https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Got my whole German tree Gold!

It's taken me a 70 day streak, and over 5000 XP, but I've now managed to re-gild my whole tree (and I can now comfortable finish any topic on timed practise and get 80% to 100%)

Naturally my Duo fluency has increased (now 68%), but more importantly my actual fluency is increasing. Talking to my German friends, I'm able to communicate and understand almost everything, which is a huge improvement from a couple of months ago. I watch a lot of series in German and tend to fully understand these, and have recently read 5 novels, but still occasionally need to look up words to understand everything in these.

I've got my first German exam coming up next week (B1 level listening). Any tips on preparing for it?

November 18, 2017

39 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ellablun

thanks for sharing, it's really encouraging. I'm now getting close to a half of german course, and I often wonder how far the course will get me. if I'm able to read novels in german once I'm done, that's a great success, especially for a free course.

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rayan918080

Thats fantastic, I hope to become as fluent as you are in the future.

November 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Thanks Rayan! good luck :)

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Avayaho

Nothing to say! Just Congratulations!

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Cheers Hannah!

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/idkhbtfm

Nice job!

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Cheers idkhbtfm!

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Laura687173

Herzlichen Glückwunsch und viel Glück beim Examen! :)

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Dankeschön Laura!

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Proginoskes

Amazing! Good job! :D

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Thanks Proginoskes :) well done on your 784 day streak!

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jieun24096

Congratulations haha ^^ Hard work pays off in the end, I hope to start my german tree soon, (concentrating on French at the moment)

Good luck for your exam too.

I have French exam soon. For preparation tips, I would listen to music/ watch movies in German, just so you can hear it more.

Maybe try out and find german listening activities on the internet. Just immersion will help you out a lot, if you don't already do it :)

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Cheers h.lilley! good luck with learning French :)

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RsAe3

you have reason to feel proud!!!!!!Good luck!No tips (es tut mir leider) But you have studied hard so you will have managed.

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Cheers RsAe3!

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Abra315988

YOU REALLY MOTIVATED ME WITH THIS MESSAGE!! THANK YOU!!!!!

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Thanks Abra! I'm glad to here that :)

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mwbrand1

Well done! Good luck on your upcoming exam. I have a question regarding your statement,

I'm able to communicate and understand almost everything, which is a huge improvement from a couple months ago.

Of all the things you were doing, which one helped you the most to make such a big improvement in communication over the last couple months?

November 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Basically just loads of practise. Every day I've spent at least an hour watching or reading something in German, and have also spent around half an hour a day on Duolingo. The two things work very well hand in hand because most days when I'm watching something in German I'll come across a word I learned from duo that I've not seen in context before and think 'oh that's useful I'm pleased I learned that' and remember the word. Then when I go back to Duo it's far easier to remember the content since I've actually had to use it, which in turn makes me learn faster on duo.

The hardest part for me was pushing through the barrier of reading and watching stuff that I mostly didn't understand (and having to look up a lot of words even if it was something I'd already read or seen in English), for a good few weeks, for a lot of time each day. Now that I can actually understand stuff, I find it much easier and a lot more rewarding to practise German through reading and watching shows. In order to pass through that barrier, I made sure I was initially just watching/reading stuff that I knew I had really enjoyed in English, so I could still be having fun, even through the language barrier, and avoid getting demotivated.

Also because I've been spending a lot more time on learning, so I'm improving much quicker now, when I go to German class once a week, I'm much more engaged, cause it's a great opportunity to get to use all the new knowledge I've gained during the week

November 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mwbrand1

Vielen Dank für die ausführliche Antwort. Das ist sehr hilfreich.

The hardest part for me was pushing through the barrier of reading and watching stuff that I mostly didn't understand (and having to look up a lot of words even if it was something I'd already read or seen in English), for a good few weeks, for a lot of time each day.

I'm having a hard time pushing through the barrier. Your advice sounds excellent and I am going to follow it.

November 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

Good luck!

November 20, 2017

[deactivated user]

    Congrats! That's very impressive. I feel like you will do very well on your exam.

    November 19, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

    Thanks Angel!

    November 20, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/An1mal1

    Nice I was able to do the same. Keeping everything Gold for an extended period of time is a nightmare though! I end up having to let it slide from time to time and blitz it over a couple of days to get all Gold back.

    Good luck with the test! Only doing A2 at the Moment so not great for advice sorry.

    November 20, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/theSardonyx

    Hey, congrats! I got my German tree all gold myself two weeks ago, so I know how accomplished you must be feeling. Learning a new language is fulfilling, isn't it?

    I don't have any tips specifically for German, but I do have a couple of tips for language exams. (1) Don't sweat it. If you've learned the word, you'll recognize it. (2) Listening exam? Obviously, pay attention. If the sentence is repeated, listen to it both times before actually writing it down. Sometimes impatience can cause you to make careless mistakes. See? A couple of tips.

    Good luck on that test! You've gone this far, I'm sure you'll do well. Viel Glück!

    November 20, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

    Yeah, I'm really enjoying learning German. One part I find particularly satisfying is when I'm immersed and fully understanding something in German, then I switch to English (it's my first language), and I feel like 'yay, I can understand both! :)'

    November 20, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/barbara.emille

    Impressive!!! :D Congrats! I am on level 12 and it's taking time to get all of the skills I actually completed gold, can't imagine the whole tree. Dreaming of the day I can achieve that! there's hope, lol And good luck in your exam! You seem like a dedicated learner,just don't get nervous, and you will do fine!

    November 20, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

    Thanks Barbara! If you've been able to get this far, you've definitely got the intelligence to complete the tree (I actually found the start harder, since I knew a lot less when I began), it's just a matter of time and persistence until you achieve it

    November 20, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/barbara.emille

    Thanks for the incentive :D For me the start was pretty easy, but now I am having a little trouble to keep the words, but then again, that only practice and time can help. Great success on your learning, :D

    November 25, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/GutnMorgn

    Wow congratulations! I'm proud! I'm doing Spanish, French, and German. I want to know how to increase my skills on each, to become fluent. One of my goals is to become a hyper-polyglot, lol. Like could you suggest a few areas I could do myself in other languages?

    November 20, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

    Thanks! learning three languages simultaneously is very impressive. By areas do you mean like topics to study? or ways to learn?

    November 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/alanna._.lmao

    That is astounding! I have read a few German books myself, however they were only on a young child's level, I want to become as fluent as you!!

    November 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

    Thanks Alanna! and well done :)

    November 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Solrac2791

    Impressive! Any easy novels you can recommend?

    November 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

    Before jumping into full length novels, I began by reading German Short Stories for Beginners by Olly Richards (about 200 pages of good German, and I found it enjoyable to read, plus it gradually increases the difficulty, so you can feel your progression from start to finish).

    I then went on to read a few novels I'd enjoyed in English as a teenager, to get more used to reading in German, but still have the confidence that I was understanding what I was reading because I'd come across the material before. For me these included Percy Jackson, Eragon and a couple of game books, but naturally your personal choice of books you've enjoyed would be different at this stage.

    I've just read the first Harry Potter book in German (which I hadn't actually read in English), and didn't have much trouble understanding it. I'm now reading A Brief History of Humanity (Eine Kurze Geschichte der Menschheit), which I'm finding I have to read pretty slowly, since it's a pretty advanced adult nonfiction book.

    Meanwhile, I watched 2 seasons of Rick and Morty, a season of Bigmouth, 2 seasons of Stranger Things and a good few films in German, and got to level 24 on Duolingo, which all also contributed to my understanding of German

    November 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

    I also read a couple of erotica books in German, e.g. an ebook I think was called Besoffen. Although I find this genre pretty boring in English (very cliche and predictable), they're good for practising another language you're newly learning, since the vocab is relatively simple compared to other genres and you learn a lot of possibly useful words that are too 'inappropriate' to learn in class or on Duo

    November 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dmytriy3

    Hey George, good job! I'm hoping to achieve the same in the upcoming year. So far I have ~5000 XP and doing 50+ XP/day. I use duolingo combined with the so-called TPRS method, which I find extremely effective. If you are interested, I can share a course with you. (It cost me 70 EUR, and definitely worth it)

    November 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/George--Smith

    Hey Andrew, sounds like you're putting in a decent effort, so if you sustain it, you'll definitely be able to get very good at German, or another language if you chose to pursue one. I've not come across the TPRS method. What does it involve?

    November 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dmytriy3

    The idea is to learn the language like kids do. You don't learn any grammar at all, but listen and repeat, every day, many times. In this way you sort of learn the whole sentences, not separate words, with complex grammar already there. A lot of attention is given to the intonation too, which helps guessing the meanings of words and sentences. Basically, it consists of about 80 units of audio files of superb quality and a PDF file where everything is written down in German and English. I find it extremely fun and, most importantly, effortless.

    November 21, 2017
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