https://www.duolingo.com/skirhir

Why did Duolingo stop Immersion development?

skirhir
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Hi I started Spanish -> Portuguese just to find there is no immersion, and there will never be.

Luis Von Ahn repeatedly stated that they're stepping out of the translation business, but why that decision implies that no new immersions will be opened?

Does it mean that, though successful as a revenue source , immersion is/was a failed experiment as a language learning tool ?

To the people who did immersion after learning a language from scratch from Dulingo, was it worth the time?

And from the gaming point of view, how am I supposed to reach level 25 with no immersion available?

Cheers.

2 years ago

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lordpilgrim

"To the people who did immersion after learning a language from scratch from Dulingo, was it worth the time?"

Immersion is absolutely worth the time. In fact, I think the 'Immersion' aspect of Duolingo is the strongest element of Duolingo in general.

Having reached level 16 in French, I now find most of the other activities to be much too easy for me, so I am moving into doing more and more in the way of translations in 'Immersion'.

The greatest part of the exercise is that you get to see all of the other versions of translations that people have submitted for a given sentence. In some cases one translation is very obviously much better than another; but in a great number of cases, what I have discovered is that often two different translations work equally well for a given sentence and it simply comes down to a matter of personal/stylistic choice as to which translation any one person will choose as the better one.

I think it would be unfortunate if Duolingo dropped the 'Immersion' exercises.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj
finndj
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If you strengthen un-strengthened skills every day, using timed practice, you will eventually find yourself at level 25. It will take a while, but you will get there. I am currently doing the same for Swedish, and whilst it takes a while, I know that I will get there.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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Is there actually reason to believe that Immersion was successful as a revenue source? I thought it wasn't, as it attracted relatively few customers.

As I understand it, Immersion requires resources just to maintain - server space, troubleshooting glitches, dealing with interpersonal whatever. Obviously, it requires even more resources to set up. Unless there is some compelling reason to institute it for new languages - such as the A/B test which seems to be currently ongoing showing really good results and/or good retention rates for people with Immersion - it's probably not worth Duolingo's while. In fact, there are now recurring rumors that Duolingo will drop Immersion even for the languages that already have it.

I think that's very unfortunate. I like Immersion and it's the only thing Duolingo really has to offer to people who have reached, say, at least a low intermediate level. Lots of people don't like it though. (See above-mentioned interpersonal whatever.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skirhir
skirhir
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Is there actually reason to believe that Immersion was successful as a revenue source? I thought it wasn't, as it attracted relatively few customers.

It might just be PR, but...

https://www.quora.com/Why-has-Duolingo-moved-from-translation-to-certification-for-monetizing

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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That's what I thought of when I read this question.

Copied here:

Initially, our business model was based on crowdsourcing. Companies such as Buzzfeed and CNN uploaded news stories that users then had the option of translating as a way to strengthen the skills they learned on Duolingo. We would then return the translated documents to e.g. CNN, and they’d pay us for having translated their content (here’s my TED talk on this idea).

It was very clever, but since then, we’ve decided not to scale the translations business further. The main reason is that our aim is to be an education, not a translations company, and we realized that if we kept going in the direction we were going in, we’d eventually morph into a translations company because that’s where the funds were coming from.

Therefore, we decided to develop a profitable product that was far more in line with our mission: English language certification. During the first couple of years of Duolingo, thousands of users wrote to us saying they were thankful for the opportunity to learn English for free, but that to prove that they speak English they had to take a standardized test like the TOEFL or IELTS. These tests are required to be accepted to universities, or to get jobs at international corporations in non-English-speaking countries. The tests are unfortunately extremely expensive (about $200-$250, or the equivalent of a month's salary in many developing countries) and require commuting to inconvenient locations (for testing centers), as well as waiting for weeks or months for results.

We launched the Duolingo Test Center in response to this, a way for anyone to certify language proficiency from anywhere, and for only $20. The test only takes 20 minutes and is available on the web, Android, and iOS. To prevent cheating, since we don’t require people to go to a testing center, the Duolingo test is remotely proctored – we record the test taking experience by accessing the device's camera, microphone and screen during the test.

The Duolingo English Test is increasingly accepted by prestigious universities and companies around the world, including some departments of Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, the Max Planck Institute in Germany, and Uber (for drivers in other countries to prove they can speak English).

(bold emphasis is mine)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ayane
Ayane
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I hope Duo doesn't decide to take Immersion away from the languages that have it. Real-world translations have helped in my personal language-learning journey, as I find many of the sentences used in the practices irrelevant or nonsensical (to me).

I'd like to see Immersion continue, perhaps in a slightly different vein - translating news articles/ literature (public domain)/ wiki (or similar) articles, with the possible addition of song lyrics. Every language has songs, and learning to music not only motivates but assists in the retention of the lesson/s.

I think if Duo does away with Immersion, I may have to find a new language-learning home. I hope it doesn't come to that.

2 years ago
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