https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goosefield

Korean course comes out on August 17!

The Korean team has finally shared a release date for the course: August 17, 2017

I just wanted to thank the team for dedicating so much hard, consistent work into making this course. I am extremely happy that the course is coming out this summer, which is much sooner than I had initially expected. In a time where most contributors don't make steady progress or share many updates, I truly appreciate that the Korean team makes solid progress every week and posts updates along the way. Good job!

Korean contributors (if you're reading this): Do you know if Duolingo is going to use the same system for teaching non-Latin scripts as the Japanese course?

June 20, 2017

52 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fr224

I doubt that the Korean course will use the same method as the Japanese course to teach the script. Korean uses an alphabet instead of a combination of logograms and syllabaries (like Japanese) so I'd think they're more likely to use the method of the Russian, Ukrainian, and Greek courses.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goosefield

Thank you. You make a good point.

Korean contributors: Can you confirm/deny this?

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

We would like to teach the Japanese way, but again, we don't have a choice as the system is not fully developed for Korean. We will get back to you guys soon

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goosefield

Thanks for sharing. I look forward to updates.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goosefield

I saw that you guys accepted a new alpha tester. I was wondering how people can apply to become alpha testers. Do they need to know Korean or can they be a beginner?

July 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

We are not accepting anymore

July 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JensBu

Korean uses hanja (Chinese characters) as well although they appear less frequently than kanji.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

Hanja... not a lot of people are proficient in that now

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JensBu

It exists at least. I know some modern books use them and I know textbooks that teach them.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sirhalos

The only ones I ever saw in Korea were big and small used in a menu. The only other place may be a political newspaper or a grave site. There is really no reason to need to learn Hanja in Duolingo or any language program at all. You only should learn it if you are trying to become very advanced in the language in the same way you may want to learn Latin to understand English meanings better.

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JensBu

I would say learning Chinese to understand Korean is like learning Latin to understand English.

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JensBu

A while ago I found these answers with samples: https://www.quora.com/How-important-is-Hanja-when-learning-Korean

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

This.

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

No one seems to find the method used in at least the Russian and Greek courses satisfying, least of all the contributors, fwiw.

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/niskigwun

No, as of now we have our own system, but we'll see what they offer us. We have 3 Alphabet skills-Alphabet 1 is vowels, just each vowel on their own. Alphabet 2 introduces consonants by making syllables. And Alphabet 3 has longer words that you may already know, just written in Korean. :)

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goosefield

Alright. I understand what you're saying. Thank you for sharing!

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolyglotPearl

Oh wow! That's pretty soon! That'll be cool.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andypinguwi

A round of applause to the Korean team!!! :D

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zekecoma

Is this course being rushed like Swahili and Japanese? Because I don't want a half-assed completed course like those to where it's missing audio, not available for android and the desktop, and still not available for the desktop. But that seems to be the latest trend.

If it's going to be rushed and half-assed. I don't want it released.

Edit:

We have cut the tree in half for an earlier release.

So, it is being rushed. ¬_¬

Edit: Thank you to the ones who downvote me. I'm sorry that I prefer to have a course that's not rushed out to satisfy the impatient people. Look at what happened to Japanese. It was iOS only for a week or two, then android was released, yet not desktop, and there is not ETA on that. That's what you get when you are impatient. Then again again, everyone downvotes because they're sheep.

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/niskigwun

Don't worry. We have trimmed the tree, but we're not rushing it. If we included all the skills that we plan to eventually include, we won't get the course out in time for people to use it before the Pyeongchang Olympics next year. We're already discussing how the audio will work, more than half the skills already have Tips&Notes, and most likely it will be released like every other course on Duolingo, with initial release on one platform followed quickly by the others. We have already vetoed an idea that would delay the desktop release.

In reality, less than half has been cut, and all the skills that were deleted hadn't even been developed yet, and almost exclusively were vocabulary topics only, so grammar is still covered. You'll just have to wait until Tree 2 to learn about astronomy, chemistry, or onomatopoeia.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/syntaxosaurus

"We have already vetoed an idea that would delay the desktop release."

Thank you, kind sir.

And I'll enjoy having onomatopoeias to look forward to in Tree 2.

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryannichols7

you guys really looked out for us web users, and that's awesome. so reassuring to hear tips and notes will be in there, in addition to broader vocabulary for tree 2.0. that'll be so great. I really hope this will end up as long as the German and Norwegian trees (100+ skills)

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhabarberbarbara

While I agree that I wouldn't want a "half-assed" tree, I don't really see that danger with Korean. They worked on this for a long time with steady progress (and tips and notes). I wouldn't take their statement of having cut the tree in half too literally either. I actually like the idea of being able to finish a tree 1.0 and have a longer 2.0 to look forward to.

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

This!!! :D:D:D

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

We will edit the tree in Tree 2 to vastly improve content AND hopefully increase the amount of words so it is among the longest courses on Duolingo.

Good selective quoting there. Here's more. In short, they're planning to take on Norwegian. Obviously there's no need to tackle that plan in one fell swoop when Norwegian is on version 4 or some such by now.

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goosefield

I think the Korean course will be fine. Obviously, it will definitely have bugs (like any beta course), but the team will improve the course as bug reports come in. Remember that no course will ever be released 100% perfect. It's the users like us that will help contributors improve their courses :)

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zekecoma

Yeah, I know bugs are no uncommon. But I don't want it to be released with a shorter tree, just because it will make people quit complaining on how long it's taking to be released. You know?

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goosefield

I understand what you're saying and I think you're being reasonable. Unfortunately, I can't answer your question since I'm not a contributor for the Korean course. If any contributor is reading this, could you please address this?

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

We are releasing a condensed tree that is high quality. More will come soon

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andypinguwi

It's a free site. Calm down.

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arri1400

cool!

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matfran2001

I started the (eagerly awaited) Japanese course two weeks ago (having a lot of fun, so far) and now I am very curious about other East Asian Languages and some people told me that actually Korean is much easier than Japanese or Mandarin, so I will probably give it a go too.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xefjord

I would say Korean and Japanese are on par with each other in difficulty actually. Japanese will be far harder when it comes to learning Kana (The 2 forty six letter syllabries) and Kanji (Which is required and takes about 2000-2300 for good everyday use) But the sound set is far far easier than Korean. The only sounds really throwing off American speakers being the R/L sound.

Korean on the other hand is FAR FAR easier than Japanese when it comes to alphabets. Because they have one of the easiest alphabets in the world (only 24 letters). You will be able to read after a couple of hours while Japanese learners months and even years down the line may still be illiterate.

Regarding Grammar they are once again evenly matched IMO. Their grammar is incredibly similar (As they at one point had extensive interaction with each other despite not being related.) But I have commonly heard Korean grammar as harder to start with, but easier as it goes. While Japanese Grammar is easier to start with and becoming harder as it goes. I interpret this as the fundamentals being a bit more complicated in Korean than Japanese, but some of the higher level stuff being less complicated than Japanese Grammar at a higher level. So take that however you want.

Chinese is kind of the odd one out. Because it had such a powerful impact on Japanese and Korean culturally and formed the basis of their writing systems in the past (Kanji and Hanja) but beyond that, doesn't really have a whole lot of effect on the languages now. Chinese grammar is COMPLETELY unrelated. Kanji/Hanja tend to have more in common with Traditional Chinese than the now more common Simplified Chinese. Japanese and Korean have a large vocabulary base from Chinese, but its from old old Chinese and has been Koreanified/Japanesified over time. So even a lot of the loanwords don't really transfer anymore beyond base Hanzi/Kanji/Hanja meaning (And even that can be changed at times)

The biggest advantage you will get via Chinese will be better Hanzi comprehension (There is still a decent amount of shared Hanzi to Korean and Japanese even if it isn't as strong as between Japanese <-> Korean specifically) and of course you will get a good understanding of broad East Asian Culture in China, Japan, Korea by studying any of the three languages.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matfran2001

Thank you so much for this detailed explanation!

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wyqtor
  • 1748

Can't wait for the course!

One suggestion, maybe for a future version of the tree: some North Korean bonus skills! Due to the long years of communism and isolation, North Korea developed its own vocabulary and I think it would be great to offer us a way to better understand North Korea and maybe find new ways to communicate with, and ultimately help the poor people unfortunate enough to live there, completely cut off from the Internet and the outside world.

I am sure many of you are already familiar with the South Korean to North Korean translator that is used to help defectors from North Korea integrate into the South Korean society:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym3HnjBxPsw

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goosefield

That sounds like an interesting idea, but I'm not sure how feasible it will be. Ideally, Duolingo would need an applicant that is proficient in North Korean vocabulary.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

내레 인민의 락을 보여주갔어!

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goosefield

Is that an idiom? Could you explain what that means?

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier
June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

"North Korean" is just a dialect. The base is the same, and it is veering closer to "South Korean" these days from what I know so no worry

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryannichols7

haha, I'm going to Seoul for the first time ever...August 12-16th. wish I was kidding but it's real!!!! guess I'll learn for my return visit

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goosefield

Don't wait for Duolingo. You can start learning now! There are plenty of resources on the Internet!

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryannichols7

I haven't found a good resource besides memrise. talktomeinkorean has way too many bad jokes and it goes on too long (seriously, 15 minutes to teach me how to say hello and thank you?) but maybe later episodes improve. any ideas of others?

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J1ng3rT41ls

YAHOO!!!

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J1ng3rT41ls

Thxs 4 sharing!! :)

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BelgianStr

Wow, that's so close! I'm really excited for this. I think the course is going to be great!

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Knoxienne

Exciting!!!

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Proginoskes

I know, I'm so excited!

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SallyMoen

You just TOTALLY made my day! Great news!

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Indarozino

Yes! Finally! Thank you! Korean is the reason I joined Duolingo in the first place.

June 24, 2017
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