Is anyone at all surprised that yet another release day has come and gone without (1) a release ...
...(2) an update, or (3) an apology?
Look, we get it, teaching a new language from scratch is difficult and there are bound to be unforseen delays and difficulties. We also recognise the fact that the contributors are volunteers and genuinely appreciate them giving up their time to add to the course.
But what is it about this language that anybody who volunteers to contribute becomes incapable of communication, engagement, and expectation management? After the disaster that was the original team, this new team seemed to be doing better on that front in these respects. So it is a huge disappointment that they appear to be taking a leaf out of jitengore's book.
Seriously, if you're having problems, just keep us in the loop with timely updates. They don't have to be long; just a few sentences will do. I know we're not paying for the course, and I know you're not getting paid to do it ... but regardless of that, if you commit to delivering something by a specific date then it is purely a COMMON COURTESY to keep those who are waiting informed as to what is going on.
I contacted Duolingo by mail and they said Hindi course will go live this Thursday, July 19.
Thank you for following up with this. I was so excited that it was going to be released back in April, and then it got pushed further.
I will probably be downvoted for this, but I have lived in India for almost a year. I have to say this could be a cultural thing. No one in India wants to give bad news, while there is a strong tendency to over-promise and under-deliver. I have said in other threads that I would like to act surprised by this development, but, alas, I am not.
Hi man, I hope you don't take my comments personally. It was my frustration at the history of the course that came out when I wrote the post. I do appreciate the work you're all doing to get this course to us.
Bahut bahut dhanyavad!!! 3 lingots for you!
Bhagavan ki kripa (I don't have devanagari script on my phone)
The course is Locked according to the Weekly Incubator Summary report: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28031522
Locked means: "(Locked)" indicates that the volunteers have locked the structure of the course they have constructed, which transmits it to Duolingo for final processing.
Looking at the report there are two other courses that are locked: "Indonesian for English speakers" and "Spanish for Italian speakers".
Spanish for Italian speakers: https://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/es/it/status
Although it is annoying that there are not more frequent updates from the Hindi team the course is now with the Duolingo team. The other two courses are set for the 17th July (estimated). It is very likely that the Duo team are arranging for the three of these courses to be released at once for marketing / advertising reasons. In which case the Hindi course will be out this week.
Now that's a useful update - we're clearly waiting on the Duolingo team now.
One small correction; according to the link, Indonesian has an estimated release date of 17th August (not July) which probably rules out the bundled release theory (at least for this week).
Nice spot. Yup I agree, it may still be a little while before the release though it all depends on how the Duo team wish to market it.
(1) is entirely out of the volunteers' hands. They have locked the tree, which means that the ball is entirely in Duolingo's court, there's nothing the contributor team can do to speed things up. As for why staff doesn't have it released, they probably know nothing more about that than the rest of us. It may be technical issues. Maybe there was an emergency with something else that prevented staff from doing what was necessary. We haven't been told what the reason is, but we can't blame the volunteers for that.
As for (2) and (3), if the team doesn't know anything and it's out of their hands, what is there to say? "We don't know what the holdup is. Sorry for not doing what we can't do."? Personally I'd rather them spend their time on what they've been doing - working on improving the course in the ways they can. If anybody owes an apology, it would be the Duolingo team anyway, not the team of volunteers.
But what is it about this language that anybody who volunteers to contribute becomes incapable of communication, engagement, and expectation management?
The current team has been giving regular updates when there was anything to say. A month ago they took the time to explain that they were facing delays because of technical issues with the testbed, and that problems that have come up while testing are being fixed. That's clear communication and engagement, letting people know what's going on. They also said "if everything goes well we hope to be able to launch in time". That's setting expectations. They said they hoped to launch by this date. That doesn't mean they're saying they definitely will, especially as they said "if everything goes well". Something probably didn't go well.
if you commit to delivering something by a specific date
Actually, nobody committed to delivering anything by a specific date. That date was set not by one of the volunteers but by a staff member, which means that if anybody were committing to anything, it would be staff, not the course contributors. But the course page states very clearly that the date is an estimated completion date. That means there's no commitment to release by that exact date. Just the same as if you tell someone that you estimate it will take you an hour to be somewhere, you haven't committed to be there in exactly an hour, it could be five minutes more, three minutes less, whatever. If circumstances were delaying you by another hour, then it would be polite to let them know, but five minutes or less is not a big deal.
Haha Comments showing appreciation often get an automatic lingot from me just because I feel politeness should be encouraged! :)
The incubator says that the Hindi course is locked which means the language course team have finished all their sentences etc and have made it available for the Duolingo team to prepare it for release into Beta. That process can take several months but only the Duo staff know what the problem is and when it will finally get released.
That's my chief complaint with the Arabic incubator page. Zero updates. I can be so much more patient when I have more information. At least the Hindi team has been somewhat communicative.
I gave up on the Arabic course long ago. But the Hindi course contributors dribble you just enough information to keep you interested :-D
Agreed. I'm using Mondly Arabic in the meantime. It's not bad, but it's not free either. I also prefer Duo in general and I like keeping all my language learning in one place.
Just my two cents, id stay away from mondly. Ive used it for many different languages and found they translate lots of things grammatically or idiomatically incorrectly, as well as just using words that, although correct, arent the commonly used words. Among other things. Be careful
Thanks for the heads up. I've been on the fence about paying for it anyway. I've been using the free lessons. I can say "Good Evening" like a pro. :)
I agree. While I am humbly grateful to the contributors that create the course, my patience with the Hindi course is running thin. I have been waiting for it for over three years now.
What's funny (and possibly quite revealing) is, that as of now, the incubator status page (https://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/hi/en/status) still says that the release date is 16th of July. This makes me think there isn't much activity going on behind the scenes. I hope I am wrong.
Sorry to sound so negative, but this one course creation must have some kind of a record at Duolingo.
At this point it's not the Hindi course's fault (hard to blame the course itself under any circumstances anyway ;). The current team inherited a partially constructed tree, which in some ways is harder to work with than starting from scratch, and they've done what they need to do to get the course released. It's out of their hands now.
On the rest, not sure whether to say I'm sorry to contradict you or happy to be able to. ;) First, there are currently 4 courses in Phase 1 which entered the Incubator before Hindi. It has been in Phase 1 longer than any course currently in Phase 2 or 3 (currently 6 days longer than English from Thai) though. As for editing the release date, if I were a contributor on the Hindi team I would be very hesitant to change a date set by a staff member. Sure, staff could change it, but honestly, if it's going to be released within a few days I'd rather them spend their time on other things. It is an estimated date, after all, it doesn't say anywhere that it's an exact date. It's probably precisely because there is a lot of activity going on behind the scenes that it hasn't been changed; staff are really incredibly busy people. The Hindi team is also active, by the way, they've been doing a lot of work on improving the course while waiting for it to be released.
My boyfriend is Indian, and him and his parents' speak both Gujarati and Hindi. My boyfriend grew up most of his life in America so his English is very good, but his parents still prefer to speak in their native languages. His parents mean a lot to him, and I want to show them I care about them and their culture by learning their language! We have a road trip together coming up labor day weekend, and I want to try and learn as much Hindi as possible so I can surprise them. I very much hope Duolingo does drop the Hindi course tomorrow, so I can start studying up!
I'm in the same boat with my girlfriend. Her family only speaks Hindi. Thankfully after 4 years my Hindi is conversational, but I'm excited to do this course to polish my grammar. While waiting I almost finished the English for Hindi speakers course, which has also been quite helpful. Good luck to both of us!
I agree with you, just give them some time though you know. They already have so much pressure. Who knows maybe it comes out late according to Indian Standard Time. Maybe it needs to be reviewed by Duolingo staff. We all need to just hold on a little longer alright. This course might just be the most anticipated course on duolingo!!!
As I said, it's not the delays that bother me. It's the lack of communication.
Indian standard time is 9 hours ahead of me on the east coast of the US. It is now 7/17.
I can't say I'm surprised though. That's the beauty of not setting those expectations, especially when it has been shown time and again that it is not happening when they say. You can't get perturbed when you aren't attached to certain results.
Most of us don't mind waiting, but at least give us the courtesy of communicating that there is a delay.
LOL, of course. Especially for my friends in Delhi!
जय हिन्द! हर हर महादेव
I like to give it two days because while the 16th has been and gone for half the world, it's still the 16th for the rest. It went up to 90% hatching this morning when I checked.
Don't count it out yet and at the very least we do know it's far enough along to be alpha tested before release, so that's closer to beta release than not. That's at least a lot better than what things were looking like before.
It's been the 17th in India for at least 9 hours. Granted, they may not all be there, just saying. It is now 1am here on the EST of the US, which means it is 10pm on the west coast....
It comes when it comes. Just hope nobody gets their hopes up too much and instead be happy when it finally does arrive. In the meantime, Memrise is a nice alternative, at least in learning vocab.
Whoop! Whoop! So exciting!
I'm able to access it from my computer, but not on my phone. Is there some trick to it that I'm missing? Anybody know?
It generally happens that the courses that are in beta start in just the webpage and are later added to both Android and ios
Thank you! Good to know.
Since I've been gradually studying Hindi, I decided to do the test. I tested out of 15 skills. Don't know if that's good or what, but I'm certainly excited to get started with this. So grateful to all the contributors!!!
Oh and 3 lingots for you! ;)
I never expected it to be on time. The course is probably almost done, but what I expected was that the release would be postponed by a couple of weeks or months. I will be disappointed if the course isn't available this year. Only that is surprising that you are expecting the Hindi course to be released on time. Very few of the courses have been completed quickly or in the promised time.
What I find quite funny is that there are two fictional languages here on duolingo yet they fail to release Hindi? The language that I want to learn most (rather than Spanish) is Hindi so I have been waiting a long long time for this. I agree that it isn't the creators' faults as the tree is locked but I think that at least some basic communication would be common courtesy. As it is quite ridiculous to have the release date still there even though days have gone past. sigh
This is all down to finding volunteers who have the knowledge, interest and dedication, though. Sometimes I think it's just luck of the draw.
Honestly at this point I'd rather it be the old date than have them set a new date only to not release it by the date again. It may only be an estimate but it tends to psyche everyone up and the constant let down is a bit wearing.
Knowing Hindi looked (back then) to be well on the way to being finished was the reason I signed up in the first place. Hindi is the language I most want to learn. So it's been a bit disappointing, but it will get there eventually.
I don't super understand the attraction to fictional languages either. As a Star Wars fan, the idea of learning Huttese is cool, but it has zero usefulness. I don't get out to Tatooine often.
Because it's fun? Because you think it's beautiful? Defining the worth of a thing by its usefulness is a destructive way to see the world. What is useful about art? Why write books about things that don't exist? Why speak another language when English is already so widely spoken?
All languages are inherently useful, inherently valuable because they allow us to speak a concept, share them and build on them.
I think fictional languages allow us a means to express ourselves in ways we can't quite do with real world languages. Consider the language of Arrival, as an extreme example. It is a functional language, but it attempts to convey a completely different structure and perception of what language is to what we are used to. It would be an absolute agony to write, but it would be an art to do so and a skill, and it gives us another way to think about ourselves and the rest of the world. There aren't any Heptapods to talk to, of course, but the very fact that someone's made the effort to think about it, means it exists now and people can now study it, think about it, and push the concepts further.
In the end learning Klingon or Heptapod or Tolkein's Elvish will not connect you to a real world culture (except possibly Elvish; Tolkien was hardcore about establishing a culture and linguistic heritage in Middle Earth), but it will connect you to fans of the work. It certainly will give you another way to express yourself - and you never know, maybe there is a spot for an extra who can yell in Klingon or High Valyrian.
And in the end, what is language all about but talking to other people and connecting?
Also, I wonder about how fictional languages could be a way of distilling concepts into something we can use, but which is or can be removed somewhat from cultural and social considerations as a real language cannot be.
Fictional languages cannot capture the cultural nuance of an entire civilisation because that civilisation doesn't exist. It might reflect the native speaker's concepts that created it, but even still it exists outside of a time and place, since no other fictional languages are interacting with that language through trade or conquest in an organic way.
The fictional language may be influenced in numerous ways by the native language of the creator and their particular views, to be sure, but what we can get as speakers of such a language is the embodiment of the fictional speaker's idealised characteristics. Klingon is the language of brave/violent warriors. Elvish, of beauty and waning immortality, Orcish of ugliness and brutality. Heptapod of the absence, or circularity of time.
I think language has inherent value regardless of whether it's real or not because language offers us a way to look at things in a way we might not have thought about before.
If literally nothing else, it would bring you into contact with other fans of the same works, so you're doing the very thing in the end that language is all about - connecting and communicating.
That was far more eloquent than anything I could have jibbered out. Thank you for that sincerely. As a polyglot, a reader and an artist, I think a well constructed fictional language is an incredible art form, and creating one is a particularly beautiful expression of a person's love for the world they are in.