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Further guidence in German

521 days continuous, 56% "fluency", 30,820xp, 1880 tokens, and the whole tree complete. Phew. Helped by a few grammar textbooks and Dict.cc.

What are other learners doing next? Is Rosetta Stone worth the cost?

August 8, 2017



Rosetta Stone is by far the most overpriced and inefficient method for learning out there. You've learned a lot more from Duo than you will with RS, and for free. You'll learn more from beating yourself over the head with a grammar book than you will RS.

After finishing the tree you've got a good grasp of basic to lower intermediate German grammar, so you'll see the most progress if you get out there and start using the language.

The most important thing to do is to find a regular native speaking partner- if there are no German speakers in your area, then I highly recommend using a tutor on a site like Italki for a few hours a week. You'll see the fastest improvement this way.

Outside of that, you need to start getting used to naturally spoken German (rather than Duo's robo-Deutsch) by listening to the news, podcasts and so on.


"you'll learn more from beating yourself over the head with a grammar book" :-)) Nice idea. I´ll give it a try.....


Just tried it with Hammer's German Grammar and Usage. Auch! Think I've forgotten all my Duo lessons :-)


Duolingo will only bring you to an A2/(B1) skill level in reading/writing and A1 (maybe A2) in listening/talking.

Info about language levels:
Read from "Common reference levels".

But, there are numerous possibilities to increase your fluency in daily life without paying for it.

  • You will learn much more German words and more difficult sentences by using the "Strengthen" features.
    Here is the link to "Best Way to Make Your Tree Turn Gold and Stay Gold"

Other ways you could improve your German:

  • The reverse tree, the course English for German speakers, is very useful. There you have to translate much more from English to German.
    Here is the link to the Duolingo Help center for "How do I switch my Duolingo course language?"

  • Use the web version of Duolingo (www.duolingo.com) instead of the App. The web version works also fine on a tablet or phone, when WIFI is available.

  • Try to read (and write) in Duolingo's German discussion forums. There you will find the daily used words, sentences and idiom.

Apart from that

  • read a newspaper article every day and try to learn its new words
  • listen to podcasts, watch movies with or without subtitles
  • converse with a native speaker as much as possible
  • write smaller texts, upload them on lang-8.com and let them be corrected by native speakers a.s.o.

For more information:
Have a look at the wonderful overview made by Knud van Eeden
"Can you give some links about German?"



My first recommendation is to take the CERF test in dw.com, take A2 and see how you grade, if you get more than 80% take B1, or is less than 70% take A1. The reason to recommend a test is so you can see the areas where you are strong and the ones that need more work. Usually if you have only done Duolingo your listening comprehension will be weak, do not worry you can improve fast. The other reason is that when you know your level you can select better resources. I have not found one resource online to reach B2, so you need to get creative and use many resources.

DW has a few good courses and they are free. One of the courses is Jojo Such das Gluck, if you do everything, including the grammar exercises and you make sure you understand them, you will cover all the grammar up to B2. DW has audio courses, easy news and others.

I like youtube videos, I have recommended these so many times here: German with Jenny, Jenny has a great website with a lot of grammar exercises, Deutsch mit Marija and many others.

I like grammar books with exercises such as German Grammar Drills by Edward Schick, these books are not great, but they are fine. There are a lot of grammar resources online, universities that post content etc. Jenny recommended this ebook, I think it looks interesting, https://easy-deutsch.de/deutsche-grammatik-pdf/

I recommend a conversation partner you can use apps for this, and a personal tutor, they are not very expensive, I used italki.com.

If you find other resources please post them. Good luck


I'd strongly recommend watching your favorite Tv shows in German with German subtitles. German subtitles are pretty much among the very best subtitles you can get. The English ones are very good as well. If you've ever seen French or Spanish subtitles you will know exactly what I'm on about :D

Let's say you decide to revisit your favorite episodes of Game of Thrones or Lost ... or whatever. Take a pen and a piece of paper ... then you write down everything that strikes you as odd, interesting, useful or very frequent. Words such as und, oder, weil etc...

Next step ... Look it up. If there's grammar questions you should revisit that Grammar on Duolingo or external sources.

This is mainly good for listening comprehension and reading abilities.

You can also watch something in English or other dubbed languages with German subtitles.

Assuming an actor says: I'm so hungry Fred. You stop the video and probably be able to read: I habe so einenHunger Fred. (or Ich bin so hungrig Fred)

Et voilà you have learned the German word for hunger =)

I have done the same in my early days in English. Done it with Scrubs. First I've watched it in German with English subtitles. Then I've watched it in English with English subtitles. After some time there were no more words for me to learn because I've sussed them all out.

I'm afraid it will be much harder in German though. Lucky you German subtitles are incredibly accurate and good =)


Wie Mr-Eyl schon sagt, Nachrichten hören, deutsch singen, Filme gucken und tatsächlich versuchen zu sprechen. Manche führen ein Tagebuch. Viel Glück!

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