Why is the Swedish tree so short?

It's the ninth most popular language on Duolingo yet the tree is much shorter than both Danish and Norwegian, both of which have fewer learners.

Any reason for this and will it expand? I'm really enjoying it, thanks to all those who contribute to it ;-)

May 18, 2018


I don't have much insight into the Danish tree, but I do know that the Norwegian one has been given insane amounts of time and care by its contributors. I imagine it's much the same with Danish.

Obviously, the same goes for Swedish as well, but most of the effort for this tree was done some time ago, and hence, we're still at the first version of the Swedish course. The other courses also used to be shorter.

Unfortunately, the rest of the explanation is largely one of time and competence. It's really difficult to find people who are both competent and willing to spend the time to teach and construct the tree. They also need to fit in with the group, and must be able to learn to work with the tools given.

As of right now, nobody on the Swedish team has that kind of time. Arnauti and Anrui did the largest parts of the first tree and have deserved some vacation time :) but Arnauti is no longer part of the team (same thing with me), and I haven't seen Anrui around for ages. I mean, the rest of the Swedish team is absolutely amazing and I don't mean to backtalk them at all. But I think the team doesn't quite have a treebuilder at the moment.

It's also worth mentioning that Duolingo's admin interface for this has a lot of problems. I once estimated that if I were to construct a new tree, I could probably save time by building my own admin interface entirely and copy-paste everything by hand. (It's pretty much what I do for a living, so it's not that far of a stretch.) Huge kudos to the other Scandis, and to contributors to other courses, for being willing to put so much time and effort into systems that aren't really that good. I have gone through ~125,000 error reports and thousands of sentences in it, and admit that I was not quite.

May 18, 2018

Do you know how it is going with Swedish from Russian? The last update was 2 years ago.

May 19, 2018

No, I've never had any kind of contact with other teams on their progress.

May 20, 2018

Well, Arnauti is involved in Swedish from Russian (at least he appears on its site). I guess he left Swedish from English for Swedish from Russian, didn't he? Anyway, there hasn't been any progress in the latter course recently.

By the way, it's a pity that there are no courses from Swedish but Duolingo doesn't seem to be interested in creating Swedish interface. I would like for example German from Swedish. As far as I remember, you are bilingual in those languages, aren't you?

May 20, 2018

No, I think he quit as a contributor entirely. The course page doesn't list him any longer:

I don't wish to speak for him, though. I'll mention your question and see if he wants to reply. :)

Yes, I speak both, although my German is not quite native-level.

May 20, 2018

Yeah, that page has some other algorithm that is based on the number of editations done in the course. And the English to Swedish one is really incorrect, so I doubt the Russian to Swedish one is any better, to be honest.

May 20, 2018

OK, only that page lists him:

But I guess the Incubator page is more relevant.

May 20, 2018

The Spanish tree for English speakers is the first most popular language from English but it has 64 lessons (I think the only three that are shorter or at the same length are Japanese, Esperanto and Turkish). That's only two skills less than Swedish, five if you don't count the bonus skills. The length of the tree doesn't really have to do with the material or popularity. Welsh, for example, has well over 100 skills but many of them are rather short. The Swedish skills are usually quite long in comparison. Probably partially a priority thing and partially because of grammar.

May 18, 2018

Nonetheless, compared with DK and NO, it's surprising that the trees are so different in length given the clear similarities in language structure.

May 18, 2018

Norwegian is a very long tree (it's based on the Swedish tree btw), but is Danish really a lot longer than Swedish? Some site told me Danish has 70 skills, 340 lessons while Swedish has 66 skills, 325 lessons. If that's true they're basically the same size.

May 20, 2018
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