https://www.duolingo.com/Luis

A New Speed Record: Learning English from Dutch is Now Available in Beta!

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As of a few minutes ago, the course for learning English from Dutch is now available in beta on our website. In all, it took the team 52 days to complete, which constitutes a new speed record! (I should mention that the Russian team, which finished in 58 days, did have to bear with some parts of the Incubator not yet being done at the time.)

Esmeralda Bon (Lavinae), Tycho Luyken (kirlll), Kai Engle (kaiengle), and Nathalie van Basten Batenburg (Rhynn), or "The Amazing Dutch" as we refer to them internally, did a great job from the beginning and actually exceeded our estimates of when they'd be done -- we had estimated a completion date of December 28th, so we had to get some people out of vacation to be able to release their course without delay today, one day before Christmas Eve.

Soon after the new year, we will let them start building the course to learn Dutch from English, which they've been asking us about frequently. Also, we have two other courses that should be finishing very soon: English from Turkish and English from Hungarian.

This is my second and last post of the day from an undisclosed remote island :)

December 23, 2013

111 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jbailey88
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"Soon after the new year, we will let them start building the course to learn Dutch from English, which they've been asking us about frequently."

Yes!

December 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CapK9
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I'm so eager to learn dutch!

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AMBreuning
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Haha, as a dutch person, this is incomprehensible to me, Dutch is fun, but so useless since most Dutch people speak english quite well. Not to mention that there aren't even a lot of Dutch people in the world. I think you're better off learning German. I'm surprised, yet flattered.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Lavinae
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I think learning a language is always useful, if not only because of the intellectual boost and fun it gives you.

Yes, sometimes it might not be necessary to learn Dutch. However, you won't really understand a culture without knowing its language. Furthermore, if you're living abroad in the Netherlands, knowing a bit of Dutch can really help you out (dealing with bureaucratic issues f.i.). In addition, if part of your family is Dutch, you might want to learn some Dutch as well, out of interest or need to communicate. Lastly, though it is true that most Dutch people speak English, not all do (sufficiently).

German is a very useful language, I agree. But there are so many reasons why knowing the Dutch language may matter too! :)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CapK9
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Well, one of my goals in life is to become a polygloth, and dutch is one of the languages in my list. Even though I don't have a specific reason to learn it. As a brazilian, I want to start this "polyglot project" with all of the languages that belongs to the countries that were involved in the America's colonization (spanish, english, dutch and french) but I want to learn italian, german, russian, romanian, japanese, chinese and korean as well! (this is a life project, do not judge me! haha ._.) Learning languages is just something that I love to do, not an obligation, I'll be pleasured to study dutch :) as Lavinae just said: "I think learning a language is always useful, if not only because of the intellectual boost and fun it gives you."

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Elen-ka
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get a Lingot! And good luck with your mission :)

January 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankySka
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I want to learn Dutch! I grew up in Germany an hour away from the boarder to the Netherlands. Whenever I am in the Netherlands people speak German with me - not even English which I could live with because it is the international means of communication - but they speak German! I feel so rude not knowing any Dutch at all (well apart from 'thank you' maybe) when visiting my neighbors :)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
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I actually know this quite well, I grew up abroad and there were always many Dutch kids at my schools, and I met many Dutch people on my travels and they always spoke perfect English, I met people that I just assumed were Anglo, and they shocked me by revealing their Dutch roots. but that isn't really demotivational. I still felt left out when they started talking to one another.

If I'm in the Netherlands, what If I want to read a paper, or just find my way around easy? What if I want to know what people are talking about, without them having to pander to me? What if I just want to be polite? What if I just like the sound of it?

Also, as an unofficial bridge between English and German, it's actually very comforting to know there is something closer to my language when I am trying to study German. I can point to something I have difficulty with and say "well.... nyaah! The Dutch seem to get by fine without that!". It's fun :) . I like Swiss German for similar reasons, its existence proves that not everything has to follow the one true Hochdeutsch way any more than we English have to talk like Prince Charles.

I don't think you should sell your language short, it's a lot more worldly than you probably think, if you really imagine it is useless.

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Inglor

Well... I, for one, speak reasonably good English and I've been learning German for some time now. And I feel like learning Dutch a little. Why?

Because a week ago I listened to a song from Flanders (te Smidje), when I actually realized that I can understand quite a lot of it, based on the knowledge of EN and DE.

With this kind of edge, it might make sense to refine this crude passive knowledge into something more precise. It shouldn't be nearly as hard as learning a new language of a completely different character (such as Romance languages, where I have no previous knowledge to lean on).

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kletskoekk
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The children and grandchildren of Dutch immigrants often want to learn Dutch to connect to their heritage and to make trips home easier. In addition, museums outside of Amsterdam often don't have much translated and the staff don't necessarily speak great English.

February 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Marthyn
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I thought i spoke English really well but still decided to try this course out. And i found out there is still a lot i can learn. It's not only for learning a new language, you can just keep your skills up-to-date!

January 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Knoxienne
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I love the way Dutch sounds. When I first heard it, it was too harsh sounding for me, but we met some Dutch friends and upon studying it a bit, I began to enjoy it. Really looking forward to learning it.

April 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/juchilingo
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amazing!!!!

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/EinStudent

Indeed--this is great news! My parent's had friends in Belgium years ago, and have just recently gotten in touch with them. I would very like to be able to communicate with them in their country's language.. :)

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/araparseghian
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I've heard that Dutch doesn't haves cases like German, is that true? If so I'll probably complete the Dutch tree in half the time it took me to complete the German tree.

Also, will Russian from English come out around the same time as Dutch from English?

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DRSarahharas
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no cases in Dutch but some people have problems with verb endings (d, t, or dt). But once you know the rules it's really easy. Well, I think it's really easy. :)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/araparseghian
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Thank god. Verb endings have never given me problems, but I've been kicking myself trying to remember all the declensions for every German case.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

Awesome! Thanks Esmeralda Bon, Tycho Luyken, Kai Engle and Nathalie van Basten Batenburg! Germanic languages ftw.

December 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
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My pleasure! It was a great exprience and I'm glad to have been able to help spread not only the gift of free language learning to Dutch speakers but also another language to the Duolingo community :)

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Rhynn
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You're welcome ;) Enjoy and good luck!

December 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Lavinae
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Graag gedaan (: and ftw for sure! ^^

December 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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Formidabel!

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kirlll
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It is our pleasure! Exciting times, enjoy all! =) ASCII Duo says: <(o.o)> Whoot!

December 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
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This is awesome! Especially since I was born in Belgium, but don't speak any Dutch. That's soon to change!

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

Viel Glück!

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
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Vielen Dank!

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/LisaLucas

no way! that was INCREDIBLY fast! great work

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
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Any Asian languages seen to come soon? By Asian I mean everything between Farsi and Japanese, not just the far Eastern stuff. I check the incubator all the time but that stuff still always seems to sneak up on me!

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/PeelOfShame
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I think all of us have our particular languages we'd like to see appear - it just really depends on having enough bilingual folks here in the community who are prepared to dedicate the time to build it...

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/EmpressW

I really wanna learn Korean, some kids in my class speak it and it sounds really pretty.

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lolaphilologist
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Fantastic! Gefeliciteerd!

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Goim
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Here, take my lingot for your streak and languagelevels o.O

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lolaphilologist
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You are sweet- I give you a lingot too <3 (a totally different, shiny lingot)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/S0R0USH
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Holy mother of level 25's! I will also give you lingot.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lolaphilologist
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It's a Lingot exchange of happiness <3

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/tonywangtj
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I am sure it won't take long before you master a new language here in Duolingo.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lolaphilologist
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I'm fairly certain I'm going to have to be more choosy soon- the incubator means I can't have all the languages AND practice every day, at least after they break 10 or so.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
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How do you do so much every day anyway?

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/stwel
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Yeah, I'm curious about that too. My wife already thinks I'm spending way too much time on this :-) Anyway, respect! I guess you can start looking out for Russian and Chinese? I know I am :-)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
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Why, how much do you do? No, I'm not very excited about any new languages, I'm still dealing with the ones here :)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/stwel
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I don't spend that much time I think, especially compared to some others here, but you know how wives can sometimes exaggerate :-) I'm excited about Chinese and Russian because I already know Chinese (my wife is Chinese) and Russian might be useful when we have a stopover in Moscow on our trips to China :-). So far I only know the alphabet and some simple words.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lolaphilologist
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My husband is both admiring and a little jealous of my duolingo routine. But yeah, Russian, Chinese and Arabic I would definitely make time for, but with the language explosion that's about to happen, I don't think studying all the languages at once is a reasonable goal any more. Particularly since I'm 6 months pregnant and in graduate school.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lolaphilologist
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I have a daily minimum (10 points per language) and I usually do more than that, but I do at least that even if I'm traveling.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
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How. On. This. Earth! Do. You. Being 6 months pregnant! And in graduate school!! Get. 11,500 points!!! This!!!! Month!!!!! (btw, does your husband do Duolingo? What do you work?)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lolaphilologist
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@ S7D I work in a university library, the best place to work if you are clinically curious. Duolingo is my favorite downtime activity. My husband does it sometimes, but not all that often. @ stwel thank you- I probably should study more. Now if Duolingo added python and other programming languages, that would be cool, however that's what codecademy is for.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/stwel
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Congratulations with your pregnancy! And combining that with graduate school and a heavy Duolingo addiction :-) Very admirable!

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/irrae
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Awesome! Thanks everyone. My mom speaks dutch, maybe I can ask her to help test the course. :)

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/liamtbrand
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Umm, the course says "Ik wil leren Engels" but shouldn't it be better to say "Ik wil Engels leren".. Maybe its just me but I think it sounds weird saying Ik wil leren Engels...

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
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Thanks, we're already aware that it's wrong and will have it fixed soon.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/liamtbrand
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Ok haha, I just saw that and was like: Wut.. o.O

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
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Well I believe that the problem was that the localization string was "I want to learn..." and one of us translated it as "Ik wil leren..." after which I guess the language name was to be added. There wasn't any way to do "Ik wil .... leren"

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/liamtbrand
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I'm not sure that it is because the string for German is in the correct order.. So I don't think its just appending the name of the language to the end of the string "Ik wil leren".. Either each option has its own variable somewhere or it is substituting the name of the language into the string by replacing a matching substring.. eg "Ik wil leren $ENGLISH" but this would still require someone to enter the tag to be replaced with the language name.. Not sure how else it might be done.. Probably best to ask the guy/gal who wrote it haha.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Lenkvist
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The strings for German used to be "Lernen will ich Englisch" and "Ich will folgende Sprache lernen Englisch".

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/liamtbrand
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Maybe it defaults to a certain string then? It's rather strange though as I would have though it would be better to enter it via the incubator rather than fixing on the code side of things.. (or maybe they haven't implemented this yet? idk) - Either way they need to fix this as its annoying.. I'm a bit CDO (its in alphabetical order :P )

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Christine1999

52 days... that's crazy. Sorry, I wanted to say - THAT'S AWESOME!!! Problems of vacation... come on these amazing people are ready with their work a day BEFORE the estimated date! Congrats, Dutch team!

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MaxdeBoer

Goed bezig team Nederland! Ga zo door! (Great work team Netherlands! Keep on going!)

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/stefott
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Klaar :) (Finished it :) )

The team has done a great job finishing the course so quickly. I've taken all the short cuts and most of the time when my answer wasn't accepted it was due to me writing English words where Dutch ones were required, e.g. 'that' instead of 'dat', or 'I' instead of 'ik'. I guess I'm just too used to use English here :) . Only a few times I've failed a shortcut when something correct wasn't accepted (which I of course reported), so well done :) .

I like the message you get when you finish a lesson with zero hearts left: 'Oehoe! Je bent gefinished met nul hartjes', 'Oehoe' being Dutch for the Eurasian Eagle-Owl https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Eagle-Owl

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf
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"Eurasian Eagle-Owl! You finished with zero hearts left!"

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

That sounds so weird, lol.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Samy1979
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C'est ça! Just use Bubo bubo, that is also international. In German it is Uhu, like the call of the bird. Bubo bubo, it also according of the birdcall.

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Lavinae
Mod
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Thanks for the feedback! It's great to know that the shortcuts do work to some extent and that the course is finishable :)

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mptmpt
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Very exiting news, but now that the new language courses are out for test I think it is time to start thinking about a better way to switch from one to the other. Soon the language menu will be 3 pages long, and it will be hard to switch. One idea is to have a shorter menu with 3-5 recent courses, just for quick reference.

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Anfermarsan

I am like super excited right now!

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sommerlied
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Amazing! Thank you so much! Now take your well deserved rest everyone :)

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/PuntoH
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You are all philanthropists.

Thank you guys for being so amazing !!

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/b.gomez555

Congrats :)

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Gephura
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I'm an English teacher in Belgium and will use this course in my lessons. Thanks Dutch Duolingo team.

Small question: will it be possible in the future to add "Learn English from Dutch" to the dashboard of the other languages you're learning (maybe when it graduates from beta?). I'm also learning a bunch of other languages and it would be cool to see the score of English added to my total score :).

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/stwel
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Awesome! Thanks so much! Looking forward to testing it tonight!

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/LiamRowe
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I love these people :D

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/HerrArbo
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Oooooh.... Is Russian from English in the pipeline?

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/aquage
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I must say, you guys have awesome names! I can't wait for the english to dutch course as I hope to one day apply for citizenship!

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alberebecchi

I'm really craving that Dutch from English course :)

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/legolego

People that are able to speak more than one language will benefit a lot.... the time spent definitely paid off.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Krahi
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OMG..i can't wait for reverse courses.I'm glad Hungarian is near finish,but real prize will be Hungarian for English speakers. Keep up the good work.We appreciate effort of every single team.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Levi
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@Krahi : I also expect reverse courses. And I'm happy for the Hungarian language/course, since that's my mother tongue.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Tekevwe
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Wooo well done guys!!! :D

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MissPsychoB

It would be amaaaaaazing if we could some day get the option to learn Hungarian from English too! This website/app has done absolute wonders for my motivation and progress in learning German, and I figure it would do the same for Hungarian, which is even more difficult to learn and maintain. I might actually even be willing to pay money for that. Come on guys, hook me up, I need help in reaching my 7 language goal. ;)

Serbian (native) English (native level) German (intermediate) Slovenian (intermediate) Hungarian (beginner) Italian (beginner) Swedish/Spanish/French/something else (plan to study in the future)

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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There seems to be a bug that put me at level 14 when I started the English-Dutch course (I didn't test out of anything). This also happens to be the level I'm at in the English-German course.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/liamtbrand
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I have the same thing for the english for french course... Maybe they are intentionally only having one language, and whatever language you learn from, the points go to the one end language.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/qaa2
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You can switch between the two languages: 1) click the flag, then 2) more, then 3) change 'learning ....l' and accept.

So you can learn starting from different languages at the same time. Its convoluted .... but possible!

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/liamtbrand
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Yep, it kinda makes sense as you would probably want your overall level of english (or whatever language) to be displayed rather than each language you learn from have a different english level with multiple englishes showing on your profile..

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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I don't think that's the case. I'm now at level 14 in English-German and 15 in English-Dutch.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/liamtbrand
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Really? That's weird then.. They need to fix that haha

EDIT: all my points are still going to the seemingly one english.. Do you have the new gui? - Maybe that could affect it.. (and just checking, you are looking at the right flag thing right? Because your German-English is lvl 14)

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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You're right. I was looking at German-English. Thanks. Sorry about the confusion. I have too many things going on. ;)

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthurva
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Once I go to "English for Dutch speakers" can I still continue learning Spanish from English as I currently do? How do I do that?

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/stecchetto
Plus
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Yes, just switch back using the same drop-down box in the settings.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/caselthor
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How long before we can choose from these new languages inside the app though? Just wondering.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Selcen_Ozturk
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It takes typically about a month

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TimKeegstra
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In the choosing a language section it should say "I want to learn Dutch" however, the order of words is incorrect, it should be "Ik wil Engels leren" instead of "Ik wil leren Engels". The latter sound like saying "I want Dutch to learn"

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Lavinae
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Thanks for reporting it :) We are aware of this and getting it fixed.

In the meanwhile, if there are any other interface issues, bad translations on the website, you can also post them in the Dutch forum. There is a thread just for reports like this: "Interface problems - report them here! / Interfaceproblemen - rapporteer ze hier!"

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TimKeegstra
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Ah thanks, I was using the regular report option. I will start using the forum for interface problems. I already spotted a few. I will post them there.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AnonToriYT

de beste Nice Another lingo I can't wait for Irish gael, and swedish, arabic,Russian for english speakers :D

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Althalos90

Will you be adding Arabic?

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TimothyGeek

Wow, that's fast! Awesome! :D Have a nice vacation on that undisclosed remote island! :)

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptainKhan

i commend you

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DRSarahharas
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I'm Belgian so I speak Dutch and I also speak English. I did the placement test and only a level 5 because I lost points for stupid things. Like "trousers" should be "pants and "near" should be "dichtbij" instead of just "bij". There were other things as well which I know were right but I can't remember them right now.

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Lavinae
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Naturally the course is nowhere near perfect right now. :)

If you find mistakes or inconsistencies like these it's best to use the report function. You can do this while doing the lessons (or shortcuts), when you find your correct answer marked as incorrect. We will receive the reports and fix any mistakes (add alternative translations, and the like). ^^

Thanks for testing our course!

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DRSarahharas
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I've been reporting the mistakes. :) I couldn't get past one of the shortcuts because of it. :(

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Lavinae
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In that case thanks for helping us improve the course as well ^^

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/omri.luz

i dont understand.....can i try it out right now? and how?

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mptmpt
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go to http://www.duolingo.com/settings/account and from the menu select the language "Ik wil leren Engles..."

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/charlotte_12

Sorry if this is not the correct place to leave the following comment. In the incubator I now find the titles partly in Dutch (which is nice). My comment is about: 'Engels for Chinees (Versimpeld) Speakers' Versimpeld is a Dutch translation of the English word Simplified. But in this context it seems odd. I believe in this context the correct translation of 'Chinese (Simplified)' is 'Chinees (Vereenvoudigd)'

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kirlll
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The dutch discussion boards would be the best place for such things (in particular the thread for reporting interface errors: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1355421 ), I caught your comment here though, so thanks for your suggestion!

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/nateVONgreat
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YES! I have been learning Dutch on Memrise, and it is nearly impossible. I have dutch friends to talk to as well, i am going to start right away!

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jharreman
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So happy with this... My children are eager to get started! Any idea when they can start "playing"?

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jharreman
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Hurray! I played this online, will this be available in the ios-app anytime soon?

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
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Yes, end of January! :)

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jharreman
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Woohoo!

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wimapp

Ik hoop dat het snel komt, want mijn vrouw wil meer Nederlands leren / I hope it comes soon, because my wife wants to learn more Dutch :)

February 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Silviewilvie

Woohoo! This is great news!!! :) Thank you amazing Dutch team! <3

February 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/brightsideoflife
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Congratulations for the course! I'm looking forward to starting it. Thank you very much for your time and your energy. Ik zal binnenkort de kursus beginnen.

July 3, 2014
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