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https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L

Incubator: Russian Language Update!

Larisa_L
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Guys, we've just reached 500 words, which is more than 25%!!! I'm so happy.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzOGSkMhDJECLUJNMmtENXNrZFU/edit?usp=sharing https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzOGSkMhDJECZTZKdlljZ1pCQ1E/edit?usp=sharing https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzOGSkMhDJECdHVOd1d2MVZIaDg/edit?usp=sharing

Update, we have more than 650 words already, which is more than 1/3.

Update, we've past 1000 words yesterday.

4 years ago

78 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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Guys, Roman and me, we've chosen 2 new Contributors for the course. It was really hard to do. There were so many amazing people. I kept thinking that I wouldn't choose myself over all those language lovers. It is sad we cannot add more people right now, but it is definitely better for a while to be able to keep everyone on the same page.

So please welcome Gorilla800lbs and S.P.Abrams as new Russian moderators. Now we'll move forward even faster.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

The invitation has been humbly accepted! Thank you, guys! I won't let the team and our Duolingo friends down.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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Congratulations!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ryanthedon

Congrats, I can't wait to try out Russian

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Well done, in a week or so (I think) you made it to 25%. You guys are better than machines.

Edit: At this rate I think you might outrun those Spanish -> Portuguese lagards (evil laugh :P)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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It's around 20% total, according to the developer tool method.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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It is about 20% with the interface strings, I guess. I was counting only words, which we have 1952 (for each we need to create at least 3 main sentences, which translates into even more all possible sentences).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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Ah, I understand. Then, congrats and good luck!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Interesting, so going by that logic you have roughly translated more than 1200 (sentences)/6000(sentences). I hope your copy paste skills are up to scratch, in the few languages I know there are few words that are repeated very often.

Also I wonder, do you guys have something like the Duobot helping you with a suggested machine translation?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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something like the Duobot helping you with a suggested machine translation?

Sorry, I know this question was not addressed to me, but being a professional translator I can't just go by :-)

Machine translation is not helpful at all for translators (or anyone who knows both languages fairly well). It is only helpful for those whose language level is extremely low: it is easier to get the meaning with the help of machine translation than look up every word in the dictionary.

I'm not working on the course, but I'm sure Larisa and Roman (as well as the newly invited mods) know English well enough to understand Duolingo sentences without a dictionary or a translator bot :-) So their main task is to express the same meaning in Russian (their native language) and give different valid translations, all of which have to be natural. No bot can do that really well.

Another remark on machine translation, just for your interest: At work, we use one tool that has recently started to offer machine translation. Everyone hates it and says it only interferes with the mental process. We usually try to clear the translation field from machine translation before we can read anything of it - just not to be distracted. Then we type our own translations.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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@Dessamator: You should also take into account the fact that Russian is much more different from English in terms of structure than Portuguese (or any Latin or Germanic language) is. It is really easier to type the whole sentence than to change the word order, adjust the endings and so on.

From a translator's point of view, it is even more pleasant to translate something from scratch than to proofread after a not-so-good human translator.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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Olimo is 100% correct. And we don't copy-paste much, it is not helpful. Our dream is that the translation interface will be changed so that we will be able to navigate without using the mouse. Now this going back and forward between the mouse and the keyboard slows us a lot. We have some automation though, so that we don't need to type hints again and again, and that is really helpful.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I see your point, and mainly agree with you. I'm not a professional translator, so I wouldn't know the details, but at least the duobot in the immersion section sometimes tends to be very accurate. For example, when translating from English to Portuguese, I sometimes only need to do light editing to change a few words and the translation is very good.

So in effect, a lazy guy such as myself does not need to type the whole sentence. I know this may be bad for novices but for a person who is fluent (like myself) in both languages it makes translating a whole lot simpler. Just a few touches, a bit of copy pasting, and I'm ready to translate the next sentence.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rkuprov

Well, the Adverbs are finished now. I can go on a date tonight with a sense of accomplishment. Ender's Game ftw!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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Just choose a date from one of those emails you'll receive today. Choose carefully ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor
Ontalor
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You two are amazing! Thank you for everything you're doing!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

Молодцы!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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Welcome to the team.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

Thank you, Larisa!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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Oh, danke! Danke! Danke! I can't wait for your course to be finished! It will benefit so many!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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You're cool, guys! I wonder what part of sentences is written by course authors and which by those who report "my answer should be accepted", though :D

I'm a little surprised to see ordinary "Verbs Present 1" and "Verbs Present 2". Aren't Present Simple and Present Progressive taught separately? For Russian beginner learners of English, it's not easy to understand how there can be different present tenses instead of just one (the same goes for past and future, of course).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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We are given an English sentence, for which we provide all possible translations (as much as we can, for a while I try not to spend too much time on rare cases). Only one of those translations is called the best one. For that best Russian translation we then have to provide all possible English translations. But again only the initial English sentence is considered to be the best one. In some cases when it doesn't work, when the best possible translation is unnatural, we can disable it. Here is a quote from the help: "For example, in a French course for English speakers, “Bon appétit” in French roughly translates to “Enjoy your meal”, but this is not a common thing to say in English, so you can disable the reverse translation of the sentence. Students of your course will never get the sentence “Enjoy your meal” to translate back to French."

And about tenses, so far we've got only lessons with Present Simple. And as Roman said, we put Present Simple as the best translation, and continuous as a possible but hidden translation. But we definitely feel lack of some clarifying words. If we had them in the English Sentence, we would use them in the best Russian translation, and then there would be no doubt which time learners need to use when translating into English. So far it's not the case and that brings ambiguity.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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Yes, I roughly understand how it works, and it is certainly easier for you to just translate English sentences without creating a totally new course. It's a pity, though, that the current Incubator system is so inflexible. The more different the languages are, the less effective is just to translate the current courses...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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My impression is that our Japanese friends are struggling even more. For instance they need additional words to distinguish plural forms from singular forms, and they don't have them.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Prof Luis, mentioned better tools will be added to make it more flexible, you need to crawl before you run...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Goran12
Goran12
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I asked for almost the same (just in general, not so concretely) and Luis answered that they will first translate the English course as it is and then customize it for needs of the language spoken by the learners (I guess in phase 2).

See http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1045081

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rkuprov

Are you referring to the "Мальчик пьет кофе" - A boy drinks/is drinking coffee? sentences? If so, the only reason we're putting those in is to cover our bases. Just because the continuous sentences are technically correct. We haven't reached the lesson on that particular tense yet, but when we do, we'll explain the difference thoroughly.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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Yes, exactly. When you learn, for example, French from English, it is simple: very soon you realize that both "drinks" and "is drinking" is "boit", so this method is fine. However, when you learn English from a language that does not use progressive tenses, it is hard to understand different forms. Do you remember how you learned simple/progressive English tenses yourself? I'm quite sure you did not get a mix of them without explanations right from the start. And don't forget there are also questions and negations using auxiliary verbs which we don't have in Russian %)

Perhaps I underestimate beginners, but there are too many Russians who struggle with English and give it up because of a mess of tenses they get in their heads. "Is" or "does"? "Do you go" or "Do you going"? or is it "are you go" - or "are you going"? What a nightmare indeed instead of simple "ты идешь? / ты ходишь?" without any auxiliary verbs or even change in the word order ;-)

I hope there are some lessons dedicated to different kinds of tenses at least later.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rkuprov

As of now, it is my understanding that the alternative variations (specifically, P. Progressive) will not show up as a suggested translation. It will only be accepted as such. All of the 'best possible translations' so far have been done in P. Simple. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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That's so interesting! I guess we English speakers just take for granted that we have two present tenses. I imagine that will be difficult to teach for most languages.

How did you learn it? I thought about the differences in the tenses it a few months ago and the best I could come up with was that progressive shows the current thing I am doing, and the simple present shows more permanent things, or things that are just true.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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You forgot about Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous, so there are even four :D

We learn it just like you said: every tense has its purpose. For example, a unit like "What I do every day" is perfect to learn Present Simple. We read a text about someone's day, like "I get up at 8 o'clock, wash my face, clean my teeth, ...", then we talk about things we do every day and so on. Present Progressive is taught as the tense you need for what you are doing right now. Of course there are some subtleties, but for a beginner it is quite enough.

Present Perfect blows the Russian mind because it is hard to grasp how it is present and not past... Another thing that is hard for Russians is sequence of tenses. We don't say "he said that he was writing", but rather "he said that he is writing" in Russian.

English has a lot of tenses that work with all (or almost all) verbs. Russian, instead, has only three tenses, but the verbs are different, so we can convey "simple" and "progressive" actions with different verbs used in the same tense. One has to "readjust" one's mind and learn to think in a different system; this is what's the hardest when you learn English from Russian or Russian from English. Both systems have their pros and cons. Personally, I'm happy to be familiar with both of them, I love the different language logics :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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Brilliant! I did know how Russian verbs conjugate, though. I totally forgot about the present perfect tenses. It is interesting how it is able to very accurately describe something that is happening. I love the differences in languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I think this (or another thread should be created) for regular updates from the Language moderators about the incubator progress in XX(e.g. Russian) language. The general idea would be to post some info the fans/users would perhaps like to know.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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I've found an interesting sentence which seems to be very simple: "Positive or negative?" But here is the translation I wrote for it: [Положительный/положительная/положительное/положительные/позитивный/позитивная/позитивное/позитивные] или [отрицательный/отрицательная/отрицательное/отрицательные/негативный/негативная/негативное/негативные]?

8 options for each word :))) - 64 combinations in total. I'm glad we have this short notation, otherwise I would spend an entire evening typing them.

For those who are going to learn Russian, don't panic, you actually need to know only 4 forms of each word to form all those combinations.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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That really put into perspective the many variations for every sentence, once people start entering their alternative translations when it hits beta, I presume it will be far worse.

Edit: I just noticed that in the screenshot you added more than 2000 messages at the time, and it was still only 20%. that means there are 5 times more sentences, and its more than 10000?? I think you guys should just use the sentences, write a book and become billionaires :).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Detonator678

Thank you so much! Can I just ask, are you adding words based off of a standard list of Duolingo Vocabulary Words (the specific amount of 1952 words) or are you just adding the words that you believe to be the most essential? Thank you both so much for your work once again!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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Yes, only the Duolingo Vocabulary Words. It would be better if we could add some word and remove some other, but so far we can't.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Detonator678

Okay, thank you for replying.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sydsocquet
Sydsocquet
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Are you using the Cyrillic alphabet for this, or Roman transliteration?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rkuprov

Transliteration is foul! It's the Russian alphabet all the way!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sydsocquet
Sydsocquet
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I agree! Yay, I'm so glad! I'm so excited! Not to sound impatient, but how long does the whole process take for graduation from the Incubator?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rkuprov

we are about 40% done with Russian-to-English course. Once that is finished, it will be automatically fulfill a huge chunk for the English-to-Russian course requirements. However, we can't simply reverse the course that we're building. Russian is a language different from English enough to warrant some additional lessons (like the alphabet and the rest).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sydsocquet
Sydsocquet
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Ooh I can't wait! Thank you for contributing to make it happen!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Snappy518

Can't wait for it :D Thank you so much! :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/javiersfz

Brilliant!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Korau
KorauPlus
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Good news I look forward to the finished project

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lpapamik

many thanx dear russian team! can't wait to get started!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lilygilder
lilygilder
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Well done! And thank you for your hard work! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmineK
AmineK
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i'm confused what's the difference btwn English from Russian and otherwise , which one is that you'll study russian by english and will you put both or just one

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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The course is to learn English if you know Russian. You can use it the other way around, but it would be hard, as we often assume the learners know the Russian grammar. The Russian for English speakers will be created I guess only when the current one is fully lunched and works properly.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamanthaEAngel

Priviet Larisa! You are working on teaching the world to speak Russian! Spasibo! ( I am part Russian and only know a few words but will be one of the first ones to sign up to learn. Iove the language. So (pardon misspelling as I have yet to see it in print) dos vedana, and I am very much looking forward to many languages. Russian after Spanish is top on my list. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
northernguy
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Some of the commenters on this thread seem to believe that this course will teach Russian to English speakers. Yet the creators of the course seem to be saying it will be English for Russian speakers.

Looking through comments on different threads it appears that most if not all the energy is going toward learning English for speakers of different languages.

When the incubator approach was introduced to the Duo community there was a widespread assumption in the posts that the roster of languages available to current members would soon expand. I gather that instead the focus is to vastly expand the Duo community by providing English instruction for those who will then be motivated to join Duo. This makes sense for Duo. However, I think for most current Duo students, it is a surprising turn of events that is not currently well understood. It certainly is a disappointment for me.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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It will be easier to create Russian from English course, when we already have English from Russian, but not the other way around. The same is with all other languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anachron

Luis did say that we could expect the incubator to support the creation of courses from / to any language before the year's end.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/matson
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would be nice if others could view this

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I think you guys should document your progress, so future translators have hints and tips of what to do and what not to do.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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We have notes now, so when there is something complicated, I usually explain my choice.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Excellent, I also see you guys have passed the 40% mark. Either Russian is very easy to translate or you guys are a dedicated bunch. I think that after German, Russian will probably be the first language to reach beta. Unless Polish overtakes you, I see they have more contributors and are gaining speed.

I just have a question, for Russian users who may or may not have a Russian keyboard will there be on virtual keyboard on the desktop? I think it is highly likely they may use this in net-cafes or other places.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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Yes, we have more than 50% of the words now ready. And olimo is right, the Russian layout is available on almost any OS, and one can buy keyboard stickers too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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I'm so excited. Go team Russia!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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Windows has a built-in virtual keyboard; I believe that other OS have it, too. That would be enough for those rare occasions when a non-English-speaking Russian is abroad and feels an urge to use Duolingo on someone else's or public computer.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielPere528188
DanielPere528188
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congratulations ! Keep up the good job

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jack.Elliot
Jack.Elliot
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fantastic, great especially since the Polish teams are rushing ahead.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hannekest

Wow, great job! I hope there will be an English-Russian course soon, so I can speak a bit Russian when I go on exchange there!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akhansson
akhansson
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I'm really happy. Great work!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IanLin
IanLin
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Woow! Congrats! you guys are awesome!! I hope I can use this course to learn Russian!! (from English)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IvayloSotirov

Well done. Cant wait :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LolcatGuy

I think Russian would be a great course

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LolcatGuy

Греат идеа

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vallisso

I´m still looking forward to be invited to be a moderator Have got some spare time on my hands...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AruneD
AruneD
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Very nice to see this coming along so quickly! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/team44
team44
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Привет! Я учию русски он я рад! Good luck with the course (don't hesitate to correct my awful russian should you feel the need)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TTANTAWY
TTANTAWY
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Can't wait!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/geneven
genevenPlus
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I'm looking forward to an English-to-Russian course. I spent a few years in Moscow but didn't learn enough Russian there; I think Duolingo Russian would be the cat's pajamas (old English expression!).I worked for then world chess champion Garry Kasparov editing the English for his chess web site.

4 years ago

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