Chinese for English speakers course announced (by staff) by the end of the year.
In staff's interview by Forbes about recent release of the "Korean for English speakers" course, staff also announced
Mandarin Chinese by year-end
I think I'd believe it more if there were a direct quote. The article also mentions that Japanese has become the fourth most popular course on the app. Meanwhile, iOS shows it as having only 316 thousand users (then again Spanish did supposedly have 990 million recently...). If it were really the fourth most popular course, it would presumably have to be beating out German for English (35.4 million total users) and English for Portuguese (50.2 million total learners). Hard to find that particularly likely.
I'm sure they do, but if that 316K figure is right, it's registered users, not active ones. So, in short, Japanese registered learners would have to be 100 times more active than German ones. 10 times more active? Sure, maybe. The Japanese course has been out maybe 1/10 the time of the German one. But 100 is too much, all the more so given just how difficult the Japanese tree actually is. It's hard to imagine those without some Japanese experience sticking with it in any large numbers.
When a course just launches I imagine it is mostly active users - nearly 100% in the first measurement period (though I would assume that's quickly tails off). And the longer a course has been around the higher proportion of the register accounts are inactive. Those original courses are probably mostly inactive users.
Just my own assumptions - I have no data. 100 times does seem a bit high though. Other more 'traditional' MOOCs have a drop-out rate of 30 I think. (Only 1 in 30 complete the course)
Edit: Just so we are discussing the same thing ... I didn't mean total activity (lessons learnt and skills strengthened) within a time period. [Though you could argue it should be this] I meant monthly active users (or perhaps weekly) ...this just means that they went on and did one lesson (or even exercise) to count as an active user, for that time period. They might stop at that point, having got a taste for the course.
Having read people's comments on their Japanese clubs, active use drops off (i.e. to 0 XP per week) precipitously. At this point people that started Japanese at release have had plenty of time to give it up, something that I simply have to suspect happens at a rate even higher than for other trees just because the tree is so tough and so rough.
Don't forget that for Japanese you have to use the app, so it would be disproportionally popular with the app. I use the web site for all the languages I study except for Japanese where I'm forced to use the app. I'll stop doing that the minute it appears on the web. For German or any other language the number of people using the app is some fraction of the people taking the course but for Japanese it's everyone.
At the end of the article, Arabic gets a mention:
After launching Korean and Chinese, the company will turn its focus to Hindi and Arabic (not to mention Klingon), which face similar technical challenges with new alphabets. It also hopes to bypass English and design complementary language courses to link high-demand languages such as between Korean, Chinese and Japanese
Also they plan cross-courses between Asian languages. This makes sense - the number of Koreans and Chinese wanting to learn each other's languages must be huge.
I took that one about Arabic as "nothing new".
Indeed, they don't say more than they did in past: they want to do it ASAP. No estimated date at all.
Also, they mention it together with "Hindi" ["for English speakers", they forgot to say ;)] and "Klingon [for English speakers]" which... have been in the incubator for months so for which the technical issue have already been dealt with already, not like Arabic.
Note: The "new" they maybe have in mind for Hindi is that they probably plan to push in it the new "character challenge" exercises (as mentioned by HI<-EN volunteers in the course's status page. Which, by the way, would mean "iOS and Android release only".
And, for Klingon, the current one (under construction) uses latin script (as a screenshot in the course's status page shows so if they speak about "alphabets issue" for it, it'd mean a complete revamp of the course to make it with "KLI pIqaD" script. And, if they do... "character challenge" exercises hence only "iOS and Android" for such new version of the course.
Yes, the Duolingo Klingon course uses the standard Latin-based spelling for the Klingon (with distinctive capitalisation which is not related to sentence beginnings and with apostrophe as a full letter which can occur at the beginning, middle, or end of words or even two in a row).
however, the staff (or the owner) has previously said that basque, latin, mayan languages, some other native american langauges, would come several years ago
I didn't see staff giving a deadline, an estimated time of release, for basque [for English speakers], latin [for English speakers], mayan languages [for English speakers nor for Spanish speakers] nor some other native american langauges [for English speakers].
I only saw/remember staff saying:
- they hope to be able to add to the incub (not the same at all as "releasing the course") 5 endangered languages, among which at least one native american (if I remember well), before end of 2016.
- they'd like to add to the incub (not the same at all as "releasing the course"), one day, some other courses among which some of the above.
Would you have links to discussions (or outside articles) where they gave an estimated (or even hoped) date of release for the above courses?
Since we're talking about the Chinese course, they could mean Chinese year-end. (Or at least this will be a good excuse for them to steal when it gets to 1st January.) :P
And I notice this statement sounds certain about Chinese arriving by the end of the year, whereas they still haven't said any more than "should" about Japanese arriving on web at some point this year... ^^;
Didn't they already mention it in an other interview a month ago? Plus kinda in the AMA Luis did many months ago.