With Chinese being a tonal language, it’s very important that people learn to pronounce it if they are going to become TRULY fluent in it. Otherwise, what’s the use in learning it?
This is supposed to be the most important course Duolingo has got because Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world.
Chinese is in Beta. Give it time and it will most likely get speaking exercises.
I agree, Russian launched without these exercises and they added them relatively soon.
I don't know anything about what is required on the back-end for these exercises, so I have no idea how much work it entails. I'd imagine it requires some testing, because there have been some problems with broken exercises in other languages (Russian, German, i.e. certain exercises that are virtually impossible to get right, which can frustrate or demoralize users).
I'd like to see these, but I want to point out, you can get probably better practice by just repeatedly trying to speak.
Mandarin is a tough language to learn and master the pronunciation of. I highly recommend consulting multiple external sources to get the pronunciation down. I think it is worth investing the time in because it makes the language seem much more accessible.
I poured hours into just learning the pronunciation alone...but it paid off. Initially, I couldn't reliably be understood by native speakers and now, when I speak clearly, even if my accent isn't perfect, native speakers virtually always hear the tones and initials and finals exactly the way I am intending to be heard...which is something that a lot of learners don't achieve.
Mastering the pronunciation also really helps with listening comprehension...which makes it easier to do DuoLingo, and also easier to learn from context.