What to do when you finish the tree
So I've just finished my Italian tree after a month of Duolingoing on my daily commute and whenever I've had a few spare minutes.
I've been really impressed with DL, and the help from the friendly and knowledgeable DL community has been invaluable. I'll definitely continue strengthening and doing some more immersion, but I'm also starting to think about what else I can do to progress to the next level. I'd be very interested to hear what other DLers have done after completing the tree, and any suggestions for external learning resources, be they books, websites, apps, forums, magazines, etc.
I'll kick off the suggestions by saying that I've swapped BBC News for Italian news websites. I had a read of La Repubblica today and was pleasantly surprised by how much of it I understood. I'd also recommend installing the Google translate plugin for Chrome. If you see a word/phrase that you don't know on an Italian website, you can just highlight it and it will show you the translation (kind of like hovering over a word in DL). Very useful.
Thanks everyone, and may the owl forever have mercy on your typos.
Definitely do the reverse tree. I was a bit skeptical at first, but I've found it to be quite useful. New vocabulary, different concepts. Try reading a novel, particularly one with a lot of dialogue that will help you understand how people actually speak. Carlo Lucarelli and Giancarlo de Cataldo come to mind, both write murder mysteries. If you have a kindle or an iPad you can download and use their translation system although I find the kindle one quite clunky compared to using the translator on my iPad.
Reverse? Well, you start from where you just finished and back the begining. Good luck!
You can find Italians posting on Instagram and Facebook. Follow their feeds & add comments if you want to practice. Search hashtags (#Italy, Italian cities, Italian Food)- choose some to follow & these will link to sites/blogs written in Italian. Good recipes too.
The google translate plug in sounds like a really great idea, but after looking I see there's a few which offer the same service, which one are you using?
I'm using the extension "Google Translate from chrome.google.com", which works well enough for my needs (once installed, if you right-click the button you can change the settings so the translation pops up automatically so you don't need to press the button every time). There are indeed a lot of similar/related extensions but I haven't tried any others yet. If I do I'll update this post with more recommendations.
Not sure if this is helpful (since it isn't actually a plug in) but wordreference.com is a brilliant dictionary.
I've used the Chrome shortcuts in chrome://settings/searchEngines to set up a shortcut. For example, I type "enfr custard" into the chrome address bar and it goes to the English -> French translation page for "custard". Similarly I can do the inverse with "fren". I've also set up "frcon" to go to conjugations.
WordRef is great because it offers each word in a really wide range of contexts, starting with the most literal or common translations of the word, followed by expressions where the word is used, all the way down to the more fringe or uncommon translations accompanied by forum posts on that word/expression.
Have been following Il Centro and I'm still in the tree! So impressed with your speed in finishing!
I have heard that Youtube will help, but reading articles and watching TV with the language will help immensely. Congrats on finishing the tree! I hope to achieve that in Italian within a year or two, since my main focus is on German.
Thanks for the future idea's for when I finish, I do hear though the best way to keep a language in your memory banks is to live were the native language is mainly used for at least a year. But not everyone can do that, but been thinking of learning German so I can go to college free there ;)
you could watch Fellini's movies with english subs or Dario Argento's movies, the italian horror production from the 60 and the 70 is huge, you should check out on wikipedia if you find anything that you like. This the website of italian tv rai.it (change the Ip to italian otherwise you won't be able to see anything) you could check out pechino express, it's a funny show and the vocabulary isn't too complex. Just one thing when you look for italian movies or songs just make sure that they're not in dialect, it doesn't have anything in common with italian you will just get very confused
Are the dialects so much different from the standard Italian? Makes me worried how to understand them in case I visit Italy...
totally different languages, mine is a combo of french and and arabic (is this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyYJS20Ih2w, it even has subtitles) , they are more spoken in the south than in the north and rarely you might find people that don't speak italian but only dialect. My grandfather for instance spoke only sicilian, this is how sicilian sounds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sklNEjhnoB8.
Hello I'm a native italian speaker, yep in Italy we are plenty of dialects and languages also recognized by UNESCO, this is a non comprehensive map just to give you an idea of how difficult would be to understand each other without talking italian. http://www.buzzland.it/2014/07/la-mappa-dei-dialetti-italiani.html
A lot of films and songs are in dialect but don't panic, we need the translation for other dialects too! If you want to know more http://www.raiscuola.rai.it/articoli/i-dialetti-italiani/4469/default.aspx
Hopefully everybody would be very glad to speak to you in italian mainly for two reasons: 1) a lot of people have no clue about what english is (unfortunately) so the only way is italian (dialects are very difficult to learn sometimes and pretty useless unless you move to a little village) 2) dialects interfere with learning correct italian so nobody will make a big fuss if your italian is not perfect. (lots of problems with learning congiuntivo for example) here a video about the most common mistakes related to dialects for mother tongue speakers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy8g1ej2DSE
And finally I would end with good luck and the history of a word that comes from my dialect that I love so much! from wikipedia: "The word derives from the Venetian phrase "s-ciào vostro" or "s-ciào su" literally meaning "I am your slave". This greeting is analogous to the medieval Latin "Servus" which is still used in a large section of Central/Eastern Europe. The expression was not a literal statement of fact, of course, but rather a perfunctory promise of good will among friends (along the lines of "at your service" in English). The Venetian word for "slave", "s-ciào" ([ˈstʃao]) or "s-ciàvo", derives from Medieval Latin "sclavus", deriving from the ethnic "Slavic", since most of the slaves came from the Balkans." CIAO!
I found that in the larger towns/cities in Italy most people seem to speak Italian in addition to whichever dialect they might speak at home. Even better, I found the Italians in general quite patient with my attempts to speak their language. Most unlike trying to speak French in Paris, where people seem less accommodating.
yes Italians are generally way more helpful than the French, even if your italian is a bit broken they will do anything to help you and they will appreciate your effort to speak it. In the big cities the dialects is not so spoken because the majority of the people are not from that city also nobody will ever try to speak dialect with a foreign. It wont be a problem when you visit Italy, but it might be a problem when you choose your resources because there are movies and books and songs in dialect and you won't be able to understand a single thing and you will think that your italian is awful
- Would do the reverse tree for sure (I've done it and I think is at least as useful as the "normal" one, as there are more english to italian translations.
- Regoldening old lessons (I am currently doing that).
- Read novels, I've tried that and I think is quite useful, I try to find easy stories.
- Watching TV, as I like poker and I have two screens I try to watch (or have them turned on while I do something else in the other screen) the EPT's transmissions at pokerstars.tv in italian.
Hope it helps!
Is there anyway of starting the reverse tree without changing the language in the settings every time? I want to be able to switch easily since I still study French from English.
you still will be able to continue with your regular studying, I'm currently doing Spanish to italian while I'm studying portuguese from english, you won't lose your progresses or anything
I know I won't lose my progress, it's just annoying to change literally everyday.
There's no built-in way in Duolingo but there's https://github.com/arekolek/DuolingoCourseSwitcher – it's a browser extension which remembers all the languages you switch to and keeps them in the top menu.
Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions so far, there are some really good ones in there and I look forward to trying them out. Please keep them coming. I'll create a separate post with a list of all suggestions at some point as I think these will be really useful for a lot of people.
I would recommend - a movie/TV series you like dubbed in Italian ( the voice actors are very good and have a clear accent, plus you wouldn't have to put too much effort in the plot if you know it already) - Italian music via YouTube - memes and funny stuff through Italian Facebook pages e.g. Meme Italia Hope this helps :)
Read books, watch t.v, and definitely find a pen pal who is native! Try to keep "watering" your tree. You will lose it if you don't use it.
Hello, i like reading Paperino (Donald duck) and also Topolino (easy to find if you remember what a topo is :) ).
Hello MattLagme, Congratiulations! So you finished the tree. Now you can go on! There are 25 levels to do, so don't stop now! Lots of success. Ciao.
Wow you are a quick study! Even though you have finished the tree there is more to learn. DL has 25 levels. I am amazed at the new things I am learning and how much better and quicker I am understanding Italian by working through the levels doing strengthening exercises. The further you go up in the levels the more points it takes to get to the next level. I try watching some Italian t.v. to help with listening and understanding Italian as it is spoken (it's a little humbling) anyway the more I watch the more I pick up. Good luck.