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https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

Russian->English course: sentences translation 100% complete

Dear friends,

We are eager to share a little update with those of you who are tracking the progress of the Russian-to-English course: our team has just completed the translation of all of the 1952 sentences in the main curriculum.

We aren't quite done, of course -- now the localization of the course needs to be completed as well; however, we are confident that we can get it accomplished within the next few days.

What's next? We expect that a fair amount of polish will need to be applied to the curriculum once the beta testing starts, and we are ready to see that through. The question we know our English-speaking friends have on their minds, certainly, is when the work on the English-to-Russian component is going to start. Naturally we would have to defer to Duolingo team on that matter, but having reached today's milestone, we hope that such a day is not far off, and we are eager as ever to take part in it. :)

Our huge thanks to all our like-minded Duo friends and enthusiasts out there for their support, and once again to the amazing Duolingo team for giving us an opportunity to be a part of this effort!

Cordially, The Russian Team

4 years ago

96 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/buunny
buunny
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Was I the only one who mistook the word "polish" for "Polish". Lol. I just have these incubator languages on the brain.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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Yeah, I stumbled on that, too :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Goran12
Goran12
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A sign that the Polish team will go to beta shortly after the Russian? ;-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Red_Rat_Writer

Yeah, I had to read it twice for it to make sense.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Solosislove

Same! XD

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SaxyLady
SaxyLadyPlus
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lol I saw that too and got confused. XD

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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Congratulations to all of you! We promise to continue doing what we can to make this course a huge success.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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From my side I want to point out that Roman and Val did an amazing job to bring this Thanksgiving present to the entire Duo community. My husband was going to Australia, so I was busy and couldn't help them but they stayed till 3 a.m. this night (according to my calculations) to finish all the words. Believe me, it had to be hard. I especially want to thank Val (Gorilla800lbs), because it was a blessing we invited him to the team. While in the first week Roman and I had tons of energy and enthusiasm and did lots or work, it was harder and harder to keep up the same pace each new week. And then Val joined us and brought new energy and he was pushing and pushing forward and inspired us to bare with him. For that we call him our "Fortress of Strength" :) Roman, Val, thank you a lot, I'm honored to be on the same team with you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

Thank you, Lara, the honor is mine :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo
oskalingo
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The incubator launched on October 9. It's possible the English for Russian speakers course will be released into beta before December 9. That's very impressive, not just on the team's behalf but also speaks for the quality of software they are using to build it.

Congrats to the team! I hope you guys are pacing yourselves; I imagine things will only get more intense once it's released to beta.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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Cool! What about adaptation to the problems of Russian speakers learning English? Will you add grammar explanations and tips before releasing the course to beta?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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I hope so, we were told that we'll hear more about that in a week or two.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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We're still making the tools to add explanations, but we'll have them for sure.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

Thanks to everyone for the kinds words! We're really pumped to keep moving forward! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ginafrombrazil
ginafrombrazil
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Congratulations on this success!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sigmacharding
sigmacharding
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Will we all have to install Cyrillic alphabet keyboards? :) I can't wait to see what will happen!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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This is a course for Russian speakers. They all have Russian and English layouts installed.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lilygilder
lilygilder
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For non-Russian learners or those with no knowledge of the Russian keyboard layout: This page might help you - http://winrus.com/kbd_e.htm

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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A few users have mentioned taking on the RUS > ENG course as a challenge for learning Russian. ^_^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lilygilder
lilygilder
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Yeah, I will be taking the course too and I'm German. I hope to get a new start, since I only had Russian in middleschool.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mollyglot
mollyglot
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That's what In planning on doing until the ENG -> RUS comes out. The iPhone has a ton of alphabets already, you just need to go into setting and activate it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
jairapetyan
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Thanks lilygilder. This is the part that I find most helpful: http://winrus.com/keyboard.htm

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mollyglot
mollyglot
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If you have an iPhone (and maybe all smart phones?) it's already there. You just need to go to settings, keyboard and activate it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kaet
kaet
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Thank you so much for all the hard work! I'm really looking forward to the Russian for English speakers course (although I'm learning Spanish while I wait, so it's not all bad).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/snorreri
snorreri
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This is great news! Will certainly be starting to learn Russian when the English -> Russian course is ready for beta! Really psyched about learning a slavic language!

Accidently read 'We expect that a fair amount of Polish will need to be applied (...)' :P

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lolaphilologist
lolaphilologist
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Fantastic! I can't wait to see the English ->Russian, too. I mean, I can wait a little while, but very excited to see this coming!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RotBohnen
RotBohnen
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Like a few others, I'm planning on trying out the Russian to English to see if it helps in understanding the Russian sentences.

PS: I think yours is the longest streak I've seen. That's inspiring :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/myra
myra
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You guys are удивительный! Truly :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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удивительные :)) Just as in French, adjectives agree in gender and number (and in Russian also in case) with nouns. And did you mean amazing? Then I would say that in similar context in Russia we often say - Вы молодцы! (which means that we did a great job). In any case, we are flattered, thank you so much :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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удивительный = amazing

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RotBohnen
RotBohnen
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Thanks for the translation. And great work on the streak.. It's inspiring!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Celyia

You guys are amazing. Thank you so much for all the hard work.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor
Ontalor
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This is fantastic news! Thank you so much for the work you all have done!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/roger
rogerPlus
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Congratulations Russian Team, it is motivating to see a committed group of people like you sharing Duolingo's vision. Keep the good work!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/severin
severinPlus
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very very cool!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lilygilder
lilygilder
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Congrats! Thank you for the hard work!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vedun
Vedun
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Is translating the interface faster than translating the sentences?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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Yes, it is much faster. For each word we had to translate at least 3 sentences and for each sentence we had to give all possible translations. For the interface it is just one to one translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bpopes
bpopes
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Great news! I can't wait for the English to Russian course :) I'll probably try to take the Russian to English course, but it might be a bit frustrating!

Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jason375
Jason375
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At this rate, I think Japanese will be done before Polish

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
jairapetyan
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That would be really cool to have Japanese for English speakers. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/myuval
myuval
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Well done, thanks, I'd like to learn some Russian since there are over one million Russian speakers in my country (Israel), so I'm waiting for the Russian for English speakers course!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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So true, when I lived in Israel, I didn't even need to learn Hebrew, so easy it was to find someone speaking Russian everywhere. However I did learn it and it is a wonderful language for which I hope we'll have a Duo course one day as well.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kaet
kaet
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Me too. Being blonde and with a middle name that's Russian, I get people trying to talk Russian to me here regularly!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nik2311
nik2311
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Many congratulations. Absolutely can't wait for the Russian for English speakers, so please don't give up on us!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/proydu

добрая весть

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n.gratton
n.gratton
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Good work, well done everyone :)

I'm concerned that you wrote above "We expect that a fair amount of polish will need to be applied" - I think if you mix in Polish it will get too confusing, I'd stick with the Russian and English on this course. :-p

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

There isn't a thing that won't be improved by an addition of some Polish to it! 8)

Speaking of which, I am rooting for our Polish brothers to be the next team to ener the Beta.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n.gratton
n.gratton
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(Sorry, I couldn't resist)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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:) OK, we'll stay away from Polish, maybe some Hungarian? :-p

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Trailsponge

I just want to thank everyone that has a hand in the Duo program, I am a university Spanish student and have not seen any instruction that can match what Duo provides. Thanks again and I too look forward to the English - Russian course.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ZheGreatest

can't wait until we get to work on Russian!! :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davemapps
davemapps
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Great work guys! Indeed I am looking forward to the creation of the English to Russian course, duolingo has helped me so much with my Spanish so far it would be great to improve my Russian too. I will of course try the Russian to English course when it's ready as every little bit helps :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
Remy
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Congrats!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vedun
Vedun
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So is there any preliminary date as to when the course will be released in beta?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Obelloe
Obelloe
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what does the "localization of the course" mean?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

It refers to all of the messages, menus, instructions, navigation elements, skill tree labels etc that appear in Duolingo web and mobile applications. So that instead of "Verb: Past Perfect" a Russian user would see a more understandable "Глагол: Прошедшее Совершённое Время" instead, for example.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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Just please don't put so many capitals there! "Глагол: прошедшее совершенное время" is much better ;-)

Also, in my opinion, it would make much more sense if the tenses were called in English, so I'd vote for just "Past Perfect" or "Глагол: Past Perfect" (here the capitalization is fine as the words are not Russian).

In fact, I'd prefer tenses in all courses to be called as they are called in the languages we learn rather than in the basic language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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This is one of the many things which we need to discuss, I agree with you that we should not do capitalization of each word. And I do like your idea of leaving the lessons titles as they are and only translating the detailed description. But I'm not sure, that we'll be allowed to do that.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

Re: capitalization. Perish the thought! We're actually planning to use ALL CAPS! :P

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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Wow, that's pretty long. Are most Russian words/sentences longer than in English?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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Yes, they are, we don't shy away from long words. I even heard a theory that English-speaking children start speaking earlier because the words are shorter and there is not that much of conjugation. I don't know if it is true, though. Mostly our words are long because of multiple prefixes, suffixes and endings, which change meaning of the same root. For instance, if I left only roots from what you see above, it would be something like глаг: шед верш врем or even shorter, I'm not quite sure, as roots are not used by themselves in Russian.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo
oskalingo
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For anyone a little confused, I think by 'route' Larisa means root or the part of a word that stays constant regardless of inflection.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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yes, thank you I always mess up words which sound similar :)) At least this time I was consistent with using the same wrong spelling :) fixed it

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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Thanks Larisa. Do they take as long to pronounce as they do to write? I suppose so... I guess some could argue that this makes English more "efficient." Although @olimo posted a recording of a Russian expression and it seemed pretty fast, but the sentence looked quite long.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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The fact is that it is often the translation that makes a sentence longer. In my example, the Russian saying was very common and natural, but its translation to English was mostly descriptional and did not look like a concise piece of wit at all.

Also, of course, in some cases Russian is shorter than English, especially if the English sentence uses a lot of prepositions, auxiliary verbs and articles.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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I would say that in the conversational language, it is not much longer. But if you take an audio book, the same text in English and Russian, I would bet that Russian version would take longer to read, but I've never tried, so who knows, it is a really good question.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OzrenIlic
OzrenIlic
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This is great. I really appreciate your effort.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/argentumx
argentumx
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такое ощущение, что этот курс не английский язык для русскоговорящий, а наоборот :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Haestings
Haestings
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Amazing job yall, I cannot wait until English to Russian is completed so that I may begin learning the tongue that has so enticed me for many years!

-Spasibo

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GOMER2

Поздравляю!!!!

Молодцы, вторыми зарелизились, а как новый язык - вообще, всех обогнали

Будет интересно посмотреть

Спасибо

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

Thanks for the congratulations, but actually, I beg to differ -- although the German course was first to emerge the Incubator (and the Russian still hasn't), it was developed by Duolingo's own staff, NOT volunteers like ourselves.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GOMER2

Ну, тогда вдвойне поздравляю:)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RotBohnen
RotBohnen
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This is great work team. I look forward to the English to Russian course as well, while playing around with this course to understand how Russian constructs operate.

Sincere Thanks and Gratitude to all who've worked on this!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Franjification

Amazing job! What are the words on a English-to-Russian section? :) I've already gotten the taste of that language and I just need moooore

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/balletslippers

way to go!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nateVONgreat
nateVONgreat
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can't wait! I am having a terrible time trying to learn it on memrise.com, hopefully here it will be easier!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mollyglot
mollyglot
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I have a love/hate relationship with memrise.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nateVONgreat
nateVONgreat
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me too, the website keeps crashing, and memorization is not good enough for learning a language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimec

finally Russian!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shaho.F
Shaho.F
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Can't wait for English > Russian

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stfods
stfods
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Good job. I'd be glad to beta-test the course :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oalexee

I'd be glad to beta-test too! so excited :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rorgg
Rorgg
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Great work! Took a year of compressed Russian in college, but I've pretty much forgotten the lot of it. Can't wait for Eng->Rus to become available, and this is an important precursor.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Well done. I just have a question, although I believe most contributors are talented and competent, how exactly will the quality check be done? Will an external entity or organization, or even volunteers proofread the course content?

Users could perhaps proofread as they go through the lessons but there is no guarantee that it is their mother tongue, or they are fluent in the language. There will also be cases where the staff members do not speak the new languages in incubator, and cases where some languages are not that popular and finding proofreaders may prove to be a problem.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

There are three of us active contributors, we peer-review each other constantly. I also believe Duolingo may be planning to bring in additional people for the review in the coming days, although I don't know the details yet.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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I think we can still make mistakes. English is not our native language, but we were provided with the main English sentences for each word, we added some more while translating back from Russian, but that shouldn't be a problem. I have also spell checker on. In terms of Russian, of course we can screw it completely, theoretically. But, this is our native language, which we all know well enough, we discussed among each other all the difficult cases, and sometimes we provided alternatives which are not absolutely correct, but which are so common that they can be considered as a norm, but there were very few cases like that. In terms of punctuation, I think we have mistakes there and students will do lots of mistakes, because Russian punctuation is tricky while important and smart at the same time, but punctuation doesn't count in the lessons so it is not that bad. In any case, the idea is that people start using our lessons and then report if we have a mistake or if we do not accept a correct sentence. I expect some students to be misled by English words. For instance, in Russian office is ofice - with only one f, I'm sure some people don't remember that and would put two f-s. It may be considered a typo, I don't know, but I expect a lot of mistakes of that sort. In any case, the users will report, and we will fix whatever issues we have. I think it will be very interesting to do that, actually :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
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Indeed you can make mistakes, to err is human after all. I think a good scenario could have been for the team to consist of at least one native speaker of each language and several bilingual contributors. This way all newly added sentences could be extensively reviewed by people with different levels of proficiency.

In any event, I don't think issues such as typos like "ofice" are particularly problematic, in this day and age, dictionaries, and spell checkers are almost always a click away.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
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What would be the point to have an English native, who doesn't know Russian? Just to ask an advice? we can always do that here, but the contributers need to contribute. Also, the more people on the team the harder it becomes to discuss anything and agree on something. All those mistakes will be fixed eventually when people start using the course. You can aim at perfection, but it will cost too much effort, the marginal utility of additinal improvement comes at a greater and greater cost. So it's not worth it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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And I think there are very few true Russian-English biliguals in this world. There are some people who moved to the U.S. when they were children, but most of them were not able to preserve their Russian skills and do not know real adult language of the modern Russia, they only remember words from their childhood. On our team everyone came to the U.S. as an adult, one - more than 10 years ago, and I came only 4 years ago. In total we poses enough knowledge of English and Russian.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
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Well, I was speaking in general, some things are just hard for non-native speakers to express. I've learnt/used English since grade 4 up to university, and although I consider myself fluent, sometimes I simply can't find the right word to say something in English.

Also, I know this is a bit off-topic, but if we think of distinct dialects in Russia, or one of the dying or almost extinct languages in which there are very few or no native speakers who are bilingual and fluent. Then the native speaker can certainly create sentences in their mother tongue, but none of the native speakers may be fluent enough to create "accurate" sentences in the target language. In this scenario, a native speaker of the target language would be useful.

You should also think of the future scenarios, Duolingo expects to have courses in many source-target languages variations, finding fluent speakers of both will be a nightmare. Think of swahili ->; Indonesian, Russia -> isiZulu, aboriginal Australian to arabic..

I do understand there are issues with collaboration, but well, tradeoff are a fact of life. Indeed, this is such an interesting and complex topic that in my opinion it should/could be a subject of a research paper.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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and it probably will be, but duolingo courses for rare languages, we are yet so far from that :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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Dessamator, I can't help but post a related anecdote. One day I wanted to check my spelling in Latin, so I tried using Google Translate. You can do this as an experiment. On the left select "detect language". On the right select "English". Then type into the left box, "Errare humanum est". Enjoy the irony.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
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How was the quality check done for the original Duolingo courses that were made by 1-5 Duolingo experts? I believe we just have to trust the experts whether they are working full-time in Duolingo or participating in the Incubator, and let the course be enhanced and polished by learners and bilingual people (if there are any) who volunteer to pass the course and suggest alternative translations and corrections.

Incubator is about crowdsourcing. If Duolingo team planned to hire proofreaders for every language, they might as well hire developers for every course, and that does not scale, as Luis said.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jd3e32
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кан аи контебрте то з алфабзт

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maffia
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yeah russian would be nice

4 years ago