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How far is the French course designed to take you?

I know it isn't going to make me fluent, but what level will I be? Would I be able to read novels in French for example? Understand French television and Podcasts? Will I be able to hold conversations with French speakers?

I'm trying to gage what level I'll be at in the end?

June 15, 2020


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If you do the entire Duo French course (to level 5), you will essentially have the grammar knowledge you need to read novels in French (with a few small gaps in knowledge), but you will not have the vocabulary you need. But, from there, it is just a matter of diving in and reading and learning the words you don't know. Because French has a lot of cognates with English, this process will go pretty quickly if you are dedicated. You can try reading a chapter in English first and then the same chapter in the original French. Once you are advanced enough, move on to reading just the French, without a translation as a crutch. Reading on a Kindle (if you have one) is very useful because you can use the built-in dictionary by tapping the word and it will assemble the words you look up into flash cards for you. For what it's worth, I strongly recommend going straight to the French classics for your reading in French - you'll learn a lot about French culture and read some great literature.

As far as oral language goes, you will not be able to understand normal conversation if you only use Duolingo. To do that, you should use other sources - watch French movies and TV shows on Netflix, Prime, Mubi, etc. (Mubi is very good for seeing great French movies) with the subtitles in French (not English) whenever they are available, listen to French talk radio over the Internet (France Culture is a very good station) and, of course, try to talk to people in French.

I would recommend using various sources along with Duolingo right from the start - watching movies, listening to the radio, reading, and using something like Rocket French if you are so inclined (you have to pay for it, but it helped me a lot).

Good luck!


None of those. At the end of the tree - to level 5) you should have achieved A2 in reading - which is beginner. However your other skills - writing, speaking, and oral comprehension - will not be good enough to pass an A2 exam with no other resources.

It is a good start - but only a start.


It's up to B1 now, for all of it. You can look this up. It used to only be A2, but not anymore. And B1 is a an big accomplishment. Think of it this way - it only goes up to C2. B1 is half-way through. Half-way through is more that just a beginning. Don't be discouraged by thinking you'll only be at the beginning, because you won't, you'll be further than that.


Look it up where? Because all I have seen is mention of some B1 vocab and grammar. B1 should have at least double the vocab of A2 - and that is base words - not inflected.

B1 is not just vocab. In B1 you are not translating - neither in practice nor in teaching. In B1 you are starting to work in your TL. You need to be able to write your own essays (without reference materials), you need to be able to listen to say 30-60s of speech then answer TL questions in your TL, and you need to be able to make conversation.

How does DL do this?


If you see A2 as a point, you are right. If we see A2 as an interval and after we pass the end of A2, we are certainly at B1 level.

Anyway, this is some positive thinking, which might be helpful to language learners like me.


I see A2 as a piece of paper which says I have passed. And this is how it is used. You have to present what you have passed - not what you are working on. You are not at A2 until you can pass an official exam (although you don't need the to do the exam - but you do need to be able to pass it in all four modes). After you are A2 certified, you are working on B1 - but not B1.

[deactivated user]

    ha before i started learning french i had no idea what A1, B2, C2... where!

    i thought you just learn french and thats it until a few years later i finally understand what those things are.


    Duolingo is a fine resource to upstart your learning journey; sometimes when I would go to other sites I would be overwhelmed by it because of all the grammar. I like to think of Duolingo as like my starting point, and what I would build everything else I learn on. Happy learning!

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