Not gonna brag about finishing the Italian course
Because there is an awful lot that I didn't learn thoroughly. I'll keep working at it, and look for supplemental materials to help understand the grammar better. I'll admit I went through it awfully fast, just over two months. The first part was easy, because I had been working on the language independently, but had no organized course material.
There a lot of things you can do to take yourself to a higher level. I'll give you ten good things to do as a follow-up, because I do them with French.
1) You can review material that is not covered in Duolingo, on this site:
2) You can download a free book or two, maybe even an audio book, here:
3) You can see if you can read these three children's stories fluently:
4) Listen to Italian language podcasts, every few days, and see if you can comprehend listening without reading, try a translation, etc.
5) Read Italian newspapers or on-line media everyday:
6) Review your grammar:
7) Submit writings, like a daily diary of what you did that day, or simple thoughts, in Italian, to:
8) Watch TV
9) Listen to radio:
10) Prepare for a trip with a phrase book:
Better yet, copy the phrase book into your own document and expand it with phrases you learn from the first nine activities. I did this with French, and I have a rather large PDF that I continue to practice with.
I'm around half-way done, but when I complete Duolingo Italian, I'll be posting my daily routine on duolinguisto.wordpress.com and if you want to see what that looks like, go to my French blog duolinguist.wordpress.com.
Sto imparando l'italiano da diversi modi, e Duolingo è uno di loro. Uso Pimsluer CD in la mia macchina, anche prendo lezioni di educazione degli adulti alla il mio college locale. Grazie mille per questa lista fantastica!
The fact that I can read this entire reply without resorting to google translate makes me very happy :-)
Just trying to help out a little, the correct way to say this is "Uso Pimsluer CD nella mia macchina..... adulti alla mia università locale. I hope I have helped you in some way!
Thanks, I'll save that list and refer to it when I have a chance. I do have an Italian/English dictionary, a basic grammar book, and a book of idioms that I had purchased long before I had heard of duolingo.
Thank you for compiling and sharing such a helpful list! Very thoughtful. Lei e molto gentile.
I feel the same way - there's way more to learn! However, finishing the tree is an accomplishment! Complimenti!
Thanks, everyone, for all your kind words and suggestions. I intend to stick with the Italian for a while. I really want to learn to speak it, but I don't know if I'll ever have the opportunity. I'll certainly never be able to travel to Italy. I had mentioned one other time (on some other topic) that I am 79 years old, and that - as well as financial considerations - kind-of limits what I can expect to do.
Frabrevi, I liked that comment about learning to talk with my hands :).
I might go through the German course later; I majored in German in college, but that was more than half a century ago, and I never really used it. I'd kind-of like to refresh it.
Hi Susanna, congratulations on finishing the tree.
Your next task is to keep the tree golden - and since you have gone down it fast, you will probably find that this will not be easy. I think that it is well worthwhile setting yourself the task of checking morning and evening for pesky branches that have lost their glow.
I honestly think that Duolingo is even more useful to me now as a means of constant planned revision than it was when I was learning new stuff from it going down the trees. Duo has its faults as a teaching program, but as a revising plan to keep us on our toes and stop us forgetting what we have learned, it is surely second to none.
The trouble with going down the tree very quickly is that "the faster we learn something, the faster we forget it". The advantage with going down the tree quickly is that you are now able to use the tree as a brilliant revision aid.
As for going forward can I suggest you try ConversationExchange.com - there you will find lots of nice Italians who are learning English and looking for language partners.This can be a bit daunting at first, but if you pluck up courage and do it, you should find it both interesting and useful.
Actually, I was keeping up with all the refreshing until I was nearly finished, then they kept coming so fast I found it difficult to get through a skill, so when I was on the third from the last, I let the refreshing go until I had finished. Back to work on that now!
Thanks toussaintlou. I am really proud of my year streak - and as I suspect you know keeping the streak going is a great incentive for continuing learning. I am sure that I would have forgotten most of the stuff I had learned if I had not set myself a target of an unbroken streak.
Susanna, I expect that you know that the "easy" way to restore colour to a tree with a lot of gaps is by using the timed practice option, since you can restore the colour to a branch very quickly with that method. Of course it is better to revise each branch thoroughly, rather than look for short-cuts, but it can be important for morale to see the tree getting back its colour fast, and then when there are only a few needing attention you can spend more time with each one.
I don't do timed practice. I'm too slow for that. And when it comes to audio, I have to repeat it many times before I can figure out what is being said, and I still don't always get it. I also tend to make a lot of "stupid" mistakes, like missing plurals (or seeing non-existent plurals), sometimes reading things like "ho" instead of "hai," "siamo" instead of "abbiamo" - or the reverse. Sort-of like taking the sentence in at a glance instead of reading it carefully. Although, in a way, that is probably good - as long as I can learn to avoid such stupid mistakes.
I know what you mean about timed practice, and I always make a lot more "stupid" careless mistakes than actual language mistakes. But if you want to make your tree golden then if you just manage to get one or two right in timed practice before the 30 seconds is up that does the trick for each branch. It is a short-cut and not a genuine alternative to getting a whole exercise right, but I find that it is really good for morale. Having a fully golden tree is a real boost to my confidence and encourages me to do more practice - on the other hand when there are dozens of circles that need attention it can be very dispiriting.
Go ahead! Brag! Finishing the tree isn't the end of your Italian studies--it's really the beginning!
I'd recommend living languages and/or pimsleur. Yes Pimsleur is extremely expensive, but you can get it off Ebay for super cheap! Use that in conjunction with Duolingo. I've used all programs, and I generally prefer to race through them at first, and then redo them a few times over. I have studied numerous languages. Good luck and congrats!!!!!
I've been slowing myself down to make sure stuff sticks before moving on (I'm on a 133 day streak and about two thirds through the material.) I've seen ppl mention that it was quite beneficial to do the reverse tree also or do some work in 'Immersion' (especially if you're not yet ready to shell out some big bucks on other programs!)
Good luck in your continued studies!!!
Personally, I would find the reverse tree boring. But since I finished the tree, I come back every day for a little immersion and I usually do around 20 sentences.
I finished refreshing all the topics that needed refreshed this afternoon, and this evening, one of them had popped up again. I am having particular difficulty with subjunctive imperfect, not to mention typos and just plain stupid mistakes.
I found that for Italian lessons like the Subjunctive Imperfect, Conditional Perfect, Subjunctive Perfect (and others) the only way to cope was to use a notebook and write each sentence and its translation as I met it in the exercise. I thought that I was always going to have to rely on referring to those notes, but eventually they have sunk in, and when these pop-up for revision now I do seem to know what is going on.
I've been writing them down on the computer, but I can see that writing them by hand would make a stronger, longer-lasting impression. I think, though, if I could just understand the structures and the reasons for them, I could do better.
Subjunctive imperfect and Subjunctive perfect have got to be the hardest two lessons on duo.. I have repeated them (each lesson, not just review) a couple of times and those two still give me trouble!
Good job! I've been caught up in learning Spanish I can't have time to learn Italian
Congratulations Susanna I feel the same about my French tree, I'm gonna take courses at school and start practicing it in real life.
Congrats! We have the same name :) I have a suggestion for you; if you want to learn another language, for example French, try doing French for Italian speakers, or English for Italian Speakers. Just wanted to let you know that I think that is a huge accomplishment and that you should brag a little :D
Ciao Susanna. Complimenti! Ora non ti resta che approfondire la tua curiosità, provando qualche film in lingua (per l'ascolto), qualche lettura semplificata e un viaggio in Italia per imparare a parlare con le mani! :)) se hai bisogno di consigli su cosa usare, contattami pure. Buona fortuna!
congratulations....fantastic. There is hope. I am a mature aged learner and I was wondering whether its possible post 50 to learn a new language. I think it might be...but perhaps it might take longer
I passed 50 a few years ago, in fact, now that I'm an "empty nester", I can focus on making language learning part of my daily life. I've visited Europe a few times in recent years, and I always appreciated their need to know multiple languages. When I saw that something like Duolingo existed, I jumped at the chance to challenge the idea that "Americans are monolingual". No nationality, creed, or color is...anything...until they believe they are, and I never thought of myself as being unable to learn anything. Granted, I've worked at power plants for over 30 years, and you learn new systems on a constant basis, so we as a group understand the process of learning and how systems are designed. Nothing in our world, just happens "to be that way". We use spaced-time repetition, mnemonics, top down/bottom up system processing, mindmaps, decision making symbology, ladder logic, and on and on, to understand why the plant works in a certain manner under various conditions. Many of my co-workers are closing in on 70 (we do not have forced retirement), and because we are forced to troubleshoot and creatively think of solutions, I have not seen one of them mentally begin to lose their edge. Language learning can serve that same purpose of challenging the mind as a person gets older, forcing the brain to stay engaged, be creative, and solve problems.
I worked as a computer programmer for 25 years, retired at almost 68, because the site I was working at was closing down, and it wasn't practical for me to move to a continuing site. On my last job, we created software for a certain type of business, and we were in a constant state of change.
I'm not very strong physically any more, so I spend a lot of time at the computer. I had been trying to learn Italian on my own, and didn't have an orderly system to learn it with. My great niece told me about Duolingo (I don't think she used it, but someone told her about it), and so here I am. My great niece, btw, is living in Denmark, so language is an issue for her & her husband.
Thank you so much for your reply toussanitlou. Your words are very encouraging. I think in my country we have an odd habit of querying those who strive forward beyond societal norms. We call it "tall poppy syndrome", or "getting too big for your boots". Your reply is brilliant as it smashes through ageist bias and prejudice. I am 57 and embarking on language learning which I enjoyed in my 20's but let go when aspirational goals and family responsibilities took over. Love this Italian course.
I'm glad you feel this way. The Internet often allows a person to find like-minded people, who share their goals and aspiratons, and transcend what they had previously thought of as their limit.
I'm 67, and working along in Italian. I took courses at my university, which gave me more sports and music vocab than I really need, but what I saw was that my memory for words is much worse than that of a 20 year old, but that I have way better pattern recognition skills. The paradigms for verb tenses and pronouns make more sense to me, and I'm better able to guess at the meaning of words, than my younger classmates, but I can't sit down with a word list and learn it in 20 minutes.
I think I had a bit of a head start, because I had been trying to learn Italian on my own (off and on) for several years, and had picked up a good deal of vocabulary, and some grammar. I had also sat in on a beginning Italian class for about half a semester when I was in college, but that was over half a century ago. I had not got a book for the class, so I wasn't really learning like I should have.
Yes, because your level depends on the points you get, and you get points by doing exercises, not passing levels. So if you do a lot of reviewing, you will be at a higher level (long before finishing the tree) than someone who has finished the course with little reviewing. I finished the tree at level 16, I think.
I finished the tree a few days ago. It took me around seven months. I could have finished much sooner, but the last two months I decided to take just one or two exercises a day and devote much more time to non-Duolingo materials. I also started to go back on the previous lessons that had "review overdue" status. I use Progetto Italiano 1 as a coursebook. The RAI website for Italian learners is good, although for some reason a lot of the videos don't work. I also use Memrise for vocabulary review. And I listen to Rai 1 radio online and watch lots of movies in YouTube. I pleasantly discovered the other day that, although of course I don't understand everything, I can follow the plot of almost any movie, except when they speak too fast or with a strong regional accent. So my reflection is, even if you haven't really learned all the concepts offered here, this gives you a good starting point to begin exploring the language on your own, with the zillions of resources you find on the web.
Grazie! pardon if I fall back into English; I'm not that comfortable with Italian yet. I don't have Skype - and I don't think it would be very practical, since I am on slow dial up. I will look into other options, though, as I grow more comfortable with the language. A few years ago, I had an opportunity to converse with a young lady in German. Only I was too timid to speak German, and we had a dual-language conversation - she, speaking German and I, speaking English. I understood her perfectly well, and she could speak English quite well.
I note you posted this concern two years ago - how have you continued since then? I am fast coming to the end of Duolingo's journey with Italian and I want to continue with at least 30 minutes practice every day! I do not think I will ever be fluent in Italian but I am finding it easier and easier to write in Italian. Be interested - what does everyone else recommend as a good option to get regular exposure to Italian?
I finished the Italian course over two years ago and I have not stopped.. I practice Italian on Duo every day.. you never stop learning. Do the reverse course.. it is very challenging.. Subscribe to Italian language news feeds ... download an Italian book... listen to radio online... find language teachers on youtube and subscribe to thier feed.