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back/reverse tree, switch to course

Hi I'm a native English speaker and loving Duolingo. A few months ago I noted a user saying they were doing the back tree or reverse tree, and when I enquired what they meant they explained they meant doing the languages in reverse. Eg native English speaker learning Spanish would normally do the learning Spanish from English tree. But another way to do it [or more commonly, something to do after the standard tree] would be to "learn English" from Spanish. Having completed the standard Spanish from English tree I'm now interested in giving this a shot. However, I just found the "English from Spanish" course and to start it, I have to click on "switch to course". Under the English speakers list of courses when you go to add a new course it just gets you to click on "start course". So I'm wondering why the different wording? ..it's implications? Why "switch" and not "start". I don't want to lose what I already have in my Spanish from English course or other courses. Are there folk with experience in this who can advise? Many thanks in advance

November 26, 2017



You will not lose anything in your Spanish course if you switch to learning English as a Spanish speaker, and you can switch back whenever you want. That being said I think unless you have totally mastered your Spanish from English lessons it is not worth trying the reverse tree, as you will not learn as much. But everyone is different so give it a try and see what you think. Good luck!


thanks mate. So you are saying that I would be temporarily switching out of my spanish from english course? [ or is it no different to just the ordinary change of languages, so you can still see your other ones there?]. Interestingly, I'm not studying Portuguese but if I select English from Portuguese it still wants to call it a switch [and not a start]


You can switch back and forth as often as you like and won't lose any progress


thanks for the reassurance mate. I just tried changing to vietnamese and changed back ok. I see it changed the language of the whole site, not just within the course. This makes sense of course. Interestingly, under vietnamese there was no discussion. So this discussion board is only for English speakers. I presume bigger languages like Spanish will have their own discussion boards.


ok, switched to Spanish and unlike Vietnamese there is a forum and it's this very same one. So they don't have their own. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand it's nice to have everyone together. On the other hand this forum is heavy in it's use of English so feel like it would make eg native Spanish speakers more likely to post in English, whereas if they had there own forum it would be much more likely you'd have a lot more Spanish posts to read. For that reason, I would have thought the latter was preferable.


You temporarily switch the tree on your "home" page.
As well you change the homepage text to Spanish, your base/source/native language!!!

The WebGUI and all subscribed e-mail texts AND "tips and notes" can't be in a 3rd display screen language (e.g English, German).

Unfortunately, this is the same bad screen concept on the new Scala 2017 portal, like it was on the old Python web portal.


thanks Thomas. Interested in why you think it's a bad screen concept, and what you would think is better instead. I'm guessing you mean it would be best to leave the background stuff in your native language and only change the course. Some would disagree thinking changing everything is better immersion and quickly teaches you how to navigate websites in the target language. For mine, I'd always prefer options so you can choose either way


The reverse tree, the course English for Spanish speakers, is very useful. There you have to translate much more from English to Spanish.
Turn off the microphone and sound in Duolingo's "Settings".

Here is the link to the Duolingo Help Center for "How do I switch my Duolingo course language?" for the web version, iOS App and Android App.


awesome. " translate much more from English to Spanish."...I like that. I find that my understanding, receptive side is usually way ahead of my productive side, so I find that more useful.

"Turn off the microphone and sound in Duolingo's "Settings"." ...I've started doing the reverse tree and this was sounding like good advice. I presume you're saying that because the audio is now in English, and being native English, I don't need to hear that of course. But to clarify, does that mean none of it will be spanish audio? I'm thinking probably not. But the more important thing is, what about those exercises where you have to write out the English audio. Even though I don't need that practice, can I just skip those questions to complete the exercises?


But the more important thing is, what about those exercises where you have to write out the English audio. Even though I don't need that practice, can I just skip those questions to complete the exercises?

In the Android App you can skip the speaking and "write what you hear" exercises. Every hour you will asked again if you want to skip them.
Maybe in iOS too?

In the web version you have to turn of them in your Settings for English and turn on again for Spanish.

My workaround:
I do the speaking and "write what you hear" exercises only in the Android App.


Use the Duolingo Tree Enhancer script to change settings for questions and hear Spanish audio.


Yes it helps a lot. But I would recommend you get experienced in the language you want to learn a bit first.


thanks. Why would you recommend getting experienced in the language I want to learn before doing the reverse tree? How much experience are we talking about here? Doing the standard Spanish from English tree is not enough?


Just a suggestion. If you're confident with Spanish then get stuck in. I could not speak/read any Russian whatsoever before I started so my preference would be to Eng-Rus before attempting Rus-Eng.


sure, no probs. Yeah, I don't know much Russian either and think it's much harder than Spanish. I agree, I'm doing Russian from English first too


Looking into the future . . . I can see that there will be discussion of this question in a thread you will start in 8 hours.

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