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Happy Incuversary from the Dutch Team!

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It has been 365 wonderful days since the Incubator was first released by Duolingo. Why our tiny but lovable language of Dutch was included in the beginning among such important world languages as Russian, Japanese and Chinese… well that should be a no brainer by now :)

To celebrate the Incuversary, we at the Dutch Team HQ have decided to reflect on some of the great milestones that we have experienced since the release of the Incubator.

The beginnings

As you know, the Incubator was released on October 9th last year. Around this time, in the Netherlands, Belgium and the USA, four ambitious young language enthusiasts sat behind their personal computers, did that cool knuckle-cracking thing and began typing up their applications…

Lavinae and kirlll were invited as moderators on October 31st and broke ground for the English course for Dutch speakers starting November 1st! Irked that Lavinae was to find out that kirlll had already started with the few easy beginner skills, while she was sound asleep (back when she still slept at night…).

November 26th, the first contributors were chosen. Both chosen ones - KaiEngle and Rhynn - responded to this call within 5 minutes!

They had already shown their boundless excitement in the months running up to the release of the Incubator:

First course into beta

After a long, cold, arduous December, our course reached the beta stage. Our hard work had paid off. It was a miraculous Christmas gift that Santa’s elves would be proud of. We were over the moon, but not quite prepared for all the forum building! Luckily, we did get the hang of it in due time… as Lavinae managed to find the ‘sentence discussions tab’ after all...

Reverse course begins to be built!

Then, at the beginning of the next year, Duolingo staff granted us the opportunity to also work on the reverse course! This made our day, week and month for sure!

This was an entirely different experience for all of us as we had never truly built a course from scratch. It allowed us to be really creative and approach a Duolingo course as both a teacher and learner. How do we do Duolingo? What are some of your favorite sentences in our course?

Feedback request

Before finishing our course we asked you for your feedback here: the Dutch words you really wanted to see in our course. We were so happy to see so many responses and so much enthusiasm. Here, we’d like the take the opportunity to thank you again. Thank you.


In the end, we reached beta not too long ago. Thanks for supporting us along the way. Our course is still a work in progress, but improving daily along with the help of additions to our team over the past few months, MrsKwakker and Simius. We can’t wait to see our course content improve and learners grow even further. ^^

The Dutch Team!

In the end, to provide you with some insight into how we work in the incubator, we have included these personalized sloths. How are the team dynamics?

Here is an accurate depiction of Lavinae’s avid toy giraffe collecting (she hasn’t done that for years really, but she has 100s of them in boxes…) and of her collapsing after a long day of checking reports

Here is Kai playing his guitar (he actually loves music, did you know? If so...stalker.. )

Here is Rhynn contemplating her next sentence…

Here we have Simius and MrsKwakker, struggling with the incubator formatting for the first time.

Words of thanks

Secretly, our use of sloths was inspired by Myra, because we know she likes them! Myra, thanks for supporting us so much, along the way! <3

And to you, our learners, thanks so much for giving our courses a go! We never did expect our courses to be this successful and it makes everything so worthwhile.

To all you


learners, you are owlsome.

3 years ago