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Did it help you?

Hi guys! After you passed a language and went through all the lessons, did you, like, know that language now?

I am afraid that I will pass all the lessons I won't remember anything and that I will not able to speak in the language I learned.

Did this happen to anyone?

March 9, 2013



I don't think that you can, say, finish the German course on Duolingo, go to Germany and talk like a native there. If you want to speak, find partners to practise speaking. If you want to read, you'll have to use the dictionary a lot. If you want to listen to news or to watch movies, it would be rather challenging and you won't do well without many repetitions and reading the script (or using subtitles). That's hardly "knowing" a language, but it is much more than you have before you start on Duolingo, right?

By the end of the course, you'll know about 2,000 words (more if you do a lot of translations) and all the major tenses.

P.S. Your topic may get downvoted, because, really, there is a search option in Discussions. There are tons of similar questions with lots of answers here.


I think a better question is what do you do next? What are you doing now? Are reading in your target language? Do you consume any media in your target language? Do you attempt to speak to anyone in your target language? How much time are you investing in your target language?

  • I've done all French levels on busuu.com.

  • I have read a few books in French and plan to read more.

  • I do exercises from a textbook. Rather boring, but it is a well structured academic course, so it's worth it. Unfortunately I have been too busy or lazy to do this recently as I have added German and it is hard to do exercises on both languages every day.

  • I try to listen to a French radio. It's not easy, and again, I don't have much time for it >_< My main idea is to listen as much as I can in the background. I can grasp a lot of words and phrases and I think they will stick together into sentences after some time of practice. The problem is that I can't listen to the radio at work (kinda tough to translate from English into Russian and listen to French radio at the same time), while reading or learning German (:D).

  • I found a French frequency dictionary which I am translating into Russian (my native language) and learning with flashcards. There are 5000 most common French words which I want to learn. Of course I know most of them, but I want to know them all anyway.

  • Speaking (either voice or texting) is the most difficult part because I can't fit it into my schedule. I know I can communicate in a text chat, but right now time is too precious to spend on that.


Olga, (English, French and German?) you rock!

My current approach to language acquisition is based on multiple sources like khatzumoto (alljapaneseallthetime.com), Stephen Krashen, and many other blogging language learners online. Right now I prefer massive input[1] via extensive reading (多読 tadoku) and listening. I have a dictionary but I do not use it often -no worries, no stress. I use some grammar books, that I 'promise' myself that I will complete but I'm not in a rush because they're just not fun. Reading children's books produces maximum pleasure - yes, I'm lazy and simple. I read about 44 children's book in January and about 30-something in February. Not to mention I read some free cartoon strips in my current target language (Spanish) often. I absorb 1,000 - 5,000 common words in context automatically. I'm not a huge fan of learning words, I prefer sentences. Resources like linguee [2] provides a great tool for word search in context with many examples. I think DuoLingo is a perfect addition to my learning language journey because it is kind of addictive and fun.

[1] http://www.antimoon.com/how/input.htm

[2] http://www.linguee.com/english-spanish/

ANKI Spaced Repetition System! (It's free!) It's great for retaining information, whether it is language or vocabulary. I read a story about a law student who used it for 4 years to ace Law School. http://ankisrs.net/

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.