https://www.duolingo.com/IVIatjam

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!

1 year ago

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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Wow! I didn't even realise Hebrew held that record (excellent work, Team Hebrew), but 2.9 million learners is huge. Not surprising (Duolingo is popular, Japanese is popular), but very impressive.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cazort
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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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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All of the course numbers are misleading in this respect. I don't think anyone has claimed otherwise. There's a huge disparity between "started a tree" and "stuck with a tree", never mind "completed a tree", even in the most popular and accessible languages Duolingo offers.

People are allowed to be excited that the course has such a huge intake of people interested in it, especially as one of Duolingo's stated goals at the moment is increasing its userbase. I certainly didn't claim otherwise.

Hebrew will probably never have full audio - as has been explained many times, they had to use voice actors (because TTS for Hebrew is absolutely dreadful), and as such, time and budget constraints mean that the audio is only on sentences, and that some sentences don't have audio. The team tried to work with Duolingo to find ways round this, but it hasn't happened. They have released a Memrise course which fills in the gaps rather well. It's not ideal, but they've done what they can. The course has a very steep learning curve (especially if one does not use the Memrise course), but it's still a very good course (especially for free!) if one is willing to do the work.

It would be great if the course had full audio, I personally would love it to, but on the plus side, it's a very good course, the team have supplemented where they are able, and the audio may not be complete but it's very clear. Only Esperanto (also a voice actor) has better audio, IMO, and the Hebrew tree is one of the best of the 8 I've completed.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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Awesome! I also think Japanese wins the fastest release out of the incubator. Or was there another language that came out faster?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kairosofmine

Congrats Duolingo!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_Nanachi_
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There are a lot of people who is interested in it because loves japanese manga and anime. Korean may be a surprise soon (manhwa and doramas). :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PandaSakuraTea

that's great! I started the Japanese course the other day and found it was pretty cool!

1 year ago

[deactivated user]

    It already has more accounts than Norwegian or Danish. O_O

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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    And far more than Romanian and High Valyrian and Czech! I'm betting that soon it'll get higher than Turkish!

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/brandonsti699486

    how do we find the alphabet to see what the Japanese symbols mean in English??

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/__Emilia__

    When I found out this course was released into beta I was beyond elated. It's been my dream since I was a little kid to travel to Japan. I'm excited to learn from this course, and I'm sure many others are too.

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/cazort
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    I am excited too but I think the course was released prematurely. I recommend on people to hold off doing the course until they release open-ended typing exercises.

    If you are serious about learning Japanese and actually traveling to Japan, you will need to learn how to do open-ended recall and you will also need to learn how to type in the language, and how to read more Kanji.

    The fact that the course currently centers around multiple choice and choose-from-a-list exercises, I think severely hinders its usefulness.

    I want you and others to join me in putting pressure on the DuoLingo team to bring this course up to the level of their other courses by including these open-ended typing exercises.

    I want a verbal committment from the team that they're planning on doing this before I waste my time testing a course that may not be as useful for anyone as their long-standing courses have been for me and many others.

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/warriorg315
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    WOOHOOO!!!!!!! I'm sorry. Been to Japan twice. Dad will be proud. (Nods head decisively)

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Im.Fine
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    Wow !!!

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Elisabeth3789
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    Woo Hoo! So happy it finally appeared. I first joined Duolingo because I wanted to take the Japanese course, and so I've been waiting (and waiting) for it to come out, and immediately jumped on it when it finally arrived. Clearly, I wasn't the only one eagerly awaiting that course!

    1 year ago

    [deactivated user]

      Japanese is a very popular language so I was expecting this. I wonder how many will finish. I have done various languages only to move on to something else. But either way it's nice to see so many at least take an interest in it.

      1 year ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/cazort
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      Judging a course's success by the number of learners is an extremely foolish thing to do. This counts the number of people interested in the language itself; it says nothing about the quality or effectiveness of the course.

      For example, I signed up for several courses because I was merely curious and wanted to dabble, even though I had no intention of actually completing them.

      In other cases, I was serious about learning a language, but I started the course and felt frustrated with some aspect of the course (like how Vietnamese, Hebrew, and Swahili lack full audio) and was uninterested in actually doing the course...so I'm counted among learners, but not actually doing the course and as far as I'm concerned, don't think the course is good / useful enough to continue.

      With Japanese I feel similarly. I want to learn Japanese, and I was excited when it came out, but I've been holding back on actually doing the course because I want open-ended typing exercises, and as of yet, there are none. I feel frustrated by the DuoLingo team because the course centers around choose-from-a-list exercises rather than open-ended typing exercises like in the other courses I've done.

      As far as I'm concerned, this course is not ready...not even ready for me to be beta testing it yet. It won't be ready for that until it has open-ended typing exercises, and, ideally, a way to disable the choose-from-a-list exercises.

      I especially want to make this clear because I don't want you, anyone, or ESPECIALLY anyone on the DuoLingo team to wrongly conclude that I think a course is "good" or "ready", even ready to be beta tested, just because I signed up for it and dabbled in the exercises. I want us to break down this myth, this wrong line of reasoning, for good.

      1 year ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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      I haven't seen anyone suggest that this magically means Japanese is the bestest course ever. People are just excited that it's released and that it's popular; frankly, you're arguing against a point I didn't see anyone make.

      1 year ago
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