To those who have completed the Chinese tree, is it worth it?
I want to learn Chinese but I find the tree extremely frusturating. Chinese is hard on it's own, but the fact that you learn the pronunciation first and then the meaning, makes it very difficult to memorize the characters. Especially when you get 5 complex characters that you have never seen before in a row, and they all sound like gibberish like "yijinbaojakelaboo". The tree is good but I can't memorize all of these characters in a row just based on some seemingly random "yijin bao kao hao" sound. I think I made more progress with the HelloChinese app. Maybe I'm trying to learn too fast, I don't know. So to those that have completed it, how long did it take you? Did you just look up each character when you saw it? And was it worth it? Can you read a newspaper, for example?
The beta is just out, so I'll speak up anyway. I am choosing to go very, very slowly--repeating previous lessons. The HelloChinese app is quite good, but I like it that Duolingo is taking a different approach. I find it useful to have totally different approaches because having one's cage rattled is good for learning, if you can stick with it. I also chose to repeat lessons over and over with HelloChinese too. I think just stick with it?
The Duolingo tree is pretty tough if you are new to Chinese, with a steep learning curve; so don't be discouraged. Even for those of us with reasonable levels of Chinese, the course is frustrating to complete because they keep rejecting our perfectly reasonable translations!
"Can you read a newspaper, for example?" No,you need to learn a lot more characters and get used to written Chinese. It typically takes years to learn to read a newspaper. It certainly did for me!