How long does it take to go from zero to finishing (and understanding what's in) my language tree?
Having no experience learning new languages and having just started from scratch - what's a realistic timeframe I can put on learning a language if I continue to dedicate 1 hour toward it a day?
If you think about it, you may well be learning new things in your native language every day. Learning a language is a lifelong experience.
It might be easier to frame it in terms of benchmarks. For example, if you are wondering "how long until I can hold a conversation in the target language" then you have something a bit more concrete to aim for. At just an hour a day you are probably looking at a time frame of years.
I have been working on it (Spanish) for a year on this program and two and a half years before on rossetta stone but I would deffiently recommend duolingo instead because I have learned twice as much in the same amount of time off duolingo, thanks for asking that question. could you please follow me thanks.
This will vary wildly. As you have not studied a language before and you have chosen one that can be considered hard for English speakers, I think it will take you a while, maybe a year or two. I would review very extensively if you want to be able to use the language in real life. Lots of people bomb through a course, finish at around level 10 or 12 without much review and are then unable to use the language. I would go slowly, review much more than you do new things and supplement it with something outside of Duolingo as Duolingo is a great tool, but it's not a way to become fluent. If you do it very well, you can maybe get to an intermediate level in a language at best.
Results/time will vary depending on your own abilities and study time and the language being learned. I completed the Dutch tree and the reverse in 6 months and I now have decent reading comprehension. Hearing Dutch and getting what is being said is still difficult. Composing my own sentences correctly is also still a struggle because word order is different from English. So, another factor to consider is what it means to you to "complete" the course.
Thanks for all of your answers. I guess "Learning a language" to me means being able to communicate with other Vietnamese people and have them understand me. At what level? Something quite basic to being with. I find every other day I'm frustrated feeling like I still haven't mastered the first 5 skill sets, but at the same time I keep surprising myself at how far I've come. I'm at level 10 but am constantly reviewing the beginning. I knew no words when I started and now I know 100s and am structuring very basic sentences. It's exciting and frustrating at the same time!