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TIP: Don't Rush Lessons!

Alright, so at first I was rushing through my German tree so I could learn German as fast possible. But about 75% done with the tree and a 1.56 on my first German quiz, I realized that rushing through with the tree was killing me. First, section like verbs, adverbs, and adjectives are VITAL if you want to learn German well and do well on the quizzes. So, this week I will be strengthening all the skills I am unsure about and re-reading their info. Also, if I barely know anything in a certain skill, I will be redoing those lessons. So, if you are like me and wish to learn multiple languages, but actually be fluent in them...Please do not rush through with the tree!

July 14, 2015



I'm level 24 and I haven't even finished the tree yet (although I'm very very close)! I hope I qualify as someone who takes it easy and reviews a lot :)


As long as you understand what you are learning, take as much time as possible :) There is no rush ;)


I think that's awesome. I've been studying it on and off for over a year and I'm only half done with the tree. I always wonder if people would think I "should" have finished it by now. It's wonderful to see someone at such a high level who took it slow. :)


I'm at about your level cherub721. I learned a bit before I went to Germany, then put it on the back burner, learned Latin, and now back to German.

Everyone has their own pace.


And I thought halfway at L14 was slow :\


Think again. ;O)


I've been learning for almost half a year now and I'm maybe halfway my swedish tree. I see people rush it and quitting after a while. I'm learning just enough to be motivated to rehearse the next day.

We just take our time and make sure our knowledge is solid before moving on to the next layer :)


exactly what I think . I felt the same , the rush and quit thing...but lately i determined and came back with agile and motivated thoughts.


My tip: Don't start a new skill until all the previous modules are in golden colour.


That was my approach. It got pretty hectic by the later parts of the tree but I think it was for the best.


Absolutely. I rushed through the last fifth of my German tree completing it in a couple of days. I remembered zilch and 160 days later I'm still trying to re-gild my tree and I still haven't reached the last few skills or learnt all the grammar and vocab properly. Admittedly I have been rather lazy with regards to my German tree recently (getting far too distracted by other languages) but powering through to reach the end only enabled me to get my golden owl sooner, it didn't make me any better at German.


I couldn't agree more. I was just so excited to learn I was like I can totally retain this. I did 75% of the tree in one week and I go look at words: and I have about 900 words!!! I was like wow...I have to slow it down.


Your golden owl is hollow? :(


Danke! I made the same mistake as you. I've been learning German with Duolingo for about two months, and I'm already on level 9. German is still fairly new to me, and I have more experience in Japanese, although I'm far from fluent in either.

While learning Japanese, I got extremely lazy. I wasn't learning on a regular basis, and I wound up forgetting a lot. Not wanting to make the same mistake with German, I crammed the hell out of it. Both extremes are bad. Slow and steady is best. :)


Yep, I crammed with German...terrible idea. Now I am working through strengthening alot of skills again to relearn the material.


Now you know, it is something we need to go through.


I like to level up 4 units at a time, to different levels, digest it, then just do strengthening exercises for a day or so. It seems to be helping me, being I have a strong tendency to forget things.


Thanks for the advice!

I was about to do the same, but then I realized the same as you: I needed to strength adverbs and adjectives A LOT. Now I'm memorizing them the best I can before moving on to other lessons. Rushing is bad when learning a language. You have to find a balance in the pacing. Learning and strengthening at the same time. Duolingo is just a tool, a very good one, but a tool. It's one of the many means to reach the end of becoming fluent.


You are completely right! It may just be me, but I want to learn as many languages FLUENTLY as I can in my life. So, that may have been one reason I rushed :/ P.S. Don't rush ;)


I agree. There are too many people getting burn and, on top of it, end up learning very little. Friends, there is nothing like enjoying the journey. Don't think in terms of how fast you THINK you can learn, think in terms of how fast you can learn without driving yourself insane. Think, also, about the time you invest to learn a language: I am sure you just don't want to dump it like it never happened.


Thanks for the advice!


No problem, just don't want people to run into the same problem as me! It is very demotivating. :/


Good thing I'm not rushing the tree then! I'm less than halfway through the tree but I stopped so I learn the lessons well before continuing on, did a Progress Quiz last week and I got a 2.48. Good luck with your language learning! :P


Wow nice! That is pretty good! Keep up the great work!


You're absolutely right, Eminem. It's better to know the basics well than to rush through the tree and not understand a bunch of stuff. Huge temptation for me. I don't like the locks on the levels... lol I do go back and practice and yellow stuff up, though.


Holy cow!! how do you manage to learn all those languages? That's impressive, man! I'm learning 5 at the same time (4 on duo and japanese on Memrise) and sometimes I feel I'll become crazy.


I've been crazy for a long time! :D


just fantastic....it seems from your profile. how you are continuing this from such a long time..?


I just enjoy it a lot, so that's motivation to keep going!


keep it up !! I am trying to continue the streak but I really struggle with my daily routine to have some quality time with Duolingo's interface... but whenever I visit, I concentrate :) whether I come after 2-3 days. And best of luck to you brother :)


I'm only fluent in two foreign languages and yet I sometimes have this awkward feeling that there are two other persons living inside of me. I just wish I could give them all the work and rip the benefits but unfortunately I'm not that crazy.


Hahaha that is hilarious CharmingShaman. That would be great though! ;D


Welcome to the bilingual-bipolar world ;) I have two native languages and the feeling is the same.


Exactly, language forms thinking.


I've been here learning German since 2012. Early on I was trying to "rush" through, that is nuts. This language is really hard. Now I take my time, and I do a MINIMUM of 4x through on each and every lesson. Sometimes 10x through. I have my Coach set at 50xp so I don't keep gaining levels. I'm almost through and I watch Bild.de news daily, which has some of the words at the bottom on their DAILY THEMEN. I stil do not understand much of it, but I think it's probably great practice.


that's impressive, and seems like a good strategy to make progress ;) ! Beware of Bild, though, they tend to create new words to make puns, and they use very informal language... for more reliable vocabulary I would rather advise you the main press titles (either Regionalzeitungen or Bundeszeitungen depending on what appeals to you more). I personally go with the Süddeutsche Zeitung since I once lived in Bavaria, and they send an interesting newsletter both in the morning and in the evening! Good luck, und viel Spaß with learning all your languages !


Are the other Zeitungen as easy as Bild though? I've tried Die Welt for instance, and I'm lost. When I was in Germany it seemed like there were a lot more tabloids but I can't find them online or remember what they were. Bild is seriously crazy, but for me that's part of the SpaS. I have learned the word for "dead" because Bild focuses on murder and death so much, I think it's "tot" right?


Another great show would be "Deutsch Lernen" on youtube! I think that is what it is called. But it has German subtitles and is great for comprehensive practice and to watch your first show in German! I understand about 60% as of now.


Yep. Podcasts are definitely one of the best tools around to successfully become fluent.


How many levels are there total in German? I finished the tree in 16levels, but not sure if that is the end? Will I continue to level up if I keep practicing? Thanks!


Yes, you will continue to level up either by doing lessons or translating and proof-reading sentences in Immersion. There are 25 levels I believe (:


Thanks Eminem! I wonder if the levels will improve my fluency to "100%"? ;-) I am only at 47% w/ level 17.


No problem! And no it wont, the fluency widget is broken sadly ;) I think I am at% fluency.


i do 20xp per day and revise another 20xp or more depending on how much time i have. und das ist einfach für mich. gehen Sie bitte langsam.


It so encouraging to hear that I'm not the only slow one. I'm on level 24 and have 539 consecutive days and am only about two-thirds of the way through the tree. I must say that although I have a good grasp of the German I've learned, I get discouraged because it's taking so long. You're words are motivating for me. Thanks!


Right...!!! I was scoring far as 100 Xp's a day in the starting but lately I realised it was all about lingots and rush only. I started forgetting things and then i changed the setting to "20" on the daily basis and now i am maintaining both the vocabulary as well as streaks. Thank you for your article too, it will help learners.


I will point out, though I have many 'weak' lessons (apparently I don't know Food at all!) that because I do other German things, my German is...well, it's not that bad! A lot is me reading children's books (and I'm halfway through a YA novel right now...). Which is yet another way of enjoying the journey! I got a 3.68/5.00 on the test and I can attribute a lot from me learning vocab from reading, and less from Duolingo. I'm hoping to get above a 4...maybe in a month or so?


Thank you for this wonderful tidbit of advice. It makes a lot of sense if you just think about it.


Couldn't agree more! this is why i am going slow and trying to keep my tree gold at the same time....There is no use of moving forward if i cant remember what i learnt a week ago.


I studied German in school, but am freshening my skills up a bit, as I haven't used the language in about five years. I'm "rushing" the first section since it seems to contain a lot of things I already know. I decided that it's better to get started quickly and then take more time as the lessons become more difficult. Planning to do flashcards daily and do some lessons again every now and then as well. But for someone who hasn't previously studied a language, taking it slow is usually a good idea.


I totally agree rushing my French tree, but I'm trying to learn more by translating and taking a school course in French to improve my speaking skills.


I generally advise that people only do three lessons per day and that at least two of those be review lessons. If any skills are not gold, then do per-skill reviews on them. Only do general review lessons if all completed skills are gold. Only do a new lesson (as opposed to a third review lesson) if the tree is all gold (after the two review lessons) and if you didn't struggle with the review lessons. (Struggle would be 30 or more answers on any review lessons.)

With this approach, you'll take 10 months, minimum, and 18 more likely, but you'll know it a lot better.

It also helps a lot is you supplement Duolingo with other materials: http://gregreflects.blogspot.com/2014/09/duolingo-language-learning-as-game.html#supplements


I would always rush the tree and get all the content done ASAP cuz if you forget anything you can always go back to it as many times as you want.


What's a german tree exactly?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


Heh heh, I see what you did there.


What did he do there?


Norse mythology joke. Do a bit of research and you'll get it.



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