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Dear Duo, please stop teasing me with your fashion choices!


How many triangles do you see in this picture?

Well, there are no triangles in that image. Our brains are programmed to look for shapes and patterns. This tendency is so strong that we sometimes see things that are not there. So, take a look at another more familiar image.

Why is Duo from Duo Plus wearing the Finnish flag? Is Duo subconsciously embarrassed about Duolingo not having a Finnish course? Just wondering. :P

Happy Duolingoing, everyone! :)


November 13, 2017



I am waiting for December 6th, to see if Duolingo will open Finnish or not...



It is Independence Day. This year’s celebrations are extra special, because The beautiful Finn Maiden turns 100. :)


Oh I see ! It would be nice to have this course, I learnt Scandinavian languages at university, I need to have Finnish extra to be able to speak in all Nordic countries. :D


Are you familiar with Slow Finnish? It is a series of lessons I make for Discussion. I have not been making new lessons for quite some time due to personal matters, but I am hoping to get back on track in January. You could take a look at the pronunciation and greetings in the first lessons. If you want to find out what Finnish sounds like, the lessons have a complementary course on Memrise. I need to re-record the course because of a bad microphone, but if you do not mind a bit of whooshing, give it a try.

I also plan to make Slow Finnish homesite, but I have paused the development because of the aforementioned personal matters. The site will include essays on Finnish culture in English. Here is an appetiser.


When I saw the Duolingo Plus ad I thought it was a "tease" for the entrance of Finnish to the incubator in a short period of time. How wrong I was! Maybe my brain was programmed to see what I wanted to see! Nice to see you back Mari! :)


There's still hope. 23 days.


I'm afraid they don't tease for any entrances in the incubator - most people wouldn't care there might be a course in a year or two. But could this be some kind of an easter egg? Hmm....


Hello! Good to know I am not the only one. :)


My first thought was that it was a ""go-faster stripe" source.

There are reasons why a stripe would be a fashionable choice for Duo. It has associations with acceleration, athleticism, wealth, coolness, winning, and so forth. There could be any number of reasons why Duolingo went with that design choice. Finnish is just one possibility among many. So, if it doesn't happen, don't be upset with Duolingo. If it does happen, HECK YEAH!

This is a good opportunity to explore the word "Apophenia" though, for those who have never heard or read of it before.

Apophenia (/æpoʊˈfiːniə/) is the tendency to attribute meaning to perceived connections or patterns between seemingly unrelated things.[1] Source

While apophenia is a pretty obscure term, people are more likely to have heard of this subtype, called "pareidolia." But, if you haven't, here is more information about it:

Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, which is a more generalized term for seeing patterns in random data. Some common examples are seeing a likeness of Jesus in the clouds or an image of a man on the surface of the moon.

Carl Sagan, the American cosmologist and author, made the case that pareidolia was a survival tool. In his 1995 book, "The Demon-Haunted World – Science as a Candle in the Dark," he argued that this ability to recognize faces from a distance or in poor visibility was an important survival technique. While this instinct enables humans to instantly judge whether an oncoming person is a friend or foe, Sagan noted that it could result in some misinterpretation of random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces. Source



Hello Bunny! The human brain is a wonderful thing. It is strange that people spend so much money on trying to create an AI, but neuropsychology remains underfunded. You would think that you cannot do the first without the latter.

My reaction to your comment:

[deactivated user]

    What a cute kitty! ❤


    My thoughts exactly!


    Wow, I did not even notice that! Now that it's been pointed out, I can't unsee the flag outfit.

    Also, welcome back! It's nice to see you again!


    Thank you. It is good to be back! :)


    What's the deal with Finnish not being on Duolingo yet? lack of contributors, difficulty level of the language, lack of demand or what exactly?


    Presumed lack of demand. Probably.

    Sure, it won't be as popular as Japanese or Arabic, but still...


    I wouldn't assume. Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Arabic took 4-5 to make it into the Incubator. Luis personally wanted a Japanese course from the beginning. Chinese is the most spoken language on the planet and very important for business. (The top three languages in the international business world are Chinese, French, and English.)

    What I can say with confidence is that Duolingo isn't holding off to be a troll. What we don't know are all of the complicating factors behind which languages enter and which don't. I'm not in the incubator. I am not an authoritative source. I'm an observer of unofficial, speculative conversations happening in the forums. These could be some of the factors a few possibilities: Number of applicants, expertise within pool of applicants, media release packages, size of target learning population, characteristics of learning population, priority of other languages, technical difficulties between the language and the Incubator's interface, whether or not there is a staff member fluent in that language.

    if these are indeed factors, they could form various combinations (with each other and factors we don't have information on) to determine whether or not a course can enter the incubator.

    If these are indeed factors, they could form various combinations (with each other and factors we don't have information on) to determine whether or not a course can enter the incubator.

    • Number of applicants: There can be many applicants, and there can be several factors that disqualify them completely or as team leads. No team lead, and a course has a problem. Attrition is another concern.

    • Expertise among applicants: Is some big event expected in the near or far future that will help launch knowledge of the course to the widest possible pool of people interested in taking the course? If so, Duolingo might wait, being interested in supporting the long term goal (most people reached) over the short term goal (getting the course out quickly so a smaller group of people can take it.)

    • Size of target learning population: A bigger population could be considered due to the investment of resources on Duolingo's part.

    • Characteristics of target learning population: What is the target population? There might be unique characteristics that override considerations of size.

    • The level of priority given to other language courses waiting to enter the Incubator.

    • Technical difficulties: It was previously impossible for a course in Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Arabic, among other courses. It took a TON of other resources and troubleshooting to make these courses possible.

    • Duolingo might not have a staff member fluent in the language.

    Again, if these are indeed factors, they could form various combinations (with each other and factors we don't have information on) to determine whether or not a course can enter the incubator.


    I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who sees Duo in the Finnish flag there, even though I'm embarrassed to admit that the only Nordic flags I know by sight are Norway and Sweden, so I had to do some digging to remember which one it is that I saw.

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