How long does it take to learn Chinese with duolingo?

Hey to all in discussion land! I've been on duolingo for about a month (give or take) and was wondering how long it takes to effectively learn Chinese. Generally I try to maintain my daily goal (which is 30 xp), but I feel like I might need to step up the challenge if I want to learn Chinese within the year or so... What do you guys think? To you experienced peeps out there, how much time did it take you per day to reach the ultimate goal of Chinese fluency?

EDIT: Alright! From your comments it seems I will need to put additional work into learning Chinese (using text books, and watching Chinese movies and YouTube videos in addition to completing DuoLingo) if I want to become fluent. If any of you guys have any other helpful tips on other places to look for Chinese resources, I'd be super grateful if you drop them off here!
Thanks again for replying. You guys are so helpful. (。◝‿◜。)

October 12, 2018


You cannot obtain fluency from a Duolingo course, it takes much more work and time than doing an online course to become fluent, but it is a good start.

October 12, 2018

I spent a year in China before starting duolingo, and learned the basics of the language there. Since then I use duolingo to flush out my vocab and develop recognition of the written Chinese. (I can speak decently, but reading is far more difficult.)

Now I'm on the level where I want to move to basic Chinese stories, but most are still too difficult for me.

October 12, 2018

I estimate that if you complete the Duolingo course then you will be maybe 5 percent of the way to Chinese fluency, maybe less.

October 12, 2018

If you want, I'd like to practices Chinese with you. I am Chinese. You can Email all the things you want to know to me. And I want to practice my English. So can we help each other? :-) Oh, here is my E-mail address: 我的英语不是很好,如果有不对的地方,请指出来。 My English is not good. if there is a mistake, point it out, please.

October 14, 2018

That is very nice of you. I must warn you that my Chinese is absolutely terrible (I mean I've only studied it for a month and I only know a few basic words). But if you don't mind me messing up too (I will, trust me) I'd be glad to help you out with English. For now my email is

October 15, 2018

If you struggle with the written part, there are a few books that will help you out a lot with memorizing the characters. Try reading " Chineasy" by ShaoLan.That book is the only reason I can even read Chinese.

October 16, 2018

I did pick up that book once at a library. Glad to hear it's effective. I might just buy it. Thanks for the tip!´・ᴗ・`

October 18, 2018

Oh, I forget to introduce myself. My name is 蒋予捷. Nice to meet you. 很高兴认识你。I am a college student and live in Beijing.

October 14, 2018

I want to learn both of chinese and english. but i only know a little. And i dont have anyone to improve it. Could i make your friend?

October 17, 2018

你好 If this offer is open to anyone else id love in. I'm English trying to learn Chinese. :)

October 18, 2018

I think this is advice for learning any language: -Practice on a regular schedule, I have practice scheduled on my calendar and try to stick to it. - Find someone you can learn with/from. I am lucky to have lots of international coworkers that I speak with daily, but it can be anyone- even someone else learning at the same time as you. Hopefully, they will be as excited as you about learning, practicing and progressing. -Get a chance to practice with native speakers. I have done 6 trips to Spanish speaking countries over the last two years and went from knowing nothing to being "travel proficient". You can probably find a local community to help if you can't travel. -Find multiple sources to help you learn. My local library has online recorded courses, great books, and videos for free. Plus, Amazon music shows the lyrics of songs in some languages. I haven't checked Chinese yet, but I read along to Spanish songs daily. It really helps develop the ear for the foreign language. -Finally, if you get bored/frustrated then take a short break with a scheduled date to come back to it. For me, things tend to "gel" on the breaks and I come back with a better understanding and more motivation.

I would set smaller goals than "learn Chinese in a year." Start with a goal of being able to order a meal or to complete a purchase in the foreign language. Then move up to another smaller goal, like checking into a hotel. The smaller goals will be victories along the multiyear process of learning a new language. I set a 10 year goal for becoming fluent with LOTS of smaller goals along the way.

Best of luck in your learning process.

October 16, 2018

I started learning it about 280 days ago with a much more intensive learning speed as I had the time then and I would say that I can soon start to read some really easy stories without needing to look up too many words/characters. But duolingo really isn't enough for fluency in any language.

October 13, 2018


October 14, 2018

listening to chinese songs is a good way to become fluent

October 15, 2018

Oh really? That's good to know. Do you have any favorites you listen to that are easy to understand?

October 15, 2018 is a good resource for some beginner+ level music with the lyrics.

October 30, 2018

I personally think Chinese is a harder language to learn as it's not like English where you learn the alphabet and will know how to write any word and how to read it depending on the sounds of the letters. In Chinese, you have to learn how to write, read and pronounce every word one by one as they are all unique. The words do have a background story to them but they are slightly hard to understand and remember.

Therefore, learning Chinese in Duolingo will help but it doesn't really provide a good sense of what you should be learning in Chinese so that you could speak what you would need to.

I recommend you maybe take lessons face to face with a teacher or someone fluent. This is so that you can learn with more understanding, the pronunciation and what words would actually be helpful when communicating.

I was born in Australia but I always spoke Cantonese at home with my parents and learnt Mandarin at school. With the experience from Cantonese it made it slightly easier to learn Mandarin as the two languages are similar.

So don't feel bad if it takes you a long time to learn as you may be starting from the very basics and from my experience even with a bit of knowledge at the beginning, it was a super hard journey.

So work hard, good luck and don;t give up!

October 28, 2018
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