Completed German tree!
Hi all! After a happy and healthy race against duo, I finally completed my German tree. It's been nearly six months since I started.I took help of Duolingo forum discussions (a lot), easy german channel on YouTube( thanks a ton, Cari und Janusz! You guys have been my role models for speaking German!) and used German without toil/Assimil Deutsch ohne Mühe (old book lying at home) sparingly. Now I can read the German newspaper (Zeit.de) (still have to use dict.cc a lot) and news in easy german(http://www.nachrichtenleicht.de). Next on the agenda are German children's books and DW videos. These, I feel, are the points where I still stumble: 1. Prepositions: finding the correct preposition in a sentence- a LOT different from English, but surprisingly closer home to my native language(Marathi). 2. der/die/das: genders 3.Tenses: that make me tense( still confused between conditional and future/ future perfect) And so on. But finally, it's a great place to start. The inertia and phobia which I had while I had studied German in college few years back is gone, and that, team Duolingo is a great achievement indeed! kudos and thanks a million! PS: looking forward to German stories in labs eagerly!
Must confess did rush towards the end: but the excitement of being closer to the finish line(about to complete the tree) was far too overwhelming! And I did try going slow at first: but then realised that i needed more revisions for few of the skills, even when the skill is golden. At the end my entire tree is golden, and yet I'm sure I'd require a few revisions. Also, I'm doing only one language(about 200XPs every day in last few weeks).
Finishing the tree felt like an accomplishment for me, but timed practice for strengthening skills proves challenging most of the time! Reading and writing what I hear go pretty well, but writing quickly and correctly in German doesn't come as easily. Shooting for 60% fluency but not there yet! Too embarrassed about making mistakes to try to converse with anyone~~
One additional side- advantage of learning here has been: now I realise how horribly difficult my mother tongue must seem to a new learner- we have seven cases and everything including verbs, nouns, adjectives are to be declined. Before duo, I used to be a lot more annoyed with someone speaking it incorrectly: now I'm a lot more forgiving and appreciate that they're at least putting in an effort to learn! I hope this would be reciprocated!
Everyone has their own learning style. I finished the tree in around 100 days . BUT I was a long long way from having all the vocabulary actually learned and a lot of the grammer was still "greek" to me. I did have the headstart of 3-4 months with Babel before I discovered Duolingo. The details of grammer are still slowly falling into place.
Couldn't agree more. I think what Duo empowers one to do is to be able to comprehend German: it can help you make sense of German in your native language. But fluency out of it is rather a huge expectation. As for grammar, the deficiencies become evident as I form a sentence: still spend a lot of time deciding adjective declensions(although this helped a lot: Germangrinds.com>2011/06/14).I did try consulting a formal German grammar textbook(Hammer's and Collin's) but found it to be ridiculously complex to learn any grammar out of it- duo is much easier, with the helpful discussions. I still consult the Grammar book for looking up a specific point( E.g. N-deklensions) but reading a chapter at a stretch gives me a feeling of getting overwhelmed. I'm sure this is not how native Germans learn their tongue.
Just finished my tree tonight in 49 days tonight. However, I was exposed to German previously doing half of Rosetta Stone. It was tough slugging at times and I need another month to put some gains into long term memory before our trip to Germany and Austria in September. My wife completed the tree four days ago. Needless to say, she is much smarter than I. Major thanks to the Duo creators and contributors for your hard work!
Also, it'd be great help(I know this has been much discussed till now) if discussions are available on the mobile version/in app. ALSO, still fumbling with hin and her(still get nightmares with"Heraus aus meinem Haus!"). My thumb rule is: if origin is being stressed "from..." Then it's her and the destination is being stressed upon "towards" them I think it's hin. Don't know it that's true in general, but it has served me well so far. E.g., it's "away FROM my house" in the example above.
There are plenty of good channels on youtube. Check out DFE (Deutsch für euch).
Also I'm a big car guy & I watch German language car videos on youtube (i.e. Ausfahrt.tv, Daniel Abt, etc.). Although it's not free, you might want to try Italki as well.
It connects to you with language tutorials around the world for personalized 1-on-1 tutoring. Viel Glück!
But these are not as interactive as Duo is...Did use DFE sessions a lot while completing my tree for grammar explanations... Also used Learn German with Ania/Herr Antrim. My search for grammar queries used to often start with Google search, and used to end on these channels! Also used multiple blogs for same, and Näturlich, Duo discussions.