so happy - I finished the French tree skills
Yay. I love studying with DuoLingo! I finished the French tree skills and learned so much! Good luck to everyone. I'm still trying to figure out the rules for submitting translations.
If you would like to practise your french, i'm here to help ! I'm a french native ! (i'm learning english and spanish actually)
It would be more natural to say "I am fluent in the English language".
Funny enough, I don't think I can say that any more. My language has been corrupted by my addiction to reading blogs and forum posts (not this forum - I also belong to other forums such as Snow Boarding, Game Hacking, Greenpeace, and many more).
Depends on your needs. My goal is oral communications and I have been watching a lot of French films/videos. Even if you know the language on paper, understanding natives is a whole different skill. It's taken months, but I can follow most conversations if I concentrate and they are not using too much slang.
Reading will build up your vocabulary as well. There are plenty of native language books in the library that you can use. There are any number of audio based programs that can be used to expand your skill in the language. You can continue to use Duo as a tool as well, I still try to get in the practice since it helps to build written/translation skills like remembering the darn genders.
But the gold standard to improve will be finding conversation partners to talk to. This is painful at first, but absolutely important. I have a little over 3 months before my trip to paris and I just need a little more confidence in my skills.
Pimsleur do have an app but only works if you have a digital version of their course.
With the radio, to be honest with you, you will hardly understand a word of the radio for 2 reasons - you don't have visual queues like video and they don't take breaks when they speak like actors will. That's the downside. The upside is you will concentrate more on what they are saying and they usually speak very clearly and formally. And there is the intangbible benefit of just hearing the language. This made me less "afraid" of the difficulty of the language and used to the patterns. For example you will hear "Je pense que..." so often you just get to know it.
I have been learning for 4 months and would only pick up scattered words when I started, but now I can usually tell what most stories are about within seconds even if I don't understand every word. It's not high quality learning but it is learning, and I wouldn't substitute other more formal methods of learning for it, but it certainly beats listening to local radio if your goal is to learn a language and you have downtime on your commute or just in the car.
I watch movies that I know very well in the language I am trying to learn. Put it in the audio of the language you are trying to learn (or subtitles), and just watch the movie! I use Disney movies i watched as a kid, because they are likely to use short sentences and easy words.
I started with "Kung-Fu Panda" which was very good with a lot of easy to understand language and some great humor. Eventually you really have to graduate to French language films eventually. They are very difficult at first, but get easier over time. I also have been using youtube.fr to find French programs, most of which are spoken so fast you really have to be on your toes.
Besides talking to native/advanced speakers, you can sort of improve speaking by yourself by watch subtitled videos, pausing and repeating in order to practice intonation and pronunciation. You can read along to News in Slow French or similar recordings with transcripts, also. You will also need practice putting your own ideas into the second language, something utterly lacking on Duo. You can do this by trying to keep a diary or by simply talking to your plants/cats in French like a crazy person. You're not getting feedback but you are producing creative output, which would be good to practice before setting up a skype date if you don't want to feel like an idiot or have a whole lotta of "honte" when you finally contact someone.
If you mean fluently as in "at a superior level", Duo doesn't get you close (about a tenth of the needed vocab, only brief looks at intermediate and advanced tenses). If you mean "fluently" in the more technical meaning as "with flow and comfort", the less said the better since Duo doesn't reflect this at all. But all said, it's a great stepping stone to learning with advanced/native speakers or taking an intermediate/advanced course.
I finished the skill tree myself about four days ago. I've been using the site/app for about a year now, as well as taking classes at my University. Duolingo has been CRUCIAL in my success in French, both in and out of class. I recommend it to everyone trying to learn a new language, because not only does it help you learn, it does so in such a way that is FUN, and that makes all of the difference in the world. No one wants to grind over hours of grammar and vocabulary drills, but Duolingo does it in a game fashion, and the progression/level system kept me coming back pretty much every day for a year.
Long story short, I LOOOOOOVE Duolingo and I tell everyone about it.