Has anyone learned a language on Duolingo then TRAVELLED to its country??
Hi. I need some advice on how much you learn up to in Duolingo. I'm learning French because I want to go to France. Has anybody reached the eighth checkpoint yet?? Do any of you know how much you can learn from doing all the lessons, stories and podcasts? If so, please tell me! I've just reached the first checkpoint and have completed two of the first lessons in French. Apparently I know how to introduce myself, order at a restaurant, and talk about my family in French. Have any of you learnt a language on Duolingo then travelled to the country where they speak it, so they can speak in that language in shops and things like that? If so, I'd like to know please. Bye!!
I was surprised by how well it went despite not really using sources outside of duolingo before going; my first actual conversation was on the plane to Rio. It probably did help that I know a fair amount of Spanish, French and Latin, so I could often guess at cognates and syntax. I was able to read and comprehend most signs, slowly read texts, and converse with people in shops. More rapid spoken Portuguese was still too much for me (TV, multi-person conversations, songs). I was there for 3 weeks, and seemed to progress well by immersion; I feel like another month or 2 of it would have given me a solid A2/B1 level.
Read this inspiring story from revdolphin. You can't use only Duolingo, but it's a great foundation for opening doors:
I finished the Hungarian tree (and previously spent a lot of time in self study), it is enough to smile and be polite - or even do some basic grocery shopping. You are not going to be able chat with locals.
Officially the French course takes you to A2 (in reading) - speaking and oral comprehension is lower. https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages/table-1-cefr-3.3-common-reference-levels-global-scale
I did the French tree up to about the fourth checkpoint and listened to the first six podcasts and I was able to do well for about a week in Quebec. I could read just about everything I saw and managed to have two short conversations all in French with some cashiers. The other times I tried to speak French they just switched to English.
I'm learning French and have used it a lot in Quebec. I find Duo alone helps with things like being able to read street signs but speaking is a different skill and I need to use other resources to practice that. Duo is a great starting point though and a good way to practice grammar and vocabulary. It also helps me to make the language a daily habit, not just something I study when I have spare time.
Let me share my story here. I started using Duolingo as a preparation to move to the Netherlands (that eventually never happened). Yet I've met a Dutch colleague at work and I was able to make at least a basic small-talk to him. I was also transferring a few times on Schiphol airport (Amsterdam) and was able to do some souvenir shopping using Dutch rather than English. Moreover the aforementioned colleague invited me to watch a Dutch movie (subtitled also in Dutch and carefully selected to be rather easy) and I was able to follow the plot and understand up to 80% of what was said there with just few stops to ask for specific words. Note that I have passed only 4 checkpoints so far (out of 6 in the Dutch tree), however I was practicing a lot what I had learned so far.
Then I was kind of thrown to Spain and I immediately switched to learning Spanish. I had only 1 week head start before I flew to the country and Spaniards are quite famous for... not speaking foreign languages. I was there for 3,5 months and after 3 months I was able to order at the restaurant or give my clothes to a laundry even though it was still super-challenging for me. But I managed to get by. Yet I was still struggling with understanding the total to pay (when spoken) and building even the basic sentence is still very demanding. I managed to pass 2 checkpoints (out of 7) with all lessons at level 2 only.
Finally I have moved to German-speaking part of Switzerland over half a year ago and of course immediately switched to learning German. In this case I had some head start as I used to learn German at school, however it was more than 20 years ago. Still, Duolingo has worked as a great refresher and I can see I already learn new things. I am able to handle most daily things, like groceries as well as handle small-talk or even talk about more challenging things in German. My current progress in Duolingo (including levelling test and all the learning) is checkpoint 4 (out of 8) completed, I would even say halfway to checkpoint 5, with many repetitions and 2 checkpoints at level 5 and each next one level down more or less.
So as long as you are not afraid to talk and make mistakes (and one should not be afraid of that while learning new languages) you can really get by based on what you will learn here.