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Help us test Duolingo's new Chinese course!

[EDIT: The form is now closed. Thank you for signing up! Please stay tuned for more opportunities to test Duolingo's new courses and features :) ]

As Duolingo’s Chinese for English speakers course is getting closer to launching, we’d like to invite you to become an Alpha Tester and share your feedback with us!

Interested? Sign up to become an Alpha Tester!

You’ll get early access to the course and the chance to help us polish it before the launch. No prior Chinese knowledge required.

If selected, you'll receive an invitation email with instructions to test this course on iOS and Android mobile devices in the coming days.

October 3, 2017



Signed up. I'm fluent in Mandarin, so I can probably help with alternative solutions.

Edit: It's been two weeks. Have alpha testers already been picked?


Thank you! That's exactly the kind of feedback we'll be looking for :)


Have the Alpha testers been chosen? I am literally checking my email 5 times a day hoping to get an Alpha tester email.

EDIT: Got an Alpha tester email. Good luck to everyone else trying.


Same here. Still waiting...


ditto, but I use traditional, I learned Taiwanese Mandarin at school.


There is no Taiwanese Mandarin, do Korean got Korean Japanese? What about Taiwanese Japanese?

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so do we teach Chinese simplified or traditional? do we have a 粤语 course? do we teach 拼音 first? How will we explain the grammar which is completely different from the Latin language family? Will we teach the stroke order or just typing? these are all question we need to consider.


EDIT: Mandarin has been released. GO LEARN PEOPLE!

Mandarin is the main language I want to study next. I am practicing Mandarin on HelloChinese, ChineseSkill, and Memrise. However, I prefer the interface of Duolingo to all these apps.

All I want right now is to be an alpha tester. I would love to put in a ton of time to make sure the course is exceptional. No bug will get by!


Do you have LingoDeer too?


No I don't. But I keep hearing about this LingoDeer


Lingodeer is good. I have only tried the Japanese course so far there. They have Chinese and Korean there as well.


Ooh my partner is learning Mandarin atm and he's using HelloChinese for it. Would you recommend ChineseSkill and Memrise?


I use both HelloChinese and ChineseSkill together. Minor differences make it worth it. Memrise is great but I use it the least. You should try them out see what you like.


I like ChineseSkill, but the strength bar system (kinda similar to Duolingo's) is impossible to keep up with. When I do a new lesson, I learn it in the app, and then I relearn it in a Memrise course called "ChineseSkill App Vocabulary" (or something like that), and then I practice those as Memrise prompts me to.


I have used ChineseSkill before and I think it works wonderfully. They have games that help with memorization, tone, writing skills and more. It works similarly to Duolingo, but also has some perks too. Although it doesn't have bots yet, it does have an easy to access discussion room and more lessons on grammar and the like. I totally recommend ChineseSkill


I know the thing i will ask has nothing to do with chinese or something. And i don't even know if i am asking to the right person. But at least i can try i guess. What is wrong with duolingo? I can't add anyone as friend. And i can't see my "history" of working. Is it normal? Thanks for even reading.


What is the criteria for selection? or is it just randomised?


i don't really know but i don't think it'll be random, i think they'll look at our records with other languages to see if we are capable of doing it.


I've been looking forward to this for years. Thank you Duo!


I can't wait! I've been back learning Chinese about a month.



然后,我开始用Duolingo。我四个月前完成了我的树。 现在,我正在用Anki因为Anki比duolingo的道题非常难。Anki教过我的事比Duolingo教的事情很多。



I started with HelloChinese and used YoyoChinese + Allsetlearning + Yoyochinese + HelloTalk (to practice with native speakers) as additional learning tools. Did I say these are all FREE?

Anyway, I moved on to Duolingo and finished the tree about 4 months ago. Now I'm using Anki for more difficult sentences which the reverse Duolingo course didn't cover grammar and vocabulary wise. I recommend everyone to do what I'm doing,

The reverse course had a lot of problems, I can tell you right off the bat in terms of translation. Sometimes it'd accept a VERY literal English translation that it shouldn't. For example, in the sentence "Rice is the primary crop", the sentence would allow you to use 米饭 which means cooked rice. And a few minor errors here and there which I hope my reports will solve. If I'm wrong in my reports, I hope someone explains it.

But in the grand scheme of things, there are no worries. The mods are doing a great job of getting these tiny issues fixed. I just hope there aren't technical ones.



I have been seriously considering YoyoChinese. How much of your learning would you say YoyoChinese made up? As in, was it the main resource you used to learn?

Thank in advance.


My learning style is weird, because I made up my learning process on the go. You may like a more structured one pre-designed for you, like a classroom and I can't really give you a tested and true method off the top of my head. With that disclaimer out of the way...

The initial part of my learning was with YoyoChinese. YoyoChinese helped me with Pinyin, because they had free videos of the Mandarin teacher basically giving you speech therapy / accent coaching haha.

Yoyochinese also has videos where you can watch practical every day conversations. Although Yoyo played a small part in my learning, it played an important part.

In terms of time: I used Duolingo, real native spakers / HelloTalk, youtube videos (where yoyochinese took most of the time). Your prioritization may differ.


I just applied. I have both iOS and Android. I checked the iOS because it seems most of the times new things are added to the iOS first.


I have been waiting a long time for this; I'm so pumped! I studied Chinese in college and have been itching for a refresher!


I've signed up! How do I know whether I'm accepted?


I would like to know as well (leaving this comment to get the notif lmao)


You'll get an email. I like your profile picture BTW.


It says in the post that an email will be sent in a few days.


What if we dont have iOS or android and we want to test this course?


It will be like Japanese and Korean, only available on iOS and android initially, so I don't think you can alpha test without one of these devices


i have a slightly older ios, but i cant access the newer languages . it makes me sad.


Wow, really? That is disappointing. I have a 4s that can still do Japanese and Korean and such with iOS 9, what are you using?


I phone 4 with iOS 7 baby! That's right, rockin' the old languages only!


You could install an Android emulator software like Bluestacks or NOX on your PC/Windows (maybe MAC works for some emulators too).


Bluestacks needs too much. NOX needs less.


You would most likely have to wait for the official web version, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait! ^ ^


What's the reason for not being able to learn korean/japanese/chinese on browsers? Something with character support?


They don't have lesson support for character lessons on browser optimized yet.

Take a look at this discussion, it gives a little bit of a status update:



You can install Android virtual for PC (ex: :LeapDroid, Bluestacks, Nox...). It is easy to use.


Signed up! Can't wait to use it!


I'd love to do this but I am not willing to help facilitate your mobile-over-desktop priority, and it's important for me to voice an objection.

Learning a language takes a big investment of time, often more than an hour a day, and spending that much time staring at a small smartphone screen and interacting with the small interface has negative effects on physical and mental health, see this article.

When you make a language only available on mobile, it creates a strong incentive for people who want to learn that language, to spend hours on mobile when they wouldn't otherwise do this. And this could then push them to be spending more time on mobile devices than they would otherwise do.

By giving priority to mobile users you are helping to fuel mental illness and physical problems associated with bad posture. You would do well to follow the "do no harm" principle.

I know you probably don't set out thinking: "We really want to mess up society, let's launch high-demand language-learning apps that are better than all competitors, but launch them only on mobile so that we mess up people's postures and lead to increased rates of depression, anxiety, and health problems related to poor posture. Maybe we'll get lucky and some people will commit suicide in the process, if they were already at risk of suicide and dealing with numerous other problems, and this one additional factor was the little thing that pushed them over the edge." Like, I know this isn't your intention. But it is a likely effect of your choices here.

I want you to spread this information and I want it to eat at the people who make decisions at DuoLingo, keeping them asleep at night, to where they decide to change their priorities and make desktop a priority and then make the mobile devices an afterthought. It would be much better for people and for our society.


I am in between you both on this. I prefer the computer 100%, however, I am almost never able to sit down for long periods of time at a computer because of my work and family lifestyles. Getting to Duolingo on my phone is much easier for me. I do most of my Duolingo practice on my phone. When I have a choice though, I always prefer the computer for learning.

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I completely disagree, it's bad for your spine to sit on a chair for long periods of time while doing Duolingo lessons or any other activity. This is why I almost exclusively do lessons on my 5.7" smartphone while walking around the house.


Even if you sit with good posture?


Surely, walking around while looking at a smartphone must go against some health and safety recommendation or other? :P

However, I'm glad you said that it's in your house that you do this. The amount of people walking around the streets doing stuff like this who obliviously step out onto the road in front of my van...


I think I agree with you here, if you're comparing smartphone use while walking / pacing, this may be healthier than sitting at a computer desk for long periods of time.

In general though this isn't how I have seen most people in my daily environment doing DuoLingo, I see a lot of people using it while sitting, or lying down in a bed or sofa.

I'm definitely a pacer, so I'm probably more like you in how I use it, walking around, but I'm not sure how many people use apps for extended periods of time like this.


You have a point, every new technology we introduced in our lives has its pros and its cons, so we should to try to diminish the cons and enhance the pros. E.g. if you drive a car, you are putting yourself at a high risk of accident, but nobody would stop driving due to its benefits. Regarding Duolingo mobile courses, we all have idle times where it is impractical to carry a laptop, so the mobile would be the most convenient solution to make the most of our time. However, Desktop users also have health issues, so you should take into account them too. Therefore, I don't see as a solution to avoid the mobile DL apps completely. We all should have in mind the health issues, taking care of our posture, not staying too much time before a screen, making physical activity in our rests, etc. Nevertheless I agree that Duolingo has their part of responsibility, and among other things in my opinion it wouldn't be a bad idea that they would give us some quick tips or guidelines to help take care of our health, specially targeted to newbies.

P.S. Maybe the healthier way of using Duolingo is to alternate between mobile and desktop applications. I don't know, because I don't have a smartphone, but it might be a more convenient way of alternating between a sitting and a standing position, while you study languages. And remember, it doesn't matter how good a posture is, if you stay still in one single posture for too long, that's bad for your health...


Either way I have trouble watching a screen of any kind for too long and my iPhone 5 is too small. Also there are fewer options on the app compared to puter.


''I'd love to do this but I am not willing to help facilitate your mobile-over-desktop priority, and it's important for me to voice an objection.''

They don't have the code on the web. They're not releasing it on app first because they prefer the app.


I understand where you're coming from, but everyone is different. I prefer mobile because I can do it on my lunch break, while standing in line or waiting in the car. My favorite thing to do is mix DuoLingo with light exercise because I can work my body and brain at the same time, plus exercise helps you learn. I also use Duolingo when I'm in bed, winding down, because studying right before sleep helps you retain better. I don't see me using a desktop, laptop or even netbook while I'm on my stepper, but I CAN use my phone. Mobile does not equal unhealthy. The way we choose to use it does and Duolingo is not responsible for bad personal choices we make. If it is, then I've got a few choice words for them about my ex-husband. lol


Desktop and mobile are both screens, so I'm not sure there is a whole lot of difference. I like the desktop/web version better, however, because the streak freeze is a lot cheaper!


Signed up. Xie xie!!!!!!!!!!!!


Yay! My sister wanted to do Chinese when she first learned about this, but was disappointed to see that there wasn't Chinese. Now that there is going to be Chinese on Duolingo, she'll be so excited!


I hope I get selected, since I'd love to help with the course!


Cool that Android works too! :D


Duo, I am ready!


I have no experience with Chinese outside of the basic characters you can learn with the mobile Japanese course. I hope I can be some help as I'm an absolute newbie, and can share my "fresh eyes" experience! :)


i studied chinese for two years, and would love to help.


am very good at Mandarin so i can help out :]


Oh great! Mandarin is the language I've been waiting for most! My girlfriend is Chinese too so can probably help with the testing!


This sounds interesting. I always wanted to learn Chinese....so...YEAH!!!!!


i hope that i'll be selected!! i'm really excited, this will be a whole new experience for me


signed up. very exited!


I submitted the original Chinese course request 4 years ago, before the incubator was even a thing, and I've been waiting for this moment ever since. (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/453895)


I signed up thank you I have been waiting for this for a long time. 非常感謝


Signed up, thanks! I can't wait. I study Chinese at work but haven't found an app that matches Duolingo yet - and besides I'm too hooked on the other languages. So the sooner I can start with Chinese, the better :)


And just for the record - I love the mobile app. I do duolingo in short 5-minute bursts while waiting for the kids, while lying flat on my back, while on the cross-trainer - and I would never do as much as I do if I had to sit in front of a large screen :). I spend my days in the office and for me, learning has to be fun and possible on the go. And that only works with mobile :)


As for my level, I'm probably elementary. I need lots of drill-practice so I can impress my teacher :)


I'm really interested in the Chinese course! Though I am a native Chinese speaker, I looked for the Chinese course at the first day I know Duolingo. And now it is coming! But I couldn't sign up. I couldn't open the website in China. Is there another website? I want to be am Alpha Tester too. Who can help with this problem? 我是中国人,但是我没有办法在中国打开Duolingo所提供的sign up网站。有别的网站可以sign up吗?我也超级想成为Alpha Tester!我还可以找病句和一些不符合常理的句子。

P.S. I also don't know why I could get into the duolingo.com today, and then I find this discussion. There isn't discussion in duolingo.cn and when I tried to log in at duolingo.com last week, the website just jumped to duolingo.cn. Does anyone knows why?


How did I not see this earlier? This is awesome!! Thank you, Duolingo, for all your hard work!!


hey I'm chinese so i could help too!


As I said before I have lived in china for most of my life and really want to help out! But is it going to be in traditional or simplified Chinese? Because I only speak (and write) simplified Chinese. Thanks!


Great, I've been taking a Chinese course since the beginning of the year.


Thank you for the opportunity!


I will help, I think I can do it since I am chinese myself.


Being Chinese ethnicity does not actually grant any skill in the language itself…


100% true. I'm Bolivian but not a Quechua native.


just signed up, I am really excited


I would love to! I will sign up.


You'd have an easier time in terms of writing and what the characters mean, since you probably already learned some Kanji.


Will it allow both simplified and traditional characters?


Signed up. I'm studying mandarin since I was a kid and I would like to help in improving the course.


Signed!!! Can't wait. My parents always want me to learn Chinese.


I don't know much Chinese but I studied Cantonese and I would like to learn Mandarin. I would be excited to try this out.


I have signed up. I live in China and I am good in Chinese so i can try to help out with some problems or troubleshooting. I am looking forward to seeing this.


i am from main land china and i am fluent so i can help




I signed up! It'd be a great honor to be chosen to help.


I'm really interested in this. I hope I'm chosen!


Are only a select people going to be accepted? I applied and I really want to start the course and help polish it but I have no prior knowledge with Madrain.


I signed up a few days ago, but still no word. Has anyone been accepted yet?


More than happy to help out. Been using duolingo for French and Spanish for a while now. For Chinese i have been using Ninchinese and Hellochinese but i would love to get my teeth into a duolingo Chinese course. Let me know if i can be of any use. Have a couple of people that I do the courses with so could offer a group opinion as well.

I have also been learning English from Chinese which is very hard so would be happy to try this version out.

Thanks - Paddy x


I am using Ninchinese right now and its amazing!!!


我是美国人,我在我的学校学习汉语。当它要出来,我要可以学习更。我很兴奋因为这要帮助我。I am American, and I study Chinese at school. When this comes out, I will be able to learn more. I am very excited for this to come out so it can help me with my Chinese.


I signed up! I only know a little Chinese.


This is exciting. As my profile message says, I originally came to Duolingo looking for something to help me with Mandarin, but I stayed to help me review my French, Spanish, and (later) Russian. I've continued to wait for the Mandarin course (and an Arabic course).

I did take two semesters of Mandarin at the local community college (and got my employer to pay for it), but they don't offer anything beyond that.


When are the emails going out?


You are supposed to make a separate account for the Chinese by the way.


Who told you that? I was selected as an alpha tester; via the email they sent to all the alpha testers, all a tester needs to do is wait for the application to update, and it would be available as if it were another language. For me, it's actually already updated, and I'm working away.


Just signed up. I'd like to precise that I was selected for the same process when Japanese was under incubation. I got selectionned but I forget to check my mailbox, and it was too late, the course being already released. But I got it, and know I won't do the same mistake. Trust me!


YES YES YES YES!!! Me please <3

Been waiting for this course since the beginning of Duolingo, maybe ever.

Thanks so much that you are working on this course :)


I signed up as well... I'm fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, so I can help out for some other translations that the contributors might have forgotten


I am not sure that this is the best place to suggesting things for the course, but please consider proper support for both Traditional and Simplified variants.


I'm fluent in English, I live in Canada now, learning French(only 8%), Lived in China for 11 years and write in simplified, can read original.



Hey guys! I just got mailed today, anyone else?


Why is everything closed? I know Mandarin Chinese


Nooooo i'm too late


so do we teach Chinese simplified or traditional? do we have a 粤语 course? do we teach 拼音 first? How will we explain the grammar which is completely different from the Latin language family? Will we teach the stroke order or just typing? these are all question we need to consider.


I was selected to alpha test but it said I need a new invitation code and you guys never sent me one. I've emailed and one of the mods emailed on my behalf but I never heard back from anyone and now I believe I've missed out completely! :'(


Is there gonna be a Chinese forum? It's my number want-to-learn language!


I would like to see an option for pinyin or characters when reading sentences. Also, more of a focus on tones would be nice so I don’t butcher them when speaking with a native mandarin speaker






you didn't have it before it's one of the most popular languages


I also find it strange


Is it going to be traditional or mandarin?


There are two main SPOKEN Chinese languages. Mandarin, and Cantonese.

There are also two WRITTEN systems in China. Simplified and Traditional.

Mandarin (the common tongue, 普通话) originates from Beijing, the capital of China. The official education policy says that kids learn Mandarin in school, even in the Cantonese regions.

Cantonese, 广东话, the is the main language of the Guangdong province and Hong Kong. I'm not sure about the policies on those but Hong Kong definitely requires learning Mandarin and Cantonese.

你好吗 -- simplified

你好嗎 -- traditional

As you can see, one of three characters looks more complicated. The complicated one is traditional Chinese. The not complicated one is... well as you guessed it, simplified. :)


What about Taiwanese?


In Taiwan, Taiwanese is actually important enough to be used in public. It does merit consideration. But I do not know of any standardization effort for Taiwanese; it can be written in 3 different scripts one of which has religious/colonial undertones.


What about Hakka? And the other Chinese languages?


You are right to use the term language here to refer to Cantonese and Mandarin; they are about as different as Italian and Spanish. The two languages require different courses although very similar approaches may be taken for both languages. If a Cantonese course is being worked on, a lot of the work developing the Mandarin course should be reusable.

One more important Chinese language I would add is Taiwanese, which is prominent enough to be used in the public sphere in Taiwan. But like many other lesser varieties of Chinese, a standardized way to encode the language in a vernacular script does not exist.


I don't think that's a good comparison.

It's probably more like French and Italian. They'll write the same thing but the pronunciation is way different.

Italian and Spanish are more phonetic to their scripts and because they have a lot of cognates (even in terms of spelling), they'll sound more similar when spoken. Correct me if I'm wrong!


Spanish is good content


Sign up to become an Alpha Tester!


I would do it in a heart beat i would enjoy talking Chinese considering im Chines adopted but im allready commited to my other Manderin site Rosetta stone(a great site) AND ITS HARD TO GET TO THAT THANKS ANYWAY


You could use both if you wanted to, no harm done.


Well yes im so dumb, i'll just wait intill it comes out i don't need to test it i know it will be Awsome THANKS el loui


Duolingo is better than Rosetta Stone, and it's free. And like el.loui said, you can do it on both.

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