Weekly Incubator Update: Tracking Progress from April 19th to April 26th

The first incubator summit in Berlin on 30-Apr-2015
Several incubator contributors including yours truly are quite looking forward to attending this summit on Thursday. It will be awesome to meet the fellow contributors & the Duo team members. I understand that the agenda is being worked out and I will have more to report in the next week's update.

(In fact, I am writing this at the Frankfurt airport on my onward journey, hence the earlier that usual publishing time. Next week too, I will be traveling and that will call for another change for the WIU post next week - see below).

Yes, the t-shirt is a great advertisement for Duolingo. You should have seen the excitement in the eyes of my neighboring passenger who had initially thought I worked for Duolingo. She uses Duolingo to brush up her Italian. It's always cool to run into Duolingoers!

Korean Team's AMA/AUA is happening now...
If you would like to ask them anything about their course, please visit their AMA. (As a reminder the Hindi team's AMA/AUAs are coming up on the 9th and 23rd of May)

The magical 1.17%
For the third time in the last four weeks, the incubator teams have collaboratively achieved the identical overall progress number of 1.17%. For the keen mathematicians out there, what were the odds of this happening? :)

Thought for the week
Duolingo Incubator Summit - the first ever!

PHASE 1 Progress:

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

Norwegian for English - 89% | 95% | 100% | 100% (+0)

Esperanto for English - 94% | 96% | 98% | 98% (+0)

English for Thai  - 90% | 90% | 91% | 91% (+0)

Hungarian for English - 79% | 79% | 80% | 80% (+0) ^

Russian for English - 72% | 74% | 75% | 77% (+2)

German for Italian - 68% | 69% | 70% | 71% (+1)

German for Turkish - 68% | 70% | 71% | 71% (+0)

Spanish for German - 62% | 64% | 65% | 66% (+1)

French for Italian - 57% | 58% | 60% | 60% (+0)

Spanish for Italian - 57% | 57% | 59% | 60% (+1)

German for Portuguese - 45% | 49% | 55% | 59% (+4)

German for French - 53% | 54% | 54% | 57% (+3)

Spanish for Chinese - 44% | 44% | 44% | 48% (+4)

Swedish for Russian - 38% | 39% | 39% | 39% (+0)

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

Romanian for English - 29% | 30% | 30% | 31% (+1)

Polish for English - 22% | 27% | 29% | 31% (+2)

Vietnamese for English - 25% | 29% | 29% | 31% (+2)

Greek for English - 9% | 9% | 9% | 10% (+1)

Hebrew for English - 4% | 7% | 7% | 10% (+3)

Klingon for English - (New) 0% | 2% | 4% (+2)

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

Mean - 1.17% | 1.32% | 1.17% | 1.17% (+0)
Median - 1% | 1% | 1% | 1% (+0)
Mode - 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% (+0)

* Difficult choice this week!, unable to mark one (or more) teams as Leader Extraordinaire!
^ The Hungarian team's progress is as per their own calculation.

Progress Visualized:

Here's what the contributing teams have said during the last week:

DvirBartov from Team Hebrew said 2 days ago:

We've completed the first checkpoint!

Hey guys!

After finishing Food(1) and Animals, we have completed the first checkpoint of our course. We have already started working on our next checkpoint which inculdes some very interesting topics!


Also - we are getting closer to finish 10% of our course! Horray!!

This is all for now, Stay Tuned!


Team Hebrew :)

In the second update, DvirBartov from Team Hebrew said yesterday:

10% is done!

Hello Everyone!

שלום לכולם ! (Shalom le'chulam)

We have some great news for you guys! We have finished 10% of our course - 90% to go!! So far we have finished the first skill of our second checkpoint (nice try! but we won't tell you what is it =)).

Me and Mae are starting to understand how we're going to teach Hebrew in the easiest and the most fun way! (Duolingo's style!).

Also, as we get closer to 20%, we have already went through some of the contribution applications and we will have some new additions to our team very very soon! :)

That's all for now! Stay tuned!!


Team Hebrew <3

I, along with several Duolingoers, love the energy and excitement you always bring to the fore!

Selcen_Ozturk from Team Turkish said yesterday:

Selam Millet :)

We keep checking your reports and trying to improve the course, thank you all for your feedback. We'll keep collecting suggestions in this thread.

Most of the reports were audio related. Unfortunately we cannot fix them. However, we tried to replace sentences whenever we can. For example "soğuk" was pronounced wrong if it was at the end of a sentence but not if it was in the middle, so we changed sentences. "dakika" was pronounced as "saniye" without any suffix, but "dakikalar" "dakikan" etc were pronounced correctly so we replaced them as well, etc.

So we have a really low number of reports nowadays! Our course has been added to the Android app and probably will be added to other apps soon too, but don't ask when, we have no idea.

Have fun learning Turkish and Kolay gelsin!

That was a remarkable feat to bring down the report count so soon. Congratulations to you and your team!

luke51991 from Team Norwegian said 20 hours ago:

We've added two more contributors before beta!

Hei alle sammen,

Our team has added two more contributors, both native Norwegian speakers with quite excellent English fluency. That means our team will enter beta with five contributors, and we will do so after we've had a chance to review the entire course (which does indeed take weeks).

We've reached nearly 2,700 words in our course.

Our mission (if we choose to accept it) is to release the course by 17. mai, Norway's national day.

Stay tuned!

Med vennlig hilsen,

Aleksander (alek_d), Andreas (Iorua), Dag (hazl), Linn (Deliciae) og Luke (luke51991)

~~ Det Norske Laget ~~

So, 17th May or earlier it is! And see you on Thursday :)

TL;DR Duolingo Incubator summit is happening in Berlin on 30-April! A few (three?) beta course launches happening next month. And the magical progress of 1.17% recorded again.

The next update is expected on Sunday, 3rd of May, 10:00 am UTC, five hours earlier than the usual time.

Previous Update 12-Apr to 19-Apr

Last updates from the recent months: Apr, Mar, Feb, Jan.

April 26, 2015


Thanks for another amazing update

How I feel: Duolingo





But, to all contributors: You guys rock, and are my heroes. Nice work, and happy learning ;).

April 26, 2015

I must give you a lingot. Your Gifs are awesome. what a fast person you are.

April 26, 2015

Hahahahaha this was excellent!

April 26, 2015

I have a feeling Ukrainian is going to be released today.

April 27, 2015

How I wish it will be so. :-/

April 28, 2015

Little tears from laughter are coming out of the sides of my eyes and my stomach muscles got a workout. Lingot merited and given!

May 3, 2015

Me, waiting for an Indonesian for English course

April 26, 2015

thanks, that really made me laugh!

April 27, 2015

Dear WIU followers, I had intended to post this week's update from Zurich earlier than the usual time. But my layover time was cut short due to late arrival of the incoming flight. Now, please expect a delay of up to 12 hours from the usual time :)

May 3, 2015

So happy for team Turkish, you guys rock ! I hope that Esperanto will be finished soon. Go Team Hungarian and Romanian !

April 26, 2015

About running into Duolingoers, Duolingo is going for World Domination. Imgur

April 27, 2015

TEAM DUOLINGO could not be more excited to be honoring the hundreds of volunteers that have contributed to this project. See you in Berlin!

April 27, 2015

Looking forward to Esperanto and Greek...

Okay okay I'm also looking forward to Polish, Norwegian, Klingon, Hungarian, and Russian. :P Great job! To every team- keep up the dedication to making your courses. :D

April 26, 2015

I resemble this remark ;D so many intriguing courses just out of reach...

April 26, 2015

You should have seen the excitement in the eyes of my neighboring passenger who had initially thought I worked for Duolingo.

Actually, I'm surprised they haven't offered you a job yet.

Thanks as always jitengore.

April 27, 2015

Me, waiting for an eventual Korean course.


April 27, 2015

You are writing at airport, then who the generous person took the picture of you?? Another fellow from the Incubator Summit?

Edit: You should add another section in your WIU for today, Jiten's weekly Update. Oh, yeah, Your AMA is also there.

April 26, 2015

Maybe the photo was taken by the lady using Duolingo as a flirting topic? ;-)

Happy Incubator summit!

April 26, 2015

I didn't expected that coming. :P

April 26, 2015

Looking forward to some new languages with a few of the current ones about to enter Beta!

April 26, 2015

Your dedication to the WIUs is exquisite!

April 26, 2015

Looking forward to Hebrew for English speakers and Spanish for German speakers (for after I finally finish my German for English speakers and English for German speakers ...)

Great job everyone who works so diligently to supply us with an incredible, wonderful (and free!) product.

--cheering, clapping, throwing confetti--

Have a great day. ~frankieb

April 26, 2015

Ho ne, Esperanto, kio okazis cxi-semajnon? Restu forta! Ni ĝojigas por vi!

April 26, 2015

Most of us from the Esperanto team are on vacation this week, and the time I personally have leftover from a very busy week has been dedicated to organizing the Incubator Summit. We'll be back to usual speed in early May!

April 26, 2015

Have a nice vacation! :)

April 27, 2015

Ah, mi esperas ke via ferio estas tre bona!

April 28, 2015

Woohoo, go German for French and Spanish for Chinese!

April 26, 2015

Thanks for the awesome update! :))

April 26, 2015

Thanks so much for the update and to all the people working hard on this project.

Go Team Hebrew! And Russian and Yiddish!

There's also a great and urgent need for Hebrew for French speakers.

April 27, 2015

The magical 1.17% For the third time in the last four weeks, the incubator teams have collaboratively achieved the identical overall progress number of 1.17%. For the keen mathematicians out there, what were the odds of this happening? :)

If you're allowing for progress to be any real value within an appropriate range I believe the probability would be 0 (because it's a common mistake I'll emphasise that probability 0 is not the same as impossible).

If you're rounding to a nearest significant figure the probability would depend on:

  • The rounding.
  • Because you want to know the probability the means of two samples from a fixed distribution are equal you'd need to estimate the distribution of the mean. I think this would be affected by the number of teams, and the distribution of individual team progress (so you'd might need to estimate that too).

I think it would be a fiddly thing to work out but wouldn't be impossible if one had enough historical data to reliably estimate the various bits and pieces.

April 27, 2015

You could do this fairly easily with a technique called resampling. Here's how it'd work.

Flatten the weekly progress data from all known weeks, and treat it as one giant sample. For example, if on week 1 we had one team that made 1% progress and one team that made 2% progress, and on week 2 we had three teams (another team was added) making progress 3%, 4%, and 5% respectively, then our total sample would be {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}. We'll assume that this census adequately represents the underlying distribution.

Next note that the 1.17% condition is essentially just saying that we have 23 teams whose total progress is 27% (27/23 is approximately 1.17). I think jitengore has stated that he doesn't take fractional percentages into account.

Now we can run the resampling simulation. Pick a random set of 23 points ("teams," but it's okay if they overlap; e.g., we could have two Esperantos) from this giant sample, and test whether the percentages add up to 27%. If they do, record a match; otherwise, record a failure. Repeat this process, say, a million times, and you'll have a decent estimate for the probability that any one week has an average progress rating of 1.17%.

Then, assuming that the weeks are independent, use the cumulative distribution function of the binomial distribution to find the probability that at least three of the past four weeks would meet the criterion.

I'd be happy to run this if there were an easy-to-access data archive with the percentage numbers going back for a few months. Let me know if there is one.

May 3, 2015
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