how can practise writing my own beginner phrases?
I love using duolingo to learn french and I complete the exercises without issue, but when i come to say something I find I have no clue what to say because all I do is translate from french to english! What's the best way to practice using beginner phrases?
One option is to do the reverse tree (French>English) because there will be more translations from English to French.
It is harder to do the reverse tree if you just started to learn that language. I would recommend you to do that once you have done your Spanish/French tree and then do their reverse trees.
Writing what you want to say with a computer program or on paper. Then you can go back and check what you have said with a dictionary and/or grammar tips. If you are using the Duoligo app on an iPod/iPhone or IPad with the iOS operating system, you can try the chatbots offered in French or Spanish.
Get on HelloTalk or Tandem and start practicing with speakers that are learning English. You'll start to get your basic phrases memorized and over time more phrases will become automatic rather than thought out for you.