Finished the Italian tree
After almost a year, I finished the Italian tree. This does not mean, of course, that I am fluent in that language, but I feel that I have an adequate understanding of it. I would like to share some opinions and impressions about my particular journey.
First of all, I want to thank Duolingo for providing the opportunity to challenge myself. I also want to thank all the members of this forum for their willingness to help. Special thanks go to CivisRomanus, whose clear explanations and insightful comments benefit everyone who wants to master this beautiful language.
Concerning the Duolingo program, I wish they had spent a little more time with the reflexive verbs and the uses of ne and ci. These are my personal observations and not a criticism of their teaching methods.
Everyone learns differently. I am the type of learner who needs structure and explanations, so I took a some index cards and wrote down the conjugations of the regular verbs, as well as the most important irregular ones, (essere, avere, potere, etc.) These, I feel, must be committed to memory without a hint of hesitation. To that effect, I downloaded Italian Trainer and Italian Verbs from the app store. You can create your own drills to practice in any way you think is best. (I have a drill for all verbs in the present, one for the imperfect, irregular past participles, etc.)
In conjunction with Duolingo, I also did Pimpsleur introduction to Italian, and Barron's Express Track to Italian, since they stress those areas not covered in Duolingo.
Even though I did the Italian tree from English, my native language is Spanish. The knowledge of this language helped me tremendously, especially with those concepts that are non existent in English, such as the imperfect tense in the past, and the uses of the subjunctive mode. For all practical purposes, these concepts are identical in both languages. Even with the passato remoto I felt comfortable, since it is commonly used in Spanish, as opposed to the present perfect in Italian to express the immediate past.
I know that this journey is just beginning. I continue to refresh what I learned in Duolingo and I have ordered some new materials so I can continue my studies. In a few weeks I am off to Italy for a two week stay. I am sure that even my basic knowledge of Italian will be helpful.
Should anyone in this forum wish to ask, discuss or comment, they can always contact me directly through my website: www.carlosrubioalbet.com
Buona fortuna a tutti, Carlos
I definitely can understand your criticism, I've used a few language sites like this in the past (Duolingo is by far my favorite) and I've found that it works best when you learn the full grammar lesson along side the Duolingo website. This means, when Duolingo starts teaching you a new verb tense, google it and read up on the regular and irregular conjugation formats. Then on the side, practice by conjugating many of the verbs. I have found that this better helped me conjugate other new verbs before I was even introduced to them. I went old-school and got a notebook for it, definitely worth it because writing everything down (both grammar and vocabulary) definitely helped me retain the rules and stuff more. Congratulations, hopefully you continue your Italian learning! Good luck!