What results have you noticed?
Hi guys, I'm pretty new here so sorry if I'm not doing this correctly. I was just wondering: what results have you guys gotten from using Duolingo for Czech? Are you able to hold a conversation, become near fluent, competent in understanding etc and how long did it take you? Dekuji!
I've been learning czech for 1 1/2 years attending a czech course each semester at university. Back then I had been waiting impatiantly for the release of the czech course on Duolingo, but I was immediately disappointed, because I had quite some trouble integrating Duolingo in my daily routine, as I wanted to do it before I went to bed around midnight, which often led to me losing my daystreak and ultimately discouring me from continuing this course.
When the mobile version was released, things changed a lot. I was about 1/3 through the tree on level 1 and since I had a lot of free time waiting for the next semester to start, I completed the tree on level 1 in a couple of weeks. And when the next semester started, I integrated duolingo into my bus and tram rides doing about 10 'sessions' a day.
Once I finally completed the tree on level 1, I started making each skill level 5 by 'jumping' through the levels, because, since I took czech courses, they were too easy, until I hit a 'wall' right in the middle between checkpoint 1 and checkpoint 2, where I finally learnt something new again.
I have the whole tree unlocked now and completed about 1/3 of it on level 5. I spend most of my time leveling up new skills instead of reviewing old skills, because I have yet to see a visual indication, that I need to review any. However since the higher levels required typing, the number of sessions went down from 10 to 5, since each session took more time, I could do less sessions each ride. Because of this and the fact, that I prefer typing on a keyboard, I've recently switched back to doing Duolingo on PC and since my daily routine has slightly shifted and my daystreak is high enough to be a really big motivation not to lose it, it's been a successful switch. But I have not increased the number of sessions back to 10 and I don't think that's going to happen in the forseeable future.
Now, a few months ago I did the A2 test for czech and I got the following for reading/writing/speaking/listening: 1.0/1.3/1.7/2.0 (1.0 beeing the best and 5.0 the worst) and while I am satisfied with the results, especially reading and writing, I really don't like that I have so much trouble listening and I don't think that 2.0 really represents my listening skill, tough this is just A2, so I don't know, maybe I am at the point, where I am expected to be.
Given that I know the words that I am reading, I can read pretty fluently. Exceptions, that take longer to understand, are, when things are expressed way differently compared to german or english, or when things get, I don't know, 'weird', maybe? Like "Den je plný ropuch a netopýrů" from 'svatební cesta do Jiljí', which I have yet to understand, what that's supposed to mean. "The day is full of toads and bats", what?!
I'ld say my writing and speaking skills are about equal. I spend the most time figuring out a way to express myself given my vocabulary and knowledge of the czech language. I think the limiting factor here is mainly vocabulary, because I think that the required grammar isn't too hard.
And now to the bane of my skills: listening. Sure, I have trouble distinguishing i/y and sometimes o/u from another, but my main problem really is how fast I can process what I've just heard. I often find myself understanding the first third and then my short-term memory is full, so everything after that? No clue, what they even said in czech. Sure you could ask 'Ještě jednou prosím', but on one hand I feel uncomfortable having to say it like every third sentence or so, which is also a little bit discouraging, and on the other hand in a test where some audio is played it only works to limited effect, since you hear everything again, I find it quite hard to just ignore the part, I already understood, and find the entry point to the part, where I didn't.
In the end I'ld say I would be nowhere near where I am today, wouldn't it be for Duolingo and more importantly for all the contributors of the course (Thank you!) and I wonder if I just need to keep going to get to a level where I am satisfied with my listening skill or if Duolingo just is either not good enough or not the right place to acquire such a skill. Whatever the case, I will continue my journey with Duolingo.
It is my second week of learning Czech with DuoLingo. I am still very far away from holding any prolonged conversation, but I already can say few words in groshery shops, like "dobrý den" or "děkují" and I start to understand some advertisement in Prague underground :-) I expect to be able to speak a bit with natives in a few months and hopefuly being fluent in a year or so. But I am in a more convinient position than many scholars here, as Ukrainian is one of my native languages and it helps tremendeously.