Weekly Incubator Update: Tracking Progress from August 16th to August 21st

Slow progress
This edition covers only five days. As can be expected the progress is on the slower side. No leader extraordinaire either.

Updates from the Greek and Ukrainian teams
Also the Czech team (as usual...). Please read on...

PHASE 1 Progress: Total 23 courses

Greek for English - 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% (+0) 1-Oct-2017

Esperanto for Spanish - 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% (+0) 31-Aug-2016

Romanian for English - 95% | 94% | 100% | 100% (+0)

Guarani for Spanish - 100% | 100% | 99% | 99% (+0)

English for Thai - 98% | 98% | 99% | 99% (+0)

Portuguese for French - 96% | 96% | 96% | 96% (+0) 1-Oct-2016

German for Italian - 92% | 93% | 94% | 94% (+0)

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

Spanish for Italian - 68% | 68% | 70% | 70% (+0)

Swedish for Russian - 67% | 68% | 68% | 69% (+1)

Italian for Portuguese - 57% | 58% | 60% | 61% (+1) 25-Dec-2016

Czech for English - 57% | 58% | 59% | 60% (+1) 7-Jul-2017 ^

French for Chinese - 47% | 48% | 48% | 48% (+0)

Russian for Turkish - 45% | 45% | 46% | 46% (+0) 31-Dec-2016

French for Turkish - 41% | 42% | 42% | 42% (+0)

Klingon for English - 28% | 28% | 29% | 29% (+0) 31-Dec-2016

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

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

Korean for English - 19% | 20% | 21% | 22% (+1) 31-Dec-9999

English for Tamil - 15% | 15% | 16% | 16% (+0) 28-Feb-2017

English for Bengali - 8% | 9% | 11% | 11% (+0) 20-Feb-2017

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

English for Telugu - (New) 0% | 0% (+0)

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 - 0.32% | 0.27% | 0.78% | 0.17% (-0.61)
Median - 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% (+0)

* This week's Leader Extraordinaire! (None this week) ^ 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).

SergioRuido from Team Ukrainian wrote 4 days ago:

Long time no see... Ukrainian course update.

Привіт. Yes, this is the Ukrainian course update.)) No, УКРАЇНСЬКИЙ КУРС is not abandoned. The maintenance crew is back to work. Your reports are being processed again and your constructive feedback is still highly appreciated.

Our to-do list for now is: adding alternative translation sentences, correcting unnatural English translations, adding the missing Tips, adding the missing audio and fixing the wrong match with the existing audio.

We've got reinforcement. Welcome skstudio as a contributor to the Incubator and the Ukrainian forum mod. Also, thank you IKucher and Tovmachnyk for helping out!

And of course a huge ДЯКУЮ to those who comment and answer in the sentence discussions.

Theo_Matrakas from Team Greek wrote 17 hours ago:

About Beta release

Hello all!

In reference to the fifth estimated date that has been missed today, I would like to inform you about the situation of our course. After many difficulties and delays, the course tree was completed on May 5. Immediately after completing sentences, we focused on adding “Tips and notes” to the most important skills. Then we corrected the main tree twice for better quality. The tree was locked on June 3 and the course was verified by Duolingo.

The Duolingo staff then set about finding the most suitable TTS recording system. Since then,as I personally know, we have not had any information about the recording process so we cannot estimate when the course will be released in Beta. We have constantly moved the estimated release date because we believed that the course would be ready within a short time.

We are really sorry about this situation and understand your disappointment and your frustration. The good news is that we are just a few steps away from the release! When the recording process has been completed and after a two-week appraisal we will be in Beta!! We are awaiting the message from the Duolingo staff.

As there has already been so much confusion about the release date I am setting the new date at random which may be change at any moment as soon as we have news. The date of release is now estimated as October 1, 2017 (random estimated date)

Thank you very much for your support all this time and sorry for keeping you waiting so long.


Η Ελληνική ομάδα / The Greek team

nueby from Team Czech wrote 8 hours ago:

Week 59

1198 words, 60%.


The shorter week for this edition results in a report of slow progress. Updates from Greek, Ukrainian, & Czech teams.

Previous Update 7-Aug to 16-Aug

Last updates from:
2016: Jul, 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.

August 21, 2016


I can't understand why there's been such slow progress in the Incubator for some time. It looks as if almost everyone agreed to give it a break. I don't remember anything like that. I don't want to complain or anything because I imagine it requires a lot of work and most teams are doing a really great job. But just compare some of the previous updates with the recent ones. It's so frustrating. And the worst thing is that there have been no new courses at all (for English speakers) in the Incubator since Korean several months ago, even though they were added quite regularly before.

Thank you very much for another update, Jiten! :)

August 21, 2016

Yes, each year there are about 5 courses for English speakers that are added, and right now we've had one, and we are nearing the end of the year!

August 21, 2016

DL should allow us to use our lingots to send notifications to the developers begging for the course.

Even if it was just an opt-in notification I think it could increase the motivation to finish.

August 22, 2016

What about Klingon?

August 21, 2016

Klingon entered the incubator in 2015.

August 21, 2016

Yeah, it's not happening for a while.

August 21, 2016

Maybe it is time to prune the Incubator of the stalled courses that are just taking up space at this point (Yiddish) and create space for those who would enthusiastically contribute ( the Finnish for English team maybe?)

August 21, 2016

Pruning? That would be a PR disaster! By Duo removing Yiddish, they are essentially saying that one language is less important than the other. That would make so many people unhappy!

The other thing is that I don't think it is an issue of space. There are plenty of slots available, considering the majority of English courses were created in one year. I think that Yiddish is not doing anything, and isn't harming anyone by being there (then again Hungarian went on a long pause, and now look where we are). Team Finnish are waiting to put their course up, and have actually prepared the majority of it offline. Personally, I am rooting for Team Icelandic next, but the chances are slim.

August 21, 2016

I agree with most of your points but I think it's not entirely true that those courses don't harm anyone. They may be the main reason for the lack of new courses in the Incubator. The Duo staff see that there's a serious problem with developping the courses so they are not eager to come up with new ones. Perhaps they are waiting for those overdue courses to be released first or they are working on something bigger to improve this system. Anyway, I hope we will see a new course in the Incubator very soon or I will eventually go mad if it's still like that.

August 21, 2016

I agree that "pruning" is not necessary, but I also believe that courses DO "take up space" because all courses, no matter how slowly they progress, have dedicated human resources at their disposal in the form of Duo staff available for support. If Yiddish sits at 9% for four years then that is an allotment of resources that could go towards Icelandic or some other language that would graduate to Beta in one or two years. Staff will probably not approve another given course until those resources are freed.

"Pruning" may not be the answer, but pressuring the Yiddish staff to approve new contributors or move aside and allow a new team to come in may be in order sooner or later. Maybe they have not had the time to contribute to their project, but it is true that they have had the time to interview those who post on their stream who state they would like to help.

I know that there are Gothic enthusiasts that I would have a hard time building a course with, so I understand their reluctance to grow a team when their priority is the quality of the course, but when there is no progress for a very long time and no communication for over a year it is natural and very reasonable to wonder what is going on.

August 23, 2016

@Gerardd88 you are committing a fundamental attribution error with your hypothesis.

I believe there are more practical, simpler explanations that may be going on. Perhaps it's very difficult to get audio done (long leadtimes?), perhaps the budget is not there to finance all these audio recordings, people working on trees are on vacation and working on their free time, etc.

August 22, 2016

You are right. I just didn't list those things. These may be the possible reasons why "they are not eager". And aren't those courses in this sense indeed "taking space"?

August 22, 2016

So many people unhappy? I don't think so many people are interested on Yiddish.

August 21, 2016

I would love to have Yiddish!

August 25, 2016

[deactivated user]

    I think this would be a pretty bad idea, unless Duo has very good, explainable reasons to regard that course unsalvageable. They are crowd-sourcing the development of these courses, so they have to be accommodating to a fair degree to the people who have volunteered to do this work and there can be many very valid reasons for a course have stalled. They can't go subjectively yanking out a course someone else has volunteered to do, that they have approved, that work has started on simply because the team has run into problems. That would be very bad in terms of future recruitment of volunteers for other courses.

    And frankly, I'm really tired of people bullying for Finnish over against other courses. Sure, ask for Finnish and show your interest in it--but stop with this "Why is there X in the incubator and not Finnish" whining, please, in all forms. It breeds petty resentment and conjecture towards the presence of other courses that is simply inappropriate. The last thing Duolingo needs to continue crowd-sourcing the development of new courses is user hostility towards new language courses because a small segment of users have decided that language isn't as important as whatever language they want. Duo is asking people who have a rather uncommon level of skill to contribute their time and expertise without pay, and if they have to deal with user hostility, those people can just as easily choose to use those skills somewhere else.

    August 22, 2016

    You have a very valid point, but I must disagree. As Duolingo has developed over the recent years beyond the initial 5 language, the community it is attracting has diversified and expanded to include many other language niches. "Pruning" as was stated would essentially cut off many different peoples and further options thenceafter.

    Language acquisition is about intensive, and active focus on learning a new codex to speak in. Thus, having a poor medium to learn in would wreck the chances for many to learn a new language. I would much rather have the language teams work at their own pace, and allow for the highest quality final product.

    August 21, 2016

    There may be a simpler, more technically explanation for why courses are stalled. I have heard from some course contributers that there is a technical (server?) change in the overall Duolingo system, and that certain features of the courses cannot be changed until this migration finishes. This may explain at least part of the universal slowness. I know at least a few incubator contributors are sitting with their hands tied for the moment, and not from lack of motivation.

    August 28, 2016

    Thanks as always, jitengore for keeping us up to date.

    It would be great to see some kind of official response from Duolingo about the status of the Greek course, since it seems that it is out of the team's hands at the moment. (And thanks to the team for all their work!)

    I didn't realize that there was an "off book" Finnish course being developed. Now I'm excited!

    August 21, 2016

    [deactivated user]

      Does anyone know what is going on with the Indonesian for English Speakers course? There hasn't been an update for 8 months.

      August 21, 2016

      Yay, the next update! Thanks for doing this every Sunday:) I just need to see a new course in beta soon! The wait is terrible!

      August 21, 2016

      I bet everyone was all "OMG, Greek's coming out today!" yesterday 'cause they forgot to change the release date. XD

      August 21, 2016

      I was like that for a while, but I have a way of finding out if the course will be released on the day or not.

      August 21, 2016

      Incubator progress updates?

      August 21, 2016

      No. Click on "edit" on the "your subscriptions" tab on the day the course is supposed to be released. You should hopefully see something like this: This was when Hungarian was about to be released. If the language isn't there it probably won't be released on that day.

      August 21, 2016

      Interesting. Thanks!

      August 21, 2016

      Thanks for the update, Team Greek. We'll be ready when you are :)

      August 21, 2016

      Yay for Ukrainian starting up again! If the Korean course keeps making progress however slow it is, it seems like it might come out sooner than 9999 I hope. :)

      August 21, 2016

      hope will stay alive till 9999 :')

      August 21, 2016

      I don't know, 9999 is a bit too optimistic.

      August 21, 2016
      • 1354

      So that's why my email inbox was full of notifications about my Ukrainian-English translations being accepted now. Nice.

      August 22, 2016

      I am so excited for new languages!

      August 22, 2016

      Today's WIU will come up late by a few hours. Apologies for the delay!

      August 28, 2016

      Thank you. :)

      August 28, 2016
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