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Best Duolingo trees to complete?

Hi there. I haven't completed any trees any on Duolingo, but I'm interested in learning all the languages so I was wondering which are the best trees?

Are there any trees you'd recommend I start with or any order I should do trees in (apart from out of just interest)?

I'm just wondering which Duolingo trees are the best ones to work on?

July 19, 2017



The Norwegian tree is a work of art. It's by far my favorite course here in terms of overall quality.


I guess it depends on how you would define "best". What's best for me may not be best for you. So, first, define best.


German supposedly has the longest and most-fleshed out tree.

Anecdotally, I studied quite a few languages in school with the longest-studied being German. That language has helped me learn others (even ones that aren't Germanic).


german is long for two reasons. One, there is just a lot of skills. That's obvious. But also, there are a lot of lessons in each skill, so the tree takes you a very long time to complete! But it is, by far, the best tree on the website!


The Norwegian course is a long skill tree as well (there's 114 skills, if I'm thinking accurately).


I don't really know which to do first, but I would say as long as you don't have particular preferences, it would make sense to put the beta stage courses to the side a bit: Japanese and Swahili are still in a fairly rough state; Hungarian is a lot closer to exiting beta but has such long sentences it's even more of a challenge than it would automatically be just by virtue of not being Indo-European. I enjoy the course, but I'd say it's better placed nearer the end of your journey.


Oh, "long sentences":

I guess everyone would be looking for stuff like that when they have finished 3/4 to full their language tree and are actually looking for further "advanced material lessons" to bring/test their knowledge "to the next level", wouldn't they? :-)

On the App (Android) there is tapping activated for Portuguese for "mixed-long" sentences (they are okay).
Same with tapping for the Mondly web interface (there are three difficult levels which you can select which influences the level tapping vs typing - I do not really get it how it should work :P)

But I lose audio for EN-PT right hand side answers on mobile (DuoLingo app does not play PT answers, dunno why).
On the Web interface I have to type (which is good!!!), but maybe not (always) for the 1st-2nd lesson run.
In some PT skills more up in the tree some lessons had IMHO quite short sentences consisting of only 2-3 words.

++ (see my 2nd posting below)

For the web I can at least install Camilo's user script "DuoLingo tree enhancer" and get PT audio TTS for right hand side answers (EN to PT).
I definitely miss that on the Android app!!!

I would agree with you that for the early beginning a mixture of short words and short to mid sentences is enough (with a little help of tapping, preselected single characters which you can tap, etc).
As I also like to get some "real" sentences (in context) for individual words teached (in the hope to learn speaking and "using" the language) with no "weird sentences", I was taking the offical Memrise 1-7 PT and www.50languages.com courses in parallel to my DuoLingo PT tree.

The 50languages 100 days course also have a bit longer sentences, which is also available on Memrise with tapping (or "all typing" user script).
Almost too much to only focus for review on full typing, just like PT1-7.


++ Well, better that than "full dialog sentences" and no single word teaching already from the very first start, as my Digital Publishing French (DP) CD seems to want to teach the language.

To find out DP's meaning for "fill-in-the-blanks" and displayed full sentences, I have to right click every single word in the DP software, even for the first French beginner lessons :(

I guess I would need a tutor from the company teach me first how to use their DP software with absolutely no previous French knowledge (I would have to start from scratch)?!

The good thing about DP is, that you can "take over" words from individual topics to your "My words" list and put those words into Leitner index card boxes.

I am used to a different learning style on DuoLingo/Memrise/Mondly.....


Well, I'm nowhere near the bottom of the Hungarian tree (not even halfway through actually), and here's the kind of things one comes across :) https://www.duolingo.com/comment/17041410 To understand just what a mind bender this is, note that az and aki are one grammatical unit, despite being eight words apart, and that an entire subordinate clause completely switches locations.


It looks like you tried most or all of them, so which one do YOU like best? Do that one!


I have loved all the trees I have completed so far, but by far German was the best, and most well thought out. One reason I love the Swedish tree so much though, would be that at the end of the tree, the last skill is called "Celebration". I think, personally, that was such a small, but amazing touch to add on the tree that made completing it so much more fun. French was intense, but thorough, and German, well, it went on forever. It just went on and on and on. But it was really well put together, and I did it!, so it is possible to complete. I am working on Swahili right now, and it is VERY rough around the edges, (maybe two or three reports a lesson?), but it is very unique. I love it because it uses and teaches words that are important in the cultures of the country that it is spoken in, instead of teaching the word for a bear, which you might not find in Africa, it teaches the words for zebras, millipedes, lions, and gazelles. (BTW, I had to look up what a millipede was...they are scary). But then you also learn words like kanga and kikoi that you wouldn't use here in the states. I think it is just very cool how it highlights the culture of Kenya and Tanzania. (Mostly tanzania.)


I think Esperanto have the easiest and maybe the shortest tree of the courses I have done so far. The Japanese course is the hardest course I have been learning so far.


Spanish for English speakers is lacking SO much, especially on intermediate grammar areas (preterite needs more skills as its so irregular, preterite vs imperfect would be good, conditional and subjunctive are only touched apon briefly, reflexives need their own skill etc). The reverse tree is MUCH better and about 40% bigger. I've learnt so much from the reverse tree.

[deactivated user]

    The Russian tree teaches you a lot, but it isn't very well organised. Spanish and Portuguese are both good. IMO, the German tree is the best, but it's very long. The French tree is just plain chaotic.


    The Russian tree... isn't very well organised.

    Why do you think so? The only organization criterion I've ever really looked at is whether the basic grammar is taught far enough up in the tree that it can be, and actually is, used further down. On this point, the Russian tree is quite good.


    I agree with Bill's statement. Russian tree does teach you a lot, but you have to go through the tree once to get a clear picture of everything. Why do I think it is not very well organized? Well, honestly, the Russian tree teaches declensions and forms before the actual concept comes up. Furthermore, there are certain forms they do not teach at all, you kind of have to search the Internet for an understanding or hope it clicks one day.


    Interesting, thanks.

    the Russian tree teaches declensions and forms before the actual concept comes up

    Do you mean in the Tips Notes? I guess the idea was to get related content placed together, at the expense of mentioning things that might not even be in the course (but are of interest to more advanced learners). I can see why it could end up overwhelming at the earlier learning stages. The Russian TN are an encyclopedia compared to other courses' versions.

    there are certain forms they do not teach at all

    I know Duolingo has built in the ability to deal with regular conjugations (and I assume noun/adjective declensions) where past a certain point any new word that fits the regular pattern can be used in any of the forms you've already encountered. without it being introduced as a separate new word. Could this be what you're referring to? I wouldn't think this differs in principle from other Duolingo courses, but Russian, having a lot more inflections than some other languages, just has more patterns for more types of words, and I agree they can take quite a while to get down — particularly when Duolingo doesn't tend to give much practice translating into the target language.


    I agree the Russian tree needs a bit of re-jig but its a pretty decent tree. The French one yes is a nightmare. The Spanish one is just lacking so much especially towards the end.


    The French tree is just plain chaotic.

    Which one of the both is more chaotic: German-French or English-French?

    [deactivated user]

      I haven't started any reverse trees yet.


      The French tree is just plain chaotic.

      About which French tree from what source language are you then talking about?
      There is more than one French course available (including laddering courses from quite many L1 source languages).


      The current French for German tree is 100% based on the original course for English speakers, without the up-date the latter got.

      [deactivated user]

        From English.


        The Turkish, Japanese, Ukrainian, and High Valyrian courses are most likely the shortest of all, yet all very different from each other! If you're looking for a course that's reasonably short and easy, I would begin with Dutch or Esperanto, which is neat because it's a constructed language, and is pretty straightforward.

        When first joined (almost two months ago), I had started the French for English speakers tree and its reverse course (English for French speakers), and I feel my French has improved a little since then. It's somewhat difficult, and often I get flustered, especially with conjugating French verbs. But as always force myself to do, I stick with it, no matter how difficult or puzzling it seems. The way the words sound is really pretty and soothing.

        Most of concentration and focus is on Swedish currently, where I am making a lot of effort to go through the course at a steady and consistent pace while still learning. For me, Swedish is one of the most beautiful languages I've ever heard, and I don't regret beginning to learn it! Also, learning other Scandinavian languages after learning Swedish can be much easier!

        In the end, every language is unique, and everyone has their own favorites. Esperanto is probably one of the easiest language available on Duolingo, whereas Japanese or Hebrew might be a bit more challenging!


        Go Portuguese! It's SUCH a pretty language and the tree is VERY organised


        I have heard more than once that the Norwegian tree is the best on Duo in terms of contents and good availibility of the moderators to answer. But if you want to complete a lot of trees could be better to begin with a shorter one. And as far as I know high Valyrian, Japanese, Esperanto and Ukrainian are the shorter


        Wow. You have a lot of languages. Interesting... Esperanto is your best language.


        I've read that Esperanto is a good place to start. It has a high level of consistency in grammar, conjugation, and declension.

        I personally started with the Spanish tree. I think I've finished it 3 times and the reverse course at least once, maybe twice. I struggled a bit with it. Modal was mind bogglingly difficult for me. I still don't understand it. :P But, it is a more mature course than most others here because it was one of the originals. So, there are few remaining errors and some really stellar comments in its sentence discussion forums.

        Either High Valyrian or Japanese currently have the fewest lessons. But, both are in beta, so we can expect a fair number of errors in both. But, because I have some Japanese under my belt from several years back. I've really enjoyed the course, regardless of being so rusty.

        I've sampled Swedish and it sounds very beautiful. I also like the way the words feel in my mouth. Of the Scandinavian courses offered, I believe it is considered the easiest. And, learning it will give you an advantage later if you plan to learn the others. The bunny sentences are also a delight. ;)


        Kaninen är blå!:D


        Just encountered in High Valyrian “Skoro syt jūlor kastor issa?” : “Why is the milk blue?” ;-)

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