Weekly Incubator Update: Tracking Progress from March 22nd to March 29th

Duolingo forum
I have really come to love this community who is always highly engaged and encourages good discussion on various topics. I have learned a lot about languages and also other subjects by visiting some of the insightful posts over here. An example is this post about SPAM. It started with a talk about a wave of SPAM with seemingly innocuous words "sugary soda" and that turned the post into a detailed discussion on good nutrition!

Incubator progress
The progress has been slow and I am tempted to speculate that the incubator teams are currently engaged in learning Turkish :) I know that my Hindi team members have taken up learning the newly released Turkish course in earnest.

The overall progress number seemed slipping below 1.00 until yesterday. But then the FR<-IT, the Vietnamese, & the Hebrew teams pitched in at the eleventh hour to get us over that threshold. In doing so, the Vietnamese team also claimed the Joint Leaders Extraordinaire position for this week.

Thought for the week
Hebrew, finally!

Phase 1 Progress

Turkish for English - 100% | 100% | 100% | Beta (+0)

Ukrainian for English - 92% | 94% | 100% | 100% (+0)

Esperanto for English - 83% | 86% | 89% | 91% (+2)

English for Thai  - 87% | 88% | 89% | 89% (+0)

Norwegian for English - 63% | 68% | 75% | 82% (+7) *

Hungarian for English - 79% | 79% | 79% | 79% (+0) ^

Russian for English - 64% | 66% | 68% | 70% (+2) ^

German for Turkish - 67% | 67% | 68% | 68% (+0)

German for Italian - 67% | 67% | 67% | 68% (+1)

Spanish for German - 58% | 59% | 61% | 62% (+1)

Spanish for Italian - 56% | 57% | 57% | 57% (+0)

French for Italian - 51% | 53% | 54% | 56% (+2)

German for French - 49% | 50% | 52% | 52% (+0)

Spanish for Chinese - 43% | 44% | 44% | 44% (+0)

German for Portuguese - 38% | 39% | 41% | 41% (+0)

Swedish for Russian - 37% | 38% | 38% | 38% (+0)

French for Chinese - 37% | 38% | 38% | 38% (+0)

Romanian for English - 27% | 27% | 27% | 28% (+1)

Vietnamese for English - 14% | 15% | 17% | 23% (+6)*

Polish for English - 16% | 16% | 16% | 18% (+2)

Greek for English - 3% | 5% | 7% | 8% (+1)

Hebrew for English - (New) 2% (+2)

Yiddish for English - 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% (+0)

Mean - 1.26% | 1.22% | 1.41% | 1.17% (-0.24)
Median - 1% | 1% | 1% | 1% (+0)
Mode - 1% | 1% | 0% | 0% (+0)

* This week's Joint Leaders Extraordinaire
^ The Hungarian & the Russian teams' progress is as per their own calculation.

Progress Visualized:

Here's what the contributing teams shared during the last week:

Oesterreich7 from **Team Russian wrote on 6 days ago:

2/3 finished, one more to go! (22/03/15)


First of all, we would like to thank all of you for your anticipation concerning this course. We have reached yet another important milestone. In fact, aside from reaching the 66% mark about a week ago, we have almost reached the 4th checkpoint. There have been three new additions(Helgi-Darn, JanisaChatte and Nyankittie) to the team since we posted our last update. The following are a few thoughts on contributing from one of our new contributors, JanisaChatte.

Hello everyone. Quite recently, I was added to the incubator. I am a native Russian and English speaker, and my job here is to add text exercises to skills that are not yet completed, or require more attention. Like all of you, I am anticipating the release of this course later this year and I hope that it will be a huge success.

I also decided to write a short paragraph concerning course testing: As for the testing side of things, it has been going quite well. We have fixed lots of mistakes and have even moved some skills around. I am certain that this course will be the best Russian course out there and that you guys will enjoy it very much!!! :)

<h1>Course Stats!!!</h1>

Next up is a short statistics section we created for you. We hope you like it:

  • 1472/TBD words completed
  • ~950/TBD real/actual words completed
  • 155/TBD word images completed
  • 2160 words is the magic number we use to calculate our progress for the time being
  • 46/TBD number of skills completed
  • 5 skills under construction at the moment
  • These statistics were taken 1 week after the screenshots were taken!!!

We also noticed that our potential Russian learners have lots of questions about our course which is why we decided to cover a few FAQ’s.

  • How do you type Cyrillic? Well, it's good that we live in the 21st century ^_^. Just install Russian on you OS. You can learn to touch type in Russian OR install a phonetic or a ЙЦУКЕН keyboard(Phonetic is easier if you don't have Cyrillic keyboard stickers). Checkout this one here: Russian keyboard
  • NOTE: Mac has one right there in the installation package. As for your devices, there is no need to use anything other than ЙЦУКЕН on a tablet or a phone.
  • The tree. As we've said countless times before, we are creating the course from scratch, so any resemblance to the English course is rather a rare coincidence than a plan.
  • Grammar. We do focus on grammar topics in certain skills; in total, we try to teach every major topic there is to know, so you have a good start on your Russian. This being said, we are not too hard on topics that you are going to make mistakes on for a long ways into the tree.
  • Alphabet skill. Only the first skill is focused on introducing the alphabet; however, you could look at the whole course as being Cyrillic practice. Again, it will be much easier if you get somewhat familiar with Cyrillic beforehand (being a slow reader is painful). Still, learning the alphabet does not deserve the attention in enjoys.
  • Skill types. We use broadly defined thematic vocabulary lessons, as well as some grammar-driven skills (which are also convenient because you don’t have to find an excuse to include a certain word if you need them there).
  • Culture lesson. As of now, we don’t have a lesson on culture. Maybe we’ll leave it for bonus skills. The thing is, Duolingo is not particularly good at teaching words that do not translate well or mean things you don’t know in the first place.
  • Proverbs. However, we’re making a list of different proverbs in case we want to make a skill on that. We’ll try to include the ones which tie into the vocabulary we teach. On the other hand, we will probably not include proverbs that require many words you are unlikely to know anytime soon.
  • Math. We’d love having a maths bonus skill, as well. You never learn these words properly in foreign language classes. I generally see bonus skills as a useful tool to give you a bit more than you can usually have, and to show what the language has to offer beyond the extent of a basic course.

As always, we would like to thank you for taking your time to read our update and thank you, Jitengore for kindly including it in your Weekly Incubator Report. To finish off this update, we have also decided to include some teasers Shady_arc prepared for you guys!!! :)


We had to re-size the first screenshot. Here is the original.

Wow, that was a detailed update! Thanks!

Dear Duolingoers, please do not over use the click button to "Press here to make the Russian course". I know you all want to press that button right away! :)

Subzero1985 from Team FR<-CN wrote 5 days ago



我现在对多领国贡献。 我的母语是法语, 现在,住在新加坡。 希望可以帮帮你们。


Any volunteers who might want to translate this to English?

SergioRuido from Team Ukrainian wrote 3 days ago:

AMA with the Ukrainian contributors. REMINDER.

This is just to remind you that on Thursday, 26th starting at 7 am (UTC+2) and up to the midnight you are welcome to ask your questions in this thread.

SergioRuido from Team Ukrainian wrote again yesterday:

The course on its way. UPDATE.

This week was mostly about the Ukrainian audio, we have 45% recorded by Friday 27th.

It was really great to have the AMA with you. Once again, on behalf of the team thank you for your participation, for your questions, for sharing ideas and opinions. We are sure this discussion has been mutually beneficial and we all have learned something.

Next week we'll keep recording and editing the sound (that is needed too and takes time), we will work on Tips Well, as usually we have the ENG-UKR beta course to attend to.

Stay tuned!

Here's the link to their AMA/AUA.

luke51991 from Team Norwegian wrote 14 hours ago

462 words left


Complete all words: 2072/2534

Complete all word images: 310/310

Golden tree ratio: 53 golden skills/22 unfinished skills

At the rate we've been going, we will possibly reach 100% (not Beta) before the Duolingo summit at the end of April. This is helped by the fact that a recent turn of events in my life (classes ending, etc.) means that I will be able to spend (even) more time contributing than I have been. We will still have a lot of work to do at that point, polishing up the course before it goes live.

This week saw less progress partially because Turkish just came out, and at least one of us started on that course for a while. (Turkish is incredibly fun!)

Congratulations and welcome to Team Hebrew!

Vi ses,

The Norwegian Team

MaeMcA from Team Hebrew wrote 4 hours ago:

Hungry for updates...

Sup' everyone,

I imagine keen beans are checking this page to find out, now that Hebrew has finally been added, what the heck is going on here. So I thought I'd give you a mini-update as to what's behind the scenes right now.

Basically, Dvir and I are running around pressing all the buttons like excited kids given command of a spaceship console, bothering all the experienced contributors with green newbie questions, and generally causing havoc and making friends. We're also working on the first few skills teaching the alphabet.

That's all for now, folks. Stay tuned!

MaeMcA & DvirBartov, welcome aboard! You are at the beginning of a very long term relationship with this arwesome Incubator family! :)

Also, I look forward to your course with a selfish interest. With Hebrew added, newer alphabet (read Devanagari) based courses should soon be coming :)

I also look forward to listening to samples of your harp music!

TL;DR Slower progress, but a lot of stuff happening. Turkish course is in beta and Hebrew course has just entered the incubator.

The next update is expected on Sunday, 5th of April at 3:00 pm UTC.

Previous Update 15-Mar to 22-Mar

Last updates from the recent months: Feb, Jan.

March 29, 2015


Vietnamese and Norwegian are progressing by leaps and bounds! Romanian has finally made some progress (1%)! I am glad to see Hebrew on the Incubator. I hope Ukrainian will make it into Beta this week.

I hope Russian progresses as quickly as Hungarian, Ukrainian, and Turkish have!

P.S. Thank you so much jitengore for posting this every week! I think I speak for the entire Duolingo community when I say Thank You for all your effort in posting this every week.

March 29, 2015


I cant wait!

March 29, 2015

Thanks for the support! :)

March 29, 2015

Yes! Go Team Russian! Very exciting progress report; thank you.

March 30, 2015

So excited for the Hebrew Course! Can't wait for Ukrainian either! I'm also so excited that Polish and Romanian are starting to make progress, can't wait for those either! Thanks for the post!

March 29, 2015

I want a course to learn Hebrew too! There is a many time already I am waiting... Shalom! XD

March 30, 2015

Ah, you're breaking my heart Team Hungarian. Can we help? Do you need pizza? Put up a flare, let us know you're okay!

Excited for Russian though!

March 29, 2015

I don't think they stopped working, i expect 1% per week so they should have +6% by now ;)

March 30, 2015

Go Esperanto! You guys are so close!

March 29, 2015

I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for it. Once it comes out I'm going to be useless to humanity for however long it takes me to get through the tree.

March 29, 2015

Knowing that our work will make people useless to humanity is exactly the right motivation for us to keep going! Roooaaaaar! :-D

March 30, 2015

Thanks so much for working on the course! Can't wait for it, the concept of an international auxiliary language is just so fascinating to me!

March 31, 2015


March 30, 2015


March 31, 2015

Faru ĝin laŭeble pli longa kaj absorba do, rooaaar! :D

March 31, 2015


March 30, 2015

I'm really looking forward to Esperanto! It's the next language I want to learn. My kids (8 and 5; the 8 year old is currently working his way through the Swedish tree) are also really looking forward to it. Can't wait!!

March 31, 2015

According to Google Translate, the Chinese update says: Hello everyone

Hello everyone,

I'm overpaid contributions to the country . My native language is French , and now lives in Singapore . I hope you can help .

Thank you!

This is why we need Duolingo to translate the internet instead of Machines :)

March 29, 2015

I'll provide a human translation here:

"Hello everyone,

I'm now contributing to Duolingo. My native language is French and I'm now living in Singapore. I hope I can help out.


March 29, 2015

"I'm overpaid contributions to the country"

... lol oh, Google translate, you precious thang.

March 31, 2015

Yeah dear Google Translate has a long way to go...

April 1, 2015

Translation: ( I have contributed a lot to Duolingo. My native language is French , and I now live in Sinagpore.) Actually, I live ins. Singapore too, where many people, like me, are bilingual in English and another official language(mandarin, malay, or Tamil).

March 31, 2015

Wow! a language from india, a language from china and a language from indonesia.A great place with oriental languages.

April 1, 2015

And also, a colloquial language here, Singlish.

April 4, 2015

Go Vietnamese!! :D

March 29, 2015

I love how the Russian Team seems to always make steady progress (even though it's slower than I'd like, it's still there). I'm looking forward to it. I should be done with Spanish by then (and maybe even German) so it will make it easier to concentrate on Russian.

March 30, 2015

Bravo les Norvégiens

March 29, 2015

Loving the new Turkish course -- reporting translation suggestions, etc, does not seem to work well from mobile browsers (at least on iOS). So if you use the mobile browser with the course, for now at least, you may want to send screenshots by email to In the subject line I have been putting "Turkish from English feedback."

Hoping now for Arabic from English. That would likely become one of the most popular courses on Duolingo.

March 29, 2015

I can't wait for Vietnamese I've never really thought of learning it but as it's going to be the first Asian language and that's where my interest is at I better get to it once it's done! :)

March 29, 2015

Technically, Turkey is in Asia too.

March 30, 2015

*Most of Turkey.

March 30, 2015

True but it's classed as both Asia and Europe

April 3, 2015

WOW! Vietnamese is almost a quarter done! This is very exciting! Keep going guys :)

Also, I can't be the only one who actually clicked the ''Click here to make Russian course''...

March 30, 2015

Go Norwegian!

March 29, 2015

"Basically, Dvir and I are running around pressing all the buttons like excited kids given command of a spaceship console, bothering all the experienced contributors with green newbie questions, and generally causing havoc and making friends. We're also working on the first few skills teaching the alphabet."

Bwahahahahaha sounds fun :D

March 30, 2015

I can actually imagine them doing that :)

April 1, 2015

Me too, me too :D

April 1, 2015

I must admit that my Saturday rush was mainly due to this thread :3 It is actually one of the main sources of motivation, so thank you Jitengore :')

March 30, 2015

I can't understand everything, but it seems the FRCN team has a new member, and his/her native language is French. He/she hopes he/she can help us.

March 29, 2015

Yes, that's what it says:

"Hi everyone, I am now contributing to Duolingo. My native language is French. I'm currently living in Singapore. I hope to help you guys! Thanks!"

It's exciting to see an update from them!

March 29, 2015


March 30, 2015

[deactivated user]

    Thanks as always!

    March 30, 2015

    Pame re, Greek-English team, you can do it! Add some more contributors and things will explode ^^. That said, it's good for me to practice my patience.

    March 30, 2015

    Goooo team DE-PT ... Can't wait for your awesome course ! :D

    March 30, 2015

    I agree with you, this course will be amazing.

    March 30, 2015

    Additionally, You can buy Cyrillic keyboard stickers in order to use Russian alphabet. It will be much cheaper than keyboard. Here you are some on

    March 29, 2015

    That brings back memories of spending an evening printing and cutting out my own Cyrillic stickers some 16 years ago. I should add this was for my (Russian-speaking) wife's benefit rather than my own. All these years later, I am waiting with bated breath for English-Russian to make it out of the Incubator!

    March 29, 2015

    Those who are also interested in the Ukrainian course might want to get this version:

    If memory serves, Ukrainian has one more letter than Russian; so, typing Russian on a Ukrainian keyboard is more feasible than the reverse.

    March 30, 2015

    Do you mean letter i? There is no letter ы also in Ukrainian and and the letter и is used.instead. Russian letter и is Ukrainian i.

    March 30, 2015

    In that case, disregard what I said.

    I took a look at the layouts , and the two are essentially the same, except for the aforementioned unique letters, which occupy the key under the left ring finger in both layouts. Therefore, either set of stickers should be fine for using both layouts.

    March 30, 2015

    There is also possibility that solves everything. I've bought such stickers in Ukraine itself and there are both Ukrainian and Russian letters on them :)

    March 30, 2015

    Hebrew to english! ;)

    March 30, 2015

    What is this button? I don't see one

    March 30, 2015

    Yay, go Spansih!

    March 30, 2015
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