Esperanto beta test launch!
Saluton! After 8 months of hard work, I’m proud to announce that we’ve flipped the switch and the Esperanto course is now publicly available for anyone to test.
Please note that our main purpose during this time is to collect reports from you, which we can use to improve the course. There are many possible ways to translate a given phrase and being the humans that we are, we certainly missed many of them. Try our course and if you answer correctly, but it was not accepted, stay calm and report the issue. We are also happy to present extensive Tips & Notes for you and welcome feedback on them too.
We’re as excited as all of you and can’t wait to see how this could transform the Esperanto community. Thanks for helping us bring international understanding to the world as well as more partying across borders. We look forward to reading your comments and posts in this freŝbakita [freshly baked] Duolingo Esperanto forum!
Yes, in another thread, someone of Duolingo staff said that they send the notification a few hours or days after the course is released, because they need to make sure there is no obvious technical problem, but if you start the course in the meantime they won't send you a notification because they don't want to spam you.
Muchas gracias de corazón, a Duolingo por todos estos maravillos cursos, y a ustedes por colaborar con el curso de Esparanto, desde hace casi un año que lo espero, y aún más que salga la versión para hablantes de Español, pero, ¡esto es magnifico!, MUCHAS GRACIAS DE VERDAD, e GRAZIE MILLE DAVVERO, and THANK YOU VERY MUCH, kaj DANKON :3 - <3 <3 ...
Yo también estuve esperando este curso por un largo tiempo, Esperanto es un idioma genial y muy fácil de aprender para todos (especialmente para nosotros dos que hablamos español), por que no completas el árbol de Esperanto y desafiarte a empezar un curso de Esperanto para hispano-hablantes? yo me prendo!
One first comment on the Tips & Notes (which are indeed extensive!): they seem very focused on comparing features of Esperanto to equivalent features of English. I'm not sure whether I like it or not - it's good to highlight the differences, but I'm guessing I'm not quite the only one who has more than just the English perspective to look at a different language from.
On the other hand, it is a course that's designed for English speakers. It wouldn't necessarily help to compare it to other languages if the people using it don't have proficiency in those other languages.
That's true - however, so many non-native speakers of English use the courses for English speakers on Duolingo that I think we shouldn't forget it. :) I also think that Esperanto is not a common second language to learn - the majority of people will have at least dabbled in other foreign langagues before. I'm seeing lots and lots of parallels with pretty much all of the languages I know something about (that's seven, give or take), and it would be nice to see some of that in the notes as well.
I know that is not what you meant, but everybody taking this course is capable in English and has a general idea of how the English grammar system etc works.( apart from 1/3 of American English speakers) Comparing it to the Slavic languages may have been a good idea, but it would be pretty unnecessary as almost no people taking this tree speak Slavic languages
One thing I should maybe make clearer is that I would love to see the Tips and Notes be less specific to any language in particular, for this course and for other Esperanto courses. Some ways to accomplish that could be mentioning in the notes for Accusative which other major languages use the accusative case like this - German springs to mind; or in a skill like Animals highlight the etymologies of a few words to show which languages they're "based" on. I think the Esperanto for English speakers course shouldn't limit itself to describing a world where only Esperanto and English are languages worthy of a mention. :)
I'll keep that in mind, although that's usually frowned upon in language courses, because it frustrates the great majority of learners who don't know the language referenced, unfortunately. However, if I see a great opportunity for this, I'll consider it. Somehow I have a feeling this book will appeal to you: http://eo.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konciza_Etimologia_Vortaro :)
Etymology would be particularly culturally interesting, given Esperanto's constructed nature. When I first learned some Esperanto years ago, there were words and constructions that were unfamiliar to me. Having touched a few other languages since then, I see influences I wasn't aware of before - it adds to the internationalist feel to see connections to languages I otherwise know little about.
I don't think so. I compiled the data myself with the help of the "Duolingo Course Progress" userscript (https://github.com/kane77/userscripts).
- TR 67 200 Turkish
- UK 51 210 Ukrainian
- EO 44 241 Esperanto
- GA 64 292 Irish
- ES 64 317 Spanish
- SV 66 325 Swedish
- NL 64 340 Dutch
- DA 70 340 Danish
- DE 72 349 German
- NB 75 358 Norwegian Bokmål
- FR 78 358 French
- IT 66 405 Italian
- PT 69 406 Portuguese
I suggest you copy them to a spreadsheet. These are for the courses available from English. The format is: 2 letter ISO code, number of skills (units), number of lessons, the English name of the language. Sorted ascending by number of lessons then skills. Bonus skills are not counted.
Is it possible to get this data for the reverse courses? It would be really interesting to know if all of the courses teaching English (from various languages), have the same number of lessons, and to know if the reverse course for a specific language has the same number of lessons (Spanish from English vs. English from Spanish, for example).
@cherub721 Well, it certainly is possible, but it's a pain as the way I do it is by going to each course one by one.
I agree with @miacomet here, I wish Duolingo made the data public. Right now we know how many are learning, but we have no data on how many have finished the tree, which I'm more interested in.
But at least I can answer your question: English for Spanish and French speaker have the same numbers, 285 lessons in 55 skills. These numbers are much lower than the reverse stated above.
Spanish for French has the exact same numbers as Spanish for English, 317 lessons in 64 skills.
French for Spanish is 353 lessons in 68 skills. This differs slightly from French for English which is 358 in 78. I didn't compare the two to find out the exact differences.
This is a good program, but the translation interface is still a bit clunky. If my Esperanto translation is not exactly like what you have in the database then my answer is wrong, even if I have all of the right words, but not in some predetermined pattern. I'm also noting that this program is currently defaulting to literal, word by word, translations. There is a place for that, but this program should be directing the student towards translating the idea more than the words, or it will be ultimately useless to the user.
I must repeat, however, that this is a good thing & the world needs it. Thank you. (Just fix the bugs we beta testers show you, please.) (Mi ne devis diri tiun. Kial mi diris tiun?)
I'm finding that I'm making more than my usual raftload of typos, & the program is marking me off for them. Is it possible that the program can be taught to recognize certain typos & ask the student to retype the sentence.
This is especially noticeable when I'm going back & forth between the two languages & I mistakenly type words of the language I'm translating into the translated sentence.
Is this really a surprise? It is only the very first day of beta testing after all.
They're there when I use it. They don't show when it's asking you to translate into English, but when it's asking for Esperanto they're there. And that works for me in both Chrome and IE.