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How far can one get using duolingo?

If the student were to work very diligently with duolingo, would the time ever come when the student should start using a paid program such as Rosetta Stone (for German)?

September 5, 2017



Paid program? Maybe.

But I should just warn you, Rosetta Stone may not be the best option. All it consists of is just multiple choice exercises. Duolingo is way better. I don't want to offend any devout Rosetta Stone users out there, but in my experience, it is a total waste. Maybe someone else has a different story to tell?

If you want a paid program, maybe try Pimsleur (especially because you will have already learned a large part of German; Pimsleur is only audio). I hear good things about Pimsleur, and I have experienced a few lessons in the past.

But honestly, Duolingo is my favorite language learning tool. If you want additional stuff, try out https://www.youtube.com/user/germanpod101 or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbxb2fqe9oNgglAoYqsYOtQ.

If I were to invest in anything, invest in something like either a textbook or an actual German book. They are normally cheaper, and you can get a lot out of them.

But that is just my opinion.


It depends if the students are beginners or not. If yes, duolingo will be excellent for them. It's a great start to learn a new language from scratch. If the students know some German, it can still help, it depends on the student itself. In case they have a very good German knowledge already, duolingo will be almost a waste of time, in that case reading books, listening to native speakers and of course talking is the best.

I don't use any paid software, so I'm not able to help on that, sorry.


I do not think that DuoLingo shall be used stricly alone...

Have you read any reviews about Rosetta Stone, as you are throwing it in?
Have you done their online demo? Come on, do you really have a feel to have to buy it after that???

If you do not like DuoLingo or if the DuoLingo web portal is too hard for you (almost all typing, some multiple-choice, some picture select, no tapping) try Mondly: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/20450828$comment_id=20527429

If you want it easier (tapping), try the DuoLingo mobile apps - or use an Android emulator like Bluestacks.

You can use Memrise in parallel to DuoLingo, which also uses some tapping exercises, if the specific course is configured for it.
Personally I am using "all typing" for vocabulary reviews (watering) on Memrise web.

www.language101.com has done some reviews:


How far can one get using duolingo?
If the student were to work very diligently with duolingo, ......

Duolingo is a very good program for the first stage of learning a language or brush up your school knowledge. Duolingo will only bring you to:

  • A2 (maybe B1) level in reading/writing
  • A1 (maybe A2) level in listening/talking.

After finishing your tree

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:

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?"

There are numerous possibilities.

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

..... would the time ever come when the student should start using a paid program such as Rosetta Stone (for German)?

You can take a short, free online test: "Test your German - Goethe-Institut"

And here is the link to an interesting story "A2 in German with Duolingo"


Thank you all for your comments. You not only have saved me some money, but you have helped to show me how to proceed before and after I have exhausted whatever duolingo has to offer (for German). I have not yet examined your references to other websites but intend to do so in the near term. Already, I am planning to pursue a third language, using duolingo, eventually.

Thanks again!

Bob Durrett


You have 3 level. Your first goal is 25 level... You will study very well the written speech. After is better to listen movies and stories for improve your listening. And your speaking will be weak.I hope for help you


Thanks, loanna678593. I am now using Duolingo as my primary software but also Babbel because it has voice recognition software to check my pronunciation. I paid $29. for six months of Babbel. In a year or two, I may try to improve my ability to converse via voice (ex: person to person or via telephone) and may use Pimsleur for that. It is too expensive for me at this time. Thanks again.


@RobertHenr953788 Babbel and Pimsleur are not free. Do you know how I can progress my prononciation in English for free??


Truthfully, Loanna, I have never learned any languages except for English, the language of my parents. I do not know what difficulties someone might face if their native language were not English. On Duolingo, I am having "the speaker" say a new word over and over, each time with me trying to say it the same way. I can only hope that this will help me to learn how to pronounce the word, at least as it is pronounced by Duolingo. There are numerous dialects for English. To TEST my pronunciation, I am using voice recognition software (for now, that is on Babbel). This testing will hopefully give me feedback on how well I am doing on pronunciation and will point me to the words which I do not say correctly. Perhaps someone on this bulletin board who speaks your native language can address the difficulties you face. One suggestion: Try to learn how to say phrases and complete sentences by listening to a native speaker say the phrase or sentence and then try to say it the same way as the speaker did. Perhaps you can listen to Google Translate for this(???).

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