo). I think Duo trees only get more useful once you've done all the skills a first time through. It seems like there's a lot more translation into target language, and I have seen others make the same comment.
I depends on what is your goal. If you want to explore languages it is probably good, but if you want to learn a language it is not.
Yeah, exactly. I started learning German jsut because I could and it has been an amazing experience, but now I think I'll limit myself to the languages I really want to learn to a decent level and are useful instead of doing it "just because I can".
I can see that, and I agree - but I also don't think there's anything wrong with exploring languages. That's what I've done with several - especially Welsh, and Irish and Norwegian to a lesser extent, and Swahili - I'm just curious. My goals are more reading-focused, and I'm looking to take some distance-learning university classes on reading French and German this summer, and I think that Duolingo has helped there.
I agree, there is nothing wrong with exploring languages, what I meant is if someone is a hurry to learn a language is better to focus.
Quite. If you're looking to gain full fluency (and not just reading-with-a-dictionary status, which is more me), focusing is certainly the best way to go.
Yes, for me it was really worth it. I finished the course English for Dutch speakers. But that was not enough to dare writing in English. That's why I finished ..
the "reverse tree", Dutch for English speakers
"laddering" trees (foreign language 1 to foreign language 2):
"German for English speakers" and "English for German speakers"
Now I am trying the courses:
English-French, French-English and German-French, French-German.
At school I was never fond of these language lessons. Science was much more interesting, especially chemistry and troubleshooting. But Duolingo's method is really fun.
I'd say it was worth it. Some was more worth it, some was worth only a little. But it's mostly because I enjoy it, for example I haven't had much opportunities to use Hungarian or Esperanto, and almost none for Ukrainian.
If you want to learn German and Spanish and you require motivation of the golden owl to keep you going, you may consider starting either the German from Spanish or Spanish from German tree. I've finished Spanish from German and I started German from Spanish and it's both a great refresher and a new challenge. I've also done about a quarter of Spanish from Russian and German from Russian, but keyboard switching got annoying and Hungarian was released, so I haven't done those in a while.
Is a tree when you finish all the subject or until you get to the checkpoint?