https://www.duolingo.com/Luis

Language Incubator Frequent Questions

A few hours ago, we released a new version of our Android app with six courses created in the Incubator: French for Spanish speakers, and English for Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Dutch, and Turkish speakers. This was a major accomplishment for the Incubator contributors of these courses and our mobile and incubator teams. Congratulations!

Because of the occasion, I thought it was time for a brief update, so I'll answer some frequent questions:

  • When will these courses be available on iOS? In a few days.

  • What kind of Arabic is the English for Arabic course in? MSA.

  • When will the reverse courses (from English) be started? In about 4 weeks.

  • Why is that taking so long? Because in order to do this, we need to build a whole infrastructure to let the mods fully edit their courses. That means giving them the tools to decide which words are in which lessons, which skills come before others, and which words are related to each other. For example, after a certain point in the tree Duolingo needs to know that you understand verb conjugation well enough that when it teaches you the first person form of a regular verb you can also understand the second person. In order to do this, our system needs to know that two different words are both forms of the same verb for any language that we teach. We also need speech synthesizers and voice recognizers. Our Incubator team is working late nights to be able to deliver this as soon as possible.

  • When are you adding the language I want to learn? (1) See previous question. (2) If you want the process to go faster, encourage anybody you know to apply to moderate courses. They can apply here: http://incubator.duolingo.com/apply

  • Are you working on a Windows Phone App? This is not related to the Incubator :)

January 30, 2014

97 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/EvelynK.

..."In about 4 weeks" --> like, like, like!!! I am really looking forward! :)

January 30, 2014

[deactivated user]

    I just wish he and the rest of the team had been more realistic about the new english to (insert language courses here) time frame. So accounting for that and adding in a month for the first course to be ready official eta should be April 2014 probably around Easter.

    EDIT: Why all the downvotes? Luis told us by the end of January we would have another English to another language course. This was back in December.

    January 31, 2014

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

    They'll say that they're the "six Easter bunnies"

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jitengore

    And the community seems to be wanting 60 :)

    January 31, 2014

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

    :-) My personal waiting-list includes Hungarian and a bevy of constructed languages. I'm impatient, so I'm actually trying to take the initiative to teach myself without Duolingo.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ragedhalomaniac

    mine is elvish true story they will be adding that but not for a while

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jackknife89

    Having had to manage multi-faceted projects which necessitate having many different contributors, and coordinating all of that to make a final product, I learned that actually hitting a time projection is the exception, not the rule. All things considered I think the speed at which this is getting done is really impressive, especially if the quality matches their existing offerings, and therefore this effort is deserving of praise. Your comment comes across as a complaint. Perhaps it isn't meant that way?

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Iamnotfeli

    Same

    September 14, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum

    4 weeks 'til Russian! I'm so excited I could dance! :D

    EDIT: In fact, I did dance.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/NicolletAve

    4 weeks is when they will be started. It will be a bit longer before they are published and/or are in beta.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum

    I know, but still. It might be 5 or 6 'til it actually comes out.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf

    I'm going to assume about 10 weeks from now.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L

    Yes, i would think no earlier than that. If we're given the opportunity to change the skills and the sentences we will invest some time in doing that. And believe me, it is for your benefit, because if we just revert the current course, it would be extremely hard to learn Russian from what we have there.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum

    I can see that now. I've been slowly learning Russian for the past few days from a book. It's difficult, but fun. I cannot wait to use the reverse course. Thank you guys so much for putting in the work for this site! :)

    February 4, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/adamyoung97

    I'm looking forward to Turkish :D

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/nathansk8s

    I am a bit confused Luis why did you add the last part about a Windows Phone App? haha

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.

    Me too... and there's a smiley... Is it a "hint hint" smiley or is it a "let you down easy" smiley?

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/FrankySka
    Mod
    • 2089

    I think it is one of the questions that he gets a lot… probably second next to "why have you not added XXX from English yet?"

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dr.Manhattan95

    He's such a tease.

    January 31, 2014

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

    Doing these confusing lessons has left me just as confused LoL

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/onlyonehome

    Play more then. It gets easier.

    February 2, 2014

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

    Oh I've been playing for awhile now! LoL As soon as you understand one aspect of a language here comes another aspect that gives you an aneurysm LoL

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/danny667

    oh, i know dat feel T^T

    February 2, 2014

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

    LoL Have you recovered from the last aneurysm yet? I haven't lol

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/CFJWilliamson

    Thanks for answering some of these questions Luis!! Really looking forward to seeing some reverse courses! Really admire the work you guys are doing :)

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/mercutio

    hey luis, firstly thanks for the update, I think you and the duo team are awesome. One thing which is particularly relevant to me is the tree structure, I've posted elsewhere on the forum that Ive hit a huge wall about halfway down the spanish tree and I've been having to literally guess answers or done a lesson so many times I've just memorised the wrong answers lol. Ive found I've been doing lessons and passing them but not understanding them, I feel its because the tree structure suddenly introduced a whole bunch of complicated concepts all at once, I felt this was a structure issue of the tree and as you mentioned mods will decide structure is there a tool or a way they are going to be guided to introduce new concepts smoothly? (I am not asking this because of complaining, but just because I felt there may be others with similar struggles) p.s I find the duo project really really inspiring, so thanks to you all. :)

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Iain__Russell

    I had the same problem of progressing too quickly in the tree and only having the lessons go to my short term memory. The best way to fix this is repeat the lessons and constantly do the strengthen skills lessons.

    Don't rush down the tree without understanding things. You'll get points that way but you won't retain as much info.

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/tariqnisarahmed

    Agreed! Besides maintenance in French, I am learning Spanish on Duolingo. To overcome the long-term failures of blitzing down the tree, I first redid my past Spanish lessons. Now I limit myself: 1 new lesson requires two strengthening drills. I think I am much more solid in the material I have covered to date in Spanish than I was before I began this tack.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jackknife89

    my ratio is more along the lines of 1:10. I'm amazed to see people at level 13 saying they are through the tree in Spanish. I am level 14 and have at least 3 more months before I complete the tree.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/tariqnisarahmed

    Well, I finished my French tree at a "young" level, too. :) But my French was merely 20 years rusty -- I was not learning it from scratch. :)

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia

    It depends whether you had previous knowledge of the language. I finished the Spanish tree really fast (the placement test got me pretty far), I was level 11.

    February 3, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/CecilieO.

    I think I'm at about the same place on my tree, and here is what I have done to keep progressing

    • started reading simple texts/watching disney movies in italian
    • keep all my skills golden, and use the general practice option
    • I bought a grammar book and started figuring things out. Clitics, reflexsive verbs and the use of avere/essere as helping verbs are subjects that need additional explanation.
    • at some point in all learning you will hit a wall, then you can either give up, or push trough and improve.
    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/CapK9

    I kinda saw it coming since day one, so I decided I was going to write every new concept on a notebook, and that's working. I think that language learning is about learning the culture that comes with it, so if you try too hard to memorize grammar and vocabulary without emotion, human contact or fun, you'll forget everything. I face Dualingo as a support, I know that the team makes their best to improve this website, but I believe that it is already ok (it is not that they should stop working, lol). I guess that the main part in the learning process is to be curious and explore, so try to have more fun! :D

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/larksong4

    I am just so bloody grateful for what you have done already. As an old Aussie about to take her first trip to Spain and Central America I now know how to ask for a beer and most importantly say thank you, you're welcome and please to people I meet.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/OldSpiceGuy

    Stop working late nights. Go have fun. Enjoy life.

    January 30, 2014

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

    Fun? Fun? You think we have time for fun? We need to make up another language so that we can close this whole "fun" loophole! :-)

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/brep203

    I'm extremely looking forward to the Hungarian for English speakers course. My grandparents speak Hungarian (they were born in Hungary), and it would be so awesome to be able to speak to them in their native language! :D

    January 30, 2014

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

    There is the English for Hungarian speakers, but I've been having a hard time with it because the grammar in Hungarian is so different. To succeed in it, just learn all the grammar beforehand and use it to practice/pick up new words.

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/adamyoung97

    Check out this site: http://www.hungarianreference.com/

    I've been learning Hungarian for about 3 years now, and I used this website for a lot of it (especially the grammar). I wrote stuff down, indicating which part of the sentence went where in Hungarian, and this really helped. (For instance "Szükségem van egy tollra" = "I need a pen", literally "I have need to a pen"). Don't worry if it gets tough, just practice and you'll get there! Azt remélem, hogy ez neked segít, és sok szerencsét! I hope this helps you, and good luck! :)

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/hunspike

    start basic hungarian courses on Memrise in the meantime. Or a native speaker... well, I could teach my girlfriend basic Hungarian in 2 months, so getting to this level shouldn't be so complex, if you learn every day a little bit.

    And another thing... we make dubbing to almost all of the movies shown in cinema and TV, so if you can access those, they can help you in learning too. Poles don't do dubbing sadly, just voice-over, which I despise, so the only thing I can do is to watch movies with Polish subs.

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/brep203

    Ok, thanks everyone for the advice!

    February 4, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/game-biz

    Slightly unrelated, but in addition to this, will sentence discussions be added to iOS in the next update? The app is great for practicing, but it can be difficult for learning without discussions (which usually provide excellent information and answers to a lot of questions).

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/CecilieO.

    sentence discussion was added and then removed from android (due to spam). It has yet to return.

    edit: and now it's back!

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/wasim20

    please add Arabic from english....

    February 1, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/dmg46664

    Can't the beta be split even more granular? I.e. the whole tree doesn't have to be released in beta. It has taken me a long time to progress down the tree, so that releasing simply the first half of the tree in beta (with no second half) for new languages would add a massive amount of utility to people. It will also encourage moderators more than having much bigger goals for release with less feedback. A partial solution would also encourage more potential contributors to get involved... or at least I can see an argument for that.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/anne_omoly

    The downside I could see to that is that contributers/moderators might get overwhelmed with feedback from the users in the first half of the course whilst simultaneously trying to write the second - can see a distinct advantage to separating into the distinct phases we have at the minute.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jackknife89

    I'd imagine that the structure of the second half is strongly dependent on the structure of the first half, and due to that there would be changes to the first half going on as problems were discovered further downstream, right up until release. Which would make it confusing and counterproductive to do a partial release.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jbailey88

    Luis, are more Spanish lessons coming? I've noticed that Spanish for French speaker's progress recently dropped by 3 percent so it seems like they have some more lessons to do? ;)

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jitengore

    I know they are constantly improving the prediction algorithm. I am pretty sure that the absolute progress is always there. -my2c

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dr.Manhattan95

    Thank you so much for going through all the trouble and posting this. You answered a lot of my questions. :)

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mazzorano

    Should I apply again as a moderator if I have already applied in the past (on the first day of the incubator!)?

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Selcen_Ozturk

    if you haven't written a long detailed application showing your language abilities before, just write another one! But if you have already done it before, just wait :)

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mazzorano

    I wrote a very brief application before. I will definitely write a new one now. Thanks!

    February 1, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Selcen_Ozturk

    btw, which language pair?

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mazzorano

    Hebrew <-> English

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/SaddamVEVO

    Hi! I am applying to teach people the Iraqi Arabic language. The Iraqi Arabic accent is a really useful language btw, please read the application before denying it and saying "IRAQ IS A MESSED UP COUNTRY" or "NONE WANTS TO GO TO IRAQ" Thanks:)

    August 15, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

    I think one question is missing from this, when will immersion be made available in the beta/incubator courses.

    February 22, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor

    Thank you for taking the time to update us!

    January 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/CaptainKhan

    The best thing's the reverse courses

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/floiancu

    I have applied to moderate and / or contribute to multiple courses since I am native in Romanian and fluent in French and English (and Portuguese is starting to catch up thanks to Duolingo!) but all my applications were left unanswered. I had applied for contributing to English for Romanian in the first week of the incubator, and was ignored even after the course began developing. It has such a slow pace that I think I could have helped a lot if given the opportunity.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jbailey88

    You should mention it to one of the Rom->Eng team members, they can also add you and I'm sure they'd like some help for Eng->Rom.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/floiancu

    I've just contacted them and hopefully they'll respond. Thank you for the suggestion, I'm sure they need all the help they can get.

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/tariqnisarahmed

    Bravo!!!

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Daniela0231

    Awesome! Can't wait for the iOS release of more languages! Exciting times!

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Zacariakus

    Very excited for Arabic!

    February 1, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/ASBusinessMagnet

    Wait, so EVERY SINGLE Duolingo Incubator course for which at least one moderator applied will be available in 4 weeks?

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Luis

    No. (1) We will let mods start working on them, and it will take some time for them to be built. (2) We will always require at least two qualified mods.

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/ASBusinessMagnet

    Oh, thanks for clarifying. I guess I made myself misunderstood by saying "will be available" rather than... "will begin development"? At any rate, thanks!

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/turcois

    Honestly, as excited as I am for the reverse courses and all the waiting I've done for them in the hopes I might finally learn Chinese, I must say, I still have a lot to learn with French and Spanish already XD Thanks though Luis, super exciting news.

    February 4, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/squiggy.fl

    4 weeks later, are there any updates on english to blank courses?

    February 28, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum

    I asked Luis this week and he said that they should be just about done with the Incubator redesign by the end of the week. We might start seeing some soon. :-)

    February 28, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BushraHashem

    I applied several times and I got no feedback!

    October 17, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jvdn.aze

    I applied for "Azerbaijani -> English" several times and got no feedback either

    August 16, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ujose

    Hello,

    I used to be a frequent user of Duolingo but I grew a bit bored of it. First the good things in Duolingo. It is a good application that one can use freely. For me as a native speaker of Finnish there is not a problem to learn languages through other languages. I have several profiles everyone of which has a different teaching language. What I have experienced in several courses, not just in courses in which the teaching language has been English, has been that the lessons don't progress progressively. I mean that when there comes a new grammatical thing, it is concerned only in the particular lessons which teach that skill. The problem for me is that in many lessons that try to teach vocabulary the sentences are too simple. It would be nice to be able to practise skills progressively so that the more one learns grammatical things, the more one would also use those skills in the following lessons. To put it more clearly: If I am already an advanced learner, I would like to have also lessons that also include advanced sentence structures concerning grammar, not just vocabulary.

    I know that the lessons won't most probably be changed in anyway. But why can't there be a possibility to jump over those dull "vocabulary lessons" in which one mostly has to translate too simple sentences, at least when one is in a more advanced level. I would be interested to go through every lesson which governs a new grammar issue but I don't have the motivation to learn each and everyone of those dull "vocabulary" lessons.

    Best regards

    Ujose

    May 13, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/NitinVerma3

    if any one want to apply for incubator so , can they work by android phone ?

    January 31, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/CaseyCrayg

    Nope, you need to use a computer for working on the incubator.

    February 1, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/SophiaGucciardi

    YAY!

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/changr1212

    There aren't too many languages out currently, but I am expecting the language incubation process to speed up, especially when we can convert from ex. (from english to foreign convertion). Then we can expect something like a new course or so each week. That would be incredibly helpful for our community. I am really looking forward for the new courses to come out.

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/KonradChuck

    I love what Duolingo has been doing and I've been waiting with unbridled anticipation for the reverse courses!

    But I do have an enquiry about how this will work. Are you going to get native experts of new languages work out a tree for each language that will then be used by each incubator team to create their reverse courses? Or will each tree be totally different based on which language you are learning from? Reason I ask is because I wonder if it's not a bad idea to try and come up with some sort of consistency between courses.

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/nes9100

    When i select i want to learn English i know dutch, then my other languages disapear or hide some how. What am i doing wrong. Or is this a glich in the system? Hope to hear from you soon.

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/adamyoung97

    It's based on the source language. Since you're learning Portuguese and German from English, those are grouped together. If another language, such as German, were available for Dutch speakers, and you switched to the Dutch interface and chose to learn both, it would show that you're learning both English and German, same with learning from Spanish, if you choose to learn Portuguese, French and English from Spanish, these three will all show up with the Spanish interface because they're all from the same source language.

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.

    You will see your other languages again if you switch back to "I want to learn Portuguese" or "I want to learn German".

    February 2, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia

    Thank you Luis! This will open a whole world of language learning opportunities. I really hope Duo will stay awesome and free. I'm learning German now, and I want to finish both trees before I start a new language; this will definitely take me some time so I hope by the time I'm done Duo will still be around to help me learn yet another language :-)

    February 3, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/dothamilton

    Please make a japanese for English speakers course!!!!!!

    May 4, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/squiggy.fl

    Japanese to English has been in stage 2 for months with no updates from the mods on its status. I would not hold your breath. My guess, is that Korean will come out first because the writing system is easier. Obviously the Japanese course is too buggy for them to even give us a little ray of hope in the form of an update. If it is too buggy, then it is too buggy. It was bound to be buggy since it has 3 sets of characters. Also English is a really hard language to teach a native Japanese speaker. They are not talking so I am guessing that there is not much progress to talk about.

    June 6, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/mdono9089

    how do i use incubator?

    July 19, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16

    Check this site for all sorts of information about Duo. The site was created by Duolingo users for just such a purpose :http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Duolingo_Wiki#Getting_Help

    September 18, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/SpiralStat

    Unrelated, but, when there isn't a course to learn, let's say, Romanian for English, does anyone else do reverse courses? X)

    May 4, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16

    Of course. While I was waiting for the Greek from Eng. I did the reverse cousre and even though Eng. is my native language and I knew a little Greek it was an excellent experience. Now, the Greek is in Beta.

    September 14, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/barkbarkbark

    How long I have to wait to get anwser? (I made application for PL -> EN)

    May 31, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Vive

    I choose Hebrew but all I get is Arabic. How do I get Duolingo to change to the language I want?

    July 1, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Iamnotfeli

    This is cool

    September 14, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/supersister92

    When will speech be available for Turkish for English speakers? The tree was completed, you can write, listen to audio and write what you hear but there's no speech. I learn French and I can write, listen to audio and write what I hear and speak. Also Turkish has less features like Immersion and other things.

    January 11, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/stenely

    cool yes cool

    May 18, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/AngelG.1411

    Hey

    July 11, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/AnnaMaurer5

    Hmmm...sadly the 4 Week timeframe for the reverse courses didn't work out. Still waiting for arabic for example ;-(

    November 6, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/AndromedanNebula

    I applied to do the Telugu --> English course, still no response though, even though it is 10% done, and there are no contributers currently. Please help

    October 23, 2018
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