Question for those who reached level 25

If you reach the maximum level on Duolingo, do you speak fluently the language even though you've never been to the country where it's spoken ?

I am willing to learn Swedish so I suscribed a few days ago and I'd like to know if Duolingo (practiced everyday) is enough to learn a language. I can also complete that with some exercises on Memrise and I thought about listening to Swedish radio.

Please tell me if you know a good way to learn a language efficiently.

Edit : of course everyone can answer even below level 25

June 22, 2017


As a native Swedish speaker who has gone through the entire Swedish tree here just to see what it looks like, I'd say that you would have a pretty good basis of grammar, a few quirks in pronunciation and large holes in your vocabulary after finishing the Swedish course, but it seems like a good basis for learning more on your own (like reading books in Swedish or listening to Swedish radio/TV).

June 22, 2017

I agree with most of what you say, but I think a bigger problem than vocabulary is that Duolingo doesn't teach you how to use the language in practice - how to construct subclauses on the fly, how to properly use common question words, that sort of thing.

June 22, 2017

Yes. Duo seems to be centered around translating sentences, but doesn't do much to prepare you for eg. a surprise question in your target language that you have to make a correct response with. I feel they could utilise a system like that which involves other people correcting you (although I guess you could just use discussion for that). Kind of like what Busuu does except it's free and has more languages associated.

June 22, 2017

Hej, I finished the swedish tree some time ago, and because of Duolingo I started a course in Swedish last year. It takes five or even seven years to finish the course (three hours a week), but I can say that even now I understand about 50% of a swedish film, and I started to read swedish books.

June 22, 2017


Reaching level 25 will not make you fluent, but it doesn't mean it isn't a great start. After reaching 25, listening to a lot of Swedish radio, watching many shows on SVT and reading a few books, I am able to hold a conversation.

I can absolutely read in Swedish and figure out television and radio from context, but conversations are the most difficult. As others have stated, this is likely because of vocabulary. That will only improve with time outside of what Duolingo can offer.

A while back I had a job interview in Swedish. I wan't completely confident, but I figured, "why not?" The interviewer was very impressed by my Swedish, but I realized that I completely lacked a business vocabulary. The one module of Duolingo on this subject is not nearly enough. I quickly went out and began reading websites to improve what I had.

Don't be discouraged. Give it a go. This isn't everything you need, but it will help build a foundation and if you enjoy it, you can always add more on top.

June 26, 2017

Thanks for the answer! When did you start studying Swedish? Did you reach lvl 25 a long time ago?

June 26, 2017

I started about six months ago. I reached level 25 approximately three months ago.

June 26, 2017

Tack så mycket! I hope I'll learn as quickly as you

June 27, 2017

I have reached level 25 in a few languages on lala1101.

  • If you only do Duolingo then you will never be fluent especially because Duolingo took out immersion.
  • If you finish the tree from top to bottom without making a single mistake- this is actually hard. Then you should go onto other websites. The watch videos and read books. Then try to speak to a native Spanish speaker. Then you would be fluent.

Being fluent will take years of practice, it took me five years for Spanish.

Duolingo will not make you fluent, it is only a beginner.

I did all this on lala1101.

Edit: I studied Spanish for three years in high school and then went to uni and did two more years before I was allowed to teach Spanish at school.

June 22, 2017

I'm about to finish the Esperanto tree. I know a fair amount and am able to form comprehensible sentences in the language for fairly simple questions. However I'm limited due to the course only teaching the bare minimum needed to be able to understand the language.

That being said, I would say that the Esperanto course is probably one of the best courses on the site. While Duo doesn't take you as far as you may like, the Esperanto course has given me a confident level in Esperanto to speak with others eg. on the discord server. But yes, if you actually want to become fluent, you won't be able to use just duolingo.

June 22, 2017

I definitely don't expect Duolingo to make me fluent in a language just from using the site. I'm happy if it will take me to a level where I am able to read novels and listen to radio/TV in my new target languages.

June 22, 2017

Agreed. I know after the final skill I won't be fluent, but I'm very pleased that I speak a considerable amount of the language, to the point where I'm able to understand large amounts of certain YouTube videos I've watched.

June 22, 2017

I'm doing the Swedish tree as well and my SO first language was Swedish and I agree with everything being said but one issue that I've noticed as well is there isn't much basis for speaking the new language. I've noticed a microphone option but I haven't been able to find it since and going from English as a first language to Swedish has proven difficult to speak and my SO saying I haven't pronounced anything 100% correctly. I'm able to read and write and hear (sometimes, Swedish is spoken mashed together) but there is a missing gap for being able to speak it. I've just downloaded some Swedish music to hopefully help me learn to pronounce it and this might be an issue that I just have

June 22, 2017

There's a technical reason for this - take a look a little further down here:

June 22, 2017

if you want to be fleunt you must practice it with someone everyday i guess that s the best way problem is i don't have any friends that speak swedish unfortunately i would appreciate anyone who is able to do so and help me i can help him with french english or arabic im fleunt on all

June 25, 2017

To add on what others have said (though I'm only level 24):

  • I took a Swedish self-assessment test for CEFR after getting to level 24, and it placed me at level A2+.
  • Mapping fluency to CEFR levels is a matter of debate, but most opinions seem to go towards fluency being at B2 or C1 level, so there's some way to go still.
  • My reading/writing performance (which the test checked) was and is clearly superior to my speaking and listening performance.
  • After a slightly rocky start, I've been able to hold light conversations in Swedish, about everyday subjects.
  • Being a native German speaker and fluent in English, I can sometimes guess the meanings of new words if I give myself a second to think about vowel shifts, but this is mostly only useful for reading.
  • Reading `Ronja Rövardotter' highlighted lots of gaps in my vocabulary. I found the grammar taught by Duolingo to be fully sufficient, though. So my recommendation regarding reading is to read Swedish childrens' books with a dictionary by your side (Google Translate isn't always effective).
  • Practicing Swedish in Sweden can be slightly tricky, since everyone's fluent in English (and surprisingly many people speak German, too).

In summary, I still have quite some way to go, at level 24. Fortunately, my new (Swedish) employer is offering Swedish classes, so I'll be taking advantage of those as soon as I move there. Swedish Duolingo was a good start, though, and I'd like to thank the Swedish team for their volunteer efforts!

June 30, 2017

May I ask you what kind of job did you get with a A2+ level in Swedish? I thought it would be necessary at least a B2 level in order to get a job in Sweden :-)

July 5, 2017

In Software Engineering, you can generally get by in English. I'll be teaching in that area, and they're fine with me needing a couple of extra years before I can teach the intro-level courses in Swedish.

July 6, 2017

Check out some of the swedish newspapers and there's a ton of things on you tube also I also downloaded the swedish radio app and listen to it at night.

June 22, 2017

How do you get to level 25 ? I've completed all the exercises, got the little guy on the podium but it says I'm level 17.

July 8, 2017

Keep practicing. You need 30,000 XP to reach level 25. Click on your username above your comment. It shows you have 10,860 XP as of the moment I am typing. Happy learning!

July 8, 2017

Thank you for the information :)

July 8, 2017

I might add as well that a practice session gives you 10 xp, with the exception of timed practice sessions on desktop, which gives you 1 xp per correct answer. So you're slightly over 1900 sessions away. :)

July 8, 2017

Crikey, given I average about 1000xp a week doing the practise sessions, it's going to take me a loooooong time to get to 25... I suspect I'll get bored and do more reading books, listening of SV radio, watching tv and never manage to get to 25!

July 10, 2017

Yeah, it does take quite a while... but it's very rewarding to finally reach it, as well. :)

July 11, 2017

I am close to reach level 25, but honestly it was long ago since I stopped learning new stuff. I just use it to revise grammar from time to time.

When I first finished the tree I had something between an A1 and A2 level, being much better in grammar than in oral comprehension and speaking skills (obviously).

It really helps to learn some words and structures and creates momentum, but Duolingo has some fundamental "holes" in its methodology. I certainly would not recommend it as a "sole" resource but as a complement to other courses or grammar books as a way of stengthening or revising stuff.

It helped me though quite a lot before attending live courses. In A2 lectures I had nearly no problem besides some holes in my knowledge and some vocabulary.

Suming up, it is a good start, but in order to be completely fluent (which I regard it as a C1 or TISUS level) one needs to talk, read, write, and listen a lot, and Duolingo is just translating phrases.

Anyway, congrats for taking the step and good luck. I am free to explain whatever you may need.

July 14, 2017
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