Question(s) from a newbie...
Hello! Forgive me if this sounds dumb, as I am new to Duolingo, but what is a Spanish "tree?" Also, to all you fluent Spanish speakers out there--is their computer voice accurate with the pronunciation and inflections of the Spanish words? Unfortunately, I wouldn't know. (I guess that's why I'm here, right?) I don't want to find out that I've learned some of them "the gringo way." :) Thanks!!!
It is what you see on your homepage. All the skills listed going down the page. Calling it a 'tree' is a bit inaccurate now, but early versions of DL had the skills connected by lines, or "branches" and the name has stuck.
When you complete all the skills to learn Spanish, you will have completed your "Spanish Tree".
After having completed the spanish tree, I'd say the spanish voice is very accurate. You will learn correct spanish, especially geared towards beginners. There are some flaws, as with anything, but DL is constantly evolving. Take the tree and have fun with it, but make sure you are serious and try to practice every day if you can. Also, don't rush through the tree, and make sure to Strengthen Skills frequently. My tree took 8 months, now I am doing the reverse tree (English From Spanish) and I am learning spanish not introduced in the spanish course.
Hi HopeC5! Welcome to the community! :D
The voice is computerized, so it's accuracy is limited. I suggest finding a pronunciaiton tutorial created by a native speaker. You can find those on Youtube, but wazzie seems to have a good site suggestion as well. :) So, I'll just add that if you're planning to take a trip or move to a predominantly Spanish-speaking area, try to find out what accent or dialect is used in that area and tutorials that focus on that accent.
I also wanted to give you a link to the Duolingo wiki (unofficial). Several users have put a lot of work into creating how-to Duolingo guides and FAQ's. Here is the link http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Duolingo_Wiki#Getting_Help and here are some lingots (the red jewels) to help you save up for something in the Lingot store (on your Home tab.) I highly recommend saving up for a Timed Practice as soon as possible, and using it as a review tool every day. Also, I suggest practicing everything out loud, even when Duolingo does not prompt you to. This really helped with my conversation skills. ^_^ Good luck!!
The "tree" is on your Home page; it's all of the lessons and sections of the course. I think it actually used to be in the "shape" of a tree, someone correct me if I'm wrong.
I don't think that the audio is completely accurate; most of the language audio's here aren't.
Listening to music, watching TV are always good suggestions, but not really practical for someone first learning.
I like Forvo for pronunciation. You search the word and can hear a native speaker pronounce it.
The flashcard site Quizlet's computer generated voice is better than DL, and their are several DL flashcard decks you can practice with.
The flashcard site Memrise will occasionally have a native speaker voice the vocab word.