Duolingo - quick question

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MrsStarez
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Duolingo - quick question

Postby MrsStarez » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:44 pm

Hi there,

I downloaded Duolingo French earlier and have been working my way through it. Is it all quite at a basic-level, or does it get to more advanced B1/B2 levels? I don’t want to waste lots of time learning how to say “my name is” in order to unlock the later levels.

Thanks!
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Re: Duolingo - quick question

Postby galaxyrocker » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:05 pm

It won't get you past A2, and it won't even get you that far in several skills. Mainly reading only, and even then it requires you to translate constantly so you might not actually be learning reading skills and testing how much you comprehend.
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MrsStarez
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Re: Duolingo - quick question

Postby MrsStarez » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:06 pm

Thanks... I might as well delete then :-)
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Re: Duolingo - quick question

Postby golyplot » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:16 pm

It does get a lot more advanced than "my name is", especially with French. Eventually, you'll be learning the subjunctive and conditional and stuff like that.

Out of curiosity, have you been doing extra crown levels? Duolingo was recently changed so that each skill has five "crown levels", but it's really just a trap. As far as I can tell, there's no difference between the levels, and each successive level requires exponentially more time to unlock (if you don't test out), so all it does is to encourage people who don't know better to waste their time on the beginner lessons instead of progressing through the tree.

My recommendation is to only do the first level of each skill, and then do "strengthen skills" for practice. You can always test out of the later levels if you want to level them up further. It's really easy to test out and saves you from completing an exponential number of exercises for no reason.
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Re: Duolingo - quick question

Postby zjones » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:36 am

MrsStarez wrote:Hi there,

I downloaded Duolingo French earlier and have been working my way through it. Is it all quite at a basic-level, or does it get to more advanced B1/B2 levels? I don’t want to waste lots of time learning how to say “my name is” in order to unlock the later levels.

Thanks!


Personally, I don't think anyone could get to B1 or B2 just using Duolingo. Duolingo works for some people, but I got about 85% through the French tree and my functional French was still at A1. In addition, the generated French voices are very poor. I highly recommend using a book course or another app, either as a supplement or replacement. Lots of people here recommend Pimsleur, Assimil, CLE, Michel (?) Thomas and other courses with high-quality audio. I do believe that you can learn from Duolingo, but it's probably not worth your time or effort if you don't really, really like the method.
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MrsStarez
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Re: Duolingo - quick question

Postby MrsStarez » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:47 am

I just downloaded it out of curiosity yesterday when it was raining heavily and I had nothing better to do. I’d read about it on here so thought I’d have a play. I have no idea about the crown levels but I don’t appear to have sufficient to unlock any further levels.

I gave the Spanish version a go and got on reasonably well. It would appear I’ve learned a fair bit of Spanish via Narcos and Better Call Saul :-)
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Re: Duolingo - quick question

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:22 pm

I find that a minute here or there on Duolingo doesn't hurt (especially if you have limited time), although I'm sure there are ways to learn/maintain grammar in a better way. As golyplot says, the crown levels basically contains the same grammar/vocabulary, which means that you'll translate the same sentences over and over (they're annoyingly repetitive). Each level contains more steps than the previous one, and there's really no point in doing the same stuff for say 5 lessons, then another 10, then another 20, then another 35...
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Re: Duolingo - quick question

Postby Whodathunkitz » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:47 pm

You used to be able to test out on a level in Duolingo. Then go back and turn everything gold. It took me around 14 days to do that for Spanish, a language I can just about read but have no active skills in. Ditto Esperanto. Testing out allows you to find your level or more interesting aspects.

The op sounds like they are not into apps (apologies if wrong). Duolingo seems aimed at beginners and was useful to me. I also like apps, probably much more than most people.

Other threads talk about other apps, but ones I enjoyed include wlingua (Spanish), 10000 sentences and then memrise or anki which are ways to consume courses you or others create.

For French, I would imagine a great many useful courses on memrise, eg on advanced topics including subjunctive, grammar, idioms, quotes, business or specific vocabulary (it, medicine, law).

Otherwise, 10000 sentences (which I think a member here created) takes Tatoeba sourced (more realistic?) sentences rather than contrived ones.

All free (they mostly TRY to get you to pay). The exception being 10000 which is simple and free.
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Re: Duolingo - quick question

Postby -JM- » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:51 pm

For someone who can speak English, Duolingo definitely isn't one of the best choices.
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Re: Duolingo - quick question

Postby lavengro » Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:28 am

I find Duolingo to be very useful for beginners in a language.

-JM- wrote:For someone who can speak English, Duolingo definitely isn't one of the best choices.


JM, out of interest, is there any particular reason you are of this view?
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