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Duolingo Wiki

This is an unofficial guide about how contribution to a language course on Duolingo works. This guide is intended for those who are interested in contributing but have questions, as well as those who are simply curious about the process. If you are selected to contribute to a course you will be given more in-depth instruction by Duolingo staff than what is available here.

Who can contribute?[]

The qualifications for course contributors are laid out on the contributor application form[1]. As of 18 April 2019, these qualifications are:

  • Fluency in both the language being taught and the language it is being taught from.
  • Commitment to devote several hours per week to working on the course.
  • Passion for language education.

In addition to these official minimum requirements, having certain additional qualifications such as a background in language education or computer science may help.

How can I apply?[]

Simply fill out and submit the contributor application. Be sure to mention all relevant skills and background experience you have and convey your passion and commitment to language learning and the course creation process.

If the language you would like to teach or teach from is not listed in the "choose language" menu, select the "Enter Other" option and type in the name of the language.

Note that applying for a course in one direction (e.g. Persian for English speakers) will also automatically add you to the pool of applicants for the course in the opposite direction (i.e. English for Persian speakers), so you don't need to apply separately for each direction.

How does the Incubator actually work?[]

Course progress[]

In stage one: translating all interface strings, completing all word images, and completing all words, i.e., translating at least three sentences for each word.

The overview page for a phase 1 course, showing basic information about its progress.

The main page of the course editor, showing the skill "tree" and course contributor statistics.

Translation notation[]

The Incubator uses a special notation to specify multiple possible translations of a sentence using just one string. For example, if a translation of a sentence in the Incubator is specified as "[He/She] went to the park" then both "He went to the park" and "She went to the park" will be accepted as answers.

Inside a skill within the course editor, showing the words taught in the skill, the sentences used to teach each word, and the translations of each sentence in both languages.


Every word should have “hints”. These are the translations you would get from a bilingual dictionary. Duolingo shows hints to students when they hover over or tap on a word that is underlined with gray dots during a lesson.

A dialog for editing the dictionary "hints" for a word, which are shown when the word is hovered over in a lesson.


In addition to creating the language lessons, some courses may require contributors to translate the Duolingo user interface to the language its users will learn from.

The localization section, where user interface strings are translated into the language the course teaches from (in this example, Spanish).

Another view of the localization section, this time showing strings that contain variables (parts of the string that will be automatically filled in later).

Word images[]

Duolingo sometimes presents exercises that involve images. These exercises require a "hint phrase" that is given to the student in their native language so they know what the image is supposed to represent. Duolingo already has the accepted translations for these exercises, but contributors need to give the best hint phrase to indicate what the image represents. The hint phrase should generally be the translation of the best accepted solution to these exercises, which are all provided.

Incubator images and text posted with permission from Duolingo CEO Luis voh Ahn and community manager kristinemc, February 26, 2014.

See also[]