Level 25 does not mean you are 'fluent' in any way, shape or form.
Even if you take advantage of all the level-up short cuts, and pass them, it takes a formidable amount of time to get to the highest levels. I don't think it's worth it, especially if you are already pretty good at the language, other than for the ego trip. The time could be better spent doing other stuff to improve one's skills.
I agree, though I'm sure a lot of people would say otherwise. Heck, when I finished my French course I overestimated myself a lot, it's the Dunning-Kruger effect that kills a lot of people's will to learn a language further (either because they "feel fluent" or because they had a crushing defeat).
Unfortunately Duo is designed in such a way that you feel there's an "end" to your learning, when it's far from it. People should branch out of Duo as soon as (or even before) they finish their tree.
Yes. Duolingo can only take you so far in your learning. This is a subject that I see coming up again and again and again in discussions. While Duolingo is a great learning tool for learning new vocabulary and phrases, you shouldn't use it as a sole way for learning a language. As above, I would strongly recommend learning in other ways as soon as possible - even before you reach Level 25 in a language.
Although this can sometimes be tricky, the best way of practising a language is definitely to talk in that language to other people - especially those already fluent. Think of everything you would do in everyday life, everything you might say, and just try to do as much of it as you can in French instead (or whatever language you are learning).
I'll try and give you some resources. So, basically, you need at least one resource for every "branch" of your language, best of which is mining (I'll explain it in a bit)
Vocabulary : Either Anki or Memrise. Don't even look into Memrise's official courses, they are pretty lackluster. Try to make your own and add new vocab every once in a while (you can add audio samples for every word from Forvo). You can also look into user-created courses
Speaking / conversing : HelloTalk (android app) does this best but there's a billion other apps out there. There's also HiNative which is more of a sentence correction app
Listening : What I did at first, I went on SocialBlade (which can show the most subscribed youtubers by country) and subbed to a bunch of French youtubers. Some of the best, imo, are Dirty Biology and Sympa (The bright side...but in French). You might also like Durandal1 if you're a movie junkie like me.
Also listening : A lot of movies/tv series. Wanna watch Breaking bad? Do it in French. I'm currently watching Les enquêtes de Murdock, it's a bit gruesome at times, but really entertaining.
So...about mining : "Mining" is when you extract sentences/words from what you listen to (or read), essentially you hear a new word, you write it, you put it into your Memrise course/ Anki deck. This could feel tedious at first but it's a big vocab boost.
Motivational stuff : Try to stay motivated as much as you can. My go-to video was this one "Japanese Fluency in 10 minutes!" https://youtu.be/QSp9p0N0UC8
Lastly, Wikipedia is your friend. Just type anything you want in English, and then go to "Languages" on the left and you've got yourself a mine of words (I'm saying that because, yes, you'll need to mine everything you see/hear). For example I typed "Infra-red rays" and got 赤外線, now I know this word like the back of my hand (not the most useful word in existence, but you get the idea)
I'm sure I left some stuff out like grammar, but that's the branch that always changes in every language, so I can't tell you a concrete "way" or a site where you can learn it.
This is the best comment about duo's teaching system I have ever seen. Unfortunately, Duo is far from being sufficient and If people think that they are able to understand what they read or they can speak fluently, I am afraid they will never improve themselves. Because the process of learning a language simply lasts forever since a language is something "alive". It constantly changes. My english is not good at all and I hope I have just managed to express what I think.
Bummer, Je pensais que j'étais presque là. (I thought I was almost there) You just burst my bubble. Joking of course.
Learning is a continuous process, it never ends. So naturally after someone reaches level 25 or finishes a tree or makes it all golden there will still be more, so much more to learn for that language. I will have level 25 very soon, probably by the end of the week or a tad bit after, and maybe within 2 months, more or less, have my french tree all golden if I keep at it, but I will be far from fluent as duolingo only teaches a small amount of what one needs to know. It'll be 5-10 years before I think I could communicated well in every way. Right now I am only reading and understanding most of what I see, though need a few moments to make it coherent so if a sentence were to only be seen for a few seconds, depending on the words and if I know them, I may or may not be able to know everything that was said. I still need that long pause to think about it, or sometimes to look up a word or few.
As for listening, I can pick up an occasional word here and there, not even close to understanding what was being said as a whole. And speaking, that will be a long way off too. I will be level 25 long before I am close to fluent. I play video games and sometimes will not look at the subtitles to see if I can understand what is being said, but nope, can't do it without the words on screen, an occasional word but most is lost, unitelligable, but it also depends on the speaker and their clearity, but for one to be fluent enough one should be able to understand pretty much everyone regardless of how clear they talk.
I found it kind of odd to read in the forums when I first did that it all stopped at level 25. At the time I thought it should've gone to 100 and that should've been something that would in actuality take years to accomplish for those determined enough to stay with it. But then, with the limited amount of words and sentences offered at duolingo that'd get old quickly. But even if it went to 100 and there was so much more content, would that even say one is fluent? No. But I think by that point if one is learning in other places they may actually be somewhat there, and given one can converse in every way with the natives of that language.
Raising the level will more solidly let learners know, hey, it's going to be a very long time before you will ever be fluent, so expect to be here for a while because level 100 is a looong way off. But I guess they didn't want to discourage people. People need that feeling of accomplishment and for some if the goal is too far off they may give up, thus probably why they chose 25 which doesn't mean fluency, it's just there to make the learner feel good about their progress with what they have learned on duolingo.
Duolingo is a starter, after that, or even during or before it is up to the learner to seek out knowledge in other places and ways.
I do feel your post to have a very negative connotation, that instead of critizing people that have ego trips or telling them what you think is a waste of time, perhaps instead offer suggestions on how they can improve their skills, instead of simply stating an opinion which for any fragile individuals can be taken to heart and discourage them instead of motivating them to learn better. Positive approaches work better.
French here! My answer is not really related but I think any language tips is welcome on this site : "J'y étais presque" fits better than "J'étais presque là" to say you almost achieved a goal. (Even if the literral translation of "I thought I was almost there" is the second version).
to go on further and get accustomed to talk, go into the country and try to get around. you will see, very quickly you will understand people and start to make yourself understood. Everything you learn with doulingo will help you to progress every day! Go ahead!
"It'll be 5-10 years before I think I could communicated well in every way"
I suppose it depends on what you mean by "well", how much time you have to dedicate to the language, and what your learning methods are. I don't think you can gauge the speed of your future progress based on the speed of your progress so far. Learning isn't linear. Assuming you put in the work, there'll come a time when things seem to suddenly 'come together' and the rest of your learning will seem easier.
Level 25 means you won 30,000 XP points in Duolingo for that specific language - nothing more. You can get them by practicing the first skills over and over and over or you can get them by going through the tree and learning everything that is there to learn. Or you can get them with playing in Tiny Cards.
You cannot get fluent in a language (no matter how you define that term) in a language without talking (not saying what the course asks you to translate but actually talking with someone that can answer with something unexpected) and working with texts that are longer than a sentence (reading, writing and listening). And none of that can be done here (the reading and listening are somewhat covered with the stories but they are just for a few languages and they are far from enough)...
Duo is a very good drilling machine - so using it for that works. Anything else...
Is there one single language course that promises fluency upon completion? Did your school promise fluency in a language after years of lessons? I don't think so. I have no idea why anyone singles out DuoLingo for these "it won't make you fluent" announcements. You probably won't be fluent after your Babbel or Rosetta Stone course either. I was always under the impression that the whole point of language lessons was to establish a strong foundation upon which to work toward fluency through real world practice. DuoLingo is an excellent tool for building that foundation, but you won't find many people who claim that it's the only tool you need.
I agree. I've never seen anyone on here claim that Duolingo has made them fluent, yet I almost always see someone posting something snarky about how levels don't matter and how Duolingo won't make anyone fluent. It almost comes across as triggered disdain for those who are proud for making it to level 25. It's like, dang. Let people be proud of their accomplishments and worry about your own language learning.
That is part of the problem - the market is flooded with "Get fluent in 21 days" and "Get Fluent in 3 months" material. Anyone that had ever learned a language to a level higher than a beginner knows that this won't happen and it is not marketing. People that never studied a language or just had one year in high school are more prone to believing it...
And if you look at the forums, there is rarely a day without someone asking if this course will make them fluent, which part of the skill is "advanced" and so on.
Most people should know Duolingo will not take them anywhere near fluency. Fluency includes being able to effortlessly speak the language and understand when natives speak it to you at their normal speed. You can't get those skills on this platform.
I didn't realize this was even an issue for debate.
I study in the lycee français international de delhi, and even though I'm still a student of FLE the teachers always say that knowing how to adequately express yourself in a language and being able to understand the conversation of "natives" as you say is fluency enough. But, I disagree with lots of comments here, if you are at level 25 that is a milestone for you not the finish line, heck , i learnt most of my french listening to students in my class and attempting to speak french with my friends. That, for people who are not French is the one way to attain fluency. A language can only be LEARNT to a certain extent . The rest has to come from conversation with people who have attained fluency in the language to polish your skills and understand that very important part of a language that cant be taught by a teacher or any website you care to name.
Just to add to the above, I've just seen a discussion where one person said it was the first time she had seen the word 'devez'. She is Level 13...
Level 13 isn't really that high, so really that's not surprising to me at all. The levels aren't equal - level 13 is nowhere near halfway.
That kind of underscores my point that the levels in themselves don't have much significance. They only correlate very loosely with actual ability.
Maybe that's why there is no fanfare when you go up a level. It don't mean nuffink.
Like they keep saying, anybody who completes the French tree is roughly at the same place as the person who completes the first two semesters of university-level French. After doing that in college you now can read some Albert Camus with a long vocabulary list in hand, get what you need in stores and engage in simple conversations with your classmates if they are motivated. If you can understand 1 out of 5 words on Radio Canada or Radio France or 1 word out of twenty on French-language TV, you've made a pretty good start. However, expect to be lost among people who don't know to speak first-year French, only the advanced stuff. After acing both French 101 and 102 in my senior year at university (Il y a 45 ans--le horreur, le horreur!), I still realized that I needed a lot more listening, reading, and writing to do. So it is with Duolingo.
Though I had become pretty good with Spanish (55 years of work--not braggin', just sayin') and French over time, reaching level 25 in both has helped me not mix them up--less likely now to pronounce "quay" like "que," write "Il ha dit," or say, "Je vais a parler avec mes amis," when I'm not paying attention. And so, I just can't help feeling a little proud seeing the "25's" by my French and Spanish emogis, even though my achievements are actually the result of many years of work elsewhere--including at my job.
(I don't feel that way, however, about being at level 25 in Turkish. It is embarrasing to admit that I've piled up over 60,000 xp's in that course, but I'm only just under two-thirds through the tree and can follow 1 out of ten words of Diriliş: Ertuğrul. Frankly, without my Arabic, Urdu and French to help me with the vocabulary I'd be really up the creek.)
I don't know what university you go to but at mine, I can assure you; if you master the tree, you'd easily know as much as someone who has taken a year in my department.
If anything this is an understatement. I took a year of Spanish in my undergrad at a nice university, and while it obviously provided me with more experience with listening and pronunciation than Duo is able to, the volume of the content was maybe 1/4 of what's available on the Duo tree. French didn't seem quite as comprehensive, but then again, I don't have access to the newer trees yet.
They do seem scale things relative to how similar the target language is to the learning language. I'm not too far in Mandarin, but I can already tell that the goals of the tree will be much more modest than French or Spanish.
You're correct. Some people treat Duolingo as a game, rather than a language-learning app. Even though that occurs, almost nobody can reach level 25 in a language without drawing any knowledge from it.
But still, it does not mean you're fluent.
En anglais je suis d'un niveau upper-intermediate (B2). Je travaille sur plusieurs sites différents. DuoLingo permet d'avoir des automatismes ( routine) comme ne pas oublier le "s" de la 3ème personne du singulier, de bien prononcer le "s" du pluriel. Il permet aussi de mieux comprendre la place des mots dans une phrase (ex I don't like wine at all, je n'aime pas du tout le vin). Et surtout il faut travailler avec un cahier d'apprentissage ( logbook) où inscrire des phrases entières ou du vocabulaire avec la prononciation. Pour chaque site, j'ai un cahier. Je suis inscrite pour l'anglais mais sur le conseil d'autres personnes ici, j'ai commencé le français pour les anglais, ce qui est un peu plus difficile et donc complémentaire. Un autre secret est la régularité du travail.
It's important to note that every one of us has a different goal, and that we learn in different ways. It seems you're after fluency and care little about the bells and whistles. Other people are here to meet the challenges Duo has to offer while improving themselves in the process. Most of us are probably somewhere in between. I don't know if I'd characterize any of these approaches as truly illegitimate, and I do think you'll find that most people who have reached the maximum level in a language or two will have a fairly realistic perspective of their own ability.
I will say something wrong here because my French isn't very good, but oh well.
Tu as raison, quand* vous atteignez le niveau 25, vous n'avez pas d'aisance./ Mais, l'idée que c'est un "ego boost" est simplement fausse./ Je suis insultée par l'idée que mon temps a été gaspille,/ J'ai deja passée beaucoup de temps à pratiquer. /
En fait, j'utilise d'autres ressources./ Je ne prétends pas que je le parle couramment./
I used a dictionary and pieces from Google translate to write this. I am sorry that I have sullied French by writing this atrocity. Please, correct my errors so I can improve.
Edits: Corrected (with * et /).
That was almost all perfect tho...
I'd go with 'j'utilise d'autres ressources...'
note that your use of 'pretendre' is correct (though not conjugated correctly for this case) but it is a false friend meaning 'claim' not pretend (but you may have known that). But to finish that sentence, I'd go with 'je ne pretends pas que je le parle couramment'
depending on exactly what you meant you could go with 'je reserve beaucoup de temps (pour pratiquer)' or 'j'ai deja passe(e) beaucoup de temps en pratiquant'
Vraiment? Oh, yay! I feel so much better now. You have given me a wonderful boost of self-esteem. Now my ego has been inflated.
I still have lots of trouble with spelling and using the correct conjugations.
For pretendre, I wanted to say, "I do not claim to be fluent".
Thank you for your corrections.
Votre temps n'est pas pour rien ici. Keep doing what you are doing. We each have our learning methods. Any who say to others that what they do is a waste of time, only applies to the person saying it, not the one undertaking it. It is up to each of us to decide how to spend our time and if it is futile or fruitful.
Native french here, since you asked for a correction : I'll correct using '-' for substitution, and '+' for addition. All correction are beetween parenthesis, except for the accents.
Tu as raison, (-que) quand vous atteignez le niveau 25, vous n'avez pas (-de + d') aisance. Mais, (-l'idea + l'idée) que c'est un "ego boost" est simplement (- faux : + fausse). Je suis insultée par (-l'idea + l'idée) que mon temps a été (-pour rien +gaspillé). J'ai déjà passée beaucoup de temps (-en pratiquant + à pratiquer).
En fait, j'utilise d'autres (-resources, + ressources)./ Je ne prétends pas que je le (+parle) couramment./
EDIT : I'll add that even if they are inprefection in your sentences, they are clear enought to be understand without effort. So no, you did not waste your time. The autor got a point here, you won't be fluent just thanks to this site, I read somewhere that you reach the A2 level at level 25, which is a really good start.
Ah, thank you. Merci. Yes, level 25 only gets you to A2, but that does not mean that reaching it is "useless." I'm glad I was understandable! Truly, that is the main goal, yes?
Of course, this is exactly what I said ! And I guess it depends of what you want to do, but since I'm learning languages to be able to travel wherever I want (or I'll want to travel), so for me it is the main goal too.
Duolingo is a great tool to introduce the language, and for grammar practice. It will help you "feel" when a sentence is wrong. However, it is no substitute for reading - anything you can even remotely understand - listening (TV if it's available in your target language, otherwise you-tube videos or other internet resources, rental movies, etc., or finding people who speak the language. ), writing (start a journal, even if you don't have someone to vet it it will be good practice), and speaking (people again, or start thinking to yourself in the language.) I am still finding it useful to go back through the Spanish to English tree, since the Spanish there is a bit more complex than the Spanish in the English to Spanish tree, even though I am able to read novels and speak fairly well without the help of a dictionary.
If you started out knowing the language already, yes, probably. Although honestly I don't find it takes that long to test out.
But if you started from scratch on Duo? I have found that it takes me easily into level 3 or 4 in Danish before I feel like I even get some things, not to mention actually having it down cold where it's in my long-term memory. So I think doing those higher levels is absolutely still helping me. Repetition is the name of the game.
Well, 'long' is in the eye of the beholder. I went from zero to L14 in Japanese yesterday in the space of a few hours, learning one new word in the process. But will I bother to continue to L25? I doubt it.
What I have found Duolingo helpful for, personally, is practicing verb tenses, particularly with Italian. If you get into upper-level classes, you're onto discussing more complicated things and you aren't really going over grammar stuff anymore. It then becomes up to you to bone up on things that aren't as fresh in your mind. Being able to go over the future and the conditional is very helpful in terms of remembering the right endings. I do find that it really helps to cement it in your mind. Then, later, when I'm actually conversing in the language, I'm able to more adeptly come up with the correct verb tense that's required in a particular context.
The only issue is that with the way it is now, it takes longer to unlock levels and thus get to the particular unit that you want to go over more.
That's why I try to combine different methods of language acquisition: duolingo, memrise, lingvist, French YouTube videos, etc.
I agree. I take French in school and I'm a Level 11 (Level 60 Crown Level). I am nowhere close to where I am in school, and I'm pretty well-versed in school- I'm taking French III the semester after this coming one.
To add, I'd say, from what I've learned in French at school, that Level 11 (Crown Level 60) equals the passageway between French I and II, or the end of I/beginning of II.
I'm fluent until I actually hear or read anything in french outside this site. I can now get the basic gist of online adult video descriptions written in french however.
You take progress where you can get it.
Anyone associating level with skills is doing it wrong. I see Level 25 students asking really basic questions all the time because they take entire months out of learning and forget everything they have learned.
Duolingo provides a very good foundation in French. If you want to achieve somewhere in the region of A2 fluency (although it's doubtful you'd pass the A2 CEFR test) then you need to spend time with Duolingo every single day and you must complete the course. Then you MUST continue using French and learning French via other sources afterwards. If you don't use the language, you will quickly lose it and most of your time and effort was wasted.
Forget about the level number. It's irrelevant.
If you are serious about learning French, then learn French and no other language and immerse yourself in French content every day. Computer, tablet & phone language set to French. Buy French comic books (Bande Dessinée) from Amazon. Watch French TV shows and films on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Make French friends online. Start using a flashcard system. And of course, work towards completing Duolingo French.
You know, I forgot to mention that one very important reason I stick with Duolingo's French and Spanish courses is the opportunity to participate in the discussion on the forums, where I can interact with thousands of people who love languages and like to talk about them as much as I do. That is not a nothing: knowing another language in the USA can be a very lonely thing. For example, after reading some mind-blowing short stories by Borges in Spanish, I can't even discuss them with my wife, who just can't understand what I am talking about. (Just as my wife gets frustrated with me when I do not comprehend the Urdu verses from Ghalib and Iqbal that she sometimes sings, to be fair.) The links to the discussions help me deal with that and allow me to share with others--'cause I can't help not doing so--what I know about word origins and historical brackground picked up over so many years of reading, traveling, and working with Spanish in particular. That is something that is hard to find elsewhere.
I'm confused. If Duo doesn't make you "fluent" in a language, then what do you think duolingo could do to make it so that when you are done with your tree you could maybe be more fluent? If duolingo doesn't work like it says it does than what should someone who wants to become fluent in a language and is using duolingo as their primary source of information do to become fluent?
My understanding is that DL can get one to A2, which is considered 'waystage or elementary'.
Getting to 'C' level ('proficient') takes a lot more exposure/immersion/reading.
For example, the DL French tree does introduce the concept of 'passive voice' ... but only in the present and passé composé. It also has conditional, subjunctive, and other forms. To their credit, the course designers explain the passive well enough to make the other forms do-able; nevertheless, it takes time to become proficient.
Another example would be vocabulary, and nuance in semantic meaning. Most adult native test-takers range from 20,000–35,000 words, and foreign test-takers 10,000+ words by living abroad (source). These numbers are far beyond what DL presents.
None of this is a complaint or criticism of DL. Language fluency just takes years of significant exposure.
Agree entirely but perhaps they leave passive voice in particular out because it is pretty well avoided in French, where you use 'on' in stead in many cases.
Yea some of those are...interesting. Even getting my French degree they don't technically 'teach' you those. We just had to be able to recognize/understand things like the passe anterieur but we never had to be able to form them. Or the imperfect form of the subjonctif (which I do kinda wanna learn)
Right, as soon as I finished my spanish course on my other account, I thought I could get a job. Sadly, they rejected my because I wasn't fluent enough
Duolingo gives you the basics. You have to use outside material if you want a Job that requires fluency in Spanish.
Almost everyone gets it that Duolingo gives you a strong foundation for the language you are learning (that's all)... You build on the foundation to become fluent. The news is everywhere... no need for this topic again!
Great discussion! I found that duolingo really helped me with the basics of the language from knowing nothing to an intermediate level. I thought duolingo was great for increasing my word knowledge. I supplemented with other grammar programs, pimsleur for speaking, reading in French and listening to podcasts. I consider duolingo part of a 3 legged stool in learning a language. For someone who had no knowledge of the language six months ago - duolingo has been a great help!
i have only bean using duolingo for a week but i find it helpful, however i have had to go over some things a couple of times
It's only natural to go over some things a couple of times. This is the process of learning. You still can train an item you had 5 crowns on. You can also train, on this site, over all the words you learned. And you should also find other ressources to learn or train on specific subjects or practice the language talking or exchanging messages with other people.
This is not instagram, you can't follow.
I completely agree with what you are saying. I don't think you can ever reach the "highest levels" in a language, not even English, because people always add to it and I've noticed that there are dialects of languages, for example, American is not the same as English. Lots of people speak a language slightly differently, certain words come in and out of fashion so I don't think that you can ever master a language. You can learn a lot of grammar and rules but in a real conversation, people talk differently sometimes and you've got to be able to adapt to that. For resources outside of Duolingo, I would recommend Quizlet. You can't learn a language on there but it's amazing for recording and keeping up with new vocabulary. You basically create your own resources. Basically saved my French exams!