Weekly Incubator Update: Tracking Progress from October 11th to October 18th

More new courses started
Three more new courses have come to the Incubator:
1. French for Arabic
2. Swedish for Arabic
3. Esperanto for Spanish
With these three courses, Duolingo is clearly on a new territory, a new path to help bring peace to this world, which sometimes appears plagued with intolerance and lack of humanity, - one language at a time, one human mind at a time.

Another graduation to Beta
The DE<-FR course has graduated to beta! Congratulations to all involved!

The latest numbers
In order to keep the week to week comparison relevant, the numbers reported are as of Sunday morning (PST). This week's WIU is coming up almost 36 hours late. Since Sunday morning, the courses have made progress and you will find the current numbers highlighted in the listing below.

Thought for the week
Russian TTS being tested!

PHASE 1 Progress: Total 28 courses

German for French - 99% | 99% | 99% | Beta

Russian for English - 99% | 99% | 99% | 99% (+0)

German for Turkish - 94% | 94% | 94% | 95% (+1)

Polish for English - 87% | 91% | 91% | 93% (+2)

English for Thai  - 90% | 90% | 90% | 91% (+1)

Spanish for Russian - 81% | 82% | 84% | 87% (+3) Now 88%

Catalan for Spanish - 72% | 74% | 82% | 85% (+3) Now 86%

Hungarian for English - 80% | 80% | 80% | 80% (+0) ^

German for Italian - 71% | 72% | 72% | 73% (+1)

Vietnamese for English - 61% | 64% | 66% | 67% (+1)

Spanish for Italian - 63% | 64% | 64% | 65% (+1)

Hebrew for English - 57% | 59% | 62% | 64% (+2) Now 63%

Spanish for Chinese - 42% | 44% | 57% | 63% (+6) Now 64%

Swedish for Russian - 54% | 54% | 55% | 56% (+1)

Romanian for English - 40% | 40% | 40% | 40% (+0)

French for Arabic - (New) 40% (+7) * Now 42%

German for Arabic - 35% | 37% | 38% | 39% (+1)

Swedish for Arabic - (New) 37% (+1)

Greek for English - 34% | 34% | 34% | 34% (+0)

Italian for Portuguese - 25% | 26% | 26% | 26% (+0)

Hindi for English - 20% | 21% | 21% | 21% (+0) ^

Klingon for English - 19% | 19% | 19% | 19% (+0) Now 20%

Portuguese for French - 18% | 18% | 18% | 18% (+0)

Czech for English - 10% | 10% | 10% | 11% (+1) ^

Yiddish for English - 8% | 8% | 8% | 8% (+0)

Welsh for English - (New) 1% | 7% (+6) ^

French for Chinese - 5% | 5% | 5% | 6% (+1) Now 7%

Guarani for Spanish - (New) 0% | 3% (+3) Now 3%

Esperanto for Spanish - (New) 0% (+0)

Mean - 0.80% | 0.88% | 1.15% | 1.45% (+0.30)
Median - 0% | 0% | 0% | 1% (+1)

* This week's Leader Extraordinaire!
^ The Hungarian, Hindi, Czech, & Welsh teams' progress is as per their own calculation

Progress Visualized:

Here's what the contributing teams have said during the last week:

jitengore from Team Hindi wrote yesterday:

Week 19: 21% complete, beta launch 31-Dec-2015

Dear Duolingoers,

It is true that our team has been rather busy to put in enough time on the course we love to bring to you. Our initial estimate was fairly conservative based on our experience with the reverse course (English for Hindi) which did not involve tree design. We had completed that course within three months.

This time however, there's tree design that is involved. More importantly, we have to come up with a way to teach a new script, Devanagari - देवनागरी, that suits and matches the Duolingo style.

We think that we will have to do a fresh estimate for our beta launch soon. But please don't be disheartened, there are holidays coming up in the next two months that will provide us the needed boost!

-The Hindi team (आपकी हिंदी टीम)

rmcode from Team Welsh wrote yesterday:

Steady progress.


We've now added over 700 sentences, which we'd estimate as being 7-8% of the final content. We're having some problems adding images but hopefully that'll be resolved soon.

We got a 5 minute mention on Radio Cymru (Welsh language radio station) on Friday when Tudur Owen explained his success in learning enough French on Duolingo to get by on his recent holiday. His comment about the future Welsh course was:- "Duolingo will be a greater benefit to the Welsh language than anything else that's been used to teach Welsh - It's addictive"


Team Cymraeg

nueby from Team Czech wrote yesterday:

Week 15

Added 25 words (0.7%). Running totals 416 words and 11 percent done. (No, we are not going to beta today.)

Oesterreich7 from Team Russian wrote 6 hours ago:

Russian TTS

Всем привет, Our TTS is now up and running in the Testbed! :) Hurray!!!!

A few words about our voice. We considered many possibilities, including IVONA's Maxim; however, in the end we opted to use a different voice, which was better suited to our purposes. It is produced by a Russian company from St. Petersburg

Saying this, we still have quite a bit of work to do before we release the course. Thank you for your patience,

The Russian Team

German for French is now in beta. Three courses - French for Arabic, Swedish for Arabic, & Esperanto for Spanish have entered the Phase 1. And, the Russian team is currently testing their TTS.

My India travel blog (4 of 4):
This last segment is about food in and around Delhi.

Here's Chhole Bhature at Haldirams:

And the confectionery stall at the same place:

And now to some Indo-Chinese food. Eating this when I was growing up, little did I know that the American-Chinese has quite a different taste and both of these are different from the real Chinese food. Talking of Indo-Chinese, I didn't know that the American-chop suey is only available in India :) Well, here's some Indo-Chinese food:

I was lucky to go to the weekly farmers' market. It runs whole day and runs until the night.

This time being in India in September after several years, I was able to relish a few fruits like Custard Apples (not in this picture though!)

A sign of American influence: when I grew up they were called "Good Day Biscuits" from Britannia. And now they are called cookies?!
And then, one also sees how Hindi sometimes takes the form of transliterated English :( And when doing so, the creator of this road-sign has flouted the universal language rule. The pluralization of "smile" has to follow the Hindi way and not English. It should have been स्माइलें and not स्माइल्स! (btw, the Hindi team would like to teach Hindi and not transliterated English!)

There is showcasing of other cultures too (in a good way). Here's a pretty Turkish lamp:

And now time to travel back. The window shades of the dreamliner Boeing 787 were electronically dimmable making it seem like flying under moonlight right at noon!

About to touch down at San Jose, where the flight seems to be grazing the top of the downtown buildings

The next update is expected on Sunday, 25th of October at 3:00 pm UTC.

Previous Update 4-Oct to 11-Oct

Last updates from the recent months: 2015: Sep, Aug, Jul, Jun, May, Apr, Mar, Feb, Jan.

October 20, 2015


I was feeling lost without this update. Go Catalan! Go!

October 20, 2015

Thanks jitengore! It was a sad Sunday not to see your update, I hope everything's going well!

October 20, 2015

All is well! Thanks for asking and thanks for saying the kind words (Reus_Zepp, Xephers too)!

October 20, 2015

By their popularity it's clear that the duolingo community very much appreciates your efforts in providing these updates and I think most of us understand that producing them week after week, as a volunteer effort, is a big undertaking on your behalf. It's completely understandable if the update is released a bit late sometimes.

Definitely an exciting time in duolingo land right now and your updates help to spread that excitement. Thanks as always jitengore! And thanks also to the course builders, whose progress we love to follow :)

October 20, 2015

It always makes me happy to see courses almost finished, because then I feel like we will get more courses soon <3 lol Imagine if we got Finnish and Icelandic after the release of Polish and Russian ;3 Although I would be pretty happy seeing an Indonesian course as well.

October 20, 2015

I can't wait for Russian!

October 20, 2015

Polish! FTW

Nie mogę się doczekać!

October 20, 2015

I ja się nie moge doczekać polkiego dla mówiących po słowacku! Polski <3

October 21, 2015

Come on Catalan! You are approaching beta and keeping up steady progress! I can't wait for the course!

October 20, 2015

It's unbelievable progress especially considering they were at 10% only a few months ago. I can't wait either!

October 20, 2015

5 months ago more or less :D

October 21, 2015

That's amazing! Muchas gracias por trabajar en este curso :D

October 23, 2015

un placer! (un plaer)

October 23, 2015

Thank you so much Russian team! So glad to hear that progress is being made!

October 20, 2015

Though, the progress is still being made even when you cannot hear it ;)

October 20, 2015
  • 1353

We cannot hear it yet, but finally you can hear it.

October 20, 2015

^ this! Just knowing for sure progress is happening on the TTS front (as opposed to just knowing there was an issue) seems like the best news we've had in quite a while and very exciting!

October 20, 2015

Good to see the median finally lift off zero.

October 20, 2015

I was going to say that. A good sign indeed. Thanks for highlighting :)

October 20, 2015

Team Welsh! How exciting, and nice to be getting a bit of popular awareness built up already :)

October 20, 2015

Almost 200,000 people signed up for notification for the Russian course. Wow!

So many new courses especially for Arabic speakers, so exciting! Learning languages to increase the peace!

Thanks jitengore for the incubator news updates, it definitely pumps up my enthusiasm : ) हिंदी ! हिंदी ! हिंदी !

October 20, 2015

Thanks for the cheer!

October 20, 2015

What - how can I sign up for the notification please? :D

October 20, 2015

There's a little button about being notified under the estimated launch date.

October 20, 2015

The notification system is not working for me. I had signed up for Swedish but I hadn't got notified.

October 20, 2015

I read somewhere that the notification is delayed by 24 hours or so after the course launch (presumably to avoid the rush), and if you sign up during that period, then the system will not bother to send you a notification.

Could that be the reason?

October 20, 2015
  • 1353

I got notifications for Esperanto, Norwegian and Turkish, but not Ukrainian, and I think it was because I started Ukrainian as soon as it was available, without waiting for an invitation.

October 21, 2015
  • 1353

Finally some good news from the Russian team.

As for teaching Devanagari, is your team taking some inspiration from the Ukrainian team? I think they managed to do this well.

October 20, 2015

Unlike Davangari, Cyrillic shares quite a few similarities with the Latin alphabet, Davangari has absolutely 0 similarities. However I'm still sure they will come up with a good idea to teach it to us, that should'nt let them down!

October 24, 2015


October 20, 2015
October 20, 2015

Yeah! It'd be great, wouldn't it? :)

October 20, 2015

Fantastic news that the Russian TTS is now in testing stages - that feels like a big step forwards. Patience still required but definitely movement in the right direction!

October 20, 2015

I've been waiting for this! It's nice to see the numbers increase across several teams.

October 20, 2015

Go Team "Arabic -> German"! In the meantime I've got to know a lot of people, who are desperately in need for this course!

I know it's hard, but I'd love to see more progress there! Btw, are you in need for more contributors?

October 20, 2015

Estuve al borde de la desesperación esperando esta publicación. Siempre es un placer leerla y mucha más cuando hay tantas buenas noticias como esta semana. Gracias jitengore por mantenernos informado.

October 20, 2015

And Guarani is off to a long venture! Good progress already.

October 20, 2015

Do you live in San Jose or just have a transit there?

October 20, 2015

I live in the south bay :)

October 25, 2015

Welsh <3

October 20, 2015

Thanks for your work, jitengore. It is much appreciated to see how the incubator is doing during the week.

October 21, 2015

New Esperanto! Duolingo on the peace way <3

I was hoping for Spanish for Esperanto speakers since very begining of Spanish for English speakers. Hmm, it seems that I will learn Spanish on Duolingo as I learn Polish :-P

October 21, 2015

Surely no Hindi speaker has ever actually uttered the word स्माइलें? That just sounds weird. It would be like insisting english speakers refer to a 'doyeness' rather than a doyenne.

October 20, 2015

There can be a few exceptions but whenever a language adopts a word from another language, the pluralization rules of the receiving language hold.

Would one call more than one "cheetah" (चीता) as "cheeteh" (चीते) or "cheetahs"?

In the same way, "chutneyian" (चटनियाँ) or "chutneys"?, "masale" (मसाले) or "masalas"? ...

October 25, 2015

All I can say is I've never heard of such a rule in linguistics. English has plenty of foreign plural endings: fungus-fungi; criterion-criteria; thesis-theses. The word 'mafiosi' with its Italian ending appears in both English and French, etc. The large number of Latin plurals in English attests to the huge influence that language has had historically.

There might be a general tendency to ignore declensions in foreign loan words, but it's hardly a rule. In any case, rules are modelled around how the language is spoken, not the other way round. For that reason I'm curious: do any Hindi speakers actually say smilen? As a language learner, this is the primary thing that interests me: whether what I'm learning is common speech.

English, being a prestige language in India, has altered Hindi forever, providing it with vocabulary, idioms and even new plural forms. One can despair about the fate of 'correct' Hindi, or one can simply observe how the language is spoken today, and how Hindi in fact always borrowed from other languages.

October 25, 2015

Just my five cents: if we take Russian, for example, foreign words either conform to normal declension patterns (computer→computeri, professorprofessora) or, if that is impossible, become indeclinable words (like cliché: all their forms are exactly the same).

It is quite interesting how English incorporated Latin plurals into its system but generally hmm... You might say it is a strong tendency that importing words from a foreign language is infinitely easier that importing grammar, even though small bits of the the latter are not unheard of (like taking a few foreign prefixes or suffixes).

The job is especially hard if you want to import English endings: modern English is not known to have a lot to share in that department :). I think that's what jitengore was going at. Or are English plurals really borrowed into Hindi?

October 25, 2015

Wouldn't the fact that an advertisement in India uses an english plural be proof enough that they are used?

October 30, 2015

Now that is something I wasn't expecting to see, but I should've known it was possible. Those diferent types of plurals are awfully similar to things I've seen in German. O_O

October 28, 2015

I'm still here cheering on team Hebrew!

October 22, 2015

How come the Hebrew team progress was 64% on Sunday and now back to 63%? Can you actually regress in making the course?

October 20, 2015

It's purely based on the number of words completed. We added some words and haven't completed the sentences for them yet, so the percentage went down a bit (63.7% atm). But don't worry, we will make it up in no time.

October 20, 2015

Don't even stress it. I'm just so happy you guys are putting in the work for Hebrew. :)

October 22, 2015

If you increase the tree size, then your percentage complete goes down, even if you are making progress.

October 20, 2015

what is the russian TT's? Is it the voices?

October 21, 2015

Yes. It is the automated robotic voice that Duolingo will use in its exercises.

October 21, 2015

thank you, i didn't know that!

October 21, 2015

No problem. I think it stands for text-to-speech.

October 21, 2015

Thank You! :)

October 21, 2015

Greek for English </3 but thank you for always posting these weekly updates, i love seeing new courses being worked on and added. : )

October 23, 2015

wow! Russian team, guys you are great! Ребята, молодцы! Большое вам спасибо за вашу работу и вклад в популяризацию языка и культуры!

October 25, 2015

Surely a mistake on the Welsh Incubator page - the 7% has rather optimistically become 70%!

October 23, 2015

The percentage is calculated automatically by the system and only represent the percentage of the tree as it stands that has been completed. Most likely explanation is that the team deleted large parts/all of the tree, and have added skills appropriate for Welsh, it means 70% of the current tree, not 70% of the final Welsh tree as will be released to the public.

October 23, 2015
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