I finished half of the Chinese tree!
Nihao. Wo wanchengle!(你好! 我完成了.) For those of you that aren't there yet, KEEP working at it. It comes little by little. It looks like I have so much ahead of me, but I have gone this far! If you quit because it was in "beta", but you liked the language, you can also use "Litao Chinese" on youtube. His first lessons are free, but his elementary course, you must pay for. His course is well worth trying. Well, 再见 for now!
I am also at the halfway point. I am enjoying it very much. My progress with speaking is very very slow. But hopefully that will come. I feel like, by now, I am getting somewhere with character recognition and understanding the sorts of word order that are typical. I can often choose the right chinese characters to make the correct sentence in the correct order, but cannot say the sentence out loud at all. I am trying to improve this by making an effort to repeat out loud.
At the same time as using duolingo, I am also using the "HelloChinese" app, which is similar to duo, but mixes it up with some speaking exercises, some character drawing, and there are videos of native speakers for some of the phrases. It has a tree like structure like duo. It also has "strengthening" where it makes new exercises based on what you have not seen for a while. And some games - on the pay for version you get all the games, and on the free version, you get to play one particular game each day.
On duolingo, I am staying at the "halfway" point for a while now, while I "strengthen" the skills. I am looking on https://duome.eu/ "myusername" /Progress to keep track of the strengths of skills and keep them topped up. It is fiddly, but I find this motivates me better than the "crowns"
Thank you for the tip about Litao Chinese, I will give that a try.
Good luck and well done.