cant keep up with learning(french)

i was motivated and excited to learn in the beginning. the instructions for the lessons were small and simple.

now that im into 'questions' and 'pronouns 1' i cant keep up.

and i dont like doing the lessons when i can't understand the written instructions.

maybe im just at my learning limit.

pretty sure i have a learning disability.

i wish duo kept the lessons small.

i wouldnt mind doing a longer tree if it meant i was actually learning a little at a time.

im not interested in finishing the tree as fast as possible.

i do enjoy repeating lessons over and over again because i feel it gives me confidence and i enjoy it.

but when i want to move on i feel like the next lesson has to much.

so im stuck in this space where i want to keep reviewing because i like the repetition but want to move on, but cant because there are to many instructions and it confuses me.

May 25, 2018


Well, I have been a Special Education teacher and I'm fairly sure you aren't dyslexic, if that helps. Personally, I suspect you don't have a learning disability. The reality is that there are parts to the various trees that tend to be more difficult for us to grasp than others. I cheerfully admit that I loathe the questions skill on French because I find it so damned hard. I suspect the problem isn't your brain, it is that French has a different method of asking questions with about 20 different ways to do it than English does. I have completed the French tree, I can read French moderately well, but I recently went back to working on it because I got the new beta version with extra skills and the crowns system motivated me to go back and rework the skills again. I'm finding the questions section to be rough. We will eventually get it, but that is a tricky area so don't feel bad about it.

As for the pronouns skills area, the tough part about that is sentence structure in French. Write down the pronouns and review them on your own. I admit to still making errors in figuring whether the direct object is right after the subject or at the end too in French. And I'm certified to teach English in six states.

May 25, 2018

When you start feeling overwhelmed, that's a sign that you need to quit pushing forward and spend some time reviewing older lessons. I do TONS more review than new lessons. At least ten reviews for every new lesson. Learning a language takes lots and lots of repetition.

If you are doing the lessons on a mobile app, I suggest using the website instead. On the website, beside the "Start" button for each skill there is a little light bulb. Click it, and you'll see the tips and notes for that skill. The tips and notes are super helpful. I usually keep them open in one tab on my browser and do the lessons in another tab.

May 26, 2018

Hi Lrtward,

I believe you found a topic which makes sense to discuss outside of this thread, better in a new thread, to bring it to the attention of all people.

On the website, beside the "Start" button for each skill there is a little light bulb. Click it, and you'll see the tips and notes for that skill

Clicking on the lightbulb button on a skill on the "Home" page and opening it in the same browser tab is IMHO just a little bit too time consuming.

A dedicated browser tab does not seem to be supported, to open multiple skills at the same time?

The little "lightbulb button" URL link is dead, just JavaScript. I can not click it with the right mouse to bring the context menu about opening this page in a new broser tab.

Therefore to open the "tips and notes" for 17-20 verb skills, you would have to open the "Home" page 17 times?!?

I usually keep them open in one tab on my browser and do the lessons in another tab.

The very nice thing about the SHOF progress page is, that it can show multiple "tips and notes" for several skills on a single page (all preloaded).

Perfect place to review the notes / re-strengthen skills back to gold (100%) when all the essential informations are not up-to-date in my head anymore.

This is especilly true for the 17-20 verb (tense) skills.

May 27, 2018

Notice that duo has language trees, which I think is appropriate. Learning a language is more like planting a tree than growing a garden. Go slow and steady. If you’re frustrated then review instead of trying to conquer new lessons. Measure your success in months and years rather than days. It will come.

May 26, 2018

Hi Scott,

what about a "flower garden"?

I am planting and watering "flowers" on Memrise ;)

May 27, 2018

you're not alone!

i've only got a handful of lessons left to do and i definitely still experience this struggle every few times. there are some lessons in the tree that you will find too hard (usually because they are just things that you can't relate to your native tongue, or just can't logically get your head around... yet!)

what i do when i come across these lessons, if i spend ages trying to get through it and still continue to fail, i'll drop out of the lesson. forcing myself only gets me more frustrated and prone to making errors.

then, i'll go back to where i was the most comfortable with (ahh, sweet sweet "basics 2") and drill them a few times. it helps me remember that i have come so far, and what i couldn't do a few months ago i can do with great ease now - this is what the current lesson you're struggling with will be soon!

sometimes i'll do some "practise" since they don't count for your tree and it's a good chance to refresh your knowledge and relax.

then, a few days later i come back to the lesson i struggled with. 9 times out of 10, i can focus and break it down easier, having been exposed to it previously and given my mind time to subconsciously work on it.

the most important thing is to recognise that you have done things you've never been able to do before, and you will continue to! take a break, take a breather, keep going.

i hope this helps!

May 26, 2018

Often times when something seems difficult it's because it hasn't been explained the way you'd best understand it. I'll give you an example with the questions part.

The 'est-ce que' vs 'est-ce qui' is explained with reference to subjects and objects. I personally don't bother with trying to figure out these things, because I grew up trilingual and simply spoke and wrote the way everyone else would.

So instead I just notice patterns. And in this situation, the pattern is that qui is always right next to a verb. So qui is a dummy subject, and it seems to act the same as "Il/elle/on". Simply put, if a verb is sitting by itself, then you have to use qui before it, even though they both translate to 'that'. The 'que/qui' that comes before 'est-ce que/qui' on the other hand is simply 'what/who'.

This pattern holds up in the pronoun section. "L'homme que je connais." vs "L'homme qui court." (The man that I know. vs The man that runs.)

May 26, 2018

Maybe it is time for good / better grammar book or to search for an online video tutor on italki or another online French learning website, to explain to you didactially how you can master those two skills?

Are there any grammar FAQ detail threads like I see them with Portuguese (big content list) on the discussion forum?

May 27, 2018
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.