Portuguese as a difficult lesson
There are some problems with the Portuguese tree, as anyone would have noticed. A major problem that I have is that there are real difficulties with real verbs used in the day-to-day like "a gente" form, seu vs. dele, or using only ter vs. haber forms(or vice versa inexplicably). Another issue is the inaccurate distinction between esse and este forms. These are basic and essential units of grammar in Portuguese, it cannot be said that finishing the tree allows one to properly speak Portuguese if these errors are not addressed.It would seem reasonable to form the Portuguese lessons to match the current language (say, novela or conversation) as opposed to a newspaper, concurso or textbook usage. Anyone trying to pass a concurso would not use Duolingo to pass it because concursos are so strict on literary and academic language; this is more of a practical language skills website. I am grateful for this tool, but I am living in Brazil and the language I have learned from Duolingo is not applicable to what people say.
I don't think anyone can expect to speak, read, or write Portuguese by Duolingo alone. It gets you past the learning curve of adjective-noun agreement, subject-verb agreement, syntax, and structure. It gives you over one thousand vocabulary words.
Simply, it allows you to start teaching yourself. I'm halfway through the tree and I can read Portuguese websites (with a dictionary every sentence or two). I've been able to begin having conversations with Portuguese and Brazilian friends. It is during this second step that I start learning common constructions and idioms. I am grateful for the head start Duolingo has given me, mistakes and all.
I totally agree with you, DL gives you the kickoff to start learning a language
I understand what you say. It is difficult to a platform like Duo realize all the ways of speaking a language. For me, it served as a stimulus to practice and I see that I learned many English sentence structures, which is helping me a lot in reading and writing. As for talk, I was for three months in the United States and found it very difficult, I still struggle with a lot of difficulties. Welcome to Brazil! And if I can help with any difficulties you have with the language, please contact me here and I will gladly help.