https://www.duolingo.com/deguo

Finished my first (well technically second) tree!

Six or so months of Dutch learning later, here I am. I finally finished my first tree for a language I learned entirely on Duolingo (I technically finished my Spanish tree by placing out of almost the whole thing). I joined Duolingo in January of 2014, well before the Dutch course even existed. I initially began with Portuguese since I knew that I wanted to learn a language, but I wasn’t sure exactly which. I figured Portuguese was similar enough to Spanish that it wouldn’t be too much of a challenge. What I would learn over the next nine months is that you can’t fake your way through language learning. If you aren’t completely interested, it’s going to be an extremely difficult and tedious process. I eventually gave up on Portuguese and tried French, but couldn’t make much progress in that. When Danish came out, I tried that for a little while, and with the release of Swedish, I thought I had finally hit my stride, but couldn’t get any of the words to stick for some reason.

As my frustration continued, I looked at the course page. While reading the description of the Dutch course, I thought back to history class that morning where we had learned about the Dutch Golden Age. Intrigued, I started reading more and more about the Netherlands until I was completely certain that I wanted to learn Dutch. For many reasons that I won’t bore you with, I could see myself moving to the Netherlands, and knowing the language would at least give me the option. I started the course and immediately fell in love with it. My goal was “one skill a day,” and, for the most part, I managed to maintain that for a long time. In the seven weeks between when I started learning and early January, I finished 40 skills. Little did I know that I was about to meet my worst enemy: midterm exams. I planned to take a week off to study, but this week turned into two and then three and before I knew it, I had gone over two months with only learning two new skills. After regilding my tree, I lost my 273-day streak, and subsequently my motivation, on a trip to Europe. I regilded again only to take a break for AP exams and regilded again, but swore I wouldn’t let my tree deteriorate this time.

I took a few weeks to slowly regild and review my tree in depth, and finished that on Saturday night. I started learning new words for the first time since March and absolutely loved it. Over the next 24 hours, I gained 840 XP from learning 19 skills. It really wasn’t healthy, but I was obsessed. I’ve worked toward finishing my tree for so long that it just felt like a goal I had to reach at this point. It didn’t hurt that after my in-depth review of my tree I actually knew what I was doing for the first time in a while. I saved the last three skills for this morning, and now here I am with my Golden Owl and completely gilded tree. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Duolingo community as a whole, those of you who took time out of your day to answer my Dutch questions, and, most of all, the Dutch course moderators. You guys created what I genuinely believe is the most comprehensive and entertaining tree on Duolingo. You also taught me that it is perfectly acceptable to say good morning to your juice, which I am forever grateful for. As for my future, I’m going to take some time to review the 22 skills I just raced through, and then it’s time to move out into the real world. I’m sure I’ll learn another language on Duolingo at some point in the future, but I can’t tell you when and which.

Thank you again, and so sorry for the long post!

May 25, 2015

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/languagelover0
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Great job! I find it fascinating every time someone like you posts about their learning experience on Duolingo. I ask everyone this, so don't take it personally. Did you use only Duolingo, or did you use some other sources, like Memrise, Quizlet, etc. etc. to help boost your learning? :)

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/deguo

I used Quizlet and put every word from the course on a card. I think I'm also going to start using Memrise to learn some extra vocab.

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/languagelover0
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Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to answer my question! :)

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HebrewLearner

Great job! I think it's great that you learned Dutch just because you were interested in it. It really does power your motivation.

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/deguo

Thank you! I completely agree; you really can't get anywhere without motivation.

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HebrewLearner

It's my language philosophy. Are you planning to continue learning Dutch? If the answer is yes, check out my new post about the fastest way to learn a language. You can find it here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8778309 .

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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"What I would learn over the next nine months is that you can’t fake your way through language learning. If you aren’t completely interested, it’s going to be an extremely difficult and tedious process."

Yusssss so much this.

Congratulations! My first finished tree was also this weekend and it's a good feeling :D

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/deguo

Thank you and congratulations!

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SquirrelFriendJ

Congratulations on your Ukrainian tree. How was the course?

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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It was fun! I don't know how much stuck, I'm doing a bit of reviewing. Some of the later sentences still are a bit buggy. Worth doing though!

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic
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Nice job :) Your story is really inspirational, it shows learners to never give up on their goals.

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/deguo

Thank you!

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/-TashaJ-

Awesome! Good luck with your future language learning ^-^

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/deguo

Thank you so much!

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wegygeywgfwe

Goed gedaan!

May 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/deguo

Bedankt!

May 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ASBusinessMagnet
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"Spanish was similar enough to Spanish"

Wait, what?

May 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/deguo

Fixed the typo, but I don't think it was too hard to figure out what I meant given the context

May 26, 2015
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