Japanese holds Duolingo record for most learners while in Beta!
The Japanese course for English speakers has just reached 2.90 Million learners - an astoundingly high number for a relatively new course, but even more amazing is the fact that it is still in Beta status! Previously, Hebrew held the record for having the most learners while still in Beta (over 900K learners). Japanese has swamped that record by 3 times the amount of Hebrew!
Even better - Duolingo users are signing up by the thousands every day, and the course is still only 1% into reaching its Beta status! True, Japanese did have a head start when it got released to android and app users, but still, there are a ton of people signed up for an undeveloped course.
Congratulations to the Japanese team!
The number of Hebrew "learners" is misleading because it includes people like me who signed up for the course and did a couple of lessons but didn't actually pursue it when we found out that it lacked full audio. I'm basically waiting on full audio before I actually start learning the languages that don't have full audio. I'm hoping some day it'll arrive.
Overall I think the number of people signed up for these courses says very little.
I'd be much more interested in, say, the number of people who have kept 10% or more of a course fully practiced. I think that would be a much more meaningful measure.
I suspect by this measure, Hebrew and the other languages lacking full audio (e.g. Vietnamese and Swahili) would have miserably low numbers relative to languages that have full audio.