To The People of High Level!
I was wondering, for all of you people of high level (15+?) how much has duolingo prepared you for natural or fluent speech? I have seen a couple of people on here with very high levels in all the languages offered....how much has this program prepared you? Have you been able to converse with anyone in those languages? If so, how well?
If one were to complete all of the languages offered from this program and you had to throw a % on how fluent you were to be after, what would you guess it would be? 30%?? 50%? 80%?
I haven't completed my Spanish tree yet but I am able to hold a simple conversation if the other person speaks slowly and is very patient while I figure out my responses (and given that the majority of words contained in the conversation are words that I understand, of course). That said, I don't think Duolingo (or any computer program) is all that great at improving speaking fluency. My reading comprehension at this point is spades better than my verbal communication skills.
If you pair Duolingo with verbal practice elsewhere, I do think you could be at a lower intermediate speaking level by the end of the tree. Depends largely on how many additional resources you have and how much time you actually put into speaking the language as you learn it, in my opinion.
For me, after completing the Spanish skill tree, I feel like my reading comprehension is pretty good, but I still have a lot to learn. I've tried listening to Spanish talk radio and find that my comprehension listening, though, is still pretty poor. Much better than it was before Duolingo, certainly, but I still miss a lot. Speaking I'm absolutely dreadful at. If I stop and think for a bit, I can get out simple sentences, but it's definitely slow going, and I often mess up my verb conjugations. I feel like, at least for me, this is something that the only way I will ever learn it is just to go find some patient people to speak with.
Just a note that a high level on Duolingo doesn't indicate the language proficiency (or how far along the tree they are) because people who short-cut through the tree won't have as high a level as people who spend loads of time doing and re-doing lessons, thus getting more points.
I've got a pretty fair reading comprehension in French and can understand spoken French if it's slow enough. I haven't yet had the opportunity to converse with other French speakers, though. I am in the intermediate levels now, but not ready to graduate to advanced yet. Duolingo has helped immeasurably but I also listen to a lot of French TV and radio, movies, read a lot of French books and generally try to spend at least an hour a day learning.
I'm doing French and German and I'm 15 + in both but I still make a lot of mistakes in French in particular where I struggle with understanding spoken French and speaking it. My ability to read the language is way ahead of my speaking skills.I find German much easier for some reason and I can conduct a somewhat stilted conversation with a native German speaker family member. I know I need consistent conversational practice in both languages and I'm hoping to arrange it soon.
It's strange, I took one semester of German and one of Spanish in college, and like you, I found German easier and felt I could carry on more of a conversation than I could with Spanish despite the same amount of time spent on each and more exposure to Spanish since I live in Texas. I guess maybe because English is a Germanic language?