Question for those who have completed the tree
To all those who have finished the chinese tree, first of all great job! Secondly, while I'm sure this course doesn't get you anywhere near fluency, how close does it get? And also, what other resources have you used apart from duolingo?
It definitely helps me get closer to fluency. I think it is a very useful tool and would be the most useful tool I could think of for where I am at right now, if the audio were more reliable and more correct sentences were accepted.
A problem that I see is if other people don't practice the tones that they will not get very far with this course.
Language teacher and Chinese speaker here; I completed the tree solely to check out how well it was made and to help answer learner questions. Vocabulary-wise, it gets you a lot farther than the Japanese course, and the topics are well rounded, function-centered and useful (aside from the final "Duolingo" skill). Sentence structure and grammar-wise, however, it leaves a lot to be desired, with a lot of the sentences being more awkward, one-one translated "Englinese" than natural Chinese. It does have fairly good Tips and Notes, though. I would estimate the level upon completion of the course as Elementary, or high A1 to low A2 by European measurement. You'll be able to fumble your way through most basic day-to-day errands, but will sound like a foreigner.
Of course, this is taking the course in isolation, which isn't something I would recommend to begin with. If combined with other resources and studied together, you could get fairly fluent with it, depending on your personal motivation and effort expended, of course. I would recommend getting a China-made textbook course to use with it, ideally one with accompanying audio and exercises. (Some of the best are made by Beijing Language and Culture University Press, such as New Practical Chinese Reader.) You will definitely need a few good dictionaries as well; I highly recommend the app Pleco for this, as it includes 6 or 7 major English-Chinese, Chinese-English and Chinese-Chinese ones with the highly useful feature of searching for example sentences. The paid version is more than worth it if you are serious about Chinese learning. Another good book is 《对外汉语教学实用语法》or Teaching Foreigners Practical Chinese Grammar, also from BLCU Press and a college-level textbook. Chinese movies and TV shows (especially more everyday-life ones like 《我爱我家》 or comedies, rather than period or fantasy which will use archaic/specialised language) are good for immersion and helping you to build natural Chinese sentence structure and intuition, which is the main shortcoming of Duolingo's course from my perspective.
Thanks for the thorough response. I found the HSK series of books by Hanban very good too for people who plan to take the official examinations down the line.
As a resource I would also suggest "Chinese Grammar Wiki" https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Main_Page it's a fantastic tool.
Excellent advice / suggestions here. Thankyou! You have me going back to some of my other resources to expand on my work.
I'm finding the new lessons that have come with the crowns dig a little deeper. I can already speak some chinese, and the duolingo course is a big and very useful part of my own personal refresher course.
Thanks for sharing, and I completely agree with the usefulness of the Help and Tips section. In fact here is the entire Help and Tips section for this language in Duolingo. It took me a while to make and isn't for every lesson in Duolingo, because there isn't a Help and Tips Section for every lesson. I just started Mandarin but I've found them very useful with other languages. Keep in mind this in not the lessons of Duolingo, but the Help and Tips, it is meant to be read along with the lessons of Duolingo, not to replace the lessons. Enjoy!!!
3800 Useful Chinese Sentences (22 Video Playlist): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL78DC203D1698FD8E
Slow & Clear Listening Practice (17 video Playlist): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGAohsc-9JhXs5thbT8cxS_CdUYOuSQee
Chinese Reading (Audio and transcript): http://chinese.rutgers.edu/class_content_simplified_chinese/level3/class1-to-9/class6/short_cs.htm
I started learning from hellochinese. Then I went to duolingo reverse course and I learned English from Chinese. The course was not good because the answers sometimes accepted my Englinese answers and sometimes accepted my Chinglish. So I thought the course was rusty and stopped using it. Then I moved onto anki. I used anki to Download a deck called “spoonfed Chinese “ along with some other Chinese decks. I think the anki decks are much more challenging and cover more grammar and vocabulary than duolingo could. You can use all of these apps in tandem but I think anki is the best app for me because it’s also customizable to your hearts content.