https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex

I finished my French tree on streak day 434 =)

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Dear duolingoists,

I finally finished my French skill tree a few minutes ago. What a relief! If you are interested in, I’d like to share my story with you =)

I started using DuoLingo on September 30, 2013 when I was visiting one of my best friends in the Netherlands and have been keeping my streak since that day. I was recovering from a serious illness and I already died 2 months before I started using DuoLingo. I still had to struggle a lot with health issues afterwards (and still have). There were days in which I couldn’t eat or drink properly because of both physical and mental weaknesses/illnesses, but I still was able to keep my streak and that’s why DuoLingo became so important to me. That is actually the reason why it took me almost 15 months to climb up the whole tree: When my health issues were serious, I just maintained the streak by e.g. translating one sentence, but didn’t learn much in that particular time. But that’s okay since I really did it right now! =)

Being a German native, I’m currently learning both English and French in my vocational training since I’m going to become a foreign language correspondent, but apart from that, I started learning French from scratch in August, 2013. 14,5 months after my start, I made an internship as a foreign language secretary in Toulouse, France from October to November 2014 and I was able to lead a whole secretariat for five weeks and had a lot of other very interesting and very tough stuff to do. I even wrote a letter to the major of Toulouse (but my boss helped me with that one) ;-) My French skills are still at an A2-B1 level, but this internship was an awesome, truly inspiring and enriching occasion for me. I will have finished my vocational training in June, 2015 and I will hopefully have passed the Delf B1 exam with distinction. I’m going to focus to keep the French tree golden and start learning Esperanto as soon as possible. My aim is to reach a very good C1 level in English and a B2 level in both French and Esperanto by the end of 2015.

I would have never gotten that far without some great personalities who has helped and inspired me:

  • Luis and Severin: Thank you a gazillion times for creating and building DuoLingo. Without you, I would have never gotten in touch with my former girlfriend (whom I met on DuoLingo) and I would not have had such a good command of the French language as I do have. I also consider you and your team as philanthropists who really want to change the world for something better. You are awesome. Thank you.
  • EvelynK.: Thanks a ton for encouraging me and believing in me. We also shared a great time in our lives. Thank you also very, very much for maintaining my streak when I didn’t have any connection to the internet =)
  • Usagiboy7: You are an awesome moderator who has been helping anybody tremendously. You are always here if someone has a problem or when one just wants to ramble a bit. Thanks to you as well!
  • Sitesurf: Even though I changed to the French/German Beta tree a few months ago, Sitesurf is the user who writes thousands of explanations. She is incredible and indispensable. The DuoLingo community would not be the same without her. Thank you very much!
  • Jitengore: This humorous guy continues the weekly DuoLingo progress reports that J-Steven once “invented”. This is an invaluable constant in the DuoLingo community. Jitengore also created and maintains the first unofficial DuoLingo Hall of fame. Thank you for your dedication, help and inspiration!
  • JohnArnold: John Arnold has the longest known streak on DuoLingo (702 days as of today). He’s truly an inspiration for the whole community and shows that you can learn a great deal with consistency and passion – and that’s right as “Learning a bit each day” is one of the most important advice as long as learning (languages) is concerned. Thanks a lot, John!
  • A special ‘thank you’ to the whole DuoLingo staff, all course builders/contributors, moderators and users who keep posting interesting things and try to help where they can. You are all awesome and this community influences the way of learning languages worldwide. It’s simply amazing.

Okay, this post is already very long. I also wanted to write a paragraph about useful tips how you could learn a language properly, but you can find the tips everywhere on the internet. Concerning DuoLingo, I simply want to encourage you to use the progress quizzes – I do them on a monthly basis (last score was 4.57/5.00 which is wonderful to me!). Furthermore, ask as much as you can, follow some interesting people and get in touch with them. It will be invaluable for you.

Thanks a lot for reading this and I do hope that I could encourage you to finish your languages trees, even if there are times of frustrations and struggles. But you can do it! Why? Brian Tracy knows the answer:

“Successful people do what they have to do, whether they feel like it or not.”

And you will be successful, buddies ;-)

Best

Alex from Berlin, Germany

4 years ago

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ivanalata
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Congratulations! Its very impressive that you've kept your streak even through such rough times! Are you planning on doing the reverse tree now? :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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Thank you! No, because there is no 'German for French speakers' reverse tree yet. My DuoLingo plan is as follows:

  1. I will go through the whole tree again in order to learn each word and expression that I didn't learn properly right now.
  2. I will finish the 'French for English speakers' tree.
  3. I will then finish the 'English for French speakers' tree.
  4. Esperanto will hopefully be released by March, 2015, so: Esperanto, here I come ;-)
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gomos

Did you ever get a progress quiz score that was worse than the previous?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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Yes, I did:

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gomos

Interesting. This kind of confirms what I thought: that the text is not long enough to be accurate. If you don't get enough sentences, then your score will depend too much on how lucky you are getting the easier ones or the ones you simply know better.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeniusJack
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That's not necessarily the case, perhaps it's because he wasn't studying French much during that month interval, thus he lost some of the knowledge he had gained, and needed to review.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vrexu

Indeed, I have days when I get like no sentence right, at least in the beginning. Besides, the difficulty will always slightly wary no mater what test you take. And... as I see it, the results, overall, were quite linear.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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The text isn't quite accurate, but accurate enough. The first 3.27 were very lucky, but the rest was quite normal and accurate.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wildfood
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Congrats on your streak and on your tree! I will remember you when I feel like letting mine slip!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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Awesome, that's great to know =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Doxanne

Mes félicitations! Je n'ai pas tout lu ton message mais je suis contente que tu te sente mieux et que tu est pu traverser ses épreuves! Bonne chance pour le futur :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mjaumjaupurr
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Congratulations! And thank you, too, for all of the inspiration and support that you provide to the community here. I remember when I was first starting on duolingo, yours was one of the first faces (or profile pics) that I came to recognize as a great source for information and encouragement.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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Wow, what a beautiful compliment. I do what I can to help the community as well. And you also have accomplished a lot in Spanish, Irish and French. That's great. Way to go =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ecoeva
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Congratulations Alex! You did a great job with finishing the tree and keeping the streak, despite all the hard times you have been through, very inspiring. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aram56
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What is the benefit of Esperanto course , I wonder?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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https://www.duolingo.com/SpOoOoOk
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This really inspired me, I just started 3 days ago and this will keep telling me that i should keep my day streak. You'll remind that you did a 434 day streak while having problems and illness, while I'm completely healthy and only done 3 days! Keep up the good work Alex! :) P.S Follow me, and I'll follow you, I already have 15 :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Esmeraldalune
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Herzlichen Glückwusch Alex! I can't imagine the great feeling this must be. ¡Felicidades!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EvelynK.
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Congrats!!! :D And thanks for mentioning me. ;) Sorry, I did not get back to your post lately. I am really busy and stressed at work at the moment. Will reply soon, when I have the time. Ps: I am really sorry for the loss of your dog!! :(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jack.Elliot
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Congratulation so much better than me

been trying to finish the German tree for two weeks now

Still stuck on the last lessons but the real world keeps me occupied

I do like your saying at the end of your posting ... so wise and lovely. danke, merci

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ms.mm
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YaY Alex!!! Wonderful news and thanks for posting your story too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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Congrats to your 300-day streak =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ms.mm
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thanks for noticing!! :o

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeniusJack
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Congrats! You are very inspiring! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulo.Guedes
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Hello,

what a story! Truly inspiring, indeed!

I hope someday to finish my "English to German" tree, and be able to write something like that. Hopefully, in German:).

By now I just finished the "Portuguese to English" tree, but I already knew a somewhat nice amount of English. Good enough to finish it comfortably, despite the real world calling me. Not even close to the challenge you faced. Well done!

The other tree is harder for me, since English is not my native language. Besides, German is quite difficult for me. And my work/study/life/everything has priority, so... I try to learn a tiny bit every day and be happy with what I get. Actually I never thought I could learn as much vocabulary as I could with only about ten to twenty minutes every day. Ok, a lot of days, but still a very short amount of time per day.

I think every one has his/her own pace. And learning to respect this and to accept what was possible to achieve every day... oh boy, this is a wonderful way to learn and grow. And a very hard thing to do, because my own expectations (about me, my time, achievements and so on) can be tricky. They can be very difficult to recognize, be conscious about it and to handle properly.

Today I achieved a 436 day streak and counting. But I sill am in the middle of the German tree. That's ok, it was what I could achieve so far and it is fine for me.

By the way, Berlin is a beautiful city. I hope some day I can return to it. Maybe I can even get to know you in person. Who knows? :)

All the best, Paulo (from Recife, PE, Brazil)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wj677
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Congratulations and well done. You should be a source of inspiration to many fellow DL'ers with your progress despite your health issues and seeing what can come from sticking at something regardless if the goal is big enough and the motivation strong enough. Lovely to read stories like yours.

4 years ago
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