Fluent in German with Duolingo

Fluent in German with Duolingo


Hello there. Are you interested in learning a foreign language? I assume you are- you clicked this video, which has quite an accurately named title and thumbnail. Today, I’m gonna be teaching you all of my tips and tricks on how I became, for the most part, conversationally fluent in German using nothing but the free language learning app Duolingo. Also going forwards by the way, I’m not sponsored. I tried- believe me, I’ve tried. But I did win this shirt in a contest last year, so It’s got a little cute owl on it. So right off the bat, the first question I get more than any other is why German? And I mostly get this from German speakers. They’re like, “why would you learn my language? Why would you do this to yourself?” I chose German because it seemed fun to me. It was one of those languages that I wasn’t forced to learn in school, like Spanish or French, so I went out of my way to pick this on my own. Also, I mean as you can tell, I got a bit of German heritage- I mean I’ve got blond hair, blue eyes, my last name Edinger… It supposedly means someone from the town of Edingen, which is a small town near Heidelberg, Germany. So, for those reasons I picked it. And, I’m really glad! It was a fun language to commit to. I mean if I wanted to learn something useful in terms of like growing my audience, I probably would have done Spanish, but I chose German strictly for pleasure! Which, if you understand how German grammar works, you must think I sound a bit like a masochist. Maybe. Learning German for pleasure. I do sound crazy now that I think about it… Another question I get asked a lot is, “Why Duolingo?” I mean, there’s a lot of options out there for learning a foreign language, so why would you choose this one particularly? Well, many reasons. One- It’s free. Okay? If you want to learn a language? This is a free way to do it. It’s fun. I genuinely can attest to it being fun, and three, it works! It really works! I can attest to that, because in November I went to a trip to Australia with two German vloggers from Stuttgart, and these people mostly spoke German. They didn’t speak much English, and so I had to communicate in German with them, and I found I could- I could literally speak a language that was not English, using just a free language learning app. That’s amazing! Sure, I was making mistakes and I was speaking rather slowly in order to formulate the grammar correctly, or rather I was very slowly in order to formulate the grammar correctly speaking. But at the end of the day, I was communicating a language that was not my birth language! Now the follow-up question to that is, “How did I get here?” How did I get to this level of learning using just Duolingo? I’ve had many a friend that sign up to Duolingo, and they give up after a week or two. But I’ve also had friends on the other side- they got very passionate about it and then rushed their tree, finished it too early, and then collapsed under the pressure of trying to make everything gold. There really is a right way to do this. The most important thing when learning a foreign language is consistency. You can’t just binge and do a lot one day, and then not do anything for another couple days. That’s not really gonna help you in the long run. You’ve got to commit and do this every single day. Check out my duolingo streak- right? I’m really proud of this boy. That is over two years of daily use. And it’s not to say that I didn’t miss a single day, it’s just that I purchased the, like, streak freeze option with in-game currency, (which is free, you get extra currency for learning more.) But, it’s this thing that I’m proud of now. Like, that I’ve built up this much And I’ve been consistent every single day. And like, I’ll go out of my way at a party, be like, “Hold on, I have to do my Duolingo on the bathroom.” I need to at least to make sure I can do it. You know, I don’t want to lose that streak! You see, Doulingo makes learning a language competitive. And as a super competitive person, that works out heavily in my favor. The streak option is kind of a way to be competitive with yourself, whereas they also have a feature that shows you how your friends on Facebook have been learning for the last week, for the last month. So you’d be like, “Oh, it looks like Bliss has been doing a lot this week. She’s actually surpassed me! She’s done more lessons. I need to learn some more!” that’s genuinely what I’ve done. I’ve wanted to make sure that I’m always number one on the leaderboard like, every month, so I do extra German and I learn more. Learning makes me win. This sounds like an ideal society to me, okay? I don’t know, it works for me. Alright, so how did I do Duolingo right? I just said doo doo. Doo duolingo. (Evan giggles) At no point in time Did I ever rush. You cannot rush an education. I’d spend anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour a day Learning Duolingo every day, where every once in a while I’d spend more than an hour, if I was just having a fun time with it, or if I had a lot of extra free time. But it’s about how you spend your time on Duoling that matters. See, the site knows when you know a word and it knows when a word’s meaning is getting a little fuzzy. And so, previous lessons that you’ve learned will then un-gold, meaning that you have to practice them, to get them back up to speed. If there was one rule you got out of this video, it would be, “Do not go and learn a new lesson on Duolingo until all your previous lessons have been golded.” At least. At least have them all golded, and then grab another lesson under your belt, and do those. And then add that to the pile, and then just keep studying and studying and refreshing and doing the practice, and doing the practice, over and over and over, until you’re comfortable enough with what you have, and it gets much longer obviously towards the end of the tree, when you have so many to make sure are gold, but it’s not a rush. Okay? You’re gonna learn a language, you’re gonna do it the right way. Memorizing is all about repetitions, so the further down your tree you go, you need to constantly make sure you’re strengthening your roots. So when you’re learning Duolingo, are you using the desktop site or the app? Because if you are taking learning a new language seriously and you want to become fluent, I’m going to recommend nine times out of ten, spend your time on the desktop site. The Duolingo mobile app is nice, But I find it more suited toward someone that’s casually learning a foreign language, whereas more serious people should be considering the desktop site. Why? Well, the mobile app challenges are things like vocab words and definitions, and matching them just by tapping the two meanings- so you don’t have to recall as much except, oh yes, this one means this one. As opposed to the desktop site where most of it is, “Here’s the word ,now you, from your brain, have to recall what the definition is.” Yes, It’s a lot more difficult, but, it’s a lot more effective for learning… And, the desktop site offers you timed challenges, which I find much more effective in terms of getting my adrenaline pumping, like, “Oh gosh. I’m running out of time, I have to hurry up and get this question right!” And every question you get right, you get more time out of the clock, and at the end of the day, if you’re more competitive, you can have the chance for twenty experience points to bop you up on that leaderboard, versus ten, so I like it. I like time challenge mode. Another reason the desktop site is more for those taking learning a new language more seriously, they have forums for every single question that they offer. Let’s say you’re just given the sentence, :Ich gebe einem Mann den Apfel.” (I’m giving a man the Apple.) And you’re like, “Why is einem Mann? Why is it den Apple? I don’t get it, isn’t it usually der? Isn’t it usually ein?” And then you click the discussion button at the bottom of the tab, and guess what, boom! You’ve just got someone that also asked that question, doesn’t know, and then a native German speaker under them saying, “Oh, well, It’s einem because it’s in the dative form, check this website.” And then the person usually sources with extra grammar and extra help. And it’s so useful. It’s so frustrating when you’re trying to learn something, and you’re told you’re wrong, and you don’t know why, and there’s no one to teach you. If you’re going to be teaching yourself a language, oh my gosh, if you’re using Duolingo, just use the desktop site, use the discussion for each one, it is so, so, so, so, so useful. Some people might try and knock Duolingo and say that the sentences are too small, and there’s not a lot of context for actual use, but Duolingo has also recently come out with it’s stories mode, which I have tried a lot for German. I find stories phenomenal, they’re really funny and interesting, I read a German story about a girl who went on a horrible blind date, and another about a guy who was pet sitting for his friend’s bird and accidentally burnt her house down, so, those are weird stories, but they were completely in German. From the narrating, from the characters, everything was in German. It also asked every two sentences for comprehension, like, “What do you think this word means?” Yet again, 100% in German. It’s how I learned English, and that’s why I know It’s working for me when I’m learning. Another big question a lot of Duolingo users will have is, “Should I pay for Duolingo Plus?” Now, I’ve used it for three months, and I’m gonna give it a soft pass. Now, here’s what Duolingo Plus offers. For ten pounds a month, you get an ad free experience, which to be fair you can get in other ways, and you get to download your lessons for offline. However, as someone that frequently travels, quite a lot, and thought this would be a great idea, so I could like, download the lessons do it on the plane- it works 1 out of 10 times. It’s-it’s not that great. For some reason, even though I did download it, I had Wi-Fi when I downloaded lessons, It just won’t let me do it. It works every once in a while, but especially at a price tag of 10 pounds a month, for a package that’s usually free- it doesn’t warrant that price tag, really. I’d say yes, It’s a good idea if you want to support the company, I mean I’ve been using this for two years, so I still have it because I just want to kind of give back in a way. But in terms of the difference between the paid version and the free version, just take the free version, any day. A big question you get when you’re learning Duolingo is, “What do I do after Duolingo?” Because Duolingo has an end, so you kind of get freaked out when you’re like, “I don’t know what I’m gonna do after that.” There’s a lot of good strategies that I’ve used. One of those is reading. Now, some people say, you know, download a book you know like Harry Potter, but I don’t think you’re quite ready for Harry Potter level books when you finish Duolingo. You’re ready to read some things, but not necessarily at that like, grade level. One series I found incredibly useful for learning German, was a book series called, “Dino learnt Deutsch”, Which is meant for people learning the language, and it’s about this guy named Dino who moves to Germany to learn German, and the sentences are quite easy and that I can understand what they’re saying, but there’s enough introduced later on that it’s exciting. and I’m like, “Oh, I don’t know what that is.” And also, if you have a Kindle, you can literally just tap a word, and it will live translate it for you if you have like, Wi-Fi. Boom! Ich means I. Can’t believe I didn’t know that… Also, a good thing about this series in particular is it will give you certain idioms and expressions in these stories that are bolded and at the end of lesson, not only will it tell you what each of those mean, if you didn’t pick it up with the context, it also offers a little quiz on what happens, so ,you know, you comprehend it. It’s phenomenal. But let’s just say, reading isn’t your thing. A lot of people will swear by putting on foreign films or foreign TV shows with English subtitles will help, and honestly I don’t quite get that. When I put on German shows and English subtitles, I find my brain is more focused on reading the English than it is listening to the German. Maybe that’s just me, but I don’t find that an effective educational tool at all. What I do find useful is putting German audio on with German subtitles- then I can pause it if I want, to kind of focus on what they’re actually saying, or just keep going and learn through the acting what’s happened. If you are learning German, the series Dark on Netflix is amazing. It’s basically like stranger things except scarier, in German, and the subtitles are perfect. Now, you might find that a weird sentence, Why wouldn’t this subtitles be perfect, Evan? Well, fun fact, Germans don’t really give a crap about the hard-of-hearing or, I guess, people learning their language, because it is so hard to find good German media with accurate or existant German subtitles. I’ll find English, sometimes I find Spanish, but rarely German. And if it is German, it won’t be correct. It’d be like if I said to you, “I had gone to the store yesterday”, and then as a subtitle, I wrote “Yesterday, I went to the store.” Yes, they both mean the same thing, but if you’re learning another language or if you’re hard of hearing, how is that useful? Maybe you can comprehend it, sure, but it’s it’s just not not as good. Not as good, at all. It’s very annoying. Despite loving their weird grammar, Germans don’t give a crap about subtitles. They will just switch right to the preterit. Be like, “did they say preterit?” “No, That’s just for written.” “Let’s write it then.” Right. Some people will say a good strategy to do after you finish your Duolingo tree, is to do it in reverse. That means learning English as a German speaker. I’ve tried this. I’m not gonna recommend it. I’m gonna give, that as well, a soft pass. I find it just a bit too slow. At the stage where you’ve finished your German tree, I don’t really want to go back and learn. I am a boy. You are a girl. I mean, yeah, there’s some extra words I found that I didn’t learn doing it the normal way, but it’s too slow for me at this stage. I need to learn more. There are better ways to effectively use my time. Now, there is a site that I was recommended that I would recommend, called ‘Clozemaster’. Clozemaster touts itself as the thing that you do after you finish Duolingo, and I’d agree. Honestly, It’s quite difficult, in a good way. I’m learning, and it’s difficult, and I just want to keep going, and I just need to get myself worked up into a streak like I do on Duolingo, and I think it would be an incredibly effective tool for language learning. And yet again, like I said, it’s free. I’m not offering you things that aren’t free, okay, if you want to learn a foreign language at this point, There is no excuse. It is free. It is easy hop on it. Pokemon go to the polls… doo… duo learn that language. So the title- Can you become fluent using just Duolingo? I’m gonna give it a soft yes. There’s a lot of soft today, okay? Part of my aesthetic- just a bit soft. I’d say, yes, you can become conversationally fluent using Duolingo, but- using it as a huge stepping stool and reading, watching films, and engrossing yourself in the culture is the best way of actually, yeah, becoming fluent. if I have insensed you guys into becoming really good at a foreign language, Then I guess you could call me an influencer… because I influenced you to become fluent. Floof…-tent? (Evan laughs) Just make sure you’re consistent, and you use it all the time. The expression use it or you lose it is a very true statement, okay? I learned Spanish all throughout my life from like elementary school, middle school, to high school, got straight A’s, got to Spanish four, and then I stopped using it… and I regret it. And I will not let that happen with my German. I’m gonna keep going, until I’ll make my first fully German video- we’ll see! So, thank you very much for watching this video, hopefully you found it very useful if you’re also attempting to learn a foreign language. If you’re German, please leave me some good German TV shows and films, possibly with good subtitles, that I can watch- that’d be really great. Or, if I’m missing out on any special Duolingo techniques, also leave them in the comments. Also, announcement! Do you like puns? Do you hate wars? I’ve got you fam. I’ve got some merch for you. It’s finally out! Make puns not Wars. We’ve got shirts. We’ve got posters. We’ve got phone cases, stickers, get some today, the link’s in the description. I’m so happy to release this, it’s been ages, but it’s alive, and I just I love it. I wear the shirt all the time, make puns not wars. Yes. Thank you for the support by the way, and before I go, since you’ve decided to watch this incredibly long video- I’ll leave you with one final pun. What do German people think of the fee they’re charged for being too awesome? They think it’s toll. See ya

100 thoughts on “Fluent in German with Duolingo

  1. Some people are upset I didn't speak any German in this English video to show my ability. Well, I did upload a video 100% in German in October so you be the judge 😉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eABPDYb1NA0&t=2s

  2. I'm fluent in Russian and I noticed Duolingo makes a lot of mistakes with it
    I don't trust it with other languages since

  3. All the time I watched your video I kept checking whether I sped up the video to 1.25x 😂

    I'm on my 113 days streak on Russian course and am not gonna break it by any means

  4. About the German subtitles:

    Subtitles in German are often the more or less direct translation of the English original version.
    When it's dubbed they change the German sentences so that the said kinda matches the movements of the mouth.

  5. Really wished duolingo empathized pronunciations better, and sounded better through headphones. I also wish there was the ability to see it pronounced better… I don’t quite know how to pronounce words especially in French or German, and occasionally Spanish. Spanish is the easiest.

    French and German are so different to me…

  6. If you're a native english speaker, so it was a little more easy for you, cause english and german come from the same family, the germanics languages.
    It is the same that a portuguese native speaker learn italian or french even romanian :v cause they come from the same family, the latin languages :v
    But I dare you to dare a russian native speaker to learn german with duolingo cause russian and german are not from the same language family. 😀

  7. American: I learned an actual language that is not my mother tongue, how amazing!

    European: *cries in 5 high school taught languages

  8. I've been begging Duolingo to add Tagalog for at least two years. Ignored. Downvoted. Cursed at by the community. Shadowbanned.

    Shit website. Truly.

  9. Gute Deutsche Filme, die auch nicht allzu schwer sein sollten, sind Kokowääh 1-2, Honig im Kopf, Das Wunder von Bern, Keinohrhasen / Zweiohrküken

  10. You, Sir, are a MASOCHIST. I am learning German, but they are my neighbours and I would like to know my neighbour's language. BTW it's also useful in Austria, Switzerland and northern Italy 😛

  11. Buy a book you like. Yeah! I like Terry Pratchet. I bought a Terry Pratchet book, and I gave up. It's a very difficult English. 🙁

  12. Guess I need to switch to desktop. I've almost completed my Japanese tree, I'm on the last leg now, but I've been learning a lot about the grammar from YouTube videos and natives.

  13. Thank you for resisting merch promotion at the beginning of the video. You seem like an interesting fellow, I will stay a while.

    Also learning German. It's good to see people like you very excited about language and culture!

  14. 3 weeks into Arabic on Duolingo everyday but also using other sources. It does work, I can speak for Arabic only because now I can actually read and write the Arabic characters. I can listen to an conversation in Arabic and understand at least some of it now and that's impressive IMO for only 3 weeks in. I am looking forward to this growing to the point that I can hold a conversation in Arabic. The main reason I chose Arabic is a friend is a native speaker. Also, because I really love Arabic culture and the more I learn the more I want to learn.

  15. Well, this confirmed most of my problems with Duolingo and similar apps. Yes, if you use these apps daily and diligently, you will eventually know how to start a conversation in that language. That doesn't mean you understand the grammar from that language. And native speakers will understand you, but other student or foreigners will not and it doesn't mean you will understand native spearkers. Especially if we are talking about German. There are so many differences in pronunciation between the different Bundesländer. And you don't really realised, but there is so many wrong things with your pronunciation. And you were lucky enough to be fluent in English, a language that has many similarities to German since they are both germanic languages. Yet you fail to recognise sounds that you have on your own language. Dude, you have the schwa-laut in English. It's the sound in the word "bird". Yet you don't use it in German. All of your e's sound the same. German has 5 different E sounds. Now imagine if your mothertongue didn't have this sounds. It would be almost impossible for you to even recognise them. You didn't do it and you have them. This is why, if you want to learn a language, go to a course. If you don't have one, get a really good self-studying book with audio, learn how the IPA works (believe me, it's your best friend) and if you want to use Duolingo, use it for vocabulary and some daily practice. Duolingo alone (or any other app, for all that matters) won't take you anywhere.

  16. The best reason for learning a foreign language is to make your native language more powerful. Because that's the only way it gets foreign words incorporated.

  17. I don't know what he was saying between his first and last word, but because of the numbers of thumbs up, I would say worth it.

  18. I'm learning German to ultimately live there for a bit or even permanently. It's really fun, but challenging. Just as was learning English growing up. Every language is difficult so if you're struggling then just keep your goal in mind and have patience. You won't be fluent in a few weeks, months or even a year, maybe not even two and that's okay. Even if your goal isn't to move to Germany or even visit and it's more your fascination with languages and cultures, just keep in mind how cool it will be when you can fully understand a language someone else can't, haha.

  19. As someone who’s learning Japanese and watches anime, you need to find the RIGHT shows to help learn your language. I cannot watch anime to help teach me Japanese. I watch Japanese reality TV to help me learn because it’s actual sentences real people say, and the topics aren’t unrealistic.

  20. This is cool, since I'm trying to improve my German and get started with some more languages with Duolingo and people are like, ah that's just a game.

    It's not, if taken seriously enough.

  21. I actually went to the video settings to check if I played with the video speed. Are you on ecstasy?! JK. Cool video. I subscribed!

  22. I speak 3 languages (I am currently learning french in hs and in Duolingo) the only reason it's hard for me is because my relatives know the 3 languages that I know now and no one knows french, so i have to teach it to myself, but i am used to having to practice with my dad or mom so this is all new to me

  23. Ich verstehe, dass du dir die Zeit genommen hast, eine Sprache zu lernen, aber für mich benutze ich einfach einen Übersetzer, wie jetzt.

  24. I've kinda been planning on getting back into duolingo because I like german in general as a language.
    For years I just did it casually because I thought it was fun, but now i have a boyfriend who's german so I'm doing it for him 🙂

  25. “Fluent in German”

    – i didn’t speak german in this video but here is a video where I did
    – can’t pronounce own name in said video

  26. Since I don’t have the desktop version do you think I would be able to lean the language I want on the mobile version?

  27. i literally like got back into rammstein, then found dark on netflix, and now im on some weird german binge LOL
    AND DARK IS PHENOMENALLLLLLLLLLLL

  28. I'm asian and my mom keeps asking me why I want to learn German lol
    English is my first language, French from school, Vietnamese from home and German from Duolingo. I want to learn Russian as well as German but I started German first bc it used Latin characters. Now I WANt to learn it but I keep procrastinating lol
    LVL 10 German btw

  29. I too am learning german. shits hard. I chose it because its germanic and no one in florida speaks it so its easy to talk shit in front of people. its also helpful to have a native speaker to let you know when youre being fucking stupid

  30. Duolingo only helps with spelling the word correctly but the pronunciation and vocab is more important. That's the one flaw about the app, it doesn't teach it with native speaker pronunciation. Even Polyglots won't recommend using Duolingo due to various reasons such as these.

    If you're serious about learning a language then chances are you will have to spend some money. I recommend Pimselur for beginners since it teaches you pronunciation using a sample conversation with native speakers. With each lesson you do per day, they make you review the words and sentences you learned yesterday.

    Such as, "How do you say 'I don't know, but I'd like something to eat..' in _____.."

    Before someone comments saying I'm against Duolingo, I'm honestly not. I want to make it clear that this app isn't best for everyone. But I believe that anyone can learn if they do it the correct way if that makes sense. I don't want you to get the wrong signal from what I'm trying to say so I added this note to make sure.

  31. Yup, I'm learning German in Duolingo, I finished Dark on Netflix, I listen to German bands, I can understand well but I can't speak. I also watch other German series on Netflix like Perfume and Criminal Germany.

  32. Ich habe deutsch gelernt in meine Schule fur vier jahre, aber mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut.(Can any German speaking people tell me how bad my German is?)

  33. You're right about not using English subtitles. I heard a study showed people learning a new language using subtitles in their native language had a 0% improvement in their understanding of the language, while those that listened to a show without the subtitles in their native language improved their comprehension of the new language by around 12%.

  34. After >100h doulingo, a few videos here and there… I'm watching Let's play in Spanish. WTF?
    Good thing is that I boosted my crappy school English to a level where I no longer spotted as a German^^
    It can work… yes. For me its the very first time in my life having fun with… learning. O___o

  35. i've got a little bit of german heritage, i've got blonde hair and blue eyes
    yeah lets just not talk about that 🤦🏼‍♀️

  36. This has been extremely helpful. Thank you !! I was using the app but not retaining much. I didn't know the desktop version was different.

  37. wait you only learn spanish or french in school ?
    Im from indonesia and we have to learn at least 5 language in highschool 😥
    I higlhy recommend DARK on netflix

  38. I freakin love learning German and seen as English is a Germanic language I personally found German easier to pick up than French and Spanish when I attempted them at school and college, yes I learned German in school and intend on continuing it in university, so it wasn’t the environment it was the language similarities for me 😊 I also think it sounds nice

  39. Dulingo used to be good but now they keep changing it and every time they change it it gets worse. Not to mention your previous progress is nulled out when they change it because they throw all new stuff in and throw the stuff you were learning in random sections way down the line > : (

  40. he just said fluent and duolingo in the same sentence……. i don't believe it. Also German is easy. I took it for 3 years in highschool. I have used it to brush up on my German but that app is totally useless with asian languages so for Japanese most apps are totally useless. Lingodeer , Pimsluer, and Anki are the best however Lingodeer doesn't have German.

  41. Guys if you want a REALLYYY good course that explains the logic behind the language and you aren't forced to memorize words and phrases because the words come naturally by assimilating them to English I really recommend languagetransfer! It's free and helped me with my Spanish a TON!!! 90 tracks of explanation and not memorization… that teacher truly saved me from a lot of frustration. They have german too!

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