Can I Finish Swedish on Duolingo By December 31st?

I feel so close, yet so far away.

In March 2019, I started learning Swedish on Duolingo. Until recently, I hadn't made a lot of progress in Swedish, but for the past couple months my Swedish has been improving quite a bit.

Screenshot of my Swedish Duolingo Progress
Partial view of my Swedish progress on Duolingo

And, if I really, really push myself this month, I might finish Duolingo's Swedish course before the year ends.

Dabbling vs Focus

My main problem with learning Swedish isn't the language itself. I really enjoy Swedish. My main problem is how I learn languages.

I am a language dabbler.

Instead of focusing on one language for an extended period of time, I jump around a lot. Sometimes I will spend a couple of weeks on a language, and then switch to a different one. Other times I will spend a few minutes a day on several different languages.

That's not necessarily bad. For me, I study languages because I enjoy it. And spending a few days to get acquainted with the very basics of Hawaiian, for example, is fun. I probably will never be fluent in the vast majority of languages I have studied, and I'm okay with that.

Dabbling is a problem, however, when you really want to learn a language to fluency. And that's why I can say hello in over 15 languages, but I can only hold a decent conversation in about 5 or so.

I'm trying to get better at focusing

This year I have tried to be more focused. That's hard for me, and I'm still having a difficult time spending more than a few weeks on any one language. But because of focusing for a couple of weeks at a time on one language, I have seen improvements in a few different languages this year, especially Swedish and Esperanto.

Dabbling is a constant temptation for me, though. A couple of days ago I heard from a Brazilian friend for the first time in months. It was hard to overcome the urge to study Portuguese for an afternoon.

How close am I to finish Swedish in Duolingo?

Duolingo courses are organized into different skills, and each skill has 5 levels. When you level up on a skill, you earn a crown.

The Swedish Duolingo course has 66 skills. That means there are 330 crowns to earn if you want to level every skill to level 5.

As of this writing, I am at 227 crowns for the Swedish course, or about 68% done. It has taken me about 21 months to get this far, so maybe I'm a little crazy thinking I can finish the last 32% in one month.

However, if I can get 3 to 4 crowns per day, I can make it.

Is it worth it?

Duolingo is the favorite app for polyglots to hate, it seems. I've lost count of how many YouTube videos I've watched disparaging my favorite language-learning app.

So, how is Duolingo doing at teaching me Swedish? One way to judge is by consuming non-Duolingo content and judging how much I can understand.

Watching Peppa Pig in Swedish, I can understand about half of what I hear. Watching Nyheter på lätt svenska (News in Easy Swedish) , I can understand about 25% of what I hear.

I do a lot better at reading than listening, but probably because I can take my time when reading.

It will be interesting to see how I do after an intense month of Swedish.


Have a question or a comment? Add it here!