Hmmm. I made it to the 100 word level in French, still with only the vaguest clues as to how to spell or pronounce or even hear that language.
One disadvantage of Duolingo compared to, say, Pimsleur, is that it does not stress those touristy type things you might want to know if you were to want to visit some place where they only speak the language. As a result, I can make some declarations about what people are eating, but can't say anything about what I would like to eat. Duolingo is focussed rather on turning you into someone who can translate, building up the language one grammatical element at a time. If I ever get to the 300 word level, I might invest in Pimsleur French.