1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. "Backwards" Trees?


"Backwards" Trees?

Some people follow, say, French for English speakers, by then doing English for French speakers. Is this "backward" tree a useful process? If you've done it, did it help? Was it a real learning process? Thanks!

MANY THANKS for all the ideas! Lots to consider--much appreciated!

June 8, 2017



When I use my reverse tree for English from Spanish, I learn new words every time. It has been pretty useful for me.


You should checkout Lingvist. It's much better than the reverse course.


It also helps learning your 3rd or 4th language from your 2nd language.


I found it tremendously helpful to do the reverse tree. There are different vocabulary words to learn and different sentence structures. Since all of the courses do more L2 to L1 translations, it makes it more challenging.


It is very useful to do a reverse tree, because comments there are in your target language, so you will get more information in this language and see more examples of using some sentences and phrases by (usually) native speakers.


I found laddering languages more useful that doing the reverse tree personally.... It really bothered me that all the audio was in English, I always felt like I was wasting time. However doing, for example, Spanish from French has been very helpful.


You can deactivate the audio.


Yes, that's right. I think the reverse tree is purely a tool for vocabulary though, it won't aid with listening comprehension at all. I'll certainly spend some time learning new words I need, but probably not massive amounts for that exact reason. After Duolingo, will watch thousands of videos :D


I asked the same question a few minutes ago. Anyway it is very helpful method for me!


You could also give the French<->Italian trees a look. Italian for French speakers does get pretty advanced tense-wise at the end, but the opportunity to actually have to answer everything in French should be of great benefit. French for Italian looks a bit gentler overall, although of course it requires almost all answers in Italian.


I wouldn't waste my time on doing the reverse tree for courses like German, Spanish and French. I would say go use Lingvist. It will teach you more useful vocabulary than the reverse course will do. I think the French has 5000+ words, Spanish and German is like 3000+.


Lingvist for vocab, reverse tree for actually having to assemble sentences in your target language it would seem to me. I'd say they work hand in hand because their core strengths are so different.

If Spanish and German really only have about 3,000 words on Lingvist, that's actually not that many more than Duolingo, particularly for German.


I can't really say how much vocabulary the German course has. I only know about the Spanish course. The Spanish course's vocabulary list is mostly full of variations than vocabulary. If you removed the variation count. It probably has less than 1,000 more or less.

reverse tree for actually having to assemble sentences in your target language it would seem to me

From my experience with the Spanish course. Doing the reverse course wasn't really all that satisfying. It didn't really offer that more of the vocabulary. I remember when the Spanish for English course had translation both ways. I don't know why they removed it in the first place. But then again, they haven't really been making good decisions lately anyway.

I'm still going to stick with using Lingvist for those languages over doing the reverse course, because: much useful vocabulary; learning vocabulary in context; sentences are of better quality; you'll be able to progress much faster than the reverse course could do. If you really want to write sentences and all, then go find a language partner, books, and talking to natives (if possible).


Out of curiosity, did you largely do your work on the Spanish "forward" tree when it still provided a good amount of translation into Spanish? Certainly that would greatly diminish the relative benefit of the reverse tree (although it would bear noting that after the recent substantial expansion the English for Spanish speakers tree includes a good deal more than it used to).


Sure, especially when you don't know them both languages either.


Do you mean reverse trees? If that's the case, I would definitely advise you to begin it. The "English for French speakers" course has been greatly useful to me, and has helped to improve my speaking and listening skills in French.


That reminds of an idea I had recently: After I complete the French for English speakers, I was thinking of doing French for Spanish speakers, as a way of reviewing/reinforcing. But I really don't know if it would be worthwhile to do so.

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.