https://www.duolingo.com/spenerish

It took two years, but I've finished the French tree.

Well this feels amazing. I started learning French from Duolingo after getting a GED and having not much else to do. I was set to go to a Canadian university so it followed that I should learn a little French beforehand (although I ended up in Alberta, far away from Québec). During the year I could only practice what we were learning in French class (I was crazy busy), but now that freshman year's over I was able to bunker down and finish :)

Some highlights and thoughts:

  • I was able to test out of a university French class just halfway through the tree, and Duolingo helped me get an A in the one I was enrolled in.

  • Duolingo is amazing for drilling the grammatical concepts. Taking a university French course helped me better understand the grammar, but practice with Duolingo was what made it stick. Taking a French course was definitely worth it, but Duolingo made it better.

  • When Duolingo first changed from the classic website to its current "modern" design, I thought it looked awful. Now I love the current website and it kind of... hurts to look at the classic design.

  • Toward the end the material got a bit thin. There should've been more lessons in the conditional and the subjunctive skills, and other skills that incorporated these moods. But I realize it takes effort to develop and maintain these courses and I am deeply grateful to the contributors.

  • Finally I'm grateful to Duolingo for allowing me to turn my free time into something more productive. It would've been unthinkable to learn a new language online, for free, only a few years ago. This site is a game changer.

That being said I'm still very wobbly on the conditional and the subjunctive, and I'm still terrible at listening and speaking, but I'll keep working at it! And now that I know what it feels like to complete a tree, I think I'll go ahead and tackle another language.

Merci Duolingo !

June 12, 2015

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/prky
  • 2017

If you are looking to practice your French, you could try the reverse tree; it is helping me to reinforce the French I learned on the French from English tree. Also reinforcing the skills you have been learning will keep your tree golden. Félicitations!!

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mintsliced

This sounds interesting. What's the reverse tree?

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Spseptember

I haven't done it myself, but from my understanding it is when you change your default language to the language tree you just finished. For example, if you just finished the French tree, you would go into settings, and change your default language to French. Then you would select French speaker wanting to learn English and you would "learn English" from a French person's perspective. This allows you to solidify your French skills even more. Hope this helps!

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mintsliced

Yeah, that's definitely helpful! Thanks so much.

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/robster666

What a great idea! Merci :)

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/toussaintlou

Well done and well said.

June 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Amphibian

Félicitations !

June 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WinAR6

Felicitations! Have a lingot, you deserve it.

June 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TindraSten

Wow, 2 years? I would have giving up by 1 year! Good job

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/spenerish

I have to admit I was tempted to give up when things got tough, but the prospect of moving to Canada was a hell of a motivator! The Canadian immigration process awards extra points to individuals who can speak both English and French and I wasn't about to lose out on them.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Spseptember

Gosh, I'd forgotten that the website used to look like that! They've certainly come a long way! I started out with the app a few years ago, and would occasionally go on the website. Both the app and the website have gone through multiple changes and though many, including myself, didn't like them at the time, I'm so glad they implemented them because everything works and looks so much better! Oh, and good luck on learning another language! Any thoughts on what you'll choose next?

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/spenerish

Thank you! It's going to be exciting to see what Duolingo comes up with next. I'm split between Portuguese and Norwegian--I love the Brazilian culture but a part of me just wants a language without conjugation for once!

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeMotto

I was a French major (so, 3 years of high school French and 4 years of university French) and lived in France for 6 months. I never studied any Swedish but lived there for 4-5 months. Swedish is much easier and much more intuitive than French (for a native English speaker) even though I've spent much more time on the French. I say this because I know that Norwegian is close to Swedish (my wife is Swedish and can understand Norwegian just fine). Go with Norwegian! I bet it would be fun and not terribly difficult. :)

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Janerossroper

I have a question. I thought I had finished my French tree, because there were no gray areas and I strengthened all areas over and over. I was 55 per cent fluent. A few days later, gray areas reappeared and I was down to 52 per cent fluent. I went to work again and improved. So, how can you say you have actually completed a tree? Do you automatically regress with time?

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/spenerish

If you've finished every skill and gotten the golden owl, you have completed the tree. However you'll always have to maintain the tree to keep it golden, so you're never really "done with" a tree.

And yes, you do automatically regress if you don't maintain your tree (as far as I know the fluency percentage is based on word strength) but Duolingo won't ever say you're 100% fluent. I heard the maximum is around 65%.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Janerossroper

Thank you spenerish!

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/cbrooks4865

I have just started using Duolingo, originally just for my Spanish class and I decided to do French as well and your success story has inspired me even more.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TheOnlyRyanGuo

Congrats!I am almost done mine but it will take me probably another 5 months or so.

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Edward8886

My class mate eila finished duolingo in 10 months

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dhompashe

Can one learn French using duolingo without taking a university course?

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/spenerish

Sure! But if you have the luxury to take a course, you should.

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dhompashe

Thanks! I guess I don't have that luxury, I'll stick with duolingo then.

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/markrjones

Hi, and congrats on your achievement. I agree with everything you say about Duolingo, in particular its value for drilling, which is what I have benefited from most. I also agree that it stops short of enough drills for the subjunctive and conditional areas. About your terrible listening and speaking. That's where the Duolingo method cannot be fully effective. There are sites where you can contact others who are looking to learn languages and who want Skype contact. I signed-up for one and within a few days had mad contact with several people who I now talk to regularly. These are game changers too, IMO. Try it!

June 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/NhatMinh2004

Wow!!! I just have started to learn French last week.

June 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ChaoticVyper

YES MATE GG

June 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lacy505

hi

June 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/karenawa

This is really good to hear. I am new to Duolingo and I thought I should learn french because I feel complexed speaking french with my french-speaking mates. Your story is very inspiring and I hope that I will be that successful as you or close. :-)

June 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MisiuKotku

Actually when I was younger, I understood, spoke and wrote in french during the first few years of school. I then came to the USA and began learning english and my french skills have vanished. Somehow now I want to regain and learn the language again and this time it will stay!! Its really important to have a network of people you can actually communicate with and french happens to be there native tongue.

June 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/spenerish

I moved to America when I was young as well, and stayed for six years before having to go back to Korea. I'd forgotten most of my Korean during that period but it's surprising how quickly your language comes back once you've re-immersed yourself. Best of lucks!

June 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Jetstorm01

amazing

June 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/girly43

Congrats! I just started my tree a few months ago...working through slowly...

June 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/karenawa

thanks for the encouragement spenerish . Good luck to you too :-)

June 19, 2015
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