Just finished the French tree....and some thoughts.
I found this website thru and article in the summer of 2014. I started in August (I think...don't know exact date.., there seems to be places to navigate which I don't think I have found). I would suggest a tutorial at the start for new learners on how to navigate site...especially us old guys!!) I don't think I ever really figured out the lingots. Seemed to be hard to get at the start now have barrel full of them. I did enjoy taking the French quizzes with the lingots.
I had some basic French background, I honestly thought I would breeze through this. However, it takes consistent dedication and a lot of hard work The changes made on the "three strike rule" helped.. I made the mistake in December to start getting cute and take Spanish as well (I had a two week South American trip) so wanted to get some Spanish basics. Big mistake.! French went on hiatus for a few weeks and made it much tougher to want to log on when I returned And when I did, there were several (at least 12) courses that I had finished, which I now had to repeat. I was so demoralized I almost packed it in. In hindsight the relearning was valuable. In fact, much of it, quite honestly I had forgotten.
French is truly a beautiful language. I quite enjoyed watching Netflix movies that are in French with English subtitles. And listening to French music. This was one of my favorites and nice to follow along with the French lyrics http://www.wimp.com/momentsong/
After the course what can you expect? -you will be able to read most all French journals and publications and fully understand the content. that is really satisfying. I set up a twitter account with French users and that helps a lot with the French slang. -on our local French radio news you will be able to understand 80%-85% of what is spoken and have a good grasp of the topic. When they start talking about unfamiliar topics, my grasp probably dropped to 65% -French news on TV. Again, because you most likely know the news topics (that helps) you can understand 75% -French movies are tough...with the sub titles it makes sense, but once they come off, I struggled. so still some work to do. My goal is to be able to watch movies sans subtitles -Speaking...this course obviously isn't for the oral part. For me, quite frankly remains a struggle.
But my gosh! A wonderful program, free, and very interactive. I would highly recommend it to others. And to all those that are looking at it there is an end game which is immensely satisfying!
_ And when I did, there were several (at least 12) courses that I had finished, which I now had to repeat. I was so demoralized I almost packed it in._
If this happened early 2015, you should know that this happened not because you took a break and Duo decided you needed to re-learn anything, but rather because they made a lot of changes to the lessons, rearranging and adding material, and so on; so literally all of us sufficiently far along had to go back and finish a lot of units we thought we'd finished. We had finished units, but not exactly the same units, so some lessons needed done — not again, but for the first time (at least as they presently exist).
As an analogy, imagine transferring credits to a new university… not everything will make the jump.
It was fairly demoralizing for me, too, but once I realized what was happening, I decided it wasn’t so bad — these "old units" with only a few lessons "remaining" (added) in them meant easy lingots ;)
Congrats on finishing the tree. Keep practicing and keep it fresh!!
Felicidades! I am so glad I read this - I was fiddling around with the idea of adding Portuguese to my Spanish, and I wandered over here first and saw what you wrote - haha, I think I will stick to Spanish only until I can actually talk to another person live. :) This is a great review and is keeping me motivated, muchas gracias!
Everyone is different, but from my experience too many balls in the air is bad for me.
thanks for this review! i am currently rising up the french tree and this motivated me even more.
Here's a lingot for reposting the link. What a priceless moment; tears in my eyes. And one for CaseytheAcey, too.
Man... I'm a musician myself and I swear to God this is the only thing that I aspire for... Speechless!
Yeah, that is quite inspiring....just a beautiful song...in French none the less...thanks for noticing and lingot!
WOW - that song is AMAZING. Thanks so much for sharing.
I went searching for a version that sang that song with subtitles in both french and english. And sadly was unable to find one with english. There are quite a lot with french subtitles - including karaoke versions. I will post below the links I have found so far.
The closest I have come is a text, comparing the french words to an english translation.
Patrick Bruel : J'te L'dis Quand Meme http://lyricstranslate.com/en/Jte-ldit-quand-meme-Im-still-telling-you.html
I am trying to find something along similar lines to :
Le premier pas - Claude Michel Schönberg
Claude François Comme d'habitude
Does any one know of an audio video with french subtitles, ALONG with an english translation , matching up with the song ?
i would be done by now but i didn't know about the website and nay used the app so i was unable to use duo lingo when my iPod charger broke i have a phone but i don't have any space on it for the app because of music, apps, e books, and movies. But I'm so glad i found a website for duo lingo! the one thing i dis like is the type what you hear because I'm not good with spelling (dyslexia) i mean i can spell supercalfregilisticexpialidocious but i can't spell some other words for example...Their... i couldn't spell it write until 7th grade because i never had thought that the way it was spelled was correct so i alway changed it to...Thier...
Join the club! Although even though i may be dyslexic I find i am still learning new vocab!
Lovely Review! It is a thrill to this French beginner, learning such a beautiful language! I applaud you on your completion and stick-to-it-ness! Might you tell me your twitter page so that I may follow you and your tweets?
Merci! -Anna Victoria
sadly the tweets are mostly in English and quite boring...lol...@bonem1963 ...but i do find it excellent for reading French slang....and other words that probably aren't printable for duolingo
I appreciate the response! Any help is valued, so i will be sure to follow the page! -Wishing you a great Friday and weekend!
Congratulations on finishing the tree. If you do the timed test you wont have to start from the bottom, and you catch up faster. I just came back after a long hiatus and that is how I got my tree back to normal. Have you tried the tandem app to help your speaking?
Tried googling that, but didn't come up with anything. What's the tandem app?
The plan is to keep slugging away. I really enjoy the French movies and my goal is to watch these sans subtitles. It's close, but I realize a number of hours in front of me. The nice part about the movies and music in French is it doesn't seem "like work"
It's good that you opted to retake the French lessons. I think it's also Good to challenge yourself by learning more than one language at a time. Yes, it can be tricky to manage, but there are people who get bored learning just one thing art a time. Keep up with both and consider the possibility you can learn it all.
Thank you for sharing Patrick Bruel with us. It was really beautiful. I like to listen to French music too. If you go to JAZZRADIO.com and choose Paris cafe you'll hear old and new French songs. Some are sung by American or Canadian artists. They don't sing as fast as the French artists, so it is easy to understand.
To help with the oral part, I am sure in your neighbourhood there are some people struggling to learn French. Find one of them to practive speaking. It's great fun. I have an American friend. We met in Paris 17 years ago. The first year after we met, we had lunch once a week speaking only French. It was really amazing how much that helped. People around us in the restaurant listened and laughed, but we didn't care.
Merci Beaucoup, CaseytheAcey
Très bon! J'aime le français! Viva le français!
Great to hear what it is like 'at the other end'. I'm 'plodding' through the course, although i do enjoy learning something new!
Thanks for the encouragement!
I am a little confused. I have now completed the tree too and have been looking for a further 'stage' so that I can improve on other levels, read articles and of course communicate. However, looking at some of the articles, the topics just don't grab me. So I reckon it is back to my books, the French Hugo and the other French language book, because I don't quite know where to go from this point on Duolingo. As for the lingot story, well that just reminds me of school and quite frankly I can do without that. I just want to enjoy the experience of learning French and it needs constant practice. So what IS next after the famous tree?
I don't know where you come from, but I am sure there is someone in your neighbourhood who struggles to learn French. Find this person and start having conversation with her in French. Bring your dictionaries and speak no English. You will be surprised how much you can say. I've done this several times with unknown people, and some of them are still my friends after 15 years. Some I've met in restaurants in Paris, and with our lousy French people around us laughted, and the service was always perfect. Some came over to tell us that it was really impressing to hear us struggle with the French language. I've done this while learning Dutch and Chinese too, in Belgium and China. It has always been great fun.
I've also had conversations with French people who want to learn English. One hour English, one hour French. That can be difficult, if one of you love to correct the other. However, with the right person it can be very helpful for both. I had this kind of conversation with a French woman for several years. She came to my house every week. However, we became friends, and she gave up on the English, so in the end we spoke only French. Good for me.
I AGREE with you - it is also my experience. And some lingots to say thanks for sharing !
Have you uploaded any topics that interest you that you wish to translate? You can also start finding French speakers in you community or online to start speaking French, not just reading it
I am afraid I am not great with technology so not sure how to upload etc. So far the francais authentique will do. It goes for 7 days........and then....
I feel the same way, Sara-Lea. I'm at level 17 and am becoming bored and don't feel challenged anymore. I watch a lot of French TV and listen to French radio stations, which help me in vocabulary acquisition. I'm going to keep plodding along here, I guess, redoing lessons already learned and doing the occasional translation. But the fun and excitement are gone, it seems. I wish there were more lessons to learn. But for a free course, I think it's the best! No, I've even had courses that cost a lot that didn't carry me as far as this course has.
I have only just started with the francais authentic, but it already feels just right. I have always believed that listening, repetition and whatever comes next is exactly the right way. It kind of works by osmosis. The brain pathways simply begin to absorb it. So after the past few very bored weeks on duolingo, I am delighted to have completed the tree and to feel I have moved on. Yay!
@sara-lea and @DottieDrac - you can try the reverse tree ("learn English I know French"), it trains the other side of the coin.
Or try lingvist which is similar to this site, has a good voice and uses full useful sentences:
There is a vast amount of material and training available for French, much of it free. You will benefit mostly from more work on oral after Duolingo, I've listed a bunch of such resources on this post (and also further down in some of my replies):
Congrats to @CaseytheAcey - thanks for the song, it made me cry, too.
Thank you for the information! I am taking the French course until the Norwegian is ready to go!
Great motivation, thanks! I am finding that Duolingo will be a great addition to the other things I do to work on my language skills. I listen to podcasts from Francais Autentique(tons of great free content), as well as attempting to get more involved in some language meetups where I live. Actually my speaking improved greatly just from daily listening to French via those podcasts, so Duolingo will provide another great way to advance my ability. Anyway thanks for the review and congrats!
Thanks for the tip. I have been a bit frustrated, and the francais authentique looks like just what I need. I am sure it will take me that step further. Great to know about it. I had been doing the Hugo course, but need a change..
Can you provide us with some of the French movies on Netflix that you watched? Thanks :)
probably my favourite, and this movie is not for everyone, is game of death (le jeu de la mort). very easy to follow, subtitles. Balcony on the Sea is worth a look...Starbuck (comedy) and Cache (drama) are also good.
Casey... I think I am similar to you in that I can read and speak, albeit with a strong foreign accent, fairly well. Understanding the spoken word, especially when there is no context, remains a problem.
Wow - congratulations on finishing and for the inspiration to keep on going. I am near the end - only 7 or so skills left but seem to be finding it hard to motivate myself at the moment. Anyway i just wanted to comment re the speaking and the question of what to do next after the tree is finished - i have been using duo lingo in tandem with http://www.italki.com/?ref=1521807 which i use for speaking practice with native speakers and also for conversation lessons. I did the italki new year challenge and found that it really improved my speaking and listening skills. Now you have a strong background in reading french why not join italki and do one of their challenges to get your speaking to the same level? You can either use italki for free conversation exchanges with a native or lessons with a teacher . Although lessons on italki are not free - have found them fantastic value for money and for me as my goal is to speak french rather than just read - i have been willing to invest in them. Good luck in whatever you take on next.
C'est plus facile pour moi a lire et écrire en français que de parler et comprendre français. A l'inverse, c'est plus facile pour moi a entendre et parler espagnole. Je pense que c'est à cause des elisions en français. J'ai difficulté avec mon audition, ce qu'il fait plus dificile à comprendre le français disant.
I gave up on the French because of the difficult spelling and the incredibly difficult pronunciation. My favorite language to listen to is French, by far. So, I went to German and it is much easier than French but not nearly as beautiful. I did finish the Spanish tree. Stick with it.....compared to French, it is a snap. Everything is spelled the way it sounds (99% of the time) and there are so many words that are nearly identical to English. The only part that was truly difficult was the reflexive pronouns. Anyway, Bravo CaseytheAcey!