AMA Team Korean!

This AMA is officially closed. Thank you for participating!

Good morning/afternoon/day/evening or night (Korean) language enthusiasts!

This is Team Korean or, at least, the members of the team here for the AMA. On 4/25 5 PM EST through 4/26 5 PM EST *, we – the Korean team, will answer all of your questions as the English for Korean course building team of Duolingo and, of course, regular Duolingo users as well!

You're free to ask anything you like! However, we reserve the right to not go into questions that are confrontational make us uncomfortable. Furthermore, questions regarding the release of the course from beta or the possibility of a future Korean for English speakers course might receive a standard answer: our knowledge regarding these topics is limited. This doesn't mean that asking these questions is not okay: these questions are as legitimate as any other. What it does mean is that our answers might not be very insightful and that these questions will likely receive a similar if not standard reply.

We'll still be very grateful to receive all of your questions, but there are some questions which we'll have better answers to than others. Please bear with us. ^^

And lastly we would like to thank all of you for being patiently cheering us on through beta. We are inspired to work on this course thanks to you, our amazing users! You guys are awesome!

So with those little side notes, ask us anything!

Lots of non-creepy love and appreciation,

Elladus and Team Korean

*Questions can be asked ahead of the AMA. However, they will not be answered before it starts.

April 24, 2015


Thanks for this! I got a couple of questions.

  1. Can people expect to see an english course appearing sometime in 2015 or 2016?

  2. Have there been any issues with the non-roman character inputs that could prevent the course from being delayed. (I know the Japanese team has spoken about these issues).

April 24, 2015
  1. As we said above, we don't know :)

  2. No, not that I know of. However, one of the staff said (relating to non roman/cyrillic letters):

Not yet. We have two major blockers, which are: creating exercises that effectively teach new alphabets (and the infrastructure for that), and input systems (because not all users in all of our platforms are able to enable IMEs).

April 25, 2015

I realise you may not be able to speak for them, but I don't understand these 'blockers' at all.

a) I am under the impression the Ukrainian and Hebrew teams have successfully built lessons teaching their alphabets, so other languages should just emulate those.
b) Why would people need IMEs? I just successfully downloaded a Devanagari keyboard for my Android smartphone and tested it. For computers this should be even easier.

Now Chinese and Japanese are of course much more complicated, since they don't in fact use alphabets. But it would seem to me no more of a problem for Hangul than for Devanagari.

April 26, 2015
  1. But you have to consdier that Japanese and Chinese text to speech is very different from some of the other IMEs in the fact it depends on converting romanization-characters. Korean isn't like that, but I think Duo is just playing safe for all Asian writing systems in order to play safe as some people might not have keyboard stickers...

  2. There are many ways to install IMES on computers and they are not nessessarily easier. Korean can be simply installed by going to the control panel for Windows (I cannot speak for Mac users) or downloading a Chrome extension (I believe it is from Google). However, there are people who don't know how to do that... (but again, dedicated people should know it).

But I mostly agree with what you said.

April 26, 2015

I don't have a question but I just wanted to say you guys are awesome! Korean is my favourite language and I'll really look forward to maybe being able to learn Korean on Duolingo in the future! :)

April 24, 2015

Thanks for posting Elladus!

I am so glad that Duolingo is expanding into other Asian languages. Can't wait for the reverse Korean for English speakers, which won't come any time soon! ;(

April 24, 2015

I hope you guys make a Korean for English speakers course sometime Soon™! I would love to learn Korean!

April 25, 2015

Hi Elladus!

  • Have you started on creating bonus skills and if not (I don't really remember whether you guys are/were possible to already or not), which ones are you planning on adding? :)

  • What is your favorite skill?

  • Is the Korean alphabet difficult to learn?

Best wishes! :)

April 25, 2015
  1. We are not planning on adding bonus skils as of now.

  2. Our favourite skill is... well my favourite skill has to be "Sports" except for the fact that it is a report magnet :)

  3. Not at all. It has less letters than the Roman Alphabet and is really easy to learn :)

  4. Thanks :)

April 25, 2015

안녕하세요! 한국어로 말해도 될까요? 한국어 조금 할 수 있어요. 기여해서 대단히 감사합니다! 당신의 노력에 대해 어떻게 감사를 드려야 할지 모르겠습니다!

사전에 감사합니다!

Thank you very much I've really enjoyed doing the reverse course while waiting for the Korean for English Speakers course to come out.

April 25, 2015

Alright, I have three questions for you guys:

  1. What is the Korean course or team's greatest achievement so far?

  2. Do you know if the course is being used by Korean immigrants in the US? Could it be of use to them?

  3. Have you ever tried Korean BBQ? :)

Good luck with reaching phase 3!

April 25, 2015
  1. Getting the course out so far :)

  2. Yes, I have seem some Korean immigrants use it on Duo, but it seems to be mostly Korean speakers based in Korea as most Korean immigrants probably have a grasp in English. However, for people who just immigrated, it could be very useful.

  3. Yeah. Love it :)

  4. Thanks:)

April 25, 2015

Are you still looking for contributors?

April 25, 2015

Of course we are :) We hope to have as many we can invite so we can graduate faster :)

April 25, 2015

How many people are on your team? What is the rough estimate of people that will be utilizing this course? How many skills does your tree have/is going to have? Is this the first language available for Korean speakers, and if not what else is currently available?

April 25, 2015
  1. Check the Incubator page

  2. I don't know. Can you elaborate?

  3. The same as other English courses. (Our course is already released...)

  4. Yes

  5. Hopefully Spanish and French in the future

April 25, 2015

Oh, for number 2, I guess what I meant was, how many people are currently using the course, and does that number generally change drastically once a course is out of beta? I know that I have been hesitant in the past to try courses which are still in beta, though I realize that such activity is encouraged in order to provide feedback to move the course beyond the beta phase.

April 25, 2015

We currently have about 1.02 million users. The numbers generally don't change that much once a course leaves beta, I believe. Most of the work has already been done and the course if fully functional, so there's no reason for people not to be enjoying it now :)

April 25, 2015

Wow, over 1 million users! That sounds like a successful course to me. Congratulations on this fantastic achievement!

April 25, 2015

I am so excited for Korean in the future :) It is the best language in the universe and I love it :)

In your opinion, what is the most useful thing that you use when you make the course :)

April 25, 2015

The most useful thing has to be a EN-KO dictionary :)

April 25, 2015

Sorry to ask this question, as I'm sure you get it a lot. Judging from what you've said about not knowing if there will be a Korean for English speakers course, does this mean you are willing to make one but it just isn't worked out on Duo's end?

April 26, 2015

I don't know anything about it, even if it worked out on Duo's end or not :)

April 26, 2015

/Sequels with excitement/ Anything Korean related on here makes me excited can't wait!

April 25, 2015

Hi, Team Korean. My best wishes to you. May you make one of the most successful stories here. ( I mean course material here :P). Since, I have no question regarding "English for Korean Speakers" as I don't know Korean. I will be blunt and ask what I really want to ask.

  1. What are special treats we are going to have in "Korean for English Speakers" whenever it's come?

Korean has very incredibly difficult looking writing system. (Man, it's awesome.) Only, Knowing that will be able to impress other. (Contrarily, in reality it's very simple). Like, Indonesian language has inclusive and exclusive 'We', and use of particles and Hindi has special system of verbs with concepts like induction verbs, helping verbs, idomaic verbs along with cases, particles and postpositions. In short, What will be special things we will have in Korean lanaguage?
2. Well, It's too soon to ask, Anyway It's just my courosity. Korean has many words that's not in english. There are words of brother, elder brother, little brother, sister, elder sister, little sister and yesterday, today, tomorrow, day before yesterday, day after tomorrow, last year (and several honorifics !?). Will you be teaching everyday dialogs with using them? It will be nice to learn them for watching korean dramas.

April 26, 2015
  1. There are a lot of interesting things that would be in the Korean course once the time comes. It has a logical, phonetic alphabet that doesn't take long to learn. There are fun onomatopoeic words that we can't not include because they are just about everywhere. You may already know that there are many verb endings that create honorifics and formal sentences, but there are also verb endings that express surprise, suggestions, questions, apologies. Korean is a very verb-heavy language and uses adverbs where English speakers would often use adjectives, so it should be interesting once we figure out how to teach some of that. We still probably have a while to go before we start doing that and building the course though.

  2. Of course we will teach the Korean that you would need to know in order to live on the streets. Some dramas use very old fashioned speech levels that are no longer in use, but in general you should be learning a lot of what you'd hear in dramas anyway. It may sound difficult at first, but aside from a very small number of words, honorifics are mostly just adding -si- to the verb stem before the ending. Simple.

April 26, 2015

What does AMA even mean?

April 30, 2015
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