Do you feel Duolingo is worth it?
For those of you that have been consistent with Duolingo, do you feel that you can have a decent conversation with others who speak the foreign language? If so, at what point did you feel you feel comfortable having a conversation with others?
Repeat everything, practice speaking, practice making sentences with your vocabulary, and think of Duolingo as part of your Chinese learning strategy. There are lots of free Podcasts both in slow, and regular speed Mandarin. There is mandarin music with pinyin/Chinese characters. There are Chinese movies, TV shows, news... See in they have Chinese speakers in a nearby Meetup, restaurants, food store... I also want to be able to read Chinese, and I gave you some links to get started:
LEGOO MANDARIN DAVID YAO 1,331 Videos-> He prides himself in his reading technique: https://www.youtube.com/user/LEGOOMANDARIN/featured?disable_polymer=1
Slow & Clear Chinese Slow & Clear Listening Practice 17 Video Playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGAohsc-9JhXs5thbT8cxS_CdUYOuSQee
MandarinChineseSchool.com -> 3800 Useful Chinese Sentences https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL78DC203D1698FD8E
Here is a good word list: The 3,000 most common Chinese characters in order of frequency:
I have a few more misc. links: Yoyo Chinese 327 videos, make sure you check out her pinyin table: https://www.youtube.com/user/sloppycheng/videos?disable_polymer=1
Yabla Pinyin table: https://chinese.yabla.com/chinese-pinyin-chart.php
Yabla Dictionary: https://chinese.yabla.com/chinese-english-pinyin-dictionary.php
Don't miss Growing up With Chinese with video and transcript: http://cctv.cntv.cn/lm/learningchinese/01/index.shtml
Free Resources on her website like textbooks and more, page one is not that good, so keep looking: https://www.mandarinchineseschool.com/index.php/resources/textbooks
http://podcasts.coerll.utexas.edu/collection/chinese-dialogues/ dialog with transcript
I am not the right person to answer you, because I studied the two main languages I'm studying on Duolingo (English and French) at school, though I didn't learn too much there as it was expected. But since I started duolingo my vocabulary and comprehension have increased a lot. And now I think I just need to practice more pronunciation (especially in English) to improve my accent, but Duolingo really worths the credit.
For Mandarin the best thing is that Duolingo forces you to learn to recognise some characters rather than totally embrace Pinyin. That helps a lot especially with technology like WeChat. I mean that WeChat gives a selection of characters and that is Ok if you can recognise the right character
Chinese is so different from English that having a conversation will be very hard after the course. You will be able to ask important questions and make many statements but a real conversation is another level.
In the Germanic languages I am fluent, but they are especially easy for me because I know German and English.
It's been a long time since I've concentrated on Spanish, so it's tough to say how far the course takes you. Duolingo is a great resource regardless.
I don't have 10 languages next to my name, but I can tell you this: Duolingo's Chinese course will not bring you to fluency on its own. It lacks grammar, which is essential for building sentence structures properly. I can tell you from experience, that memorizing and recognizing Chinese characters is a good way to start, but eventually you would like to utilize those words to build sentences. With no skeletal understanding of sentence structures, these 300+ plus words will fail to help you. Use Duolingo sparingly; do not rely on Duolingo to bring you to fluency, instead use it as a fun game to refresh your memory on the material that you learned elsewhere. If you are really interested in learning Chinese, then get yourself a proper course. Chinese Zero to Hero is a great channel on yOUtUBE if you want to prep yourself for the HSK courses. Most importantly, do not skip out on learning how to write. This is near essential if you want to master this language in a short period of time.