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  5. Earned my second Golden Owl


Earned my second Golden Owl

Ich habe meine zweite goldene Eule verdient! (I have earned my second golden owl!)

I completed the reverse tree by doing every lesson and not testing out; it took me up to Level 11 with 3600+ points and 68% fluency (and a vocabulary of 1567 for the reverse tree).

After finishing the German from English course I fiddled with the Swedish course before deciding to just complete the reverse English from German tree first. Having completed the longest tree on Duolingo before, and with all the prior practice, it really was quite enjoyable to do the reverse tree. I feel like I'm finally getting a decent handle on the German sentence structure.

I highly recommend others to do the reverse trees for their languages as well.

FWIW, I still didn't feel like there was a lot I needed to write in German for the reverse tree. But perhaps it's a bit more than the regular tree, hard to say. Either way practice is practice and it feels good to have done it.

For newcomers to the site and ones contemplating starting a new course, I can only say that you shouldn't give up. Daily practice (even a little bit) and persistence will pay off in the end.

And finally, in case anyone is wondering what I plan to do next, I might do all of the German Stories. And following that, I might actually just do a few daily strengthen exercises on Duolingo but spend the bulk of my learning time on some other books/resources.

Thanks for reading and allowing me to share my experience with you. Happy learning!

January 10, 2018


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Congrats! Keep owling!!


Thank you (well done, yourself!)


I'm standing at the foot of the hill you're atop of. So I'm very curious about what things look from up there and have a couple of questions if you don't mind:

  1. How long did it take you?
  2. Do you feel you've absorbed enough German to relatively easily produce a text like that in German with no critical mistakes?

Thanks, and, of course, congrats on the achievement! This one is a real one ;)


Hey there. Thanks for the wishes and for the great questions.

  1. Reverse tree only took me about 3-4 weeks, I believe. I didn't keep strict count of time spent (as it wasn't important to me), but that sounds about right.

  2. Short answer: no.

Long answer, if you'd like it, is that I'm probably around A2 or B1 level with my reading comprehension, which is what I focused on. I haven't done many listening or speaking exercises, mostly because Duo has been acting up in the past when I tried those. I still have a way to go to learn grammar and construct complex sentences and so on.

That said, I've come a long way from knowing nothing too! I have a sizable vocabulary of over 2000 words according to Duo. When I watch movies/TV or come across a website that has some German sentences or words, I almost immediately recognize and am even able to understand simple stuff. Sometimes people randomly greet me in German (knowing that I'm a learner) and I respond almost without thinking. And finally, I can read and explain my book (see my profile) that contains a fair bit of German in it too. I wrote it with another native German speaker here on Duolingo.

All in all, I'm making progress and I feel I have come a long way. But I have long to go yet and the journey will continue and be exciting.

Hope that answers your question. Let me know if I can answer anything else for you.


Thanks for the comprehensive answer! It looks like you've built a solid basement to further build upon.

Last question for now: What thing was (or still is?) the trickiest to wrap your head around?


Sure thing.

Tenses: past/present/future etc. Because the lessons are all bunched for a single tense, you don't get any sense of how sentences morph between tenses. I will / I would / I will have etc. in one shot unless you write down notes.

Die/Der/Das: I'm better at it by now and get it right more than half the time easily due to practice and having a "gut sense." But it's not something I could explain easily and it feels like I'm still guessing to a (lesser than before) degree.

In general, there are a lot of irregularities about the rules of the language, so they tend to trip you.


Fühlt es sich nicht gut an? :) Bravo!


Ja, wirklich. Danke :)

[deactivated user]


    Congratulations! :D


    When you say the reverse tree, what do you mean by that. Are you starting at the end of the entire lesson and going backwards to the beginning? I've finished all my German and Spanish lessons and have been doing the practice and not I go to labs and do the podcasts and what ever lessons they have in there. It's been fun, I haven't missed a lesson since the beginning. I was doing the Portuguese but the male speaker wasn't clear enough and he spoke too fast so after getting up to 30% fluency I quit that one. I love the German language, it is my favorite one so far. Thank you for sharing your progress.

    [deactivated user]

      When you say the reverse tree, what do you mean by that.

      Reverse tree means swapping the native and the target languages. Say you make German from English... then you do English from German.


      Thank you for the reply, I will try that..should be fun.


      "Reverse tree" is relative. In my case, I am a native English speaker and started with German (from English) tree first. So its reverse tree would be English (from German) where I pretend to know German and to learn English. Does that make sense?


      it makes sense to me. thanks


      Herzlichen Glückwünsch! Deine motivierenden Worte helfen mir damit, Russisch zu lernen. Ich hatte einige Zweifel, ob es sich lohnen wird, aber ich merke an dir, dass es die Mühe Wert ist.

      Viel Erfolg auch weiterhin!


      Dankeschoen! Ich bin froh, dass es dir geholfen hat


      Ich wünsche Ihnen viel Glück mit Russisch. Es war mir viel schwieriger als Deutsch. Ich tauschte es gegen Schwedisch aus.


      Congratulations! :)


      congratulations that is cool.




      Herzlichen Glückwünsch und gut gemacht!


      what country are you from?


      I'm from the USA. you?


      Hey satishvc Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Wie verdient man denn so eine Golden Owl? Ich habe noch nie eine gekriegt... Muss man dafür den Duobaum fertig haben? Jedenfalls noch alles gute... Lg


      Hallo billybiber, dankeschoen!

      "Muss man dafür den Duobaum fertig haben?" Das ist richtig! Viel Glück!


      why would you dip a owl in gold. thats mean this is a joke in case of those who dont have humor


      True. You wouldn't do that if you gave a hoot about them. :)

      One could almost say "Ende gut, Eule ist gut" ;) hehe


      Damit hast du meinen Tag gerettet! Danke schön!


      Hey Zigeuner-Gypsy, wo du recht hast, hast du recht! Lg ;)


      Hey satishvc! Did you write a Book?! A very own Book? Well done...! (I saw the "message" on your Profile.) Congrats. Lg Billybiber


      I did, yes, in German and Swedish with help from co-authors of the native languages respectively. Please feel free to check them out as they're written specifically to help beginner language learners to confidently read in foreign languages.


      haha, zehr gut. ich leibe

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