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Advice on becoming a contributor...

Hello everyone,

Firstly, sorry if this has been covered already elsewhere, I did have a look though the forum but I couldn't find anything specific.

SO eight months ago I applied to become a contributor for Hebrew/English. Obviously there has not been a reply to date. I know loads of other people have done the same thing over the last year because it comes up every now and then, so there is no lack of willing volunteers. In the polls (which I love!) Hebrew comes consistently top or near the top, so there is no lack of demand. I know that different alphabets are not a problem so much any more because of all the other non-Roman alphabet courses in the incubator. I'm not interested in moaning about "why isn't language X in the incubator blah blah blah", but I am keen and determined to see it there as soon as possible.

Today, I made another application. I have decided that I am going to make one application for Hebrew/English and vise versa every month, until I hear back. I'd like to invite all the other Hebrew/English bilinguals who are keen on contributing (I know you're all out there!) to do the same.

My question to the community (and particularly contributors and moderators) is: Is there anything else we could possibly do to convince the Duolingo team to take it on or something we could do to make us better at contributing when the time comes and thus a more attractive candidate for the job? In short, is there anything else we can do? Anyone else out there want to share their experiences of becoming a course contributor?


January 6, 2015


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One thing Luis has said is that Duolingo currently doesn't have the bandwidth (as in manpower, etc. not internet bandwidth) to work on more courses at the moment. So while Hebrew could be a language Duo wants to add soon, it may not be as simple as we would expect to add it to the Incubator.


As a contributor, I did these things before getting picked

  1. Be active in the community.
  2. Write a perfect application with 0 grammar errors, etc.
  3. Wait. After submitting the application, I didn't get a response until 5-6 months. Patience is the key.


Am I correct in thinking Hebrew is written right to left? That's a difference that can sometimes complicate things for web developers if they weren't planned for up front... Also, I don't know how the guys at Duo do the reading out of words. Google Translate has text to speech for many languages, but not Hebrew. Those could be a couple of technical constraints that might not make it quite so easy to do.


Google Translate isn't the TTS that Duolingo uses for any language. Google Translate has terrible audio in comparison.


No, but Google is a much bigger organisation, so I would imagine they'd get Hebrew TTS first. Also, their Dutch TTS just got a lot better than Duo's.


Arabic is right to left, and is currently in the incubator:) I'm sure it's not trivial, but it can't be such a huge problem (except punctuation misbehaving, which is always a bugger:)


Well, it's not true that there are other "non Roman alphabet languages in the incubator", since you said Hebrew/English.... There are only "English for (Language) speakers" that have "Non Roman Alphabet. I think you should apply more for "English for Hebrew" because that would be a possible course, and until they have the settings and programming finished for "(LanguageNR) for English" then you could do reverse! - Those are my suggestions! -SM

But as much as we want to see new languages on duolingo, the first thing we must do is see the one's that are currently in the incubator get moving! (I also applied for a course, and haven't had feedback as of yet) :)


Both Russian and Ukrainian use the Cyrillic alphabet, not the Roman alphabet, and they're both in the incubator for English speakers.

The Scandinavian languages are being released "language>for English speakers" first, and given the high degree of English proficiency amongst most Israelis I wouldn't be surprised if Hebrew>for English speakers were here before English>for Hebrew speakers.


Sorry, should have been clearer, I applied for both this time round as that had occured to me:)


Everyone loves the enthusiasm, but I would really recommend NOT submitting a new application every month. When the Duo team is ready to begin a new course, that's when they start digging through applications and looking for the best contributors, and I don't think a slew of applications from the same group of people is going to help that process at all. If you want the course to come out sooner, the best idea is to get the forums mobilized and get people to support it, which is how Irish came to be a course, but I don't think lots of applications will help you at all and will probably confuse and slow down the process when they do get around to starting the course.


Hmm. You possibly have a point. One of the reasons I reapplied was a) because this time I applied for both the course and the reverse and b) because someone who was willing and keen and free isn't still necessarily so 8 months later (I am!). Maybe I'll leave it another half year or so...


If someone isn't free anymore, they can just turn down the offer if Duo decides to contact them. But as far as I understand it, until the team decides "now we're going to start a Hebrew course," they're not going to see any of the applications for it because they're not looking through them yet.


Good job! Your dedication will eventually be successful for sure!

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