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Have you ever started a tree just out of curiosity with no intention of actually finishing it?

Much as the title says. Have you ever started a tree on Duolingo purely because you were curious about a few of the basic words (ie introductions and descriptions of people) of the language or wanted to hear what it sounded like, but never had any intention of fluently speaking it or even finishing the tree?

This question will probably sound ridiculous to some, but I have done it in the past and I am considering doing it with both Italian and Polish, and I'm wondering if others have done the same.

July 28, 2017



I'd say pretty much everyone has done it, no? I see most people who post display a few (or several) flags at low levels (under 10). I think it's natural to be curious and want to hear the sound of a language and learn a couple words without necessarily committing yourself to finishing the entire course.

I've finished 9 or 10 trees, and some of the trees that I haven't yet finished, I plan to get to "someday." I definitely plan to finish Romanian and Greek down the road, once Turkish is finally through. (Turkish is definitely a tough language for me. I feel like I've learned next to nothing so far, but I keep reviewing and inching closer to the end...) I'd also like to finish Swahili, but I'm waiting for the audio to be included. I might finish Catalan one day, as well.

Then, shiny new languages appear to distract me (Japanese, High Valyrian), and more are coming (Hindi, Klingon, Korean) that I'm sure I'll look into...

Also, I'd really like to go back and review ones I've finished, such as Russian and Danish. Both were fun and interesting, and deserve to be reviewed.

I'd love to finish Hebrew and Vietnamese, but the way the courses are laid out here unfortunately doesn't work for my learning style, so I won't be finishing them.

The other languages I sampled were pretty much just out of curiosity.

July 28, 2017


I'm interested in picking up on Hebrew again. But, I'm curious what it is you found that did not suit your personal style of learning. Was it the added problems of learning a new alphabet?


Not the alphabet. I didn't seem to have trouble with Russian or Greek.

It's just that the Hebrew class didn't really teach as effectively as the other courses. The material wasn't presented in a logical way, compared to how other Duo classes are put together. It seemed like they didn't really try very hard to teach complete beginners, expecting that the learner would supplement Duo with outside sources in order to get up to speed.

I was really disappointed, but oh well. I didn't (and don't) have any particular reason to learn Hebrew, I just thought it would be fun, and I would work on the tree slowly over years, but it wasn't fun, and I didn't learn anything from that course, so that's that. There are plenty of other languages to learn!


Sure. High Valyrian is my most recent example.

I quit the Swahili course until it is improved.

And, if I ever finish the Hebrew Tree,

I would consider it a miracle.


I like to do about quarter of the trees so I understand the basic grammar in practice then look up the complex stuff and only understand in theory but better than if I hadn't had done the small part here, if that makes any sense ?

Clarification : I don't learn the complex grammar to speak the language, I just really like grammar and how it compares between languages


Yes. I started every Scandinavian language before deciding that I liked Danish the best.


That's a good idea! Kind of "shopping around" for the "best" language in the area that interests you. I don't know why, but I never thought of choosing a language like that.


My method was practically the same.

Not long after I had joined Duolingo (my initial intentions were to learn French, which have changed slightly since), I had wanted to try a new course. Part of my ancestry is Scandinavian, which is why I chose to learn a Scandinavian language. Deciding between Norwegian and Swedish, I chose to learn Swedish (although a bit more difficult than Norwegian, the way it sounded grabbed my attention more than Norwegian did).


No. I want all the golden owls.


Yes and no. I've gone through and done the first skill on every course just to get the lightest feel for it. I then delete my progress because I do intend to come back later and finish it, but when I first start I do not intend to complete it.


I always delete my progress for the low levels ones because it looks kind of not neat on my screen and even if I had no intention of actually learning the language them being a lower level makes me feel kinda bad for not reaching a higher level


I'm an English speaker learning Spanish and started the English for Spanish tree out of curiosity. Some users have said that after finishing their trees they have started the opposite tree as a way of improving their skills further so I might go back to it in a few months. At the moment I just sometimes try to help Spanish speakers with very basic English in the forum.

I was eager to learn Hebrew too, but stopped when I realised it wasn't romanised. I'll go back to that someday soon.


There was a time when I did the first lessons of all new languages on Duolingo, just to get a bit of a feeling for the language and recognize it when I see it. But I have deleted most of these trees since then.



I speak Swedish now.


Absolutely. I started the Irish, Welsh, and Hebrew trees with no intention of finishing them. Then I started to like Hebrew, and kept going. Then I stopped due to stress, so I deleted all my progress.


Hopefully you can pick it up again later. I traveled a lot in the Middle East and picked up Arabic and Persian but never Hebrew, so I'd like to go back to that. I also like Ladino music which is kind of half Spanish, half Hebrew. The great thing about apps like Duo, they have made it easier to at least get a grounding in some of the more obscure languages. Good luck!


I've never heard of Ladino music before. Thanks for the heads up, it's gorgeous!


I recall the desire to "have a look at" Guaraní... ;) And I was so excited when Hungarian and Hebrew came out (although I'd never really given them a second thought before), and well, I guess you could say I wound up on the Hungarian bandwagon. Something about those recorded-audio courses must just really do it for me :)

I started the Greek tree just to figure out how the alphabet looked. Wound up deciding to finish it six-odd moths later.

Poor Welsh, though, that's my go-to language when for some technical reason or other (happened a lot with Japanese) I find myself having to add a new language for fear of somehow altering my progress with one I'm actually doing. So I've "started" it maybe half a dozen times now.

  • 1240

No. Never did this. It's OK to, but I haven't. Only one I haven't finished is German, and I'm getting there. I think some time in August, although there may be delays due to holidays.


Nice streak! Keep going and good luck

  • 1240

Thank you. Actually the German is getting harder. I am continuing, but the number I need to redo to keep it all Golden is not decreasing. It's probably because of the number of mistakes I make. German is the first language I'm actually trying to learn with Duolingo. The others I'm trying to remember what I forgot and keep myself from forgetting. It's much harder. The multiple choice can be easy if it's similar to Dutch, but After writing this in a public discussion, I may not be finished within August. It doesn't really matter how fast, but too bad. :)


Absolutely. Some of them I've since deleted, but even with the ones still on my profile, I'm not necessarily planning on finishing the tree/learning to fluency. (I mean, some of those where I've finished, I have no intention of taking further. I only started the Spanish tree because my nephew starts secondary school in September and might take Spanish, I didn't think I'd finish the tree at all ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I still don't understand how I got through that, my Spanish is terrible.)

I don't see a problem with this at all. It's fun to take a language for a test drive!


Oh, yes. Irish, Turkish, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Hungarian, Guarani, the list goes on...

Seriously, though, I only made it a decent length in Turkish and Irish, both of which I consider 80% impossible.

I will continue to do this for many other languages, too!

The only languages I haven't tried to see what they sound like are Greek and Hebrew. I don't want to mess with a different script after the nightmare that was Russian...

Edit: As you can see I'm also doing this with Swahili.


Yes. All the time.


I usually try and and speed run through the tree and than if I like it go through slowly, but because I'm trying to cut down to prep for university, I'm doing that with High Valeriyan. I may finish it, if I can get to the end of the tree before Czech comes out, and my end goal is to have completed every duolingo tree, but for now, I'm just getting a sense out of curiosity. I have also done the french tree a few times without finishing it, because I always eventually get frustrated with dialectical differences causing me to have wrong answers, or with other things I don't like with the french course, i think duolingo is harder if you already know the language because all the things you might be like Oh I'm wrong if it's new you know you're right in and you get upset. But yeah, I've definitely been at that sentiment.


Curiosity is basically the only reason I've taken on so many languages, although eventually I finish the tree if I start it, I'm not aiming to become fluent in all of them, I just find it extremely useful to be 'grounded', it means I can make sense of foreign languages if I encounter them, I can be polite when I am in a different country, I already have some familiarity I can build on if I want to push it further.

Dabbling is a great thing. You don't know if you are going to like something unless you try it. Italian and Polish are both languages that I definitely can only say I have a superficial understanding of, but I am very happy that I tried them out, even if my life might never take me to either country...


Yes, pretty much every tree on here


Not yet, but I will probably do it at one point because I'm interested in a lot of languages and would like to learn some basics about them. Depending on how much I like them I might actually finish the trees though.


Yep. I've done that with every single one of the trees. I didn't even had any intentions to learn German, but now look at me...


As indicated from my flags, yes. Actually, I've at least finished the first lesson of almost all of the "for English" trees. I should delete my progress for trees that I will probably never touch again (like Welsh) but I don't want to. :)


Yeah, I'm the same for Russian and Esperanto - I should delete the progress, but I don't want to.


No, i like to finish my trees :)


Yes! I've done it multiply times but always after logout. Just to keep my statistics etc. true. I am not gonna learn any of them. (These which I also want to learn aren't available on duolingo)


I tried out Hebrew, Turkish, Italian and all three Scandinavian languages. Plus French, but unlike the other six, I hope to find time to finish it some day, so I haven't deleted it yet.


I've done it stacks of times. Of the languages I'm learning Russian is the only one I'm serious about and intend to finish the tree in


I might do for Valyrian! I am new to Duolingo and am currently learning only Italian. Technically I am trying to relearn it as I took Italian at school.


Yes. I just tried Swedish to see what the course looked like, and then had to 'search' the discussions to find out how to remove it from my profile.

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