Introducing Duolingo Labs!
Duolingo Labs is a place where you can test out some experimental prototypes that we're working on here at Duolingo. You will be able to opt in to certain experiments, check out new projects, or participate in studies that help us figure out how to teach you best. Note that we will still be running A/B tests as usual that won't necessarily be in Labs, and projects can be discontinued at any point.
Labs is currently available to all website users learning a language from English. You can get there by clicking on the "Labs" tab on the top bar.
The first Labs project is ready to test today! We're excited to present Duolingo Stories - our way of bringing narrative and storytelling into language learning. Check out Steve's forum post for more info on this new project, which is geared towards more advanced learners.
Many more projects to come — stay tuned!
UPDATE: August 3 2017 Today we released our second Labs project! Check out Duolingo Events – a fun and easy way to connect with other Duolingo learners around you in real life. Learn more in Laura's forum post.
Hello DL team,
This Labs section together with Duolingo Stories is a wonderful initiative. I am looking forward the day when you will release the Stories in German for English speakers.
As just a suggestion, I would like to recommend another test project for Labs, let's call it Duolingo Shows, which will introduce some popular TV show(s) in the learned languguage. E.g. Lafer! Lichter! Lecker! in German. https://www.zdf.de/show/laferlichterlecker
If we put the copyright issues and time-consuming negotiations aside, then technically it is a very fast and simple, yet powerful learning solution. You have the interesting texts and the real human dialogues fully available already. All what is additionally needed are the subtitles corresponding exactly to the real language with all of the flaws of the actual spoken language, and the possibility to rewind and re-listen at any place in the show. If you keep it simple then it might be even easier and faster to launch Duolingo Shows in German than Duolingo Stories in German.
I am a fluent Spanish speaker... I tested out the Spanish stories (in the labs)! The dog story was HILARIOUS! Extremely well done! I believe this new Duolingo Stories platform will be of great aid to those who want to practice the context of a language more, while having fun with every unique story! I even tried out the Portuguese stories and loved it as well! Hoping they release French Stories as well! Excellent job Duolingo!
No French because this is an experimental Labs feature, meaning we are testing a project on a small scale to see how it does before investing time and money into expanding into all the languages/platforms, etc. That is how Duolingo Labs will work, as karint mentioned above. We want to invite the community to help us try out new ideas and give you a glimpse of little projects we are working on—even if the idea is not yet fully fleshed out or available in your favorite language. :)
(I suggest questions about Stories in the Stories announcement post, so others who wonder the same thing can benefit from the answers!)
This is irrelevant. Maybe someone on the staff is a native speaker. Maybe there's something about Portuguese they're testing in this context. It's a lab project and, like similar projects in companies ranging from Google to Apple, it may or may not ever see the light of day beyond what you see here.
Well, so far everyone who has used Duolingo Stories pretty much loves it... so I don't see why they wouldn't work on French for it if they haven't started it already. Personally, it looks like a great tool that I would definitely use for ->French<-. I hope that the next thing on duolingo labs will have French on it, at least.
My Spanish is not my strong point, it is sure and I am struggling hard with the Spanish Grammar tenses. But it was one of my best and pleasant surprises I had got today! A new button on the menu! Something that upgrades Duolingo to a full framework for language learning: reading, listening and speaking (I would like more about speaking, but ... anyway). I would like some more Grammar tips to connect with the words used in these stories, for deeper studying. It is surely difficult for a beginner. But I am not complaining, I hope I will be fluent enough in the future to understand all the words of the stories without hovering all the time.
*I don't know who is speaking in these stories, I would prefer a more melodic voice, Spanish is one of the most melodic languages after all.
The lab is a great addon for a lot of reasons.
// You get new user input because it evokes ideas in itself and it could be a future "playground" for community ideas. I myself thought in a short time about new ideas: (if you like it or not is another thing - but I had a brainstorming) games like "find the toy/person etc. on the pictures" (and divers questions about the picture) mini- detective story (short story, 1-3 pictures, why was he lying?" game like "place the mug on TOP of the table" (drag+drop)(prepositions) jumbled words (put letters into order) short scientific article. answer questions. short Bible story. *** short traveler situation from person of the forum, which has been adapted to learn certain words
// Also, it gives hope that there are interesting movements in the future on this website. Great job so far with the stories! I would be keen to add own stories like that. (german or english)
Bug report: When each line finishes reading, you can hear the first part of the first word of the next line in the story before hitting enter to actually listen to the whole thing. In other words, the speech pauses after the next speech segment begins, at least for the first story in Spanish.
Unless you expect a couple of new Labs projects a week, I don't think you should be putting a link on the toolbar - if I check this out every few days for a week or two, and there isn't any new content, you will have trained me not to waste time clicking in the Labs link.
That will be doubly true if there is new content occasionally, but only for the "big" languages like Spanish and French.
I can't wait to see the projects that come from this!
Éu non put atendarh à vidarh els proxhects qe irh dað acest!
Please study ways of learning noun gender in gendered languages; I would like to be able to color code nouns. Please note that gender of the same noun is different in different languages. For example, if you are familiar with Romance languages, Germanic languages are different.
Yes this is awesome. I can't wait for future additions. I used yabla/fluencia/notesinspanish to make up for what duolingo lacked for intermediate users. I went through one of the spanish stories. There was a bug on a few of the questions. I'm excited for when it is out of beta and I can use it for other languages i plan to learn. :)
When it comes to learning a language(especially if you are on the intermediate or advanced category) I always suggest watching tv/movies in that new language! PLUS add subtitles in that language as well. There are also additional resources you can find with a simple Google search! Duolingo is adding new features but as of now you should probably search for outer sources!
Marlene in Spanish anyway they begin introducing new words and harder constructions after you finish the tree. The tree is just the first run-through! Going onward if you just pick strengthening every time, you will be pushed higher and higher. i finished my tree at about 8000 xp, thereabouts. Level 25 is 30,000 xp, and it is learning learning every single day.
I also did not get a feedback box when I did this on Chrome on my Mac laptop. I thought the story was fun! When I had an iPhone 4 I enjoyed the dialogues, which do not appear now on my Galaxy 7. It's nice to see how my comprehension is coming along. That said, having studied Spanish for five years in school más, más años pasados, my comprehension of Spanish has long been better than my generation of Spanish. Someone else suggested XP for working the stories, and I agree. BTW thanks for getting me off Facebook when I'm waiting for bus or airplane, appointment, etc....
I have checked the Duolingo stories. I could see them in Spanish and Portuguese. My mother tongue is Portuguese and I have basic knowledge of Spanish. I worked on the same story on both languages and noticed an inconsistency. In Spanish the male character is surprised to see a dalmatian on the window and the follow-up prompt refers to PERRO (dog in Spanish). In the Portuguese text the follow-up exercise uses the word DÁLMATA instead of CACHORRO (dog in Portuguese). Therefore, in my opinion, the learning outcomes are different. Not as much of a problem as my next point. The male character says in Portuguese "ME DESCULPA". In itself is not incorrect. The word DESCULPA (2nd person singular - TU) is imperative of the verb DESCULPAR. However, the whole text uses the 3rd person of the singular (VOCÊ) so the correct statement should have been "ME DESCULPE". I think this is a good initiative because it scrambles the prompts learned in the language trees. It forces the contextual understanding rather than only memorization. The combination of the two, instead of solely the tree, is beneficial. I'm looking forward to this being scaled up. Thank you.
Duolingo Stories under the Labs category are just fantastic. I have done each of the stories in Spanish. Each one made me laugh. Thanks so much. Also, I did learn new vocabulary, and it helped me practice hearing conversations. I especially love the voice actors. I believe there were three - a woman, a man, and a young girl. Each did a great job and provided humor and intonation that went well with the story. Thanks to them also. Please keep these going.
However, I still hope that the "Progress Test" is brought back.
Having a separate, clearly labelled area of the website for this is a great move! That makes managing our (high!) expectations much easier... ;-)
Also, the Stories look like a great project, but I'm repeating myself from Steve's thread here.
Thank you -- for the new material to study with, and for letting us know!
Since the removal of activity and immersion, a lot of users have been patiently waiting for new features to come, possible replacements for these features. The recent feature, Duolingo Labs, has brought a motivation for users to stay. It's marvelous to see this come, and it's very wise to have a section including ways for users to test diverse projects. Thanks a lot for the communication; it's great to see new features coming on Duolingo!
I really enjoy going through these stories, most are indeed funny, they made me smile (especially at the end :).
The features look like an improved version of another learning site features (Memrise). However, in here (Duolingo) we can actually hear a fluent dialogue taking place! while taking time to evaluate our understanding of what's going on when we answer the questions. The fact that there is a continuity and connection provided by the story makes it indeed compelling to go through all of it at once.
I'd just suggest a couple of minor improvements:
- add more words to fill in the blanks (uncommon words are a bonus, since we'll feel we achieved more by getting them right only by the pronunciation);
- add punctuation and words with and without accents to the exercise where we select individual words to form a phrase (a bonus as well: since we rarely practice punctuation, this would allow us, for example, to distinguish similar words with different meanings or questions from exclamations!).
I found in another discussion the Tinycards, also an interesting learning and teaching method where people can create their own exercises. After a good time for getting accustomed to the Stories, I believe more will be interested if these Tinycards are added to the Labs.
Just chiming in to say that I absolutely loved the stories. A lot of people seem to be really enjoying those, many asked for more languages to be implemented. Being italian mothertongue I'd be down to help you translate the 10 stories available if you guys would give me the chance (: let me know if you want me to help you.
edit: since we lack chat functionality here on Duolingo I decided to create a Discord server for anyone interested in testing their language skills either by chatting or talking to others. I'll leave the link here --> https://discord.gg/nu83Esp
If things like this happens how about some one (like a moderator) leaves a msg that the post has been moved to a more appropriate posting category, personally I struggle to get there or even fully understand it, usually when I try I see something like "english or something spanish I think and that's it.)
I love the labs and the stories but when I go to stories on my iPhone the "try it out" button is hidden by the menu. I can still hit it but it's hidden. Just thought you'd like to know.
Also, it's hard to get to discussions on the iphone now, when I click "request desktop site" in safari all it does is burn my biscuits.
Ah yes, the app is more limited. I wasn't very clear but I was speaking of the mobile site.
I deleted the app because I read that it would take my lingots and turn them into gems. All my lingots were given to me for a particular purpose and I'd feel guilty if I let them get taken.
I like the website better anyway, it's more challenging.
I am a bit confused. When I go on labs, I can only practice using Portuguese and Spanish. My learning language is French. When i checked my learning language in settings, it also said that my learning language is French. This is not a complaint, but a question; is this supposed to happen?
Sorry, i just read the Duolingo Stories update. I understand that this is just an experiment. Another quick question, though. If Stories/labs is not successful in its goals, will it be removed, and will the Duolingo team still add other languages such as French (a.k.a my learning language)?
Here I go again, I got an email telling me about a reply or something about my post, then clicked on view the discussion link ... then I pretty much end up here at the beginning of this discussion. Where am I supposed to see the answer...I just tried again and saw my last post towards the end with no answer to it, I guess the email was about other replies or posts.
I'm slowly getting there!
As a bonus round:
It would be nice to have a story at the end of each learn level of the tree using the material we've just studied
I truly enjoy these stories, they are not only interesting, but out the box, and very funny. I hope this project continues but with more options to us to interact with it.
Duolingo labs are the most exciting feature I've ever imagined to come after the removal of the immersion and activity streams :)
I thank Duolingo gratefully and I will wait for another new fantastic features.
I'll wait for new stories in new languages.
But, I have a question : Are they only for Spanish and Portuguese?
See this comment from vivisaurus, who stated that they're testing the project on a small scale right now to see how effective it is before they expand it onto other platforms and languages. This is how the Labs section will work; users are given the privilege to get a glimpse of some of the projects that the staff is working on currently.
On my computer I am only seeing Spanish and Portuguese story options. When will other languages come out? When I took Spanish we wrote imperfect verb books about healthy habits and I learned so much. Now, I'm studying Italian and I would love to use this, is there Italian? If not make it soon!!
This is a perfect addition! It looks like a lot of fun, and it really helps to encounter a language in context. The properly recorded dialogue is a real bonus and would be especially welcome for languages with tricky accents. I can't wait for this to be rolled out in Danish!
I don't know if this is the best place for suggesting new experiments but I'll throw this idea out there anyway.
This may be a great opportunity to test out something like Book Clubs! Once the activity stream replacement and forum improvements have been implemented, I think it would be a great idea to make something like Duolingo Book Clubs in the Labs section. Here's how I envision it working:
As per usual it's organised by language. It's a forum structure that allows users to create discussions specifically for discussing books or parts of books in their target language. I also think it would be a good idea to have "master" threads for each book to keep clutter down. Now here's where it gets interesting. We can have course contributors pick out monthly a book for students to read and discuss about (maybe even create a 'schedule' of sorts so people discuss the book at a certain pace and others don't get spoiled; of course they can still read ahead. Maybe they should be able to make smaller threads specifically for discussing parts of the book that haven't been reached on the schedule. They should include a [Spoiler] tag in the title and also the chapter(s) being discussed).
Oh, and in these forums you'll only "be allowed" (since I don't think enforcing this would be a good idea, it's just a heavy suggestion) to discuss using your target language.
Perhaps make it so that if someone wants to suggest a book read so it gets its own thread they have to submit a request request to do so instead of just being able to make a book thread from the get go. There should be guidelines for the kinds of books recommended I guess, but not too strict of course.
I think this would be a great learning tool for intermediate to advanced learners since one of the most common things we do once we've finished a tree here is to begin reading and listening to things in our target language. It would be amazing to undertake such a task with the many others that have elected to learn the same language(s) as you. I just think there's no good way to implement this right now and it needs its own section of the site to keep things nicely organised.
I would love to see a book club! I've been meaning to start tackling novels in French and could use some motivation... ;-) Although I believe there used to be a book club in the forum where people read the book in English (or other preferred language) and just had the discussion in the target language. That makes sense, because foreign-language editions of books are not always readily available. People can always choose to read in their target language if they they feel up to it and can find the book.
It would be great writing practice, which is what I need right now. I wonder if there would be 'mentors' available in the discussions to help correct grammar?
Was excited to see that I was chosen to be part of the beta testing for the Labs. However, I see that they were only available in Spanish and Portuguese, neither of which I am signed up to learn. Perhaps since you have decided to only beta test these two languages you might be better off limiting the beta testers to those people who are learning either of those two languages. When you have some in French I would be more than happy to provide feedback. Looking forward to more learning opportunities.
I really enjoyed the new Duolingo stories. I think this is a great way to introduce people to the concept of reading in different languages whilst developing an ear for how different words sound. I added a suggestion to the feed with regards to adding illustrations to the stories to cement the knowledge into the reader's brain. I find that images are a powerful way to remember vocab and I often search for Spanish words via Google images when learning.
Fascinating! I hope someone creates a Lab to make custom sentences for the TTS to read. I know not all languages' TTS voices are all that terribly accurate, but I know at least the Swedish one is [which was actually a big deal since the original one was terrible ^_^]. I'd love to be able to think, "Oh, how does this sound in [insert favorite language here]?" and hear the whole thing strung together. It'd be a huge help for advanced users.
i really like this website, so i'm not trying to be a troll or a complainer, i just care about wanting it to be even better. so this is what my initial impression is about the stories:
why don't we get experience points for doing the stories? how does it influence our stats? i've only done one story, and while i can tell that they will be fairly entertaining, and are really well made, i don't like that it doesn't seem to influence anything in my learning progression. there are some really good suggestions here for how to make the stories themselves better, but i feel like they are completely separate from the main learning portion as i don't know if you can get lingots, or maintain your streak, or improve vocabulary, or improve my "fluency" percentage. ultimately i understand that it's more important to just understand the stories, but i still feel that there should be more tangible rewards for going through them, especially for advanced speakers. and if i'm wrong about this, and they are connected, i am sure there are a decent amount of other people who are also under the same impression as i am, and would benefit from your response.
thank you :)
Duolingo stories are great! I am into the second set of Spanish stories and they remain terrific! The lost snake story was FUNNY! As are most. I am still feeling bad about the burglary story though! Poor Sandra and Pedro! Boo! to the robber. :)
My girlfriend has been having a hard time keeping up with Duolingo lessons but she keeps talking about the house sitting disaster story that we read together.
More stories, please!! The voices are terrific and the stories are just fun to do. I like being able to explore the words by clicking on them. I am learning a lot more than is covered by the questions.
I have to ration myself to one story a day!
I once visited a page about hiring writers for making interesting situations and write stories for Duolingo Lab's other languages. I was quite exciting about it and I came up with few stories over the monthes but now that I want to submit them I no longer can find the URL. I wonder if you know what happened to it and if still there is a chance I can apply for the position. Thank you
I like the Stories feature, but I already speak Spanish pretty well. I'd like to see Stories in Irish, a language for which I have not been able to find much beginner-level reading material. Irish news sites put Irish content behind a paywall, and make English content available for free. Thanks!
I think DuoLingo is well worth the price. I have used the Rosetta Stone, which was pricey at the time, before coming to DuoLingo. After going through the DuoLingo Tree, I find RStone very difficult to work with. It is too time consuming. I am now also going through the Memrise course. It too is priced fairly, free. Each course teaches you a little something different which expands your vocabulary and you might find something that you learn along the way with different courses. I learn quickly with Synergy Spanish, which you have to pay for. My Spanish is much better since I started with DuoLingo. Anytime I had an issue I was uncertain about, the friends community was always there to help. I have several people on the friends list that are linguist. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, you cannot contact your contacts anymore. That is what has helped moved my Spanish forward, explanations from the friends list.
I don't know if this is the case for you, but I had a similar thing happen and it was because on one of the lessons I hadn't gotten enough of the answers right to get three stars. All I had to do was redo that lesson and correct my mistakes and then the next set was unlocked. Hope that helps.
I think the labs are useful. I would like to see where we can get the stories from the labs that we want be put in the lingo store. That way we can spend our lingots on something that we can practice with. I have a lot of ingots and want to be able to use them. I like the fact that we can use labs to practice hearing the language. I do want to be able to pick and keep the stories that I like and delete any stories that I don't like
For Duolingo stories, could you add English and French near the future? I could help a little with French but I am still learning myself. I am very fluent in English though and I write stories all the time. If I can, may I be apart of the making of Duolingo stories?
I love duolingo stories so much!! I'm on my second story and they're hilarious!! ("au camping"... c'etait tres drôle, it's very funny) Great for comprehension without translating too much into english, great for immersion. Huge thanks to the people who spent their time working on the stories for us/working out glitches and making the story labs so great!! I'm enjoying the stories alot! :D
I like most of the stories and would like to see where we can pick and choose the type of stories that we like individually. I noticed that Duolingo still says that it is testing this project. I feel that they should know that it is successful by now after the stories have been given for a few years now. I would like to see more stories added and put a list of stories of the types that we would like to practice with such as comedy, romance, hunor, history, etc.
I am at the second level on the Duo Lingo stories in Spanish Course. Even when I finish a set I can't move to next set as the stories are shown as not completed. I tried this several time but I have to repeat the same stories again and again and I cannot move to stories on next set.
Great initiative, and I do like the new stories!
I would suggest adding to the labs a new experiment of a tool which would enable users to translate texts from the web with the cooperation of other users of the community.
Everybody would be able to upload a document by entering a URL of a web page, decide the target language for the translation and start translating immediately. If a sentence is wrong, another user from the community can propose his or her translation and maybe add some comments to explain the correction.
I think it would be a great way to learn. :) I just expect there may be some occasional fights about what the correct translation of a sentence would be. However, I feel that, with some guidelines, common sense, and cooperative spirit, things may work out. :)
I have been to a site where the whole text is translated, sentences by sentences. It is very good yet surely there are alternatives to the translation (as ever) but personally I'd prefer reliable translation to start with then if we want to (play) with it and see what people can come up with it could be interesting....However learners need correct answer and in my view the sooner the better.
Hi I'm fairly new here and a little confused about the lab. As far as I have experienced I only found the stories in that lab! Is there something else? I went through the 2 sets of stories which I enjoyed thoroughly. I find it easy to comprehend but would be very challenged to reverse the process that is having to say/write in Spanish a story in English. of course for the obvious reason that there are many ways to say the same thing. Yet technically I still would not make it I would have to fill what I don't know either in my native language French or English that I used for a period nearly three times longer (yet not natural at it, although quite fluent as you can see) But Spanish has funny quirks almost as challenging as prepositions in English like putting "a" in front of many nouns in a sentence.... I'd wish more translation was available for any texts. Nonetheless this is an amazing site.
I find a little bit ungrateful to define it the first right decision. Even thou some recent decisions have been quite unpopular, there have been others that have been pretty good in the past. Even just the fact of having a community like this with free courses is already something that deserves appreciation. :)
Finally the first right decision made by Duo? Really? How about the decision to provide the world with this service in the first place? And what of the decisions to include now lamented features such as Immersion and the Activity Stream in the first place? We can all despair of the decisions to eliminate those features, but frankly, the constant, petty grousing at Luis and his team is getting a little long in the tooth.
I agree that removing Activity Streams and Immersion was not a good decision, but I can argue that bringing in Stories is not the first right decision made by Duo. They have made great decisions in the past, including creating this site where we can take free courses to learn languages. If you think that creating Duolingo was not a good decision, then I suggest you stay off it. Duolingo is receiving a lot of hate for eliminating Activity Streams and Immersion, and everyone is forgetting to appreciate the creation of these features in the first place. creating a website is NOT easy.
Was there ever an explanation provided for why they were removed? I am sorry I missed them. I will say this in case anyone is interested. As a new member I am finding one large difficulty. I don't always want to do exercises, but I don't necessarily want to stop working/being involved in the language. I checked out the cards, and I can't see ANY difference between doing the cards and doing the exercises. I was hoping for stories in French but there are none. I think simple videos of daily conversations would be wonderful as well. I'm not interested really in telling anyone how to run their site, but I am noticing that I get burned out before I should because it seems there is really only one thing you can do here. Over, and over, and over. ;)
Your comment is so meaningful because I can completely relate with how we do the same things over and over again. I'm generally getting so annoyed of redoing lessons that I clearly don't need work on, and now I don't even work on the non-golden lessons.
Stories for French would be extremely helpful, but I don't get why Duolingo would try more things on Portuguese and Spanish Stories first; we all love stories, and we all agree that it'd help us get better at communication, so they should be working on French Stories.