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Duolingo Team Stories: Meet Long and André

Duolingo wasn’t built in one day. This week, we'd like to introduce you to Long and André, two amazing Software Engineers who help build Duolingo a better language learning platform!

<h1>Meet Long</h1>


Where are you from? China

What languages do you speak? Chinese (native) and English. I'm also learning Spanish on Duolingo.

Why do you love language learning? I love language learning, because I also love traveling. When I travel to a foreign country, I would like to communicate with local people using their own language. I feel it's easier to learn and understand the culture of a different country from the language of its people.

What do you have on your desk? What are your tools? I have to be honest that my desk is not very tidy. There are a few printed papers I read a few weeks ago when I researched some speech recognition algorithms. There is some herbal tea I occasionally drink. I also have a big notebook to quickly record ideas or scratch some pseudocode. One last thing I want to mention is that I have this figure of dancing Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Do you have a language learning tip you'd like to share with the community? Not just learn the language, also learn the culture. Learning a language is hard and sometimes you may be bored. But when you start to also learn the culture of the people who speak that language. It has much more fun. You can do it by starting to read books or watch movies in that language.

What's your favorite part about working for Duolingo? The people. I enjoy working with some of the best people in engineering, design, marketing, etc. When you work with the best people, you will be much more efficient. At the same time, you can also strengthen your skills by learning from those people. At Duolingo, we all treat each other very well. Everyone is a good team player. It's like a big family.

What do you like to do in your free time? I like sports. I watch soccer and American football. I like biking when the weather allows. I also enjoy skiing in winter. In the weekend, I also like watching movies.

What's a common mistake you still make in a certain language? I must say I'm not fully master the use of "THE" in English. When I write, sometimes I just don't know whether I should put a "THE" in front of a word or not. I feel it's really hard. This may because in Chinese, we don't really use determiners.

What is your favorite show in any other languages you speak? My favorite movie is The Matrix. Who don't like Neo and Trinity? :)

<h1>Meet André</h1>

Where are you from? I am a Japanese Brazilian born in São Paulo and raised in São Caetano do Sul, Brazil.

What languages do you speak? Portuguese, English, Japanese and a bit of Spanish (it's "Portuñol", actually). I have also learned a bit of Chinese, most of which I forgot, and am learning French with Duolingo.

Why do you love language learning? First, because learning a new language opens new horizons. You learn about other countries, other cultures. Second, because I'm passionate about education. Third, because I'm a grammar and phonetics geek. And fourth, because I love challenges! :)

What do you have on your desk? What are your tools? I have my laptop, which is where I do my work. I also have a lamp and grammar dictionaries for English and Japanese.

Do you have a language learning tip you'd like to share with the community? After you pass the grammar-heavy part of a language (which is usually the lower intermediate level), I would advise to watch a lot of TV shows or movies, even if it is with subtitles in your language. This helps you assimilate how sentences are constructed in a more natural way, aside from helping you expand your vocabulary (which is the essence of upper intermediate and advanced levels) and understanding nuances.

What's your favorite part about working for Duolingo? To be part of a team that wants to make the world a better place!

What do you like to do in your free time? Traveling, reading, listening to music, watching TV, playing game, learning stuff, playing the Shamisen (a Japanese-style banjo), eating out, etc.

What are some common language errors your still make? My native Portuguese is full of slangs and concordance errors, it doesn't sound pretty. :(

What is your favorite show in any other languages you speak? Sekai naze soko ni nihonjin (世界ナゼそこに日本人)

What do you want to say to the community? It's great being part of this community! You guys rock!

Did you miss previous team stories? Catch up below :)

Meet Gina & Chenxi, Meet David & Hideki, Meet Vivian & Shawn, Meet David & Beth, Meet Bren & Pam, Meet Monica & Karin, Meet Kerley & Myra, Meet Rémy.

April 10, 2015



It's my pleasure to be part of this community of language learning enthusiasts! Very happy that we can positively impact the lives of so many people!

April 10, 2015


Very interesting!!! For me it's very nice meet Brazilian people working on duolingo, I'm Brazilian also :D ...Que massa cara!!! Você, Gina, Vivian .... who's the next? hehehe

April 15, 2015


Portuguese, English, Japanese and a bit of Spanish (it's "Portuñol", actually)

Someone's been talking to Gina, haha.

April 10, 2015


Yes, Gina and I are both Paulistas!

April 10, 2015


Haha, no shame in speaking Portuñol. It's probably closer to the real thing than my Spanguguese, which is still just Spanish with nasal congestion and randomly-shaped accents over some letters. :)

April 11, 2015


I suposse they said Portuñol because they never enrolled a formal spanish course, but instead they were in a spanish speaking country so they learned to speak spanish from the streets.

April 11, 2015


Thanks everyone. I'm glad that our work help so many people.

April 10, 2015

  • 2048

So you are the mysterious Chinese employee! I am glad to know more about you!

2015.04.11 EDT

April 11, 2015


Nice to meet you guys!

April 10, 2015


Thank you

Building bricks on a solid foundation


Without your expertise we would be lost

again thanks ...

April 10, 2015


Nice to meet some new members of the team!

April 10, 2015


@Long: I share the same pain with you about english articles

@Andre: You are fluent in 3 languages and know several other languages? Much wow =]

April 10, 2015


Nice to meet you both, André and Long! :) Thank you so much for your contributions to this awesome site! :D

April 10, 2015


¡mucho gusto!

April 10, 2015


It's fun that most people who speak both Portuguese and Spanish always say that it's Portuñol XD

April 10, 2015


It's nice to meet you! Thanks for all!!

April 11, 2015


Bienvenidos a Duolingo mis amigos!

April 11, 2015


@andre Since you speak Japanese natively are we going to see Japanese for English speakers anytime soon? nudge nudge wink wink

April 11, 2015


Long, are you working on Spanish for Chinese speakers and French for Chinese speakers? I was impressed when those two courses were revealed in the Incubator, because their pages showed that a lot of progress had already been made. Maybe Duolingo is making progress in more new courses it hasn't revealed yet? ;)

André, I noticed that Portuguese was one of the first six languages for Duolingo but Duolingo doesn't yet offer Portuguese for speakers of French, German, or Italian and doesn't yet offer Italian for Portuguese speakers. Maybe those are some of the courses Duolingo hasn't revealed yet? ;)

April 11, 2015


You can see who is contributing for both the courses for Chinese speakers here:



April 12, 2015


I'm not working on making courses. My current project is to improve the speaking challenges. We also awesome incubators working on those two courses. They have been sensational!

April 12, 2015
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