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)
Catalan for Spanish - 72% | 74% | 82% | 85% (+3)
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)
Spanish for Chinese - 42% | 44% | 57% | 63% (+6)
Swedish for Russian - 54% | 54% | 55% | 56% (+1)
Romanian for English - 40% | 40% | 40% | 40% (+0)
French for Arabic - (New) 40% (+7) *
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)
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)
Guarani for Spanish - (New) 0% | 3% (+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
Here's what the contributing teams have said during the last week:
Week 19: 21% complete, beta launch 31-Dec-2015
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)
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"
Added 25 words (0.7%). Running totals 416 words and 11 percent done. (No, we are not going to beta today.)
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
Thanks jitengore! It was a sad Sunday not to see your update, I hope everything's going well!
All is well! Thanks for asking and thanks for saying the kind words (Reus_Zepp, Xephers too)!
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 :)
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.
Come on Catalan! You are approaching beta and keeping up steady progress! I can't wait for the course!
It's unbelievable progress especially considering they were at 10% only a few months ago. I can't wait either!
Thank you so much Russian team! So glad to hear that progress is being made!
I was going to say that. A good sign indeed. Thanks for highlighting :)
Team Welsh! How exciting, and nice to be getting a bit of popular awareness built up already :)
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 !
There's a little button about being notified under the estimated launch date.
The notification system is not working for me. I had signed up for Swedish but I hadn't got notified.
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?
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.
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.
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!
I've been waiting for this! It's nice to see the numbers increase across several teams.
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?
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.
Thanks for your work, jitengore. It is much appreciated to see how the incubator is doing during the week.
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
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.
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"? ...
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.
Just my five cents: if we take Russian, for example, foreign words either conform to normal declension patterns (computer→computeri, professor→professora) 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?
Wouldn't the fact that an advertisement in India uses an english plural be proof enough that they are used?
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
How come the Hebrew team progress was 64% on Sunday and now back to 63%? Can you actually regress in making the course?
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.
Don't even stress it. I'm just so happy you guys are putting in the work for Hebrew. :)
If you increase the tree size, then your percentage complete goes down, even if you are making progress.
Yes. It is the automated robotic voice that Duolingo will use in its exercises.
Greek for English </3 but thank you for always posting these weekly updates, i love seeing new courses being worked on and added. : )
wow! Russian team, guys you are great! Ребята, молодцы! Большое вам спасибо за вашу работу и вклад в популяризацию языка и культуры!
Surely a mistake on the Welsh Incubator page - the 7% has rather optimistically become 70%!
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.