Wha' happen'---???

Mr. OWL, duly representing Duo Lingo, sent me a note this afternoon advising me of the fact that I am to be congratulated for having completed the language tree and thus am awarded DL's congratulations.

The language I'd chosen is Spanish. The program has brought me to a level of reading comprehension that has me able to read 80% of literature written in Spanish. My interest from the start was not conversational Spanish but reading. I've toiled perhaps six hours daily, working the lessons, compiling word lists and even filling in TV commercial moments with my cell or tablet with earphones.

Then, suddenly, there's a big thud in the air---I feel as though I've been fired from my best job ever. Whereas I'd thought there must be at least twenty-five levels, I'm at level 12, far from any goal I'd envisioned.

I've learned the mechanics of how the language works but I've yet to "own" the vocabulary necessary to have me comfortable as one who truly understands and can become part of the fabric we call Spanish. So I will continue daily, refreshing my now completed lessons, expecting to gain mastery along the way.

It is sad, though---seeing that I've reached a level DL regards as noteworthy. I love being the student! I could have embraced the student role for years more. So while I'm being congratulated, it is a bittersweet moment, too.

There are other programs out there but I doubt any will do for me what Duo Lingo has. What an incredible experience this has been! And I can only wonder what deliciously exciting moments lie ahead, thanks to the precious grounding in Spanish-speaking and literacy provided by Duo Lingo.

Have others active here experienced similar bittersweet moments? I suddenly feel alone, perhaps without the critically important rudder our owl has provided. This program has been the center-most activity in my daystream experiences over the past 39 days. I wasn't prepared for separation and I'm not going to accept it just yet, either.

I would dearly love input from others here regarding your feelings about reaching your personal goals in the pursuit of language study.

Good luck to all!

3 years ago


Finishing the tree is a nice start. Reaching level 25 is even nicer. However, eight months after reaching level 25 I still can`t get through all the strengthening exercises error free. And, as far as reading goes, even if I might be able to read 80% of all Spanish literature that 20% I cannot read makes a big difference. So, I congratulate you on finishing the tree but you have a long way to go. Duolingo has given you a great start but it has abandoned you far too early.

3 years ago

You could always move on to immersion, and start blogging/editing on or other pen pal type sites

3 years ago

You could try the reverse tree (English for Spanish speakers) if you want a new challenge in Duolingo.

When they give you the audio of an English sentence try translating it into Spanish before you give the English answer. Then look at the translation at the bottom after you submit your answer to see if your Spanish was correct.

3 years ago

I finished my tree a while ago, but I've stuck around. DuoLingo keeps on teaching, even when you have completed your tree. As others have said, completing the tree is just the first milestone here. Work on making your whole tree gold and keeping it that way. Then go to Immersion and work towards reaching level 25.

In the meantime, here are some non-DouLingo things I have found helpful:

  • Use a flashcard app or program to build additional vocabulary. I am using Memrise.
  • Immerse yourself in Spanish media. I listen to Latino and Spanish music most of my day, and have already found some new favorite artists
  • Find some people to chat with in Spanish using a site like mylanguageexchange or gospeaky or verbling.
  • Start reading using a Kindle or Kindle app. I am doing Harry Potter and La Piedra Filosofel right now. I downloaded a Spanish to English dictionary- when I don't know the word, i press on it and the definition pops up. (there is a thread on how to do this if you search)

I am also going through some coursework I have from some traditional courses I took to pin down grammatical concepts.

Congratulations, keep at it, and good luck!

3 years ago
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Earning your Duo wings is just the beginning of your language journey. :)

You can do the reverse tree, as has been suggested. Most folks disable the audio when they do the reverse tree so they don't waste time writing sentences dictated to them in English.

You can also read books in Spanish - the Kindle is an especially wonderful tool for this.

Watch movies with the Spanish sound track enabled, and optionally with subtitles enabled until you get a more practiced ear.

Chat with people from all over the world on

Start your Spanish tree over but this time do timed practices and make yourself earn 20 XP before you move to the next skill set.

3 years ago

Let me heartily thank each of you for your tender and helpful understandings. I assure you that I will follow up on each suggestion. Once again, my connection with DL has been nothing short of exhilarating.

Actually, your suggestions are "spot on," as we say in America these days. They have me feeling the connection I've come to relish here at DL from day #1. So I say a big thanks to each of you.

Habremos una familia muy grande. Gracias!

3 years ago

What about teaching? ESL or Spanish?

3 years ago
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