I finished my entire Duo course
It took me 250 days. Now I need to have conversations on a regular basis. Can anyone recommend anything? Thanks
Wow! Well done - that's a huge accomplishment.
Nice streak and level, too.
ConversationExchange.com - for finding language exchange partners
Free4Talk.com - for group chats online with or without video
discord.gg/eXe4Cv2 - a well moderated group of (mostly? all?) Duolingo users with channels for various languages. Text and/or audio. Also channels for asking questions.
Have you got an "Alliance française" group in your city? Their get-togethers would probably be a good place to start, in order to practice. Here's their link:
It might be challenging, though. I think most of their members are native French speakers living in a particular city outside of France (or a native French-speaking place) who want to socialize and network with other native French speakers who are in the same place. They have groups all over the world, plus several American cities.
But I could be wrong, maybe it has changed and a lot of people just go there to learn and practice French.
And you certainly do not appear to shrink from a challenge! :-)
I really really recommend Italki. I've been using it recently and my conversation has improved a lot. They have teaching experience and the lessons are really cheap/about 10USD/hour. (+ if you use the referral code we both get $10USD worth of free lessons) ))))). https://www.italki.com/i/FABbfe?hl=en-us
This teacher is really good: https://www.italki.com/teacher/6008433
Otherwise, if you're into video games, there are a lot of multiplayer games with audio that might be good if you feel that your french is good enough. It can be hard to get a french friend to talk with via audio but its possible.
First of all, Congratulations! Listen to French podcasts and attend video meet-ups where you can speak and listen to others. Youtube has some good videos that can help you improve your pronunciation - a key challenge when learning French. Before you can master conversation, you must hone your listening skills. Bonne chance! A+++
During French class in secondary school, our teacher always started the leçon with some news fragments from France 24. Not only are you keeping up with news around the world, it's also a way to practice your listening. Also, listening to French music and singing along can help a great deal with pronunciation!
Congratulations! Try seeing if there's a French speaking community where you live. Many refugees and asylum seekers are from countries that are former French colonies so that opens you up to a whole lot of extra people, many of whom would love a chance to talk to people in a language they grew up in. Also read in French as much as possible and listen to French podcasts, books, or newscasts. I know there's a website for news in slow X language, like newsinslowfrench.com. Thanks for sharing. It's encouraging to hear that someone has gotten through so far. But 8 hours????? I feel like it will take me years.
Question, something I have been curious about for a while. To get to your level, did you go through every single layer, one through five, of every single crown? Or did you kind of "power up" the tree by testing out of levels and it still gave you the "crown credits" and points?
"I need to start speaking!"
Are you still in touch with the French executives you were teaching?
I'm sure they would be very impressed if you started speaking to them in their own language. :-)
But I know what you mean about the accent, that can be one of the hardest things, LOL!
"they're all inviting me on holiday so they can practice their English! Lol"
I guess you're joking about that, given the LOL...
Did you see my post above, about the Alliance française:
It looks like they have practically exploded all over the world since I last checked them out -- which was quite a while ago, I do admit.
There sure are a lot of people all over the world who want to learn French.
I never realized that before, I thought the "big" language was English...
I see this a lot, where people get really far in Duo but feel like they don't much. There are a few things you should be doing, if you aren't doing them already.
In Duolingo: Use the keyboard to type out every answer. Don't use the word bank. Turn off the speaking exercises and say every sentence out loud. Read all the tips. Do all the stories (assuming the language has them) and revisit them often.
Outside of Duolingo: Watch TV shows and movies in your target language with subtitles in that language. Keep them on, even if you feel like you understand enough without them. Don't use your native language subtitles, even if you think you need them. Shadow the pronunciation of things you here. Single words, snippets of a sentence, or singing along with songs. Read in your target language. Use apps like CLOZEMASTER, and books that are graded readers, parallel text / interlinear books, until you can move on to native-level books. Find people to do a language exchange with. HelloTalk, Tandem, Discord, MeetUp, Reddit, etc.
As you get further along in these other things, I suspect you will come to realize that Duolingo gave you more of a foundation than you realize.
Kudos to you once again. I just heard about iTalki from JoyofLanguages. I am going to try it out tomorrow. Here you can do videos one-on-one with instructors. From my understanding for a small fee you can have a one-hour video session with an instructor. You can choose a structured or less formal instructor. I hear that there are other sites too. This site seems safest and more valuable to me. I hope that this helps. A bientot!
I recommend Italki.com too. It has made a big difference to me, I knew a fair amount of "theoretical" French but had no confidence to actually hold a conversation, which requires a whole set of other skills, and practice. You can find either professional teachers, or some very good "community" teachers who still give very good lessons. I have two regular teachers, one professional and one not, with slightly different styles, and have a lesson with one or the other every week.
I am confident in writing and I teach french people English but I don't get much opportunity to have a full converstaion with them (naturally they want to speak English). My accent is terrible and I lack confidence in speaking. But I do find now that I can listen comfortably to my favoutite french radio stations such as RTL or France Info. I actually (surprised myself) found myself following political discussions. I did Babble for about 6 months before I found Duo. I am also close to the end of Italian on Duo but that was more of a refresher as I learnt it to Advanced level as a child. I can speak that pretty fluently again. To be fair, I am obsessed with learning languages. I've been spending 8-10 hours a day studying.