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  5. Esperanto beta test launch!


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!


May 28, 2015



Congratulations ! I've waited a lot, and the wait is over! Mi estas tre feliĉa !!!!



Mi lernas Esperanton XD


Viaj laboroj estas granda servo al la movado. Dankon!


Congratulations!! Super excited to go through the course!!


I know this comment will probably get buried, but thanks so much for your hard work! This should be a huge event for advancing the use of Esperanto in the world.


What a nice work!

Kaj ankaŭ mi lernas Esperanton.

I think Duolingo need to make the announcement in G+ (I just saw the announcement for Norwegian but not for this language). There are people like me (belive it or not) who do not use any other social network.


Same in Facebook.


hehe, I knew you would be! :-D


:D ridiculously so, frankly! And for once Duolingo actually sent me a notification, which I think is a first - about time, but at least it was for a course I was excited about ;)


I'm still waiting for my notification on Norwegian - and I'm at the second checkpoint. :P


I think Duolingo decided that since you started the course, they didn't need to notify you.


Yep. That's how it works. The notifications have a short delay (from an hour to a day, depending on how smoothly the graduation goes), and if you start the course before we send out the announcements, we will not send you a notification. The system is that clever. ;]


Maybe the system is that clever, but I've seen other people who haven't received notifications for various courses. I suspect sometimes it just doesn't work properly.


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.


Hehehe! So far I have always found out just by spotting it on the forum or similar, but this time, ping, an email!


stephenbal4, they are in Pittsburgh, PA.


I am always at work. Perhaps not surprisingly... they're based in California (I think), and I'm based in Texas. Makes it hard to spot.


Ah, thanks BastouXII


Already level 10 in Ukrainian!!!! 0_0


I had a bit of a mad three days and did the tree at full pelt. I do already speak Russian, which was an enormous advantage!


Thanks so much for all your work!


Multegan Dankon!!!


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 ...


De nada. ¡Estoy muy feliz que te gusta nuestra curso!


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!


¡Espero también! Personalmente pienso que nuestro segundo curso de Esperanto será para hablantes de español o francés, pero claro que sí que no soy cierto...


In my opinion, i would go with Spanish as it is a very big language (by big i mean by quantity of speakers) And because it is very easy to understand. Sometimes when theres new words, i don't even look at it, i just can see that it looks familiar to some words in Spanish.


Ciertamente hará el curso de esperanto para Portugués. La comunidad esperantista es muy activa en varias regiones de mi país!


Congratulations guys! Good luck with beta :D


I'm the 43rd user (I know that it is updated every hour but come on 43 is cool =))


Yeah, I was so happy it got frozen at 42! :-D


why dont i have an Esperanto flag?


You need to be at least level 2


So let's study to deserve the badge


ah thanks. i just started, but i should have it now, because i leveled up


42 would have been much better


Out of curiosity, where do you get that information?


Thank you, based amuzulo!

So, so hyped to start this. If only I weren't so busy for the next week.


Dankon, Amuzulo. Mi amas Esperanton :D


So exciting! Thank you for all your hard work!!


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.

[deactivated user]

    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.


    Ok let's boycott the Esperanto team until they include tips and notes in every language....


    That's definitely not what I meant. So far the course looks great, and I intend to finish it; I'm just offering my opinion on something that I think could be improved. :)


    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


    Can you give an example of a skill with Tips & Notes that you would like handled differently? We're hoping eventually to have other Esperanto courses from other languages, which would then have Tips & Notes specific to those languages too. :)


    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 :)


    Thank you very much for hearing me out and thinking about it. I'll be sure to check out that book some time :)


    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.



    As I see the tree is short, is it not ?


    If you're curious, our course includes 1,935 words, which seems to make us pretty average in terms of course vocabulary size.


    That is so cool.


    I noticed that too. I think part of it might be that Esperanto grammar is so much simpler than many other languages. Also, some of the units are quite long, unlike the Turkish tree, where most units are four lessons or less.


    Yes, you are right.

    I didn't notice that the units are long =D

    Some units have 10 lessons :)


    There's much less vocabulary to learn too, with the affixes and suffixes.


    Esperanto indeed has the lowest numbers of units at 44 (Turkish has 67), but the number of lessons isn't that high either, at 241 it's still the third lowest after Turkish (200) and Ukrainian (210).

    Not saying whether it's good or bad, though.


    Interesting. Is there a place that has all this data in one place?


    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).


    Thanks! I think it would be fascinating if Duo put out quarterly reports of data and had a record of things like this. It seems like the learner data could be very interesting.


    Interesting! I've been making what feels like very slow progress down the Portuguese tree, so I can console myself that at least I chose the longest course!


    @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.


    I just couldn't wait to start! I started learning Esperanto three years ago but I had to stop due to a series of events. Now I have no excuses! Thank you guys!


    Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Finally! Esperanto is here to stay. Congratulations to the Esperanto team. Great job!


    Thank you soooo much!!! Really, I love you (not in "that" way, but you know).


    Congratulations and thank you for all of your hard work!


    Congratulations! Thank you so much to all of you that are working on the course. :D

    As soon as my exams are finished next week I shall be flying through this as fast as possible! (Timing XD)


    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?)


    Yep, we're aware of this. The whole point of public beta testing is to iron out exactly these issues. I hope we'll meet your expectations when we graduate from beta!


    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.


    I have to agree here. I found a case where two English synonyms were used non-interchangeably for the same Esperanto word in a pair of examples.

    [deactivated user]

      Is this really a surprise? It is only the very first day of beta testing after all.


      Oh, I expect quirks even in finished courses. Kudos to the course creators. But I do hope these get ironed out.


      Ni dankas la laboron!


      Thank you so much for the hard work!

      This is the first course I see being born on duolingo, so I don't how this things usually go, but when are courses made available on the mobile apps?


      Usually a couple months later.


      Yesssss! 5 lingots for you!


      How come you guys didn't put the special Esperanto letters in the lessons?


      They're in there. Do you see any missing?


      In the other courses, you have special buttons to type diacritics, but I didn't see them in the course.

      [deactivated user]

        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.


        Oh, my mistake.


        Bonege! Koran dankon al la tuta teamo! Mi antaŭĝojas la provlegadon.


        You finished the course so fast. Congratulations!!!


        My best congratulations and thanks for all who have participated in the creation of Esperanto-Duolingo, the mixture of two great things: A "thinking about love and peace language (esperanto)" and the great system for learning languages (duolingo), the result is amazing.

        Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.