Hawaiian course update is here!
Today, the Hawaiian course added 9 brand new skills!
I wouldn't say that at all. Many of us didn't think it would come, you're right.
Are you happy with this update? Because someone else said that not all of them have sound, and that there aren't a lot of tips and notes. It took 6 months for ten skills. So...we''ll have a normal sized tree (60-70 skills, on the low end) in....4 years!
awkward trumpet blast
Will they have sound? How long will it take for the tips and notes?
But whatever. I'm a pessimist.
Seriously it's really a downer and super frustrating to read this stuff. We can never give people enough of our own uncompensated time to make them happy even when they aren't paying a dime. The mini preview course was a special treat. These next 10 skills are also a special treat, released before the rest of the course. The TTS usually isn't installed on courses right away. People's demanding comments don't add motivating energy. Quite the opposite. People act like they are owed something and act so rotten when a course comes without ketchup. How about making a team feel really good about the work its doing. It's not going to make them stop working on it. They'll want to keep going, impress people, reach new heights of greatness. But if they can't ever get out of the mud, why try? If I was creating a course and everyone treated me like trash I'd make a rude gesture and leave.
I think people were sceptical of Duolingo's determination to make a course in a niche, low-volume language happen, not of the good faith and hard work of the volunteers to do so. Sometimes volunteers have put time and effort into things that have never seen the light of day due to DL HQ apparently losing interest (e.g. the Swahili team personally recording all their audio, which subsequently never got added).
The trouble is that the DL staff hardly ever communicates with us, so it is very difficult to be sure whether a flawed/incomplete release is a special preview of work in progress (if so, great!) or something that's going to be abandoned and forgotten about for years (c.f. Ukrainian, Swahili).
Quite frankly, DL has produced dozens of excellent courses, and only failed to live up to expectations in a handful, but it is human nature to focus on every fault and take all the good things for granted as soon as they appear; I'm sure no-one is deliberately doing this to drag down the mood.
Anyway, although I previously expressed some scepticism about the Hawaiian course, I'm delighted to see that the promise of extra material has been fulfilled, on time, too, and I hope any contributors reading this thread will understand that the rationale behind my scepticism was in no way a slight towards them. The idea of releasing courses in fits and starts is absolutely fine if DL has the motivation to follow it through.
Thanks for your comment, Garpike. Youre right that sometimes staff plans to go in one direction and then something comes up and it causes a change in direction from what was planned. I think I missed that bit about the Swahili course. But, I'm familiar with the phenomenon and unpredictability here.
I hope people know that I'm not saying "don't give Duolingo feedback if you're not happy with something." So much of the how different Duolingo is today compared to how it was 5 years ago are changes implemented from user suggestions and a lot of it is an improvement. Rather, it is that sometimes people have gone about it in ways that have created a really stressful impact behind the scenes. It's a constant bombardment of "you're incompetent" and "you must give me". It's tough to work under that condition.
As for the Hawaiian and Navajo courses, there seemed to be a mix of skepticism as well as people completely missing the second half of the announcement where staff said they would be releasing more of the course later. (I'm guessing because the post was [text, giant pictures, text.] Here is what they've said about expanding the courses so far in the forum just in case anyone missed it:
The courses are intentionally very short in this first release; ~10 skills each. Releasing the course this early allows us to try something new: We hope that this early release is useful to learners, helps motivate native speakers to apply to contribute and allows us to collect valuable learner feedback much earlier.
We want to know what folks think of the course so far and what they'd like to see in upcoming skills! As learners share their feedback over the coming weeks, contributor teams will use this information to improve and expand the course. The courses will soon include challenge types with native speaker audio. (source).
There are constraints that both staff and volunteers are trying to work around. I think it's just really hard to be on the receiving end when millions of people are on the sending end and we just look like screen names instead of real people to them. There is a lack in compassionate empathy for what our experience under the constant deluge might be. Instead, when someone blows off steam, they are one person. They do that and then they feel better, and they move on and do their thing. But, on our side of the screen, it doesn't ever end. There are millions of people and they line up in 24/hour cycles to dump on us one after another after another any route they can find to put a message in front of us.
Anyhow, thank you again for your comment. I can empathize with everything you said. And, I appreciate how you went about saying it. I felt able to identify with you rather than feeling defensive.
Have a good evening Garpike.
Meanwhile, doesn't this team include a bunch of students and their teacher? :)
It may be that some of the contributors also keep going to get good grades (and learn a lot!) in addition to all the other reasons.
It may also be that the exact list of contributors loses some people and gains some more every semester or every year (depending on how long the course takes).
If I'm right about the team being in large part a class of students and their teacher, then within this semester we've seen this pattern:
add around 10 skills
get some feedback
add around 10 more skills
In a few years the course could be pretty long! :)
Some people don't pay a dime because they can't afford it, or they're kids and their parents won't let them spend money (like me).
However, I do feel glad that the Hawaiian course got an update! My friend is in the course and I think she will be glad to hear that she can advance her skills, whether or not there is audio. Besides, the Duolingo team works really hard and I will congratulate you guys on all your hard work to bring new content and languages to us, even if nobody else will. Well done on everything you have been doing!
I forgot about the Plus membership. I can't afford one so I don't have one either. Even with the Plus membership, I hope people wouldn't feel it is a free pass to be emotionally abusive. I would want people to treat course contributors well. I can still remember when they were like celebrities around here, instead of being scorned and insulted. I don't get it. There are several free language learning programs on the internet. If some of the people going on acerbically about how crappy Duolingo courses are, I wish they would just go somewhere else where they would be happier. I like the courses. So, it makes sense that I've stuck around. Why would someone who obviously doesn't stick around though? Duolingo wasn't intended to exist so people could take their life frustrations out on volunteers. Feedback is one thing and it's welcome, abuse is something else.
"Even with the Plus membership, I hope people wouldn't feel it is a free pass to be emotionally abusive."
I would assume that most if not all Plus subscribers are people who support the mission and have the financial ability to give back a little bit. I really appreciate the work that the contributors are doing, both with the big languages and the niche ones.
Yes, Definitely. Duo is completely free, and I don't even have to bother with ads(I have adblock installed). I just don't understand how some people can be so opprobrious.(forgive me people I'm talking about). Duolingo is a great tool for learning. No one asked for you complainers to start objurgating the contributers about what they could be doing better. I know that some of you guys aren't happy with the course. Deal with it, or go somewhere else to learn hawaiian. I'm sorry
if I offended anyone, but I usually get worked up a bit about this type of thing.
It took 6 months for ten skills.
What this statistics is based on?
AFAIK, the the "Hawaiian from English" course
- was released (in its first version) with 9 skills after 3 months and 20 days (if to be rounded, closer to be to 3 months than to 6 months)
- has had a new version with 8 more skills (so 17 skills in total) released 1month and 23 days later.
So...we''ll have a normal sized tree (60-70 skills, on the low end) in....4 years!
So all in all, less than 5 months for 17 skills which would --- if one would extrapolate (I wouldn't) --- give 18 months for 60 skills and 21 months for 70 skill: far from 4 years.
Being skeptical and pessimistic is fine, but better to not feed it with wrong data.
I appreciate all the time and effort that goes into putting together the lessons. I really do. I just wish someone on the team was tasked with quality control. I am far from an expert, but even I can spot some pretty obvious mistakes and inconsistencies, which makes it hard for a new learner. I'm never sure if perhaps I'm missing something or if there's a mistake in the lesson itself.
Do they plan to add more? Just wondering I know some courses have over 100 skills, meanwhile some courses have less than 70