Weekly Incubator Update: Tracking Progress from March 20th to March 27th

The Esperanto for English course has graduated from beta!
Congratulations to the course team and to team Duolingo! With this, we now have as many as 49 courses in phase 3. Which Phase-2 course is going to be the next one to make that 50?

The Russian for English course graduated from beta last week!
In case you have missed reading my delayed completion of last week's post, I wanted to reiterate this big news!

Errata: German for French course too graduated from beta last week! Congratulations to the course team and team Duolingo! And thanks to lizsue & scarcerer for the reminder.

Seemingly slow progress
There are as many as six courses close to the brink of entering beta. Since the work done on these does not reflect in the overall progress number, it seems that things have slowed down in the incubator land.

Duolingo goes to India
I am delighted to see that Duolingo has renewed its focus on India. As a start Duolingo will soon be adding courses for English for the speakers of Tamil, Telugu, & Bengali. I have always said that as a country with so many languages, India is truly a Duo-country! There are several opportunities yet to be discovered.

I am aware that several bilinguals from India - those fluent in English and one of these languages - Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali - have closely followed the progress of the courses my team has been working on: English for Hindi speakers and Hindi for English speakers. Now is the time to sign up and help.

Hindi for English team
For those who are eager to join the Hindi for English team, please consider spending some time on our forum. Our team depends on help from the community of Hindi-English bilinguals. We will soon notice your contributions and evidence of your passion and skills to help. This will help us choose the right future teammates. Among all the selection criteria, this has worked really well for us in the past.

As you can tell, the forum seems quite neglected. Please help bring about the much needed change!

PHASE 1 Progress: Total 24 courses

Vietnamese for English - 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% (+0) 31-Jan-2050

Guarani for Spanish - 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% (+0)

Spanish for Chinese - 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% (+0)

Greek for English - 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% (+0) 5-May-2016

Hebrew for English - 94% | 97% | 98% | 99% (+1) 10-Jun-2016

English for Thai  - 98% | 98% | 98% | 98% (+0)

Romanian for English - 78% | 82% | 85% | 85% (+0)

German for Italian - 82% | 82% | 82% | 82% (+0)

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

Esperanto for Spanish - 68% | 71% | 76% | 80% (+4) *

Spanish for Italian - 66% | 66% | 66% | 66% (+0)

Swedish for Russian - 62% | 62% | 62% | 63% (+1)

Portuguese for French - 59% | 59% | 59% | 60% (+1)

Swahili for English - 49% | 49% | 49% | 49% (+0) 1-Jul-2016 ^

Italian for Portuguese - 44% | 44% | 45% | 45% (+0)

Russian for Turkish - 43% | 43% | 43% | 43% (+0) 31-Dec-2016

Czech for English - 37% | 38% | 39% | 40% (+1) 17-Apr-2017 ^

French for Turkish - 39% | 39% | 39% | 39% (+0)

Hindi for English - 26% | 26% | 26% | 26% (+0) 15-Aug-2016 ^

Klingon for English - 21% | 21% | 21% | 21% (+0) 1-Aug-2016

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

Korean for English - 8% | 8% | 8% | 9% (+1)

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

Indonesian for English - 1% | 1% | 5% | 6% (+1)

Course - 3 weeks ago | 2 weeks ago | a week ago | Now (Progress delta); Estimated Launch Date (provided by contributors) (Date delta)

Estimated Launch Date only when provided by the course contributors

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

Mean - 0.56% | 0.46% | 0.63% | 0.41% (-0.22)
Median - 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% (+0)

Progress Visualized:

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

Lextum8 from Team EO for ES wrote 1 week ago:

Ĝisdatigo 8 | Actalización 8

Llegamos al 76%, 3/4 del curso! Yo empecé a ir a la universidad, por lo que voy a tener menos tiempo, pero igual pueden esperar el mismo progreso semanal.

1441 palabras y 200 imágenes

fluffyby from Team Thai wrote 5 days ago:

Hang in there!

Thank you for being EXTRA patient with us. We are almost there! <3

AndrsBrny from Team Hungarian wrote 3 days ago:

Mid-week update


here's just a quick mid-week update. We've more progress on the second past tense skill, with about a quarter of it done now. We're filling in the other new words, too, so things are still looking bright.

Since it has come up repeatedly, I'd like to mention something about new collaborators: it's great that there are so many people out there who are interested and keen to help out. We just thought that at the current stage it might be more efficient to get done what we have, but as soon as we hit beta, I'd like to get some new people on the team! You'll hear about that here, too.

Summary (tl;dr)

We're making progress on past tense and our new words, and we're looking forward to getting new collaborators involved during beta. Happy rest-of-the-week!

nueby from Team Czech wrote 13 hours ago:

Week 38

795 words, 40%. Completed Numbers 2 with a lesson on numbers 21 through 29, which set of integers is quite messy in Czech. Started on Numbers 3 (>=30). The Places skill is practically done, so now we also move on to the second locative skill, one focused on the more abstract uses of that case (time and topic related "locations").

amuzulo from Team Esperanto wrote 6 hours ago:

Graduated out of beta! - Star Update Award winner!

Duolingo HQ has determined that our course is stable, so we're happy to shed our beta status. Of course, we'll continue to handle reports as they come in just as before. In addition to this, we'll be spending more time working on the next tree version, which will bring a lot of improvements to the beginning of the course as well as some new skills at the end and many new words!

Additionally, we are still closely collaborating with the Esperanto for Spanish speakers course. We are using our knowledge from this beta test to improve their course, so Spanish speakers can get many of the benefits of our public testing already in their initial launch.

We're blown away that in these 10 months since launch, our course now has more than 333,000 learners with over 7,500 people pre-registered for the new Esperanto course for Spanish speakers (¡Regístrate hoy para saber cuando empezará el curso!), which should launch in a few months. Since Esperanto was made as a language for people to communicate across different mother tongues, we're especially excited to see the dialog between English and Spanish countries once both courses have been out for a while. Vivu Esperanto!

ckhadung from Team Vietnamese wrote 5 hours ago:

Beta is imminent

We finished reviewing all Vietnamese audio files. I submitted them to Duolingo for final verification and implementation a few days ago. There are a few files needed to be re-recorded but the rest of them are good to go. On the other hand, I must announce that there are only 3000 audio files, about 55% of our course content. "I don't like it but I guess things happen that way".

However, let's not consider this a drawback but look on the bright side: the course is almost here! You can take advantage of this course to combine with other external sources to help with your learning of Vietnamese language.

Release date will be updated as soon as possible.

Lextum8 from Team EO for ES wrote 3 hours ago:

Ĝisdatigo 9 | Actalización 9

Estamos muy felices de saber que ahora el curso de esperanto para hablantes de inglés pasó a la fase de estabilidad, lo que significa que se van a poder enfocar en su segundo árbol, y por consecuencia también nos van a ayudar a nosotros para tener un mejor árbol.

Esta semana llegamos al 80% de palabras e imágenes, aunque siempre me gusta recalcar que ese no es todo el trabajo, y que puede variar ese porcentaje con las modificaciones que hagamos junto con el otro equipo. Ĝis baldaŭ!

1515 palabras y 200 imágenes

dragostis from Team Romanian wrote just now:

Week in Review


I'm Dragoș, and I've recently had the awesome opportunity of joining the Romanian for English Speakers team. Being able to do the kind of voluntary work that sticks tight to my passions sounded like a good idea, so I immediately applied when I saw work being done on a Romanian course. Now, a bit later, I'm working on the notes that accompany each lesson while trying to find better, simpler ways to teach people about the languages.

This week, we have been working on improving and reviewing sentences, while also adding and correcting the first batch of lessons. We've also been gathering great feedback from our alpha-testers.

Now for some numbers.

  • 1895 completed words
  • 106 images


Last week it was the Russian course that graduated from beta, this week it is Esperanto. Both are for the English speakers. As you can read in the Vietnamese update, the Vietnamese course is soon entering beta phase.

Previous Update 13-Mar to 20-Mar

Last updates from:
2016: Feb, Jan
2015: Dec, Nov, Oct, Sep, Aug, Jul, Jun, May, Apr, Mar, Feb, Jan
2014: Dec, Nov, Oct, Sep, Aug, Jul, Jun, May, Apr, Mar, Feb, Jan, 1st.

March 27, 2016


Vietnamese is on fire! Beta is immenint!

March 27, 2016

Dear awesome WIU followers, thanks for your patience. I have now completed the post from today as well as from the last week. If you visited the post a few hours ago, you might want to revisit to get the updates on several courses including Romanian, Esperanto, and Vietnamese!

March 28, 2016

Hi Jiten, will the Hindi course go back to regular updates?

March 27, 2016

Yes, Pinefrost. We, the Hindi team, are acutely aware of the lack of updates from our side. We also have less than 140 days deadline looming ahead. And there's another personal one for me right around that time! I am going to back us up to succeed at both :)

March 27, 2016

Didn't Duolingo decide to make another app for the Hindi course?

March 27, 2016

There's more information on that at . :)

From the article:

...“Our new team of four will make the app work for India. It is the first such team. We think the market is very big here and learning English is a big deal,” explains von Ahn...

so I think it will be a second set of apps for the English for Hindi speakers course.

The article also says

...Among the learnings for the company have been the need to make the apps lighter and less dependent on data. “We have apps in so many countries that we did not pay attention to individual countries. So we hadn’t realised how difficult it is to type in Hindi. This is when we realised that smartphone users in India, even those who don’t know the language, have their phones set to English,” adds von Ahn, who also teaches at Carnegie Mellon University and has won the prestigious MacArthur Genius Award.

The app no longer requires Hindi typing and even accepts Romanisation. Also, people have the option of responding with options that need to be tapped, removing the need to type. “We are going to be make more changes. The idea is to do everything needed to make the app successful here. We will be adding other large Indian languages soon,” he adds...

Having a second set of apps with a no-typing option makes more sense than putting the no-typing setting into the Android, iPhone, and Windows apps Duolingo already has. :)

I don't know if there are similar difficulties in typing Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali. If there are, then maybe this second set of apps that don't require typing will be for other courses too? KaiLoh said at that Duolingo would like to make English for Tamil speakers, English for Telugu speakers, and English for Bengali speakers courses too. :)

March 27, 2016

Thanks for sharing, lizsue.

Also thanks for stealing the thunder about the English for Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali speakers lead. I don't mind at all because I was occupied with the results of this cricket match.

March 27, 2016

Yes, the Duolingo product team is adding resources and focus on addressing the issues faced for the English for Hindi course. And based on the recent growth in the number of learners, it is already showing results.

Among other things the team is working to reduce having to type in Devanagari by providing multiple choice answers similar to the several other language courses. While this seems a little watered down edition, it does address the limitations experienced by our learners.

It is also now acknowledged to reduce unnecessary exposure to our learners to rather sensitive lexeme such as 'beef'. While personally I don't have any issues with it, I and the Hindi team had asked to avoid this two years ago. It is never too late :)

We cannot be happier to see added learner base and more engagement!

March 27, 2016

Well, it just went to beta XD, so there's that.

March 28, 2016

Nice flags.

March 29, 2016


March 30, 2016

Looking forward to Hebrew!

March 27, 2016

Vietnamese is looking good! :)

March 27, 2016

There will be a swarm of courses entering beta.

March 27, 2016

Go go my dear Romanian <3 Can't wait to discover the secrets you hide behind those words

March 27, 2016

Come on Greek team!! :D

March 27, 2016

Esperanto for English speakers graduated to Phase 3 this week too: . :)

[edited to add that I originally made this comment before Jitengore put this info in the main post]

March 27, 2016

Totally acceptable reason for the delay, Jiten! You're forgiven :)

March 27, 2016

Thanks, pp65! That was a thrilling finish, indeed!

March 27, 2016

Only 10 percent from all the courses combined.

March 27, 2016

Thank you, Jiten! We love your WIU's.

(In the first line, "has graduating" should be corrected.)

I am so excited about Duolingo's focus on India. :D Making a lighter app, English courses from the major languages of the country, & hopefully Tamil, Telugu, Bengali ---- & someday Marathi, Gujarathi, Assamese, etc. FROM English. Most people don't know that Bengali is a top-12 world language. (The first paragraph about India should say "courses" instead of "course".)

Maybe Duolingo will concentrate on China too in the following years, and, who knows, possibly Africa, then the Middle East after that. If Google acquires them, they may do it all at once. Google certainly has the resources in spades.

One thing that's sure to happen is improvement. I can't wait to see what else Duolingo plans to teach -- including non-language-related material, indigenous languages, and mainstream ones. Just think of all the opened minds and hearts all over our world if the veil of communication is lifted even a bit. And, the new material is sure to make a nudge toward global equality, I think.

Sure, there are EdX, MIT-OCW, Khan Academy, ALISON, Coursera, Udemy, & Udacity already, but none as nimble as Duolingo. It's definitely a leader in that sense. It's the future. Nice to spend part of every day there now. And your WIU's give us a glimpse of the future of Duo itself, so they present the future of the future, in a sense, haha!

Thanks again, friend.

March 28, 2016

Very well said, efisgpr!

I think Duolingo would need to balance between the immediate market need (English for xyz) and the need to avoid creating an English based mono-lingual world (xyz for English) for tomorrow.

Of course, one can replace 'English' with any other language that has a wide global presence.

And thanks for the typo correction. I have been changing the sentence construction midway thru the typing :)

March 29, 2016

Thanks for the compliment & the insights. It's great to connect to like-minded people here. :D

March 29, 2016

So well said! I love the whole peace-y, get along-y thing about languages so much too. Thank you, some lingots for you.

March 28, 2016

Thanks!! :)

March 29, 2016

Well I've just had a pleasant surprise.

I've just glanced at the course page and noticed something different about the Klingon course.

The percentage has gone up from 21% to (would you believe it) 22%.

I double checked this in the incubator where progress is measured down to 0.1% and Klingon has gone up a full 1% to 22.8%.

Go team Klingon!

March 29, 2016

Speaking of graduations, German for French has also graduated as lizsue pointed out last week.

March 28, 2016

Thanks, scarcerer. I added an errata.

March 28, 2016

Some signs of movement from the Swedish for Russian and Portuguese for French teams, which is encouraging.

March 28, 2016

When should we expect an announcement of the new courses for English speakers entering der incubator?

March 28, 2016

nobody knows

March 28, 2016

or nobody's telling XP

March 28, 2016

All I want for Christmas is the Czech for English course :'(

March 29, 2016

ተጨማሪ አፍሪካዊ ቋንቋዎችም ማየት ደስ ይለኝ ነበር...

March 29, 2016
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