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Spanish Tree Completed

69 year old American English speaker here : Finally after 96 straight days and 340 lingots at level 13 and at 63% fluency I have completed the Spanish tree. It was tough but it was fun and I think I learned a lot.
i am still not able to understand native Spanish speakers especially those from Puerto Rico or Cuba but I would like to travel to Columbia and enroll in a Spanish immersion program to strengthen my conversation skills. And I will be checking DL every day to see where I need to strengthen my vocabulary.
I learned more in 96 days than I learned in two years of Spanish in High School. Thanks to the DL folks. Its not a perfect app but it is a great way to learn a new language.

March 25, 2018



Wow congratulations! I'm not even half way through my Spanish tree. There are so many skills with 10 lessons in them


Thanks. You are really trying out a lot of languages. Aren't you?


Quieres aprender español?


Sí; está porque somos aqui.


Congratulations! The immersion program sounds 'muy interesante'!


Congrats on the 1 year streak!


Good for you!! But don't take a break or you might forget some of it! Keep at it!!


I'm nearly at the end of my first tree - this is a brilliant tool. I find my reading understanding is improved but I have a long way to go with speech. I'll keep going


Same! Definitely can see improvement in looking at printed material while out and about, yet still struggling when trying to begin actual conversation. Need to find a place to practice and improve! I'll keep going too!


Huzzah! What are you going to learn next?


I need to learn more Spanish. I'm nowhere near fluent.


Well, good on you, Bob. I hope I manage myself to get to your age and, when I get there, I'm still learning like you. Here's something I more or less remember being told, "El continuo goteo cava en la piedra."


Hi Bob,


Do you mean Colombia?

You better not confuse both as native people on www.hellolingo.com will get pretty much mad otherwise! :-)
It happend to me twice in the same chat window.

If you are a sporty person and a (kite-)surfer, you can try Colombia Cartagena for doing both (learning Spanish in the morning + surfing in the afternoon): https://bstoked.net/listings/search/?order====2274

I only suggest it, because I know Peter from Kitesyndikat and he is neither a true youngster :-)

Make sure you check bstoked for the ideal monthly wind conditions (there is a monthly wind table).


Gracias for the correction. I never noticed that there was a difference until you pointed it out.


Great work Bob! I am almost half way through my Spanish tree. I am interested in what skill level you think completing the tree lands you at. Do you think you could hold a converasation with a local?

Also completing in 96 days, wow! How long per day do you think you were on DL?


I leaned a lot of vocabulary and grammar but I don't think I can have a good conversation with a local. I think I need a live tutor for that. I put in about 2 hours per day, half of it strengthening old skills and the other half doing new stuff. I also was doing Tinycards to help with vocabulary.


Well done sir, keep strengthening and maybe start listening to more music and telenovelas.


it doesn't stop when you complete the tree, I've found out. And your percentages fall if you don't keep going every day. Congrats, though. Keep at it. I too am a better reader than writer, and listener than speaker.


Interesting! I speak better than listen and write better than read.


Frozengrape, it is just the opposite for me. I read pretty well, and I can speak haltingly, but I understand what I hear better than I write.


I started with French and Italian tree. It was a great surprise that I remembered French from school almost immediately. Italian is a Romance language too that I always wanted to know as I love the Italian songs and music. The next step was to start Spanish. I finished it working in parallel with the others, but I had abandoned for some time to finish first the Italian tree. As soon as I did it, I came back to Spanish and in the same time started learning Turkish, as it is a neighbor country and the language is the key to decipher the other oriental languages, as she has many roots from Arab, Persian and similar, like Hebrew. I prefered Turkish as many words are similar with my native language, Greek, as well, but the structure is quite different and difficult, but so interesting. It is like adding two numbers and put the symbol of addition in the end :)

I continued Spanish tree as well. Spanish is a so beautiful language. They is so close to Italian that sometimes I confuse these two. What is the problem in the Spanish tree? Spanish tree is not so explanatory in Grammatical phenomena, I have a lot of trouble in verbs. It gives just a little attention to some tenses, and it is an easier tree than the Italian and French one. I finished it last month, but it lasted longer than you. But I finished it being so cool that almost I didn't understand it. Italian and French helped me a lot. BUT I don't think I am good in Spanish. I need a lot of strengthening exercises. AND of course to learn GRAMMAR, it is insufficient, and the number of words I know are much more less than in Italian that is almost 1000 less! My next goal is to finish the German tree, but I think it is very difficult to me.

Congratulations!!! Duo is marvellous, but we need more!


Thanks. You are very ambitious to take on so many languages. I really want to develop fluency in Spanish because living in Florida I hear lots of it spoken and I am not too far from Latin America. That will be my next and probably frequent travel destination. Perhaps next year, I may start another language like French or Mandarin Chinese.


Phew!, Bob7 and Bob5 - - a lot of "bobbing around" going on!

I get easily confused nowadays :-)

I spend around two months each year in mainland Spain, near Alicante, with my lovely lady. We just relax and do some sun, sea and sangria. We also dance most days, we are dance teachers, Ballroom, Latin, Sequence, American Smooth. The area has a lot of British residents and a lot of places we can dance.

But also it's not too heavily English speaking outwith the tourist bit, and so plenty of opportunity to practise Spanish!


This is very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.




Great work keep it going


Wow, congratulations. Hope to achieve this as well!


Wow in my other file I’m close.


Whoa, so appreciate the dedication - every day - and still learning! Good for you!


Hi Bob Congratulations from another over 60s learner from across the pond. The immersion programme sounds brilliant but in the meantime you could try the reverse tree on Duolingo and watch Spanish tv with subtitles.


I've only been revising my Spanish on duolingo for a few months before a trip to Panama. It really helped with making myself understood but my comprehension let me down. I guess your immersion program will help you bridge that gap.


Congratulations Bob! Practica, practica y un pocito mas practica! Me, I,m 76 and still learning, reaching a 400 day streak today, 27th March.

Look up events on the website here to see if there's a DL exchange near you, they really help with speaking, we have two hours each week in Edimburgo, Escoscia!

I love it!


Dios te bendiga Mel. You are now my inspiration!

There is a DL exchange here in Orlando , Florida. I'm waiting for them to announce their next event.


Great Bob, I'm sure you will enjoy it. Our one is run by the lovely Ana who starts things off with a few subjects, and we all chip in our thoughts in both English and Spanish but opposite. Spanish speakers try to cover the subject in English, and English try in their best (or worst) Spanish.

A wee drink or two later and the whole thing can go hilarious and way off topic - - but we correct each other without the formal teacher student barrier in the way.

Hasta Luego Roberto!


you just have to learn the simplest things like hello, good morning, how are you, and such simple things and when you learn them well you start with the difficult things like sentences but you will not learn Spanish with DUOLINGO you can go to other places like those that already you were speaking spanish, and if you have friends who speak spanish better tell them to help you if you learn faster I know what I saydo you want learn speak spanish? ooh and cangratuations!!!!


I agree 100%. I can now understand Spanish speakers....if they speak slowly. I do, however, have one question: Why does my fluency level decrease when I log in, complete 5-10 lessons every day? I've repeated the "tree" numerous times, but my fluency goes down sometimes. (then up...I don't know why...) Is it because I make mistakes? I usually get 90% of the answers correct. Often, when I use the timed practice, my errors are merely typos.


Iris, "Fluent %" is only a very rough guide, and really means little. Typos which give a different but wrong valid word are a mistake and will "cost" you, typos one letter out (out and put) may be accepted , maybe not!

It is believed that "hovering" to see meanings can affect scores, this may be a DuoLingo myth!

Hasta Luego - - Enjoy!


Thanks, Mel. I'll see if hovering is "safe," :)


Congratulations, Bob! I am nearing the end as well, and it's been quite a ride. I intend on re-doing the tree as though I were a native Spanish speaker learning English. I have read that it gives you a new perspective and helps strengthen your Spanish. It's definitely worth a try!


62 years old here and I did it in about the same time period. In fact, I've gone through it twice and now on the third time round. It has helped a lot, but I've also been hitting youtube listening videos hard to improve my listening comprehension.

Espanol con Juan is one of my favorites. I can listen to his videos and understand a good 60% of what he says and even more when I listen to it over again. Each time picking up more and more words within the context.

I still use the Duolingo TinyCard flash cards daily to reinforce my vocabulary so that I don't forget what I have learned.

I signed up for Spanish with Paul and also Spanish Dude.com for grammar rules. I have to say this is one of the hardest things I have tried to learn but I really enjoy every hour or many hours a day that I put into it. Only wish I had started earlier in life.


Learning Spanish was my New Year's resolution /bucket list item this year. I'm nowhere near where I want to be but I'm improving every day. Thanks for the listening suggestions. I will check them out


Congrats. I've been slowly going through the tree, and I hope to finish this year.

Don't believe them when they say you can't teach an old dog a new trick. You've proved them wrong. Have a lingot.


This made me smile, Bob, for a couple of reasons. First, the age. You're a youngster compared to me. I'll be 82 in less than a month! And I just completed the Spanish tree today (July 4) in just under 550 consecutive days. I wasn't an absolute beginner, for I'd done one Spanish course way back when, at university ... but I never forgot it nor let that intro lapse. Then about 8 years after graduation, as one of the oldest hippies on the circuit, I spent 2 months at the start of a year of roaming around Europe in the south of Spain, sitting out the winter; and amazed myself at how well I made out expressing myself. Then came a long, long period of lack of use until a niece of mine married into a Central American family and sparked my interest again -- to be able to chat with her in-laws. I only wish they lived in the same city so I could have regular practice speaking!! I'll continue my efforts to find opportunity though.
I've thoroughly enjoyed Duo, and have recommended their method as one of the best (from this former teacher's point of view).
I 'signed up' for French with DUO as well, but gave it up. Listening to the Parisian accent as opposed to the accent I already learned and use, and which I hear around me every day, and having my pronunciation to just about everything deemed wrong because it didn't correspond to the course speakers' was just too much! I'm OK with that, though. I'll just try something else!

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