Weekly Incubator Update: Tracking Progress from December 6th to December 13th

Early Christmas presents
Two courses are out in beta, one each for English and Turkish speakers! If we are lucky, we might have two more before Christmas, one for Russian and one for Chinese speakers. But then we will say that this year's Santa really wants to learn Spanish on Duolingo. Both of these will be teaching Spanish!

Polish goes beta!
The much awaited Polish course is now in Beta! Congratulations to the course team and to Team Duo!

Another beta in this late edition
The German for Turkish course too has started its beta phase today! Congratulations to the course team and to Team Duo!

Thought for the week
Two beta launches in two days!

PHASE 1 Progress: Total 29 courses

Polish for English - 100% | 100% | 99% | Beta

German for Turkish - 99% | 99% | 98% | Beta (Monday)

Spanish for Russian - 94% | 95% | 94% | 96% (+2) +1 (97%) Monday

Spanish for Chinese - 84% | 87% | 92% | 95% (+3)

English for Thai  - 90% | 90% | 89% | 90% (+1)

Vietnamese for English - 92% | 77% | 87% | 90% (+3)

French for Arabic - 66% | 71% | 76% | 83% (+7) +1 (84%) Monday

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

Welsh for English - 65% | 70% | 75% | 80% (+5) ^

German for Italian - 77% | 78% | 77% | 79% (+2)

French for Russian - 50% | 50% | 68% | 76% (+8) * +1 (77%) Monday

Hebrew for English - 71% | 75% | 71% | 71% (+0) +1 (72%) Monday

Spanish for Italian - 67% | 67% | 66% | 68% (+2)

Romanian for English - 61% | 65% | 64% | 67% (+3)

Swedish for Russian - 57% | 59% | 58% | 59% (+1)

Swedish for Arabic - 49% | 51% | 54% | 56% (+2)

German for Arabic - 41% | 42% | 41% | 43% (+2)

French for Turkish - 39% | 39% | 38% | 39% (+1)

Russian for Turkish - 37% | 38% | 37% | 38% (+1) +1 (39%) Monday

Italian for Portuguese - 30% | 33% | 34% | 36% (+2)

Greek for English - 34% | 31% | 26% | 29% (+3)

Czech for English - 24% | 25% | 26% | 26% (+0) ^

Hindi for English - 22% | 22% | 22% | 22% (+0) ^

Esperanto for Spanish - 14% | 17% | 22% | 21% (-1) -1 (20%) Monday

Klingon for English - 20% | 20% | 20% | 20% (+0) +1 (21%) Monday

Portuguese for French - 19% | 19% | 19% | 19% (+0)

Guarani for Spanish - 12% | 13% | 14% | 18% (+4) +1 (19%) Monday

Swahili for English - 5% | 5% | 15% | 15% (+0) ^

French for Chinese - 9% | 9% | 9% | 9% (+0)

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

Indonesian for English - (New) 0% | 0% (+0)

Mean - 1.42% | 0.63% | 1.42% | 1.65% (+0.23)
Median - 0% | 1% | 0% | 1% (+1)

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

Progress Visualized:

Here's what the contributing teams have said during the last week:
(For Phase-1 and Phase-2 courses by default, and for Phase-3 courses per request).

doktorkampi from Team CA from ES wrote one week ago:


¡Ya somos más de 10000! Muchas gracias por todo vuestro apoyo y todos los comentarios que nos estáis haciendo. Eso nos está ayudando a mejorar poco a poco el curso. Con vuestra ayuda intentaremos sacar el curso de la fase Beta, pero todavía nos queda.

Seguid mandándonos vuestros comentarios, avisos sobre fallos y propuestas de mejora.

No afluixem!

toOliya from Team SV fro RU wrote 5 days ago:

Новые рубежи, новые навыки!

Дорогие друзья и любители шведского!

Шаг за шагом наш курс продвигается вперед, и вот мы уже переступили третий рубеж - на нашем дереве уже 43 золотых навыка!

Хотя наш прогресс в процентах и не так бросается в глаза, за это время мы значительно нарастили количество предлагаемых навыков, добавили много новых слов и перестроили структуру нашего дерева.

Мы по-прежнему в деталях обсуждаем тонкости шведского языка, и внимательно подбираем наиболее подходящие способы объяснить их нашим русскоговорящим пользователям.

Summary in English: we've reached our third checkpoint and considerably grown our tree. We are still working on customizing our course specifically for Russian speakers.

alukasiak from Team Polish wrote 4 days ago:

Welcome to the Polish for English course!

Some of you may have thought that this moment would never come.

But it's happening: you can now use Duolingo to learn Polish.

The course has just entered Phase 2 (Beta). This means that, although the tree is complete, there may still be some rough edges that we will have to smoothen out. Please bear with us and use the report function to tell us about anything that might need fixing or improving - missing translations and hints, unnatural sentences or unintelligible audio. All kinds of feedback are greatly appreciated. Of course, we will be there to help you out. Feel free to use our Discussion forums to ask questions or simply talk about your experience with learning Polish.

We would like to thank you for your patience.

Thanks to all those who supported us and believed in us during this long journey. We did everything we could to release the course as soon as possible without sacrificing its quality. But this is not the end. We are aware that there are still some aspects that we have to work on to make the course as effective and enjoyable as it is possible. We are going add Tips & Notes to more skills during the Beta as well as consider your feedback to improve the learning experience.

Thanks to everyone who made this possible - above all, to current and former contributors and the entire Duolingo team. Great job!

There is no better reward for your effort than knowing that people from all around the world can now learn this wonderful language for free.

Dziękujemy! Team Polish

MasyhurHil from Team Indonesian wrote 2 days ago:

Sekapur sirih

We are finally open for construction! I know it has been six months after we said it was our next goal when the EN<-ID course graduated from beta, but we hope you'll stay patient with us. This is a massive undertaking and we want to plan the course really carefully.

Unsurprisingly, there aren't a lot of literature available out there that we can use as a comparison in teaching Indonesian. So, yeah, I think we will have a really good time figuring out the best way to solve this challenge. We are currently reviewing the literature for this. If you know of a good material to teach Indonesian systematically, you can leave us a tip here.

But why should we keep all the fun to ourselves? When the course was open for construction we also gained access to all the backlogged applications from a year ago, which puts the total at 350 today. If you are a fluent Indonesian and English speaker, why not try applying to be part of our team? We are thinking to expand the team when we hit the first milestone of phase 1. Now is a good time to apply!

Here are a couple of tips when you are applying (I'm taking cues from the Dutch team for this).

Application Do's:

  1. Try to make your application stand out. Why are you the one we want? What will you add?
  2. Tell us about your linguistic background. How well do you know English and Indonesian? Flaunting your expertise, certificates, and achievements is okay!
  3. Describe your professional experience (in translation/in teaching/in interpretation...), if applicable.
  4. Let us know why you want to be on the team. :)

Super advice!: Keep your Duolingo streak up! Consistency is key. Be helpful and/or active in our forums!

Application Dont's:

  1. Do not write an application shorter than 5 lines.
  2. Do not submit an application with typos, grammar and spelling mistakes (double-check!).
  3. Do not apply via the contributors' streams. Apply via the incubator website. We'll look at your application then.


nueby from Team Czech wrote 2 days ago:

Week 23

530 words, 26.5%.

Yeah, 10 words in a week would not mean much for those Phase 1 courses where they enter only one or two translations for each sentence. I just finished entering 2,970 Czech translations for We like milk, and so we drink it often. Duo's current limit is 3,000, so here is the explanation for those looking for more meat in the exercises. It won't happen if the English-Spanish vintage constraints remain.

SebastianMolin from Team Romanian wrote yesterday:

Alpha Tester Recruitment!

Hello Everybody!

We are thrilled to announce that we are now looking for an Alpha Tester to join our team!

FAQ regarding Alpha Testers

What is an Alpha Tester?
An Alpha Tester is a member of the team that does not speak the language being taught, and tests the course from the perspective of a complete beginner.

What does it take to become an Alpha Tester?
It takes a lot of effort to be an Alpha Tester.
It’s a task that incorporates hours upon hours of hard work and dedication to test out skills, lessons, sentences, etc.
Along with the fact that the course does not have a TTS (Text To Speech) as of yet, the Alpha Tester will have to take each sentence into an alternative TTS in order to hear the sentence being spoken.

Do I want to be an Alpha Tester?
An Alpha Testers job at times can get pretty complicated so make sure that you are sure that you really want to do this.
Giving feedback on sentences is also crucial.
This would mean that you would have to voice out your opinion and thoughts on specific parts of the course in order for us to find ways to improve. It would benefit you to have previous Incubator experience but essentially we all must start somewhere. How do I apply to be an Alpha Tester?
Click here to apply to become an Alpha Tester. Send an application and write both parts in English.

We are also thrilled to announce that we have a new course description! Some of you brought the fact that the previous description was not adequate enough. We thought the same, and after a short time of drafting different ideas, there is a new one!

rmcode from Team Welsh wrote yesterday:

Continuing Progress

We're up another 5% this week in terms of content.

There is still mountains of work to do to finish the course, eg writing notes, correcting translations, hopefully adding picture questions and testing the course for consistency.

Over the coming weeks we're hoping to re-integrate some of the team members who have had too much in their personal lives to be involved recently.

Cerddwn ymlaen!

Tîm Cymraeg

fotiosgaridis from Team Greek wrote 7 hours ago:

The Greek course page is out now!

We're happy to announce that the Greek course page is ready.

Thanks to the Duolingo Community Team for the good work!

jitengore from Team Hindi wrote just now:

Week 27: 22% complete, beta launch delayed

No change in status :(

This week's star update award is a three way tie between the Polish, the Romanian, and the Indonesian teams! The Indonesian team has gracefully acknowledged the work of the Dutch team and as a reminder, the latter had posted a similar update in the pre "Star Update Award" era :)

Two courses - Polish, and German for Turkish courses are now in beta! Several courses have been chugging along and now the median is back at 'one'.

p.s. Thanks for several of you who have asked about my well-being. I am doing well, just been busy at work. I too have missed my regular Sunday morning routine. But it is always better late than never! Enjoy this late edition of this week's update.

The next update is expected on Sunday, 20th of December at 4:00 pm UTC.

Previous Update 29-Nov to 6-Dec

Last updates from: 2015: Nov, Oct, Sep, Aug, Jul, Jun, May, Apr, Mar, Feb, Jan.

December 15, 2015


Greek is finally on the course page! Yay!

December 15, 2015

can't wait for this!

December 15, 2015

Me too!

December 17, 2015
<h1>Well done, Team Poland!</h1>

Team Welsh, you're next ;)

December 15, 2015

By the way, the course of Russian is now available on mobile devices. At least, I can confirm that it works on iPads.

December 15, 2015

Yes!! Thanks for the notification! :)

December 15, 2015

It isn't on my kindle fire yet. But they have been much better about updates lately so hopefully it will appear soon.

December 15, 2015

Just updated today! It works great on my iPhone!!!

December 16, 2015

That's great! Except that the Android app is still reporting that it's unavailable, and there aren't currently any updates available. (not that I let that stop me, the workaround I've been using take my Russian lessons in it still works. :-) )

December 17, 2015

Update: as of today (2015-12-18) A new version of the Android app is available in the Google Play store (version 3.14.2) and Russian is now offered in the app. :-)

December 18, 2015

Apparently Polish is also. :-)

December 18, 2015


December 16, 2015

Go Greek! Progress is happening and I can't wait until it finally goes into beta! :D It also finally has a course page. :'>

December 15, 2015

Come on team Welsh! I am so ready to learn the language of my first ancestors to set foot on USA soil! Your speed and persistence is amazing!

December 15, 2015

Can't wait for Welsh!

December 15, 2015

[deactivated user]

    Cheering for Greek and a bit desperately for Hindi :(

    December 15, 2015

    Enjoy this in the meantime Chutney baby (Guyanese version):

    December 15, 2015

    THANKS! Amazing! I am so psyched for Hindi! (Vietnamese too :)

    यहाँ आप के लिए एक lingot है

    December 15, 2015

    [deactivated user]

      Haha awesome thank you!

      December 15, 2015

      Thank you! First thought: "Hooray for Polish!" Second thought: "Hooray for German for Turkish!" Third: "French for Arabic and Russian speakers are making huge progress, wow!" Fourth: "Why don't I have enough time to be a Romanian Alpha Tester?"

      December 15, 2015

      Klingon is on the move again!

      December 15, 2015

      I'm shocked. Although it's not very important, I still find Klingon fascinating.

      December 15, 2015

      Thanks for all the updates, Jiten, and so glad it's busy-ness and nothing more serious in the way of delays!

      December 15, 2015

      Come on Hindi.

      Are you still accepting Hindi applications? I'd love to contribute. Native speaker here.

      December 15, 2015

      Yes, we periodically scan the applications. Please do apply.

      To all applicants: our criteria is very similar to what the Indonesian team has set forth.

      December 15, 2015

      Has the Guarani course been called Guarani (Jopará) for long?

      December 15, 2015

      For just about a week, I think.

      December 15, 2015

      Can someone explain the + something % Monday to me? So is Spanish for Russian on 97% now, or 96% (and was 95% on Sunday evening)? Also what percentages are French for Arabic; French for Russian; Hebrew for English; Russian for Turkish; Esperanto for Spanish; Klingon for English and Guarani for Spanish now on?

      December 15, 2015

      Great question! More details added in the table now.

      December 15, 2015

      Also, who gets the Star Update Award this week? In my opinion, I think it should be the Indonesian team, since they gave an outline for applications, not just for Indonesian, but for other courses too.

      December 15, 2015

      Thanks for reminding! Lingots for you in gratitude.

      This week's star update award is a three way tie between the Polish, the Romanian, and the Indonesian teams! The Indonesian team has gracefully acknowledged the work of the Dutch team and as a reminder, the latter had posted a similar update in the pre "Star Update Award" era :)

      December 15, 2015

      Now I even know who the culprit was! :-)

      December 15, 2015

      One can only guess :)

      December 15, 2015

      It's a pretty good guess. :-)

      December 15, 2015

      Or Romanian, their's is pretty good too. :-)

      Edit: So this is where the mysterious new lingots came from! :-)

      December 15, 2015

      No, to kto chce się nauczyć polskiego? So, who want to learn Polish?

      December 15, 2015

      Already onto it :) Polish always scared me, with that spelling system... But I'm finding it easier than I thought. Helps that I can already speak some Russian, so I can guess a lot of vocab.

      December 15, 2015

      The spelling might be annoying, but it's not French or Chinese ;) Yes, when you speak one Slavic language the other ones are way easier :D I know because I'm learning Ukrainian here on Duolingo ;)

      December 16, 2015

      French spelling is easier than Polish, imo. But knowing Cyrillic has really helped me, because I can compare so many of the strange things with a Cyrillic letter that I know. :-)

      December 16, 2015

      So French spelling is easy? I don't speak French, but some names and other things like that are totally impossibe to read or remember for me :/ Nice that you found a solution for Polish spelling :)

      December 16, 2015

      Easy for me, anyway. :-) Not everyone will find it easy, I suppose. :-)

      December 16, 2015

      Polish spelling is more regular than French. It's just got an unusual set of sounds. French spelling isn't that hard though, just not very beginner-friendly.

      As said elsewhere, Polish spelling used to intimidate me a bit, but I'm actually finding it ok now I've been playing around with it on DL.

      But weird orthographies don't generally scare me - I teach both French and Chinese by day...

      December 16, 2015

      I used to be scared to death of Polish spelling. :-) Word like dziewczynka were horrible. But now that I've mostly got it down it's not too bad. :-)

      December 17, 2015

      Good to see vietnamese back on track. Not many months left, I hope!

      December 17, 2015

      Come on, Spanish for Italian. You can do it. One foot in front of the other.

      December 15, 2015

      It's really amazing how many languages you can already learn with duolingo and so much more to come.. :-)

      December 16, 2015

      I found this post from Z.Shan, a contributor of the English for Chinese course, last week:

      Wow, time really flies, doesn't it? Our course has already been in beta for more than one year and a half! Here are the answers to some of your questions: The course is doing well, much better than when we first got out of Phase 1. The current number of reports per 100 users is fluctuating between 3 and 5. It has been like this for more than half a year already. (For your reference, courses only graduate from beta when the number drops below 3 and stay below 3 for a sufficient amount of time.) We haven't started building or planning the reverse course yet, which I know is a pity to hear. I myself is very bummed reckoning that the reverse course is not happening anytime soon.

      As soon as anything new happens, we will put up an announcement on our course page in the incubator for sure. Thank you!

      2015.12.03 EST

      I am sad to hear that the reverse course will still take a while. I hope they can do what the Korean team did and get some extra manpower to get those numbers down.

      December 16, 2015

      Luis von Ahn gets asked about the big C, J and K all the time. Apparently the biggest problem is working out how to do the input method for people learning the script from scratch.

      In the meantime, I can recommend the free app "ChineseSkill" if you have a smartphone...

      December 16, 2015

      I don't see how that would be the reason. After all Hindi is in the incubator and Korean has a syllabic alphabet just like Hindi. I think the problem is that Chinese, Japanese and Korean are so different on a grammatical level, that translating (which is the basis for duolingo) is very difficult. Which is the reason why English for Chinese and Japanese are still in beta, and it took for forever for English for Korean to graduate.

      December 18, 2015

      It's definitely the reason - LvA has stated so himself.

      But that aside - from a technical standpoint, the Korean writing system is nothing at all like that of Hindi, and neither of them use a syllabary anyway.

      Hindi uses Devanagari, which is an abugida (not a syllabary), meaning the basic letters only mark consonants, then you add extra bits to signify vowels beyond the default one.

      Korean Hangul is technically a full alphabet (ie all vowels and consonants are separate components) but uses a really unique way of stacking them so they fit into grids similar to what you would write Chinese in.

      Both throw up input problems, but Devanagari is easier for them to deal with. That said, Korean is still easer from that point of view that J or C.

      December 18, 2015

      Thank you so much, Jiten. :D

      December 18, 2015

      Wait, Klingon moved by one percent? After months of silence? Please tell me this is true.

      December 16, 2015

      Klingon moves up a percent every month or two.

      December 17, 2015

      It's true, but this happens once in a while. It would be great if they continue their progress.

      December 17, 2015

      Thank you for doing this. I'm happy to see these updates about the courses.

      December 18, 2015

      Yiddish team slacking off :( What happened?

      December 17, 2015

      The Yiddish team has been dead for months

      December 17, 2015

      gurrr Duolingo should either get a defibrilator or get a new Yiddish team

      December 17, 2015
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