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[Incubator Update] Tracking Progress from April 16th to May 13th

[Index Ref] Weekly Incubator Updates

Introducing a new style Incubator Update Report:


Looking for alpha testers : by Soedori ; 5 days ago

Come aboard the train first. Like last time, contributors will be given priority.

Please apply here.


For more information on course progress :
- Wiki - Language Courses
- Wiki - Course list

Chart by Word count:

Chart by incubator course completed calculation as at 14 May 17:

YEAH !!!!! to both teams for the enormous effort it takes to get the courses to this level.
Our thoughts continue to be with you as you go through these significant stages.

Please be patient as these teams gets close to Beta Release. It is a high pressure time as this process occurs. And the patience you choose to give is greatly appreciated. As for the sake of quality - especially at this stage - less haste is the wiser choice to greater pace.

Do be aware - that at this stage of completion, there may still be delays of several months for all sorts of VERY good reasons. And because of our concern is for course quality, we, as a community of volunteers who are striving for excellence for the benefit of others, we appreciate your support by your choice to express patience.

Reports from the Incubator:

NOTE: A special thanks to nueby and others behind the scene to help get this post up.
Thank you for your patience as I set better standards for myself as well, and go through a learning curve.
I appreciate you positive input and updated information also.

May 13, 2017



@lindakanga, first of all, thanks for offering to step in and let me tell you, your compilation is wonderful!

The WIUs were handed off to me around three years ago. I have quite enjoyed my Sunday mornings in bringing the updates to you all for the past three years. For some time, I have been considering to have a backup voice for the WIU, and also at some point transitioning off to someone else from our Duolingo comunity.

And there could have been no one else, who has the passion, the willingness, the dedication to prepare the updates, no one other than you!

Consider the baton has been passed - passed to very able hands. I hope you will take them to greater heights and help keep the Duolingo community engaged in this immensely exciting project we know as "Duolingo"!


Thank you Jiten.


Well it's been a few months since your first post and really enjoy your updates and this format! I wish you the best going forward :)


Good luck with your new ventures. Thanks for all the updates. They have been really entertaining.


jitengore, you yourself have done an amazing job keeping the WIU going as long as you have! I remember spending a few hours every Sunday doing these and know the work that goes into these except you took it a few steps further with your charts and additions!


Czech is going to teach swear words? Nice. I have a feeling that this course will be of the same quality as Norwegian, I really can't wait.


El hombre would not approve of that. If he cannot find them Easter eggs, that's OK, but blatantly teaching them is beyond what we dare do.


Shh, now they'll come looking for swearwords in our course... ;)


This looks amazing! Will you be taking over from Jitengore with the maintenance of this in the future?


We are endeavoring to ensure that a report is made on progress at least twice a month.
And that there are better back up systems in place to allow this to occur.

Again thank you for your patience, as we fall into a system.

If possible of course we would love to be able to support a report every week.

Should anyone wish to consider to be part of this team to assist with the reporting on incubator progress to do this, please contact me, and we will see what we can get to occur.


What's with FR for TR, FR for ZH, RU for TR, SV for RU and ES for IT? The Incubator shows no significant change but in the graph they have dropped 20-40%.

I also like Czech's wave-like 1-2-3-2-1-2-3... tree structure. https://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/cs/en/status


Just like with Klingon and Japanese, it's all about the accounting change. For example, how can we have Japanese flatlined at 15% and expect it to come out in a week or so when no available self-reporting explains any of it? The draft chart prefers self-reported data (if present), otherwise the word completion ratio (if the total word count makes sense), otherwise the official Duo %. The notable exception is Hindi. Nothing matches for it, but for obvious reasons we do not see it moving until its lead updates us all officially.


Japanese from English is actually 99% ready. I have just updated the status at https://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/ja/en/status


Thx for the update hidek!

So the counter "total words = 1217" is inaccurate? Or is it the "completed words = 825")?


So the numbers of the ones I mentioned plus Bengali and Tagalog are now based on the total word count? Or have you managed to get your hands on self-reported numbers the way jitengore did? The progress by Tamil and Japanese (which had been self-reporting) and Klingon is also shown on the official percentages (method 3).


Of the 23 courses shown in the draft chart, only 4 are based on something else than words completed:words total available on the course status pages. Hindi and Italian for Portuguese are frozen until something happens, English for Tamil follows the official overall Duo figure (because the 493 word target is so low it would produce an imaginary 91% completion), and Czech uses nearly weekly self-reported percentages.


only 4 are based on something else than words completed:words total available on the course status pages. Hindi and Italian for Portuguese are frozen until something happens

Spanish from Arabic too. ;)


If you are requesting we freeze it at 12%, that would make it 5 courses out of 23 doing something else than the word ratio. But I see about one word being completed per day in that course. It is only frozen on paper.


Direct link to the tree image, for the lazy such as myself: http://i.imgur.com/qypLh8P.png


You may like to read http://www.duolingo.com/comment/22360462$comment_id=22540436 for some other input about the figures.


Thank you also for pointing this reference out :D


click here to return to top

by nueby ; 12 hours ago

Week 96



Week 95 ( 1 week ago )
93%. We have a new contributor originally from the U.S., who is starting to look into Tips & Notes.


Week 94: 92% ; ( 2 weeks ago )
Time for a longer update again.

It has recently been harder for me to keep up the usual 1 percent per week. I slipped by maybe two percent over the last 6 months (easy to check by comparing xx with yy of the Week xx and yy% in these updates). By now it has become clear to me that I should expect the progress to rest on me, myself, and I. Great for consistency, but suboptimal for stability with respect to life’s other demands. We do get contributor applications, but when I discard the ones with mangled grammar, what’s left is a set whose authors cannot be probed for ability and availability to commit time. The prolonged agony and recent merciful death (may it rest in peace) of the activity stream make the job of probing a non-starter. Other than the applications, I do not see what anyone says and how they say it. The Incubator learning curve is steep and usually inconsistent with the contributor’s availability. Plus I know it is a hard and (judging from the user discussions in the EN course for CZ speakers) ultimately nearly thankless job that these poor souls think they are ready to take on, and that does not fill me with expectations of enough longevity to ever repay the use of my time for training them.

Enough [com/ex]plaining.

This close to the completion mark the nature of the work is changing. It is important to start tying up the loose ends by filling in the grammar that has escaped thus far and throwing in some of the more practically useful topics finally made possible by all the major grammar being in there. Those late practical skills could be considered a reward for those who will have persevered this far through the cases and tenses and whatever unloaded upon them in successive waves. The grammar loose ends I would like to tie up include short-form adjectives, passive expressions including yet another use of the troublesome “se” word (K-rva se neříká.), the remnants of the dual (Johana s dlouhýma nohama), completion of the set of cases for the Czech numbers (missing the dative at this point), and the verbs of present/past habit (Už to není, co to bývalo.) Practical vocabulary topics could include things like workplace, dating/relationships, leisure, and current events.

Here is the image of the current tree. Skills will yet be moved/inserted, and the total word count probably raised past the advertised 2,000. (Now it is 1,830 words in 72 skills.) The menacing “BigBad” skill at the end is just an empty reminder for me to try to end it with something memorable.

click here for the image of the tree. posted by fr224 . Thank you.


I'm Korean! you mean alpha tester is needed?



Apply here

It is often that a range of testers are sought.
Not just those that are proficient in both languages.

It is good to have people that are also learning the target language.

We all have different skills and abilities to see things.


Just done! then can i recommend my foreign friend who are learning korean to apply for alpha tester?


Get them to apply also !

Be aware - often how and what you do - with various interactions with language learning, and the way you interact in various aspects of Duolingo may also be considered for if an offer to participate is given.

Besides which - when you engage in things to the best of your intent, you not only do honor to yourself. You do honor to the immediate community around you, and you also have the potential to give yourself, as well as our community, benefits for the future.

Thanks for being amazing kimmksk ! Your bring us all great wealth.


I have a question. The application says it is 'apply to become a Course Contributor'. but this post says it is for alpha tester. Then which one i can work as, if I get accepted, contributor or alpha tester?


Yes - you are correct, that the system does not have an option to tick for applying as an "alpha tester". It would be appreciated if you could comment that you would be keen to assist with being an alpha tester.

It is from filling in this form, that the team, when they are considering who to issue acceptance to Alpha tester, that they will be able to do this. By having this form filled out by you and submitted.


I tried to apply for being an Alpha tester but it didn't work.


Different teams need different skills and at different times during development. And they need a range of skills and abilities and characters.

Please never take it personally.
Teams can only be so large as well - to be effective at what they do.

It is a complicated and creative process.

Thank you for your passion to aid the delivery of a course. And I hope you enjoy also being part of testing the system when it reaches the Beta stage. For your insightful input there is also beneficial for the quality of the course development.


I mean I couldn't even apply.


Did you enter something in every box? The form expects about the same amout of text in the Korean box as in the English box. As an alpha tester you can simply put something random or more English text in there.


I tried that.

Edit. I tried again and wrote a longer text this time. It worked now.


Hi lindakanga,

One idea: add the link to http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Language_course somewhere in

So we have now :
- 23 courses in Phase 1: Incubator.
- 9 courses in Phase 2: Beta Release
- 61 courses in Phase 3.

As said link has exactly this informations, and much more, automatically updated. ;)

Also, I'd put the graph on the very top. It's a good "tl;dr" introduction, IMO.

About this graph: I'd screenshot only the graph, in order to have it displayed larger (no "margin").
Also, I wouldn't switch to automatic %age for courses that gave (at least) once a "contributors's computed" %age.


Here is where it gets questionable. If someone says 5 months ago that they are 10% done and then remain silent, what good is reporting here that same 10% over and over? Especially if openly available info shows that the completed word count keeps growing for that course. That may be where the highly uninformative 15% Japanese flatline came from.


I find far more informative a correct but outdated number (as the graph shows the last 4 occurrences, you know it's outdated) than an incorrect (in any case) number, namely the automatically calculated.

In any case, switching to automatically computed number the first (and maybe the only one) week where the volunteers didn't communicated the update for their course is more disinformating than keep (for ever) the last volunteers' update.
If the latter sounds too bad, it could be done as:

  • if there has been a volunteers' update during the 4 last occurrences, then show volunteers' computation for each of the 4 last occurrences
  • if there hasn't been any volunteers' update for the 4 last occurrences, then show automatically computed number for each of the 4 last occurrences


Fair enough. According to the last "WIU", there were 5 self-reporting courses.

I know one of those and you know another better than anyone participating in this thread, so we do not have to wait for reports. Czech reports about twice per WIU issue. Do you or your team prefer we freeze the Spanish for Arabic at the last WIU value of 12%? Easily done.

Frozen Hindi is another self-reported course.

We can freeze English for Tamil as well.

We may wish to use sane judgment for the Japanese course apparently stuck at 15% for months even though three weeks ago the beta release date was adjusted to less than one week from now. Or, if we lollygag long enough, we will just be able to remove it from the list and congratulate that team on their beta launch :-)



  • either "freeze" = keeps displaying the last value by contribs if they ever shared one
  • or follow the above 2-cases decision process

is fine. ;)


Ok, but apparently the volunteers from the Spanish for Arabic do not want to tell me clearly enough how complete they are :D


Also - keep your eyes out, for the most amazing and spectacular :


who may also be making a post soon, and/or also giving some guidance to this report. .
( roo crosses fingers )


I was planning to prepare one before I saw this. No more needed! Your compilation is awesome! @lindakanga, thanks for stepping in.


Dear Jiten,
Thank you for all the many things you have done and do for our language learning community Jiten.
It is a pleasure to assist this community, and our wish to assist in providing language learning for free for people to learn.
It is a pleasure to hopefully have been of benefit at reducing this workload on you.

I have also had some assistance from others.
And I welcome assistance from people to regularly produce this report that is appreciated by our community, and helps highlight significant things that are occurring in our community.

Helping us all be more successful at what we do, and how we serve this community.

The thanks is to you Jiten.


Thanks for the update!


You are very welcome Rey.


Hi! Could we have Galician from Spanish soon? Thanks! :)


Hi adri334132,

only staff members could know (and answer) that and none are around (well none have commented here so, a priori, none is around).

See this short guide about “How to suggest a course”.
Mainly, from Help Center article "How can I suggest a new language course?:

If you want to make a [course] suggestion, we encourage you to visit the forums and making a search for suggestions that have been made in the past, and adding your vote and comments to those existing posts [and thus not creating a new one]. That will make the request more popular and make it stand out more, encouraging more people to add their votes. :)

Note: Texts in between square brackets are additions of mine.


Okay, thanks you so much :)


Here a 2 years old discussion suggesting Galician for Spanish speakers. ;)


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On Words (and upwards!)

by mendl ; 2 weeks ago

Dearest Duolinguists,

I apologize for such a long delay between updates -- a very busy couple of months at work are to blame. Fortunately, work for me also involves creating Yiddish instructional materials, so it's actually given me the chance to iron out issues in more advanced lessons of the Duolingo course. Still, I haven't felt I had enough news for an update. Now I do!

As you may have noticed, we've taken on a couple new contributors -- I'll be training them in the coming week or so, and we're very excited to work with them. I've been cleaning up our "support" documents for the course, in preparation for their arrival, so they’ll be able to get right on to populating our still-wintry tree with wonderful springtime linguistic foliage!

The biggest task on my plate of late has been implementing revisions to the tree structure and making sure the word lists are all up to date, so that each lesson will cover not only the intended vocabulary and grammar topics, but also all the different sorts of speech-situations we’re aiming for. Everything through Chanukah (about half the course) is set to go, and we'll be finalizing the rest shortly.

That covers it for now. I will be sending out another update soon, and will continue to do so as lessons are completed!

Mit khaverishn grus,



YES - that is a VERY handy reference ! Thanks so much for also highlighting this.


Yes - the teams are doing some amazing work !


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A Note on the use of polite expression "po/opo" and "ho/oho"

by jesuitfriar ; 1 week ago

Please be guided accordingly on this:
1) The polite expressions (opo, po, oho, ho) has no exact equivalent in English.
2) OPO/OHO is only used when answering questions in affirmative. Equivalent to "YES".
3) OPO is mainly used in formal Tagalog/Filipino, while OHO is considered provincial/colloquial.
4) With regard to sentence structure, these polite expressions COULD BE placed in any of the following order in a sentence (these are by far, the most common):
a) After the SUBJECT of the sentence. Ex. Ako [po/ho] ay kumakain. (I [eat/am eating].)
b) At the END of the sentence. Ex. Ako ay kumakain [po/ho]. (I [eat/am eating]).
c) In the case of COMPLEX/COMPOUND sentences, it is customary to put the polite expression on the FIRST CLAUSE, regardless whether the it is an INDEPENDENT or DEPENDENT. d) It is wise use the polite expression ONCE in a sentence and NOT in every clause, as common to non-native speakers. Ex. Ako [po/ho] ay kumakain nang ang kaibigan ko ay dumating. (I am eating when my friend arrives/arrived); you should not say, "Ako [po/ho] ay kumakain nang ang kaibigan ko [po/ho] ay dumating [po/ho].
e) Only use either PO/OPO or HO/OHO and NOT both.

I hope this gives translator a better grasp on this nuance of Tagalog/Filipino expression.

Good luck!



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Completamos os primeiros 10% do curso! :)

by librulino ; 1 week ago

Estamos com muitas obrigações este semestre, e por isso o ritmo de progresso caiu um pouco, mas continuamos empolgados e trabalhando o máximo que podemos para construir o curso o mais rápido possível.

Até agora, temos as seguintes unidades completadas: Boas-vindas, Apresentações, Expressões, O tempo, Plurais, Dia a dia, Acusativo, Possessivos (todos antes da primeira barreira), Línguas 1, Cores e Comidas 1. Estamos completando a unidade "Países" essa semana.


We have a lot of obligations this semester, and so the pace of progress has dropped a bit, but we remain excited and working as hard as we can to build the course as fast as we can.

So far we have the following units completed: Welcome, Presentations, Expressions, Time, Plurals, Day by day, Accusative, Possessive (all before the first barrier), Languages 1, Colors and Meals 1. We are completing the unit " Countries "this week.


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Status update, 26 March 2017

by mizinamo

All the skills we planned in version 3 of our syllabus should now be present and have at least three example sentences for each word taught.

Work on the next version of the syllabus is ongoing but I can't yet say how big an expansion that will involve in terms of new skills, lessons, and words.

Until then, any work on the tree will be fine-tuning: adding some more sentences here and there, improving hints that we come across that don't quite fit, and the like -- things which are not visible in statistics. We also still have the Tips and Notes to write for pretty much all skills.


This is so exciting! It's really awesome to see a course come together, even if it's miles away from becoming the quality course people look for in a learning tool! I love how Duolingo is built, and I am excited to see it grow.


Ah, I've missed these! Thank you!


You are welcome.


Thanks for the update! Really appreciate it and very interesting! Thanks for doing this lindakanga! :)


I will also pass on your thanks to some other people that have helped produce this, and are continue to support this. I am very grateful to them.

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