Level 25?

I was wondering why people keep practicing in a particular DL course until they achieve level 25, or even beyond I understand that natural linguistic feeling and knowledge of related languages cause some people to abandon DL early, others later on, but seeing the steep exp curve for level 25, I really can't get my head around the idea of anyone using DL as a method for that long. Doesn't it get extremely boring at a certain point? I'd be interested to hear your reasons to keep using DL for that long, perhaps it'll motivate me to pick up my En-It tree again.

October 28, 2017


I want to be fluent in French. I understand that perhaps duolingo can't get me there by itself, but the way I see it, unless and until I can answer every single phrase or translation perfectly and automatically, I'm not done the course. I'm at level 22 at the moment, and I wouldn't be surprised to see myself still needing practice right up to level 25.

Great answer! I agree 100% with what you said.

But would it be more beneficial to trade in DL for more challenging stuff? DL only offers B1 material at most I believe, and most skills are at A1 or A2. In other words, aren't you wasting your time on the "easy stuff"?

I think the same way. Doing the same translations stop being fun and also BENEFICIAL. There are other stuff that can be more helpful, like laddering and reverse courses. Have you tried those at all?

Hi Enzo, what is laddering?


Laddering is when you do another language from a language you have already learned. For example, my native language is English. I started using duolingo doing French from Spanish, a language I had a near fluent proficiency in. This helped me improve my Spanish and learn some French. Eventually, I switched to the Portuguese course for Spanish Speakers, which I found really easy and neat, and with some of the exposure I got outside of Duolingo I got pretty good—I can conversationally speak português, e eu acho que eu podesse escreve tudo isso na idioma (And I believe I would be able to write all this in the language) . But After that I started doing some other stuff. I Finished the Reverse laddered course of Spanish From Portuguese. I am level 9 now in French from Portuguese, and level 5 in the second level laddered reverse course in Portuguese from French.

All this stuff challenges me to think from different perspectives, their is new vocab, I learn some of the gaps involves in the other course, new verbs, sentences, conjugations, perspective, and its pretty good for the learning and addresses the issue of not having enough translation in the target language in the sense that one is learning both languages while doing the course. Es así.

I'm still enjoying the repetition! (It's taken some time to get me there, though ;) )

I am also doing the reverse course. The idea of laddering is very cool, but (at least for now) there are no courses I would want to do that from.

Yeah, I don't think like you.

Good, hope it helps. The different translation ration I find to be useful, and there is new content which I like like.

I already responded to you below!

It might be. We certainly agree that other sources are necessary for continued learning (and, time permitting, I do try to learn from other sources), so I see your point.

To answer your second question, the fact that I still can't answer everything correctly suggests to me that I'm not wasting my time yet!

It may be slightly different for different languages. I'm currently level 19 in Spanish and, with the exception of some of the tougher tenses, it's pretty boring for me. I do occasionally though learn little details, like getting the gender of a word wrong when it's not clear from the ending or if it's an exception to the rule, or expressions where I have to remember which preposition to use or whether to use a preposition.

With German though, I'm level 21 and it's still challenging enough to be interesting to me...there are lots of words where I still get the gender wrong, and a lot of the more abstract nouns I'm still struggling to remember. Interestingly, the tenses and subjunctive and stuff isn't as hard for me in German.

In my experience though, when I've gotten to about level 20 in a language, I'm not getting anywhere near as much out of a course as I do out of more immersive activities, like conversing with native speakers, engaging with the language on social media or by browsing websites, listening to radio, watching videos, etc.

I love DuoLingo, but I think it's primary benefit is as a crutch to get you to where you can go the rest of the way in a language through immersion. You'll reach a point where immersion is much more efficient / effective. At least, I have! The point comes slightly earlier in some courses than others, but it's way before level 25. I do the practice mainly when I'm bored or because I enjoy it or because I want a little review of basic material so I can get details like word endings / genders / spelling correct.

What you say makes sense with language variation. I could see doing Hebrew for a longer time if I got to that point, but I don't think it is likely. I also feel like I could go longer along with French, but yeah course differences will affect that.

Don't get me wrong, I love DL too, I really do - but like you say, that points seems to come way before level 25.

Immersion was discontinued because of being utilized by only a small percentage of DL users, and it required a lot of attention because of abuse. Points were awarded for ïmproving"a translation, and there was quite a rash of abusing that feature. Students would simply add a punctuation mark or a letter to a sentence and they received 10 points. Unfortunately, that spoiled it for us all. Also, in fairness to DL, at this point their focus is on the basics, and translating internet articles was evidently beyond the ability of the great majority of users. (At least that is my impression.) 3 years ago I followed about 100 very active users (most of us in the 100,000+ point category). I look at my list and see very few of them still participate in DL, a shame.

I believe you that it gets thinned out later. This is post is about the usefulness of Duolingo down the road, once a tree is done. There are still a lot of people with big streaks do various languages. My thought of a unique part of Duolingo is laddering. I think its pretty interesting, and I think it would be awesome if I finished the French tree from Portuguese, and then could do French back into Spanish or maybe german or Italian. I think that kind of thing is a little more interesting, but I think I would have really like immersion for translating portuguese. One day I saw a post from a Spanish Engineering student in Colombia asking for a paragraph from a technical paper on bridges to be translated. I went and did it and I thought it was quite fun, because I think articles of that sort can be interesting, and I know Spanish. Shame its gone.

Practice makes perfect. Practicing every day makes the words stick. I do plan on reaching level 25 in Spanish, personally. But who knows, maybe I won't need to. :)

Practicing every day makes the words stick, can't agree more. But DL isn't the only method out there -certainly not the most advanced.

I didn't say it was.

I know, I'm just saying that at a certain point, it might be more beneficial to switch to those more advanced methods instead of sticking to DL. In the end it's your choice though, but that's the advice I can give you. In any case, good luck with your Spanish!

Or you can do both ^^

It’s like doing sprints. Short exercises that can be good for quick refreshes.

You have to decide for yourself when it's time to move on - When I got to level 20 in Spanish, I decided I could get more benefit spending my time on a more advanced course than in further repetition of the Duolingo lessons. I intend to keep going with (English from Spanish) and (French from Spanish) until they too reach level 20 - I'm at levels 15 and 17 now and they still give me phrases that make me think.

Nice with the French from Spanish! I am doing French from Portuguese and its a trip. Then the reverse course from that too.

Well it's a cheat really. I'd already studied French to an advanced level - although that was 10 years ago so I was just a little out of practice. It was still mind-bending trying not to get too confused between the two.

For me it wasn't like that starting French from Spanish over a year ago. I haven't essentially done a course that I have had a lot of prior knowledge on here, and I don't have that big an issue mixing my already established languages—Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, and English. I can keep them pretty seperate. Getting into French is just a trip though with the different verb structures and roots que no son faciles para mí

You do have to move on. I use 2-3 other resources as well as reading in Italian.

As someone who's been a Duolingo user since February (I think... my memory could be wrong) and just, to my own surprise, discovered I hit Level 25 this evening in Spanish (still at 24 in my other Duolingo language, Hebrew), my own focus over my time of learning really hasn't been on my level or XP count (beyond keeping track of my streak, though I recently restarted that as a result of Jewish holidays... but that's another story) - it's been a result of my practice, not the goal. And, now that I've reached 25, I certainly don't plan on stopping; I haven't even completed the Spanish tree yet! I've put a lot of time and effort into strengthening skills, rather than rushing ahead in the tree to new material before I've fully absorbed all the old.

Why have I kept going this long? Hard to say, other than that I feel like I'm learning. I'll keep using Duolingo as long as I feel like I'm learning. When the time comes where I no longer think I'm getting anything out of Duo, I'll stop and, if at that point I want to reach true fluency, seek continued, more advanced learning resources. But for now, I don't anticipate that time coming anytime soon.

Of course, we're all different people with different styles of learning; what works or makes sense for me could easily not be right for another person. Personally, I tend to be a very detail-oriented, perfectionistic person, and I'm rather fond of daily routines, so that could be part of why doing this much Duolingo has not yet even approached the point of tedium. It could also be that I've done a lot of practice on here (sometimes hundreds of XPs a day), which makes it easier to climb through all the levels in well under a year.

For me, reaching level 25 isn't an end. It's not the point of my learning on Duolingo, and just as I would have stopped earlier if I felt like I had learned all Duolingo had to teach me at an earlier level, I'm not stopping now just because I can no longer advance any further in levels. My goal is knowledge of the language.

So, while I definitely can't and don't speak for anyone else, that's my personal reason for sticking with Duolingo Spanish for this long, and continuing to do so into the future - though it hasn't seemed like any hardship to me. If it did, quite frankly, I wouldn't be here.

I find that bizzare you have not finished the Spanish tree at level 25. I finished the Spanish tree from Portuguese at level 11 and now its 12. Your also unique in having Hebrew and Spanish that high. Personally, I don't find it helpful to repeat stuff after a certain point, in the romance languages, but in hebrew I review a ton. You seem to me to be a very unique case.

Gracias por compartir. Ojalá que tengas suerte en tus estudios y que aprendas el castellano muy bien. And the same with the עברית


Hmm... should I take that as a compliment? ;-) Yes, it amazed me when I first realized that many people would finish a tree at levels 10 or 11, or even sometimes in the single digits. For better or worse, I daresay my Duolingo style is indeed rather unique; for one thing, I tend (in general) to try to strength all decaying skills before moving ahead to new content, which I imagine makes advancing down the tree both more time-consuming (hence eight months of fairly steady practice without yet completing the tree) and collects many more XPs in the process (hence level 25). In addition, I virtually always use Timed Practice when reviewing, which racks up more XPs per session. As I think of it, gaining fluency in English takes years of immersion. I'm not going to become fluent in Spanish by exclusively using Duolingo, obviously, but I still find myself forgetting words at times, and I seldom get bored while reviewing. Also, this may not be relevant here, but when it comes to Hebrew, I am also part of a modern Hebrew class, so I get in-person conversational practice there and use Duolingo primarily for purposes of vocabulary. For Spanish, Duolingo is currently my only regular language-learning tool.


!Gracias por comentar, y por los buenos deseos¡ Yo espero aprender mucho más de español. Puedo ver que usted ha aprendido bien.

גם תודה רבה בעברית! אני מאוד אוהבת את השפה הזאת (וגם אני אוהבת ספרדית).

Buena suerte and בהצלחה to you as well!

"I tend (in general) to try to strength all decaying skills before moving ahead to new content"

I do this a lot with the Hebrew, because it is a lot harder to retain it. I know a bit of Arabic, and I was learning Hebrew 10 years ago, (finding out I still new the script was cool! And I also wrote on paper in hebrew for the first time in a long time, and I was proud of that), but if there is not relationship between the Arabic and Hebrew word, its the same as English, or its not simple, I have to spend a lot of time absorb it; in which case I do what you do.

"I daresay my Duolingo style is indeed rather unique"

Agreed. Never seen someone who is level 25 and hasn't completed the tree and hasn't done immersion. And just your following description.

Its interesting you seldom get bored—I got pretty bored with the Portuguese from Spanish course fairly quick after doing the tree, though knowing I could learn more from practicing the tree, I don't find it the best use of time or that fun.

And you being part of a modern hebrew class is not really surprising to me.

Claro que y se parece que escribas bien.

Me gusta hebraico también, pero no puedo escribir como tú((too) אני אוהב עיברית) ; todavía hay mucho para aprender para nosotros dos.

You are right, it gets boring at some level, however sometimes DL throws new words / vocab at you if you keep practicing. I mainly keep going to keep my streak and as a quick way of revising the grammar, etc... There are also some other options which can make it a little bit more interesting, like "Labs" for example. Labs is basically a conversation between two persons (usually a male and a female) in the form of a story and you have to either fill in the gaps, translate, choose from multiple options, etc... Unfortunately this option is still not available for all languages. There also used to be a tab called "Immersion" under which you need to translate articles for XP. It used to give you a LOT of XP points, but unfortunately it is not there anymore. For me I started using other resources long time ago; i.e: Memrise,, Spanishpod101 on Youtube, among others to help me advance my language skills to the next levels. Hope this helps :-)

The stories are so great. I like them a lot. I would love more too, and other languages. Its unfortunate they are the same in Portuguese and Spanish though, because after finishing them I felt kind of sad finding out they are the same.

As far as reaching level 25 in a particular language on DL now, I think you have rightly determined that your time could be better spent on courses with more "meat", with far more emphasis on extensive reading and converation, more ïmmersion. I identify with the comments by cazort and AR_Elsherbiny. I really miss the ïmmersion" function that used to exist on DL. With it we truly experienced the language, translating current internet articles as well as classical literature both ways (in my case, from English to Spanish, as well as from Spanish to English) and it was a tremendous learning experience because other members of the community were so helpful. We really learned from each other, and I believe I would have continued it for a lifetime. As it is, The new Korean course piqued my intrest, so I have spent considerable time on DL for the last 2 weeks, but otherwise, I use other sources for my language study.

Glad to see you read the other comments. I wish I got to see what immersion was like.

Yes, it gets boring. I come to practice for a few minutes a day so I do not forget some words, since I do not live in a German speaking country. After you master the tree, grammar and words, I think it is wise to use other resources.

As you may have gathered if you read the old post from Pere, a fun attribute of immersion was "peer ratings" Level 25 is the highest level for the tree, but the sky was the limit in immersion. If you got enough up votes ( a substantial number was required) you rose a level in "translation prowess". The catch was, in order to give an upvote, you had to have a higher translation rank than the person being upvoted. As I recall, it took me over a month to raise my English translation ability to level 2 (translating into Spanish from English) so it was difficult to contribute to the success of those I followed for quite some time. But going from Spanish to English I was able to help out, which was quite enjoyable.

This just sounds cooler and cooler. :/

Although I use Duo for less than half the time I spend learning German (I also do lessons, read books, watch shows, listen to audiobooks, listen to music and talk to friends). Duo still forms a very important part of the learning process for me - it teaches me new words and grammar.

Until I know all the words and grammar on Duo fluently (completing the tree is just a start on this), I'll keep using it

Its a good point you make, and having level 17 in Portuguese from Spanish, I don't see much reason to keep going forward with that in terms of ouput from time invested. The trees done, and doing more sentences that are the same and sorting through the little spelling issues I have is not the most effective way for learning. Its especially the repetativeness of it all, which is why I do laddering—its really effective to keep learning, with new content, from other perspectives, and its learning another language at the same time.

Oh there's an actual term for it? I'm currently doing the French-from-Italian tree after abandoning the Italian-from-English tree, so I guess I'm also engaging in laddering (: and I can't agree more, I find it a very effective way to maintain a language and learn new ones.

You most certainly are engaged in laddering. I think it is really cool. When I was learning Arabic, I learned a lot of from Spanish because I thought it would be more effective. I think there may be some advantage to not mixing up the languages too, though I can say sometimes when doing French from Portuguese, I still sometimes use a Spanish word in the place of a portuguese one, but I am getting better. I think it is super cool and interesting. I level 6 in Italian from Portuguese. I think it is cool that you figured it out this way, and are not like some people who go to memorise to learn individual words or repetative sentences that I don't find function that well.

Thank you, and thanks for the explanation! I already knew some French because of high school, but with this method I'm kinda getting the hang of Romance languages in general - I want to try Spanish too one day and I am already sure it won't be from the Spanish-from-English tree! Maybe even Portuguese too, but that's something for the future.

Very cool. Clearly, you will find similarities. There is a really high lexical similarity between all of them. Especially Spanish and Italian. If you end up doing Spanish in the future, Portuguese is really similar too. There are few gramatical differences, and if you are doing laddering, you are probably going to have some unique language skills at understand how a language FUNCTIONS (like knowing how to apply grammar and rules, and how to make hypothesis, rather than just knowing how to explain the grammar rules).

Sometimes I will have a course finished and move on to another language, but later want to refresh myself on the original language. If you're getting rusty, reviewing the course can help. Also, languages don't all take the same amount of effort to learn. Having a background in Latin and being native in English, languages like French, Spanish, German, and Italian did not take long for me to advance through, especially because they tended to complement each other. In Swahili, I am progressing much more slowly, which means that I need to review more lessons before advancing. Some of the courses I finished around level 12 to 15, but I am level 10 in Swahili and only about halfway through the tree.

See, I just find going back to english to be a poor learning decision for me, at least. And you just bring up a similar point with Swahili as carort did above with german.

Do I have the feeling that I have already "mastered" all grammar / tense material on levels 16/17? No!
(I have completed 99% of my Portuguese tree - just one single lesson is open.)

The forward tree may be boring in the long run, as you translate too much into English, instead of the L2 target language, as you have to do with reverse trees.

I do not like multiple-choice.
They don't train RECALLING!
Why is there no option to completely turn them off for reviewing and strictly focus on typing, especially with longer sentences?

I rather would accept tapping over multiple-choice, even on the web, e.g for more complicated grammar skills (first 1-3 rounds).

Why is there even a max level 25?
Why does not DuoLingo raise it to 100?
There are even people with more than level 25 (min) 30.000 points.

Earning 1.500 points from level to level can be hard.
Raising the gap in higher levels from 1.500 to 3.000 / 4.000 points makes it even harder to reach a new level.

I rather would like to see many more levels than to stay on the same level a longer time.

I think we would all like to see "branches" added to the trees, with added vocab and more complex grammar structures. I have long advocated for sentences in pairs to add context and thus make it possible to "zero in" closer to the DL desired answer, as well as giving practice in translating more complex offerings. I am sure it would add interest and participation if these "intermediate" or "advanced" branches (naturally, with no multiple choice questions or tapping) made higher levels possible to achieve.

I agree with you Roberto.
I up-voted!

I am testing around a little bit with Mondly for my Portuguese because of specific themes; and I had (once) higher hopes for "grammar 1-3" topics BEFORE I had finished all grammar skills in my DuoLingo PT tree:

  • Yes, I am already aware of some experienced limitations like often tapping (like DuoLingo Android app) vs fully typing, playing often PT audio in the "wrong moment", before the answer, etc.
  • I am sure it could be improved a bit here and there (e.g easier reporting errors and alternatives per question)
  • and I should probably share my experiences (I am a Memrise user script power and DuoLingo web user) with Mondly's owners to get improvements....

Nevertheless I want to link my older thread "Mondly languages added 19 new topics to their tree":

Who has experiences with the content on uTalk which I heared about recently for:

  • upper-intermediate vocabulary (e.g B1, B2, C1)
  • specific themes (like Mondly)
  • reviewing grammar (video like, more concrete in-depth examples)
  • longer, nested sentences
  • focus on speaking
  • story telling, inter-person dialogs
  • etc.

It takes only a few minutes and it keeps me from forgetting.

The following is from March of 2015 when DL still offered Immersion and a chance to really follow each other and communicate on "streams"

roberto727 wrote: The paint has worn off, but the gray stone was once covered with vivid... ¿Por qué 'estuvo' y no 'estaba'--por causa de 'once'? Pues los colores quedaban por años. ¡Buenas traducciones! Quisiera darte un voto arriba, pero todavía no he subido a su alto nivel en el inglés, y por eso no funciona.

Pere200: "Estuvieron" es tercera personal del plural del pasado o pretérito indefinido, del verbo "estar". "Estuvo" lo mismo, pero en singular. "Estaban" es pasado o pretérito imperfecto, tercera persona del plural del verbo "estar". "Estaba" es lo mismo, pero en singular. Se podrían utilizar los dos tiempos verbales. "Las pinturas estuvieron" y " las pinturas estaban", pero en este caso "estuvieron" es un pasado más definitivo, más acabado, más terminante. Hablan de un tiempo que pasó completamente. "Estaban" tendría un significado semejante, pero menos definitivo, una especie de presente (pasado) histórico. Las dos formas serían válidas. "Once" no influye; alude a un tiempo pasado, a algo que ya pasó: "once" una vez, que una vez, que en un tiempo pasado estuvieron... Determina sobre todo "estuvieron" la primera parte:" The paint has worn off", "la pintura ha desaparecido" es un pasado perfecto, definitivo, "ha desaparecido totalmente" de modo que le corresponde "estuvieron" que es un pasado perfecto; "estaban" sería un pasado imperfecto.

roberto727: Entiendo. más acabado, más definitivo. Gracias.

roberto727: Buenas noches. Voy a traducir más de nuestro héroe mañana.

Pere200: La traducción podría mejorarse bastante. "Cima" no es el término adecuado, pero habría críticas. Me gustaría traducir más libremente. Buenas noches.

And the following will give you an idea how addicted some of us were to immersion:

2792166 letter_s

2647306 XP josepmoli

2237892 XPאלוהים ילדו של

2043638 XP Ana Arias-Castro

2008246 XP Adriana Kos

1914252 XP J osé Manuel

1856615 XP J avier Sánchez Flores

1776760 XP clucia21

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