Weekly Incubator Update: Tracking Progress from June 28th to July 5th

Team Vietnamese claims the throne!
As predicted by Trang., Team Vietnamese is the undisputed (and I may add - rightful!) winner this week with 7% progress made during the week. This has helped the overall average to exceed the 1% threshold. Congratulations!

How well does Duolingo teach you?
My fellow contributor kippis learned French solely on Duolingo and delivered his 10 minute speech entirely in French in France! Isn't that awesome?
He also visited the Duolingo HQ last week.

Passing of the torch
I have said this before. I find the Duolingo community to be most supportive, vibrant, and educational among all the online communities that I have come across. Here's a mark of its vibrant nature. When AlexisLinguist looked for volunteers to continue with the ever popular GOHOF, thraenthraen stepped in to continue the tradition.

Go thraenthraen! and Go GOHOF! :)

Thought for the week
Vietnamese team kicks some ass!

PHASE 1 Progress: Total 23 courses
Russian for English - 90% | 91% | 91% | 92% (+1)

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

German for Turkish - 78% | 79% | 79% | 81% (+2)

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

Spanish for German - 75% | 77% | 78% | 79% (+1)

German for French - 68% | 71% | 74% | 77% (+3)

German for Portuguese - 68% | 69% | 71% | 75% (+4)

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

French for Italian - 66% | 66% | 66% | 67% (+1)

Spanish for Italian - 61% | 61% | 61% | 61% (+0)

Spanish for Russian - 56% | 58% | 59% | 60% (+1)

Spanish for Chinese - 51% | 53% | 53% | 53% (+0)

Vietnamese for English - 39% | 39% | 42% | 49% (+7) *

Swedish for Russian - 42% | 43% | 44% | 44% (+0)

French for Chinese - 39% | 39% | 39% | 40% (+1)

Romanian for English - 37% | 38% | 38% | 39% (+1)

Polish for English - 33% | 34% | 34% | 34% (+0)

Greek for English - 33% | 33% | 33% | 34% (+1)

Hebrew for English - 17% | 18% | 21% | 21% (+0)

Hindi for English - 5% | 12% | 14% | 15% (+1) ^

Catalan for Spanish - 9% | 9% | 9% | 10% (+1)

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

Yiddish for English - 6% | 6% | 8% | 8% (+0)

Mean - 1% | 1% | 0.74% | 1.13% (+0.39)
Median - 1% | 1% | 0% | 1% (+1)

* This week's Leaders Extraordinaire!
^ The Hungarian & Hindi teams' progress is as per their own calculation.

Progress Visualized:

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

Kippis from Team Japanese wrote 3 days ago:

日本語→英語コース 6月の進捗 / Progress of our course in June

今回の報告は、アメリカのフィラデルフィアからお送りします。本日(米国時間で7月1日)私は同じペンシルベニア州にあるピッツバーグにある Duolingo のオフィスを訪れてきました。このコースをさらに改善するべく開発者も交えて議論してまいりましたので、いずれその結果を反映させることができればと考えております。

This time I am reporting from Philadelphia. Today (7/1 EST) I payed a visit to the Duolingo headquarters in Pittsburgh and had some discussions on how to improve this course. We hope its fruit will benefit you in the future.

6月は貢献者が軒並み忙しかったため、修正した文章の数は少なめでした。なお私は、ほぼ Duolingo だけで学んだフランス語を使ってフランス科学アカデミーで講演をしたり(リンク先英語) 渡米したり(Duolingo社訪問が目的ではないのですが)と慌ただしく、ほぼ仕事をしておりません。そんな中で、ディスカッションボードで皆さまの質問に答える有志の方が増えていることをたいへん嬉しく思います。以前から活動していた方も、新たに回答を始めた方も、全ての方にこの場を借りて御礼申し上げます。

All contributors were busy in June, so our progress in terms of edited sentences were relatively low. I, Kippis, was especially inactive with other things to do, such as making a very formal speech in French that I learned almost only with Duolingo, and coming to the US for some work (apart from Duolingo...). We are being greatly helped by people voluntarily answering questions in the discussion board. We would like to acknowledge them on this opportunity and express our gratitude.


  • 序盤のレッスン(特に基本1、基本2、よく使うフレーズ)の構成を抜本的に変更(これに伴い、既修者の方にも新たなレッスンが登場します)
  • 文法的に間違っている英文、および非常に不自然な英文を削除(およそ100件)
  • 代わりに新たな英文を追加


On June 29th we updated our skill tree from 1.0 to 2.0 for every user. We began testing tree 2.0 on April 24th for a limited number of users, gradually increased the target while checking its effect, until its full implement this month. Major changes are:

  • Changed the contents of the first few lessons, especially in 基本1 (Basics 1), 基本2 (Basics 2) and よく使うフレーズ (Common phrases). Those who have already finished these skills will see new lessons popping up.
  • Eliminated wrong or unnatural English sentences (approx. 100)
  • Replaced them with new ones.

Most of the replacements were done in the earliest skills, to be precise between 基本1 (Basics 1) and 前置詞 (prepositions). Thus, while these lessons are relatively well maintained, we still have many problematic sentences in later skills. We will replace them in future versions of the tree, but we also ask for your help by reporting whatever mistake or problem you find.

doktorkampi from Team CA<-ES wrote yesterday:

Com més serem, més riurem

¡Llegamos al 10%! Ya tenemos Ropa, Preguntas y Colores. Pero todavía queda mucho trabajo por hacer, así que pronto se van a ir incorporando nuevos miembros al equipo. Hay muchas personas interesadas en colaborar y os damos las gracias de antemano. En los próximos días estaremos seleccionando a los mejores candidatos entre las más de 200 solicitudes.

Para una lengua pequeña como la nuestra, con unos 9-10 millones de hablantes, habréis comprobado que los hablantes de catalán son muy activos en internet. Pese a ocupar la posición número 75 en cuanto a número de hablantes, el catalán es una de las 20 lenguas más presentes en internet, siendo la 8ª en penetración en internet, la 8ª en actividad en blogs, la 17ª en artículos en la Wikipedia y la 19ª en uso en Twitter. No está nada mal, ¿verdad?

(Fuentes: WICCAC y la Fundació .cat)

jitengore from Team Hindi wrote 10 minutes ago:

Week 04: 15% complete, beta launch 23-Nov-2015

A slow week for us. We will soon make up for it. The beta launch date remains unchanged at 23rd of November.

TL;DR Vietnamese team gives boost to the overall progress this week - Average 1.13%, Median 1%.

The next update is expected on Sunday, 12 of July at 3:00 pm UTC.

Previous Update 21-Jun to 28-Jun

Last updates from the recent months: 2015: Jun, May, Apr, Mar, Feb, Jan.

July 5, 2015


Laughing maniacally over here! Credits go to my awesome team members! You guys rock, ah no

<h1>We rock</h1>


July 5, 2015

Trang. I can't wait for the Vietnamese course you guys keep working hard. But still make time for yourself. That's all

July 5, 2015

Aw that is very nice of you, thanks for that, I am going to forward that advice of yours to the team too ;)

July 5, 2015

Trang just wondering my best friend just moved here to America from Hanoi and they were wondering is there any opening spots for contributing because they speak Fluent English, Vietnamese and Khmer so just wondering.

July 5, 2015

Tell them to apply as soon as possible! We take every application into consideration (their applications, their commitment, their qualifications...) and will not hesitate to contact outstanding candidates. However I must say that Vietnamese members are dominating the team already so my preference would go to English native speakers who speak fluent Vietnamese.

July 5, 2015
  • 2113

woop woop!!!

July 5, 2015

Russian is inching it's way there! I'm so excited! I also can't wait for Arabic and Finnish to make it to the Incubator.

Congrats team Vietnamese!

July 5, 2015

Upvotes for Finnish! (Because that's how languages get added, right...? ;) )

July 5, 2015

Lingots for giving upvotes for mentioning Finnish. :D

July 5, 2015

Lingots for giving lingots for giving up votes for mentioning Finnish. ;)

July 5, 2015

I'd do another one but I'm starting to get confused. ;)

July 6, 2015

I'll take it from here ;) Lingots for giving lingots for giving lingots for giving up votes for mentioning Finnish ;)

July 6, 2015

I hope so! I love Finnish so much :)

July 5, 2015

Wow, Greek is already overtaking Polish and they are still not on the course page. Anyway, GO TEAM GREEK! I can't wait for this course, and I'm so thankful to you for working so hard :)

Russian is getting closer and closer to 100%, and I'm so behind with all my languages. I can't wait, though.

jitengore, as always thanks for the post. And Team Vietnamese - congrats on amazing progress!

July 5, 2015

Yup, my first thought was: I'm not 92% ready for Russian yet! X-)

July 5, 2015

Same here. Surprisingly! I remember a time when I was impatiently waiting for Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Esperanto etc. and now it's more like 'Please slow down a bit, I can't keep up with you!'

July 5, 2015

You go Vietnamese team ! And when can we except an update from the Hungarian and Romanian team ?

July 5, 2015

Shortly after they do some work on their course!

July 6, 2015

Thank you Jiten! I look forward to reading these each week. Also thanks to all contributors who gave us an update!

July 5, 2015

Never thought I'd be mentioned in a Weekly Incubator Update! Wow!

I like comparing the progress over the past three weeks in the chart, and I'll point out that while Vietnamese very much is this week's Leader Extraordinaire, it appears that Hindi and Vietnamese are tied with +10% compared to three weeks ago! Way to go both teams! And honourable mention to German for French with +9%! Go go go, everyone! :D

Thanks as always for keeping us updated, jitengore!

July 5, 2015

Je t'attends l'allemand...

July 6, 2015

Russian is inching closer and closer...can't wait! xD

July 5, 2015

I can hardly express how excited I am about Russian coming to DuoLingo next month. Go team! :D

July 5, 2015

Congrats to Team Vietnamese for their amazing progress this week! Thanks for your hard work!! :D

July 5, 2015

Seeing that Vietnamese is at the half waypoint and the course was added in early January, we could expect it to be ready before the end of this year.

July 5, 2015

Even when we are done, we need to wait for the voice but I really hope that it will be around my next birthday (january) hehe

July 5, 2015

The start was a bit slow, so I thought that would make for any delays at the end.

July 5, 2015

I'm happy to see that the English to Thai team is once again making progress. Access to free English instruction has the potential to make the world a little more equitable.

July 5, 2015
  • 1598

And there are even those of us who would start the course in order to learn Thai :)

July 5, 2015

A lingot for reading my thoughts! I'm very excited for English to Thai to be released and see all the people learning ^^

July 6, 2015

Thank you for keeping us up-to-date, Jitengore. Well done, the Vietnamese team and keep going!

Too bad Polish stands in a dead spot.

July 5, 2015
  • 1457

C'mon team Hungarian, you got so close! Just a little more! I know you aren't the new kids so people aren't as excited anymore, but I'm still waiting [im]patiently, and I'm sure others are, too.

July 5, 2015

Changes are coming soon for Hungarian. They are searching for more contributors right now.

July 6, 2015

Thanks for the information! Let's hope they find some energetic new contributors.

And thanks to the old contributors for all their efforts! I guess being a volunteer for a mammoth project that has no end date is not that easy...

July 6, 2015

Hungarian seems to be back on its feet: Yeay!

July 10, 2015

yep I know very well one of the new contributors ;)

July 11, 2015

OK! :-) I thought the maximum amount of interested people would see it here in this thread...

July 11, 2015

Cool :) I love these posts.

July 5, 2015


July 5, 2015

Good job Vietnamese team!

July 5, 2015

This is all really cool. But can I ask, how stuck is Japanese for English? Are the team just waiting until English for Japanese is better before moving on to the reverse tree? Or are there real technical hurdles with using the Duo system to teach kana & kanji, which no one has solved yet? It's very impressive to see how many courses are being made right now, but Japanese for English is still the one I'm most interested in.

July 5, 2015
  • 1457

From what little I've looked at the English for Japanese course, it's more or less as I expected: Japanese (being it's own weird thing unlike 99% of languages) is simply not very compatible with Duo's system. It's not just kana and kanji - the grammar doesn't line up nicely, words often don't have any great direct translations, many ideas are expressed (or not expressed) totally differently from Japanese, and that's before you even get into the writing system. IMO the best solution (from a learner's perspective, not necessarily Duo's wallet's) would be for a whole new program to be created with the intent of teaching Japanese. Certain aspects of it could surely be used for other languages, too. For instance, I've heard Korean has similar grammar to Japanese, and a proper alphabet teaching portion could be helpful for a lot of languages out there.

July 5, 2015

That all makes sense. Japanese really is a weird language. I hope Duo eventually invests in a more flexible system soon though. I see a couple of courses for Chinese in the incubator, and I don't know anything about Chinese grammar but I bet they're going to have similar issues with their reverse trees. And yeah, I've heard the same thing about Japanese and Korean that you have. Maybe when there are enough Asian language teams ready to go on reverse trees, Duo will decide it's worth it to make some big additions.

July 5, 2015

Sending good vibes and encouragement to team Polish's way... C'monnnnn Polish! You can do it!

July 6, 2015


July 6, 2015

Thanks lizsue for spotting :)

July 7, 2015

You're welcome! :) Also, in case you missed it earlier, there's too. :)

July 7, 2015

That's another Duolingo course I will get to learn soon!

July 7, 2015 is worth a look! SvetaPachkevitch is looking for more volunteers for Spanish for Russian speakers. :)

July 8, 2015
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