https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward

Finished my Spanish Tree :)

Lrtward
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I'm ridiculously proud of having finished my Spanish Tree today.

I must admit that for the last three or four skills I was so excited to be close to the end that I didn't spend as much time reviewing and practicing learned skills as I usually do. I managed to keep my tree golden, but probably by the skin of my teeth. I also didn't work each lesson until I could do it with all hearts remaining, which I usually do. So I have quite a bit of review to go back and do before I feel like I truly understand some of the last bits, but I'm sporting a little golden owl at the bottom of my tree.

Yeah, baby!!

So, future plans: Review until I feel pretty comfortable. Do SpanishDict's sections 3 and 4 (I've done 1 and 2 long ago) Do Duo's French for Spanish speakers and see how it goes.

4 years ago

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https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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Congrats! And thanks, I've just learnt a new English expression thanks to you "by the skin of my teeth".

I will do the same than you: trying to keep all my hearts alive, but as soona as I will finished my tree, because it's just too frustrating sometimes to do again and again the same lessons 5 times or more. I wish we have a feature letting us know which ones of the lessons we managed to pass with all our hearts.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I almost removed that phrase because so many people here are not native speakers but then I thought "Hey, it's a language learning site!" It's a phrase that's not used every day but it's easily understood by all. I agree, it's frustrating, but I have realized that the repetition helps me a lot. I still have trouble with eso vs esto and le vs lo at times. Very basic stuff. So I hate/love the repetition here.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eey91
Eey91Plus
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Muchisimas felicitaciones! Every time I see a post like this when someone finishes the Spanish tree for their own language I feel even more motivated to continue to study mine to be able to produce this kind of feeling to other people. By the way, if you want to learn the equivalent Colombian idiom of "By the skin of my theeth" (which also I just learned) you would say "pasaste raspada", it would be like you barely managed to do it scratching yourself trying. Saludos!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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That's a great new phrase, pasaste raspada. Thank you! (had to edit to fix my auto-correct, grrr)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eey91
Eey91Plus
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You would say "Pasé" refering to yourself. =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Yes, "pasar raspada". Thank you. My auto-correct made a mess of my comment and I didn't notice until just now. It's caused me to lose a heart or two, also!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dr.liz
dr.liz
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My kids are always teasing me and my husband because we use old-fashioned expressions! But I believe "the skin of my teeth" basically comes from the Bible.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dr.liz
dr.liz
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My kids always tease my husband and me for using old-fashioned sayings! But I believe the phrase "skin of my teeth" comes from the Bible.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/matthewfbyrnes

"Skin of my teeth" is biblical in origin, from the book of Job. Because teeth have no skin. But I don't know how it translates in other languages, or if it's only an idiom in English.

And Congrats to lrtward!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/udieri

This phrase is also in Hebrew (well, it's biblical). Well done Irtward!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Makes sense. And thank you :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Interesting! And thanks :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aukejw
aukejw
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Not trying to be a smart-ass, but in this case it's 'the same as you'. Just so you know!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dj63010

Congratulations on your accomplishment. I would be very proud also. Currently I'm only at level 5 but I only found Duolingo 6 days ago. I would like to know from you how you feel about your ability to hold an intelligent conversation in Spanish now that you have finished your tree. Do you think you could go to say Mexico City and hold a conversation with a native? I'm just curious as to how far advanced I have to be before I start feeling comfortable with the language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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That question is more complicated than it seems :) I studied Spanish in high school and minored in Spanish in college, including a study abroad one summer in Mexico. By the time I came home I was conversant to the point that I could express myself but I made LOTS of errors and my vocabulary was only basic. But I could communicate and I didn't carry around a dictionary all the time or need an interpreter for basic interactions.

Then I didn't use my Spanish for, oh, about 30 years. I forgot pretty much everything, BUT once I decided to re-learn Spanish, I had a lot of "oh, yeah" moments instead of a lot of "WTF?!" moments. I also have used a wide variety of tools in my effort to re-learn Spanish and I am quite confident that my abilities now are much better than when I first came back from Mexico all those years ago.

Basically what I'm saying is I probably learned a little more quickly and a little more easily than someone would who is starting from scratch, and that Duo shouldn't be the only tool in your arsenal.

I have personally found the following to be the most helpful:

SpanishDict.com/learn - Four sections with 15 lessons each. Each lesson has a video that explains a new point of grammar and a bit of vocabulary. Then flashcards that introduce new vocabulary. Then multiple choice that reinforces the vocabulary. Then a writing and a speaking exercise which you are trusted to "grade yourself" on. So SpanishDict is excellent for grammar and vocabulary. They also have the best online dictionary/translator that I'm aware of, and a ton of user created flashcard sets that vary from excellent to complete suckage. A good discussion forum area with helpful and knowledgable members.

Duolingo - decent for vocabulary but focuses on cognates. Excellent at making you repeat concepts over and over so that you get all those little basics down. Great at switching between listening, translating into target language, out of target language, and keeping things lively. The gamification is surprisingly effective at helping you maintain your motivation. A friendly discussion forum.

Anki flashcards - They have some excellent Spanish/English flaschcard sets for free. A few errors but so few it's not an issue. You can sync your progress across a PC application, Android, web app, iPhone/iPad. They are all free except the iPhone/iPad app you have to pay $25 for. It's a very steep price but I fell in love with Anki on my Android so much that when I had to replace it and got an iPhone, I forked out the bucks. Once you pay for the iPhone or iPad app, it's available to you on your other iDevices for no charge. It is EXCELLENT and the single best vocabulary builder I've ever tried.

LiveMocha - It's changed a lot since I logged in, but I think this much is still the same: you are introduced to a new lesson and then native speakers grade your written (and spoken?) exercises. You earn credits by grading the exercises of people who are learning your native language, and with those credits you buy more lessons. It's a very good model but like Duo it is developing and in flux and some folks find that off putting.

News in Slow Spanish podcast. This is now a service you have to pay for, but I think it might be worth the money to an intermediate speaker (someone about 1/2 to 3/4 through the tree). A weekly podcast of current events, a section on grammar, and a section on culture. All spoken very slowly so you have time to isolate and recognize the words. Transcripts, flashcards, etc. to help you review the new material each week.

Movies (DVDs) with Spanish soundtrack enabled, especially favorites that I practically know by heart in English. Sometimes with English subtitles, sometimes with Spanish subtitles, but usually with no subtitltes. I find the subtitles are a paraphrasing of what is being said so they are more distracting than helpful.

Spanish radio, especially RTVE.es canal 5. It is all talk radio, kind of like NPR in the United States. Lots of news, some interviews, some special interest pieces.

Got a Kindle Touch (Kindle Paperwhite will also do) and read books in Spanish on it. I bought a Spanish-English dictionary for it, and now when I touch a word I get the English translation. The Collins dictionary is really good. It has lots and lots of examples and idioms in it. A Kindle app for phone or PC can't do this, nor can the Kindle Fire. It has to be a dedicated Kindle device like the touch or Paperwhite for the alternate dictionary to work.

Listen to Spanish songs. I prefer them on my iPod where I can listen to the same ones over and over so they become familiar and second nature. Brand new songs are always kind of hard to understand. If your library has "freegal" you can download a small number of MP3 songs for free each week. My library lets me download 3 per week and over time I am developing a nice collection. They go to the gym with me on my iPod.

Read Spanish news whenever you can. On the web, with a smartphone app, whatever.

Verbling.com is a site where language learners congregate. They have video/audio/text chat rooms that you can visit for free and you can create your own chat room. I have talked with people from Egypt, Algiers, Spain, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, England, the United States, Mexico, Chile... I don't have any Spanish speaking people around me to practice with, so Verbling has been exceptionally welcome. It's brilliant. They also have online video courses that are $3 per class to attend or you can watch a live or recorded class for free. I think they also have "all the classes you want to attend in a month" pricing too so if you know you'll have free time one month that would be a pretty good deal.

I search for "documentarios español" on YouTube and watch documentaries. They speak slowly and clearly, there is lots of visual information to support what you're hearing, and there are lots of pauses for you to mentally replay and decipher what was just said.

Also on YouTube: "Extr@ en español" is excellent. PocoYo and Plaza Sésamo are for little children so get boring quite quickly but they are worthwhile.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head, although I'm sure there are more.

But to (finally!) answer your question I am absolutely 100% confident I could easily travel to any Spanish speaking country and not have any trouble whatsoever. I'd make errors but I'm confident I would be understood. I wouldn't understand everything, to be sure, and some countries would require a bit of time before I got accustomed to the dialect, but yeah. I'm ready!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dj63010

Thanks so much for the pointers, I'll definitely investigate them all. You've been so kind taking the time to answer my question. It's definitely appreciated. Good luck in all your endeavors.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I get excited when I talk about learning Spanish :) It's become a passion. My husband would call it an obsession, most likely. But, it's better than the race tracks I suppose :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VStarTraveler
VStarTraveler
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Thanks for the great insights and suggestions!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jjberg

Great tips. I've only used some of the ones you mentioned here, but I'll definitely check out the others. But I would also add Nulengua.com to the list (where you pay to have private lessons on Skype). When you actually have to talk to a native Spanish speaker you're forced out of your comfort zone, and you can't hide behind streaks and lingots anymore...hehe =) It can be frustrating, but for me it's a great way to learn.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anjaj123

Wow thank you for all this info, I'm off to look at all of this, thank you!!!!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/howard61

I have to agree with lrtward. It is not a simple question to answer as reading, listening and speaking are separate skills. For speaking, you could add www.conversationexchange.com for text or video chatting. Another resource is veintemundos. They have bi-weekly articles with vocab and grammer. You can choose whether the article is read to you by a Spanish or a Latin American speaker.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/blaze1495

What a comprehensive list - thank you for detailing all the other resources you've used! I had a sneaking suspicion that Duolingo alone would not give me the best comfort level in my spoken Spanish, and I've been looking for other great resources. Muchas gracias!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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There are other suggestions at http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Useful_links_for_learning_or_practicing_a_language_outside_of_Duolingo but I listed the ones I have used and personally found to be helpful. That link is definitely worth perusing though.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/He110

How did you ever find this link?
I am impressed.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I've seen it mentioned here in the discussion forums by other people. It's pretty new from what I can tell. Help spread the word! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
jfGor
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If I remember correctly, it was a Duo learner who made it and posted it in the forums, perhaps a couple of months ago.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/He110

Wow, congratulation! This is a very useful post. I am only about 40% of the way through Duo and I also have used StudySpanish.com for the grammar lessons. I'm not sure how I will store all the information in this post so I can refer to it later but I did check out ANKI and am ready to start with that. Do you have a favorite Deck or one that would be good to start with? Muchas gracias

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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If you have acquired all or most of your vocabulary here on Duo, I'd start with "Essential Spanish Vocabulary Top 5000".

If you have a pretty good vocabulary, "Advanced Spanish Vocabulary" is really good. That's my "go to" deck, but I know most of the ones in Top 5000.

I like "1001 Most Useful Spanish Words and Sentences" for using words in context but I have learned to go a bit easy on myself with regards to getting every tiny word right, because there is almost always more than one way to phrase something. Still, it's good for getting the "feel" of the language.

I just noticed "Webster's New World 575 SPanish Verbs + 3-5 usage sentences" which is pretty new. I've not tried it but it looks really good.

Honestly I just went to "shared decks" and downloaded the ones with the most stars and more than just a couple of ratings.

Oh! Anki also has statistics which are kind of boring for the first week or two but then as you practice every day they get kind of addictive. You get to see your long term knowledge growing, and I find that motivating and rewarding.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stanleyy122sgp

Thank you so much for that advice (even if it wasnt directly for me. I also took 4 years of spanish in highschool and 6 years later decided to do something it. I have bookmarked everything you mentioned. I also recomend using netflix and hulu for watching things in spanish. They have some classic cartoons likes elmos world that really helps build vocabulary (even if it is a little mind numbing.) also, must disney movies on netflix have a Spanish option.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Wow, I'd forgotten about this post; I'm surprised you found it. Yes! Netflix and Hulu are wonderful. I don't think I knew that Neflix could be viewed in Spanish, or that Hulu had a Lation genre when I wrote this. Have you seen "The Time in Between" or "El Tiempo Entre Las Costuras" on Hulu? It's fantastic.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stanleyy122sgp

It is really good so far. The only thing I don't like is that I enjoy watching spanish shows with spanish subtitles. That way I can hear and read. But thanks for the recommendation, it probably has the best story so far.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I agree. I left the subtitles off for the most part, to force myself to focus on the Spanish, but once in a while I just did not understand what was going on, so I enabled them to figure things out, then disabled them and listened to that bit again just in Spanish, and then kept going.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
ionasky
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Woah, just seen this list of extra resources. Thanks for sharing. Please accept a lingot for being so collaborative.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vegan.Valerie
Vegan.Valerie
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What a wonderul list of language learning resources! Gracias!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JazzBlues
JazzBlues
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Congratulations! I am 7 skills away from the end and I just want to finish. After 8 months I just want to finish with spanish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VStarTraveler
VStarTraveler
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JazzBlues, sounds like we're at almost exactly the same point. I'm counting down, 23 more days, 23 more lessons! Reports like lrtward's are great reminders and encouragement--we'll get there!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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You WILL get there. It's odd, I was actually more focused on my streak than on completing the tree and both you and JazzBlues put me to shame in that category. If you just keep logging in and doing a little each day, you can't help but finish your tree eventually! I hope I see your "I finished!" post so I can congratulate both of you :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VStarTraveler
VStarTraveler
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Thanks, lrtward! I've been pretty consistent and actually expect to beat my original 300 day target of completing my tree by about 40 days or so. I took two years of high school Spanish in the late 70s, and haven't done much with it since then, but like you, I was surprised at how much was retained. Still, I have to do a lot of repetition and practice to make the new material stick. I'm more focused on reading than conversation, but I like that Duolingo gives us some of both plus translating both ways. I'm going to do the reverse tree after finishing this first one (hopefully at a faster pace), and then hopefully start Italian so I can eventually learn enough to send my old high school Italian pen-pal a note that she won't need to translate from English!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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JazzBlues, I hear you! Don't let it become a chore, though. Some days I just log in and do one practice session so I don't lose my streak. Other days I'm a beast and can't get enough. You are really close. Pretty soon everyone will be congratulating you on your "I finished my tree" post! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JazzBlues
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Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. I am happy to say that I have now finished my tree. I guess now the hard work now starts although I am surprised at how much Spanish I can actually understand.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vegan.Valerie
Vegan.Valerie
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Inspiring practice streak you have going there! I've been on Duolingo for two years now. Looks like you've been on for four. Congrats on your dedication to daily language study!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mirriel
mirriel
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Congratulations! :)

I still have eight more skills to do. But I'm very excited to be so close to the end of the tree :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Isn't it exciting? It's like getting close to the end of a good book. It's hard to slow down and really learn things. You want to just race through to the end. At least, I did.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NehemiasGabriel

Te felicito, yo estoy terminando mi árbol de ingles. soy argentino.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Enhorabuena! Si te puedo ayudar en cualquier manera, escribeme en mi "Activity Stream" (no sé cómo se llama en español).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Wow, Gab, that's great that you finished the English tree. Congratulations.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/awesomeisabelle

Wow if you left Duolingo for a while like I did (which I regret greatly), you would have to strengthen a lot of skills which would take a while. I plan to finish by at least 2 years. Hopefully less. Even though I am 10, I can do it!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ferdo76
Ferdo76
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Only ten? That's quite an advantage if you learn a new language. ;)

Good luck!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/awesomeisabelle

thanks so much you too

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jolynnedougherty
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Congrats! I see you are working on French also. I have finished my French tree, and am working on the Spanish one. I find that I have a tendency to mix up my languages, so when I should write ella, I write elle instead. Do you have any hints for keeping the two languages separate in your brain?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I haven't done that much French yet, so I don't have any sage advice, really. I DO find that if I go from one directly to the other I am much more likely to mix things up like you described. It works a lot better if I do one in the morning and one in the evening, or at least separate them by some kind of break, like dinner or something.

I plan to try doing French from Spanish, so there won't be any English. Don't know if that will make things better or worse, but it will be a fun experiment. I have done one excercise (20 questions) that way and it was surprisingly fun. I think if I can do it successfully it will help break me of my bad habit of trying to translate so much into and out of English. That really slows me down. If I can force myself to think without English I will consider it a huge breakthrough.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jolynnedougherty
jolynnedougherty
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The do one in the morning and one in the evening sounds like it would be helpful. I would be interested to hear how learning French via Spanish will work for you. Please post about that. Best of luck and congrats again! JoLynne

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevinkinsler
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You could try studying them in different locations as well. So that your brain can associate that environment with one set of skills.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jolynnedougherty
jolynnedougherty
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I just have a desk top so I am stuck in one place, but I do think like you and Irtward suggested, that I will make some sort of separation and not go from one to the other. Thanks for the suggestion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Will do, Jolynnedougherty. Thanks for letting me know someone else might find it interesting. I tend to comment a lot but not initiate much at all.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dankabass3

congratulations to your 351 day streak - nearly a year well done

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sohip2012

estupendo :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Gracias :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jusquici
jusquici
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¡Felicidades! Inspiration for the rest of us. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thank you :) It looks like you're progressing well in TWO languages, and with a decent streak going, too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anjaj123

Congratulations that is absolutely amazing I am super jealous!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thank you :) You'd be surprised. If you make it a goal to get on here and do at least one review practice a day, and of course more whenever you have time, you'll find yourself progressing more rapidly than you might imagine.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jledetjr

Congratulations. Well done. And I certainly recognize your emotions on that last question. I just finished the tree a few hours ago. Downright depressing. Now what? Level 25 seems so far away. I can't imagine trying another language at the same time as you are doing. So I started doing it in reverse - Spanish to English instead of English to Spanish. Obsession is a cruel task master. But your experiences at the end were interesting to read about. For me the Subjunctive Skills were a stumbling block that took days, but after that, boom - a breeze through to the end. Good luck putting it all into practice.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Subjunctive is always really difficult for English speakers, because we don't have it. Paralee Whitmire does a great job of explaining when to use the subjunctive in the videos at http://Spanishdict.com/learn and in their grammar section they have some good documentation about the subjunctive.

Congrats on finishing your tree!! My husband just stood there, dumbfounded, and I cracked up when I finished mine. I found the utter lack of fanfare hilarious. Maybe I was just that happy to be done.

A lot of people do the reverse tree. After you've done a few lessons you should post and say how helpful you are finding it (or not). I see lots of folks saying "I'm going to do the reverse tree" or "I'm doing the reverse tree" but not many comments about how worthwhile they thought it was.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VStarTraveler
VStarTraveler
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Congratulations!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vegan.Valerie
Vegan.Valerie
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That is an incredible streak you have built! Keep up the good work!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VStarTraveler
VStarTraveler
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Thank you! You have a great one going, too.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thank you :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rafa_7m
rafa_7m
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Felicidades :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Gracias :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/5054420

cool whish i could do that

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Why can't you? I'm curious.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/javax
javax
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Congrats, @Irtward! I'm really happy for you, I've seen you a lot in the discussions and your spanish writing is incredible! You've really put an effort on it, I've only seen a few basics mistakes but that's all, other than that, you write incredibly well, so let me say again: Congratulations! :D I hope you'll do well in French for Spanish speakers, have fun! :D I wish you the best! :D ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Oh, gosh, thank you! Some days it all seems pretty easy and almost natural, and other days I really struggle. It's strange because of course we never really see or hear our own mistakes so your complement really makes me feel super good. I always wonder how poorly or well I am presenting myself :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Were you disappointed that no bells and whistles went off and no fireworks shot out from your computer? I was. Felicidades. It's like finishing a marathon, n'est ce pas?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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It is so funny you mentioned that. I had seen in the discussion boards how disappointing it was when a tree was completed, so I called my husband over as I answered the last question of my last exercise. We both watched, eager to see just how NOT impressive it would be. I won't spoil it for anyone else but I will say that it was even less than we expected :) And yes, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. And a strong motivation to continue training!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bertadee

Awesome!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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You know what's crazy? Finishing the tree was pretty cool, and I'm proud of it, but the huge amounts of congrats from folks I don't know, but who understand the effort that goes into something like this, have absolutely put me over the moon :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/7696

wow happy for you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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:) Thanks. I appreciate it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RedRobin

Fantastic...can't wait to be there myself!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Wow, look at your levels! You are clearly working pretty hard at it. I'm certain you will be there (here?) one day!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pablo741

Que alegria! felicidades!. Eres un verdadero ejemplo de superación, pronto mi arbol tambien se vestira de dorado. Ya puedes visitar nuestro caribe(mar caribe) y hablar con sus habitantes como una mas de nosotros.^^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Visitar mar caribe me suena genial!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lazysnake

i just finished mine today, sooooo proud of myself lol

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aliyagulamani

That's fantastic! Congratulations, I'm at a novice, beginner stage but hearing your news has given me that push! :) Well done!!! Xxx

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Duolingo makes it all so fun that somehow you just keep going. Next thing you know, you are beginning to understand bits of what you hear and read, and you get motivated anew. And then you're halfway through the tree, and on it goes until you're done! I'm so glad you are encouraged :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aidan71421

wiked thtas awsome cograts

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thanks :) I'm feeling pretty wiked aswome :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/psilva00
psilva00
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Well done!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thanks, psilva :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/negonego

Congratulations!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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:) Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALoUSyUseRnaME
ALoUSyUseRnaME
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Congrats! Have 5 lingots!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thanks. I hope to one day have a level 25 Spanish and to complete my French tree. We shall see :) Your levels and streak are inspiring.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALoUSyUseRnaME
ALoUSyUseRnaME
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Oh thanks! But, you shouldn't be inspired by me. I am the type that is pretty neglecting, it took me FOREVER to get to level 25 in french and to finish the tree. I am pretty much failing spanish and I'm on a pretty easy part, so yeah, don't say I'm inspiring.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robin_H

VeryOldBimic Don't be hard on your self!!! What I see is outstanding!! Of course, it's not easy to find the time to learn a language every single day, it's normal! But you have done some amazing work and you keep up as I can see! congratulations!! Take a lingot and be proud!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I agree with Robin_H. Anyone who has level 25 French, level 13 Spanish, and a 240+ day streak is pretty amazing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luyematsu
Luyematsu
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Congratulations! I've been good about reviewing lately, but I imagine that when I'm really close to the bottom of the tree, I'll do the same thing and race through the last few skills. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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That was me exactly! I was doing about the same number of reviews as new lessons, and repeating my new lessons until I had three hearts, and then I just flew through about the last five skill sets. Need to do some extra practice on those, I think.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/soufianmich

Felicidades senioreta ;) :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Gracias :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MathLover11

Bonjure! Comment ca va?

I see you started learning French! Its fun!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I have played at French but I really need to start the lessons over and be more consistent. I find consistency is the key to success at language learning. I don't have to do the SAME thing every day, but I do need to do SOME thing every day, to keep my brain comfortable in that language mode. I am really looking forward to French!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MathLover11

Keep at it!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robin_H

Congratulations!!! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thank you :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/honeybunnyc
honeybunnyc
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Congrats! I just started using duolingo about 2 weeks ago. But I am already hooked on it! I really want to finish my Spanish tree like you did! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thank you! It is addictive. Do take the time to learn each lesson well, instead of rushing through to the end, and you will get a lot more out of it and be less frustrated in the long run. And Bienvenida a Duolingo :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kristinemc

Felicidades :) Congrats, Irtward!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Gracias, Kristinemc :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/awesomez2003

nice but i am still on clothing in french

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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You are way ahead of me in French. Last night I learned "The cat eats the book." Ah the joy of limited vocabulary :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ferdo76
Ferdo76
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Congratulations!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Gracias, Ferdo76. I see you are another Spanish and French fan :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/QuieroSerUnNerd

Congratulations!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Gracias. Me gusta tu nombre. Soy un(a) nerd(a)!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/QuieroSerUnNerd

Thanks, I like to learn so I consider I am a nerd!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kriskross4
kriskross4
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Congratulations!! Thanks for the list of learning tools!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thanks. Glad you liked the list :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/juliestarling

Felicitaciones!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Gracias!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Huysan
Huysan
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Felicitación! Now to the Immersion :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thanks :) Sometimes I love Immersion, pero a otras veces me vuelve loca.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SiyaSelina

Congrats, after hearing your success, I feel i am encouraged to learn all of that!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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You can! Just pick a time each day and do a couple of lessons or more if you have time. Consistency is key. One or two per day every day is better than a weekend marathon.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sebastianpeinado

Excelente :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kafreen90

Right on!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FLchick
FLchick
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Congratulations! After finishing my Spanish tree I had to put in more time before I received my gold owl. I started seeing it form at the bottom until I suppose it fully hatched.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Mine hatched right away. They had some technical problems with a few of the site's images recently and I bet you graduated at exactly the right/wrong time for it to affect you. Congrats on having an owl!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FLchick
FLchick
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Thank you and I appreciate your explanation. Now I know why it didn't happen immediately.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jakegoodman2001

how long did it take you to finish duolingo?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I joined a little over a year ago and at first it didn't really appeal to me, but I eventually came back and stuck with it. But I had a good foundation when I joined. So in some ways I got off to a slow start here but in other ways I went a lot quicker than if I were learning from zero. If you read my posts above there is a really long one that shows other tools I use in addition to Duo. I was definitely focused on balanced learning more than progressing through the tree. So I'd spend some time on Duo and some time other places. I feel very confident in my Spanish abilities now, and I attribute that to two things:

  1. Consistency. Practice some EVERY day. I find that Anki flashcards and Duolingo are TONS more effective if you do them every single day. SpanishDict also, but it doesn't force repetition like Anki and Duo do, and you really need that for things to sink in.

  2. Use a variety of tools. I mentioned Duo, SpanishDict, and Anki already. In my extra time I listen to talk radio, songs, watch movies and/or TV shows, and hang out on Verbling talking. I've also tried LiveMocha and liked it okay. I've tried other tools too but these are pretty much my favorites.

Regarding Duo specifically, I find it a lot more effective if I start with a few (2-5) review sessions, then do a new lesson until I can finish it with all hearts. If I have time I will move on through subsequent lessons, mixing in reviews. But repetition and practice are key. Just like flashcards. Anki is really good at spaced repetition, which means it shows you the words you know less often, and the ones you struggle with more often.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/18jvilches

I still have a very long way to go I hope I get there. Any way Congrats!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I am at level 6 in French but only about the third skill set. I feel your pain!! Consistency is key. Do at least one review every day, and more whenever you have time. You WILL get there :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KinanHabbal
KinanHabbal
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That is great i am only two lessons away from finishing the tree but i have a lot to review to make all my skills golden

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Two lessons, that is great! You are right at the finish line. I kept mine golden as I went along, but it took me forever to finish :) Congrats on being so close.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StevenRossi

Swag!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Indeed :) My owl is stylin'!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/negonego

My Spanish tree ends with the following: Cond. Per. 0/2
Was that the end of your tree as well?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Yes, that is where my tree ends as well. I believe they are all the same (I mean, all English -> Spanish trees are all the same)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/saxicola
saxicola
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Thanks for your very inspiring and informative thread and well done on your success. But I am a bit confused about trees, levels and points. I had assumed that the tree took you to the end of level 25. I have now noticed that people finish trees on different levels and you mention below that you are still aiming for level 25. If the tree ends at Cond. 0/2 where is 25? Also where do points fit in, I have seen mention of 3000 being important in finishing the tree, but surely you get different amounts of points depending on how much practice you do? So how does that work?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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The tree is a set of skills from knowing nothing at the beginning to knowing some basic vocabulary and grammar at the end. If you had some Spanish knowledge already, say from high school Spanish, you can "test out" of some skill sets and instantly be 1/10 or 1/4 of the way through without having any points at all.

Some people fly through the tree as quickly as possible and use a lot of "hover over" to help them translate words. These folks, although they have finished the tree, probably will not have much long term retention of what they have learned. Duo is more effective (for me and also for others based on what I have read) if you do a few practice sessions every day, do each new lesson until you finish it with all hearts intact, and only take on a new lesson when you feel confident. It's slower that way, for sure, but a lot more effective.

Points, also called XP for eXperience Points, are what determine your levels, which go up to level 25. You get points by learning new skills in the tree, practicing learned skills in the tree, and translating articles in immersion.

It is conceivable that a person could do the first lesson in the first sill set over and over until they reached level 25. It is also conceivable that a person could go into immersion and review translated articles, simply correcting punctuation, spelling, and awkward phrasing until they reached level 25. In both cases they would have an impressive level but not know any Spanish, really.

You said you'd seen mention of 3000 being important in finishing the tree. I am just guessing here, but I'd guess that by the time you get to the very last levels it takes 3000 points to "level up". In the lowest levels, it only takes 150 points to move from level 1 to 2, then from 2 to 3, and so on. Where I am now, about level 16 or 17, it takes 1500 points to level up. But don't be disheartened: even though a new lesson or a practice lesson only gives you 10-13 points, immersion can give you some hefty point gains once you feel confident enough to do some translations.

Speaking of Immersion, when you start don't be shy about only translating headings or simple captions. They don't get you as many points as a long complex sentence, but they do get you used to the immersion process. Later on, as you abilities improve, you'll be happy to take on the more complicated sentences and leave the "easy boring" bits for new folks just dipping their toes into immersion for the first time.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/saxicola
saxicola
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Thank you so much for explaining that. Wow it is a well thought out process, which is I guess why it is so popular. I found the first few skills pretty boring so it has taken a while to get hooked, but I am now! I have been hammering on thinking points and levels were related to the place in the tree, but I will now take your advice and consolidate, knowing I am sill moving through the levels. that's great. Have a well deserved lingot for keeping me right.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/awesomez2003

u ll need a lottttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt of time keeping the tree golden, good luck lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pauline22_2

Congratulations! Muchas felicitaciones! Félicitation!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nomadicwalrus

now that you've completed the tree do you feel you can confidently speak in spanish and have conversations? Im a little more then halfway done and can translate well but still don't feel i can speak anything at all really:/

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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See above. :) Short answer: There is not one learning tool that will teach you to speak. When you get about halfway through your tree, start listening to radio, television, subscribe to "news in slow spanish" if you can afford it (it's GREAT for the beginning listener with a good vocabulary), and spend time at Verbling speaking to natives.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotCiro
PolyglotCiro
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Felicitaciones! :D

2 years ago
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