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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



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.


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

[deactivated user]

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


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


    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.


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

    [deactivated user]


      Thank you. You make a good point.

      Korean contributors: Can you confirm/deny this?

      [deactivated user]

        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


        Thanks for sharing. I look forward to updates.


        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?

        [deactivated user]

          We are not accepting anymore


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


          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. :)


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


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


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


          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.


          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.


          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.


          "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.


          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)


          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.


          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.

          [deactivated user]

            This!!! :D:D:D


            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 :)


            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?


            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?

            [deactivated user]

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


              It's a free site. Calm down.

              • 2359

              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:



              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.

              [deactivated user]

                "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


                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.


                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.


                Thank you so much for this detailed explanation!


                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


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


                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?


                Thxs 4 sharing!! :)


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


                I know, I'm so excited!


                You just TOTALLY made my day! Great news!


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

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