"I also drink water."
I'm trying to take it slow, never more than one new lesson a day. I also write out words and sentences on paper as I go through these exercises, using the stroke order from archchinese.com.
It also helps to pair a duolingo course with the matching memrise or tinycards course, but sadly memrise isn't letting free users access much anymore, and there isn't yet a full tinycards set with sound for chinese.
What do you mean the symbols? If you mean the characters then i guess there are ways that you can go about learning how to listen and speak Chinese. There are also specific pin yin learning tools. If you do want to learn with characters, it's really important to supplement this tool with flashcards or other online tools which will really help with recognition.