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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

Credits to efisgpr who mentioned it first (AFAIK) here.

September 7, 2017



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.


They might mean active users - rather than registered learners.


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.


I thought that was unbelievable too. Glad I'm not the only one!


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.


I only learn Japanese and Korean, but I still don't use the app. :P


I am the same way, I sometimes use the app but prefer using the web site, I wish I could practice my typing on PC...


This statement may just mean that, of the languages that people use the app to learn, Japanese is the fourth learned language.


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

[My emphasis]

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.


Yeah, fair point - without a date it is old news. It's nice to get some confirmation though.

I was hoping the new exercises would be on the web later this year, and the iOS/Android restriction would disappear at that point.


I'm hoping too... but without a date...
I prefer to be pessimistic than (later) unhappy about things not arriving.


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).


I'm glad Arabic was mentioned. I think it's much more useful than Klingon.


I hope it will come out for the website too :)


Finally! podré comprar arroz chino.


(I don't really have any intention of learning, but...) Yahoo!


That's really good news, however, the staff (or the owner) has previously said that basque, latin, mayan languages, some other native american langauges, would come several years ago - we haven't seen any of it yet.


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?


Does this mean that it will be added to the incubator by January or that we will have a complete course?


The article sounds clear to me

Duolingo said today it has launched a Korean course for English learners, to be followed by much-anticipated Mandarin Chinese by year-end.

It's about being launched, no? "launch" as Korean has been launch today.


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... ^^;


Yeah the vague updates given by the developers are frustrating sometimes :/


Let's hope so... It's certainly not impossible since the japanese course only took a few weeks to complete too :)


Didn't they already mention it in an other interview a month ago? Plus kinda in the AMA Luis did many months ago.

Found it: https://thepienews.com/news/25-million-investment-duolingo/


if that's true then I'm pretty excited about it.

[deactivated user]


    Yay! I cannot wait to learn more Mandarin so I can teach English in China! 高兴


    See here the official announcement about Chinese from English entering the incubator.
    And the course's page announces "December 15th, 2017" as estimated release (in beta) date. Note that this estimated date is likely set by staff hence it may be for once a more "reliable" date.


    I am ecstatic! Yes!!


    If Mandarin Chinese enters Duolingo I will definitely learn it


    Is that link behind a paywall or a geowall perhaps? I'm just getting links to other articles and loads of adverts on that page.


    It opens without any issue for me, here.
    At least as long as I open it on browser without any Flash blocker nor ad blocker (with both of them, it indeed not work each time I try to open it).

    And I have no subscription to Forbes.


    Could be Flash - Chrome is blocking it by default now.


    I think it has to do with the ad-blocker. That's how the forbes.com site is. It's a pain.




    ''Leading language course app developer Duolingo said today it has launched a Korean course for English learners, to be followed by much-anticipated Mandarin Chinese by year-end.''



    They were just hiring someone to create a Chinese course very recently. It seems a lot of pressure to have it done by year end .

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