https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis

Incubator Updates

As the year comes to an end, I wanted to give you some updates on the Incubator:

  • It's working! As you know, we started the Incubator as a scalable (experimental) way to add new language courses to Duolingo. When we started, we didn't know if it would work at all, or if the courses made with it would be any good. At this point, I'm happy to say that the Incubator is a big success. Already two courses have been fully created by the community, with many more on the way. According to our internal metrics, the community-created courses are of the same quality as the ones developed by our own team were when they were in beta :)

  • Careful growth. We have received over 20,000 applications to contribute to different courses. Because we didn't want any low-quality courses, we decided early on that we would add courses slowly at first, and also be very selective with the moderators. The incubator was launched about 11 weeks ago, and so far we've added 11 courses, so we're adding about one course per week. If you applied to moderate a course that we haven't added yet, hang tight because we may be calling on you soon!

  • Courses to learn other languages from English. Our strategy for adding courses has been to first do the ones to learn English from other popular languages, and once those are done and ironed out, start letting the same moderators work on the opposite direction. So, expect courses for learning Russian, Dutch, Turkish and Hungarian from English to be started in a few weeks. We expect the reverse courses to be completed much faster than the original ones because they are about 75% the same, and the user interface does not need to be localized.

  • Courses in the mobile apps. For every incubator course, the plan is to first release it as beta on the website only, and leave it there to simmer for a few weeks. Once the kinks are resolved by having website users test the courses, we will add them to the apps.

December 26, 2013

253 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
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  • 2229

This is amazing news! Thanks Luis :) And it did not escape us you are working during the holidays! Thank you so much!

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.T.s_Son

Can't wait for some Asian languages!

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chihuahuazero

Tagalog, please!

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erven.R

I speak Tagalog.....In fact, Tagalog is my Mother Tongue....

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pamela7762

I agree! Tagalog would be great! (Fillipino)

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jadey7

Tagalog from English would be great. I'm interested myself, and I have a friend I can recommend Duolingo too as he wants to learn it and Russian. The more languages, the more users that will be interested.

February 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.T.s_Son

I never heard of that language. I'll have to check that out

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KimRestad

I so very much want sinhala!

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve.Campbell

Korean please!

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.T.s_Son

I'm dying for Korean and Japanese.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LarrySFCA

Youtube makes a good start for that!

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.T.s_Son

Links please

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CTavino

talktomeinkorean.com is a nice source.

eatyourkimchi.com has the "❤❤❤❤❤" series, which talks about slang.

livemocha.com has a Korean series, although I've never tried it.

That should be enough to keep you busy until Duolingo releases Korean

January 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Anaale

Human Japanese is a nice foundation to start on.

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/itastudent

Luis, thanks for the important update. I'm really looking forward to having new courses. I also hope we'll be able to have a lot of other languages available soon.

Also, is there any way to contribute to courses that already exist? For instance, I learned Spanish from English, and many of us found that the last lessons weren't enough to learn the subjunctive. There are surely other grammar topics that could have been improved. Is there any way for a native speaker of a language to improve that specific course? My native language is not Spanish, but I could do that for Italian, in case some topic was not fully covered.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aquage

I am just working through the tree slowly at my leisure, but I have had spanish classes up to the end of the tree. I was also hoping I could help with some of the grammar learning stuff. My teacher taught us some awesome phrases and other mnemonic devices to help us remember.

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

Please don't forget the courses without any English involved! Spanish from German, Dutch from Italian... there are a lot of non-English-natives around here who would like to learn other languages, too.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis

Yep. We've started on those as well. So far, we've added learning French and Portuguese from Spanish.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielPere528188

The reverse of those would be great too ! ( from a portuguese point of view xD)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis

Yes, we will do those too.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielPere528188

Thanks! :)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chilvence

There's actually some English natives that would like to do this too. I learned French very young and German very late, and if I could work on sharpening both of them together, that would be amazing!

I'm totally not posting this just for my sake, I just want to represent a type of case that is probably more common than you'd expect... roll on full-duplex two way language instruction along arbitrarily defined source->target axes!

I may need to work on a better slogan...

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/attcat23

Totally agree! I'm a native English speaker but I'm studying French and Italian at school and would love to work on both by learning one from the other. I will be super excited to see Duolingo offer FR -> IT or IT -> FR!

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anfermarsan

First, I would like to give to all of you like a ton of thanks. It would be possible to switch from English-French to Spanish-French? It would be so much better for me since I am spanish. Anyway I always can do the initial test.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Spanish -> French is already in the incubator.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bogolyandras

Maybe the question is whether you will be able to switch with your current skill points/words, instead of starting over the entire course. (I highly doubt it will be possible any time soon)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saschambaer

You can test out of skills and tree segments and there's a test you can take at the beginning that shows where you're at in the skill tree.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Skill points are already only dependent on target language. So if you currently learn English from French and Spanish, all your skill points earned will be put together in your English skill points.

On the other end, you'll have to do the new tree from the beginning. But you can take shortcuts.

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

Thanks!

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jack.Elliot

So much to say thank you

Wonderful . What the Dutch and Russian team have shown is so encouraging to all the others..

Inspiring. communication resulting co-operation . pleasant dialog from Ohio to Tehran

world talking together culture , language, thank you Luis

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Athenicuber

not only non-english natives, some natives of english would learn other languages from the language they already know OTHER than english to build their existing knowledge of that language. Got it? it is called laddering languages.

February 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Highlander16

I always thought that languages like Hungarian will be out of my league because of it's difficulty. Now, thanks to duolingo and all the community we'll all be able to learn at least the basics of it.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vedun

No language is difficult, it's only that some are different. Once you begin to think in therms of the language's internal logic, everything as easy as a piece of cake.

Do try Hungarian.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Highlander16

I agree with you, but you can't deny there are some languages that take waaay longer to be learned than others.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jack.Elliot

Hungarian is just as easy as Pollish

Just try the language you like and it will be fun

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pleiadian_

35 noun cases compared 7.... I don't know either, but on paper I don't know if one could safely say that Hungarian is as easy to learn as Polish is unless you were fluent in both.

But yes studying a language you like is what makes it easy.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

35 cases in Hungarian? Are you serious? And to think I struggled with the 4 German cases..........

Nevertheless, it is a challenge I am prepared to take on. If nothing else than to honor the legacy of my Hungarian ancestors.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/languagepotato

noun cases in hungarian? it's just postpositions. prepositions attached to the end of the noun. it's basically prepositions pretending to be cases.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krahi

Hungarian is not European language in origin,It.s realy hard to say if it has any noun case.Gramar is much easier than in German.What makes it hard are words...like no other in europe...rly hard to associate them with something.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bogolyandras

Are you sure about that? (-: I cannot compare them due to my lack of Polish, but god bless who wants to learn Hungarian.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_ELIXIR_

I agree with you Highlander16! Generally for native asian language speakers from Korea and Japan, lots of western(?) languages are grammatically quite hard. (For Chinese speakers, it would be a lot easier because of the similarity on word orders) Actually I think many european people have some advantages on learning another european languages =]

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

That difference exists even among "European" languages. My experience as a Russian (who knew a little english) when learning German was that it was fairly easy and straightforward, because a lot of the structure translates quite well. On the other hand, I see native English-speakers struggle with German a lot, because many of the constructions are foreign to them -- English has no real cases, they don't have word genders, don't use compound words, prefixes and suffixes nearly as much, etc, etc. On the other hand, Russians regularly struggle with the definite and indefinite articles and "to be"(because in Russian "to be" is either included in the noun itself, or derived from context, and -- unlike, say, in Bulgarian -- the difference between definite and indefinite simply doesn't exist) and with what looks like five million different tenses in English.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_ELIXIR_

Priviet, SomosTortugas! Yup, I see~ :) It was just, as for my own experience, very interesting to see how similar with Spanish, French and Italian, so far I know some. I envy my friends from those countries, because of the easiness to learn each other's languages..! (There should be added Portugues and Romanian I suppose.) I thought even Latin-which language is dead and I am very interested in- could be their original language. :D Of course those Roman(?) languages are very different from Slavic languages. Btw I really love to hear Russian, sounds so exotic and charming to me. So one day I looked over Cyril alphabets twice and I became able to read those beautiful characters! Happy me yay *^ㅅ^)// 러시아어 빨리 배우고 싶어요~! I wanna learn Russian asap in Duolingo3

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elenakk_

I'm thinking of helping with the English-Hungarian or Hungarian-English

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

You can apply for it there: http://incubator.duolingo.com.

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HerrArbo

Anyone know of any plans/ideas for the teaching of the Cyrillic alphabet for the likes of Russian?

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chilvence

Yes, I will personally visit the house of every person that needs to be initiated and not leave until they are fully confident in its use :)

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HerrArbo

That's very kind of you! I fear the course may be a little over-subscribed for you though...

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chilvence

The trick though is to focus on the letters that are different. H is someone's mouth clenching their teeth, going 'HNNNNNN'. П Is a post at the park for playing football. Maybe it's a pedestal. C is a snake. Hey, who said snakes had to be wavy :P? Etc.

I actually broke out the font authoring tools and made a mutant font halfway between the two when I wanted to learn the Russian alphabet. But the excercise of doing that in itself burned it into my head so I never needed to use it. It looks daunting, but really, 1337 5p34k is harder to read.

Anyway, it's kind of ❤❤❤❤❤, only installs one way, replaces DejaVuSans.ttf, assumes you know various other alphabets, is difficult to actually get the browser to use it in the right place and I don't know anything about this file site I just found but by all means, try it out! http://pastelink.me/dl/00c094

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/le-lapin-noir

I just started learning Russian, and I found it much easier to memorize the "different" letters by going Greek to Cyrillic vs Roman to Cyrillic, since Cyrillic is directly derived from the Greek alphabet. I don't speak any Greek, but I knew enough from math and indirect exposure to make this work, If you have a casual knowledge of the Greek alphabet, it really does make things faster. http://www.greek-language.com/Alphabet.html

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

That's what I keep telling everyone who complains about how different/difficult cyrillic is - "just think of the greek alphabet instead of latin when you are reading it -- you had it in your math course..."

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chilvence

That's also a good way yes. It's almost like an extended Greek alphabet, or at least they contradict each other less than the latin alphabet does. Greek is also a very nice looking script, I actually fashion my own handwriting after it.

I did a visual comparison of them when I was learning it and there are only 7 letters that are 'stumbling blocks' between all three. We could use a new alphabet which is intelligible from all three directions really.

I like the principle of the I.P.A., but it would be horrible to actually have to write anything with it... such a wasted opportunity there. To be in a position to be able to sneak the rest of the 'european' alphabets into minds of the masses via the back door and not use it to full potential...but no, here's some upside down letters and ones with more lines through them... >:(

Rambling again, must stop now!

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vedun

20 000 - now that is a number!

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach1337

Vielen Dank für das Update.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jack.Elliot

Cheers thanks FrankySka .

You can see that we sometimes try without google help, because often that translation is not correct

But your help is priceless thanks Sehr gut, Dein Deutsch ist jeden Tag besser

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
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  • 2229

Pretty good yourself. Some very minor points (everyone would have understood you perfectly) you would say: "Sehr gut, Dein Deutsch ist jeden Tag besser" :-).
I would have to use google as a helper to say that sentence in Spanish or French XD.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

"Sehr gut, Dein Deutsch wird jeden Tag besser" ;-)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
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  • 2229

Yes definitely grammatically 'more correct' than what I have said. Just to explain to the German learners here: in every day (colloquial) German people often don't make a distinction between present tense and future tense. (Of course we should be doing that here! So thanks for your correction SomosTortugas.) So while what SomosTortugas said is grammatically correct (and commonly used), what I said is probably at least as common in colloquial German, though not quiet grammatically correct!

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saschambaer

This is not true everywhere though - in Switzerland we actually distinguish it quite actively (at least from my experience), and even have a near future constuction similar to english "I'm going to". At least in the sentence above, "ist" sounded definitely wrong to me.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Franky, you are correct about Future Tense being a dying species in everyday German. However, "wird" is not actually future tense here.

Consider those two sentences: "Ein Apfel wird zu einer Orange", and "Ein Apfel ist eine Orange". Or maybe, more realistically, "Eine Kaulquappe wird zu einem Frosch" and "Eine Kaulquappe ist ein Frosch". The first sentence of each pair is a description of a process (in the present!), while the second sentence of each pair is plain wrong.

If you try to translate them into english (correctly), you will see that "wird" is NOT future tense here. It is "to become".

To finish up, in 18 years of living in Germany I've never heard anyone say "ist" for "gets" or "becomes", but it doesn't mean that no-one does it -- in Germany it generally just means "no-one does it where I lived", since even a Pfannkuchen are two totally different things depending on the region.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lilithly

I'm a German native speaker too and to me it sounds wrong to say "ist jeden Tag besser", but maybe that's a regional thing.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
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  • 2229

Bonehead, can't comment directly because the chain is too long. I am a native German speaker as well and 'ist' sounds perfectly fine to me. But than again I do not understand A WORD of swiss German - so I would not be surprised if this was different between the two, or more generally, regionally within German speaking countries.

Just did a quick google search to make sure I am not making this up :-) : http://german.about.com/library/blregverbsF.htm

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HerrArbo

"Update" auf Deutsch?

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/H-3000

Vor allem: Update -- Ansonsten vielleicht: Aktualisierung. (Je nach Kontext: Veränderung, Neuerung, Verbesserungen)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sommerlied

"Update" kann man auch auf Deutsch sagen :)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
Mod
  • 2229

As others have said, most people (at least up to the age of 40 or so) would probably say update. I guess the closest completely German way to say it would be "Vielen Dank fuer die Neuigkeiten"

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HerrArbo

Would it be frowned upon to say „Neuigkeiten“? How different is this word?

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

My personal "feel" for those words is as follows:

  • Neuigkeiten literally means news (not the TV kind of news, that would be "Nachrichten", but "new information"/"latest gossip" kind of news). It has a connotation of being new information, as in "objectively new", not just "new for the recepient".

  • You would never use "Neuigkeiten" for software updates. That would be Aktualisierung.

  • Update (like Aktualisierung) has the connotation of bringing someone or something to a current state, even if it isn't necessarily "objectively" new information (ie if you ever talk with your mom on christmas, what you get from her about her side of the family is probably not really news, but it is an update ;-). However, Aktualisierung is pretty much never used in German for a purely "informational" update.

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Besser als "Downgeloadet"

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
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  • 2229

Das heisst doch auch 'gedownloadet', lol, jk ;)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KNR_27

Ich kann mich nicht an solchen Loanwords (Leihwörter) gewöhnen -- ich sage immer noch "heruntergeladen".

After all the trouble of learning German, I can't get used to using such loanwords as 'downloaden / gedownloadet' -- I still use 'herunterladen'. But it's a losing battle to learn German, and not use any English loanwords ! Ach ! Still, I try to find German words for any English words… even though it probably makes my German look less fluent, instead of more fluent !

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

It is jarring to read "gedownloaded", but to be honest, it is just as jarring to read "Knallgastreibling" for "motor". Try this one: http://www.welt.de/welt_print/article1816254/Knallgas-Treibling.html

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HerrArbo

I can't say I'm the biggest fan of English loanwords... Unless they are rediculous like „body bag“ which I think means satchel. If only there was a commitie like the French have... In moderation I don't mind loanwords for things invented in other countries, but upload just doesnt sit well with me for some reason.

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pablobaytart

We would even ask someone for an update in a non IT-context.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerGoldmann

Thank you for the update. We can really tell what an amazing job the Duolingo team has done with rolling out these language courses! Kudos! Luis, any hints about the language combination of the 12th Incubator course to be added next? :D

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J-Steven

Luis, you are awesome for always keeping us informed, thank you for your honesty and transparency, even going so far as to give us insight as to the business case for your decisions, I can tell you are very passionate about what you do, please continue to keep us updated!

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zass30

Thank you! I can't wait for Japanese, I'm checking every day!

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petterbriones

Me too

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Programist

Waiting for being chosen as a contributor for Korean since incubator launched : )

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S0R0USH

So the incubator is closed for now, right? I was applying to contribute in the English for Persian speakers department, but I was unable to submit. :(

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis

Oh, I think that's a bug for languages we don't have in the list! We'll fix soon.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anglea

Looking forward to Persian for English speakers. :)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wandering.Seeker

how so? BTW it's good that we have another contributor and am not alone in this.

امیدوارم دولت فقط سایتو نبنده وقتی درس ها رو ساختیم. داهاتی ها همه چی ازشون بعیده

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mitchell_MT

Hope Swedish comes soon!

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vladislav_S.

Can't wait to start learning icelandic here.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saschambaer

Same. I can't find any good ways to learn the language online. I downloaded a book that seemed decent but it was very rushed.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aowstin

I'm extremely excited for Russian! This is extremely awesome news! ^^

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenniferAron

Would love to see Swedish for English speakers!

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arekolek

I thought that since you like experiments, maybe you could open one incubator course to everyone for contributions and then look at the results. What's there to lose? ;-)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

it might start incubator wars worse than translation wars in the immersion section :)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yeahbuddy34

ETA on the course? Sabırsızlanıyorum :D

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

just wait for it :)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProwlingParis

it's a doozy!

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ljeanxo

Great news thank you!!

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/856pm

Thank you, Luis. And also, thanks to everybody else who works at Duolingo and who contributes to make this all possible!

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anglea

Turkish is a curious addition to the language list - it's not an Indo-European language. Has it got origins in common with Chinese? I imagine it will be very different in construction. We just think of it as a European language because Turkey is partly in Europe and the words are written in the Latin script.

Any thoughts on Persian? It's an Indo-European language rather similar to French and my efforts at it so far have shown it to be fairly doable (I might be mistaken). The only difficulty being the Arabic script. It can be learned in transliteration. Persian is a good stepping stone towards Urdu and Hindi - both of which are Indo-European Languages.

Thanks for all your work on this. Look forward to it.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

hmm not really, Turkish is not in the same language family as Chinese and not even remotely related. It is remotely related to Japanese though (at least some linguists groups them together under Altaic languages), maybe you mixed up with this?

and the subfamily is the "Turkic languages", which includes most of the languages of central Asia like Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Azeri, Uzbek, Uyghur, Turkmen etc.

Anyway, you will see it soon, and hope you try to learn :)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/votears

@cellgene: Well, I'd like to add something that might be unique in Sino-Japanese language ecology. As far as I know, both Persia and Turkey are important regional powers and to a large extent enjoy comparable level of influence. Whilst at least since 7th century everyone, including Japanese themselves considered China much more superior than Japan.

Japan's ambition was so big at the time, just like what you would see a thousand years later, that Japanese ignore their own language construct and actively incorporated Chinese Character(kanji) to the language. In fact they actually use Chinese to write all their books and even poems( same with Korea ), just like Greek's place in byzantine. It might be helpful for you to think it as byzantine Romans speaking greek with heavy accents, or probably a Chinese-accented Japanese a French-accented American, with no offence. Of course, they still have a lot of earthy words of their own, but Chinese is deemed the language of the educated class until Meiji Restoration and sino-japan war period with anti-Chinese figures like Fukuzawa Yukichi. As China's incompetency in wars destoyed the faith in Chinese superiority of both parties, Japanese( and Korean) start to abandon Chinese in their languages. By the 20th century, I think English( US occupation ) and German( Nazi Allies ) replaced Chinese and begin to dominate the life of Japanese elites. Kanji at the same time still play a huge role, but gradually giving way to phonetic katakana reprentations as young generations prefer simple way to communicate.

For the Chinese part, numerous students rushed to Japan to study after the war, and many of whom already were or later became notable writers, engineers, politacians of recent Chinese history, and they directly introduced a huge number of Japanese words writen in Chinese Character, however not Chinese, to modern Chinese. E.g. 电话(telephone/litteral tran: eletric speech) as a Japanese word(which admittedly itself a translation) gained popularity with the people against official phonetic translation of English "telephone",得绿风(litteral tran: Receiving green wind), and is the official name today. And 社会主义(socialism), 马克思主义(marxism), 资本主义(capitalism), and all other -isms, or French -ismes were Chinese-adopted Japanese. Name a thing that a modern state should have, there's a big chance that Chinese simply copied it from Japanese kanji.

As my a lot of my peers but not myself becoming big fans of Japanese comics, I believe that Japanese is still expanding its use amongst young Chinese especially on the Internet, where you can see a group of people use Japanese as their way of showing off their personal identity ( not national identity ). So, there are really complex routes of exchange. Are Turkish and Persian the same?

Note: Taiwan went through Japanese control, and now official language Chinese, has more degree of Japanese penetration.

by the way, I wonder whether you share the word "daughter" in two languages. Because I just saw a great Iranian movie, it uses something like "Tochter", which is so German-sounding. Curious if that was the case too for Turkish.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhythmialex

Your description of historical relationship between Chinese and Japanese is quite true. But I don't think the following two suppositions are logically relevant.

  1. The Japanese elites used to prefer to use Chinese rather than Japanese.
  2. Japanese and Chinese are connected linguistically.

A similar thing used to occur between English and French. They share a lot of vocabularies, even some basic ones, culture, and sort of identification. That does make people feel more comfortable to learn another. But it is not valid to diminish the huge gap located between them. Personally, the more I learn Japanese, the more differences I may find, not only the obvious syntax, but also the ambiguous cultural psychology. (By learning Japanese, I mean I regularly read Japanese books, and watch TV serials. I have learned Japanese through an academical method for about a year. So I am far away from fluency in Japanese)

Thank you for providing a great historical view, which will definitely help them for whom Far-East remains in a mystery fog. :-)

Edit: I know that all languages are connected linguistically more or less. By "Japanese and Chinese are connected linguistically.", I mean that they are not connected so much to be arranged in the same family. Sorry about the ambiguity.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/votears

I'm not so aware that I said they are connected linguistically. It seems a bit of misunderstanding occured. Whatever I typed, your comment helped clarifying it. Upped!

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhythmialex

Oh, sorry about that. I know what you did not meant so. Just try to avoid a possible misunderstanding, through providing an additional clarification. Thank you. :-)

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/atillac

I believe the word you are looking for is "دختر" which is romanized as "dokhtar" which literally means "girl". We use "kız" which is a Turkic word and means both girl or daughter.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/votears

Is kiz the actual spelling? Latinized?

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/atillac

Romanization is synonymous with Latinization but Romanization is used more

Kız is a Turkish word and we already use latin script :)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

It is kız, with an "i" with no point (the pronunciation is more similar to how the japanese "u" (う) is pronounced at the end of some words, or russian ы, than to "i"). Turkish uses latin script, rather successfully I might add.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Thank you for a great historical/geopolitical overview.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/votears

Wow, I am eager to learn Turkish and Persian and Arab. Lingots for both of you!

So are you a linguist? Appearently you speaks at least 5

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/atillac

No unfortunately I am not.

I am just interested in learning languages and history.

Persian had a special status in Ottoman court and elites so we had so many words from Persian but during "language revolution" most of those words are changed with words taken from Turkic languages or created from Turkish stems with Turkish suffixes. But we still have so many Persian words in Turkish. Sometimes you may see at least 3 words which have same meaning. For example tabii (arabic), doğal(turkish), natürel (french)

Here is a Turkish folk song written by Shah Ismail, who was both Shah of Iran and one of the prominent Turkish poets of his time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M53Mbm837dk

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Not at all, I just love thinking about words and languages :-) I am really excited about DuoLingo because I hope that it will allow me to understand all of them, eventually.

I am wondering whether anyone is doing a Diné course yet.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/votears

I've never even heard of it. Is a language? Sounds Frenchy haha

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Diné bizaad, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navajo_language , one of those strongly agglutinating ones.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/votears

Hi, considering similar experience of our languages in the history, I suggest that we read more about the language developments of each other. "Culture Genocide" happended to Chinese too, I mean, twice. You might be interested in this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Culture_Movement

and maybe Culture Revolution(when you're ready).

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/le-lapin-noir

The Cultural Revolution ("smash all the old" destructive anti-intellectualism that did absolutely nothing constructive to further Chinese culture) could be seen as a self-inflicted cultural genocide. I don't have a problem with this characterization. The New Culture Movement was in no way whatsoever cultural genocide; it was cultural renaissance. Classical Chinese literature was made by literati whose cultural education came from studying for the imperial examinations. By 1911, when China became a republic, that Confucian-literati culture was already functionally dead, since no further generations would be taking the old exams. Rather than rote-memorize classics, New Culture intellectuals sought to critically (not a synonym for negatively, mind) analyze China's past and incorporate new ideas from other countries in order to strengthen China's culture and bring it more in line with new democratic ideals. Even if you just look at baihua literature from the 20s-40s, I think the results were a great positive for Chinese culture. There are many really wonderful works from this time. Chinese culture was dynamic for centuries, and pressing pause at 1900 would have had far more negative consequences.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/votears

Hi Anglea, I'm Chinese. I believe cellgene is correct, Turkish is not Chinese and two languages vastly diverge. However it did originated about modern day Mongolia( to the north of China ) . Chinese history records them as "突厥"( pinyin: tu 1 jue 2 ) people, which is not surprisingly an arrogant way of refering to peripheral tribes around the Middle Kingdom, suggesting ethnicity and barbarity. And they migrated west due to undesirable outcome of the chronical wars with Sui dynatsy(about 581AD - 619AD ) of China. As a matter of fact, they are the reason that led to the reconstruction of the Great Wall.

As for the Janpanese I am not so sure. But owing to various complicated interchanges bewteen Chinese and Japanese language, nowadays two languages are more closely interrelated themselves than with Turkish, I think. Am I right cellgene?

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

Hi votears, thanx for the history lessons :) That is indeed what I also know. I guess the relation between Chinese and Japanese is more like the relation between say Turkish and Persian. They don't belong to the same language families, the grammar is totally different but there has been a lot of word exchange...

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhythmialex

Well, as a Chinese, I have heard about the relation between Turk people and the ancient tribes to the north of China. But I noticed that it has not been proven as a fact. Though I may be wrong, I prefer to consider it as a hypothesis.

You are right about the relation between Chinese and Japanese. They share part of vocabulary and a lot of Hanzi (Kanji). Besides, they are not resembled to each other. Japanese use suffixes and a few of prefixes to indicate syntactic structure, which is rare in Chinese, it is why it is sometimes categorized in Altaic languages. I know neither Turkish nor Persian, perhaps you can tell me the similarity between them.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

well, you are sort of right with that it is not really proven, but as we see that all other people on our "migration route" speak similar (Turkic) languages, this is sort of taken as a proof. However, I think, SOME of our ancestors did migrate from east, but of course we mixed up with all the nations on our way and the people who lived in what is Turkey now... So if you ask me we are all a big hybrid of central Asian Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Arabic, Persian, and even others. As I am a geneticist, I can even provide proof for that: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-d0K7nmzSQjA/TjCJSnEtZ8I/AAAAAAAAAEI/dDiMr4Y7mjM/s1600/Haplogroups%2Bin%2BEurope%25252C%2Bpie%2Bmap.PNG

this is a Y haplotype map, you dont really need to understand it but you can see that many countries have mixed backgrounds but usually there is a big dominant one and a little bit of others, while Turkey has a lot of small contributions from several backgrounds and only few of the small colors belong to central asia.

For the language, Persian is Indo-European so structurally totally different than Turkish. However we had a lot of contact, therefore we borrowed tons of words from them and I guess they also borrowed some, although not so many.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhythmialex

Cool! Thank you for the Y haplotype map, It does make sense. I don't know which origin certain color represents, but it is not a problem at all. Thank you again.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProwlingParis

I think the Uighur Turks in northwestern China is the thing to look at. They basically look caucasian and are muslim. Apparently they wanna fast during ramadan but the Chinese police insists they don't :-) Such hidden diversity in China!

And an important tidbit about the Turkish-Persian relations is that after the alphabet revolution, the people in charge unfortunately deleted %75 of Ottoman Turkish vocabulary, for short-sighted reasons only the military types would have the gall to come up with. Most of this 75% percent was the abstract vocabulary born out of the philosophical foundations of the Persian language and culture. Of course they tried to replace them by making up words in the upcoming decades, but 24,000 words that were "presented" to the public in the following 3 decades merely yielded in the adoption of 3 or 4 thousand of them. That's basically the reason it's more difficult to talk about abstract ideas and feelings in Turkish. Clearly interventions into people's languages never produce positive results; languages belong in the free-market of people and their usage habits :-)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProwlingParis

what an information-packed post. have a lingot on me.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhythmialex

I heard that Uyghur people and their language are closely related to them in Turkey. It is really amazing, for we have lots of side evidence of our neighborhood :-) About the fast during ramadan, they really do. I have some friends who are Muslims coming from the neighbor province of Xinjiang (where Uyghur people live). They do fast. (be quiet) And I used to share some mutton with them during the Eid al-Fitr.

About the words, it is really a disaster to ban so many words. 75%! SO unnatural. Power drives people into madness, imaging them as omnipotent. I don't want to see similar disaster happen again, not only on Turkish, but any other language.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhythmialex

@Baris_Obdan. I am checking the progress of Chinese course almost everyday to see if they made a progress, and also have considered to help. Yet, I don't think my English is good enough to contribute the course. (I can read and comprehend English rather well, but less proficient on expressing myself.) There are many Chinese living outside China, who master English probably far more proficiently than me. (4 of the 5 members of current team are students living in US, and the rest in Hongkong. They will definitely provide a more solid work than I can do.) besides, there is a task of PhD dissertation left in front of me, I don't think I can deal with both challenges at the same time. :(

I do willing to help, probably not in building the course, but in discussions of our upcoming course. Or, if the course should still remain in being built after several months, I would turn to contribute the course then.

Your Turkish team have earned my respect for your genuine energetic work and the rapid progress you have made. Looking forward the release of Turkish->English course, which means the reverse one is no far away. :-)

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProwlingParis

Now that we have Duolingo doing god's work, we won't lose another single word to officers of ideologies, let alone a whole language or alphabet ^_^

Did you attempt to help with the Chinese course on the incubator here?

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hjordisa

Hungarian isn't Indo-European either. I have to say, I'll be very disappointed if they teach us languages that use foreign scripts in transliteration. It really is best to learn the writing system from the very beginning so that you associate a native letter with a sound rather than latin letters, which can be confusing where one latin letter is used for multiple sounds or with some alphabets that don't have a standardized transcription system. It may be more difficult with Chinese, though. I'm curious how they will integrate that one into the courses.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chilvence

I have every confidence that transliteration won't be used. I haven't heard anything about it and neither have I been paying attention, but when you get down to writing systems, the only one that is really 'hard' is Chinese - and that is more down to exposure to a different perspective than anything else.

You might have to install a new keyboard layout, or you might end up having something like google translate where you type the nearest latin keys and the program guesses it. You might have to resort to picking word tiles, like the mobile apps. Whatever happens, the fact remains that people WANT to learn the different scripts, so there will be something to accomodate that. I'm pretty sure the acronym IME will soon be pretty well known here though...

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Turkish doesn't differ in construction very much from indoeuropean languages [EDIT: I seem to be wrong on this one, see comments below], and has the huge benefit of having Latin script (thanks to Ataturk). It also opens up a rather large subfamily of languages.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

I think it does differ quite a lot grammatically from indo-european languages. Especially the agglutination makes the biggest difference, as you can say things that require several words in other languages in one word, e.g. Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine (as if you were one of those we can not easily turn into a creater of unsuccessful ones)

**pay attention that this is not like in German where you just attach words to each other to make long words like Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Thanks for the hint, I guess I will have to read up to understand what the principal difference between that and say, German constructs like "unglücklichmachend" is.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

well the basic difference is, not of these that are attached exist as a word except for the first one (stem: muvaffakiyet), but they are only suffixes. you can read more about agglutination in wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agglutination

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Actually, that very article states that indoeuropean languages also posess a degree of agglutination:

<pre> However, both fusional and isolating languages may use agglutination in the most-often-used constructs, and use agglutination heavily in certain contexts, such as word derivation. This is the case in English, which has an agglutinated plural marker -(e)s and derived words such as shame·less·ness.") </pre>

And thinking about it from the point of view of "slots", Spanish has at least three slots in the verbs (tense, person, reflexivity), and Russian uses three to five regularly (case, number, time, gender, degree of familiarity and some preposition), despite not being classified as agglutinative and incapable of such complicated constructs as the one in the example above. It might be not as rich as Hungarian, Diné - or, apparently, Turkish - but I fail to see how it is principially different. (Might be my personal limit though.)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProwlingParis

Counterintuitively, there isn't any historical evidence to countries switching alphabets and positive things happening simply because of that change. Also I can assure you that if a big decision is made by one person and one person alone, then it probably wasn't the right decision ;-) Hope you come and check out the Turkish course when we release it soon.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Yes, I am definitely checking the course out. I would like to actually speak the language that shows all signs of becoming the dominant language around here in a couple of decades :-)

The rest of this sort-of belongs into a different thread, but...

"Historic evidence" is a contradiction in itself, since you can't go back in time and re-try with a different setting, so all we can say about alternate histories is plain and simply guessing. I know quite well that Atatürk and his decisions are very contraversial in Turkey as such, and of course I can't say whether it offered any benefits to people back then, and I am sure the initial adjustment was an enormous pain in the behind. Change always is.

However as a sort-of-modern-day Russian who has spent a lot of his life outside of Russia with a lot of electronic devices incapable of Cyrillic fonts, and therefore having to use screwy, ugly and non-standard transliteration to communicate with other Russians, I can assure you that writing in Latin script currently, through a unique combination of circumstances, offers a number of benefits over other systems of writing.

  • It is a system that pretty much all the machinery can use, so you don't have to screw around with transliteration
  • It is left-to-right, which allows you to use left-to-right layouts without tweaking or re-thinking
  • It is a system that is familiar to a very large number of people
  • It is a system that is easy to learn for an even larger amount of people
  • The script is very easy for machines to combine (contrast that with arabic), and so easy to implement
  • It has vowels
  • It is a phonetic system. Ask a Chinese why it is that they teach Pinyin before Hanzi, or ask Koreans why they have gotten rid of hanja in favor of hangul, if you want another view on "no benefit of switching writing systems". (Yes, I know Ottoman Turk was a phonetic script too, but you said "none")

I would also honestly like to hear the views of Serbians and Croatians on the subject, since they write what is close to the same language, but one in Cyrillic and the other in Latin. (I recently heard someone from there deriding an official giving him documents written in Cyrillic as an ***hole, saying "in the modern day, no-one does this any more, there is just no reason to except to be plain mean".)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProwlingParis

I should've properly fleshed out what I vaguely touched upon--don't wanna look like a pseudo-science regurgitater :-)

What you can do is compare similar countries that did different things and follow their progress throughout years, as well as an eyeball rank of countries that have the closest relations with western societies.

  • Israel, has by far the closest relations with the western powers, America in particular. They use the hebrew script, have very high English proficiency rate, and juggle both just fine. Can't say the same about neighboring countries that also have semitic alphabets, let alone the Palestinians/Israeli Arabs who live inside that same country. (We also sadly all know why this is so).

  • It wouldn't really be going too far to say Greece, Macedonia, and Albania are basically one country. Albania switched to the latin script thinking it would lift them up to the standards of the western societies and we all know how that turned out. They also have laws in their constitution that literally say stuff like "there is no national religion and it is forbidden to practice it because it is a nation of technocrats who believe in the power of science to carry us forth blah blah". Greece on the other hand, with their millenia old greek script, is exceedingly involved with the western powers, England being their primary older brother. Macedonia, who has cyrilic script, is somewhere in the middle, closer to Albania.

  • Indonesia--switched to Latin script. Result: widespread abject poverty. Further horror stories regarding romanized Tagalog and English speaking Phillippines. Malaysia--switched to Latin script. Result: big economic power. Cambodia stuck with Khmer, they are not doing so well. Same with Laos and Vietnam. Then there is Myanmar that was held hostage in the previous century until very recently. Same region, different practices, many different results.

  • Russia kept changing their mind about what to do with the Turkic nations. They already made the mistake of sending useless people as missionaries to that region (re: the EXACT opposite type of people England sent to India) and dictated language rules with weak convictions, resulting in uniquely multi-lingual people who were just straight up annoyed.

  • And what happened in Turkey was an attempt to distance the newly found country from its Ottoman past. There might've been somewhat valid reasons for it but the sheer violence through which it was handled was basically cultural genocide. 75% of the vocabulary being deleted from history because they supposedly "weren't legitimately Turkish", making up stuff in their place which people simply wouldn't adopt, forbidding the usage of old script with disproportionately harsh punishments and the worst of all, shutting down of the majority of the schools in the country just to force people to become detached from what was there on those lands just a few years prior.

We are doing fine now and the current Turkish is rich and cosmopolitan enough but these types of (mostly militaristic [or sometimes technocratic]) interventions NEVER yield good results. Causes only stagnation and loss of cultural heritage. On the other hand, people's desires of change merely as a social demand, as you very eloquently articulated with bullet points, is the only legitimate and natural way that these changes in scripts and alphabets should happen through. The empirical evidence says that latin alphabet is not easier to learn than any other alphabet (again, alphabet though, not like thousands of characters like in Chinese). It's the other factors that determine whether you'll be inconvenienced by using a less popular script simply because you were born into it. Otherwise it does nothing but provides richness in our linguistic experience. I sometimes take the 20 minute ferry and go to Greece, and I don't get the kick out of slowly reading those characters I see there from anything else in the world :-)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nelwandi

AFAIK, Malay was switched from Indian script to Arabic script then to Latin script. But, Indonesian never changed its script, when the Indonesian declared Riau-Malay in 1928 as a national language (and renamed to Bahasa Indonesia) it's already written in latin script.

January 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Thank you for this extensive and educational reply.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chilvence

Hmm... Given your list of examples, it seems to me that the simple act of changing the national script has very little correlation with the actual success of that nation. For example Malaysia is probably successful because it is well managed, and Indonesia - well, Suharto... It makes sense as well, you can't just change the wallpaper and expect your house to stop falling down.

Could it not just be that it doesn't directly affect anything in and of itself? At any rate, it makes far more sense to me to think 'Turkey is a successful nation because of its people' than 'Turkey is a successful nation because it uses the latin alphabet'

I think the only change worth worrying about is the continuity breakage of the written history. But I think every single country can point to some time in its history when that happened.

The closest example I can think of to relate it to myself is that we used to write with futhark runes. But you can still learn the runes, there's nothing stopping you, and it's quite fun; seeing a page of strange symbols that you know is in your language and you can't instantly read is strangely compelling, and mysterious at the same time. So I think that can actually be seen as an enrichment.

By far the scariest break in continuity is Chinese glyphs, because there are so many. But even these, if you know them well enough, a lot of the changes are actually hereditary, ie a change to one glyph propagates along the chain of the glyphs that use it as a component. So even that is not impenetrable. And far more damage was done to that country by bull-headed policies than anything else.

Sod it, let's all just switch to 한글, I'm failing to see any concrete drawbacks :)

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krahi

Serbian=Croatian=Bosnian=Montenegrian.Once it's called Serbo-Croatian language,but for political reason,now,it is called by countries it is used in.Truth is...every word writen or spoken in latin alphabet is exactly same in cyrlic alphabet.Again for political reason cyrlic is not learned in Croatia,but in Bosnia,Serbia,Montenegro both alphabets are equal.How can one benefit knowing both alphabet?Simple,he won't be blind loking at signs in another country.That's it,no other benefits(economical,political or such).

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OzrenIlic

Well, that isn't true. Cyrillic alphabet was learned in Croatia only because it was writing system in other parts of Yugoslavia. But it was never used here (except among Serbian minority). There are no "political reasons", except the breakup of common state. In Serbia is only Cyrillic alphabet in official use since 2006, but people use both alphabets (they use the same version of Latin alphabet as Croats, created by Ljudevit Gaj). In Bosnia, Serbian people use Cyrillic (or both), Croatian and Bosniak only Latin alphabet.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hjordisa

I'm sure they meant benefit from the point of view of a learner who's used to the latin alphabet, although I think there's a drawback in that you might pronounce letters like they're pronounced in your native language rather than the sound they're used for in the language you're learning. (But yes, Turkish really isn't similar grammatically from indo-european languages.)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phyzelo

Turkish makes sense in terms of the alphabet being a Latin one like English and all the other language Duolingo has.

Turkish is European in a way, Turkey geographically is in Europe and Asia.

It must be tougher for Duolingo to do a language that is non-alphabet based.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheDragonRises

Thank you for creating the Spanish-Portuguese course! I can't wait to learn Portuguese from Spanish. Is the Spanish-Portuguese course significantly smaller than the other trees since most of the vocabulary and grammar is similar?

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikeraed

Any updates on the Turkish - English course and when it will be in beta? On the incubator page it looks like it is (almost?) finished.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProwlingParis

hold your breath ;-)

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erikman

Russian from English??? Woo-hoo!!!

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/apip0115

Patiently waiting for Greek! :)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dinnernugget

As an English/Spanish speaker, this sounds great! I really want to look into a lesser-spoken language like Dutch from English. Any plans for a Swedish from English course, maybe?

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Is modern Greek anywhere on the list of potential incubator languages? I speak Greek but not well enough to teach but could help with the English.

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Thank you for the site. Some Gr/Eng. bilingual Duo learners have applied. Hope it works out.

January 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanLin

Awesome news! Hope there would be a traditional Chinese course too! I would definite offer my help to build one!

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhythmialex

You can submit a traditional Chinese course here: http://incubator.duolingo.com/

I will be very happy to see such a course here. But perhaps Luis and Duo team may not think so. I remember that he mentioned to provide a "neuter Spanish", and a dominant dialect of Portuguese here. He may make a similar choice with Chinese. If you are really eager to help to build a traditional Chinese -> English course, I think it is better to ask the team whether it is in their priority.

Having two Chinese teams here would be awesome. Especially when there is only one Spanish (which is considered to be global intelligible) on Duo. Good luck! ^_^

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanLin

I think I've submitted my idea when Incubator was out! Not sure if the idea would be adopted though! Thanks for the encouraging words anything!

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dexterneutron

Am I the only one here who would like to see an Esperanto course in duolingo? Is there somebody working on it?

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

It's not one of the 11 courses currently opened by Duolingo: http://incubator.duolingo.com.

But it'll come one day I imagine since it was the front flag on the picture announcing the incubator some times ago.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iustitia

No, you're not the only one :) I am also impatient. I even started doing some lernu.net classes again... I think Esperanto might be done quickly, because there is not so much grammar to teach, but maybe it is not on priority list right now. But I hope maybe it will be the next one added to Incubator :)

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dexterneutron

Yes but lernu.net is not quite user-friendly, I love Duolingo's platform and i'm sure that at the final of the course, we will have reached a higher level in esperanto than in the others courses because the easiness of the languages.

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iustitia

Yes, I totally agree. Most languages have all of that little tricky things that are not always logical (even if there is some logic derived from past structures). I'm looking forward to learn Esperanto here :)

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

iustitia, while you are waiting here are some beginning Esperanto texts with audio: http://www.lingq.com/learn/eo/library/courses/ ; perhaps they will be new to you. (This is a commercial site; you'll probably have to register, and to gain access to all the site's facilities you would have to pay a subscription fee, but the texts and audio are available without charge.

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

iustitia, you are welcome. Yes, that site is annoyingly commercial, and becoming more and more so. It would be a reasonable proposition if it weren't so buggy and (in my case) if e-flashcards were at all attractive. Yet the texts and audio there can be good; I hope there's something you'll enjoy at the site. (If you like I could provide some links for older French texts and audio, in case you are looking for such, although very likely they are sites you're aware of.) Enjoy the Esperanto.

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iustitia

Dankon! I tried it for French, but it is a bit annoying with all of its "UPGRADE!" messages :) But still resources might be useful. I will give it a try!

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/parkrangerno7

Are there any plans on adding a course for Indonesian any time soon? Would be greatly appreciated! Otherwise - congratulations on your success so far!

August 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

You might want to try following my directions in the comment just above yours. I don't know all of them by heart.

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hiamcabale

I saw that there is Indonesian to English. I wish a reverse; English to Indonesian, would come out soon. More power to the creators! Great work!

February 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rambo.e

What does it mean to localize the interface? Pardon my lack of knowledge of the programming language hehe

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

"To localize something" = "to translate it into the local language." Sounds simple, but with things like arabic it is not, since the writing is right-to-left, which causes a lot of changes in the computation of layout if you haven't thought about that beforehand. (Though nowadays a lot of the right-to-left stuff is handled by the browser).

I am curious what the localization implies for DuoLingo though.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

It just means to translate the whole website. e.g. for English for Turkish speakers course we translated (localized) the whole website to Turkish so when they look at this post, instead of "Reply" and "Give lingot", they will see "Cevapla" and "Lingot ver" under my post.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rambo.e

Thanks for the responses!!

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimDeets

Russian for English speakers?

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aria32

Please don't forget Persian because it does not exist in your language menu

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phyzelo

That's great, can't wait until the Turkish for English speakers is done!

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

same here

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Libby_S

Will new courses have more contributors? It seems like that would make the incubation process faster, assuming that there are enough qualified applicants.

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EugeniaAT

Yessss! Russian from english! I love you, guys! :'-)

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaniPhii

As I'm Spanish and I'm studying German as an English-speaker, I hope I can help soon giving life to the (nonexistent yet) German course for Spanish-speakers and/or vice versa. :) Learn helping and help learning. That's what Duolingo let us do at the same time. It's brilliant! :D

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vvega102

I can't wait to that the Russian course from English is released:) Great work Duolingo team! Keep it up:)

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/profelevi

Up next! Spanish --> Portuguese and Spanish ----> French... asi se hace... woohoo ;-D

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tariqnisarahmed

This must be what it felt like when trade routes between Europe and China or India first opened -- how the horizon has been brought near, with a whole world at the feet of our imagination.

What a wonderful enterprise you are, Duolingo. Bravo!

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Very well put. Bravo to you. Happy New Year

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SallyFae

Should I talk to my language teacher who is Lebanese and ask him if he is interested in moderating English speakers learning Arabic or do you have someone who is all set up for when you are ready to get to that course? And YES!!! thank you thank you thank you!!!

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimDeets

Russian for English speakers update?

April 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Hi Luis! Half a year has passed since the last update -- can you comment on the status of the Russian from English course? I thought there was a link to see the incubator, but today I couldn't find it. Kudos to you and to all the hard-working staff, volunteers and professionals.

June 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

He can't. Search for posts by Larisa_L and ShadyArc for more information.

Russian courses are fully volunteer based courses and are built from scratch. Since Russian is a complicated language, and none of the volunteers in the course is a linguist, but we still want to do a good job, it is taking a while.

June 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Gracias, Tortugas. For those who asked me the news, you can follow it here: http://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/ru/en/status

June 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Notters_BHAFC

English (UK) please.

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mary.scarlett

English for persian speakers! Please!!

March 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaylieJohnson

Elvish from Lord Of the Rings please!

May 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kiorio

What about adding American Sign Language to the mix?

February 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SongbirdSandra

Merveilleux!!! Awesome! Merci beaucoup!
Even though, I've just begun French, I absolutely must dabble in Dutch (from English).

Wow! This website just keeps getting better and better. So glad I found it. :-)
(I'm so happy, I gave you a lingot- I think you deserve all the lingots! Whoot!).

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Writingsuus

Awesome news. It's so cool to see things grow here and to actually be part of it :) Amazing!

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mollyglot

Oh, the ENG->RUS course will be out in a few weeks? Hmm... maybe I shouldn't bother with the RUS->ENG tree if it's so close...

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Larisa_L

A few weeks can mean various things. I would say that there will be no Rus > Eng course earlier than 2 months from now.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

Bother with it, mollyglot! You'll like it. Very worthwhile even in the beginning stages, which start out quite gently.

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mollyglot

I did the first couple lessons. When I head the sentences play in English I was a little startled, then I was like, "Oh, duh! This is for people learning English, after all!" I hate to start a tree then abandon it is the thing...

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

You can always use it to report the bad pronunciation. "We have ber", for bob's sake...

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

Oh. Sorry if I gave a bad suggestion. . . . If you have just a little Russian, then I think this beta would be very difficult. But if that's so, you don't have to abandon the tree forever. Wait for the English->Russian, do that, and then go back to the Russian->English. It will be great practice.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stwel

Great news! Thanks so much! Looking forward to that.

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tonywangtj

Any upcoming ASEAN language?

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/josethefourth

Indonesian

January 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/parkrangerno7

I want to learn Indonesian on DuoLingo!

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erven.R

Question: How will you know if you have been chosen? Will you give emails or will it be in the notifications or whatsoever?

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wandering.Seeker

it's been a month that I volunteered to be a contributor. haven't got email since. working on it, Luis?

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wandering.Seeker

o.o what? ...why downvotes?...what a friendly community. I just asked a question?!!

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Just guessing - the second paragraph reads "We have received over 20,000 applications to contribute to different courses" etc. That should sort-of answer your question.

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wandering.Seeker

well thanks buddy. at least you helped me out to understand, unlike others. I didn't meant anything bad in the first place. I was so eager to contribute and couldn't wait that's all.

and the staff's silence was bit annoying. they are here to serve, not to rule, and people like me want to devote a portion of our times to make the site blossom by contributing and thus making more comprehensive. they get donations, not us. though I don't expect anything, but at least a little respect and attention... I could have understood. each of every one of us is human being. and this text is not written by computer and but a caring person behind it. sorry in advance for any misunderstanding. it just breaks my heart they get the people wrong. thanks again for that concise reply. guess these things happen. I am still up for contributing.

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/il.malavit

I have been noticing this on the site. Don't get me wrong, I love the community on duolingo, and it has an extremely positive vibe to it. I also love the incredible service that the site provides, but there is a little bit of an over-zealousness on making sure that every one is perfectly nice and completely positive that can be a little mean when people mean well. It's kind of weird, a little culty. Even saying this I feel the urge to write another paragraph saying how much I honestly love the site in order to not receive down votes.

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wandering.Seeker

mate, that's empathy! exactly my thoughts :) ... I thank you dearly for this profound understanding and brilliant demonstration btw!

you would make an excellent social documentary maker for the insightful observation.

January 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

WanderingSeeker, I am pretty sure they are simply overwhelmed by users sending in support requests and offers of help that they cannot get to them all in a timely fashion. Probably the number of paid employees can be counted on one hand, and the rest are zealous, or sometimes zealous, volunteers. One way to try to get a timely answer is to post on the stream of a moderator. If you don't know the names of some moderators, you'll have to do some homework. The reason why people are always offering sugary compliments is that they realize that Duolingo was spear-headed by one person and that it is successful and growing despite the fact that it is not paid for by advertisers or users. That's a pretty significant accomplishment. :)

June 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wandering.Seeker

...eerm, well that was a long time ago. :) ... still haven't got the permission to contribute ...and yes, I didn't bother mods nor request again cause nowadays, I'm busy with learning several languages at once, reading my favorite books and studying for uni, now beginning for a master's degree...wish I had the time I had before :( ... but thanks for such a sudden, but honest comment :D

my personal opinion: I understand your personal love for this community, but me, though this place is great, thrilling and innovative in its kinds, I don't like getting emotionally attached to any community and thus include this place. sorry, not being ungrateful. came from personal experience...all in all, just saying... also, your love for it is admirable :)

perhaps it has something to do with the language. what I am going to contribute is Persian, which is mainly spoken by Iranian people. the problem is many westerners really have certain annoying stereotypes about these people. like they should be treated brutally as terr*rists. what I can say in short version: people are not as same as government, and media doesn't show what really things are and how they work. many are simply living their own lives. many still don't know English. I was raised bilingual, and I'm not a Persian, but from a minority. I thought such a famous site could help educate those people the international language so they can get in touch with cultures of the world, to see things through their own eyes rather than filters of dubbed media. bringing the people together globally...

June 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Wandering Seeker, I think what you mention is basically the reason people bother to learn languages; so hopefully they are open-minded. I think Farsi is lovely; I like the sound of it. Khaled Hosseini (author of Kite Runner and other novels) lives near here - I have met him - I hope his depictions of Afganistan are accurate, more or less. I think Californians are a little more open-minded than some areas of the USA, but I believe the whole world is improving. Take care.

June 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/corpsy

Are you going to add more contributors for the courses in phase 3 (like english for french)? Is this useful?

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

That is awesome. I'll be happy to beta-test russian to english and vice-versa if you guys would have me. I already applied, but have not received any reply.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alexander.

Anyone can test a language that's in beta. Just go to Settings -> Learning Language

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Thank you! I thought you have to go through the "apply" form.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ilecart

¡Gracias por tanto! <3

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dessamator

Interesting, I'm wondering how many unique languages combos(source ->target language) people have applied for? Probably few languages make up the majority of applications.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AraSigyrn

This is awesome news. Thank you so much for putting so much work into these courses!

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pcampisi

Looks promising. Very promising.

Will there continue to be updates to the existing languages? (Whether it's sections we can buy with lingots, or more advanced sections)?

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

If Greek to English becomes available how would I go about offering to contribute. I'm a native English speaker and know Greek well but not enough to teach. Have had contacts from Grace-Georgia and Tryfos both of whom have Greek as first language.

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brainiac711

I asked to help but i am still witing for a response

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jasminedesi16

This is great news! I can't wait for the Turkish one!

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/seelian

Request Japanese for Chinese/English speakers. but prefer chinese most coz chinese my native language. hehe

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tanataviele

I wonder whether more 'exotic' languages like japanese or hebrew could be possible someday! and why not 'dead' languages, like latin or ancient greek? I'm thrilled and looking forward to all novelties, thank you very much Duolingo!

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Since they are already working on Chinese, Japanese should not be a problem. As for hebrew, from what I can see looking at the Russian course, most of the input issues are handled by the browser and your OS, so hebrew shouldn't be a big deal to implement. Making the input comfortable for beginning language learners will be a big deal with the current system though, unless they have something amazing up their sleeve that they haven't shown yet.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noe010101

It'd be great if there was Czech on DL.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zanne

I now study languages by spurts... Duolingo always surprises and challenges me every time I go back to visit the site after a dormant period. It's good to have to take a few steps back before I go forward again, reviewing what I worked on weeks or months ago. Thank you for always challenging me! Looking forward to see the new languages that were added.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Canvasian

Awesooooome! Waiting on Swedish and Arabic courses! Thanks so much for your hard work! This is such an incredible idea, I am so psyched that it's working!

December 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spanishzacd

Arabic from English or Russian from English. I think we should have the official languages of the UN available. We already have 3 Spanish, French, and English now we just need Russian Mandarin and Arabic!

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViArSkoldpaddor

Russian is on its way (English for Russian Speakers is in Beta now, so I assume it's not going to take long.)

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petitlapin

hooray! I have been one of the tireless and most likely annoying folks lobbying for Russian for English speakers. (Though Polish and Hungarian look interesting too.) How exciting and thank you for letting us know how this is progressing!

January 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

I'm happy you got what you were waiting for. I doubt that lobbying is the reason and if it takes lobbying to get things done on Duo I'd be very disappointed. I think the staff is working on all applications and releases them as they are complete. We have all heard how heavy the workload is for the staff. Hope others don't decide to "be annoying" to get what they want.

January 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petitlapin

My goodness! I was kind of joking about the annoying part - I certainly hope you don't think I was advocating irritating duolingo by posting on threads discussing language preferences. As for lobbying - I disagree - I think duolingo does pay attention to forum threads, they care about user experience. They are also, I assume, interested teaching languages which will get translated and I suspect that that is one of the reasons they created the incubator program.

January 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JiaLak

Thank you Duolingo for your hard work

February 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eejd

Any chance for Asian languages (from English to start making their way in)?

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elange123

I want dutch

August 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Dutch is up and running. See the language icon next to your username? Hover your mouse on it, then pull down to add Dutch.

August 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LarryHaug

Today is August 16 2014, when can we expect the Swedish language course to be learned on Duolingo?

August 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LarryHaug

Today is August 16 2014. When can we expect the Swedish course to be added to Duolingo?

August 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

It's 68% done I believe. See my comment below.

August 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

For those of you who are curious about the status of any given language, go to your homepage and click on the flag of the language you are studying - this appears at the top of the page near your profile pic (to the right of the word "immersion"). From the drop-down menu, select "add new course". A new page opens up. On the top right, where it says, "I speak" scroll up (or down) to select "all languages." This will show you the status of every course. Clicking on the course will show more information, such as the names of the contributors (whom you can contact, if you need to do so).

August 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rg_24

Can you put Finnish, as a new language? I really want to learn it!

April 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adhoc

Hi guys. Would anyone answer the following question? Who is judging whether a person is suitable to be a contributor? I would like to apply but I am a bit confused about what to write in the cover letter (point 3). Is it just to find out the fluency level or does it require any persuasive points regarding commitment? I really want to try but I am just a little cautious to give promises. Could anyone tell me what is expected?

May 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ktbunny

Can anyone please start a course for learning Korean from English! Currently there is a course for learning English from Korean and I tried learning from that but it's too hard :(

May 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

See here for help on Duo and in particular the Guidelines for how courses are created.

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4821654

May 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StubbsTEFL

Please consider starting English -> Indonesian ASAP. I need it because I plan to teach in a Seminary there beginning next August. Thank you!

October 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RachelT-W

Might you consider adding Welsh?

April 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ERFAN811292

that was very amazing for me

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiologicalLang

I've applied to contribute on czech for english speakers and every time i go to duolingo incubator i don't see any "contribute" button or something i don't even see me as a contributor. HEPL PLEASE?????????????????

September 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El2theK

If you apply to contribute for a course you first have to be accepted (depending on if they need any (more) contributors). Until that time you won't be able to do anything in the incubator.

September 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiologicalLang

Tanks!!!!!!!

September 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Styr_

Would it be possible to start courses in Asturian language? There's some people interested in it; teachers and professors, for example, to participate with the students, or simply for exercised in that language.

We completed the incubator questions but we didn't recieved any answer.

October 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuecanolTim

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/25231774?

For anyone who wants to support my initiative of creating a swedish course for Spanish speakers, please join my discussion thread in the forums.

Para cualquier persona que quiera apoyar mi iniciativa de crear un curso sueco para hispanohablantes, únase a mi hilo de discusión en los foros.

November 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuecanolTim

Please let me and my members become incubators so we can create a Swedish course for Spanish speakers!

Support our cause in the Duolingo forums!

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/25231774

¡Permita que yo y mis miembros nos conviertan en incubadoras para que podamos crear un curso de sueco para hablantes de español!

Apoya nuestra causa en los foros de Duolingo!

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/25231774

Lots of love, Tim Lind of Los Suecañoles

December 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jesus849123

I'm dying for Basque Language :)

February 20, 2019
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