Weekly Incubator Update: Tracking Progress from July 17th to July 24th

Two courses coming to beta next month
At least two courses will start beta next month. And the list will not include the (previously announced) Hindi for English course! :(

Thanks for sending your love. Please rest assured that the work will resume in earnest before you know it.

No update from the Czech team!
I don't recall the time when I created a WIU post sans an update from the Czech team. I am sure they are moving along consistently as they always have been!

PHASE 1 Progress: Total 22 courses

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

Greek for English - 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% (+0) 20-Aug-2016

Esperanto for Spanish - 100% | 99% | 100% | 100% (+0) 8-Aug-2016

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

Portuguese for French - 87% | 90% | 91% | 96% (+5) *

Romanian for English - 89% | 91% | 93% | 94% (+1)

German for Italian - 91% | 91% | 92% | 92% (+0)

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

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

Swedish for Russian - 65% | 65% | 65% | 66% (+1)

Italian for Portuguese - 55% | 55% | 56% | 56% (+0) 1-Apr-9999

Czech for English - 53% | 54% | 55% | 55% (+0) 7-Jul-2017 ^

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

Russian for Turkish - 45% | 45% | 45% | 45% (+0) 31-Dec-2016

French for Turkish - 41% | 41% | 41% | 42% (+1)

Indonesian for English - 29% | 29% | 28% | 28% (+0)

Hindi for English - 28% | 28% | 28% | 28% (+0) 26-Jan-2017 ^

Klingon for English - 26% | 26% | 26% | 27% (+1) 1-Aug-2016

Korean for English - 14% | 16% | 17% | 18% (+1) 31-Dec-9998

English for Tamil - 10% | 14% | 15% | 15% (+0) 28-Feb-2017

Yiddish for English - 8% | 9% | 9% | 9% (+0) 7-Jul-2018

English for Bengali - 2% | 3% | 5% | 7% (+2) 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 - 0.88% | 0.57% | 0.43% | 0.59% (+0.16)
Median - 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% (+0)

* This week's Leader Extraordinaire!
^ The 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).

AndrsBrny from Team Hungarian wrote 2 weeks ago (Star Update Winner):

One week of beta joy!

Hello everyone,

as many of you will have noticed, we've been in beta for a week now. It's a joy to see that the comments sections are full of people discussing Hungarian, making suggestions and helping each other. The facebook group is also a hub of activity. Thank you all very much for actively helping to improve the course!

Beta also had an effect on our activity on the team. We haven't made as much progress fixing mistakes as we have this week since early March. We also managed to get the average number of reports down quite a bit — which will be what determines when we leave beta and become a fully grown course, so to speak.

As far as I can tell, the reports we got so far deal with

  • missing audio,
  • missing translations,
  • unnatural/bad translations,
  • and bad Hungarian sentences.

Unless some sentences were not recorded by mistake, these are hopefully fixed quickly. Missing and unnatural translations have been the bulk of what we've tried to fix in the last week, and your reports have been immensely helpful with these, both in English and Hungarian. I think we've already made a lot of progress here!

Bad Hungarian sentences are less quickly fixed — the problem is that we can't simply remove and add sentences at this point, this has to be done by duolingo. There are two options here, too: if an audio file is correct, but the written sentence has a mistake, I would think it's an easy fix in the database. If a written sentence and the corresponding audio do not work because they're too difficult, not well explained, or unnatural, we'll have to see whether we'll have to remove them or how we can replace them. Fortunately, we haven't had too many of these, I think.

Summary (tl;dr)

Keep your comments and reports coming, they're great and they're helping us a lot. We've made a lot of progress fixing mistakes and adding missing or better translations, and thank you very much for your participation!

lavendeltee from Team DE for RU wrote 1 week ago:

Работа кипит, Инкубатор не остывает!

Очередное обновление к выходным! В строящемся курсе появился ещё один новый навык - в нём вы познакомитесь с полезными словами для описания некоторых свойств характера.

Мы же тем временем усердно продолжаем работу над расширением словаря и упорядочиванием заданий по грамматике. С вашей же стороны ещё не поздно поделиться своими пожеланиями относительно нового дерева!

lavendeltee from Team DE for RU wrote 4 days ago:

Приветствуем нового участника команды!

В нашей команде пополнение, к нам присоединяется person243, или Макс. Макс - носитель немецкого языка, изучающий русский как иностранный, и наверняка вы уже нередко читали его комментарии на форуме. Теперь он будет помогать нам и в работе над новым деревом. Большое спасибо и добро пожаловать!

BrandenRyan from Team Swahili wrote 2 days ago:

Tangazo la Kumi na mbili

Kila ndege huruka kwa bawa lake

Course Update

You might have seen that I set the Estimated Course Completion Date back to December 1, 2016 last week. Sorry I did not get a chance to post an update to explain that change! Here's the reasoning: there is no viable Text-to-Speech generator available, so after we finish the final few lessons that need to be completed and increase the number of overall sentences found within all of our lessons, we'll have to record everything for the course.

Peace Corps Tanzania has currently started a new training cycle, so the three of us are busy in the field with the training. We are still, however, discussing the course content regularly together and are making plans for how to proceed once the current training is finished in September. We had hoped we would be closer to finishing the course already, but unfortunately, we won't be able to roll everything out by summer's end. We are still hoping that there will be a Swahili Course out and in Beta by 2016's end, though, so bear with us!

We need your help now, though! We are currently opening up the course to Alpha Testers so that we can have valuable inputs being made while we work on the course. Granted, there is still some cleaning up that we need to do for the earlier lessons, and we're constantly expanding existing lessons so that we can have the best course possible. But while we are temporarily side-tracked with other duties here, we'd love to have some help from the Duolingo community.

If you are interested in helping, please go to the Swahili course page and apply to be an Alpha Tester and answer the following questions:

  1. Why do you want to be an Alpha Tester for the Swahili Course?

  2. What is your background with foreign language acquisition?

  3. How long do you want to be an Alpha Tester? (We want to get a rotation if possible, depending on time!)

  4. Anything else about yourself that will help us choose!

We'll look at your Duolingo profile to see if you are a regular site user as well to help inform decisions. We really want to enlist the help of dedicated individuals. This update's proverb means “Every bird flies on its own wings,” and we want our wings to be the entire Duolingo community!


Two courses launching in beta next month. This week marks the first in several months without an update from the Czech team.

Previous Update 6-Jul to 17-Jul

Last updates from:
2016: Jun, 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.

July 24, 2016


Thank you for always posting these updates! I look forward to them, it's a great way to get a feel for what's going on behind-the-scenes. I'm really excited for Swahili and Hindi, and I'm actually glad the release dates have been pushed back - I'd rather have high-quality courses with good audio than something a bit rushed in order to be "on time"! Well done and good luck to all of the contributors for all of the courses, you really are doing amazing jobs.

Ah, although it's completely understandable it's a bit of a shame that you need to be quite an experienced user in order to sign up to be an alpha tester for Swahili. I suppose I'm just going to have to wait patiently like everybody else... or as patiently as I can manage!

(Also, I don't know much about this whole thing, but once the courses teaching English to Thai, Tamil and Bengali speakers are released, is there a chance of having Thai, Tamil and Bengali courses for English speakers?! If so, I've got a few more courses to start cheering on :P)

July 24, 2016

A very good chance, yes.

July 24, 2016

I had been expecting a pushback on the Swahili course, so it wasn't a big surprise; the surprise, however, was that it was pushed back a bit more than I expected, and that they will be doing real speech rather than TTS. As far as I'm concerned, this is terrific news! While I kind of understand why Duolingo uses TTS's, it's always been my least favorite aspect of the site, and I love for any language to use real speech instead. I would gladly wait a number of extra months for that. Can't wait!

July 25, 2016

Yes, a very big chance.

-Team Tamil to English.

August 1, 2016

Klingon for English - 26% | 26% | 26% | 27% (+1) 1-Aug-2016

hahahaha ok

July 25, 2016

They will be drinking a lot of Red Bull to get It released after this weekend.

July 28, 2016

Does anyone know when Guarani is coming out?

July 24, 2016

Nobody knows yet, but looking at the contributors profiles, it looks like they don't respond to when someone asks them that, one can only hope they're finishing up Guarani, we've waited too long.

July 24, 2016

Good question. Some lingots for mentioning Guarani.

July 25, 2016

The last update from the English for Thai speakers course was four months ago. They have been at 98 for a long time. Curious not complaining! Does anyone have any recent news?

July 25, 2016

Thanks, Jiten! Looking forward to Swahili!

July 24, 2016

Thanks, jitengore! I lov reading your updates!

I wonder if any new languages will be added in the near future. It seems it has been quite some time without any new additions...

July 24, 2016

Only a bit over month since the newest additions, that's not too long on Duo time.

July 24, 2016

I finally gave in and welcomed insanity with open arms. Hebrew, Hungarian, Greek; of course all my most-wanted "next languages" had to be released close to each other! =P

July 24, 2016

Thank you for the updates. I'm looking forward to Greek =>; English. Hopefully Thai =>; English will enter the incubator in 2017. With Greek, Hindi, Hebrew, and Korean in the incubator. Anyone know if we will see Japanese, Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, or Chinese in the incubator? I know a main issue is the non-Latin/Cyrillic alphabet and right-left vs. left-right.

July 24, 2016

No word on Armenian, I'm afraid. :'(

July 24, 2016

One more issue with Chinese, Japanese, and Thai is the lack of spaces between words. has a lot about this.

When someone taking the course types an answer in Chinese or Japanese or Thai, how is the software supposed to tell where one word ends and another word begins?

Does anyone here know how the English for Chinese speakers, English for Japanese speakers, and upcoming English for Thai speakers courses deal with this?

Meanwhile Arabic, Armenian, and Farsi do have spaces between words. :)

July 25, 2016

In Chinese, every character is considered to be one word. For example, 你 and 好 are both words, and 你好 is considered a 词语, which is translated into something like phrase but 你好 is two words nonetheless.

There aren't really spaces between characters though. Since Chinese is so flexible, the team will have to find a way to incorporate so many different Chinese answers, as is the case with the current English for Chinese speakers.

July 25, 2016

There is precedent for this. If you select some hanzi in Google Chrome, for example, and use Ctrl-RightArrow, it will select by word, not by character. Here's an example.

July 25, 2016

Well I don't think that the direction of writing (l=>r, r=>l) is a problem because they did Hebrew and it looks like it's doing fine, it's mostly because of other obstacles, like Chinese, because of the tones, they need to either find a REALLY good TTS (I doubt there are any out there for Chinese) so they'll probably have to record it, and recording 1000's of sentences for a tree takes a lot of hard work, they have to make sure there are no mistakes and make sure it is clear to understand.

July 24, 2016

Vietnamese is a tonal language, though with Latin alphabet.

July 24, 2016

Actually... There are quite a few good TTS available for Mandarin. Cantonese as well, if you desperately want it. It's a huge market.

July 27, 2016

Fear not, TTS is advancing! Vietnamese on Google Translate has undergone a massive revamp in the last few months from a pretty much worthless robotic noise to a voice that not only sounds as current (most of the time) as modern TTS engines of other languages like Spanish, but accurately incorporates tones.

July 31, 2016

Swahili for English was the only update I found... unless there are some Phase 3 courses that had updates that I didn't bother to look through.

July 24, 2016

Plus another one that I seemed to have missed in the last one or two editions...

July 24, 2016

I did see an update at (in Phase 3) that I haven't seen in previous WIUs.

July 24, 2016

I think you found the one Jitengore was talking about ;D

July 24, 2016

I added the one(s) lizsue pointed to. I was referring to the Hungarian update from 2 weeks ago.

July 24, 2016

Oh ok. I feel dumb now xD

July 24, 2016


July 27, 2016

Really looking forward to Greek! Is there any news about Guarani? That has been sitting at 100% for ages.

July 28, 2016

In fact, there is! LaRoqueRoniann wrote in her personal page last week:

"Hello! We are finishing up the recordings next week and then it should be up shortly after that. I apologize for the delay! We were delayed a bit here and it has taken some extra time to get up. Thanks for reaching out !"

And, since you mentioned Guarani, here comes some lingots for you.

July 29, 2016

Ooh, nice. I like it when they do proper recordings. That has been really ace in the Hungarian course. The voice is so clear even without the ability to slow her down. Well worth waiting for :)

July 29, 2016

Folks, today's WIU by 1:00 pm PST (5 hours later that normal)

July 31, 2016

It's Sunday again?! Crumbs!

July 31, 2016

4:00 pm EST, I'll be waiting!

July 31, 2016

Ooh does this mean we will finally get the updated German tree for Russian speakers in the not too distant future? I don't know the tree well enough to be sure if that is a skill included in the tree 2.0 I've seen for English and French speakers. I'm excited, though!

July 26, 2016
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