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UTC+12 merging with other time zones

Though this may not be directly related to languages or the website, I am interested in knowing how Duolingo will manage this change for user accounts. So as you may have heard, the UTC+12 time zone will be dissolved, and the countries in this region will choose whether to join the UTC+11 time zone or the UTC-12 time zone.

The change is mainly made to improve relations with trade partners. As the president of the island nation Hacaba Domarzo said: “It is very unproductive to be living on one day, while our trade partners are on another. It has big implications for things like our economy as well as holidays. For example, we never get to celebrate April 1st with the rest of the world. When we are on April 2nd, other people are still on April 1st. And when one group of people is on April 1st, another group might still be on March 31st. So there is a difference of 2 days!

When other people make a joke on April 1st, we find out a day later. And if it is not bad enough that we are the last to hear the joke, people laugh at us for being so slow-witted. It is for that reason that we have decided to switch time zones. We are looking at switching to UTC-12 because then we will not only be to hear April Fools jokes one day earlier; we will also be able to laugh at the people who find out on April 2nd.”

How will this change affect you? Are you already on April 1st and are there any jokes you would like to share with the rest of the world? Feel free to give your feedback here.

In other news: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7857062

March 31, 2015



I don't know for sure, but I've heard that Duolingo will be avoiding all this time-zone confusion with a clever new feature. People are always complaining about streaks being disrupted because they've changed timezone. In the new system, Duolingo will use the geolocation feature of your phone or browser to determine your exact longitude. Your streak rollover time and reminder email time will then be based on your local sidereal time. Anyone concerned about losing their streak will find it easy to check the remaining time in their current duo-day using a sextant, sundial, and/or nautical almanac.



Skipping from UTC+12 to UTC-12 will give you one 48-hour day, so it will be easier to keep your streak.

Provided of course Duolingo updated their timezone databases. Luckily for them, COBOL does this pretty well.

Of course if you make the switch not on midnight, your date will go backwards one day. In this case, Duolingo will either crash, ending free language education for all, or will require you to get at least –20 XP (assuming default coach) that day, which I think you should manage.


I'm not sure that Duolingo still runs on COBOL. I know it was initially prototyped using the popular COBOL on Rails framework, but I think that it's since been rewritten in MUMPS, with some performance-critical parts implemented in TURKEY BOMB.



This is an April fools joke, right?

I haven't heard of the change (which may not say a lot), nor has the Internet heard of Hacaba Domarzo, nor did you mention which island's president he is, nor what happens to time zones UTC +13 & +14.


So there are more time zones, it just shows how ignorant I am. Thank you for letting me know.


It could be. I just googled it, and found no articles on this change or anything. Suspicious. Lenkvist is also a member of Team Dutch. It would not surprise me if he could be live in Europe, in which case it COULD be April 1st. However, in Holland it is only 11:17 PM, so we could not live in Holland.

IT is all very suspicious if you ask me...


The post was made an hour ago, when no European country (apart from Russia and Belarus) was on April 1st. Maybe he has travelled to UTC +12 and gotten this as a first-hand information.


Good point! Still, you raised some good points about the story. Hmmm...guess we will just have to wait and see... Happy learning!


I live in a UTC+12 country (New Zealand) and it's the first I've heard of it. Given what a big impact it would have on business my money is on an April Fools joke.


Here in Brazil it is still 8:52 PM


Will this affect the islands of San Serriffe? I'm already having to use a very special userscript to access duolingo during the occasional visits I make to this remote island nation.


I don't know for sure, but probably not – they'll take care, at least one staff member was baptized in a font on Sans Serriffe.


Wait! There is nothing on the news, and Hacarba Domarzo doesn't exist according to Google! Is this in itself an April Fool's Joke?????? Very good one, if it was.


You had me there for a minute... :)


What do you all think about introducing a Boustrophedon script for the discussion area? It could make reading discussions way more efficient! Look here for an example…

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