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Finished the Reverse Tree (French to English)!

Bonjour à tous!

As the title says, I finally finished the French to English tree (as some will call it, the "reverse tree.") Now I finished both the French to English and the English to French trees! I was supposed to finish a few days from now, but the lure of a few more lessons was too irresistible to delay.

Anyways, in case you're curious, here are random thoughts:

  • You do learn different words in the reverse tree, and some are more emphasized than in the regular tree. For instance, the French tree used "le repas (the meal)" a lot, while the reverse tree used "la nourriture (the food)" more.

  • Lots of people do the reverse trees in the hopes of practicing to write in the language they are learning a lot more. I will admit there are more instances where this happens, but not by much sadly (in my case anyway).

  • It's weird having to say sentences in English (my native language). Sure, you can turn off the microphone feature, but I decided to leave it in as speaking English lets you learn more of a variety of sentences that I don't see represented in the regular typing portions. What I do is say the sentence in English, and in my mind I translate it into French, and see if the results match what I thought.

  • A downside is the program translates only the English words and sentences. So when I see a new French word, the app will only translate its English translation.

  • It's fun reading the comments of the native French-speaking learners as you can see how wild the English language is based on their responses. For instance, they will ask why verbs have an "s" for the pronouns "he" or "she" (i.e. she eats) if they are singular, while verbs don't use "s" for the plural "we" (i.e. we eat).

  • Am I fluent? Nope. I can do amazing broken French though! As always, Duolingo is a great program, but you should be going out and using other resources, including speaking French whenever possible. I did pretty well when I went to France and spoke my slow French! In case you're wondering, I also use Babbel and Rosetta Stone. I watch lots of French-speaking YouTube videos. Sometimes I also use Lingvist and books.

*** I have a tip: Don't get discouraged! We all have our bad days. Even if you think you didn't learn anything from the lessons, you likely learned a new word (woohoo! A new word is better than none!), and even if you didn't learn a new word, you strengthened the words you already know!

Anyways, that's all! I'll add more if I think of any. I'm just happy I completed two trees!! :-)

Happy learning! NtateNarin

July 30, 2017



Congratulations ! I love the tip because a lot of the time people get discouraged because they aren't making a lot of progress but even knowing a few words of a language is more than the no word if you didn't try. Keep up the positivity it is great to see :)


Thanks for the nice compliment Qiunnn! I wish you the best in your language learning! :-)


Congratulations! Thanks for sharing all that. You are the first and only person who I know who has completed the reverse tree too. I am looking forward to completing the main one and start the reverse this year itself, so your observations are really enlightening. Thanks :)


No problem Fauzan836172! I wish you well in your French, take your time, and you'll switch easily into the reverse tree. Congrats on your 400+ day streak! :-)


Merci beacoup - you just made my day! Hope you reach your 1000 day-streak too and go more higher :)


Good report. I had a lot more translate into the target language in my reverse trees. I'm wondering if this might be because I used the website rather than the app and turned off the sound. That probably adjusts what proportion of each type of exercise.


That's a good theory. With all the changes in Duolingo, I would alternate with the app (which had more of the matching games), the mobile website (I used this because the app had that annoying timed practices I didn't like), and the web (which had more difficult lessons). I'm usually on the go, which is why I don't use the web as often.


Congrats!!! I recently started the reverse french tree too! I finished the portuguese one, and I agree with you, you learn a lot more words doing the reverse!

Have fun on the rest of your french journey! Bonne chance!


Merci beaucoup Zoebells! Bonne chance aussi!


Well done! Completing all of the units in a course takes a lot of commitment and effort; good luck with your future experience on Duolingo!


Thanks Speir_! I wish you well too! :-)


Gracias Savage360_! :-)


Good work! And that streak... What do you think is your level in french now (cefr)


Merci Truth.ojo! I'm decent at reading and understanding much of French I hear. I was surprised when I did it with a regular conversational pace (but not too fast). Slowly my talking is getting better as I keep repeating lessons. I wish you the best in getting level 25 in French! :-)


I was planning to do the same thing (take the english tree with french language) Do you suggest that I finish my french tree first, or is it OK if I do them side by side ?


If you're totally new to French, I suggest finishing your French tree first. The reason why is because the reverse tree doesn't pronounce the French words (only the English ones), which can be frustrating if you're not familiar with them from the regular tree. Also, the comments for the questions are all in French, which won't help you much if you don't understand a bit of French. Also, a lot of shorthand is used with the comments as well, such as BCP (or some similar arrangement) for beaucoup. Oh yeah, the whole website will be in French as well, which I have seen in the forums people accidentally going to and needing help to find their way back to the regular French tree because they don't understand what they are clicking.

I wish you the best KaanGonel! :-)


That makes sense. Thank you for the suggestions. Right now I have 30% fluency level in French, which I believe is the middle of the available proficiency in Duolingo.

I think I will start the English tree when I am very close to finishing French tree


Wow, Hearty Congratulations, and thanks for such a nice and detailed post. Very helpful tips.

Yes, you are right, it is good to use other resources too, to strengthen one's learning. I find Rocket French, Babbel, Memrise and FrenchPod quite useful to strengthen the concepts learned on Duolingo.

Also, I like to practice reading news on http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/ I look up the words I dont know on an online dictionary and it gives me a good practice.

Thanks again and wish you all the best.


Congratulations! :) Your words make me want to learn seriously (I've been inactive lately). Thanks to you, I finally find my motivation again. Thank you! :) Good luck in your French!


what is a reverse tree


You switch your native language with the one you want to learn on Duolingo. So in this case, they took the English for French speakers course after completing the French for English speakers course.


I too did the French tree first and then completed the reverse tree. I spent a year on the French tree due to getting diverted to other activities but towards the end I got on a roll and finished it in a month or less. That was using the desktop version. For the reverse tree I used the Android app. That was so much easier, due to the extensive use of multiple choice, that I finished it in only 4 days!! Thanks to that all of my previous answers remained golden so I did not need to spend any time on revision.

The app was a fun experience but I do not think it teaches you as well. since you mostly have multiple choice you rarely have to think through the verb and adjective endings. Even the vocab is easier since most of the alternatives are obviously wrong.

I recommend using the desktop version if you want to really learn the language. I intend to use the desktop again now for my ongoing revision.


I ended up with Level 11 and 76% fluent for the French to English, whereas my English to French score is Level 16 and 68% fluent.

But that doesn't make me competent - not by a long way. I still could not converse with a real person in French, nor keep up with spoken dialog in a TV show. The best I can do is to understand what I read fairly well. There is a lot more work to do - outside Duolingo.

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