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https://www.duolingo.com/mkalbert

I earned the Golden Owl.

I'm posting this as I thought it might be interesting for other Duolingo learners. I wondered how long it would take me to complete the Spanish tree. I started in January 2015 with no prior knowledge of Spanish. I completed the tree during a streak of 130 days, earning about 7,600 points during that time. I had a goal of 20 points a day and on many days only achieved that, while earning up to 150 points on some weekend days. I did very little immersion work during that time.

At this point, I feel like an advanced beginner in Spanish. I understand sentence structure and many of the basic grammar rules. Based on trying to read an article in a Spanish magazine, I know about one half of the vocabulary I need, and I would assume the articles in the magazine are written at a 6th to 8th grade (United States) level. My most pressing need is to learn more verbs and to get more comfortable quickly conjugating these.

My listening comprehension is about 10% of where it needs to be for me to be comfortable. My focus from now will be to keep the tree golden, learn more vocabulary, start to find opportunities to speak Spanish to native speakers and to use Spanish on a regular basis.

Thank you to Duolingo for starting me on the path to Spanish fluency! I feel like this is the start of a lifelong journey!

If anyone from DL is listening and is mapping out revenue opportunities for the company, I would be willing to pay a small monthly fee for access to the next level of lessons. I would much rather pay Duolingo, which has given me so much for free, than pay some other website or resource.

3 years ago

50 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/nashrambler
nashrambler
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Good work. I know the feeling of satisfaction even at this low level of fluency. If you are ever in the area, down by Lewis wharf there is a Mexican café where you can practice with the counter help y puedes tener un buen taco. I too would be willing to pay a small sum for advanced lessons now that I know how well Duolingo works.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mkalbert

Thanks! I will have to check out that out. What's the name of the cafe?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nashrambler
nashrambler
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Tenoch Mexican on Lewis St. near Commercial. I was visiting Boston last fall and at the time I was trying to get my mind around algunos, algunas, algo and some similar words. It wasn't working at all. I went to the café and probably said something like un taco con salsa caliente, trying to be a wise guy. The counter girl said algo más? It took me a split second but then I knew what she said and now I'll never forget what algo means. It made my day.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mkalbert

Good story - thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Feraz.I

Congratulations. I also started at the same time as you and have more or less used DuoLingo every day. I have only gotten up to the past tense level so far as languages were never my strong point but DuoLingo is slowly helping me overcome that!

I would recommend using Mind Snacks to increase your vocabulary as it also employs the gamification of learning method. The TV Show Destinos is also a great tool to help build listening skills.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sofa4ka
sofa4ka
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I have checked Mind Snacks, but it seems to be only for iphone users. I usually practice Duolingo on my laptop. Can this be done with that website as well?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mkalbert

I will check out Mind Snacks and Destinos. Thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RoknrolZombie

There's an app/game called "Influent" that is a phenomenal vocab builder - fun, pretty easy, and helps you stay motivated. Also has some good time tests and things. I hit that hard before coming over here - it's great for vocab, but has absolutely no training on things like grammar or sentence structure.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mkalbert

I'll check it out. Thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RunningFrog

Good for you! Congratulations on finishing your tree!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mkalbert

Thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RenitaDean

Congrats!! I like this site, but I will be honest...If I hadn't started on another site and gotten the basics first. I would have give up on this one long ago. Its free and I cannot complain, however, it doesn't explain why things are the way they are and conjugation. For me, it doesn't help me at all to know a sentence is wrong. I need to know why and have more to that lesson and I get very frustrated. I wish you well on your journey!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mkalbert

I had times that I was frustrated and it felt like I was not learning. The best thing for me was keeping my streak going and continuing to practice a little bit each day. My normal pattern is to be very enthusiastic about something new for a few weeks and then miss a couple of days which leads to missing weeks. Keeping my streak going kept me engaged.I got through the difficult portions and pushed on to new lessons. I also bought a textbook called "Complete Spanish Grammar - Practice Makes Perfect" which has been very helpful. Good luck!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.Smilie
Mr.Smilie
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do you use the mobile app or do you access this sight from your computer? (I don't think you can access these forums with the mobile app but I'm not sure..) if you are on your computer then you should look at the lower portion within certain lessons, it covers the basics on conjugation and other rules there, also normally when a new word is added you can hover over it and go to the conjugate option, unfortunately I've noticed that it's normally only for the first lesson with that new word, but after a while it comes easier and most people advise the use of a sight like Spanishdict.com to aid in those matters. also, if you have a sentence that you don't know why it's wrong it's often a good idea to click into the "discuss this sentence" button and scroll through the comments as more often than not someone has already asked and gotten an answer to your question, if not then just ask it yourself and sooner or later someone will get back to you on it.. part of the brilliance of Duolingo is the interaction with other people, both learners and native speakers of the language, who are so willing to help!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RenitaDean

Hi :) I usually use my laptop but I have never noticed anything at the bottom that gives further instruction. Perhaps this is because I went all the way to level 5 or 6 on my mobile phone before ever even knowing you could access this on a computer. I will try to look into this going forward but I think my hang up is that I don't see any real instruction before going into a lesson and this is why I get hung up on sentences in later lessons. Yes, the discussions are somewhat helpful but many times people are way more advanced than me and sometimes throw me off with the discussions. I really just decided to use both sites. One has formal instruction and this one. I think I will do fine. Please don't get me wrong. I do love this site. I guess my learning style requires me to supplement. I will go check out the lessons again for the extra info. Thank you and everyone for all your help. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.Smilie
Mr.Smilie
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Hi (= Yeah, not all of the lessons offer more info but many do and it can be quite helpful!

don't get me wrong, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with using multiple sights for your resources, in fact many people on here advise a wide range of other sights, (memrise, for vocab, and spanishdict, for conjugation translation and related info, are two that I see over and over again) I personally haven't taken the time to go over much of them but what I have gone over was very useful and informative, I was simply pointing to other tools here on the sight that you may have missed..

Bottom line is defiantly use whatever sources work for you and help you work toward your goal because the important thing here is to learn and support others that are also learning, there is a great community here, as well as elsewhere and just in learning language in general people seem willing to help and encourage which is awesome!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sjyoshida

This is why children pick up languages faster than adults. Children rely more on the sounds of the language and the patterns. When children speak their native language they also rely on the patterns and get these down "pat" making most of their mistakes with the irregular verbs that do not follow the typical patterns. Adults get hung up on thinking they have to be always correct. Enjoy your journey towards fluency and don't be too hard on yourself along the way. Slow and steady wins the race.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Izz85095
Izz85095
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Hi RenitaDean! I agree with Mr.Smilie, check out the website on a computer if you haven't already as it explains the grammar / intricacies for each lesson (if there are any). You can also go to the 'words' tab at the top of the page and scroll through the list of vocabulary you've encountered so far (click on the column headings to sort the words into a particular order); click on any word to see examples of it in use, and to see the conjugations of verbs. I much prefer the website to the app!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RenitaDean

Hi :) I had no idea about the website until about a month ago... I downloaded it on my phone just for kicks one day. I do agree, the website is better. I have only seen the conjugations when you go in the list of words but it escapes me when I am trying to form a sentence. I will play around with the site more to see what I can get out of it but I already plan to supplement it. Thank you for replying and trying to help.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bishop_Jay

Hi mkalbert, thanks for taking the time to share. I have question for you if you'd be willing to answer. How well do you feel like you would perform on a standardized test for Spanish now that you've completed the tree? Do you think you would be able to pass the final to an introductory college course, what about an advanced one? I'm asking because I'm using duoLingo to earn credit and ideally exempt from my university's language requirement and I'm curious how much more I'll need to do after completing the tree. Thank you for your time!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mkalbert

I think I would probably test out of the introductory Spanish language class and perhaps the second level as well. I do have a good understanding of Spanish sentence structure and now need to fill in the holes with vocabulary and usage. In other words, if I was building a house, I have the framing of the walls put up and now I need to put up the sheetrock and plaster and put down the floors.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bishop_Jay

Thank you that's very helpful!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sjyoshida

If you take the college spanish 102 or 202 I think you will be able to 4 point it. It's an easy A and great for the GPA. IBUENA SUERTE!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spoelie

It's great that you came that far, congratulations!

However, I'm really hoping Duolingo will be kept for free. That's the essence of Duolingo for me, at least. Learning a language for free. Too bad education is expensive in other places, but Duolingo is allowing everyone to learn. Also making the first levels free doesn't really make it any better, if anyone makes it to the end they may be very ambitious but they may not want to pay. Would be a shame to see their journey ending there...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlyshaRaquel

How do you earn a golden owl?!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/qtguy
qtguyPlus
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You have to complete all the lessons in your language to get it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlyshaRaquel

Thank you!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gmaf12
gmaf12
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Congratulations! I fully agree with your suggestion for access to the next level.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dkrobe
dkrobe
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Parece que estamos cerca de estar en el mismo barco español. Congratulations and thanks for your post. I did indeed find it most interesting, but consider myself a not so advanced beginner. I finished my Spanish tree a few days ago. I did the two available extra categories at the cost of a few “Lingots” and a few more practice quizzes. I’ve tried talking with Spanish speaking persons, but, other than greetings, we conversed in English. They were nice and encouraging, but, I’m just very inadequate conversation ability and confidence wise. I don’t expect fluency, but I am considering options for improvement. Congratulations and thanks again. All the best in your endeavors.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cholpon33

Hello, Congratulations!!! what is a golden Owl? I am doing spanish too, but I am a bit slow...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mkalbert

I completed the tree for Spanish. When you complete the tree, you will see a Golden Owl illustration.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duolingoolivia

Good job

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SoccercatShek

Nice job!!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elanbs
elanbs
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Congrats! I can't wait to finish mine :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dkrobe
dkrobe
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The Golden Owl is the trophy for finishing your tree.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TomPscheidt
TomPscheidt
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I want to do Spanish for English learners. Spanish for English. English for Spanish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robert_Cieply

Why did the chicken cross the road? To escape from my missiles.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arianna_Terrell

thats not how it goes

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arianna_Terrell

its to get to the other side

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arianna_Terrell

good for you

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HaydeeGA

¡Muchas felicidades!! Cuando gustes podemos practicar, yo estoy aprendiendo inglés por medio de Duolingo y estoy buscando también la oportunidad de practicar el inglés con hablantes nativos.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChristianChico

I am now on 48th day, and do not mind paying as well to buy LINGOTs. I want to keep knowing my new "quiz score" LOL Good job!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EemaanCR7

guys u all have so many days streak i can hardly keep up with 3 days streak..............wait do you all use streak freeze????

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RenitaDean

lol!! I was having the same problem. But I realized one lesson only takes about 5 min so I either make it the first thing I do in the morning, do it on my lunch break, or make it the last thing I do before I go to bed.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/qtguy
qtguyPlus
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I have had the exact same problem. Most recently I lost a 32 day streak...ugh Also you're right that the lessons are so short and its a shame to lose the streak over 5 minutes!!! I'm back on 2 day streak LOL

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mkalbert

I used streak freeze on one day. I have a goal of 20 points a day, so I can do that in less than 20 minutes. I usually make sure I get this done in the morning, and then study more at night if I have time.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nashrambler
nashrambler
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I purchased streak freeze but I don't know if I have ever used it. Maybe once. Being retired I don't have any excuses and the more you learn the easier it gets. If you get in a pinch you can always do a couple basic lessons just to keep your streak. Now, how do you translate 'if you get in a pinch'?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wfoyt

Congratulations. I am about half way through. Very impressive to get all the way through it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luisssss12

Pay me i am poor xD

Estoy bromeando, en hora buena por tu logro, se ve que le has dedicado esfuerzo y mejor aun perseverancia.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MattHughes5

can i h4v linguts ples?

3 years ago