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To anyone who has completed the French tree with everything at level 5...

Did you feel like you could get through the first Harry Potter in French, or did you have to start off with something easier? The reason im asking is becasue I know Duolingo doesn't get you fully fluent but I thought reading and watching TV with subtitles might help me do this in the future where I have hopefully completed the French tree. Thank you in advance!

May 7, 2020



I want to complete it. But it's very far. However, I'm determined to do it.


The Duolingo tree will only get you to A2 level of the CEFR. AKA, upper-beginner level. So considering the tree can't even get you to intermediate level, the answer is no.


it's up to B1 now. I read that on the Duo site somewhere....sorry that I can't remember where!



it's up to B1 now.

Not yet.

Here some changes from tree13 and tree14:


AFAIK the last two tree changes where more cosmetic towards their theme-oriented CEFR topic arrangement and are still mainly based on the same tree12 content with some additional challenges on top?!?

Contractors who redesign the trees will not comment on the forum...so we need to wait for some official announcements from Duolingo staff if there is something new.

Here is the blog: making.duolingo.com


More B1 vocabulary probably means more skills.

Your French tree still has 158 skills.


It begins B1 vocab - it will not get you to B2. (Actually it won't really get you to A2 either on its own as CEFR is not just reading - and it is not translating.)


im trying to complete it


Nice! Good Luck!!!


By the time I got my French tree golden I could read some books. (There have been multiple updates since then and now I have a mix of about half 4 and half 5 crowns throughout the tree, mostly 5 at the bottom and 4 near the top, because I tend to work on the more complicated stuff more often, but at one time I had a golden tree.)

Honestly, I can't imagine reading Harry Potter in French. I can read Harry Potter in the language in which it was originally written so there's no need for me to look for a French version. Whenever possible, books should be written in the language in which they were written. They only reason I read Anna Karenina in English is because I cannot read Russian.

I did manage to get through La Peste although it took me a loooong time. About four months, as I recall, in short spurts. Mostly on the John. I also made it through Le Petit Prince in about three days. I started the Compte de Monte Cristo but that was too hard. I got about 40 pages in and gave up. That was about a year ago and I've been reading French newspapers on line almost every day, so I should go back and try to read it now. Especially since there's little else to do nowadays that doesn't require hand sanitizer and a surgical mask.

I agree that reading should help. Try something short like Le Petit Prince. Then try a short play by Sartre (if you have an irreverent or morbid sense of humor). I suggest Huis Clos. I got through that in one sitting, although I had to look up a few words. It's shorter than Petit Prince but more complicated, so I'd do that afterward.


Thank you for all the advice! You're probably right about reading Harry Potter in French being not the best idea but I might give it a shot since I never read them in English in the first place. I really appreciate your response and will definitely check out some of those short plays and other listed items. :)


Start simple. See if you can get through this without pausing, rewinding, or looking up words in an on-line French-English dictionary. Even if you don't understand every single word.



There's nothing wrong with reading Harry Potter in French, and I disagree with the idea that, for some reason, books shouldn't be translated. There is no reason not to translate them. Some of my absolute favourite books - ie Rilke's poetry - are translations. I wouldn't want people to not have access to such wonderful books! Translation allows people to read all kinds of wonderful books they would not otherwise read.

One of my all-time favourite books is a novel translated from French to English....it is so beautiful. Even the translation itself is beautiful - I can read enough French to see that, although trying to read the whole book in French would be too much for me. But the way the translator translates - it's an art in and of itself. She does such an amazing job. There are passages where the French is actually more beautiful than the original English. Translation is an art, and should be appreciated, not discouraged.

Oh and there are actually awards for the best translations of things. It's such an art. A good translator does not lose anything in translation, and preserves the original, not just in words, but in elements such as connotation, rhythm (esp. in poetry), cadence, etc. I hope you are not discouraged from reading a translation, as there's no reason not to, if that's what you want to do.


I disagree with the idea that ... books shouldn't be translated

I would certainly have to disagree with that proposition as well. As I mentioned in my diatribe, I have read translated books. Or, book, rather, as I gave only one example, Anna Karenina. But I have read many translated books. Indeed, I have translated books. One of the first part-time jobs I had as an undergraduate university student was as a minimum-wage Spanish-English interpreter where I translated, among other things, pamphlets for my employer.

But all translations are deficient. There is no single word in the English language, for example, for the Hawaiian word "aloha". We can say, well it means something like "the spirit of the islands" and you can use it as a greeting, as a farewell, and for some other things, but really we just don't have that word. There are also English words that are not quite captured, unambiguously, with single words in other languages. The best possible way to experience Harry Potter is to read it in English. The best Sindbad experience is in Arabic. The best Candide experience is in French. The good news is that there is no shortage of French literature, for all levels.


I love Le Petit Prince. In class, we made it into a film which was really cool.


You made a film in class? Sweet! I have never done that. Were you filming, directing, or acting?


Oh my God, I just realized how many courses you completed, that's impressive.


Thanks for the kind word. My most recent accomplishment was getting "golden" (all skills 5 crowns) in Catalan. That's the only one I have golden at the moment. Duolingo works! There's a Barcelona newspaper I read on line from time to time and I can get through entire articles without resorting to a dictionary. I may not recognize every single word (I've resisted the urge lately to grab a dictionary every time I see an unfamiliar word. I try to get it by context. Don't do that, though, till you are firmly grounded in the basics.) I wouldn't say I'm ready to host a prime-time news program on a Catalonia set, but I can at least read the news proficiently, and I started the duolingo course with zero knowledge in that language. I have also written two poems in Catalan about a man molt gloriós i molt taronja (very glorious and very orange) , and they were well received by the moderators. I can't post them here. (They're too political. Catalan is the rare exception where the forum welcomes political discourse. Most of the other forums don't put up with that.) Anyway, as you said, duolingo won't make you fluent. But if you take it seriously, and combine it with practice, blogs, television, film, and newspapers, then you can reach a decent level of proficiency.


Wow, that's honestly really inspiring. I really appreciate your insight because I was actually starting to have some doubts about the program.


I agree with what Luke said, you're an inspiration!


Not without a dictionary - and maybe a grammar book.


Great idea. If you've read the books in English, it should really help you to read them in French, as you already know the stories. The first one will probably be tough going at first, but as you continue, you get into the style and the vocabulary gets repeated. It can be easier than reading original French material. I've also had a go at some of the Simenon novels (as I like Maigret), and Jules Verne.


Well I haven't even completed it (or rather hardly even started) at level 3. And I've read the first Harry Potter book and almost finished the second.

But then I never limited my learning to just duolingo.

And as far as reading books goes I indeed started with some shorter and easier stories. But on the other hand with Harry Potter I already knew the plot so that was really helpful. And I keep the original close while I'm reading the French version and look in it when I encounter words that I don't understand or if I don't quite get the context. I feel like it's a lot more helpful then just looking into the dictionary.

I also once did a post on French Harry Potter books here by the way. So if you decide to try reading one after all it might be helpful. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/35094819


Bonjour, je m'appel Gilles, je cherche quelqu'un qui apprend le français et qui voudrai échanger avec moi.

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