Chinese-level of difficulty
I tried beginners' Chinese and was starting to enjoy it, but then you started asking me too early to identify all the Chinese characters which I found extremely difficult and frustrating. I then decided to give up. Too bad. I have a trip planned to go to china in September.
Well, especially in the begining, the gotten idea of the differentness that Chinese has in comparison with "our" languages, this might be overwhelming for some people. The important and challenging thing is just not to give up. It might be annoying, it might seem to be rather trial and error than anything logical. But its definitely worth the effort, and if you already have your target by your upcoming journey to China, then I just want to encourage you not to give up so soon. Learing Chinese is also a kind of elaborating oneself's methods, which finally is an interesting experience, on how to get into something completely new. Check Wikipedia or Google for "Chinese Characters", their history and composition, take a look there at "Chinese Radicals List", and try to get a very first idea about the transcription system "Pinyin", for Simplified Mandarin Chinese. If Duolingo seems too advanced for you in this moment, then please try the apps "Lingodeer" and "HelloChinese". Get yourself the dictionary app "Pleco", which is in my humble opinion second to none. I dare to say that you still have plenty of time to prepare yourself until September.