https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LingualLightning

7 ways to get more out of your Duolingo course

It can be tempting to just click through a Duolingo lesson in order to finish the skill, without learning as much as you could. Since the ultimate reason we are on Duolingo is to learn, here are 7 ways you can learn more from each lesson:

Say every sentence out loud. This helps with pronunciation.

Take notes of new vocabulary. Writing down the words will help it stick in your memory more.

Pick a few sentences from each lesson and "diagram" them. Write them down and label the different parts of the sentence. (Noun, verb, direct object, preposition) and identify what each part plays in the sentence structure of that language.

Formulate a response in your target language to each of the sentences in the course. This gives you practice constructing your own sentences. Sentence: Me gusta el chocolate. You could say: ¡Genial! ¡Yo también!

Close your eyes when listening to your target language and see if you can decode the meaning without the text. This helps with listening comprehension.

On the multiple choice questions, don't just click the correct answer and then move on. Try your hand at translating the other two incorrect answers. They won't always have correct grammar, they will likely be nonsensical, and Duo might even use grammar and vocab you haven't learned yet, but it's a good challenge nonetheless.

After each lesson, write down every phrase/vocab/grammar rule you can remember from it.

These are tips that I have found helpful, I hope you find them helpful as well. Also, share your tips down below! I would love to hear what works for you.

July 9, 2019

163 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcusJDonnelly

this might sound crazy but try speaking to your dog in the language you are learning if you dont have a dog go to the park and speak to someone elses dog

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lolly-Lola

love that! "Go to the park and speak to someone elses dog"

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A_Sesquipedalian

I can imagine that. “Excuse me sir, why are you speaking to my dog?” “Guten Tag, Ich will Deutsch sprechen.” “Oh. Okay, then... (mutters ‘mad fool’)”.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hsien.duol

I remember I was learning Esperanto, and I got pissed at someone at school, so I yelled this at them:

VI ESTAS HUNDINO!

vi = you estas = is/are hund- = "dog" related -in- = female -o = noun

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blue_lu

its nice knowing dogs listen no matter what you say to them. personally, if someone says any word phrased like my name, i will answer "what" like someone: "hey, pineapple!" me: "hmm?"

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamie574779

lol

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A_Sesquipedalian

Oh, I should have said ‘Barking mad’, shouldn’t I?

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FionaOnDuoL

Can confirm that speaking to your dog really works to brush up a language. It's so flattering how carefully they listen to you. I love dogs.

Our first dog came to us from an Irish speaker, and it was great practice for us as the dog didn't understand any English words . We didn't think you could teach an old dog new words, & we spoke to him in Irish to make him feel more welcome in his new home. (Amazingly, he actually picked up some English words like walk, go to and bed in a couple of months.) To this day I automatically speak Irish to dogs.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Astrocat707

What about cats?

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenniPoint

I talk to my cats in french all the time!

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LauraWhite477219

I only speak to my cat in Spanish! I like to think she's bi-lingual because of this, but the cold truth is she's not so smart. No matter! It helps me a lot!

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlanS181824

Maith thú!! Is deas é chun an nuacht sin a fhoghlaim!!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/meg1256

personally, i like to watch tv in german and yell at the characters, in german, when they do stupid stuff. 10/10 would recommend.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamohtSMA

I can see another language for the incubator! Bark!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LangPhile

Bark, bark bark bark bark bark bark bark. :) Bark bark, bark!

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeySteve1

Wow, I can't believe you just said that on a public forum..

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LingualLightning

That's a really good tip! If you don't have anyone to practice with, talk in your target language as much as you can to a pet, and if you don't have one, just talk to yourself!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-KBITKA-

I'm learning Spanish, and I always speak to my parrot and tell him about my day in Spanish. He listens! :)

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

What kind of parrot? I bet he will learn "¡Hola!" really quickly.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-KBITKA-

He's a Sun Conure, and yes, he picks up words REALLY quickly. Half the time, my family doesn't notice that he knows them until he says it out loud! :)

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

I need a new parrot. I used to have a Blue Front Amazon, but had to sell him back to his original owner when we downsized our house and had to put him in a smaller cage... his personality changed. But I so miss him! A sun conure would be nice, due to their smaller size. Or a Caique, but they don't talk.

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DamionPelosi

I could only find a German Sheppard. (I'm studying Italian.)

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJTitmus

Like it :-))

July 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Little_Tatws

Haha I've done that before! Whenever I go to my aunt's and I see her dog, I try to practice my German by baby talking to little Ollie.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ethan150903

I do the same thing! also try communicating with your family in your target language. When I do this, my family gets a bit annoyed because they can't understand, but it forces you to try to form sentences and close gaps in your vocabulary!

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucilleAtTheBall

After I read this, I started doing it. I surprisingly don't speak to my precious darling (a Havanese Westie mix) in Spanish, but I mumble in French to him sometimes and whenever I see him (the dog's name is Jojo) I say: "Joh-joh, mon ami, comment ca va?" He takes that as a command to follow me for some reason. Oh well. Jojo will always be my dog best friend forever, even if he isn't so great at French. :)

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caroline-G.

I like your username! :)

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucilleAtTheBall

Thank you Caroline! If you were talking to me... :)

July 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caroline-G.

I was! My family use to watch I Love Lucy all the time! We own the first 5 seasons on disk, but never bought the last 2.

July 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skye546

I don't have a dog...but I DO have a guinea pig!

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-GuessWho-

Ask your dog yes or no questions so they can actually answer just by nodding their heads.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miki8307

What if the dog speaks back? :-S

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A_Sesquipedalian

In all seriousness, the given circumstances would require a linguistic exorcism.

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YourKyckli

haahahaha

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anirim2

hilaria

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan139433

Going slowly is so important. I find that the game-like aspects make it hard to do that. The design encourages racing through the lessons, so you have to work hard to consciously not do that.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skye546

ye! I found that thinking of it more like a school test, rather than a game, works wonders.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/prisonmike420

These are ALL great and helpful tips! I love the one about making up your own response to the sentences. I'm going to definitely try this.

Here's my two tips:

  1. On the multiple choice questions, before I answer, I try not to look at the 3 given answers, and translate the sentence on my own out loud, this helps with pronunciation too.

  2. I wrote this in another post but I feel it's helpful, so I'm sharing it here too. If the language has Stories, I memorize the dialogue of one story I really like and then recite it back to myself. After I've memorized it well I try and write it down, which on the other hand helps with grammar. So that way you have practicing listening, memorizing more vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar all in one. I REALLY love Stories because you're listening to real people putting emotion in what they say and not monotone computer-generated voices like in the lessons (not that I don't love those too lol), and they are so well done and helpful I wish they were available for all the languages.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raventh1

Another tip is you can turn on the Keyboard and it will hide the bubbles which will force you to recall as much as you can. (You can even swap back and forth looking for a specific verb or noun bubble you might not have memorized!)

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neilbradle3

It's also a great way to learn other keyboard layouts too - my phone has a limit of four however, so I dropped all the latin alphabet languages in favour of the non-latin, and use US-international.

Losing the dictionaries was a little painful though - the amount of times the phone auto-corrects to another language has failed me a few tests :P

Finding linux & windows have different russian layouts though....

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshSellsGuns

They won't always have correct grammar, they will likely be nonsensical

reading a sentence and understanding that it is gibberish shows an understanding of the language (at least to a certain degree). So that's a really good one. Good post, OP!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CheshirePat

So I didn't do this with Spanish, because I didn't know about it, but I'm doing it with Arabic. Do the first lesson to level 2, then the second to level 1. Then the first to 3, second to 2, third to 1. Then 4, 3, 2, 1. Then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 etc. all the way through. It does take forever to get through the tree, but it's really good spacing and repetition. I can tell you that I am really remembering the Arabic well.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tressa611480

That's awesome, I wish I had done that from the start. I can say I'm much more proud of my few skills that are all leveled up than with all the skills I got to level one in and then moved on from.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben429172

Really good idea!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PetitRagondin

I am trying to do this for Arabic too! I certainly need the practice :)

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/realberggren

CheshirePat, great advice. I also do something like that, so there's constant review until I know that understand the grammar of every topic and also the vocabulary. Then by the time I get something up to level 5, there's the option of speed review, which helps me to know if I really have mastered the unit. I ALWAYS read any grammar tips before starting the lessons, and when I miss things and don't know why, I read people's questions and answers, and often find answers to questions I've had for a long time. The moderators are very helpful.

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesMTaylor92

This was exactly what I started doing as soon as I came back to Duo after about 6 months out; the latest updates are fantastic, great shout!

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roody-Roo

I like that approach. But I'm holding off on Level 5 until I finish the Tree. That will give me some widely spaced review for months or years before totally finishing the tree.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LrKbe

What I have been doing is keeping the bottom 3 lesson in order, so the bottom level is level 0, the one above it is level 1, the one above itis level 2, but I don't keep level 3 and 4 lessons in order. Then, I use a random number generator to pick which lesson to work on next. This seems to give me a nice balance of practicing newer lessons and practicing older lessons. I'm never cramming a lot of the same lesson and not knowing what I'll practice next makes it easier to not get bored with the lessons!

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

The "saying it out loud" is particularly helpful.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Yes, our nervous system doesn't have time for us to think of all the complicated things we need to do to utter a sentence, so practice is literally necessary.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RuwaydaAtH

Thanks! ^-^ I write new vocabulary in a small, blue book and whenever I forget what a word is, I go back and look. It's like a dictionary for me.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cherub64544

As well as using Duolingo I attend a German class two evenings a week, total class time three hours. When the teacher writes things on the board I copy it down and highlight the different components in the sentence with highlighter pens. I also write my own little notes as a prompt in the margin. It sometimes works for me, but after over two years I'm still struggling to speak German beyond the basic level. I find German incredibly difficult to learn as a native English speaker.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaet

If you're that far in, it's really worth focussing on the grammar and the case system. It's less fun, but if you can get to being automatic about really understanding the difference between der/die/das/den/dem/etc and when to use them, the rest of the language will make more sense.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avi_an_Avian

I have the same problem. I can sort of getting by when translating speech but normally I am too slow especial with more complex sentences. As for responses their never timely. I can sort of reading but every paragraph or two I need to double check a word or case. Honestly sometimes I just translate a sentence word for word then say ok how can these ideas work together and make sense (Usually Sub-Verb-Object). I use the same trick for basic latin.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

A few things that help me are:

Talking to my cats in the target language.

Naming the rule old example. Dutch has a LOT of rules for adjectives. And, I was struggling endlessly. So, I started taking sentences I got in Dutch lessons and writing the sentence and the rule. I find this more helpful than diagramming sentences, simply because I already learned what verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc are back in school. So, I no longer needs to learn that a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. etc.

I've also made giant grammar rule posters that I could see from clear across the room. I tried post it notes and such. But, when I put the giant posters up with giant font, every time I looked up I was reminded of the grammar rule I was working to learn no matter where I was in the room.

These days, I'm barely taking any notes. Mainly just "name the rule" practice. I'm trying an approach of just getting familiar with the language, moving it away from a goal of memorization and into having made friends with it from repeated exposure and interaction. This has by far been the least stressful approach and the one I've enjoyed the most. However, it doesn't work for me with all languages. I've noticed that different languages have different personalities and require different approaches to making friends with my memory.

My best approach by far however, has just been trying different things and finding what I like. And when it stops appealing to me, being creative and locating more approaches that make things feel refreshed. :)

Good luck everyone! ^_^

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/la_creyente

Thanks for the tips... let me find a notebook! :p

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenKuip

I am missing out on so much.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/la_creyente

:p

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FionaOnDuoL

Thanks for these great tips. I don't have any local meet ups for Danish yet, so this is helpful.

Once I understand a sentence fully, I also try saying it as fast as I can. I was so slow for months! Now that I'm through the first checkpoint, I can speak at a normal speed. It's very satisfying to get to a stage where you can do that.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtieSF

For the first tip, saying each sentence out loud, I came up with a clever way to do that. Instead of typing your answer when prompted, use the dictation feature on your device to be able speak your answer. Much easier than typing.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stergi3

Repeat, repeat repeat! And one more... Repeat!

Leave it for a while, if you are getting bored but... Again, repeat!

This is my method.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samanthasi267304

Bonjour stergi3. I agree that repetition is the best way to remember the new language. I am okay at writing the word(s)/phrase(s), however, I must remember to say it or them as I write. This learning takes habituation, like learning the alphabet. I have to remember that I didn't learn the alphabet the first time I said them (or riding a bike). I'm sure you get the idea. Thanks for reminding me to take it slow and repeat, repeat, repeat. samanthasi267304

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samanthasi267304

stergi3, do you speak 10 languages fluently? If so, wonderful!!!!!!!!

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elissaf1

I doubt that someone who has gotten up to level 6 would be considered fluent. I'm level 25 on both sides of the Spanish/English tree and I'm not fluent.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A_Sesquipedalian

Your Spanish to English level is shown to be on 23. This is either a glitch or you have been embellishing your prowess.

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoges.110

Repeat! I think Duo's got that covered already...(rolls the eyes). But it's true - the only things I really remember are those which I've repeated ad nauseum.

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Great tips. I do similar things while studying German, and that is why it takes me 6-10 minutes to do a lesson, whereas my students generally click through the lessons in 2-4 minutes.

One thing you didn't mention is to open up the discussion page on tricky sentences, because often you can find good comments by native speakers or mods that are helpful, or you might find out that the Duolingo sentence has a mistake, or is somehow awkward.

By the way, I just wanted to let you know that you have an error in your example of "formulate a response:" If someone says, "Me gusta el chocolate," the correct rejoinder is "a mí también," rather than "yo también." In Spanish, people don't directly "like" things, but things please people.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robert600069

Nice tips, thanks for sharing. Here are few of my own. After completing the Spanish language tree once, I focused on learning the grammar by following a good beginners grammar book. Also started reading basic books for kids in Spanish language with Spanish-English dictionary by the side, that really helps speed up the learning. Eventually, plan to progress to reading more complex books for adults. I have completed Spanish tree twice and doing it for the 3rd time now, but already comfortable speaking in Spanish and can follow Spanish TV content. Repeated lessons on Duolingo are good for vocabulary building and faster recall.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DIRKVANDEP2

Splendid! Another tip could be what I discovered by accident: watch tv/netflix/... series or films in the original laguage you are studying. You will be surprised!

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tressa611480

Also- try to advance past level one in each skill. I originally was only getting to level one in each skill and then moving on, and I wasn't learning Portuguese, I was learning how to pick out the right bubbles. As I try to advance all the way in skills I learn comprehension and grammar.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RowanM.1

These are some excellent tips - many thanks! I use some of them already, but there are a couple of others I haven't utilised so much.

Regarding multiple choice questions: one thing I like to do with the multi-choice questions concerning verb conjugations is go over each one, which helps to reinforce patterns. Or if you're doing an exercise that requires you to pick one out of four characters (which you can get in e.g. Japanese, Chinese or Hindi), try to identify the three "wrong" ones. E.g. "The correct answer is "ki", but that character means "ka", and that one is "ga" and this other one is "ko".

A couple of other things you can do for practice when away from Duolingo is try to name everyday objects in your target language. Or if you're doing a task that requires counting, then count in the language you're learning. I find this can help not only with language learning, but also with making dull tasks more interesting!

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skye546

oh my god, how can one person learn all those languages! I was getting tripped up after 4!

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RowanM.1

It helps that a number of them are related to each other (although it is certainly possible to trip yourself up by e.g. writing "jeg" instead of "jag" in a Swedish exercise, because Danish and Norwegian use "jeg", and several times I have translated the Dutch "je" as "I" instead of "you" because I'm used to the French "je", which does mean "I"). But yeah, cognates and similar grammar structure between some languages definitely helps. I cycle through them and drill myself pretty thoroughly in whatever language(s) I'm doing on the day, and the method seems to be working quite well - I can definitely feel myself improving in each one, even Vietnamese, which is very tough with all those different accents! But I focus strongly on the bare-bones basics first to give myself a solid foundation, and then just keep building skills on top of each other.

It's certainly a challenge, but I find it a lot of fun. Although three languages (French, German and Spanish) are more about revision as I already knew them before discovering Duolingo. Even with those languages though, I've learned a few new things, which has been great.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenaLY1994

how do you work and keep adding more languages like? how many lessons do you do per language before you move to the next one? and do you just take 1 theme at the time (Basic 1) to level 5 or do you take many themes at the same time and try to finish the tree ASAP?

July 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RowanM.1

The number of lessons I do depends on where I'm up to. For example, if I'm up to a skill where I'm knocking on Crown Level 5 and there are 20 lessons to get through in that skill, I'll probably just do that and nothing else this time around. But if I'm up to some new skills that maybe only have one or two lessons each, then I will do several skills at once before moving on to the next language in my cycle.

I certainly don't try to rush. Language learning takes time. So I aim to drill myself fairly thoroughly. But I break it down by groups of skills between checkpoints. So I'll do a group of skills between one checkpoint and another up to Crown Level 1, then do them all again to CL 2, and so on and so forth, rinse and repeat, until I've made all those skills golden (i.e. up to Crown Level 5). That gives me a good solid foundation for the next set of skills, and I just do the same thing with those.

With some languages, I'm up to about the third group of skills, while with others, I'm still on the first group. It just depends on how long ago I started the course. Some I've been doing for a while, others I'm still quite new to. But anyway, I think doing skills in little clusters helps to keep it interesting, but by focusing on just those skills and then moving on to another group when they're done, I think I also ensure that I'm not spreading my study out too thinly.

July 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenaLY1994

okey I see. :) I just do one theme at once to LV 5 and then going to the next theme and make it to LV 5.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brandy.N.Duenas

I am studying Korean and here are a couple tips for anyone starting or thinking to start Korean. 1. Forget romanization, its hard to learn the words when you put a romanized sound to them because you expect it to sound exacly like the rimanized word. 2. Get a korean keyboard for your phone or computer, i have memorized and learned words because of this. 3. Write everything down, if you can put it in your native language the target language and transliteration (i recommend this for any language you learn.) Well i hope that helps someone out. Best wishes to all on your language learning abventure.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenaLY1994

My 50 days challenge: Learn italian for 50 days. How: I have switched my phone's language to Italian from day 1, and I listen to RTL (Italy's most popular radio station which has news in every whole hour and mixes english and italian music) 5 mins per day and I do Duolingo 5 mins per day for 14 days and then I increasing it to 5 more mins until it hits 20 mins which is max per day. Goal: My goal is to understand what they're saying in a child program like, peppa pig.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Great ideas! However, I think 5 minutes per day is too little. Think of babies... they get all their waking hours absorbing the "lessons" of the people who surround them.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenaLY1994

what u mean with 5 mins a day - too little?? u mean with the radio thing??

July 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judit294350

5 minutes per day is probably light for DL if you want to be understanding anything in 50 days. 20 minutes is a better minimum - work up from there.

July 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenaLY1994

i have already maximum since a few days back and it's ok. :) I watch twitch stream in Italian too :)

August 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeneeT1

Amazing! I do similar things but my goal is to be able to speak and understand basic conversational French in 3 months, then the sky's the limit from there.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judit294350

Pick a few sentences from each lesson and "diagram" them. Write them down and label the different parts of the sentence. (Noun, verb, direct object, preposition) and identify what each part plays in the sentence structure of that language.

Not a skill everyone has - and not useful for all languages. Hungarian, for instance, has a variable word order that is not entirely free but follows its own logic. Assuming one sentence is a pattern for another can be a trap (often in discussions I see people complaining they used the same word order as another sentence, not realizing why this is a different case).

Formulate a response in your target language to each of the sentences in the course.

Excellent idea.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lionne24

Vraiment de bons conseils didactiques pour apprendre une langue. Merci Lingual Lightning Moi, j'écoute aussi des chansons et en cherche les textes sur l'Internet. e.a. Renaud, Joaquín Sabina, Aznavour. Tous des magiciens des mots.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jenesaispaw

Yes, and I also follow some French news accounts on Twitter, just to see if I can translate their headlines, and if it interests me, I will try to read an article and see how much I can comprehend.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucasS.542518

That's actually a really good idea. I won't be doing that quite yet because I've only just started, but later on I will most definitely be subscribing to some french news articles1

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeneeT1

I've started listening to French musique, English tv series with French subtitles (vice versa), YouTubers, and Instagrammers who vlog their life or speak on interesting topics. I have learned and retained quite a lot during the first week. I also write words in my language journal and use it whenever my memory fades a bit. I speak to myself in French and listen to the songs and YouTubers repeatedly to familiarise myself with certain words. It's been a big help.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaneBaker13

I have been listening to Radio Canada (French CBC radio). They speak really fast, but I am starting to get the gist of the conversations. I especially like listening to the news because, I usually already know what i going on from reading/listening to the English version already.

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/conjanwill

Also if you are using the web version there is an option to "use keyboard" to answer the translation questions instead of the bubbled words in the beginning lessons. It's harder, but producing the words yourself cements it better in your mind.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sebastian460849

Both mobile and the web version have this feature although it seems not all questions have the option, it's a perfect way to challenge yourself a little bit extra.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuperLearner007

I feel like I already use most of those techniques naturally, which makes me really happy and motivated. Even if tons of people do it, I think that learning a language isn't easy, if you think deeply about it:

It's like learning a hieroglyph, a totally new code. You have to learn the code, understand it (decode) and code messages for others. It's like being born again, learning noun by noun, verb by verb, until you manage to say a simple sentence without thinking too much.

Note: Personally, the techniques that work best for me are the first one, fourth and sixth.

Thanks for posting!

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jouke92

I look up spanish songs that I like and try to understand the spanish text first. Then write the text down and try translate it. Also don't forget to sing along !

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natachahp

I sometimes try to narrate what I'm doing in my head. So I'll be thinking "okay so now i'm going to get some water" etc in my target language haha

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Excellent! First signs of future fluency. Now, when you can, make yourself say those thoughts out loud. Even if it's just a whisper, it will help. Practice makes perfect.

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HodayaNiss

great tips thanks!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucilleAtTheBall

I say to my best dog friend Jojo in a mellow, sweet sounding French accent "Oh! Jo-jo! Comment ca va?"

(I am typing on a keyboard, so pardon the non existence of the accent on the c)

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gh0stwheel

On the: "Write what you hear":
After typing your answer (what you've heard) and before pressing enter,
Say the translation out loud.
After all, you want to understand what people say,
not just parrot it like a tape-recorder.
(Came up with this one after realizing that sometimes I type the right answer without even knowing what they say...)

Once you leveled up enough in a skill,
(say, reached level 3. Or your choice, depending on how confident you feel.)
when encountering a word-pool exercise on the web, choose use keyboard instead.
One tends to learn more when having to build the entire sentence without the word-pool hinting them.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaNyczWasilec

yea that would help

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rinnyssance

I don't really use Duolingo as an all-purpose app. For me, it's a vocabulary builder that serves as a foundation for the rest of my learning tools. I use children's books (then move up in reading level as I go along), watch Netflix shows in the language (just search your target language and check out what they have to offer), and write, listen and all that other stuff. The grammar stuff, I've been doing so long I can intuit it now. I don't need to break down what is a noun because it's obvious. I feel like people should study grammar in their native language before they pick it apart in a new one because it only causes confusion. And studying grammar in every single language seems time-consuming as well. You really only need to learn grammar once, save for special rules in a new language, in order to be sucessful in language learning.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/meg1256

for learning a language, for me pacing is really important. i never try to stretch myself beyond levelling three skills at one time, and even then, i won’t start learning a third until the other two skills are at level 3 or 4.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jperlson

These are great tips... thanks!

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ambiguoussounds

Thanks for the tips! I'm definitely guilty of clicking through some lessons.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RayVora

Why did Duolingo eliminate word test at the end of a story and give us a chance to add those words to the TINYCARDS library? That feature was very helpful in learning new words and how much of the story was retained in the memory. It would be great, if you can add that feature back.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avi_an_Avian

I haven't done stories it a while but I think in German there still is a matching type word check. As for tinycards, I don't know I use memrise for vocab practice.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Hi Lingual Lightning,

Thanks for your post! I complimented you on it earlier. Then when I was doing a lesson, I realized that one of your suggestions is probably better not done (for some reason I am not able to indent and quote): "On the multiple choice questions, don't just click the correct answer and then move on. Try your hand at translating the other two incorrect answers. They won't always have correct grammar, they will likely be nonsensical, and Duo might even use grammar and vocab you haven't learned yet, but it's a good challenge nonetheless."

The reason I think this is a bad idea is because the alternative suggestions are sometimes, no I'd say often, really wrong grammatically! They also sometimes even include words that don't exist! I don't think it's a good idea to dwell on things that are wrong, much less analyze them.

A different approach to the multiple-choice items is to read the question and answer it in your head, then see if your answer is included as one of theirs. If you find it right away, don't even bother to read their other entries, they are often mish-mush and better to avoid confusing yourself with them.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynnaround

Just kind of chatting to yourself in your target language works, too -- the shower is a great place for this, or while you're cleaning. Also! Listening to music and the radio in your target language is great practice. There's an app called Radio Garden that lets you listen to radio stations from all over the world, and spotify has plenty of music in other languages. :) Reading books helps too -- kids' books are great places to start.

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenaLY1994

go to twitch and watch a stream in that language you're learning. :)

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uphilldweller

I like the point about "wrong options". Often these will crop up later.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samanthasi267304

Thanks for the recommendations. I am using much of them now. I am visual and writing down is good for me. I'm having trouble with the app itself. I've been practicing daily, however, I'm unable to navigate the app properly. What can you suggest to help? I am samanthas227304 studying French. Thanks.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevinSurra

thanks , this is very helpful

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dogomolo

Definitely useful post! Lots of great ideas to kill boring days.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julia494073

love this giving you a couple of lingots

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erikadepadua

Excellent tips! Thank you!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobStill9

thanks that will help my learning.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chickenator1944

These are great tips!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Je_suis_ZiggyD

You have so many good ideas here. Thank you for posting this!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ashley439833

You can also read the stories they provide a take note of the words you dont understand and also read out loud the words or phrases that seem difficult

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caroline-G.

Although, they don't provide stories for all languages, that is a good idea.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EJNNJE

This is so awesome. This should be a sticky you can pull up at all times.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EL5tEL

Great advice! Thanks. I have to stop myself when the gamification of language learning gets in the way. I sometimes rushed through lessons in order to get my owl back - and that rushing can result in less learned.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ohiku_Official

Beautiful piece, I do the first and second tasks whenever I'm learning on this app, but now I'll start trying the other ideas you stated. Thanks for sharing.

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalia334204

Love it! Thanks for the tips. Really works!!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaNyczWasilec

these are awesome. thx!

July 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dwoods7787

Good advice!

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raventh1

These are some great tips that I have been following for Japanese, the writing is a bit trickier with Kanji though, so I haven't spent much time there yet. I have used IME on Windows to type up the kanji and have started using the Keyboard entry while I'm studying on my computer.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshbrns

Great tips! I already do some of these but I could definitely try the 'diagram' tip and the general grammar rules because its so irritating when you get one wrong from simply rushing and ignoring an important rule! Muchas Gracias!

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamie574779

These are some great and very helpful tips, thankyou. I do use some of these sometimes.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Suppremer

Tried speaking to my dog but unfortunately he got mad at me :/

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelvin401862

Thanks, this is very helpful.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tony988922

I agree

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Astrocat707

I have a blank notebook from MUJI that I write down every kanji, hiragana, and anything else I learn. It really helps me remember.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chasphillippos

Reading out loud really helps a lot with comprehension as well, it's easy for me to just pick out the right answers right away just by looking at key words but if you slow it down you can get so much more out of it.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rezzare

Is there a recommended companion to Duolingo for optimal language learning?

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SgtSplatter

I'll also add that there are free services that will pair you up with a native speaker of your target language that in turn wants to learn your native language. My buddy loves learning new languages and says stuff like that is an amazing tool.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynn318025

Thank you for the tips. I have realised how counterproductive it is to do binge learning. I became so competitive with the ranking that I stopped learning. So I have now slowed down and retain much more. Essential for Welsh

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mapl.ev

If any family members speak the language or are learning it, you can do a challenge where you have to speak the language for a certain amount of time. For instance, you could try to speak sentences in the language for 30 minutes-1 hour. When you get better, you can even try to speak it for the whole day

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynn318025

These are great tips. I have a sister who speaks Welsh. I’m not good enough to converse with her yet. Tried once and decided to learn a lot more before I try again

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrsCarolBullard

Great tips! I keep a written list of new words and try to memorize them with der /die /das. I watch tv shows and movies in German with English subtitles. I practice conjugating new verbs throughout the day.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skye546

This post is SO helpful! I had to reset all of my courses bc I couldn't memorize right. (i forgot to take notes)

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-GuessWho-

It would be really awesome to talk to your dog in a language. You can ask them yes or no questions so they nod their head.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caroline-G.

I talk to myself. And I listen to music in my target language to get a feel for pronunciations.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D.ecoris

I always cover the multiple choice questions and try to answer them correctly first in my head and then uncover them to see if I got it correctly

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lightningblizt

Good tips! I will definitely use these! (Instead of being a lazy potato)

July 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caroline-G.

but being a lazy potato is fun!

July 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CodeOtaku

this site make learning so fun in school i never wanted to study a language

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Upanishaad

Thanks for the tips! I will try to use these techniques.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mujtabasaif786

Thank you so much for these tips. I would definitely do it.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StavCohen4

tnx for that!

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZappyMorgan

I talk to my dog in French and German she looks at me like I'm crazy she still does what I say in English

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IRARENTZI

thanks a lot!!!

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/plasticprincess

Thank you for this.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3gT4V1xn

Great tips! I will try them out next time I'm on the site.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbdesslamDai

thanks a lot! I hope this will help me

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jhoff686

I hope to soon go to germany to be with my relatives and get a full language immersion experience

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/charliethump

Love these tips.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bleu420654

great!

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maxwell-chan

Not only does talking to a dog (or cat, in my case) in my target language really help, I also try to explain grammar and sentence structure to them so I get it stuck in my head and follow those rules when I try writing on my own in the target language. And I got a very helpful roommate. She doesn't understand anything, but listens nonetheless and asks questions about why something is pronounced this way, or why do you say it that way. So that helps with understanding, too. She'll randomly point and ask "what is this", too

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mbfftt

Thanks for the tips, gonna give a few of them a try.

July 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coffeeboy56

i'm learning italian specifically so i can finally challenge al capone to a duel

July 9, 2019
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.