Weekly Incubator Update: Tracking Progress from June 12th to June 19th

Happy Fathers day!
Wishing you all a happy fathers' day (and belated mothers' day)! Hope you are learning all the languages available to you on Duolingo for your mother-tongue (and father-tongue)!

Fingers crossed as to when the beta roll-outs begin
This waiting game continues... But I just got the inside scoop that Hebrew is arriving at the stated time. In just two days!

PHASE 1 Progress: Total 25 courses

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

Greek for English - 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% (+0) 15-Jun-2016

Esperanto for Spanish - 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% (+0) 7-Jul-2016

Hungarian for English - 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% (+0) ^

Hebrew for English - 99% | 99% | 100% | 100% (+0) 21-Jun-2016

Spanish for Chinese - 99% | 99% | 99% | 99% (+0)

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

German for Italian - 87% | 89% | 90% | 90% (+0)

Romanian for English - 90% | 89% | 89% | 89% (+0)

Portuguese for French - 63% | 73% | 78% | 82% (+4)

Swahili for English - 49% | 49% | 70% | 70% (+0) 1-Aug-2016 ^

Spanish for Italian - 67% | 67% | 67% | 68% (+1)

Swedish for Russian - 65% | 65% | 64% | 65% (+1)

Italian for Portuguese - 52% | 53% | 54% | 54% (+0) 1-Apr-9999

Czech for English - 49% | 50% | 51% | 52% (+1) 17-Apr-2017 ^

French for Chinese - 47% | 47% | 47% | 47% (+0)

Russian for Turkish - 44% | 44% | 44% | 45% (+1) 31-Dec-2016

French for Turkish - 41% | 41% | 41% | 41% (+0)

Hindi for English - 27% | 27% | 27% | 27% (+0) 26-Jan-2017 ^

Klingon for English - 25% | 25% | 26% | 26% (+0) 1-Aug-2016

Indonesian for English - 16% | 18% | 22% | 25% (+3)

Korean for English - 11% | 12% | 13% | 13% (+0) 31-Dec-9998

Yiddish for English - 6% | 6% | 6% | 6% (+0) 7-Jul-2018

English for Tamil - (New) 0% | 0% | 5% (+5) 28-Feb-2017 *

English for Bengali - (New) 0% | 0% | 1% (+1) 20-Feb-2017

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

Mean - 0.40% | 0.64% | 1.40% | 0.68% (-0.72)
Median - 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% (+0)

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

Progress Visualized:

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

This week's star update award
rohanshankar from Team Tamil wrote 5 days ago:

Change in plans திட்டங்களில் மாற்றங்கள்

After evaluating the pros and cons of a "hybrid" Tamil structure consisting of elements of both spoken Tamil and written Tamil, the direction of Tamil courses on Duolingo has changed to the following:

  1. The "English for Tamil speakers" course will initially use only written Tamil, but will accept spoken Tamil words.

  2. The "Tamil for English speakers" course will do written Tamil in detail, and cover spoken Tamil towards the end in a series of unidirectional Translations.

I'm looking forward to your comments here

செந்தமிழையும் கொடுந்தமிழையும் கலந்து ஒரு "புத்தமிழ்" மொழியை உருவாக்குவதின் சாதக மதிப்பீடுக்கு பின் இப்பயிற்சியில் ஒரு திசைமாற்றம் செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது.

  1. "தமிழ் பேசுபவர்களுக்காக ஆங்கிலம்" பயிற்சியில் செந்தமிழை மட்டும் பயன்படுத்தப்படும். ஆனால் கொடுந்தமிழ் சொற்கள் ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளப்படலாம்.

  2. "ஆங்கிலம் பேசுபவர்களுக்காக தமிழ்" பயிற்சியில் செந்தமிழ் விவரமாக் கற்பிக்கப்படும். கடைசியில் ஒரே வழி மொழிபெயர்ப்புகளால் கொடுந்தமிழும் பயிற்சியளிக்கப்படும்.

உங்கள் கருத்துகளை இங்கு கூறவும்.

rohanshankar from Team Tamil added yesterday:

The dotted strong consonant மிகுந்த வல்லினம்

After a lot of research, the default translations in the skills will note use the dotted strong consonants. This is the way casual writing is currently done. However, such answers will eventually be accepted.

Example sentences:

  • Casual (default): அதை தான் நான் உனக்கு தருவேன்.
  • Traditional: அதைத் தான் நான் உனக்குத் தருவேன்.

Please leave your comments on the forum post here.

AndrsBrny from Team Hungarian wrote yesterday:



there's not too much to report this week — we're waiting to hear back about the requested audio fixes and the recordings to be added to the course. In the meantime, we're continuing to improve stuff in the background!

Thanks, once again, for your patience and I'll post an update as soon as we know more!

nueby from Team Czech wrote 9 hours ago:

Week 50

1040 words, 52%.


Greek is coming later that scheduled. But Hebrew likely to hit the date!

Previous Update 5-Jun to 12-Jun

Last updates from:
2016: May, Apr, Mar, 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.

June 19, 2016


FIVE courses at 100%! How exciting is THIS?!!

Oh, my stars: Tamil is the most beautiful script ever. I might add that to my bucket list.

June 19, 2016

Isn't it gorgeous? I find looking at Tamil (and Georgian) script is like looking at art.

June 20, 2016

I feel the same way, but my favorite is Tibetan.

June 20, 2016

I heard it's something really fun to learn with those consonant clusters and spelling in general :D

June 20, 2016


June 20, 2016

Yep, my Sri Lankan stamps were my favourite because of the script.

June 20, 2016

Agreed on both counts!

June 21, 2016

Can't wait for Hungarian! I have family from Hungary, have been to Budapest, and I want to see how similar Hungarian is with Finnish (my mother tongue). Yay!

June 19, 2016

Looks like a bit of a slow week in all for most of the courses, but I'm excited for seeing new courses in Beta. It's going to be worth the wait!

June 19, 2016

I know I don't need to add any more languages to the flags by my name, but darn it all if I don't get to the first checkpoint in each course about to hit beta! If I didn't have schoolwork to keep me occupied throughout the week, all this waiting would stress me out beyond belief.

Can't wait to try all your courses!

June 19, 2016

I think we need to have an option to showcase only languages above a certain level, say level 10 and above. I would suppose that many of us want to try out newly released languages just to get a taste, but don't have a desire to finish the entire course nor would want to showcase such minimal progress.

June 19, 2016

Perhaps users could choose what flags to display or what level to cut them off at. This brings to mind the Duolingo Reddit's system, albeit one I am not too familiar with, which allows people to choose the flags displayed.

June 20, 2016
  • 1311

But you can always remove a course from your list and you won't see its flag by your name anymore :)

June 19, 2016

I would really like to have a less drastic choice, though. I have deleted several courses, including most of the Romance languages and Turkish, off the top of my head, but I'd really like to be able to choose not to display things without having to delete them and/or prioritise.

June 21, 2016

True, I have taken that drastic measure many a time. I seem to keep deleting Portuguese.

June 19, 2016

French & Catalan :D

June 20, 2016

Hahaha, you got me :-) Those are the only two flags I don't currently have (that I can get).

I've been working on re-gilding my Spanish tree with the goal of being able to quickly finish the English for Spanish speakers and German for Spanish speakers trees (both of which I'm about a third of the way through) before adding Catalan to the list.

As for French, tbh I've never really liked the way French sounds, yet I don't really dislike the language in general. With this in mind, I decided that French would be the last language I learn (unless something major happens and learning French becomes a necessity). At this point, it's become a bit of a game to see how long I can go without learning it :D

June 21, 2016

At this point, it's become a bit of a game to see how long I can go without learning it :D

Games only fellow Duolingoists see the point of: Let's see how long I can avoid learning French... :-p

June 21, 2016


June 21, 2016


June 21, 2016

[deactivated user]


    In all seriousness, learn French. It is awesome.

    June 28, 2016

    I did the French from Russian tree on the grounds that I wanted to finish a tree that wasn't either easy (Esperanto) or teaching a Slavic language or my mother tongue, and ugh I got so bored with the French from English tree, but I did study it for eight years and apparently it's not yet possible to delete a language from your brain in order to get better at a different one! I don't know why I have such a lack of enthusiasm for French, but fwiw, you're not the only one.

    (I ended up doing a bunch of the from English tree anyway, because the Russian one has no tips and notes, but at least once I'd done the skills from Russian, doing them from English was a relative walk in the park. I'm pretty sure some of them would've taken me a while if I'd done them cold, but having done them already from Russian, I tested out of most of them from English. Made me feel very accomplished ;D)

    June 21, 2016

    Cool, that is interesting. But, why do you have to give me laddering envy? Haha.

    June 21, 2016

    Greek didn't go into Beta on June 15. Maybe they are going to release Greek and Hebrew at the same time?

    June 19, 2016

    I doubt it. It looks like this coming Tuesday we will be getting Hebrew first. A contributor for the Greek course, Theo_Matrakas said here that he is hopeful the Greek course will be ready mid-July.

    June 19, 2016

    So why did they say mid June. It should have been mid July. And still waiting for Hungarian...I wonder how many languages will go beta before Hungarian does?

    June 19, 2016

    It seems like Hungarian is much further along than Greek is. If I recall correctly, Hungarian only has three audio recordings left to get re-recorded and then they are about done. Greek is in the middle of having everything recorded. Hebrew is done with all the recordings and preparing for launch.

    June 19, 2016

    The Hungarian flag-clad-golden-owl was just added to the resources page (in addition to the Hebrew one of course) during the Hebrew course launch today. I suppose this means we can expect an imminent Hungarian launch. :)

    June 21, 2016

    Oh that'd be too much for my poor brain!

    June 19, 2016

    The hype is real!! So many new courses will be out in the next couple weeks, I'm so excited!

    June 19, 2016

    The estimated release date for Greek (15 Juli) lies in the past and I fear none of us will live long enough to do the Italian for Portuguese or the Korean for English courses which will both be released in 9999.

    June 19, 2016

    I hope you aren't being serious.....

    June 19, 2016

    Don't worry, he's not.

    June 19, 2016

    Has someone any idea why recently there have been virtually no new courses in the incubator? The last was like Korean and it was quite a long time ago. I have no intention of complaining (althought I'm desperately waiting for a few courses... ekhmARABIC... Also some people interested in white and blue flags should know what I am talking about :) ), it just seems a bit odd to me because I remember new courses being announced regularly and more frequently.

    June 20, 2016
    • 1351

    I think that most easy additions to the incubator have already been made.

    There are three prerequisites for a new course:

    • the language should be teachable using Duolingo's model (which precludes Japanese, Chinese languages, languages with no standardised writing system, and sign languages)

    • there should be a large supply of volunteers, who are bilingual, tech-savvy and have enough free time to actually do it

    • there should be either demand for the course, or the course should give Duolingo some good publicity (see Klingon, Irish, Welsh, Guarani, Catalan, or the new courses for Arabic speakers)

    Courses aren't free to add, they cost work on behalf of Duolingo, and often also actual money for audio recordings, so they can't add them willy-nilly.

    So what courses I could see appear in the nearest future?

    • Duolingo could expand its English teaching programme with courses from some of the remaining Slavic languages, Tagalog, Farsi, Burmese, or some languages of India

    • or they could give English speakers Arabic or Finnish

    • or they could boost minority languages like Basque, Yucatec Maya, and Quechua (all three from Spanish), or Maori and Cherokee (from English)

    • or they could finally do the Latin course

    So how many is that? Only about a dozen of viable options. For comparison, right now Duolingo has over 80 courses (including the incubator).

    Also, despite the fact that I listed all those options as "viable", I don't think of any of them as likely or urgent, maybe except for Arabic. And as for Arabic, I think Duolingo is waiting for Hebrew to come out first, to see if they need to change anything.

    Most other options suffer from having too small population or being from poor regions, therefore having fewer volunteers and fewer potential learners. To be more specific, I do not expect courses either of or from Afrikaans, Armenian, Belorussian, Berber, Breton, Cornish, Estonian, Faroese, Georgian, Hausa, Hmong, Icelandic, Igbo, Inuktitut, Khmer, Kurdish, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Maltese, Manx, Occitan, Sorbian, Tatar, Venetian, Xhosa or Yoruba.

    Anyway, that's just my opinion. What actually matters is the incubator applications and Duolingo's growth strategy.

    June 21, 2016

    These would be the easiest additions:

    • Italian for German speakers
    • Portuguese for German speakers
    • Portuguese for Italian speakers


    June 22, 2016

    There definitely needs to be more XXX for German speakers languages. I'm thinking of starting a campaign.

    June 25, 2016

    Portuguese and Russian for German speakers are likely additions soon.

    June 26, 2016

    Russian for German speakers would be excellent!

    June 26, 2016

    Having reverse courses of all the courses teaching German would be easier than adding new languages to Duolingo. :) Combinations of the original six languages Duolingo had before starting the incubator would be even easier. :)

    June 26, 2016

    Would it matter though, whether these combinations involved pre-Incubator or Incubator-baked languages?

    For the record (although I'm of course not begrudging anyone any courses they would like to build or study): boooriiing... I'm all for new languages! ;-)

    June 26, 2016

    I enjoyed your opinion piece! I do wonder if the Duo’s strategy may be much more important than the Incubator applications.

    If you were a betting man and had to pick between two non-urgent possibilities, Finnish and Slovak (either direction in combination with English), how would you see them? Nearly identically sized L1 populations, but one with a much greater penetration of English, so that may enrich the potential contributor pool, but also make the ->EN course and the associated potential testing income less interesting. Very different levels of similarity to anything currently or previously in the Incubator, with impacts on the probable cost to Duo (higher for Finnish) and on the usefulness of the course (many Slovaks just take the English course for Czech speakers).

    June 22, 2016
    • 1351

    I'd say Finnish from English. Finnish is quite marketable, they could use it to get more European users – and European users pay more for streak restoration.

    English from Finnish, as you said, is unlikely, because Finns speak English quite fine.

    Slovak from English is unlikely, because it's just a less popular cousin of Czech, and I don't think many people have experience teaching Slovak as a foreign language.

    English from Slovak would be my bet if not for the fact, as you said, that Slovaks might just attempt English from Czech.

    Finnish from Slovak is even less likely.

    And Slovak from Finnish will come out only after Yiddish from English comes out.

    But who knows.

    June 22, 2016

    Perhaps one of the BCMS dialects or even Bulgarian (-> English) could be a tougher competitor to Finnish for English speakers. Still fairly related to something already incubated, but definitely far enough to discourage users from taking the "wrong" course. And the only remaining major branch of the Slavic tree.

    June 22, 2016

    Ooo, Occitan or Breton for French would be awesome. There are enough native speakers/enthusiasts of Occitan left to make it happen. That said, it seems Occitan doesn't have a consensus for a standardized writing/pronunciation system... I bet there's support for the language, but not enough unity amongst the supporters, unless they can agree to promote one regional dialect over the others. Breton seems more unified but also more endangered. It may already have some interest amongst Duo users from its close cousin Welsh (and more distant Irish). Though, we could say the same for Occitan and Catalan... I can also imagine a course to Eastern Armenian from English, and from Western Armenian to English, but it would depend on how many Armenian users are already on here for other languages... kinda tough if they aren't already bi or tri-lingual.

    June 26, 2016

    You're right, Duolingo is better for writing than for speaking or signing, so it should wait until Occitan speakers settle on which writing standards to use.

    June 26, 2016

    If I was being optimistic, I would guess that they are working on some sort of fundamental re-design of the system based on their experiences with incubator courses so far, so are loathe to start any new courses. They could come out fighting any day now with something new and mind blowing for everyone.

    If I was being pessimistic, I would guess that they might be feeling like they have poked the proverbial bear with a stick, and are struggling to fight it. Offering free languages to the world is hard, because there are 7 or 8 billion people and most of them want to learn languages. If the net cost of giving it to every person in the world was only 1 penny, that would set them back 80,000,000 dollars.

    June 20, 2016

    Well, this is just a guess, but I wonder if they're hesitant to add new courses too quickly when the existent ones are having delays in getting out of Phase 1. And even with all this said, English for Tamil and English for Bengali were added very very recently, so I wouldn't be too worried.

    June 20, 2016

    I noticed that the recent courses as well as those currently in the incubator usually needed (often much) more time to be released into beta compared to the courses released some time before. So maybe, like you said, they're hesitatant to add new courses because they don't want to have a mess with twice as much courses hatching for another year. Let's hope that after the upcoming releases of all those 100%-courses we will see some new courses in the incubator.

    June 20, 2016

    I noticed the same thing. It's not a surprise really, since the languages being built now are in many cases less similar than before. And yeah, I'd imagine new courses starting to pop up from August forward at least.

    June 20, 2016

    Part of that is become some teams have learned from others' mistakes. Rushing a course out of Phase 1 is a terrible idea. They become much harder to change once they hit beta.

    June 22, 2016

    Just had to get in a few winks, nudges, and lingots here... :-D

    June 20, 2016

    cough SUOMI cough

    June 20, 2016

    Just had to add a few more lingots....

    June 21, 2016

    According to the courses page, Swahili is at 96%, and yet here it looks like 70%.

    Are they still planing to add words and sentences to be translated?

    June 19, 2016

    Yes. In their last update, they mentioned that they did not know what the final word count would be.

    June 20, 2016

    Yes, exactly. 70% is what they said in their last update, based on their estimated final word count. The automatic number is 96% because they haven't added all the words yet.

    June 20, 2016

    Patience is a virtue, and that's especially true for people waiting for the Klingon for English speakers.

    Based on how long it's taken them to reach 26%, a realistic estimate of when the course will launch is July, 2019.

    How many existing courses spent that long in the incubator?

    June 19, 2016

    No problem. According to this first contact with Klingons is not until April 2151.

    June 20, 2016


    June 21, 2016

    Great news about Hebrew! Would rather have Arabic, but Hebrew will be interesting!

    June 21, 2016

    Thanks for all the work you 've done so far jitengore! I wish I saw more SEA languages up there close to 100%

    June 22, 2016

    Just wanted to give a shout out to Portuguese for French and Indonesian for English which both seem to be chugging along nicely these past weeks! Bravo!

    June 26, 2016
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