How extensive is the French Tree in total (upon completion)? I know that Duolingo can't teach us too much vocabulary-language is much too large for that-but how much grammar structure and other such shtuffs does one learn by the end of the tree?
Again, not in vocabulary or common expressions, but how "fluent" would you call someone if they've completely finished their tree?
I really don't trust Duolingo's fluency percentage! :)
I personally think completing any tree barely makes you fluent in whichever language it is, because completing a tree means you've only gotten in touch with most of the skills on the tree one time. It's better if you strengthen earlier skills before you move on to new skills while you're doing the tree, but by the time you finish the tree, you'll still only have seen the last (and hardest) skills once and the older skills probably less than 10 times.
Of course you'll be somewhat familiar with the language, you can recognize the structure of sentences (what is the subject, verb, etc.) and you'll be able to translate commonly used words in a sentence, but I think it takes more than those first few exercices of each skill in order to get the words and grammar rules in your head.
This is why I think it's great that after finishing the tree, there's another large goal you can reach for, which is achieving level 25 in the language. This means you'll have repeated each skill many times and probably find the exercices for most skills quite easy.
Yes, I was looking at my fluency percentage, to see a "56%." Come on, Duo, let's be real, that is FAR from the truth.
I learn languages many other places than Duolingo, and this isn't my main way. In fact, I only just recently started on my tree again. I had just been using the platform as a way to ask French grammar questions on Discussions and get quick answers.
I got kind of fed up with lessons, not because of their difficulty, but because they just seemed to go by so SLOWLY. Instead of doing each lesson part one at a time now, I just hit "test out" and learn as I go. It is remarkable how much your brain can absorb so quickly and under "pressure" (the life limit). I use prior knowledge, context clues, and yes, if I'm desperate, a quick translate. It's important to note though, that if I resort to such measures, it sometimes is only for clarification on femininity or masculinity, or possibly an obscure grammar rule. Even if I do need to look up the actual word I'm being tested on, I don't feel too bad because I'll come back to practice a week later and still remember 95% of the lesson. I know this might not be the best way to practice/learn, but it works for me (and don't worry, I know to take whatever Google Translate says with more than a pinch of salt!)
I'm mainly focusing on grammar. That way, when I read stories in French and whatnot, I can focus on absorbing vocabulary rather than wondering why there's a random "que" in that sentence.
Thanks for the response!
ahhh the fluency percentage.
My goodness have there been some discussions on that. And it is a work in progress ;P
However as for the the tree - it gives you a very good grounding in all sorts of aspects of grammar. And as with ANY really good course, is constantly being worked on.
For French, I recall it will run you through over 4,000 words. ( this is from my memory - though this is what I recall )
However as with any course that you may undertake, to really learn a language, you need to avail yourself of engagement in a multitude of ways.
Of course a Dictionary is important. As well as different grammar books.
Then there is engaging in other things, such as music, cooking, playing sport or some other hobby. watching films, and of course practicing talking. No one source will give you the knowledge and experience to gain fluency.
Usagi recently put up an excellent challenge and post about practicing. If someone has the link, could they share it here ?
My favorite way to practice French is to watch shows I've already seen in the language, sometimes with English and sometimes with French subtitles. That way, I already know the plot, I can rewind and examine sentences without getting annoyed, and I can hear the language spoken and hopefully improve my accent!
And you too, thanks for the response!