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  5. does Duolingo really help?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexander183999

does Duolingo really help?

Does Duolingo REALLY help? Could you learn a language using that alone? What other suggestions might you have for resources and ways that I could continue to practice aside from Duolingo?

May 9, 2018

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leArzt

Yes it does help, if it wasn't for Duo I doubt I would have ever started learning German seriously. I suggest reading a lot, stuff you find interesting on the news or Wikipedia with the help of a dictionary.

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris732090

Yes,it helps!The most important is to understand how the phrases and senteces and are built.I mean it's not only to write the right answer,it's about to understand why it's written like that! Personally,i use Duolingo,Memrise and a book to learn russian! I think Duolingo is a very usefull source of learning a language!

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexander183999

thank you!

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seattle_Scott

Yes, Duolingo helps. Can you learn with ONLY duolingo? I doubt it. That's like asking if you can learn a language with a single text book. But Duolingo has been very helpful for me in learning both Spanish and German.

I also use Rosetta Stone for a while (quit because it bored me), memrise, youtube videos, HBO and Netflix movies that are in other languages like Spanish, Verb books, grammar books, and I have a high school teacher that gave me some books that have been helpful with grammar.

And don't forget to read the tool tips. They very from language to language but the tips and grammar notes can be very helpful. I've found the German quite good.

The trick is to stay with it, even 10 minutes a day. You go through periods where you don't think you're learning and you don't feel progress (plateau moments), then every once in a while you'll realize you are improving. It takes time for things to enter into long term memory and stay there.

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jorno1

I don'tthink you can become fluent with duo alone but after coming very far in the french tree i lost interest and just stopped. But even today i can understand the basics and topics of french texts when i come in contact with it.

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeCrioxRouge13

Yes, it does, when you are using other sources. I use Duolingo for my French all the time and it helps be above my class in some subjects that we were learning. Duolingo is an amazing study tool, but not a study Guide.

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/crepe_obsession

It really does help, but you won't reach too far without it. I'm 18 now, and all through high school I did Duolingo French and it made me one of the top students in French class. For Russian, Duolingo has helped me to have simpler conversations with natives and given me a huge huge boost in learning Bosnian Serbo-Croatian (also a Slavic language), despite not having devoted a whole lot of time to Duolingo Russian yet.

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeCrioxRouge13

I was so surprised to see how far above I am. Some of my classmates can't even remember the basics. lol!

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimBernhar

Yes, it can help! The most important thing in language learning is time on task. The more time you spend with the language, the better your results. A few minutes a day is a great way to learn. A few minutes a few times a day is even better! Next, divide your time into four equal parts. You need meaningful input (reading stories and watching videos or listening to the radio and music). The meaningful part, means that you should be able to focus on what the story means [not on the grammar, etc.]. If may take a little while before you are able to do this, but you should be there pretty soon. If you are learning Russian, go to the McDonald's website from Moscow and read the menu. You can do that during the very first lessons! If you are studying one of the languages that has stories in Duolingo, read them! Meaningful input should take up about 25% of your time. Watch movies with subtitles. Watch music videos (and learn the songs!) Part 2. Meaningful output (speaking and writing). Talk to others who are speakers of the language you are studying. Write. Again, you are thinking about meaning. Use the discussion boards in Duolingo. Write notes to other users using the @ function. Talk about your day. Your writing becomes their reading. Their writing becomes your reading. You should think about spending 25% of your time speaking and writing. Again, don't worry too much about grammar. You are going to make mistakes, and that's OK. Your mistakes will correct themselves as you notice them. (And don't worry about mistakes other people make. If you notice that I made a mistake, that's a sign that your language is getting better.) Part 3. Language focused activities. For this quarter of your study time, pay attention to grammar, spelling, learning new words, etc. Duolingo is particularly strong for this. If you are puzzled by something, look it up on the Internet. There are lots of grammar lectures for lots of languages on YouTube. Use what you like. Use what helps, Don't worry about getting a bad explanation (grammar explanations, while important, are only a small part of learning a language, and your understanding of how the language works will change as you grow with the language.). Spend about 25% of your time with grammar. Part 4. Work on fluency. This means, do stuff that you can do easily. In Duolingo, go back to stages you covered before. Here Duolingo is particularly strong! In Welsh, there are four levels for each skill set. I am working on a whole bunch of skill sets at the same time. Something new, and lots of practice with things I have already worked with. Repetition of things that are easy for you is exceptionally important. Spend about 25% of your time doing that. And, space your repetition. Wait a while before you go back. And each time, wait longer. If you can't remember that stuff at all, you waited to long. (And now for a little truth in advertising: this "Four Strand" method was developed by Prof. I.S.P. Nation (aka Paul Nation) one of the great experts in learning languages. You could do a search on his name in YouTube and find some outstanding videos on how to learn or teach a language.) And a final word to the wise. Don't hold yourself to the Native speaker standard. The language you are learning and using, especially when you are communicating, is a real, valuable skill. Each native speaker speaks a little differently. You can too, Do have fun!

May 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexander183999

so much info and insight thank you!

May 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nick447035

The only thing in the world that "really helps" is to move to the country of the language you're learning and live there for a few years. Everything else is "book stuff". Using Duolingo and other online resources are only as good as reading a guide on "how to survive in the wild" is when it comes to actually surviving in the wild. You're going to learn how to do it...but you're not gonna know how to do it in a real world situation. Your main goal of learning something is to be able to DO IT, right? Your main goal of learning is not "to learn", it's "to do". The best way to learn how to "do it" is to get out there and...do it. Of course, online resoruces and book study definitely helps and gives you a leg up, but it doesn't matter how many books you read, you will be lost in the sauce the first time you attempt it for real. Speaking a new language for the first time in a REAL situation is like a system shoker to the entire brain and body. Then once you come out of shock you realize just how little you actually know in the language. Speaking is key to communicating. You have to SPEAK. Try a website that lets you connect with people from the country of the language you're learning, there's a lot of sites like that. Use that combined with Duolingo, youtube, Netflix and other resources and you'll be able to get REALLY far in your language learning.

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seattle_Scott

If you want to obtain native fluency then you need to live in a country where the language is spoken, but I can tell you from experience that studying a language before you go overseas is invaluable. When I lived in Japan the first time I had studied Japanese for two years at the university of Hawaii. I was miles ahead of foreigners I met in Japan who went without studying, and they never caught up with me.

Studying is good. Yes, it will only take you so far but it’s best to study before you go wherever you go. Duolingo is a huge help.

May 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis6_Costa_Rica

I disagree Sir, it is true that you wont be able to reach a native fluency if you aren't surrounded by a native environment, but when I started here I wasn't able sustain any type of conversation in portuguese or russian and now I can so if increasing your knowledge from 0% to 15%,30%,50%, is not "real help" than what it could be??? haha its a free app guys and no matter and what subject you are learning you'll always be able improve with any other type of aid.

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DiegoDutra

Sure! Duolingo helps a lot! The engagement is very great! Try to watch tv series, reading texts before you sleep and so on; keep motivated. Before you click to start a lesson on Duolingo, you can read the explanation, it's much better to understand! If you feel good using duolingo, continue the process and never stop studying.

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cumeon

Here's how I learned Russian. 1. - 1 solid year of Duolingo so that I get the basics right. 2. - mylanguageexchange.com account ( they're not paying me for this) and becoming penpals with a russian girl who helped me learn on skype, in exchange i helped her with English 3. - Lots of Russian movies and TVshows, vloggers and music 4. - A lot of love for Russian cculture and Language.

Duo gives you basics so that you can pull yourself up to fluency, but itself alone is not enough.

Right now I'm trying to do the same with German, which is considerably easier.

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LoganLawri

Yeah it does help bro because it teaches you to speak different langauges

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexander183999

wow! That was the most novel thing I've heard all day! ;) Just messing with you man!

May 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P-Code

It sure does. While it can't teach you everything, it can give you a sound foundation to help you go beyond. Before starting Russian, my first language on Duolingo, I had no idea how to learn a language. Without Duolingo, I doubt I would have gotten very far in Russian. To this day, when I'm at an intermediate level, it still helps me review and remember the basics.

If you're curious, here are the resources besides Duolingo I use (or used):

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/doolfsaxet

Thanks for that. I'd like to suggest that Real Russian Club on YT run by a personable woman (Daria) is worth looking at -all sorts of language learning techniques/methods are to be found.

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P-Code

Ah, I've seen one of her videos and heard her podcast a few times. Certainly worth looking at. A channel I recommend is Natasha Speaks Russian. She speaks only in Russian (all of her videos have subtitles in English and Russian, though) while explaining things that are useful for beginners and intermediate learners.

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

Yes, it really helps, but no course does everything, so here is a site that lists more resources:

http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Russian

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nick_Pr

It helps, but no you need more than just it. In addition to the resources people have mentioned, look into apps where you can exchange language with native speakers.

Tandem HelloTalk Speaky

Tandem has a lot of Russian speakers that are really nice and eager to talk and help.

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sple00

I doubt I will ever learn a language only with Duolingo, but Duo helps me tremendously with Russian. The most important thing with studying languages is practice and Duo gives me a lot of that. I have bought exercise books, but when you made an exercise in them you can't do it again and it never pronounce the words for you.

Duo isn't perfect, but it is a big improvement for language learning. We listen, read and write the same sentences which is very good repetition, but we need also to speak them. We will also need a little longer texts and speeches to read and listen to. Then of course I would like courses for Swedish speakers, there is none now!

If I want to learn yet another language I would buy a basic textbook, learn the alphabet, basic words and grammar and then start with Duolingo. Together with Duo I would learn vocabulary with another system (I don't like Tinycards at all). Later on I would try to find short easy texts and subtitled videos. That would be my best method to learn a language and Duolingo together with Anki and Forvo would be an important parts.

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuanDavid764392

i was just about asking the same question

May 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexander183999

dude!!!

May 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuanDavid764392

Hey dude whats up? :) yep, I think too, that duolingo is cool but I haven't been able to learn much with it after 40 - 60 days in a row using it , honestly, near to 2 years ago I started to learn German just with memrize and after a couple of weeks and without dedicating too much time to that I started to be able to put some words together, after 2-3 months I stoped to use it because I was already able to write and speak in german fluently (and also I just got bored of daily practice xb), then I know from my own experience that fluency is achievable with the the right method in a short period of time . Maybe doulingo is not the best method for me or maybe I have the wrong approach for studying with doulingo but honestly , I'm still trying to figure it out whether if I should stick a bit more with duolingo or if I should try to migrate to mermrize , or do my own flash card with anki and stick with spaced repetition methods, memorization techniques and things like that . Since I don't have much time to dedicate to russian (maybe 1 hour maximum per day) I'm not sure what to do (doing a personalized deck in anki is super effective but takes a long time, and the free decks aren't really helpful to memorize fast new words) then I'm still thinking what other approach should I take with duolingo to make the practice effective.

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Solarlynx

Duo is useful even for advanced learners. It helps to maintain all four basic skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) of the core of the language.

May 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexander183999

what about beginners?

May 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Solarlynx

Actually, Duo is designed for beginners. You can see it yourself when you try out of interest some language where you have zero knowledge.

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexey_Plushko

meh.. i wouldn't necessarily say so, it definitely helps with your progression and it's a lot of fun but at the same time it shouldn't be the main platform of your learning, you ought to learn the language by using broader tools, and don't shy away from classical approach like simply studying with a teacher.

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuoSlang

It really helped when I actually take a Spanish class along with this

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PycLearner

Memrise is very good for learning

May 11, 2018

[deactivated user]

    My Spanish teacher.

    May 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dragablue

    I would say that it is a very good way of building a foundation in that language. All the people I've spoken to who know languages though, have recommended just immersing yourself in it. Watching shows, talking to people over the phone, listening to music, even visiting a place where people speak it fluently!

    May 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/panderflax

    I took an intensive course for Russian last summer and I truly have learned a lot of Russian from using DuoLingo. If you don't have access to anything else it is definitely helpful. Also, having a good Russian textbook will help catapult you into a strong level of comprehension.

    May 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekah_01

    I'm learning Spanish and I really think its working but I'm also using books from the library to help

    May 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susan681595

    I've been learning Russian from mostly reading things online, and practicing the alphabet. But one thing that was challenging was verbalizing things. I might know what a word looks like in Cyrillic, but that's very different from knowing what it sounds like, or being able to say it. Unlike with other languages I felt too self conscious to try to say the things I'd learned out loud to native speakers, so I found it slowed my learning down significantly I've just started Duolingo, but I'm enjoying that it is getting me talking and using the alphabet. Although I'm having trouble getting my laptop to use the Cyrillic alphabet even though I've set it as an option.

    May 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ancientLINES

    If you want to practice with native speakers, try Interpals or Conversation Exchange.

    May 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Woof.

    You can't become fluent from using only Duolingo, but yes, it does help a lot. I recommend using other resources, like the ones Phopkins1 commented about.

    May 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/griann62

    I find Duolingo very accessible and the lesson notes while short are useful. I've used babbel.com as well which drills forms in but does not cover as much vocab as quickly as duo and the pimsleur course which is useful while exercising but has little theory. Right now my main need is to extend vocab so I work through the Russian edition of Tass translating a few articles every day (http://tass.ru/). I use wiktionary to make sure I render words into as neutral form as possible before adding to my flashcards.

    May 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrantEvans9

    hello my dudes

    May 15, 2018
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