Weekly Incubator Update: Tracking Progress from May 10th to May 17th

The wait is eternal, the rewards that follow - divine!
I will admit that the wait is getting longer than what I had expected. I would have expected at least one of the three eggs to have hatched by now. Nevertheless, you will agree that the anticipated rewards will be more than worth the long wait!

Thought for the week
Catalan for Spanish - a long awaited demand fulfilled!

PHASE 1 Progress:

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

Norwegian for English - 100% | 99% | 100% | 100% (+0)

Esperanto for English - 98% | 99% | 100% | 99% (-1)

English for Thai  - 91% | 90% | 90% | 91% (+1)

Russian for English - 77% | 81% | 82% | 84% (+2)

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

German for Turkish - 71% | 71% | 72% | 74% (+2)

German for Italian - 71% | 71% | 70% | 70% (+0)

Spanish for German - 66% | 66% | 68% | 69% (+1)

French for Italian - 60% | 61% | 63% | 65% (+2)

German for Portuguese - 59% | 60% | 62% | 62% (+0)

Spanish for Italian - 60% | 60% | 60% | 60% (+0)

German for French - 57% | 57% | 58% | 59% (+1)

Spanish for Chinese - 48% | 48% | 48% | 49% (+1)

Spanish for Russian - (New) 39% | 43% | 45% (+2)

Swedish for Russian - 39% | 39% | 40% | 41% (+1)

French for Chinese - 38% | 38% | 39% | 39% (+0)

Romanian for English - 31% | 33% | 33% | 35% (+2)

Vietnamese for English - 31% | 31% | 32% | 33% (+1)

Polish for English - 31% | 32% | 32% | 32% (+0)

Greek for English - 10% | 18% | 21% | 25% (+4) *

Hebrew for English - 10% | 11% | 13% | 13% (+0)

Klingon for English - 4% | 7% | 8% | 8% (+0)

Yiddish for English - 0% | 1% | 3% | 3% (+0)

Catalan for Spanish - (New) 1% (+1)

Mean - 1.17% | 0.92% | 1.04% | 0.8% (-0.24)
Median - 1% | 1% | 1% | 1% (+0)
Mode - 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% (+0)

* This week's 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:

Selcen_Ozturk from Team Turkish wrote 3 days ago:

Call For Applications

We are looking for native English, preferably British English, speakers who can speak Turkish at a reasonable level or alternatively native Turkish speakers who live(d) in the UK for a long time to help us adding (British) English alternatives.

Please write a detailed application describing your language abilities, and if applicable teaching/translation experience. Do not forget to tell us how much time you have. Thanks :) Tr-En team

loghaD from Team Klingon wrote 3 days ago:

qaStaH nuq? ("What's going on?")

You may have noticed the sentences/week graph fluctuating wildly, but showing an overall negative trend.

Meanwhile, the Estimated Completion Date has shot up to May 13, 2016.

Have we lost interest in the project?

Not in the least! We're both eager to spend evenings and weekends adding hundreds upon hundreds of sentences. Unfortunately, however, we are both being kept quite busy by our universities, making it difficult to make time for this project.

Personally, I'm just coming off one project, while another is nearing its deadline at a frightening pace. After that, I'll have more time for the Incubator, although I'll still be kept fairly busy studying for exams in the beginning of June. Towards the middle of June, school will be out and I'll start working a normal job, which should leave my evenings and weekends a lot more free for this project.

The estimate of hitting beta within three months is looking more and more like it was way too optimistic, but we're still confident that we'll get the bulk of the course done during the Summer. Whether that means we'll hit beta in August or finish up during the Autumn, only time will tell. Rest assured, however, that we remain committed to bringing you a high-quality Klingon course in as timely a manner as possible!

doktorkampi from Team CA<-ES wrote 2 days ago:

Oh! Benvinguts, passeu, passeu

¡Bienvenidos! ¡Pasen (y vean)!

Así empieza la mítica canción catalana de los 70 de Jaume Sisa y así empezamos el curso de catalán para hispanohablantes. Como muchos ya sabéis, el catalán es una lengua romance con más de mil años de historia que actualmente se habla en 4 estados distintos: España (Catalunya, Illes Balears, Comunitat Valenciana, Franja d'Aragó, El Carxe), Francia (Catalunya Nord, que corresponde aproximadamente con el Departamento de Pyrénées-Orientales), Italia (L'Alguer) y Andorra. El devenir de la historia ha zarandeado esta lengua con periodos de prohibición formal en estas comunidades lingüísticas, un día monolingües, pero sus aproximadamente 10 millones de hablantes siguen usando el catalán no sólo como medio de comunicación sino como seña de identidad.

Empezamos la aventura de crear un curso de la lengua de Barcelona, de Gaudí y el modernismo, de Dalí, de Miró, del FC Barcelona y de muchos más. ¿Te apuntas?

sommerlied from Team German wrote yesterday:

Tree Versioning

Good news everyone! Our owlsome incubator developers are working hard to get the tree versioning ready, and our course has been selected to test this new feature! This means that we are currently, for the first time, able to fully edit the skill tree! We are super excited about this, and have already added & edited +2200 sentences in the past two weeks, that's about 5-10% of the entire course!

Our goal in this stage is to make the course easier to follow. We are splitting those huge skills and clusters of difficult grammar, and although adding new skills is not our priority right now, we are adding some useful and fun new words here and there.

Of course we won't be able to fix everything at once, but hope to gradually improve the course in the future. This is a first step.

Once we feel we are ready, the new version will be released as an A/B test. Note that while we are doing our best to have the new version ready as soon as possible, it might still take a while since we only started last week. We don't know how long it will take. If the A/B test is successful, the new skill tree will be released to everyone.

d.batta from Team IT<-FR wrote yesterday:

Bonjour à tous ! Cette semaine a été très productive: en effet, pour la première fois la moyenne des signalements s'approche à 3.

Cela veut dire que le cours devient de plus en plus stable et donc il va bientôt sortir de la phase bêta ! Je profite de cette occasion pour remercier tous les utilisateurs pour leur signalements et leur conseils: merci beaucoup, ayez encore un petit peu de patience et la version finale du cours sera prête :)


Kippis from Team Japanese wrote yesterday:

Call for new contributors

The EN < JA team is recruiting new members again. Details (in Japanese) are on the Japanese discussion board. A little bit of information in English is available.

Bruno_de_Brito from Team FR<-PT wrote 23 hours ago:

Como estamos indo #Semana2

luke51991 from Team Norwegian wrote 9 hours ago:

God 17. Mai!

Store Forventninger!

Yes, great expectations! Good news or neutral news first?

Good news: We have trimmed away all excess skills we have deemed unfit for the current tree and finalized our ideas for what the beta version will actually include: herring and lightsabers, feathers and Thor, among other words :)

Neutral news: The arduous process of checking and double-checking (specifically-Norwegian) sentences continues with little sign of slowing down. Keep in mind, of course, that this is all for the benefit of the students of the language. With Ukrainian about to be released (certainly before Norwegian), hopefully many of you can begin learning that language in the meantime.

Nonetheless, we are excited to be writing the final chapter of the alpha phase. We will let you know when we have more news to report.

All the best,

~~ Det Norske Laget ~~

TL;DR Catalan for Spanish is in the incubator now making it 25 Phase-1 courses - an all time high! And we know, three courses are about to leave Phase 1...

The next update is expected on Sunday, 24th of May, 3:00 pm UTC.

Previous Update 03-May to 10-May

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

May 17, 2015

<h1>GO TEAM GREEK!</h1>

Seriously, their progress is enough to make a grown man cry in awe.

May 17, 2015

Thank you for your support!! It really encourages us to work even harder :)

May 17, 2015

Really, you guys are doing super amazing. I used to want to learn Greek, though i later lost interest in the project, but i've recently gotten really excited about it since learning about the upcoming Duo course with a really cool + hardworking team!

EDIT: By the way, have a lingot! :)

May 19, 2015

That's true! I should probably get worried that I won't be able to finish Ukrainian and Norwegian before Greek at this pace ;P (Good for me, I've already have some knowledge of all three of them, so I don't need to start from the total beginning ;D)

May 17, 2015

I am certain that you'll speed through the first and second checkpoints. Between German, Turkish, Hebrew, Yiddish, Greek, and Hindi, I think I will spend the rest of my life on this website.

May 17, 2015

Me too! Turkish, Spanish, Greek, Icelandic (hopefully), Norwegian, Czech, Irish, Welsh, Thai... I will never get enough time to learn all of those. I like to speed through the tree, but I prefer to get some solid grammar base before starting the next language. (And I'm so behind in this aspect! Luckily I can fully come back to this task by the end of this week)

May 17, 2015

Sighs at the idea of learning Czech on Duo

REALLY hoping for a Czech for English speakers, I have been thinking about doing the reverse tree, but I am still not sure. :/

You already know some Czech don't you?

May 17, 2015

I've started to play a little with the reverse tree a few days ago, but didn't really have time to continue. It's quite fun, you can give it a try ;)

I do, but I've never actually learnt it. I used to spend winter holidays there when I was a kid so I naturally picked up the basics ;)

May 17, 2015

Contributors from the Czech team that prepared English course for Czech speakers said there will definitely be reverse course. But they don't know when, because there is still a lot of work with the English course. For example they don't have any grammar tips yet.

May 18, 2015

Come on guys, am I the only one who is excited for Ukrainian?

May 17, 2015

You are not! That's the course I've been expecting to see the most. ;)

Too bad I completely didn't have time to review Cyrillic, it's been a really long time since I've used it for the last time...

May 17, 2015

I have installed a Cyrillic keyboard already, and it's veeery difficult to get used to it! Haha

May 17, 2015

If you only know how excited I am.

May 17, 2015

Not in the least! I'm getting antsy waiting for the Ukrainian course. So antsy in fact that I attempted the reverse tree but that didn't go too well...haha.

May 17, 2015

Hoping Hindi is announce next update! Given the space of time that ydidish, hebrew, klingdon and norwegian were all announced its been bit slow lately with new languages!

May 17, 2015

Supposedly Indonesian is coming with Hindi.

May 17, 2015

That would be nice because Indonesian is such an underrated language in my opinion.

May 17, 2015

I hope they add Tagalog to the Incubator within this year. There's a lot of English speakers in the Philippines so I hope that it will at least pop up.

May 17, 2015

Where did you read that?

May 17, 2015

First reply to the top comment:

May 17, 2015


Luis said that they would do a Catalan course in a discussion months before it appeared.

May 17, 2015

2 months ago...

May 17, 2015

Seriously? Where'd you hear that? Now I'm even more hyped for next week!

May 17, 2015
<h1>Go Ukrainian, Esperanto, Romanian, and Greek!</h1>

May 17, 2015

I didn't know they had a grunge flag for Esperanto! I love those flag designs.

May 17, 2015

There aren't that many grunge flags for the Esperanto flag, I think only about 2 or 3 (on Google Images).

May 17, 2015

I can't wait to get started on Esperanto and Norwegian!

May 17, 2015

Excellent gif usage :-)

May 17, 2015

The Italian for French update translates as:

Hello to all! This week was very productive: in effect, for the first time the average of the error reports approached 3.

That means that the course is becoming more and more stable and therefore will soon leave the beta phase! I'm using this occasion to thank all the users for their error reports and their advice: thanks a lot, have a little bit more patience and the final version of the course will be ready :)


May 17, 2015

Thanks :)

May 17, 2015

I did my best, I'm still a learner.

May 17, 2015

Thanks, fr224. I look forward to the Italian / French course!

May 17, 2015

De rien.

May 17, 2015

Great news from Team German!

May 17, 2015

Catalan is here :DD

May 17, 2015

:DDDDDD I am so excited honestly though it's a gorgeous language BCN is an amazing city Barça is the best football team it is going to be an amazing course even though i definitely do not speak enough Spanish to actually take it right away!

May 19, 2015

What happened to Polish? It was chugging along and has now come to yet another long stop. :(

May 17, 2015

Same with Hungarian :(

May 19, 2015

I don't know with Polish, but my impression is that Hungarian is being held up by the horrible classes crunch that always slows everything down in April/May.

May 20, 2015

Could very well be a valid factor. I just simply wish to begin the course ^_^ (very much so)

May 21, 2015

Happy Constitution Day to all Norwegian fellows here! I was really hoping that the tree would be released today.

Great work, Team Greek! Can't wait for the tree!

May 17, 2015

Russian is inching closer.

May 17, 2015

They've been going pretty steady at about 2%/wk for a while. At that rate, should be out late summer or early fall. I'm looking forward to it.

May 18, 2015

Let me preface my question with a disclaimer:

I'm extremely grateful for all the work the contributors do, and am in no way begging or demanding that anything be done faster. I'm positive the wait will be worth it. Plus, having to wait to add new courses gives me more time to work on the languages I am currently studying, so there is really no downside :)

But with that said, does anyone know why (or have theories as to why) progress, in general, is slower now than it used to be? I seem to remember around the beginning of the incubator that the first batch of courses flew through the alpha stage in a matter of a few months, and 5-15% weekly progress wasn't unusual. Even the "more difficult" courses, such as English for Korean and Chinese speakers, back then didn't take as long as some of these "easier" ones do now.

Anyone able to shed some light?

May 17, 2015

My guess would be that we saw that kind of progress when it was still mostly European languages being introduced. Since the languages are more similar, work on them goes much faster because there's less issues to figure out. Now they're branching out into other language families, so the contributors have to spend a lot of time strategizing on how to do the course.

For example, Chinese just doesn't have verb conjugations and very frequently leaves out tense. A single Chinese sentence can often translate into various different verb tenses in English depending on context, so the team had to talk about how to present those tenses in the course and how they would represent them in the Chinese translations. It just takes somewhat longer than something like Spanish, which has mostly the same verb tenses as English, just a bit more complex in the past tense and with more conjugations. Combine all the different aspects that exist in language and it slows the process down.

This is just a guess, though. :)

May 17, 2015

I can't imagine how crazy teaching a true tonal language will be in the DL system...!

May 19, 2015

Honestly the tone won't affect how Duo teaches anything. They'll have to explain it, but it's just another aspect of difficult pronunciation that learners always mess up a lot when they're learning a new language.

May 19, 2015

Maybe it is because many of the contributors are busy with mainting Phase 3 courses while creating the reverse course at the same time?

May 17, 2015

The Turkish, Vietnamese, Ukrainian teams all had times when they go little work done because they were busy working on the reverse courses.

May 17, 2015

I think a lot of the contributors are university students, and this is a study-for-exams time of the year :) It is only a theory however...

May 17, 2015

Neither of the problems you guys just mentioned are a problem for Hebrew. It is still "slow" though(only in comparison, I'm just happy it's making any progress).

May 17, 2015

They've only slowed down in this past week. You can't expect them to always devote all their time to the course.

May 17, 2015

I know, but I was saying compared to 8-15 percent a week. I am not expecting them to devote all their time to the course.

May 17, 2015

Me gusta ver catalán para hispanohablantes. Voy a tener que estudiarlo cuando esté listo. I'm also pleased to see such progress on Greek. Still very much looking forward to Norwegian and Ukraine when they arrive.

May 17, 2015

CATALAN! THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR.... Even if I don't know Spanish.

May 18, 2015

Let's hope they will beat all speed records :D

May 18, 2015

I thought I'd stop checking the incubator once it showed up.

Oh, how naive I was!

May 18, 2015

Ha, same. Need to finish Spanish before then, though!

May 19, 2015


May 19, 2015

It's a long wait. Is it me only or anyone else who keep looking on course page everyday??
The wait isn't over yet.

Go team Greek : )

May 17, 2015

Greek is moving fast!

May 17, 2015
  • 1347

Do you have a recent update on Greek? How long will it be "hatching"?

August 20, 2016

To Team German:

How (if at all) will the new version of the tree affect those of us who have already finished the course?

May 17, 2015

Once the A/B test is positive/conclusive, everyone gets the new tree. I guess that you will see your won owl removed - because we add new words - and that you have to learn all new words in order to receive your owl back. This will happen as soon as you are in the test group or when the new tree will be released. The rest is just guessing on my end ;-) But be sure that the new course tree will be a real improvement.

May 17, 2015

You have to go through the new lessons they created, and like MultiLinguAlex said, you'll get your owl back. The skills with new lessons will also be a bit harder to keep gold for a bit since they have new words.

The Spanish tree upgraded a long time ago and that was the case, and then the French tree more recently upgraded.

May 17, 2015

Thanks to everyone for their updates, as well as to jiten (555!!!) for compiling. I always enjoy these check-ins.

My fingers are almost itching for the new ones, even though I REALLY SHOULDN'T start any new languages right now. But... a taste. Surely a taste of the new ones will be all right? ;)

Team German: good luck with the new versioning! Very exciting, although I'm not sure I've yet recovered from my first trip through the tree.

And Team Norwegian: I particularly appreciate the category of neutral news. Clearly, important cultural norms are being passed along :)

And, of course: < 3 Catalan < 3

May 18, 2015

See the blue FR-PT line !... I think the users have a lot of sincrony :P !!! haha

May 19, 2015


May 17, 2015

Will there ever be an Icelandic course? As a native speaker I have offered to help building the course, but no reply. What is Duolingo's criteria for choosing which language is developed next? Market size or popularity of made up movie languages?

July 26, 2015

Both, but also quantity and quality of available volunteers. Your application is an important part of that!

Just know that it can take years for a given language to be launched. The number of languages in the incubator right now is at or near its all-time high already, and each one takes a certain amount of support from the staff.

July 26, 2015
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