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19 - my rambling and poorly organized thoughts

I finished my 19th tree, Danish for English Speakers. What a fun little language, at least written. Spoken Danish is arcane at best. Still trying to figure out how you put an L in "hvad". I have an interest in Old English but haven't really found a method of studying the language that really clicked for me like Duolingo has, so I hoped that studying Dutch and a Scandinavian language or two would help me when I get back to trying OE again. I was supposed to start my first Scandinavian language tree after I finished the Dutch tree a couple of years ago but managed to get myself scared off of them and ended up working on Ukrainian (and Ukrainians are historically connected to the Vikings anyway). A little over a year ago, I decided to start a language from scratch and see how far I could get in the tree in a single day. I started Norwegian and made it to level 7 just past the second checkpoint without testing out. I kept with the Norwegian tree (and eventually discovered a vibrant and healthy Norwegian Immersion community; I made it to a Tier 6 translator before they took Immersion from us). I decided to follow the Norwegian tree with the Danish and Swedish trees (I started Swedish today). I was surprised at how easily I picked up Danish! I suspect that is because I immediately followed the very thorough and rigorous Norwegian tree with the very similar Danish tree, and further I was left with the impression that Danish is even more similar to English than Norwegian is.

There is a theory that Modern English has more in common with the Scandinavian languages than the modern West Germanic languages like Dutch and German. That theory is difficult to refute and someday I want to start a more rigorous analysis of the thought.

I made a post after my 10th tree, https://www.duolingo.com/comment/14644082 in which I speculate what my next 10 trees would include. It looks like I was about 50% correct in my predictions. Maybe in my next 10 I will hit Czech, Greek and Polish. Maybe in the fourth set of 10 I would hit Esperanto for Spanish Speakers. Polish would probably be tree 21 (after the likely 20, Swedish). I figure I'll do a Slavic progression through Polish, Czech and Russian much like the progression through the Kelmarese dialects of Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. I do two trees at a time and try to avoid two too similar languages at once and I try to avoid having two trees in close to the same place, so I will wait awhile to start the Polish tree since I just started Swedish. In the meantime, I will do the new lessons they have added to German for English Speakers and English for Spanish Speakers trees. What other trees might be in my third set of ten? German and Italian for Portuguese Speakers, Spanish for Italian Speakers, Greek and maybe Esperanto for English speakers? Honestly, I am running out of language trees for English speakers that really interest me. Hatian Creole and Klingon do interest me in the incubator and maybe even High Valyrian someday. Maybe someday, Hebrew?

I have a full set of the English/Spanish/Portuguese combinations, as in Spanish and Portuguese for English Speakers, Portuguese and English for Spanish Speakers and English and Spanish for Portuguese Speakers. I think I will add Italian to that set - I already have Italian for English Speakers and its reverse tree. At least for now, that would involve the Italian for Spanish Speakers and Italian for Portuguese Speakers trees. Spanish for Italian Speakers is in the incubator and then someday, Portuguese for Italian Speakers.

I like the Labs feature. I think the Stories are pretty similar to the Bots but I like them better.

Carthago delenda est. #VoltaImersão

July 3, 2017



Very interesting thought process indeed. Great motivation, too :)


Congratulations! I have never heard of the theory that Modern English has more in common with the Scandinavian languages in particular, but I have been told by a German professor that Swedish is actually the easiest language for native English speakers to learn. If I was seriously learning Swedish I would test that idea, but I'm not. I did complete the Swedish tree and I didn't have too much trouble with it.


Congrats on tree 19:) Danish is a good one:) I have even come to understand the spoken version after regilding it recently, along with all the other Scandinavian ones. They reinforce each other as far as understanding goes, but I would find it hard to get the right one to come out of my mouth. There are quite a few Danish and other Scandinavian tv series available on All 4 in the world drama section that I found very useful listening practice. Free and if you download them at night you have only a very few short ads to put up with when you watch them.

Have fun with the next batch:)


Congratulations, you are such an inspiration!

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