Learning French Duolingo

2 minute read

Today is a very special day for me! I’ve got an achievement from Duolingo, a streak of 100 days, and reached level 23 on the same day! (Levels are caped in 25)

Since last year, I decided to become fluent in French and also improve my written English.

A quick background: I speak native Portuguese from Brazil, so when I started in Duolingo, I chose to study “English-French”. That showed to be a nice strategy, a lot of times I had more English mistakes than French ones (I consider myself fluent in English, but my French was “zero” at the time).

Initially, It was hard to keep a simple week-long streak. So after a while, I made up my mind, put some goals in a spreadsheet, and finish the entire French Tree.

French Tree finished on September 6th, 2017

What now?! Finishing a tree was only the first step in this long journey! Now I had to keep all tree golden! (Until who knows when…) My streaks were getting bigger and bigger, I reached 93 days in a row, then I failed. I was a little upset that day (it was a rough day), nonetheless, in the next day I started all over again, from the scratch! So here we are today! - Stronger and bragging about my new achievement! Let’s see if I can make it to 200!

100 days streak - November 18th, 2017

ps.: I am not a superstitious guy, I know that these numbers don’t necessarily mean much. Nevertheless, I learn much about self-discipline in this process, and today my French is awesome. I am already keeping up with spoken French and reading very well. That is what matters most to me! Still, there are lots to learn! Now I am slowly changing to other ways of studying.

Some tips that I can share with you:

  • Put alarms to remember you (after a while you won’t need it anymore).
  • Make a schedule (in a spreadsheet) of how many badges crows in a day you will complete, so you can know when you will finish your tree.
  • Do your studies first thing in the morning. If you can do more, better yet, it’s good to get this out of the way.
  • Make Duolingo on a computer, with a keyboard, in the mobile isn’t the same experience. Auto-completion hurts your learning. (Disable it on PC)
  • Geek bonus tip: Learn first how to typewriting accordingly. I recommend TypingClub - 15 days/15 minutes are enough (as a ‘computer-guy’, this was a perfect decision for me, now I am blazing fast in all my other daily activities).

À la prochaine fois!

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