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Time until basic understanding?

Hi, I'm definitely very new to Duolingo, and learning a new language at all. I was just wondering if anyone can give me an idea of how long it will take me to become moderately fluent in my language of choice. (German) I practice everyday and have my goal set on insane so 50 exp, though I typically go over that. I'm not expecting to be perfectly speaking the language in a matter of months, nor am I in any real hurry at all. I'm just curious...

April 25, 2018


  • 1999

It depends a lot how much work you put in, especially work outside of Duolingo. I have done A lot of other work while learning German and was able to somewhat comfortably watch German shows after 6 or 10 months, now after two years my passive knowledge of the language (listening, reading) is very advanced, in active skills (speaking, writing) I am still just intermediate... That would become better with lots of practice in those areas. If you're serious about your German, you can get there pretty fast. I found it best to combine many resources (check out my older post here for the list of my resources and the description of my progress in German learning: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24437249 ).

I can compare all this to my French where I've used almost only Duolingo so far and my French is in no way comparable to my German. My french is still beginning level in passive skills and pretty much Zero level in active skills...

So the moral is, if you want to get somewhere, don't use only Duolingo, it's ok to use only Duolingo at first (first few months / half a year) but eventually you want to expand your learning resources.

Good luck and happy learning :-)


Awesome, thank you very much!


I've been practicing for about 2 weeks now, and what I've found is that I'm able to translate it while reading it much more easily than if I were to try to actually speak the few simple phrases I've learned so far. I try to speak out loud along with the lesson to help my comprehension of pronunciation and actually speaking. I will try out some the recommendations. Appreciate the responses!


First of all, don´t worry about it. Don´t get stressed about it. Just practice and carry on. Try to turn on radio sometimes after like 2-3 months on duolingo (inforadio berlin is quite comprehensible, albeit fast speaking) and just try to get the general idea of what they are talking about. Try to watch tv shows you watched in other languages before (that one is gold). Try to think about how you would react to everyday situations in the given language (that, you can do after finishing the first 5-10 skills on duolingo, i guess). Just don´t stress, don´t get discouraged and push on. Also, learn enough so you can make it every day (i found that 80-120 XPs a day is the sweet spot - takes about 40 mins to an hour) but don´t push yourself too hard, that will make you discouraged. And repeat. When you finish the first 5 skills or so, just do 3 "repeat" exercises every day before tackling anything new. If you have a bad day, just do the repeat exercises, if a good one, complete a new skill. Make an effort every day, but don´t push yourself uncomfortably. It´s the consistence that drills the stuff into your long term memory. My good experience is not to dwell on knowing anything "perfectly" before you move on. You just need to learn the new vocabulary, get the general idea and move on. Don´t sweat it, if you don´t understand WHY something happens in the more complicated sentences. The grammar needs more of a long term repetition, than just trying to remember the rules at once - once you get to the level when you talk, you construct the sentences based on experience rather than classroom rules anyway. I´d say, depending on how much free time you have and how much do you want to invest, you can be capable of a basic, simple conversation in 6-12 months. But to seriously learn the language, you basically need to be immersed in it, breath it, drink it and eat it, so don´t expect wonders from just learning by yourself on the internet or a class - thats the basic first step. These are my experiences which helped me a lot with languages in general.


Deutsche Sprache, schwere Sprache. Take your time and nail down the basics. ( which applies to any language ).


I can only agree with it. I am not sure if I would have learned German if I would not be a native speaker. My respect to you all here. Our grammar is very multiple at most with articles and flexions. I can only recommend: Try different ways parallel and have as much fun with it as possible


How quickly somebody learns varies based on the individuals aptitude. The US Foreign Service Institute estimated that learning German will take approximately 750 hours for English speakers. On the average, if you practice 1 hour each day, you should expect to be moderately fluent in about two years.


It really depends on what you consider moderately fluent. I can construct simpler sentences with decent grammar where I'm at, although I don't practice as much as you do. I'd say it's taken me about 7-8 months to be where I am now, but I only do about 20 exp a day. If you really want to boost your skills, try reading some basic children books. It really helps you grasp the grammar (very important!) and teaches you new vocabulary.


Okay, cool, thanks for the info!

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