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how much work went into launching Japanese

Out of Duolingo’s 70 employees, about half spent the last six months working exclusively on making the Japanese course a reality.



May 19, 2017



A disproportionate amount, apparently.


Seemingly they had to make the way Duolingo handles language trees a very good deal more flexible. I'm hoping this will have knock-on effects reducing the technical strictures at least agglutinative languages have had to deal with.


Wow, I had no idea. That means I have to return the favor and put in the hard work of finishing the course.


I am wondering if the various novelties of the Japanese course, like ways to learn the script, will filter down to other courses eventually. I got the impression that must have taken a lot of work behind the scenes and I imagine it should be possible that the new stuff they had to make for Japanese might be applicable to languages like Hebrew or Russian where it wasn't so essential but might be useful.


I am curious about this too. I have to assume this will be the case, which will be a significant step forward itself, also of course very useful for getting Arabic script languages onto the site. As I look at it, the question types don't appear so new, but there were obviously constraints on having them before since it's been clear that it was technical strictures preventing them from teaching each letter individually, as opposed to a lack of interest in doing so.

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