https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

The dizzying heights of the mighty level 25 (German)

Hey !

I aspire to be at the dizzying heights of the mighty level 25 (30'000 xp). How I look up to those who have attained this duolingo status of wisdom.

First stop - full tree; Next stop - gold tree; One day - level 25 :)

Currently - 17'371xp + bottom section of the tree.

Who wants to join me in the level 25 quest ?

Good luck to you all

December 8, 2017

51 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
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I really wouldn't bother. Since the removal of immersion, the only way to get that number of points is to keep repeating the tree ad nauseam, and it isn't worth your time - duo trees really aren't good enough to justify you spending your time on them rather than a communicative course with, you know, actual conversations, proper grammar explanations, natural language etc. etc. etc. :YulBrinner: There comes a point when you have to choose between duo points and something that will improve your German.

December 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

Hey Luscinda! Thanks for your comment. Absolutely agree, duolingo cannot and should not be the only teaching aid. From my point of view its a fun way to practise every day and to achieve very small goals on a regular basis, which as we all know, is absolutely crucial to keep going when trying to improve a language.

I notice you also say that while being an expert on Duolingo and level 25 in 3 languages !! That is amazing ! Hence, despite what you say, I truly hope to be at your level in German and French in the not so distant future :) :) :)

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
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You don't because my German barely exists but it would be a lot less than it is without the immersion, both in terms of the points that constitute Duolingo's nonsensical idea of a language level, and what I know.

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/roman2095
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Hi Dan. I reached most of my level 25s with the help of immersion but I was on about level 23 in my reverse tree English from French course when they withdrew immersion, so I had to slog through the final few levels by doing a lot of lessons. I don't think I would have done it from level 17 though. There is a lot of repetition but with repetition comes more assurance and comfort with the language you are learning (French in my case, not English) as you make fewer and fewer mistakes and you get through each lesson much more quickly, particularly if you are doing timed lessons. If you get to the point where the lessons are getting a bit repetitive, you can reduce the number of lessons required by doing the timed lessons and getting twice the points that you would in a standard lesson if you have no errors. I also found some benefit in doing the timed lessons as I had to get to the point where my answers were almost reflexive as there was less time to stop and think. So it was quite a different learning experience from the more analytical approach I had to take to the standard lessons. Good Luck.

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Elisabeth3789
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Hi Luscinda, I don't think it's an either/or issue. I find Duo really helpful, but I also supplement it with other materials, for example my Kanji book for Japanese (A guide to reading and writing Japanese by Sakade/Tuttle), and some easy fiction readers for Spanish and French. I have some of the German versions of these too, which I used to use when I was teaching German. I'll also pick up a Spanish newspaper every now and then...

Once I can zip through the Japanese tree without any hold-ups, I'll find myself some additional resources...

And I also try some of the suggested online resources around here, one or two at a time. I went all crazy with getting additional books with Spanish, and now I realize that I'm not using them. So in the future, I'll go a bit more slowly...

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Margaret287230

Keep up the good work and don't give up! I found as I advanced beyond the early stages each section was much more difficult that the previous and I had to revise a lot more to remember the vocabulary. I am in no hurry to finish the tree and I do the minimum lessons every day when I am very busy and more when I have extra time. I do read the discussions for tips and look at other sights. and look forward to the day when I can go to Germany. Best wishes

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

Hey Margaret! Completely agree also. I am in no rush either. I am taking my time with the tree, its been a couple of years since I started on duolingo. I want to understand what I am doing as I progress. That said, I do now target to finish the tree by the end of the year, as I am touching distance away now. Then I will revise and revise until I know everything extremely well. My other methods are Anki, skype lessons and soon to start a language exchange once per week. Good luck to you !

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Hannibal-Barkas
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good luck to you, too. Maybe I will reach that point one da, but I try a different approach: laddering. That's when you try to reach your goal through many languages. I mainly try to learn French, so I did F from GER (my native language). Then I did the reverse tree. Since I am not bad in English I did the same with English to French and vice versa. English to German and back has been finished as well, so I invited Spanish to the club. I am in the lower third of the tree from German to Spanish before I try the reverse course. After that I go through the other combinations. The finished trees I will repeat once in a while to brush up my knowledge, thus crawling slowly to level 25.

Enough of my boasting. What about you trying to write in German instead of English? Even if you're not perfect, you can learn a lot from your mistakes - provided someone is going to correct them. Have fun and good luck with your efforts

December 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

And by the way, please boast away (keep boasting) ! Its exactly such comments and people like you who motivate me to do more and keep going. All the best

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Hannibal-Barkas
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Good to hear that you have French people around you (I thought the French were in Quebec, not in Ontario). What I have learned is that every country has a different point of view. If you learn German from the English side you're using slightly different vocabulary than, maybe, a French or a Spaniard, just because the emphasis is different. That way your vocab will expand. Anyway, I see no fault in keeping to your sticks and using your time as efficiently as possible. Judging from your profile photo you seem to know exactly what to do with your spare time ;-)

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

Hey ! We will live in Switzerland, the German part. That's my daughter, who is so far getting on really well with English, French and German - a real inspiration !

December 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

Hey! thanks for your reply. Happy to hear about your strategy. I sincerely consider that regularly. I love French and I hear it every day at home, so I would love to work on it in tandem. However, I feel that my time is limited to study and practise German already, plus out of any personal objectives I have, German is by far number 1 and would be the most helpful to me to achieve. Therefore, for the moment, I am (trying to be) single minded in my pursuit of this goal. I do not know any other languages to such a high level, so I will be over the moon to improve my German - hopefully to level B1 - while getting to level 25 :)

December 9, 2017

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

At level 25 you would walk all over B1 exams. They're really not that hard, compared to properly knowing all the material on Duolingo.

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
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But you wouldn't, George. Not if you didn't know your German from anywhere else. It's only quite recently that they felt the need to add 'Ich heisse X' to the tree. It had been there for years, wittering on about tortoises and the intimate plural form of 'you', without the language that most people are taught in their first lesson of any other system.

I've said this many times before but Duo's levels are not levels - not as they are understood by anyone creating courses or teaching them or examining them. They represent neither a set of language and structures nor a level of competence/fluency. If you were bloody-minded enough, you could get level 25 on any of these courses by repeating lesson 1 enough times. So level 25 does not equate with B1 or anything else. It has no fixed meaning beyond a number of meaningless 'points'.

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Elisabeth3789
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LOL! I agree with the funny choice of vocabulary (tortoises and such), Luscinda. But as far as your last point goes - yes, you could conceivably reach level 25 by repeating lesson 1 over and over, but what's the point? if you use Duo as intended, you can make a LOT of progress in the right direction!

I'm quite impressed by how much I have learned in a really short amount of time, especially as far as Spanish and Japanese is concerned. And I have studied both of these a (very) long time ago the old-fashioned way, and haven't gotten even close to what I've learned with Duo in just weeks! They must be doing something right!

December 10, 2017

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

All though someone could theoretically spend hundreds of hours repeating the same lesson just to reach level 25, no one does this.

Even if anyone did do that, the guy who posted this, who I directed my comment towards, specifically said he would complete his tree and get it gold before reaching level 25, so your point about just doing basic levels is irrelevant in this context.

By learning the material on Duolingo to get your tree gold, then spending countless hours practising that material to reach level 25, you would learn most of the 2300 plus words on the German tree, as well as a pretty robust sense of word order and other grammar used in sentences Duo gives you.

I've done B2 and B1 level exams, and you can certainly do well in B1 exams with the level of command of German I've just described.

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/slatour
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I never did immersion but just kept plugging away at lessons and I think it was helpful to me. I am really only focused on French and now I mostly use Memrise for that. Keep up your quest! It is a worthwhile goal and if you are still enjoying it there is no reason to stop!

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LateBlt
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Honestly, I have to agree with what Luscinda said... I've been level 25 in German for a while, but only because I did a lot of immersion, back when that feature still existed here. Back then you could get hundreds of XP in a matter of minutes if you were good at translating, and the act of translating was very interesting and often much more helpful at bringing people into a deeper level of language usage than what you get with Duolingo's actual lessons. Most people are at something like level 12 by the time they finish Duolingo's tree, and while it might be worthwhile to repeat the tree (or at least the most difficult sections of the tree), you'll probably have outgrown Duolingo's lessons long before you actually reach level 25. I'm still here just for giggles, because I already got my B2-level German certificate 3 years ago, which is a higher level than one will ever reach with Duolingo alone. I like the community here and the feel of the place which is why I still check the comments sometimes, but mostly I'm just here to see how long I can keep my streak going for. You being already level 21, I think you can probably forget about bringing your actual German ability farther using Duolingo. Not that it isn't fun to play it like an RPG and slowly grind up your stats; you can do that if you like, but if you really want to increase your actual language acuity, you need to be doing something else at this point.

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/karthik.subr

I might have to disagree with "Most people are at something like level 12 by the time they finish Duolingo's tree"

I am at Level 17 and I have completed 70 of the 121 lessons. So it's a long way to go and I should be close to 25 when I manage to finish the tree. It is probably possible to complete the tree at Level 12, but that is when you only keep doing new lessons and do not strengthen.

As a strategy, I mainly focus on repetition of difficult lessons and an extremely generous usage of 'strengthen skills'. This way, my skills have always been gold and the words stick in my memory longer.

So far so good!

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LateBlt
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That makes sense. For some reason it didn't go that way for me, but I guess I had a somewhat different approach to learning the language. I wanted to first go for a broad overview of the language so that I had all the ideas in my head, and then I began the process of review to strengthen them. I don't know if I should have done it your way instead, or if different people learn better using the two different approaches. I guess both work in the end. :)

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/exp271828
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... ich bin auch in the mid-70's ... and I really feel like I understand what I've learned so far; ich denke wir haben similar study styles. Funny thing is, since I took up Dan's challenge, I've done a LOT of neu stuff, where that new stuff is making pretty good use of the foundation I already had. It's actually making it stärker, like putting a roof on top of a house holds the tops of the walls together. It's like my desire for being great developed into a kind of paralysis or something, that kept me from taking on new stuff - and that new stuff has helped solidify what I already knew. Nonetheless, keep plugging! (p.s. please forgive my mixed German / English - chuckle).

December 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DominiqueDEcosse

I‘m in! I use Duolingo as a convenient way to refresh German, wherever I am. Last year I completed the English - German tree and then I lost interest. Two weeks ago I came back and got my tree all nice and golden again. To avoid boredom, I have just taken up one of the suggestions I read here to start the reverse tree. I find it strangely fascinating and addictive. As for other sources of language learning, I love reading novels. I have quite a few German thrillers on Kindle, which I can recommend as Kindle has a built-in dictionary. I also enjoy audiobooks; a good exercise is to listen to the audiobook while reading the e-book. Of course Duolingo has its limits but it is a good way to practice vocabulary and simple grammar. I find it very helpful that Duo points me to my weaker areas, by showing where I need to review. That works for me. I can’t praise the creators and staff of Duo enough for providing this wonderful resource free of charge to the end-user :)

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/exp271828
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Hmmm ... sounds intriguing. Count me in, at least for the full tree part. For the past few months I've been in maintenance mode, not done much new ... so this is a good incentive to keep plugging at the new stuff!

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

Hey there ! Yes, I notice we are almost at the same level in terms of points. Then join me! Which lesson are you up to on the tree ?

I am mixing quiet periods with periods when I feel motivated and push through a few sections at once to get to the next 'level' - whether that is some lessons, or an actual duolingo level. For a long time I was not really making progress but I can now see that things are finally starting to sink in and I remember more and more. Good luck and try to keep up ;) ;)

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/exp271828
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Re which lesson, I'm starting work on Perfect 1 (I think about halfway through, give or take a bit). Also, I no longer worry about keeping a streak going. There's more than one way to practice with a language, including listening to ndr.de on a semi-periodic basis, reading articles in newspapers (Zeitungen) und magazines (Zeitschriften), and trying to read stuff in dw.com ... and yes, the logic of the language does start to sink in after a while! Ditto back atcha - good luck, keep it up!

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/exp271828
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Wahoo! One new lesson a night, six new lessons in the past six nights, and just got through Perfect 1 ... Dan, thank you for giving me the incentive I needed to get started on new stuff again! (I'm still keeping up with the strengthen stuff as well, so my tree is "more golder" (chuckle) than it's been for a while.)

December 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/exp271828
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... and another one bites the dust ... just got through the six lessons in adjectives: nominative 1. a few bazillion more and i'll be through this tree (chuckle)! Dan, where are you at now?

December 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

Lesson 115 of 121. Within touching distance of completing the tree ! Which is my aim - before Dec 31 - and hopefully golden :)

December 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/exp271828
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wow - you're pretty far ahead of me then; I'm 30 or so lessons behind that; just started on Directions.

December 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/exp271828
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ZOWIE! have completed 12 big topics (multiple lessons for each) since I took up this challenge - starting at Perfect 1 and today plugging through Internet (lesson #81), at the next to last checkpoint. Next step, make what I've got all golden, then another big push to the next checkpoint!

December 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MicahDanger
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I'll join you. Let's do this.

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000
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The only thing I can say is to practice as hard as you feel it to be necessary! I've finished the German tree and practice a few times over, but I still haven't learned everything it has to offer, so I'll keep going until I feel like I have, and if I happen to hit level 25 on the way, that's cool too. It's really helped build my vocabulary and improve my reading comprehension, but I use other stuff as well. :) Best of luck.

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnAdamClark

Always good to have goals and reach them!

It was my goal to finish the Duolingo German tree by the end of this year, but managed to do it end of October, having started 1 year ago (okay, some boasting was allowed right!?)

So now, I'm busy keeping the tree golden as I think it's important to re-do lessons in order to really remember the words. Additionally I have started the reverse tree as well.

As mentioned by a few people here, Duolingo as a single source to learn a language is not realistically possible. So, I watch series in German (watch a scene in German, figure out maybe 10 percent from a few words. Watch the scene in English, then watch it again in German. Works quite well I think!). Also listening and reading the Harry Potter books, using the same method, read first in German, read it in English and back again in German.

Feel free to add any other alternative learning hints here please!

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rotraud1
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Hi Dan M1, you see, your aim is also the aim of all of us users in dizzing heights (reached or still not ) the number 25! If you have follwers(you have!) it can make more fun and less time to share and compaire with another person or more. But on the other way, if you are Single, your own strength and motivation is important and great - that's my experience! Everyone of us has his own motivation , how many time he can spend for learning, refreshing, reaching the levels, -2. the personal situation, Time for working, household, Family and children, Friends, freetime, Hobby -and the experience with learning by duolingo. My experience: duolingo was / is good for me. less is more- First i did english / German tree, then french - and both i changed every day, so i tried french against english- My individual competition, so i reached 25 in both lectures. A lot of users use the compaire tree, i did so and i was surprised : only in November I scored more than 30000 XP and also the Level 25 - though i was single-that made me happy - i had never thought that's possible. But i had and took the Time for that . You can see, both can be successful , with -and without followers- and you have enough, i can realize! I wish you successful hours by learning and collecting words, points- and many new friends- and of course- Level 25 in 2017, i am sure, you can do it!
Have always fun by learning Duo! Bye and good Luck! I'm going to watch it ...

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

First stop achieved :) Full tree completed - very happy and satisfied with that I have to say. Now to make it a nice golden tree.

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Elisabeth3789
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Congratulations, Dan! Great achievement. This has got to be the longest/largest (?) tree here on Duolingo! Good luck with getting it all golden before midnight on Sunday!

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/alokhmutov
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Great job! Don't stop :)

December 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/exp271828
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Hey Dan, congratulations! As a result of your initiative, I've made it up to lesson 87 so far (currently working on reflexive verbs), and plan to have made my first pass through the tree (not gold, just through it) by the end of January. At the rate I'm going right now, I can do this.

As a result of progress made, I'm understanding LOTS more when I do things like read DW.com in German or listen to ndr.de - which means, your initial push is definitely having a snowball effect with me; the impact and incentive keeps growing.

So "Danke!" for giving me the incentive to restart my push! May you never stop learning!

December 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

Thanks so much ! So glad to hear that. I have to say, the positive vibes I have received in just the last 24 hours makes me want to power on to full golden tree by midnight 31 Dec as Elisabeth says above. Positivity is powerful ! :) :) :)

December 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

Unfortunately I have not met my target of full gold tree by 31 Dec, partially due to a virus and being in bed/out of action for a couple of days this week.

However, the tree is complete and I have just levelled up to level 22. Both of those I am very happy with. I have 87/121 gold lessons and hope to be full gold this month.

My primary objective of intermediate German is still set for end Q1 2018. Good luck to you all with any personal goals you may have in 2018 !

January 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/charlotte262450

you are very nice

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Elisabeth3789
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Count me in, Dan! Current goal: get Japanese tree all golden. Then do the same with my totally non-golden Spanish tree, and then keep working on leveling up on both of these until I reach 25! Also work on completing my other trees when I need a break from Japanese and/or Spanish...

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/karthik.subr

Count me in! I am short of about 7000xp right now when compared to you though ;) But my goals are the same as yours, so lets do it!

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/alokhmutov
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One more is the fluency score. I am not sure how high it can go since mine never passed 68%. Good luck to you, too.

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DominiqueDEcosse

My German fluency seems to go up by 1% now and again; it’s at 70% now

December 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankEdger
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Perhaps you can help me! After completing Level 12 in German I received the notification that I had completed the language tree. I don't know how to advance beyond that. The same thing happened after Levels 11 in French and Spanish. All of this happened last week and I'm stuck! I gave up and switched to Italian a couple of days ago and am now on Level 6, but I would like to go further in the other three languages.

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Elisabeth3789
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Hi Frank, I would suggest that you consider reviewing and strengthening those trees. Depending on how you approach them, getting them completed is only the first step.

For example, when I completed my Japanese tree, which is comparatively short, maybe because it's in beta, it was quite painful to go through a lot of the lessons, especially in the final third of the tree. Now I'm strengthening the tree and it is so much easier to get through those lessons.

Part of it is probably that they've fixed some of the issues and are more flexible about the answers they accept. But it's also that my knowledge of Japanese has gotten a lot stronger in the process. My plan right now is to make the tree golden and then keep it there. Plus review it until I can just zip through it.

I also plan to supplement Duo with other materials, including my Kanji studying book, and my old Linguaphone course that I just dug up again...

About your strategy to switch languages... I think it's a good one, and I do it too. Sometimes, I just need a break and do something else. I find that the "old" language gets easier after I give it a rest for a while and then start strengthening it again.

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/roman2095
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If you want to advance to higher levels in Duolingo you need more XP (points). Here are the levels: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/XP

You can get these by repeating lessons. If the lesson is already gold you can just repeat it using "strengthen". Try doing timed lessons too. Of course you should have found out by now that the tree does not remain gold unless you are doing something every day. So you can just redo the lessons that are no longer gold after missing a few days or just redo any lessons that you want to strengthen. That way you can be kept busy keeping your tree gold or, if you have missed a few days doing other languages, coming back and trying to get the tree gold again.

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Elisabeth3789
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Roman, thanks for sharing the link to the xp points needed for advancing through each of the levels! I'm happy to see that they're not quite as intimidating as I had expected, from how quickly they increase at first... Very motivating!

December 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/alokhmutov
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If you can consistently do practice lessons without making any mistakes or looking at hints, maybe there is not much left for you to do. But peeking is an ineffective way of learning. Make yourself remember or give up. Apart from practice, some suggestions, though, choose what is suitable for you:

  • Read the grammar explanations in lessons. It's one thing to memorise answers to Duo's questions and another to get it.
  • Learn alternative answers. It's all too easy given you invested enough time to memorise the accepted answers. Think creatively. Use the gender you tend not to in case of an ambiguity. (Let's pretend in Germany only women are judges and managers.) Use different grammatical forms (3 yous in German; Mexican ustedes in place of Spanish vosotros; simple/compound past; simple/compund future, and the list can go on). Learn synonyms, learn idioms.
  • Install iOS/Android app. They have bots that let you practice a conversation and sometimes explore a couple of different scenarios.
  • They also have clubs! They just started (for my account, maybe for some earlier) asking questions and throwing caption challenges.
  • Go to the forum of the language you are learning. There are guides, explanations etc.
  • Check out Labs. It's just for Spanish now, but Stories are pretty good.
  • Also, they just launched a Spanish podcast. Just one episode so far, but still.

But maybe it's time to spend less time on Duolingo, if your goal is to learn and not to amass points. One idea would be to do vocabulary frequency lists on Memrise. At some point intermediate words there start making sense when you recall them from Duo. When you revisit lessons in Duo, you get a chance to use the memorised words, and it is very gratifying. Also, search the forums for other materials, there are giant lists compiled by kind people.

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_M1

Thanks for the reply! I have switched to android lately but, correct me if I am wrong, I do not see bots on there, which is a real shame as I liked that part on the iphone app.

December 13, 2017

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