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

Duolingo: My first year!

Hello :)

I'm Alex and I am a mod on the Irish course :) Tomorrow marks one year since I joined Duolingo, so I thought I'd write a post talking about my experiences, my achievements and what I'd like to achieve in the next year. I decided to post this today because tomorrow I'll be on a plane with an airline that insists on charging €10 for an hour of wifi :P

The Beginning

I found Duolingo on the App Store one morning when I was just scrolling though lists and lists of useless apps. I was delighted when I first found it...it was almost unbelievable. I always wanted an app/website that would help me learn languages for free. Most of the "free" apps and websites I had seen until then would offer the first few lessons for free and then try and charge me for the rest. This made me even more surprised when I found that Duolingo was free- forever.

Languages

The first language I started after downloading the app was German. I already had previous knowledge in the language (and it's my favourite!....after Irish, of course). I made quick progress through the first few rows of the tree and I was really enjoying it. Some people said I was addicted. They don't know what they're talking about xD

From the beginning, I dabbled on and off in French. I don't even remember how many times I started, deleted and re-started my French tree. When I finally finished my German tree, I started to focus on French and I have been really happy with my progress. I also had previous knowledge in French, but I already feel like I am learning so much more.

Other languages

I also studied the other 3 languages on-and-off, but I never reached higher than level 8 in any.

Incubator

I was selected as one of the moderators for Duolingo's Irish course back in late April. So far, it has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life. It is such a satisfying thought that a course I helped create will (very) soon be available to millions of people so they can learn Irish and help save and beautiful, endangered language. Working on the Incubator is hard, but it is also enjoyable and very rewarding. In the few months I have been working on the Incubator, I have met and become friends with people from all over the world. When I first started, I would have never thought that I would be talking to people from Denmark, the Netherlands, Vietnam, China, Hungary and so many other places. I think now is probably the best time to also mention our Incubator mentor Mukkapazza. She has helped with our course from the beginning and is always friendly and up for a joke :) So definitely a big thank you to her xD Thank you :P

My Achievements

So, what have I actually achieved in the year since I joined? Well, I:

  • Finished the German course (in late December) and reached level 25.
  • Completed 1/2 of the French course and reached level 12.
  • Created an Irish course with a team (that will be released soon)
  • Had a great time meeting lots of different people from different backgrounds, from all over the world.
  • Had an enjoyable race with the Dutch

Yay! ITCH!

Here are my current standings in my current languages:

Unfortunately, I will have to lose my streak again tomorrow. I don't think I'll be able to use a streak freeze for two weeks :P (Oh, yes. My highest streak was 114 days, btw)

So, Duolingo hasn't led to amazing job or educational opportunities for me...at least not yet. But this is only the beginning.

What's Next?

Here is what I hope to achieve in the next year on Duolingo:

  • Help get the Irish course into beta (and beyond)
  • Complete the following trees: Danish, Swedish and Japanese (if available in the next year).
  • Complete the trees and reach level 25 in the following languages: French and Dutch.

In Closing,

I'd like to say a final thank you to the Duolingo team, the Incubator team, all the forum moderators, all the Incubator moderators and contributors, all of my followers, all of the new people I've met, the 14,000+ people who are waiting for the Irish course and the rest of the community. You guys are brilliant.

Thank you!/Go raibh maith agaibh!/Vielen Dank!/Merci!

Alex (AlexinIreland)

July 16, 2014

47 Comments

Sorted by top post

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

Alex, tu es magnifique!

Félicitations!

I feel that building a language course is in fact a great educational opportunity, both for us and future learners. I mean, come on, look at that Alex teaching Irish:

Doesn't he look smart? (;

Anyways, bon voyage et à bientôt!

July 16, 2014

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

Merci beaucoup, mon amie :) Tu es aussi magnifique :P Dank je ^_^

(He looks very smart! Grammar Duo FTW!)

July 16, 2014

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

"Duolingo hasn't led to amazing job or educational opportunities for me...at least not yet. " Don't worry, I strongly believe with your talent and attitude, you will get a job in some multilingual companies or some embassies in wonderland xD. Fly Alex, fly :P

te

July 16, 2014

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

Thanks, Trang.! I hope so :) That's a nice Duo, btw :P

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
Mod
  • 2249

Alex !

What a journey indeed! I am really glad you found the Duolingo app in the App Store that morning: just imagine you would have accidentally slept in that day??? I am pretty sure we would not be close the completion of the irish course!

And if there was one, it would lack some pretty essential sentences ;-)!

It is a great pleasure to know you, and chat to you in the incubator. You and the rest of Itch (and guests) made the incubator a very fun place to be around, indeed!

Thanks for all you hard work, and for being awesome! By the way, your German is great :)

Best

Franky

July 16, 2014

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

just imagine you would have accidentally slept in that day???

No...no....don't even think about that :(

And if there was one, it would lack some pretty essential sentences ;-)!

It sure would ;)

It is a great pleasure to know you, and chat to you in the incubator. You and the rest of Itch (and guests) made the incubator a very fun place to be around, indeed!

Aww...thanks Franky :) It's so nice to have met you too, and all the other Itch Co. mods and contributors xD

Thanks for all you hard work, and for being awesome!

No problem :) It's really enjoyable.

By the way, your German is great :)

That means a lot :) Especially coming from a native xD

Thank you!

July 16, 2014

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

Go maire tu! Maith thú! (please feel free to correct me if I am talking rubbish in Irish here....) :D

July 16, 2014

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

You made a good effort :P Thanks, BritBlue!

July 16, 2014

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

lol Someone told me that comhghairdeas is too formal in this situation but I'm not sure I believe them.... ;P For good measure have a llongyfarchiadau! from Wales :D

July 16, 2014

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

Thank you :) I wouldn't see comhghairdeas as being too formal, but of course there are different customs and dialects.

July 16, 2014

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

Well given that we are both in Cork I'll use your advice instead! (the person who told me this wasn't from Cork, he doesn't have one of these http://www.dailyedge.ie/cork-rebel-week-passports-899931-May2013/ ;P)

July 16, 2014

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

That is the most important document in the world ;)

July 16, 2014

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

@alexinIreland Don't forget yours tomorrow or we're not letting you back in! ;P Have fun!

July 16, 2014

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

@BritBlue I'll have it in my back pocket the whole time :P Thanks!

July 16, 2014

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

Comhghairdeas! /I have no idea how to pronounce this though!/ :)

July 16, 2014

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

Thanks, Nitram15! It's pronounced (in Munster Dialect) "Co-gawr-da-gis" :P

July 16, 2014

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

Cool! Thanks! :)

July 16, 2014

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

Congratulations Alex. My first year anniversary won't be until September. You had a nice first year, and hopefully a just as great next year. Also I'm waiting for Japanese just like you.

July 16, 2014

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

Thanks, mitchell_mollet!

July 16, 2014

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

Félicitations, alexinIreland ! You have some great accomplishments already in the first year...can't wait to see more! :)

July 16, 2014

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

Merci, AlexisLinguist! It will be fun to see how far I/you/we/Duolingo come(s) in the next year!

July 16, 2014

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

Congratulations! You have done so much in a year! :) I have enjoyed Duolingo a lot, so I'm glad you have too! Hope you continue your great progress during the next year of Duolingo! :)

July 16, 2014

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

Thank you very much, FierroK!

July 16, 2014

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

You're welcome! Here are some lingots for completing one year! :)

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_gs9

Wow, it's incredible how much you've achieved in one year Alex! What a great post. Massive congratulations, especially for all your amazing work in building the Irish course :)

July 16, 2014

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

Thank you, _gs9! Congratulations on all your hard work on the Hindi course, too!

July 16, 2014

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

Congratulations, Alex, on making it a year! Thank you and all the other moderators for your help and contributions. Good luck on the rest of your plans!

July 16, 2014

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

Thanks, JennaHO!

July 16, 2014

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

Great work! Looks like quite the achievement. I feel very encouraged and more determined after reading this! :D

July 16, 2014

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

Thanks :) It's great to here that I inspired someone :P

July 16, 2014

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

A huge congrats from me as well. You have accomplished a lot and the DuoLingo community is very proud of you. You also seem to be a great guy and that's much appreciated ;-) I really hope that you can achieve whatever you plan to do! And if you have some questions concerning German, just ask ;-)

July 16, 2014

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

Thank you so much, MultiLinguAlex. I'll definitely take you up on that offer some day ;)

July 16, 2014

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

Great to know! And now enjoy your upcoming journey ;-)

July 16, 2014

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

Herzlich Glückwunsch! You've been so awesome! Thank you for everything you've done (especially for Irish)! I'm sure the number of Irish speakers will double (at least) with the advent of your course, and I'm looking forward to being one of them. Never stop learning and teaching!

July 16, 2014

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

Thanks so much, GeniusJack! Congratulations on reaching your 200 day streak!

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matthew.aric

Danke für deine arbeit! I'm so excited about these new courses that I'm considering learning languages that I hadn't considered before!

July 16, 2014

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

Bitte bitte! I'm sure you're not alone there :) I assume there are many people who didn't consider learning Irish, Dutch, Danish, etc. until they saw them on Duolingo.

July 16, 2014

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

I signed up a few days ago for the sole purpose of regaining the Spanish that I've let slip away, and then gaining some new ground... but, I now realize there's no reason to stop there and consider the ability to move on to another language, or languages, one of the greatest motivators in getting my Spanish back under control.

Congratulations on all of your progress alexinIreland, and thank you for the work you put into the Irish course. One side of my family is Irish and the other side is Swedish, so those are two of the languages I am most interested in learning more about in the near future.

July 17, 2014

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

Cangratulations! You are quite clearly a very dedicated duolingo user, and having so many languages to learn (as soon as more are done hatching) will no doubt be exciting, as well as time-consuming! I do wonder though, what level of skill can this course actually bring a learner? I speak french at a high level and have checked out the french course on this site, but I'm sceptical if you can actually learn a language well on duolingo. How would you say you are in German? Since you finished the tree I'd be interested to know how a duolingo veteran benefited with the course. I just started German and want to know if this can actually help me learn.

July 16, 2014

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

Thanks GunnarC!

what level of skill can this course actually bring a learner?

It is usually said that you will be at a B2/B1 level after the course.

How would you say you are in German?

I wouldn't put it on the CEFR, but I am able to hold conversations with natives, I read newspapers and comics in German and I watch TV shows in German. A lot, but not all, of that comes from Duolingo.

July 16, 2014

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

Wow! I wasn't sure if this program actual conversational and comprehensive skills that much, but if duolingo actually helps me to a point where I can read German well, (as well as other courses I haven't started yet, like your own!) I would be overly pleased! I definitely look forward to learning more now, and can't wait for other courses, such as Irish, to hatch so that I can learn them as well! Anyway, you have done quite well for yourself in the past year on this site, and I hope you continue on the same path in the future! Also, thanks for working on the Irish course, it is a language I am looking forward to and I realize it must have taken quite a bit of work on your part. Keep up the good work!

July 16, 2014

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

B1/B2 is exaggerated in my opinion. If you do it solely on DuoLingo, you'll reach A2/B1 and if you supplement it a lot with various other resources, you'll have a solid B1 level. B2 is means that you are able to speak, read, write, think, translate etc. on a great level with only very few mistakes and you can talk about almost everything (excluding scientific stuff etc) and you clearly won't reach that with DuoLingo alone. On the contrary, you can actually learn a language and it is indeed better than most university courses and you will have a wonderful foundation to improve your language skills later on ;-)

July 17, 2014

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

Congrats! Your duolingo experience sounded like a lot of fun! You are extremely inspiring... :) Hope you continue to have such a wonderful time next year!

July 16, 2014

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

Did anyone watch the Munster Football Final about a week ago?

July 17, 2014

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

Congratulations, it's mine on Saturday

July 16, 2014

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

Felicitations for our 1st year here @ Duolingo! Here to another another great year ahead! Prost!!

July 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danita8705

I am so excited for Irish to become available! I'm an American but my family has a lot of Irish and Scottish in our blood on both sides. We love Irish music and one reason this is exciting is because we want to be able to sing anything we want in Irish :) Thank you for helping keep part of a rich history alive. :)

July 20, 2014
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