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https://www.duolingo.com/Fraxinicus

Just completed the Spanish tree. My thoughts:

I finished the tree (including the bonus skills) two days ago, and just finished reviewing everything to gold today.

I'm horrible at keeping myself on track, and because of that I've never gotten very far in self study of any language. I really like the format of Duolingo, and it worked quite well for me at keeping me on track each day, especially the coach. Before, there would be periods where I would do just one tiny lesson to keep my streak up, and I barely learned anything at all.

Now, the negatives: While Duolingo worked well for what it taught, I feel like the Spanish tree cut out too soon. I've been frequently referencing a complete table of Spanish conjugation, and I'd been waiting for every paradigm on the table to be covered in the same way that present and past were... but to my disappointment, most of them seemed to be crammed into relatively short skill sets toward the bottom of the tree.

Most subjunctives and positive, non-subjunctive imperatives weren't covered well or at all, and the "Conditional Verbs" skill felt like a messy conglomeration of what should be multiply skills.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the experience, and I am happy that I've learned so much. In fact, I've recommended Duolingo to several friends. However, I do wish that the Spanish tree went more in depth into the more obscure verbal paradigms of Spanish.

3 years ago

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/sljura
sljura
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I'm very close to finishing the tree myself, and I agree. The end of the tree feels very cursory and rushed. Duo isn't the only source I'm using, but it's the best one I have right now for simply drilling concepts into my head, and the relative lack of practice it offers for the subjunctive, imperative, imperfect, and conditional is disappointing.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oletuv

Barely covering the subjunctive is probably the biggest limitation of Duolingo. After all, the subjunctive is heavily used in the Spanish language. Understanding and mastering the subjunctive is in my opinion essential for being able to speak Spanish conversationally.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oletuv

To follow up on this. Language Transfer - Complete Spanish ( www.languagetransfer.org ) is a great supplement to Duolingo. The guy doing this audio course (more than 14 hours divided into 90 separate tracks) explains the language concepts, grammar and sentence construction in a very logical, intuitive way. He provides a lot of useful hooks for identifying language structures, groups of irregular verbs and other grammar concepts, all in a logical and easy to understand manner. One of the best parts of the course is an extensive review of the subjunctive mood tenses, starting with track 69 and going onwards. Language Transfer is definitely the best Spanish course/tutorial I´ve come across so far.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mjaumjaupurr
mjaumjaupurr
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congratulations!

I felt the same way about the last few verb lessons of the tree. I had to rely primarily on the internet and a Spanish reference grammar to figure out subjunctives and conditionals, but I don't feel confident about using them at all yet.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bo66ie

Before calling duolingo incomplete, I think you should understand the whole reason that this site was created. This project was the brainchild of the guy (Luis von Ahn) who created the whole CAPTCHA thing. CAPTCHA is the security thing where you type a squiggly word to access a site. Did you ever notice how it went from one word to two words, and one of the words looked like faded type from an old book? That's because it is. We have all unknowingly been a part of digitizing old book for the internet. This site is basically trading free language lessons, and in turn, by using the immersion part of this site, you are helping to translate the web. I think that THAT is the part where most of the practical learning happens - you know, the real life stuff. I think putting the two together would give you much more fluency than just the lesson part alone. The guy does a really funny "Ted Talks" speech about the whole thing. I think it's well worth the 16 minutes of time. Here's the link:

http://youtu.be/-Ht4qiDRZE8 Hmmmm... not sure why that didn't show up as a clickable link but you can copy and paste it into your browser and it will take you to the right YouTube page. Hope you guys watch it - He's a funny guy ... ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jab16
jab16
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watched the video by von Ahn-amazing mind!! love duolingo and even more so now!! thanks for sharing the info.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gena12

I agree jab16. I enjoyed the video also.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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Don't forget to use the immersion to learn even more vocabulary.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--Twilight--

Awesome!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nbree1ed

Great achievement! I have just bought a publication outlining Spanish grammar with opportunities to practice skills. Duolingo has been fantastic as a launchpad for learning, but I have too many gaps in my knowledge to progress without supplementing my study. Here's hoping I will finally get a grasp on some things that 'trip me up'! Wishing you continued success :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carnaedy
CarnaedyPlus
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I definitely agree that most of the last 15 lessons badly need expanding. For example, the future tense lesson is plagued with phrasal future, despite the fact that we have already learned this a long time ago, and mentions the actual future tense only very briefly. Subjunctive is an extremely important part of Spanish language, but its coverage is minimal. Also, none of the grammar lessons at the end have any descriptions or conjugation tables provided. While I am extremely happy with myself to have finished the tree, the final stretch felt rather underwhelming and could definitely be improved and expanded.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lillith_Letrange

The problem for me is the simplicity of this vocabulary. It's really basic, there are concept far more complicated in Spanish. This can only be used to: A) learn these basics or B) to make sure your basics stick. But as for speaking Spanish - nope, this vocabulary is too narrow.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fraxinicus

I view Duolingo mostly as a good way to prepare you for further independent study of the language - it drills into your head a mental grammar, and provides you with enough basic vocab to, generally, at least find your way through target-language materials.

I think it's unrealistic to think that you'll come out of Duolingo speaking Spanish, but I do think it's realistic to expect to come out of it with the toolset to learn the language on your own, especially without having to resort to reference grammars. And that's where I came out disappointed, because that's where I'll have to go to learn all the subjunctives.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lillith_Letrange

I personally didn't use ti to learn how to speak Spanish. I actually already speak but the way I learned it was a bit unorganized. I learned it from TV and my knowledge was something like this: I can express a very abstract idea but then I cannot remember how to say "brown" in Spanish. Odd. All in all, it helped me to get my basics into some kind of order. Plus it's very fun so you are learning with minimal effort. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but a good feedback for this site but I do think they could maybe develop some programs for advanced levels or give you an advice how to continue learning a language. I was simply saying that people should be aware that they are learning basic vocabulary and the site often tells you "you are now able to use 60% of Spanish vocabulary" or something like that. The truth is - you are not so I had a need to point that out lol

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/supainanoko
supainanoko
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Learning to talk around words is very helpful. You may not sound completely formal or fluent, but you will get your point across. It is actually a bit like the word games where you try to get everyone to guess the word without using it. I have a fairly limited number of words I actually know the definition of, but I know how to talk around words and know the language well enough to know whether I have invented a plausible word.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaeeSafaee
MaeeSafaee
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Felicidades y buena suerte con tus estudios! :)

Have some lingots! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Patricia4049

The YouTube is the funniest Ted Talk I have ever watched! Plus, it makes it so much more exciting to be using DuoLingo. What a brilliant concept: using students (us!!) to translate the Web! http://youtu.be/-Ht4qiDRZE8

3 years ago

[deactivated user]

    The tree isn't an end all though and I don't think it is supposed to be. If you could fit all of a language in a tree then what would be the point of interacting with native speaks,etc. To say a language should be able to fit in the tree is kinda rude to the language do you not think so?

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Fraxinicus

    Of course you can't fit an entire language into a tree, but as far as Spanish verbal morphology goes... yes, you kind of can. If you just had one 10-lesson skill per paradigm, that would be enough to drill the paradigm into your head, along with regular strengthening of the skill.

    And Spanish doesn't have all that many more paradigms to cover. Half a dozen, tops. I understand that it's no simple work to create a Duolingo tree, but if Spanish<English has over 20 million users, I think that justifies a minor extension.

    3 years ago