How good is your Russian after you complete the tree?
I am very curious about the level people get when they complete the tree! If you did or if you know someone who did, can you explain how good it is after completing the tree?
P.S: I don't imply the Duolingo level, I mean the level you can speak and understand the language in real life. :)
When I finished the course, it taught me about 1500 unique words, then I started to get more vocabulary and started reading some texts over the internet, I realized that I got no problems with grammar, all grammar that I've found until now is explained in the course, the vocabulary pool is small, but once you finish the course, you only need to get more and more words, with a dictionary you will be able to translate almost any sentence, the course gives you an excellent start, probably leaving you at a B1 level.
I haven't finished the tree with the crown feature yet, and I would say that no one who hasn't tried the crown feature has much of an idea about the true potential of the current Duolingo.
I studied Russian in college while also using Duolingo. Personally, I'd say that Duo is pretty terrible on its own if you don't also have another source for learning the language. Anyway, I would say that speaking and listening remain BY FAR my biggest weaknesses, while reading is much easier.
Duolingo doesn't make you fluent in any kind of language. It gives you a very good start and a very strong base though. It gives you all the grammar of the language but not enough vocabulary, for Italian I used Duolingo and now I use the Hellotalk. For Russian that I started 2 weeks ago I use both Duolingo and Memrise because it is a lot more difficult. In my opinion a combination of Duolingo and Hellotalk is perfect if you are in an intermediate level. The actual thing as I see it goes like this: Duolingo for grammar. Memrise for vocabulary and HelloTalk for exercise.
I can speak some basic things, read about 30 to 35%, but the grammar is difficult also because English is not my daily speech.
I am nowhere near finished the tree, having just completed my ninth skill, at level 13 (I think). However, considering how much of a beginner I am, and that I was completely unfamiliar with Cyrillic 86 days ago, I'm kind of impressed with how much I've been able to learn from Duolingo. A couple of days ago my husband and I were at Niagara Falls and he grabbed me a pamphlet in Russian, and jokingly asked me to translate it for him (he grabbed an English version as well). To my surprise, a lot of it made sense. I was able to figure out the majority of the pamphlet based on 1) knowing the alphabet, 2) recognizing words, and 3) context. I've also noticed that when I'm watching movies that have bits of Russian in them, I recognize words here and there, even when they're speaking quickly.
I found a list of movies that have Russian in them and my goal is to start watching them, gradually moving to movies with more and more Russian in them. There are also a couple of American TV shows that have Russian in them, so I'm going to have to look into those as well.
My impression after having finished the tree:
Entry level listening skills - you can understand very simple short sentences spoken slowly, which basically never happens. ) Advanced level grammars - somehow you can identify participles, but you don't have even an average vocabulary base. Reading would be an interesting challenge. Duolingo does not give you some of the most useful and common words in conversation or writing and you'll have to learn all this from other sources. Poor speaking - Duolingo does not really teach you survival sentences.
But you will master reading Cyrillic, the basic grammatical building blocks, and gain a false sense of confidence that you will want to learn more.
Duolingo questions are "trivia style". They serve to verify your skill rather than build them.