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German for Russian speakers in beta

March 26, 2014



Yes, you are right! Finally we are in beta! :)




Fantastic! Do you have a clue whether the other 6 newest courses can progress much faster than before or does the Duo staff still has to fix some bugs?


Depends on what you mean with the newest courses:

The reverse courses are a lot harder to work on, and technically, they will not be ready for at least four weeks, regardless on how fast the team progresses on them - the technical base is just not ready yet, not all of the technical questions have even been solved so far.

As for the "english from XYZ" and similar - most of the last update's bugs have been ironed out, so I think those teams should be able to progress at the team's natural pace for now. However - in our experience - if the team starts at the beginning and progresses down the tree, like we did, the pace can get slower over time, as the sentences get more and more difficult and/or more and more ambiguous. Other teams' mileage may vary.


I meant the Dutch/Turkish/Russian/Hungarian/Romanian and Polish for English speakers courses. Pity to hear that they particularly seem to delay, but I am patient. Thanks for your answer! =)


To give you some idea of the technical problems we are looking at:

  • there is no Text-To-Speech engine for Russian that would be suitable for Duolingo. No company seems to have a fully functional one. The team has already considered recording their voices. It is a ton of work. Duo's team is still hoping to find something remotely usable by the time the Russian for English Speakers shows up.

-There is no tool to display the newly modified trees on the main duolingo page yet. It has to be written. This is why we can't change our "forward" trees yet, even though we would really like to.

  • The separable verb hints they just released with our (German) course are working through a workaround because Duo's devs felt bad about having to let us (and you guys) wait any longer. They still have to be properly integrated.

  • Duolingo considers man and men two different words. For us, ie volunteers, there is no way to change that. Since in Turkish, a whole sentence can be one word (it is an agglutinating language), the vocabulary they are teaching is impossible to handle that way. The Russian team has a minor version of that problem, we just have up to 12 forms for each noun depending on case and number. This has to be changed before they can make any useful progress.

So while the teams can work on the trees and construct the new courses already, those are still obstacles that will have to be cleared out of the way by the main Duolingo team, OR workarounds like voice recordings have to be created by the language team. Some of the problems will be different with the other language teams, some will be the same.

Sometimes, you just can't make the plants grow faster.


Thank you for your efforts in spite of all difficulties!


спасибо! :D ...I've been trying to learn Russian with the Russian->English course for the last few days, but it was quite difficult, since all the different cases and stuff are introduced at once. Until the English->Russian is ready, I'll try using the the Russian->German course. My native languange is German, and I already noticed the two languages are much more similar than I expected at first :D Thank you soooo much!! :D I'll start right away. :)


Wunderbar! I will definitely need this to practice them after learning from English.


I can't wait for this to be flipped. Whichever comes out first, Russian for English or Russian for German speakers, I'm going to use. So I hope a little competition motivates them. Of course, I'll probably end up using both.


Congratulations! Alles Gute!


Yes, you are right! Finally we are in bets! :)


Congratulations to all the team members, who have worked so hard!


I am native German and have no clue of Russian what so ever (can't read the alphabet) - I just tried the beta-course out for fun, but it is hopeless. Have fun you Russians ;)


You are kind. I tried it mostly out of curiousity. I heard from others having success doing the "reverse" direction of a DL course. I started and finished quite some trees so I wanted to have a glimpse and expected the first one or two lessons to be doable, and then turn to incredible difficult. Now I see that it started incredible difficult. Well, I have other active trees I'm working on and Spanish and French will be soon available for Germans/"reverse" :)


If you'd like to have a go at a slavic language without learning the cyrillic alphabet and keyboard layout first, you might want to try the "english for speakers of polish".

Since Polish and Russian share a lot of word roots, it would also help you learn Russian later.

In general, reverse courses are somewhat harder to use, since the "source language" sentences don't have the same strict "you can only teach XY if you have already taught X and Y" structure. You'll also not learn the pronunciation since all the speaking/listening exercises are in the target language (ie in the "German for Russians" course, German). If you are OK with that, the additional difficulty should be relatively minor (if not for the cyrillics).


Спасибо!Я помог бы вам с созданием этого курса,но у меня знания германского очень малы,это можно видеть с моего значка уровня германского.Спасибо за такой сайт и за такую возможность изучать языки.Thank you!

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