So I found duolingo from the AMA and am in love!
Hopefully I can brush up my waning German and Spanish skills and maybe, just maybe finally learn how to switch comfortably between the two!
But here's my question...The skill tree I can see as a beginner seems somewhat small. How far does duolingo take you?
Does it work it's way through the different tenses? Has anyone used it and ended up being able to hold conversations with native speakers?
What are the experiences of ya'll, the more ...well... experienced of users?
I have only completed the French tree, but it seemed to cover all the major verb tenses and grammar aspects (at least B1 if not B2 level grammar at least for French). I wouldn't say the program alone at this point would bring you to a conversational level. If you wanted to improve your speaking skills you would have to actually practice talking with speakers of the language which is not currently possible on Duolingo. But the skill tree does give you a solid grounding in the language and the translations help you gain further understanding. For Spanish, a free podcast called Coffee Break Spanish would give you a good start in speaking and would complement Duolingo nicely. (I haven't used Coffee Break Spanish, but I have used Coffee Break French and found it useful.) The lessons did improve my reading ability in French though.
Hey I'm not really an experienced user but I would say the tree is bigger than it first seems. You'll slow down a lot as you progress through it, or at least I did.
I would say though that it's probably useful to learn some of the grammar more formally along side doing duolingo.
Yeah. Luckily I've formally studied both of the languages that I'm using on duo. I'm impressed so far with how the program is helping to train me to think instinctively instead of focusing on the "why" of the grammar. Which, to be honest, is what trips up my attempts at fluency.
I'm lucky to live in a large city, so I'm hoping once I have a bit more groundwork in place to join some sort of conversation group.