What about English?

I am an English person living in Berlin, slowly (very!) learning German.

It dawned on me that it would be great for a DuoLingo option to learn English (was that a future option? I forget. Apologies and ignore all this if so). Anyway, EVERY German person I know wants to improve their (rather scarily accurate) English. But this also means that they would be superb at helping on quality of translations to German from English. I guess I mean if you do the same 'course' in reverse, you have a sort of double-book-keeping idea going on. Verdammt! Show my age with double book-keeping.

March 16, 2012


I was saying the latter - that I don't think Duolingo can "pay the bills" by translating websites from English into German, as there is not much demand for this service. However, I notice it says on the Duolingo sign in page that you can sign up for English lessons. So maybe I was wrong, and English lessons are an economically viable possibility on Duolingo. I don't know much about social media; maybe somebody can enlighten me. But it seems to me that if we as an online community don't do the necessary work to "pay the bills", then Duolingo will not be a viable system. I have seen some very poor quality translations from German to English, that were obviously done by people who are not very good at English. Customers will not pay for poor quality translations.

March 23, 2012

Thanks. That's exactly what I wanted say and why I came here (and it was on top of the questions, nice). I want to improve my English as well. And so many of my German friends would love this site if they could learn English with it.

March 17, 2012

From what I can see, the main demand for translation skills is translating websites from other languages into English. That is the demand that Duolingo exists to supply. We "pay" for the lessons we get, by translating websites into English. So it seems to me that Duolingo is not a site for people who want to learn English, it's a site for advanced or native English speakers who want to learn German or Spanish.

March 20, 2012

Yeah, that's why we are asking for the other way round.

March 20, 2012

Hi tutto... I hear what you are saying. I guess I was just thinking that when we have all the questions such as 'Translate this into German... or Translate this into English', we are, kind of, getting both courses; Learning German and Learning English. Sure, as a programmer I know it is a BUNCH of work to make the reverse happen.. actually provide a site that is written in German and teaches a German speaking native English. But if that did exist, or start to... those that are learning German (as native English speakers... not the smart ones doing that via a third language :) ) could actually be valuable contributors to the 'Learn English' entries. Almost that each course could learn from the other... double check etc. After all, the (German) sites we are translating to English... personally a German person learning English (probably past tense there!) would be a great asset. Well maybe we don't need them... we have phea and Julika =:o)

@steeph - I don't think you need the other way round :)

March 20, 2012

Yes I understand that people want to learn English, but Duolingo is not set up to provide free language lessons to everybody who wants them. The lessons include "translate to English" and "translate to German" because this is a necessary part of learning German. But all the real-world translations are from German (or Spanish) into English, because that's where the demand is in the real world. Normally you pay money for language lessons; on Duolingo, we as a collective pay for the lessons by doing work - translating websites. I don't think there is much demand on the Net for translation of websites from English into other languages, so there are no "jobs" for speakers of languages other than English. It's not a free lunch - it's subject to real-world demand.

March 21, 2012


March 21, 2012

I'm not sure if you are saying that every German should learn English without duolingo or that you think that not enough money can be made by translating from English to German.

March 21, 2012
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