Learning English as a German speaker
I'm a native German speaker fluent in English, and I've been playing with Duolingo recently to learn some Spanish. It's been a great experience so far!
Snooping around the settings page, I've noticed that there is an option to learn English for native speakers of all the featured languages, except German. That's a shame, because I have several German-speaking friends who are looking to polish up their English skills and who I'm sure would find Duolingo very useful. Are there any plans to extend Duolingo to learning English from German in the future?
Apologies, incidentally, if this has been asked before and I've missed it!
My understanding is that duolingo have identified Latin America as their first big target market. That is because there are many people in those countries eager to learn another language (particularly English) with few resources to do so (money, language schools etc). And because Luis is from there :)
So that is why there is learn English from Spanish and from Portuguese. But having those two then made it relatively easy for them to add learning English from the other Romance family languages. (I know that they added French before Portuguese but I think that was before they properly identified their focus on Latin America).
I think adding Learn English from German would take more resources as they would probably have to construct a skill tree that has a progression quite different to that for learners coming from a Romance language background.
However, the good news is that duolingo keeps telling us that they are working on building the tools for the community to build their own language instruction pairs. In other words, going Meta. It seems that that project will increasingly be their development focus now that the phone and tablet apps are out. When those tools get released I am sure that there will be many volunteers keen to add Learn English from German. Perhaps you might like to get involved :)
(BTW, this is all my speculation, but based on my having followed duolingo developments for a while.)
Thanks for your comments. OskaLingo, your speculation certainly make sense in terms of business strategy, although it's still a shame from the user perspective -- only for a relatively small group of users though I suppose. The idea of community-driven development sounds exciting and is definitely something I'd be keen to take part in!
If there is no German to English option, your friends could try using the English to German one. I know some people here will sign up for a language in both directions (ex: English to Spanish, Spanish to English) for extra practice/review.
I miss this too. I think going in the other direction could be a way of continuing with lessons if you're about to finish the tree, since some lessons are probably going to be harder going the other direction.