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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dusan92kov

How far can Duo take you? A2 in German?

More than two years ago I tried one of the popular (and expensive) language learning tools. Finished all five levels it had to offer, and still I wasn't pleased with what I've learned.

Then I switched to Duolingo, not expecting much. I wanted the most a tool which will prevent me from forgetting things I previously learned (if any). Each day I would usually do three or four excercises, no more than that; I was really busy at the time. To my surprise, after more than 700 days of never interrupted streak (literarly never, I never used freeze option) it turns out (based on some tests I've done) that I reached level A2 in German. I was genuinelly surprised and happy but sceptical. In order to test myself out I watched some German videos, alegedly targeted at A2 level and I understood everything.

700+ days might seem like a lot but when one considers the fact that I reached A2 only with Duo, since I honestly belive that other tool managed only to teach me the most basic things (girl drinks, boy drinks, my name is... etc), and I wasted so much time while finishing those five levels, results are quite impressive. Not to mention the fact hat I only managed to get my tree golden, when new Crown system was introduced. I was happy because of that, since now I have lot of catching up to do, to solidify my knowlegde, and, I'm sure, to learn things I haven't before.

I do wonder is A2 final frontier with Duo? What are your thoughts? I would like you to share your experience with language learning with this platform or any other, that in your case proved to be the most effective.

P.S. Sorry for my spelling/grammar errors (if you run into any). I'm not native English speaker.

August 16, 2018

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crissianchen

To be honest, I'm not quite sure if Duo lingo would get you past a B1.2 Certificate Exam. I think Duolingo could definitely get you past an A2 exam. I've taken the B2 Exam and failed miserably. I've also taken two B1 courses with the Goethe Institute and there are some significant missing things that I learned or that are in the textbooks that are missing from Duo. One thing that I noticed is that there's not sufficient vocabulary, particularly for phrases or expressions for things such as making arguments, expressing opinions, making suggestions, etc... Somethings are missing such as vocabulary for work, which I noticed that there is a significant focus on vocabulary about work in the textbooks for B1. Vocabulary for daily life situations such as how to deal with rent and what to look for when renting a place. Writing letters or emails, etc... I think Duo is great practice for grammar. But when it comes to these other things that are expected in some of these exams, I find it a bit lacking. I would definitely supplement your Duolingo practice with other things. The great thing about Duolingo is getting instant feedback. In class, you have to wait for feedback, by the time you get feedback, you've already made so many of the same errors that you've habitualized it. That was a huge issue for me when it came to writing. With speaking, that's something you are going to have to look for outside of Duolingo. Unless you are fortunate enough to be in an area that offers the Duolingo events. Even with that, it's still a challenge. Plus, The language you learn on Duolingo is more so for the written form of German than how they tend to speak on the street. This takes a lot of practice and time to get.

I guess from my experience, I took classes first and then used Duolingo as a way to practice. I personally would suggest that everyone still consider taking a class rather than just depend on Duolingo. The vocabulary is limited and the use of phrases are as well. I would treat Duolingo as a supplement to language learning rather than the only guide to it. It's really great for practice with grammar fundamentals. I mean, the other thing that was a huge focus for late B1 was Verben mit Präpositionen which is slightly covered here but not to the extent where I had to try to remember almost a 100 of them which only covered the most commonly used ones. The other thing, self reflexive verbs....those are kinds covered but not extensively on Duolingo. I hope as Duolingo evolves, it'll do get a little more extensive on these things.

Either way, it's not a bad deal! Keep working at it and use other resources as well! Viel Erfolg!

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/whitie90

Verified my email so I could give you a lingot for this comment. Thank you

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crissianchen

Thanks! You went through all the effort!

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/avidtatter

I started German as an absolute beginner. I had never heard German nor did I know any words. I did the first version of the golden German tree in 3 month. Then I stopped Duo completely and just watched YouTube videos/movies for about 2 years. Then I did the updated golden tree in +1 month. Then I took couple placement tests and I got B1/B2 every time. I would be safe and say I'm A2/B1. During this whole time I wasn't a serious learner at all. Looking back, I see how much I could have improved. But if I could test a A2 while haphazardly learning for a few months, I'm sure you could do better especially if you supplement with extra curriculum/materials.

BTW, your English is pretty impressive!

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dusan92kov

Well, as I said, I was learning only bit by bit of German. I made my tree golden but with Duolingo's old system golden tree ≠ knowledge. I did't get a chance to redo many of the lessons. In fact, most were only finished once. In my opinion, I belive I completed 30% of all lessons the course can offer. Around 70% is still left to be checked & re-learned. Now that they introduced crown system, I'm forced to finish it all in order to make tree golden again. Each lesson couple of times. And I'm looking forward to that.

My mother tongue is Serbian, our words are mostly very small. That made German intimidating at first, and latter on very slow to learn.

I still belive that A2 is a great accomplishment when one considers the fact that I used only Duo & that I still haven't finished it all.

Next on my list would be Deutsche Welle. They offer some great courses for each level. I really need that type of exposure to a language.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OunterHwnbey

I've been learning German on and off probably since I was in about 4th grade. Being a sophomore in high school now, I've learned a lot. I was able to have basic conversations in German with one of my English teachers. I have used many different programs, both free and paid, but Duolingo gives you the best variety of skills and learning choices. I'm really surprised Duolingo is still free, being this popular.

August 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stergi3

If it is so in the German tree, which is considered as a difficult and challenging tree what about the other trees which are shorter and less challenging?

I am feeling a bit disappointed! Even it was commented by many others in the past that the German tree is an A2/B1 level tree. So this post is one more testimonial. But what about the other trees? I should recommend Duolingo having put some minimum demands and specifications for each tree. I am not sure she ever did it. So as everyone knows where he is actually in fluency.

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crissianchen

Don't be too disappointed. You know, with the training that you've done look at how classes you skipped A1.1, A1.2, A1.3, A2.1, A2.2, and A2.3. In NYC, that's about $675 per class. You saved $4,050. What do you expect for something free? It's not like you paid for it. I think you have your expectations too high. You didn't use a text book and the reading are more complex in a text book. But you have the basics down. Enough to be introduced new concepts later on. Sure there are polyglots, but how much does a polyglot really know? My guess, most polyglots are in the intermediate range and acquiring C1 is really difficult, it takes a lot of time. You would do fine probably doing conversation with people. I talked to a professional tutor and he said, he had a student with no formal training that used on Duolingo before he came to him. He told me, not bad... He had the basics down, he could do his declensions, carry conversation, albeit probably not read a newspaper, but hey what do you need? I wouldn't put all my eggs in one basket and assume after Duolingo I would be ready for college level courses. But you have enough to ask and find out yourself in German. You might know the terms, but at least you can ask and figure it out. You did this all without formal training!

On the app, I can always tell if someone could be on par with someone that does formal training by their responses to the tasks in the Clubs. The more complex language and detailed their answers, I know they either had formal training or not. I know another person who's been doing self-study, she's not bad. She has a tutor now, but she gets can hang with some of us who have been learning longs. She understands the grammar, it's just her vocabulary range isn't as large as those who've been studying longer. I can hang with people who've lived in Germany as expats for like 5-10 years. And I've been on and off with German. However, I made an extra conscious effort to learn everyday. I watch short clips of the news everyday in German. I picked up a lot. I read small articles and I'm almost finished with my first book in German. I watch German tv programs. I even watch English programs with German subtitles. Yes, I do everything I can to prepare myself. If I can do it in German, I'll do it in German. I hope to reach C1 by next year. But that's because I'm going there to learn at a language school. If you really want to learn fast, you gotta go there. It's something different when you realize that you can be understood by everyone and that you can understand everyone. Try not to keep your expectations high, if you can make general conversation, you are doing pretty good!

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erik749983

Two lingots for the courage! Good luck with your C1, I am hoping to try next year as well! You seem to know your ropes with learning, but if I may suggest an advice: Try reading books you read in your native language before! In the beginning, it pays off waaaaaay more than reading stuff you never read before. Worked wonders for me. (sorry if you find the advice unwanted, though.)

August 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crissianchen

No, Thanks! I get it! I do that with news articles. I read both English and German, it's easier to decipher vocabulary.

August 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erik749983

If you keep doing duolingo to review basic grammar (which i believe is completely vital in german) while you keep doing other things (listening to radios, watching tv shows etc.), it can be useful way past A2 (as I said: basic grammar, and just reviewing die/das/der for various words is vital to german). By itself... It seems to me, maybe B1? However, do take me with a grain of salt. I learned the hard way, basically I knew the extremely basic german from two years of basic classes, then did a 5 months internship in germany. I can have a conversation about pretty much anything, but often make simple grammatical mistakes (as I learned directly by hearing/talking) and on the more linguistic stuff, so it might just be me..

August 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ayberkgen

Hi, I think, Duolingo can carry you to A2 and maybe B1. Unfortunately, it is impossible to reach levels higher than intermediate level beacuse Duolingo lacks variety in vocabulary. Also questions repeats themselves a lot. However, Duolingo is a great source for early stages of the language learning process. It can be useful for reviewing grammar in the higher levels as well but Duolingo is insufficient as a sole method for language learning. So you should combine it with other sources and methods. For example, you can read graded German short story books, articles and threads of German web sites such as Gute Frage, German Wikipedia, watch German TV Shows, American series which are either German dubbed or German subtitled. Additionally, I would recommend you to write a paragraph in German everyday.

August 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c0urtneyH

Most of my B1 classmates were able to test into B1 by completing the Duo Tree. I still opted to take A2 as a refresher and to practice speaking. A2 course will offer a lot that Duolingo doesn't. A lot of important terminology for renting an apartment, bill pay, student life, or those seeking employment, which is really beneficial and a bit more practical than Duolingo has to offer.

August 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dboy75

Sorry to break the thread - you mentioned watching some videos targeted at A2 level. Where do you find such videos for different levels to test yourself?

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dusan92kov

There is excellent platform made by Deutsche Welle. You can do placement test or decide on your own where you belong. They have lessons for each level. I tried A2 and I was shocked to learn I can understand everything. Such a great motivation to keep on learning. Also, search for movie collaboration between BBC and Goethe Institute called Susanne. Great movie for all A2 level german learners.

Also, check out EasyGerman youtube channel. It will introduce you to the actual language, the one that's been spoken on the streets in Germany. They have a lot of short entertaining videos, with english subtitles.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crissianchen

Don't laugh, but watch German Soap Operas. It's easy to figure out the plot and they use everyday language. It's great for spoken German.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dusan92kov

That actually sounds like a great idea :)

I was thinking about watching cartoons with German dub :) Disney cartoons maybe... Ones I know very well.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SvenDK

Or watch German children’s programs. Google for KiKa (Kinder Kanal). There is plenty online.

August 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VioletFowl

Yea Idk WHere to find them too!

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheBookKeeper06

I agree with you. Although I'm no Einstein at German (unintended pun), I did take a Spanish class in school for six years. Upon realizing that I would have to start all over once I moved on to a new school, I considered the fact that I would need to take a placement test at the end of my first year in order to get into the more advanced class. For this, I turned to Duolingo. Throughout the six years of learning, I had used Duolingo, but not on a regular basis. I began to go through the course again and soon I realized how much I didn't know. I missed a lot of questions regarding este/esto and ese/eso (this and that) due to not reading carefully. Duolingo taught me a lot more than I thought it would be capable of and my Spanish has improved. Now, I have finished the course (level 1 only on most of them) and plan to go through again to get a golden tree.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonny_her_she

Great thread!

August 3, 2019
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