Level 25 in six languages
Today marked an important milestone in my Duolingo journey — I reached Level 25 in my sixth language. The latest was Norwegian and the others have been German, Italian, Spanish, French, and Dutch. At the start of my Duolingo journey, I'd studied Italian and German at university and knew a bit about French. Spanish, Dutch and Norwegian came through Duolingo itself, although I've now gone on private lessons in Dutch, as I have to work in the Netherlands most years for up to a month. My next challenges are to bring Portuguese up to Level 25 from Level 20 and to continue my study of Romanian (abandoned for a while). In the future lies Arabic (assuming Duolingo develops it) and I'd love to see Latin join the Duolingo family (I have a degree in it, so it's close to my heart). Duolingo is a great tool thanks to those who developed it and those who keep it going. And if anyone wants to know, my favourite of the six is a toss up — Dutch, Norwegian and Spanish were all fantastic!
Congratulation!!!!! Oh by the way I would love if they added Latin too, I wanna be a veteran and Latin would help me in a lot of ways.
I would immediately take the course just so I can sound like a centurion when I am yelling at my neighbors to stop playing loud music in the middle of the night
Congratulations, that is a very impressive list.
How conversational are you in these languages? Can you converse comfortably with native speakers?
Thanks! To be honest, the languages I studied away from Duolingo in the context of university or private study are those I am most functional in — in Italian, German and Dutch, I can read, write and speak to a pretty high level. My first experience of French was an intensive reading course at university and I can read complicated/technical French without issue but I wouldn't chance speaking it. Of the two languages I know mainly from Duolingo, Norwegian and Spanish, I know (from reading articles on Norwegian Wikipedia) that I can read moderately difficult Norwegian (e.g. on political topics), although I wouldn't dare speak it to a native; and, as Spanish is so close to Italian, I can read it pretty well and have even ventured to speak it to natives. Of the six I have at Level 25, it's the one I think I could be best at and would come most easily if I took private lessons. Duolingo can only take you so far — then it's off for one-on-one or group lessons, more investigation of grammar, and structured conversation. I don't think Duolingo can offer you any of those things easily.
Yes, Duolingo only takes you so far. But you don't have to take "classes" to get further. There ARE textbooks and audio programs for the intermediate and advanced level. Unless you tried those and they failed, isn't it unfair to say that you "need" classes to go further?
I KNOW that I became fluent in German without a single classes but learned close to nothing in language classes in school. Four years and already I know more French than I EVER knew Spanish. And I studied French on Duolingo, with textbooks from the library, the BBC French course online and youtube lessons. I already had a text conversation with a native speaker and while I butchered some tenses, he understood and I got some corrections.
Language learning is my hobby and private lessons are simply too expensive to justify for a hobby. And I already know that I hate group. Someone always doesn't know something you already know and you get to sit through it, then you get to do homework you might not need to do. You either get weekly group, which moves too slow, or daily group, which means you're rushing somewhere every day after work and all your time for self-study and other hobbies is taken up by it. I've known people who took a full year of beginners group classes and can't even order a meal in that language, so it can go both ways.
Self-study after Duolingo is possible and while working with B1-C1 audiobooks, graded readers, textbooks and finding conversation partners isn't for everyone, neither are classes. I'm not a classes person. I hated school but loved learning what I wanted to learn at my own pace and in my own way. Whenever I took a class in anything, I NEVER learned as much as I did on my own. I also have test anxiety which really, any classes that have tests will do nothing but make me miserable as I memorize everything for the test vs. learning.
Honestly, I'm afraid that you might discourage people who dislike classes and/or have no money for them but have never self-studied a language. You needing classes doesn't mean that everyone does. When it comes to learning, I'm pretty self-sufficient. Some people like it when the teacher tells them what to learn and are lost without that, but I hate it. What I do like is a "language partner" whom I can go to with questions and who will correct my mistakes. It just comes down to all of us being different. Most of what I do well, I taught myself. I even taught myself to read before I went off to school.
Well, we all learn languages without taking any classes in grammar or even using Duolingo — our native languages. My own experience has been that my strongest languages are the ones I did study intensively away from Duolingo, with teachers who could clarify my grammatical questions; in the company of texts and literature that built my vocabulary, my real-world experience of grammar, and my exposure to other cultures; and with the help of fellow bumblers as we tried our hands for the first time (and, in a sense, every time is the first time) at sentence construction and conversation. I don't think Duolingo, fine as it is, can give you any of this, but that's very far from saying it's without value. We are all self-starters in whatever language we're learning, but it's my firm belief that language, in the fullest sense of the word, is a communitarian and dialogic experience fundamentally and, however people end up getting that part of the language-learning experience, I'd encourage them to go in search of it.
All I can say is "WOW!!!" - that is totally amazing! You are such a dedicated learner and have indeed achieved a huge milestone. Keep working hard because you are quite an inspiration to all Duolingo learners! Buena suerte!
I also think that Latin would be a great addition to the Duolingo courses!
Thanks! Your support is humbling. All I can say from my own experience is that having a passion for languages and the cultures they represent is very important, but just putting one foot in front of the other day after day (at least 940 in my case — I lost a previous streak of about 360 days) is also very important if one wants to reach one's language goals.
Great advice - learning is all about perseverance and you have definitely proven that!
Really looking forward to Arabic. Like Irish, it should be a real journey into the unfamiliar.
Obviously, to reach Level 25 in six languages, I used to practise A LOT — originally I was working on four languages and would spend 15 minutes a day on each (i.e. 1 hour per day). But when I changed to trying to work consistently on six, I used to do just two languages in rotation every day, again about 15 minutes per language. Even I would have gone mad if I'd kept up my original rate...!
Congratulations! I only have the one so far but I'm hoping to add a few others like yourself. This is some good inspiration.
If you haven't tried it, I'm digging Swedish a lot. I think it might have similarities to Norwegian (it's been a while since I dabbled in Norwegian) like tacking definite articles onto the back of nouns.
I might give Swedish a go, but they say that Danish (of the three Scandinavian languages) is the trickiest and the challenge appeals!
Danish pronunciation is definitely difficult. A lot of the vocabulary is very close to Norwegian, but the Norwegians are much better at spelling the words as they are pronounced whereas Danish has a lot of extra letters and strange spellings. I have heard it recommended that if you want to learn a Scandinavian language, it's good to start with Norwegian as the pronunciation is close to Swedish and the vocab very close to Danish. So you are half way there on both of them. :-)
This is fantastic man! Inspiring, considering I'm close to finishing my Spanish tree (golden). I'd love to be at that level of fluency in 6 languages.
Toutes mes félicitations ! Si tu as un niveau 25 sur Duolingo en français, cela doit vouloir dire que tu comprends bien la langue. Pareil pour l'allemand, le néerlandais, l'italien, le norvégien, l'espagnol, le portugais et bientôt le roumain. Bonne chance !
That's awesome! Congrats, that's a great achievement. What would you say your levels are in those languages?
I'm pretty good with Italian, German, and Dutch — all languages I have studied outside Duolingo — and with French, which I read very well. I think I could probably get my Spanish to a higher level given my familiarity with Italian. Norwegian has been great fun and I have surprised myself by being able to read material from Norwegian Wikipedia. Duolingo actually does work!
Indeed, Duolingo is a splendid opportunity for language learners; despite some weaknesses here and there. But it is just these weaknesses which encourage communication among the users.
Congratulations! So far I haven't reached the 25 lvl in any language, but soon I will!
First of all congratulations!. I would like to know which level do you claim that you have in the international framework? (a2, b1, b2)
Thanks a lot. I've never looked into that issue, so I don't know. Suffice it to say that I only speak in Italian and German when I'm in those countries. I studied both at university. I wouldn't class myself as a native-equivalent speaker in either although I can and do speak perfectly conversational, even sophisticated (in the case of Italian) Italian and German and read literature and technical material in both languages. My Dutch is a bit hesitant as a speaker but fine as a reader of even quite difficult material (i.e. real literature). French I do read quite well, including technical material, but I'm shy about speaking it. Spanish (you can see from post below) I can also read pretty well. Norwegian has just been a 'for fun' language — great fun it's been too.
That's wonderful ! Are you fluent in dutch ?
edit : not dutch sorry , I wanted to say german ! (I confuse dutch and german all the time lol)
Not at all — I still find the kind of German I have to read most of the time (technical stuff) a real slog; but Germans seem to delight in making things complex. Strangely, reading poetry is much easier. I can easily hold a conversation and listen to the German news without issue most days.
Yes, seems like it, the new possibility to test out of "crown levels" has given some of my trees a boost - getting lots of XP for testing out on the basic skills over and over again. ;-)
Very cool! I admire your drive and look forward to getting my first 25 this year (français).
How long did it take to get six 25s?
Thanks and good luck with your own efforts. I think I've been on Duolingo for about 1300 days but I reached Level 25 in Italian and German very quickly through testing out of skills. Originally I worked very heavily on Dutch and got to Level 25 probably soon after my first year. Spanish, Norwegian and French happened within the last couple of months. I despaired of reaching French Level 25 but persistence does count for something.
I can read at a high level in French, German, Italian and Dutch, less well in Spanish and Norwegian. I would only class myself as a speaker of German and Italian and to a lesser extent Dutch and French. I think it would only take a little work to bring Spanish up to scratch at a spoken level because I speak Italian. I don't class myself as any kind of speaker of Norwegian.
Do you think you'd be able to live in France, Germany, Italy or the Netherlands easily?
I have lived in Italy speaking Italian without much of a problem and do speak German and Dutch when I'm in those countries (although I think living there would present some problems). I wouldn't trust my French to live in France, though!
Not making any claims for myself with that great picture — I'm really interested in Byzantine art and that is a real masterwork of that tradition. Thanks for your support.
Ciao e Congratulations! I am Level 25 in just one language but it means a lot and I love every lesson, even Pronouns. So be proud if you too are a "uni-lingua" like me:-)
Grazie mille! L'italiano è una delle più belle lingue del mondo e assolutamente vale la pena. Forza!
I'm down to about half an hour a day on two languages (in alternation) but originally it was MUCH more!
I wasn't sure because one of your language badges (what you're currently learning) shows an American flag.
That's because I have several reverse trees up my sleeve as well — Italian-English and Dutch-English at least — as a way of reinforcing my language skills. I think I also tried Spanish-Italian (or the reverse) but that was too much for my poor brain.
Congratulations!! I tried to learn several languages at the same time but I got awfully mixed up. So I am concentrating on Italian at the moment. For you, it was no problem I guess.
Far from being mixed up, I actually found that the languages all reinforced each other. My languages are either in the Germanic group or in the Romance group and are generally sufficiently different from each other not to interfere with other even if they do reinforce each other (that's definitely the case with the Germanic languages I've been studying). The hardest pair was Spanish/Portuguese, which I could never practise directly after each other. They're just too close to each other except for the weird and seemingly unmotivated moments when they diverge from each other.
When you do your two languages a day, do you match similar languages or ones from different families? (and congrats!!)
Depends on how adventurous I feel — normally I do one from each group but sometimes I'm lazy and do two from one group. I never follow Spanish with Portuguese though. That would be too confusing!
Congratulations!!! It is so amazing how you have dedicated your time and effort into these many languages! If Duolingo does develop Arabic then I too will try to do it! Right now I'm learn Norwegians (Bokmal) sister language Danish! It is quite hard but I believe it will be worth it!! I know people who speak all of these languages and I've heard how complex they are in there own little way! Well, anyway you've done an amazing job and I wish you the best for the languages and hardships to come! So for now I say, Farvel!
Thanks so much and good luck with your own language journey. A little bit each day really does make the difference!
Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Arabisch sieht mir auch sehr interessant aus. Viel Spaß!
Hola jweretka, veo que tu nivel de espanol es 25, así que entiendo que si te escribo en espanol o cualquier otra lengua lo podrás pillar al vuelo en cero coma o ese numerajo es algo aproximado a tu nivel. Es una pregunta que quiero saber para ver el nivel de aprendizaje de duolingo. Si has entendido todo sin ayuda de un traductor dímelo y seguiré estudiando.
Without consulting a dictionary, I think I can work out that you have written: 'Hi jweretka, I see that your Spanish level is 25, so I understand that if I write to you in Spanish or some other language you will be able to take the flight in 0.0 [?] or this number is something approximate to your level. It is a question that I want to know to see the level of instruction [?] of Duolingo. If you have understood everything without the assistance of a translator tell me and I will keep studying.' Evidently 'pillar al vuelo en cero coma' is an idiom of some kind and Duolingo barely teaches them, so I can't be blamed for not knowing that. I knew no Spanish a couple of years ago, so I hope this is some measure of what it can achieve. You shouldn't need me to translate a paragraph of Spanish to bolster your enthusiasm for language learning. Your own passion should take you there.
BRAVO! je suis impressionnée! Vous êtes vraiment motivé! Je tâcherai de suivre votre exemple
My languages are divided between Germanic languages (Dutch, German, Norwegian) and Romance languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese). Languages within each group are sufficiently unlike each other not to cause massive confusion and actually to bolster each other with the exception of Spanish and Portuguese, which I find so like each other that I cannot practise one after the other.
Sorry for some reason it wouldn't let me reply to your last comment just CTRL+F and search for my name and you'll see what you last replied if you can't remember, so you'd say that your strongest language is Italian then? Do you think I'd be able to learn Danish to a point of fluency within a year or two?
Italian is definitely my strongest language, but I have learnt it for many years (in actual lessons), lived there, and am constantly reading in it at all levels. Danish is said to be pretty hard, but I have a friend who had no Danish at all before moving there and was certainly fluent within a year (necessity compelled her!). I think there is no way one could be fluent in any foreign language by using Duolingo alone — it's just too limited, doesn't actually teach grammar, doesn't give you extended stretches of conversation, arguably doesn't teach you sentences that are all that helpful, etc. Nothing like surviving in a foreign country to help you to learn the language.
Of course I'll be using other ways of learning other than Duolingo. Thanks for your help. I also have a few years before I can think of moving to Denmark which should therefore be more than enough time to become fluent.