Did Duolingo actually help you?
So I'm new around here and I would like to start learning a new language (specifically German). But I have a question: did this site actually help you learn the language you wanted to learn and knew nothing about? I know that if you're really dedicated to learn a language, you should probably have some language courses, but you can use sites such as this one to enhance your knowledge. So is this site worth it?
Absolutely. I will take Italian as an example. I had never uttered more than ciao or arrivederci in Italian before duolingo. Since taking the course here, I have gotten very good at it. However, after completing the tree, I took some memrise vocabulary lists and memorized most of them, I talk to native Italians several times a week through Whatsapp or HelloTalk. Sometimes we chat through Skype. I even attend an in-person Italian meetup every Saturday morning which is truly a much looked forward to event every week. I am getting close to conversationally fluent in Italian and I wouldn't be at this level without duo even though it wasn't only because of duo. It's a great first step. If you're serious about learning, it shouldn't be your only step.
I know that if you're really dedicated to learn a language, you should probably have some language courses, but you can use sites such as this one to enhance your knowledge.
This website kind of looks like a game, but make no mistake, it's all about language courses. Spanish, Russian, German... you name it. It's designed to introduce absolute beginners to a new language, and help them build a solid foundation. I wouldn't recommend it to an intermediate learner who's looking to enhance their knowledge, but I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a new language and doesn't know where to start. Personally, it has helped me a lot.
Indeed it did, and does. I use Duolingo Irish course as my main resource, and my core vocabulary comes from it. It also played a part in helping me fall in love with the language. The Irish community here is small, but most of them are great and helpful people. (It's been a year I'm learning Irish, just for your info) I emphasize that Duolingo alone doesn't get you much further. It should be combined with immersion resources, like radio, TV, books, audio books, video games, speaking with a native, etc.
I'm a very slow learner, but when I was at, like, 50% of the course, I started watching TG4.ie's shows (Irish language broadcast), which made me take a leap in the process, and I could even proceed faster. Immerse yourself, if only for five minutes a day with a radio app!
German, for one, doesn't have a lack of learning materials, and the tree is quite thorough, or so I hear. Have fun on the trip!
Edit: Having seen the questions you asked of iwc2ufan, I must say most (?) Duolingo courses aren't very "practical" at first. Memrise, for example, teaches you "traveler's" stuff right from the start. Duolingo focuses on introducing you to the language, the constructions, the rules, the usage, and yes, most frequent words. It's less frustrating and more fun than Memrise, but serious learners I've seen use Memrise at some point.
I recommend it very highly. I began using Duolingo to learn Italian around six months ago and now have a sufficient level of knowledge and proficiency to have managed adequately on a trip to Italy last week. A combination of daily Duolingo and a regular lesson on Italki works well.