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Update: Did it add words?

Reading old post it seemed we could get close to learning 3,000 words on Duolingo. I'm currently at 2,836 and feel my vocabulary is no where close to fluency. I believe 10,000 words is considered fluent. Does anyone know if the update added words? My only real complaint with Duolingo is that it seems to be for beginners only, hoping the update helped this issue. I'm still too dumb to read anything harder than Clifford or Curious George.

June 6, 2018



The most important things is that duolingo gave me the confidence to start expressing myself in Spanish... From that point of view I became much more fluent and started to talk and be part of the conversation with my Spanish speaking friends once I completed the tree... the vocabulary keeps getting better from then on.


Duolingo gives you a good basis for achieving fluency but it will not get you anywhere near fluent by itself. You will need extra vocabulary and immersion to become fluent.


I believe 10,000 words is considered fluent.

In English maybe, not in Spanish, which has a much smaller vocabulary than English. You could probably get away with half that and still speak and understand 80-90% of average conversations.

Also, duolingo's word count of 3,000 words is a misnomer. How many words is 100 verbs x 6 conjugations x 3 or 4 tenses? That's a lot of words just in verbs alone even accounting for duplicates.


I should have worded this different. I know Duolingo isn't getting me to fluency. I guess its more around, will I ever get beyond a kindergarten reading level? The lowest reading level series of book I've found is La Casa De Arbol or The Magic Treehouse. I hope to order it soon, but at a 2.5 reading level I find it incredibly difficult.

Totally agree with different verb conjugations inflating my word count. All the more reason, I'm hoping the update added vocabulary. I really wish it practiced more with verb tenses other than present and uses pronouns more. Reading and speaking I get thrown off by pronoun word order and more difficult word tenses.


I guess its more around, will I ever get beyond a kindergarten reading level?

I guess that depends on how much work you put in to learning the language?

Duolingo isn't going to teach you everything you need to know, I think you realise that. You just need to treat duolingo as a learning tool, to teach the fundamental constructs and syntax of the language, once you have that nailed down, you can go off an expand your vocabulary.

It's not the purpose of duolingo to teach you all the words you need to know, its purpose is to give you a fundamental understanding of the language and a platform to practice that understanding.

You see people complaining about the frequency of cat, dog, duck and so on that appear in sentences. They're missing the point of duolingo sentences. Those sentences aren't testing you on whether you know what Spanish for dog is, they're testing you on the concepts, construction and verb tenses/conjugations of the sentence. If you introduce too much vocabulary too quickly, people become overwhelmed, so they use familiar words to help focus on the actual concepts being taught.

I really wish it practiced more with verb tenses other than present and uses pronouns more.

Well, yes. But I just finished my Crown Level 5 in Verbs Present 3 and that contained 120 lessons of about 10-12 sentences per lesson. That's a lot of practice on Present Tense verbs! It looks like Preterite has about the same. There's a lot of sentences in there with pronoun usage as well!

This is where duolingo is very good, many, many sentences to practice on and to look up mistakes in the forum to understand why you made a mistake and what you need to do to correct it.

Sadly, there's no quick, fast and easy way to learn a language apart from constant word repetition and practice.

Keep at it, you'll get there!


I tried looking for an excerpt or example from these books, to see if I can read it. Couldn’t find one.

But you mention 2.5, is that the age for these books? Cause I was seeing age 6-9.

Am I misunderstanding or are you thinking these books are for younger kids?

Also even a 3 year old is going to be very fluent. They have spent 3 years doing nothing but learning, they don’t have anything else to do.


I guess I don't understand reading level things. I read its level N. I was quoting the grade level equivalent, which 2.5 I would assume means 2nd grades read these books. The next lowest series I found in spanish was the Boxcar Children which are just over a 3, which I take it to mean 3rd graders read it. Dr. Suess and Clifford are around a 1, which makes sense I started learning to read in 1st grade.

I did a lot of the duolingo stories when it first came out. I just re-downloaded the app when I got an email about the crown update. I'm hoping its more challenging for me. Sounds like its gonna be when I get in the higher levels. Since I hadn't used the app in so long its got me starting from the ground and redoing the easiest of exercises. :(


Have you tried the duolingo stories? I believe they increase in difficulty.


Spicey, I disagree. Every verb conjugation is a word in Spanish. If you get it wrong or use the wrong tense, you will be misunderstood. Verbs are the most important concept in Spanish in my opinion. The word Ir (to go) is nothing like the verb, Voy (I go), Vas (you go) va, vamos , van etc. That’s just present tense. Fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fueron, (past tense). They are not interchangeable.


Yeah isn’t that like saying a word list for English contains only one word when the list looks like this I can You can They can We can It can


Um, in Spanish that would produce a lot more words than 'can':


How many different words to do see on that page and we're supposed to learn that lot?


Can and my list was just an example.

But I think I misread your earlier post.

So just ignore me :P


What are you disagreeing with?

I was simply saying that duolingos word list of about 3,000 words is misleading as it doesn't consider all of the verbs and various conjugations and tenses of them in the total word count.

I'm not sure I was suggesting that verbs and their conjugations weren't important?


Aha! I interpreted your post exactly the opposite of what you meant! However, in my defense, I thought the Word list does account for conjugations. If you look at the profile, Spanish counts 1500 something words. 3000 in the Word list. Forgive me Spicey?


De nada!

Having recently learnt all of the Present Tense verbs learnt so far in the two Preterite Past tense -ar and -er/-ir conjugations, I'm feeling particularly vindictive towards Spanish verbs at the moment!


A lingot for your understanding and forgiveness of me!


I think duolingo is a good start but not a complete program.

Maybe try other apps like Clozemaster (I think it has 25k words) or memrise?


Starting to read is sometimes a matter of plunging in and suffering through it. Get a popular novel for adults (not literature but something that is considered easy reading.) Start reading the first page. Underline the words you don't know. Look them up at the end of the page, read the page again. Repeat until you finish the book. Use the words for vocab training.

It will suck a lot but you WILL have read your first book and learned an immense amount of new words.

If this feels like too herculean a task, do the same but with a Wiki page.


That's kind of how I've been feeling. Plunge in and suffer through it. Still wish Duolingo could get me to a 2nd grade vocabulary so it would be slightly easier. I'm officially up to 2,861 words learned here. Is anyone over 3,000 words learned?


Carlos' thread "Current vocabulary sizes of most courses in Duolingo": https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24527279

Current vocabulary sizes of most courses in Duolingo (Update after 8 months): https://www.duolingo.com/comment/27444256

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