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

Thanksgiving weekend!
Thanks to all the readers for making this a wonderful community to be a part of! Thanks to team Duolingo and all the volunteers - course contributors, forum moderators, immersion translators, language learners, and all those whom I might have missed!

Swahili update
This week, we have the much awaited update from the Swahili team in the usual Branden style with details and pictures. The course should to beta early next year!

Gold finally!
On a personal note, 3 years! yay!!
Kudos to Cleeent for maintaining the Streak Hall of fame!

PHASE 1 Progress: Total 22 courses

Portuguese for French - 99% | 99% | 99% | 99% (+0) 31-Dec-2016

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

German for Italian - 99% | 99% | 99% | 99% (+0) 1-Dec-2016

Swahili for English - 70% | 70% | 70% | 80% (+10) 31-Jan-2017 ^*

Italian for Portuguese - 72% | 73% | 75% | 78% (+3) 25-Dec-2016

Czech for English - 71% | 72% | 73% | 74% (+1) 7-Jul-2017 ^

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

Swedish for Russian - 69% | 69% | 69% | 70% (+1)

French for Chinese - 49% | 49% | 49% | 49% (+0)

Russian for Turkish - 47% | 47% | 47% | 47% (+0) 31-Dec-2016

French for Turkish - 45% | 45% | 45% | 45% (+0)

Korean for English - 34% | 35% | 36% | 37% (+1) 31-Dec-9999

Klingon for English - 33% | 33% | 33% | 33% (+0) 31-Dec-2016

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

Indonesian for English - 28% | 28% | 27% | 27% (+0)

English for Tagalog - 23% | 25% | 26% | 26% (+0) 24-Dec-2016

English for Bengali - 23% | 23% | 23% | 23% (+0) 20-Feb-2017

English for Tamil - 20% | 22% | 14% | 15% (+1) 28-Feb-2017

Spanish for Arabic - 8% | 9% | 10% | 10% (+0) 31-Dec-2017 ^

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

English for Telugu - 6% | 6% | 6% | 6% (+0)

High Valyrian for English - 0% | 1% | 2% | 3% (+1) 1-Jun-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 - 0.26% | 0.35% | 0.29% | 0.82% (+0.53)
Median - 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% (+0)

* This week's Leader Extraordinaire!
^ The Hindi, Czech, Swahili, Spanish (for Arabic), & Tamil 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).

rohanshankar from Team Tamil wrote 5 days ago:

Criteria for application to contribute to this course

We've been receiving a lot of applications to contribute to this course, so we'd like to clarify a few things that we're laying down in terms of regulations.

  1. You need to be able to read and understand this entire text.

  2. You need to have attained Level 10 of any one language course.

  3. You need to have a 10 day streak, or demonstrate convincingly that you're frequent to Duolingo.

  4. You need to write in proper Tamil, and this mainly applies to verb inflections. Certain word spellings are being reviewed and A/B tested in the course, so you don't have to worry about everything.

  5. There are no spots currently open for moderation. Any applications for moderation will not be accepted.

  6. Applicants deemed successful will be accepted into Alpha testing. Following a month of testing, testers with consistent feedback will be taken into the course following a re-application (there's no way to directly take alpha testers in). All other testers will be removed.

The idea here is that this is a hard task. It's not for everyone, and it's certainly not for people who don't consistently have a few hours every week to devote to this. Please consider before you apply.

Questions can be asked here.

BrandenRyan from Team Swahili wrote 4 days ago:

Tangazo la Kumi na Nne

Mwenye pupa hadiriki kula tamu
Course Update

Thank you all for patiently waiting for the next course update! We have, admittedly, been much quieter recently than in the past. We are currently working on sorting through the reports on errors to both the course and the additional content in Tips and Notes that were suggested by Alpha Testers as they have worked through the skill tree. This process includes editing all relevant text exercises in both English and Swahili that might have errors or unnatural translations. The process of adding some additional exercises to the lessons is ongoing as well, just to make sure the skills are flushed out.

In terms of words, the team is pretty certain that the total will remain at around 1,250 words, give or take. The total number might reach around 1,300 depending on some content additions, but it won't likely exceed that. The beauty of Swahili is that you can say a lot with a little!

As the review process continues, we've also been working to identify recording studies in Dar es Salaam to do the voice recordings. This is an ongoing task (there are a few options) and we are aiming to have suggestions for Duolingo HQ soon to begin that part of the course! Once we get this going, we'll be sure to post an update on the expected timeline. However, once we do begin recording, we don't expect it to take that much longer to get into Beta.

A hasty person misses the sweetness (of ripened fruit, so we want to make sure the pieces are in place before we tackle the final part of the initial incubation phase for the English-Swahili course! Thanks to everyone for your enthusiasm and support, and especially to our Alpha Testers for their valuable, thoughtful, and constructive feedback over the past few months! We're approximately 80% finished with the course (awaiting a thorough sweep of the Alpha Tester comments and beginning recordings), and we're tentatively pushing back the course launch to January 31st, 2017 with the hope of using January to do the recordings, Mungu akipenda - God willing (a common Swahili phrase in East Africa).

And as a treat - a picture of the team currently in action that I snapped just an hour ago! Busy at work

niskigwun from Team Korean wrote 21 hours ago:

26 November 2016

  • 871/2408 words
  • 101/105 images
  • 30 completed skills
  • 23 skills with Tips

We recently completed Food 2 and are now hard at work finishing up the Time and Gerund skills. ^^

nueby from Team Czech wrote 4 hours ago:

Week 73

1475 words, 74%.


A detailed Swahili update this week.

Previous Update 13-Nov to 20-Nov

Last updates from:
2016: Oct, Sep, Aug, 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.

November 27, 2016


That's quite a jump for Swahili. Go Swahili! I'm definately looking forward to the first African language.

November 27, 2016

Not to take too much away from Team Swahili but their previous self-reported number was from June 12th so a big jump was to be expected since we knew they have been active unlike certain other teams.

November 28, 2016

And now that I've said that, Yiddish has moved (from 9,4% to 9,3% but moved anyway).

November 29, 2016


Always lovely to see Czech progress!

Keep going, Korean, I can't wait!

You can do this, everyone!

Congratulations on your 3 year streak, jitengore! :D

November 27, 2016


  • black non-italic => team's own computation/estimation
  • gray italic => Duo's (flawed) automatic computation/estimation

Sorted by estimated %age of completion

Sorted by estimated launch date

November 27, 2016

Go Korean :D

Indonesian is still moving slowly ;;

November 27, 2016

I remember when Indonesian was still as a bolder some months ago. I like it better when I can see courses progress, even if it takes away some percentage points. It feels like they are alive that way.

November 27, 2016

Congratulations on your 3 year streak!!

November 27, 2016

Thanks, DeanG6, you are not too far... :)

November 27, 2016

Thank you for the updates, jitengore!

November 27, 2016

I really hope Amharic could come sometime after Swahili is finished...

ስዋሂሊ ከወጣ በኋላ አማርኛ እንደሚመጣ ተስፋ አለኝ...

November 28, 2016

It's sad to see High Valyrian catching up to Hindi.

November 27, 2016

You will be pleased to see more regular updates from Team Hindi beginning next week :)

November 27, 2016

Go Team Hindi!

November 27, 2016


November 29, 2016

swahili is exciting. very interested to learn what they mean with being able to say a lot with a little, with a ~1300 word count. korean has had some terrific progress in it's time in the incubator, I really think we'll see it a lot sooner than we imagine.

November 28, 2016

Probably some time before their estimated launch date...

November 28, 2016

Can't wait for Swahili!

November 28, 2016

go swahili!

November 28, 2016

I'm so happy to hear about the great progress and the estimated launch date of the Swahili course! Looks like I'm going to spend next year learning Czech and Swahili. I can't wait!!!

November 28, 2016

Can anyone answer my question about something on this Incubator Update:

What does the Mean mean? Is it the mean percentage of all the courses, or is it the mean percentage that they moved?

November 27, 2016

All phase 1 courses.

November 27, 2016

Ah,ok. Thanks!

November 27, 2016

The mean is the total percentage of progress shown this week.

November 27, 2016


November 27, 2016

Three years! Congratulations :)

November 27, 2016

Congratulations on your amazing streak! Looking forward to Hindi!

November 28, 2016

How exciting!

November 28, 2016

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, although a little belated, I am so thankful for the gift of languages from Duolingo, it has truly enhanced my life. Thank you to Luis and his team and to you, Jiten, for your dedication to the language learning community.

December 1, 2016

Congrats on the streak!!

So excited for the Swahili progress and to start getting more updates from Hindi!

December 3, 2016
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