1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Going to Germany Question


Going to Germany Question

Say if we finish the German tree, can we go to Germany and like learn it in three months, with practice, maybe some lessons by Goethe academy (I heard it's good) and interaction?

I'd appreciate your thoughts a lot.

Thanks in advance!

(I know it's not just that simple, but with a lot of effort, do y'all think it's possible?)

May 20, 2018



Three months looks very short to me. Duolingo, much as I like it, only takes us to level A2/low B1, and it has a strong focus on reading and writing. Having conversations in a foreign language is an entirely different cup of tea. So this would probably be a hurdle to overcome, which will probably take time.

Goethe-Institut is indeed a very good address. I once knew a student from Afghanistan who spoke excellent German; he learned it at the Goethe-Institut.

How far do you want to develop your skills? What do you want to do with them?


thanks! (i meant after finishing duolingo, going there)

i want to learn german to talk to other people and go there to study later when I'm older


I've been in Germany/Austria for the past 6 weeks and my German actually got worse at first because I wasn't practicing as intensively as I was at home, and everyone I met spoke much better English than I spoke German. But I've definitely picked up a lot more vocab, and I'm really amazed by how much I can understand (especially reading--I go to a lot of museums, and sometimes they don't have English-language material, and I can read the German explanations as long as they aren't too technical). 3 months isn't long, but if you can manage to isolate yourself from your native language, you can accomplish a lot. I think the hardest part for a lot of people is not using English!


that goes for both you and many Germans ;-)


I had this problem as well whenever travelling to Germany for work. Work got busy (mostly speaking English on the job) and too tired to continue Duolingo lessons in the evening. Then your working colleagues speaking their Dialect (Swabisch) during breaks!


ElyseGardner take Benny Lewis (a legend polyglot)'s advice and try not speaking any German at all - maybe it'll improve even if you make a lot of mistakes


Ich verstehe leider diesen Satz nicht. Warum soll ElyseGardner den Rat von Benny befolgen NICHT Deutsch zu sprechen?

Sorry, I do not understand your sentences.
Why shall ElyseGardner not follow Bennys advise and try not to speak German at all?

Bennys advise actually is to "speak from day 1" the target language.

So you probably meant not to speak English at all and it is a typo?


I assume it was a typo! ;-) I'm so shy, which is a big problem... I speak really quietly, and people don't understand me. But I'm planning to move to Germany soon, and I think listening to people speak will help, judging from my experience in other foreign languages. It's easier once you get accustomed to hearing the sounds of the language from people around you... It sort of sinks into your consciousness and feels more natural.

Part of the trouble is that it's embarrassing to force people to deal with your bad German when it would be easier to speak English. But of course not everyone speaks English. I'll be focussing on improving my German skills for the next few months, so hopefully I'll have more confidence soon and will be able to progress more rapidly in conversation skills.

  • 2009

Everything is possible, it depends on you, how hard you work and how easy/difficult you personally find German language (compared to other languages).


I'd actually argue it depends a large part on how you work and learn more than how hard. I know I've spent a lot of time on inefficient learning over the last few years.


Acknowledging that you have spent time on inefficient learning, may I ask what you have found to be efficient? Or do you believe that it depends on the person.


thanks i'm trying my hardest


"My experience when I tested my German level at Goethe Institute": https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27301338

My personal experiences:

  • Once you have completed your DuoLingo EN-DE tree, you will not have levelled up all ~17-20 verb (grammar) skills to crown levels L4 / L5 (gold)!

  • Personally I do still struggle with the more complicated (PT) grammar skills after finishing my (forward) tree 6 months ago....

  • I probably should have manually reviewed those bottom skills (e.g Imperative, Subjunctives) at the end of my tree much more often (or bought a good grammar book).......but the "DL Practice" button highly focuses on the first quarter or half of my tree.

I would like to own an interactive grammar student workout book / software :-)

  • Example:
    The EN-Portuguese (forward) tree took me about one year on the DL web portal (typing) to complete with DAILY Memrise training in parallel.

  • DuoLingo was IMHO not built to rush through your tree....and if you do, your retention is not that good if you have not used 3rd party spaced repetition (SR) flashcards Memrise/AnkiSRS/SuperMemo, etc. in parallel.

DuoLingo mobile app users (tapping word bricks, too less recalling, too many hints) often make this error to finish too many lessons/skills at once...
The magic on active L2 target language production (RECALLING, being able to build sentences) in writing relied with DuoLingo on the reverse tree German-English which focuses - on the web portal - on a high ratio in translations into German (before crowns), even for crown levels L0, L1, L2 (L3).

  • My PT-EN / PT-DE reverse tree(s) will take me another ~9-12+ months to complete.

  • I do not think that DuoLingo is the right resource, if you need or want to learn a language in a very short time and where your focus is more onto practical speaking or your goal is "reaching a conversational get-by level".

  • You might find didactical teaching sources, two person dialogs, stories, "the right high frequency" words mixed with native recorded dialogs / sentences on CDs more suitable to learn that way....

I can not rush through my Mondly EN-PT tree in just 3 months either....

If you take a local 3+ months full-time class and you have already built some good language basics or reached at least an intermediate level, I am sure that this would give you a huge boost, especially if varying teachers drill on speaking, listening, group interactions, etc.

This was very true and successful with my "Business English" class at Berlitz years ago (with many years of learning/reading English before).

BliuBliu had 30 day challenges, Benny Lewis is talking about "fluent in 90 days":

This much time pressure would definitely not have been working for me trying to learn Portuguese from scratch.

But I neither would have been interested to book 14 days vacation classes lasting 3-4h+ hours per day like others do and being overwhelmed with too much new vocabulary (if we straight focus on the first 1500-3000).

If I had to spend the money and I were you, I would probably not go abroad too soon this summer....or use a different learning concept.

On the other side, you sound much like this could be the motivation you need to push forward, so why not.
Seeing new things opens your mind.
Sometimes it helps to set strict short-term goals!
Try your best!

Another example:
On Lingvist I "learned" 1000 new Spanish words in 11 days and 20 hours (very different approach than DuoLingo+Memrise+Mondly).

If you want, you can try hard to learn the first 2000/3000 to 4000 words (find your general max words / day factor 15-30 vs 50-100/150+).

But focus on to learn to "build sentences" with less words.
Less is more?! :-)

On AnkiSRS or Memrise I can learn more words more easily and Anki even supports a "cram mode filtered deck"....

Lingvist in comparison is picky with word (over-)repeats if the correction rate is too low.
Tom Crewther went to France (multiple cities, multiple schools) for several months to learn French and shared multiple videos and tips how he firstly learnt German on his Youtube channel.

learn meaning conversational get-by level

Hmm, to reach this:

  • I really have to do much more in Portuguese (listening Podcasts, TV shows, chattin/speaking drills) and IMHO I will probably even not have achieved your goal once I finished my PT-DE reverse tree!

  • Once I have finished the Mondly topics (e.g At the restaurant 1-4, Airport 1+2, etc.) I can imagine how my mind goes immediate blank when I would actually have to use that stuff I learned before in real-life situations :-)

  • at the moment I do not have the feeling that I would be "ready" after 1,5 years to go to Brazil to "practice" some of the DuoLingo/Memrise stuff I learned before in real life.

  • Unfortuantely Mondly is not really based on spaced repetition (SR) and does not support (unlike DigitalPublishing software) to mark words or store sentences for future repetitions in a "My words" database.
    If you want you can start a "90 days challenge" thread for others to join, how Angela did it when she learned Polish (on the DL mobile app).

"Binge learning" probably might work there faster than on the web portal (I do not recommend both).

Good luck with your mission.

Viele Grüße


Perhaps you should make it clear exactly what your goal is. Is your goal to learn German in three months? Because if so, you're going to need to define what "learn German" means. You won't build a vocabulary of 10,000 to 20,000 words in three months, which is the vocabulary size typical of a native speaker. Could you build a vocabulary of 3,000 words, which is generally the vocabulary size at which you can read newspaper and magazine articles independently without constantly resorting to a dictionary? That might be possible in three months, bearing in mind that that means learning something like 20 to 30 words a day. You can definitely learn some German in three months, but you won't be able to "learn German in three months" in the sense of reaching real fluency in that period of time.


learn meaning conversational get-by level

have you heard of benny lewis? maybe not. If he could do it, i can too


Benny Lewis' claim of being "fluent in three months" is based on conversational fluency, in the sense of being able to hold a regular conversation on the street without many awkward pauses. That's one usage of a language, and yes, if you practice diligently, you might be able to do that after three months of learning. If that is your end goal, then yes, three months can probably get you to a point where you can have basic conversations in a restaurant or coffee shop. Just understand that you won't be going into any great depth in those conversations; for casual chat, it could work.


That's also after already learning a dozen languages. I'm personally not convinced ;-)


and wow Druckles look at your streak


yeah that's where i will start, but expand from that later


fyi Benny Lewis is a legend. He's a polyglot that learns languages in three mos


well, i think that people who have learned many languages already have it easier to learn new languages... like after each language it gets a little more easy for the next one? simply because their brain is used to it.


This is an idea I've heard several times, but I don't think it's true, or at least, it depends on the person. I have seen many people who learned several languages, and then the languages all jumble together in their head: when they're trying to think of the word for "spoon" in Hungarian, they can only think of the word in Chinese, for example. I think it depends on how good a person is at keeping concepts atomic: if you have the sort of brain that can keep a lot of pieces of information neatly ordered and recall them at a moment's notice, then yes, maybe, but a lot of people have brains that don't store details very well, and for those people, all those languages just end up blending together. I think it has parallels to mental math: if you can easily and correctly multiply 482,752 with 836,354 in your head (which is mostly about keeping information ordered without mixing up digits), then you are probably good at language acquisition because you can remember details. That's just my opinion though, and there are plenty of people who learned a lot of languages, and think that because it worked for them, it can work for anyone.


that's a good point but I'm just gonna try learning German, not other languages


that's true. it's because of the cognates and because of the similar grammar and word structures etc


I recommend that you do DW Nicos' Weg in addition to Duo. Nicos is a more complete course and it has a lot of useful sentences that can help you to talk. The course goes to a real B1 level. In the beginning it is easy of course, but the complexity increases and the examples are real life situations, the vocabulary is very useful. If you objective is to learn German Nicos is a better resource than duo.


I've been looking at this too, but haven't started. Sounds like a good recommendation though!


I think Nicos is the best free online course for serious learners. It is not as nice as Duo, but it is nice.


i have met people here who came to Germany and couldn't speak German at all not even a single word but were able to converse 4 months later... of course it was not fluent but one could understand them.. with duolingo u can possible reach a level of A2 (in spoken language)-B1(in written language) in German maybe if u use other sources as well u can go even a little higher. if you have a B1 level by the time you arrive you are already able to have conversations with german people from the start. . so i think it is highly possible... the only question would be how long the course at the Goethe Institut goes (if it is longer then 3 months).


i was thinking maybe the summer one

thanks for the info and support


Try the 100 days FREE native-recorded MP3 www.50languages.com course with free text scripts (or you buy the Book2), also available on Android and as a user-created Memrise course :-)

have you heard of benny lewis? maybe not. Benny Lewis is a legend. He's a polyglot that learns languages in three months. If he could do it, i can too

Here you go: https://www.memrise.com/course/1249877/language-hacking-german-official/

There are e.g the 90 days #add1challenges if you really want to push yourself.
But they probably use different resources than DuoLingo...


I know I girl who became a foreign exchange student at the age of 12. She went to Germany for a month and when she came back she had achieved fluency. I don't know if it was because she was so young, or she was just good at learning languages.

I think it's possible if you set your mind to it and immerse yourself in the German culture.


thanks I'll do that


A friend of mine living in Italy said she knew many people who had learnt a little Italian and then travelled to Italy for an intensive course. Apparently while in the short term they could remember a little, within a very short space of time they had forgotten most of what they'd done. My experience is, learn a language thoroughly in your home country by whatever method your choose (language classes, CDs, computer) and then go to the country. I completed Linguaphone, doing an hour a day for a year, followed it up with a month of grammatical exercises, and spoke good French as soon as I arrived in a French-speaking country. I'm hoping not quite so much effort is required for Italian and I'm hoping the same thing will happen once I spend some time in Italy (next year) but I think it will. I've also taught children English using the same method, and they were really fluent in about three months.


I completed the EN>DE tree in three months to a minimum of level 2 on the crowns. To do this, I generally put in at least an hour per day. I still do not feel conversational. I can text (slowly) with my German friends and they understand what I'm saying even if it's not 100% correct.
I took German in HS and some in College. I also worked there for about a year (20 years ago), but as others have said, most often the Germans wanted to practice their English and I didn't get to work on real conversational fluency in German.
I am going to Germany this fall for a few weeks and will potentially move there in a few years.

Keep at it. There will be points where you think you'll never understand it and other points in time where you think you totally get it. Neither are true! :-) Surround yourself in German Music, Netflix, podcasts, DL and other learning resources.

BTW - I do not consider myself to be a good student of languages (including English)


Thanks for your feedback!


If you combine with what Goethe teaches, you will do fine.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.