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https://www.duolingo.com/JGarrick62

I Finished the Spanish Tree!

I finished the Spanish tree today.

Yay me!

For those of you wondering, some data:

It took me 71 days. I completed the tree at level 13, with a total of 5239 total XP, and 5171 Spanish XP (the balance is in Italian), and with 1571 words reported as my vocabulary.

Here are some other resources I found very helpful while working the tree:

Conjugations:

http://www.123teachme.com/spanish_verb_conjugation

Definitions:

http://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english

Translations - I found this to be more reliable than google:

http://spanish.dictionary.com/?/

Pronunciations - You can hear multiple speakers pronounce nearly anything in Spanish:

http://www.forvo.com/languages/es/

Destinos is a very old series designed as an aid for teaching Spanish. Don't expect great performances or story lines, but it's a decent way to get some passive learning in.

http://www.learner.org/series/destinos/index.html

I also used two sets of flash cards (I prefer paper to CBT), one from Berlitz and another from Spark Notes. I know flash cards are an inefficient way of learning, but for me they do help to supplement what I do here at DL.

I also have three different beginner books I've been working through. I found them all at a nearby Barnes and Noble, but they're also available on Amazon.

Stories from Mexico/Historias de Mexico, G. Barlow & W. Stivers - This is from the Side-by-Side Bilingual Books series from McGraw-Hill. There are several available in Spanish. I like this series because it teaches some fun and interesting cultural stories while you learn the language.

Easy Spanish Reader, William Tardy, also from McGraw-Hill. This is organized into three parts. The first is the story of two high school students, the second is a brief history of Mexico, and the third is an adaptation of Lazarillo de Tormes. Each part is organized into short one to two page chapters, with a series of questions and problems to answer following the reading. This isn't side-by-side - the stories are only in Spanish.

Spanish Stories/Cuentos Españoles, ed. Angel Flores, from Dover Publications. This is another side-by-side reader, at a slightly more advanced level. It's thirteen Spanish short stories with English translations.

Finally, my thoughts on Duolingo as a learning tool:

While I think there's plenty of room for improvement, it is undeniably addictive. I actually found myself disappointed in finishing the tree, because the goal of getting there was a huge motivator. The other big motivators here are the streak (I always want to see that green checkmark on my fireball as soon as possible after midnight), and the leader board. There have been many times when I felt like calling it a day but stayed up to do one more exercise so I could move up a spot on the leader board. None of them know me in real life, but I owe a big thanks to LorenzoGuapo, CattleRustler, robin9021, rspreng, saxicola, and many others for constantly setting goals for me to reach without ever really knowing it. Hopefully I've pushed a few others to work hard in the same way.

I also want to thank rspreng and Mavry who I've followed because they frequently provide clear and concise answers to questions on the discussion boards. Users like them make this a great place to learn.

And I would be remiss if I didn't offer a word of thanks to the staff, admins, and moderators at Duolingo, who make this all possible.

4 years ago

56 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Maaak
Maaak
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I have been using DL almost daily since August. Currently, I'm on a 195 day streak. I DL for at least 100 points a day. A couple over 400. You can't practice enough. I am at level 25, almost 26. I used to be fluent enough to use Spanish in my job, but I had brain surgery and the ties to my foreign languages was severed. Getting Spanish back has been a challenge. But doable! Brains are incredibly pliant! I am 4 steps away from completing my tree, with 1503 words in my vocabulary. I know 95% of them cold now. Mi español vive de nuevo! I will keep on keepin' on. There no such thing as too much practice!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robin_H

Congratulations!! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elem.Learner
Elem.Learner
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Congrats! How long did you practice everyday? 20 minutes? 30? and hour? I am trying to gauge what would be a good amount to practice daily so that I may retain the information. Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JGarrick62

I never really kept track, but I'd say I probably averaged about 60 minutes a day. There were some days that I did nothing more than refresh an easy lesson, and a few where I worked through 200 points or more, but my average was just over 70 points, which probably comes out to around an hour.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elem.Learner
Elem.Learner
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Muchas gracias por responder, JGarrick62! Tengo que practicar por lo menos 60 minutos y encluyir Frances :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nashrambler
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bueno para tú. And thanks for the book titles, I put two on order. Just wondering what you will do now, the reverse tree or just work on Italian. Ole.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nico_Lujan
Nico_Lujan
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*Bien por ti :) "bueno para tú" doesn't have any sense :P

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JGarrick62

This is one of the things I love about the discussion boards around here. I got what nashrambler wrote, and now I also know how to say it right.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nashrambler
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Thanks for the correction. It just goes to show you that being half way through the course doesn't mean much. I tell my daughter I understand Spanish about as well as a well trained dog. So when I do finish the course instead of saying wooot I'll say woof. And bien por ti.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JGarrick62

I will probably work the reverse tree at some point. For now I thought I'd start be reviewing some of the lessons I had trouble with (verb conjugations, mainly), and diving into immersion for a while.

Italian will come after that. I'm going there next year so I want at least six months to dig in. Hopefully I'll learn enough to order lunch in Florence.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jahav
jahav
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Muchas felicidades, por mi parte pronto terminaré mi arbol de inglés :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dankabass3

Congratulations, have a lingot!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/saxicola
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Wow well done,71 days. I think I will still be plodding on in a year! Still a way to go to level 25 though. I am glad to have been of help in pushing you on your way. I have certainly found my progress has been helped by your company on the Leaderboard.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LukeThomas7

Virtual high five, my friend!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eey91
Eey91Plus
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Wow, Muchas felicitaciones!. It is always nice when someone else is interested in your own language, I hope you can continue to improve to get fluent in Spanish. Saludos.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALoUSyUseRnaME
ALoUSyUseRnaME
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Congrats! Have five lingots.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/suenoray

I ended at 13 as well when I finished the tree.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maaak
Maaak
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I have been using DL almost daily since August. Currently, I'm on a 195 day streak. I DL for at least 100 points a day. A couple over 400. You can't practice enough. I am at level 25, almost 26. I used to be fluent enough to use Spanish in my job, but I had brain surgery and the ties to my foreign languages was severed. Getting Spanish back has been a challenge. But doable! Brains are incredibly pliant! I am 4 steps away from completing my tree, with 1503 words in my vocabulary. I know 95% of them cold now. Mi español vive de nuevo! I will keep on keepin' on. There no such thing as too much practice!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fettes

FYI there is no level 26. You're already at the cap my friend

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ggraceco

Great and thanks for the tip!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr-Pen
Dr-Pen
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I got the same number of words when I've completed my Spanish tree (1,571). Kind of hoping that there were some more that I might have missed out somewhere. Still, congratulations!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JGarrick62

Interesting. I suspect that may be the total if you have full gold bars. I went through and refreshed everything before I did the final lesson.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Amalia448

Good for you! Thanks for sending all those links!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2prices

Way to go!! Have a lingot...or three...for your tree! ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yolaluz
yolaluz
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felicidades! Ahora trata de hacerlo en reverso, como hablante de español. Yo terminé mi árbol de inglés y ahora estoy en el nivel 8 del árbol de español. Es muy interesante.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BossBrowne

How do you people go through it so fast?

I'm at level 12, 265 words, been going at it since September...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ajpthree
ajpthree
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I took three years of spanish in high school, my mom's side of the family is largely mexican, so I've visited family a few times in mexico; I've spent several months & made new friends in spain & central america too. Making friends in a spanish speaking country is probably the easiest way to learn, I'm a musician & while working on a cruise ship I made a lot of friends from chile, nicaragua, colombia & mexico. I was really rusty when I started using DL (around last fall - sept/oct?), but I'm ocd as heck it's the only "game" I play on my iPhone/ipad now; at first, I only opened the spanish section to try out the app, but I was soon hooked & had started all 5 available languages - then I was hell-bent on getting up to level 10 in all before the end of last year, when I got close enough I decided to just do each language one at a time & finish out the trees. I finished the spanish tree mid-april, so I began immediately on italian (which I've also studied a little before DL), & the website is faster, so I'm going through italian much faster than I had on all 5 languages when I started. It's fun & addicting too, so I guess that's why we see so many folks who have hundreds of days on their streaks & really high XP :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lena.Birdus

Congratulations!!

I've been Learning spanish for about 5 weeks now and I think I am about 1/3 of the way through. I've learnt 450 words and am in level 10.

I am curious, how would you judge your level of spanish? Are you conversational? Can you understand movies and read books? I am curious to know how far you can get using an app like this. All your suggestions about other resources are great too! I will take them on board! Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SaifShems
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Congratulations!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lohoKachaw

congratulation ! i just started it~ hope i could be as good as you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeoMeadows

Thanks for sharing all those links - I'll check them out.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ms.mm
ms.mm
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thanks for sharing and for all the links. Congratulations on your success!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flooropavontuur

Woohoo! Congrats!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Teresita-DeVeras

So what do you do next?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ajpthree
ajpthree
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finish the italian tree! or german/portuguese/french :) or just keep strengthening spanish & translating/reading/watching movies <3 <3 <3

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lumpupu

Congratulations! I'm interested in one thing: how good, would you say, do you know Spanish now? Can DL make you fluent in reading or writing? Or it leads maximum to about A2/B1 level?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JGarrick62

Great question. For reading, I'm probably A2 right now. I can read middle elementary school level writing reasonably well. Spanish language newspapers are more challenging, but for most stories I can get the general idea of the story, and can follow along quite well with the aid of a dictionary. It's just slow going. Reading in the Immersion area here is much easier because dictionary help is a hover away.

Listening is a whole different matter. I'll often listen to a local Spanish language station on the radio in my car, and can pick up words here and there from the announcer. Ads and songs are harder to follow. Fortunately, this station (WLKX, 95.9 in the Minneapolis north metro) also carries some Minnesota Twins games in Spanish. Those are fun because while any sport has a lot of it's own jargon, there are repeating patterns in what's said (balls, strikes, player positions, etc.) that you can learn just from context or a small amount of additional study. I can actually follow quite a bit of the game action in Spanish.

There's an interesting discussion of Duo and CEFR levels on here:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/186914

That links to several other pages, including an interesting discussion of Duo and CEFR on Reddit.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lumpupu

Thanks! After a month-long study on DL, I've joined an 'above A1' group at my university and now I'm almost at A2, and feel that translations on DL are more like practise to me than learning new. So I asked the question, because I wondered if it's more difficult in the future.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JGarrick62

You're probably progressing faster than I am in that case. I was nowhere near A2 after 30 days. I should, however, also say that I got through about 2/3 of the tree in the first month or so and took about two months to complete the final third. Near the end, I was spending well over half of my time refreshing lessons that were losing bars.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lumpupu

You finished the tree in 71 days, getting A1 took me whole month and after a year in the group study I'm near A2 :) So you progressed faster and I'm really impressed :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/saxicola
saxicola
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How do you assess your A1-A2 level? Is there a test?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lumpupu

No, you can check it e.g. here: http://www.cervantes.to/test_inicial.html or just compare what you know to what you should know at such level. You can find such lists in the internet easily.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JGarrick62

RE: Assessment - I just based my estimate on the descriptions from the Wikipedia page for CEFR.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ajpthree
ajpthree
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cool! I finished the spanish tree almost a month ago, been trying to finish the italian tree this month but I've been busy with work - I'll be following you others in this discussion to ask questions / offer advice (my spanish used to be good enough to get around in foreign countries, not so much these days... )

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marcusscott67

Wow!!! That is fantastic! I hope to finish the Spanish by the end of the summer---hopefully I will make it. I have had so much fun with DL. I have not missed a day since I started. Best wishes all.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anteco

Thanks for sharing this great info and congrats on finishing the tree!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdmrk
jdmrk
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Felicitaciones!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Skyjackson777

wow good job have a lingot

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MKarimisetty

Bueno!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spoentgen

Bravo mon ami!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leidycaro88

hola! me gustaria practicar ingles y poder ayudar a practicar su español, seria una ayuda mutua. Hi!! I like practice English and i can practice you Spanish, would aid.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EvelynIsamar2014

hola! yo tambien hablo español, y estoy aprendiendo ingles, si gustan podemos practicar y ayudarnos mutuamente. Hi! i speak spanish, and i am learning english, if you wanted, we would practice together. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/erpswalia

Congratulations.. I hv started it today.. It seems interesting..

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankReese

Congratulations on this.

Out of curiosity, how is your knowledge in your opinion. Can you read a random book or a newspaper article? Can you watch TV or listen to radio and understand what they're saying reasonably? Do you feel comfortable to speak to a native spanish speaker in the language yet?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JGarrick62

I'm probably reading at a middle elementary school level. I can manage Spanish language newspapers with a dictionary at hand, but it's pretty slow going.

Speaking and listening are another matter entirely. Listening to Spanish language radio, TV, or movies, I can pick up a few words here and there, but mostly it goes by too fast for me to keep up (even on movies with subtitles). In audio and video intended for language learning on youtube, etc., I do somewhat better.

I don't know any native Speakers, so I really don't have a good way to asses my speaking ability. It's likely at or below my listening ability.

There's more discussion of this in my reply to lumpupu on this thread.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Mil gracias for the info on Destinos. I am so hooked. I almost pulled an all nighter. I am to the part where Raquel is leaving for Argentina. Have you taken the Duo certificate test yet? If not, the questions are in the same format as a Duo unit. There are a lot of questions with compound verb tenses, but every test is different, so you may get one easier than mine.

4 years ago