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Now in beta: Learning English from German!

Today we’re excited to announce the beta release of the first language course built entirely through the Duolingo Incubator: Learning English from German. The Duolingo team built this course primarily as a means of testing the Incubator from beginning to end, and it’s now ready to go! For now, you can only access this course from the website, but it will be available in the mobile apps in December. Remember that it’s in beta, so bear with us :)

Also, the first community-created courses from the Incubator are not far behind and will be coming soon. Let’s see which language finishes first!

November 13, 2013



Spoiler alert: It's gonna be Russian! ;P


I don't know.. ever since they made it to the halfway marker, they started lagging behind. Polish is going to catch up at this rate. ;D


Polish is cheating, they have 6 contributors vs 4 from Mother Russia. :)


so it was brilliant... excellent ... big thamks


It didn't do anything on the incubator for me either. I went to my profile, and under "Account" I changed the language there. And it worked. Also, the best way to write the sentence about what language you want to learn would be "Ich will Englisch lernen (ich kann Deutsch)" It seems to change around, but always looks strange. And for what it's worth, I'm German.


let them try, we have 1420 words and they still have less than 1000 ;)


I would love to learn russian, so many russian friends who talk so much russian!


Now we need people to start learning and reporting mistakes!


No problem, we're ready :D


I'm already on it. :p I've been waiting for this.


I am ready as well


Absolutely fantastic, yeah! I'd like to see the first mistake fixed: When we choose learning the language, Duolingo says "Lernen will ich Englisch (Ich kann Deutsch)." Nobody says that! Please change it to "Ich will Englisch lernen" (Ich kann Deutsch)".


Now it says "Ich will folgende Sprache lernen Englisch (Ich kann Deutsch)" which is more wrong than before =( Please fix this!


I don't speak german, but can't it be said (in a simple way as all the currently available languages): Ich will lernen Englisch (Ich kann Deutsch)?
Because in French, for example, it's Je veux apprendre l'Anglais (Je parle français), not Je veux apprendre une langue vivante : apprendre l'Anglais (Je parle français). (which seems to be the translation of the current German Folgende Sprache will ich lernen: Englisch lernen (Ich kann Deutsch)).

Or Duo is redoing all this little sentences and they are all going to change and look like Je veux apprendre une langue vivante : apprendre l'Anglais (Je parle français). ?


It's wrong, correct is "Ich will Englisch lernen (Ich kann Deutsch)?" (the sentence order was incorrect). Also, the current words are not that great. Better would be "Folgende Sprache will ich lernen: Englisch (Ich kann Deutsch)." I have no idea why they changed the correct term.


Oh, true, infinitive at the end! :) Thanks.

But, so it would be simpler (and more consistent with other language), not to add/speak about "living language"... so wonder if they'll change all the sentences for all courses.


If you spot any bugs let us know! Here's a bug report thread that was just created in the troubleshooting discussion: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1113307 There is additionally a discussion section in the English from German course for troubleshooting called 'Problemdiagnose' that should be used: http://www.duolingo.com/topic/817 You can also report a bug via the support tab to the left. Danke! :)


I'm curious, how is progress measured in phase 2? In phase one it's obviously adding vocabulary words and all of the required sentences, but phase 2 is just touching up and improving what already exists, so how do you measure progress in that stage?


I'm curious too.

My guess would be that they require a certain minimum number of people to have seen each sentence in each lesson and then also look at the 'pass rate' for each sentence. They probably do a cull of sentences that are proving too problematic and then when they have enough successful sentences (measured by people having seen them and getting them right) they judge the course is of a good enough quality to be moved out of beta.


I want to know that too


Okay, another thing about the Interface.

Because nothing it transferred from one language interface to the other there's not even the full profile viewable.
If you click on my profile, you can either see that I'm learning French and Italian (if your language is currently set to English) or you see that I'm learning English (if your language is set to German).
This whole separation of the different language interfaces is really irritating, I hope you can improve it over the next days.
We need one website interface that is switchable to all languages and all the content (profile, language trees, perfect would also be if we could see ALL forums) needs to be in every version. This language selection needs to be independent from the courses you chose. Not one profile there, another one there, one tree there, some trees there...


Exactly my thoughts as well. I have no idea how it may be to implement.


I can't wait to see the new languages... maybe once y'all start more languages from English, I can learn yet another language!


Is there a German discussion area as well? If so, where's the link?


If you go into your settings and select that you want to learn German from English you'll get into the German UI and see that there is a discussion section there. :)


Alright, for those who don't want to switch over every time, the links are:

General Discussion (German): http://www.duolingo.com/topic/816

English Discussion (German): http://www.duolingo.com/topic/818


Just conquered the English skill tree from German. That was quick :-D


Oh my. You sure must know your German.


Both are needed in fact. It is actually interesting that the level system works in reverse, the more you know the less your level should be when you complete the tree. Level 8 is the lowest I've seen someone completing a tree with.

@pada.online: Du bist gut! , you should try the certificate test, show us your mastery...


I was at level 10 when conquering the English tree, this seems to be the minimum. Test out of most exercises and finish the missing three items.

Here are both my certificates:


Wow, are you a linguist or something? Duo the bird must really like you to give you such high marks (just joking).

Well done, congrats!


wow I know my English too! thee hee..... I can t wait till i finish my german. or fly to germany!


I tried it out and there is one thing you may want to correct. Just like you get reminders that all nouns should be capitalized in German, you should also give reminders that the word "I" (e.g.- I should go) should also be capitalized. I tried using the lower case "i" a couple times and it went through.


Wirklich sehr gut :)


Oh my god, I almost had a heart attack when I thought I deleted my previous trees.

When you chose the new course the Interface language changes and your courses in English are not displayed anymore. If you have another tab open and continue browsing there, they are displayed BUT the trees are empty! I thought it was all gone!

But you can change back to the English Interface and all is still there. I reported it already per mail because this needs to be fixed, it's really distressing.


happened to me as well :)


Me too. I was in shock for quite a while. ;(


Honestly, if I hadn't been at work, I might have started crying. Because I thought I did something wrong with one hasty click and broke my beautiful trees.


Question: I just found the German- (American) English course and I was wondering if it was possible to add a German- British English course? British is kinda standart where I live and I'd rather learn that type of pronunciation, than the american one^^; (I know there are loads of british dialects, but that's the same in every country. One could just choose the bbc-english)


Nice! Suddenly I see the whole incubator interface in German, too! Which brings me to my point: On the language cards most of the "for speakers of...." are cut. I don't think it makes sense to keep the sentence fixed to one line, just allow two, and make the language cards a little bit larger.


There are also problems with the length of the lesson names... some just flow over the border. I think your frontend and design people need to take a look at all the issues and make the whole thing more flexible.

If you want to report a problem: "Der Englisch Satz ist unnatürlich oder hat einen Fehler / Der Deutsch Satz ..... " You have to apply a different tense here. "Der deutschE Satz, Der englischE SAtz...

When you change the language in your profile first you had the sentence "Ich möchte lernen Englisch", now you changed to "Lernen will ich Englisch". Guys. Stop that. You're building the sentence in a way that will never make much sense with German grammar. Put the language name as a variable that can be put into any position inside a sentence.

Another thing that bugs me, is the somewhat liberal approach to the sharp S (ß) and ss. In Germany & Austria, ß is a normal letter of the alphabet, while it's not used at all in other German speaking countries like Switzerland and Liechtenstein. So the orthography you use would be correct in those countries. For Germany itself, it's a spelling error to use ss where an ß should be. But I think it's pretty cool that both are allowed when you translate.


Thanks! We're fixing what we can to make it as natural as possible :)


Thanks. I really don't mean to appear after months of your hard work and talk down everything. Of course all of this are just minor things compared to the greatness you achieved by making the course happen :)


Haha, not at all! This is super helpful and we're really excited about all this feedback. We could have worked on it some more before letting you guys at it, but this way we get more input and advice to help perfect it. Keep 'em coming!


Oh, it was worse! When I first looked at it, it was "Ich will folgende Sprache lernen Englisch".


You are right, that one was it. I didn't recall it properly :D See? My brain tries to improve the grammar at an unconscious level ^^


I'm not sure that present progressive is introduced very well. Perhaps there should be a tip somewhere. I saw that only simple present was introduced in the Basics, so present progressive would be confusing.


Progressive? :^)

We call it present continuous in this part of the world


It's really the same thing. I learned it as present progressive here in Alabama. Where are you from?


i'm waiting french from spanish


I'm waiting for Spanish from French.


Yay! I can't wait to do the reverse tree! :)


das ist toll für Deutsch Schüler... PLEASE make the learning the latin languages (french, italian, portuguese, spanish) from spanish... I'd love Duolingo forever !!!


takes German for English speakers Now I'm ready to try out the new course!


I'm along enough to at least help out with the basics. :D


I just tested out a couple of lessons, and it seems to be just standard, I am still learning German so I can't say anything about the localized interface strings. But I noticed two things, either I missed it or there doesn't seem to be a placement test. The second thing is that even though this language course has just appeared, I seem to have a streak in German - English side, and points from a few days ago?

Maybe some benefactor (ghost) raided my account and gave me some free points?

On another note, I asked this in another discussion, but wouldn't it be more effective to separate interface localization from localization of lessons sentences and vocabulary?

I think this would be desirable for those who asked to be contributors but can't be because of space and other considerations. Or better yet let anyone who wants try to crowdsource interface translation, and those who requested to be moderators/contributors, but didn't make it , help to proofread and correct the text.

Anyway, so far so good, but you guys are pros at this already. Let's see how the newbies(moderators) stack up with their courses.

Edit: I found out why, I had completed the English course from another language. Also apparently during the placement test I can't seem to use the virtual keyboard, so it may be hard to write some characters.


Yeah there was a placement test, I just took it :)


This is great! My friend in Germany will love it! Vielen Dank!


congrats to the german-english team!

  • 2092

Please take the Portuguese flag for learning Portuguese and the British flag for learning English.


but its Brazilian Portuguese and American English :P^^


Yeah, it marks 'realise' and colour' as wrong. I am not just learning Italian but also American English. ;)


Hi himmelmr, do you remember where that happened to you? We accept both the American and British spelling.


Hi, the last time I rememberer was some time ago. I have been using the American spelling ever since. It's nice to hear that you generally accept British spelling :) I'll make sure to let you know should my spelling be wrongly marked as incorrect.


I usually use the British spelling, and it’s marked as correct. :) Germans normally learn British English in school, so it would be strange to not accept its spelling.


hi when will turn up from Chinese learn other language? :P


islamayoub_94 skype if someone wanna speak english

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