Tired of seeing next language requests !?
Japanese? Danish? Chinese? Latin? Esperanto? Ancient Greek? It is a common thing to see language request all over the discussion page, the facebook page, and i can even guess that the Duolingo experts and developers get flooded in RL with new language requests all the time. Geez! I am not even a developer and i get tired of seeing the posts. Sure i would also like to learn a couple of languages that are not yet available on the site but it's important to remember that the site is actually quite new. I get that the feedback is actually important for Duolingo since it lets them know which direction to go next in matter of new languages (they have ask this in the fb page) but i wonder if the community is not tired of seeing these posts flooding everywhere. Maybe this important information could be redirected to one place where it is not a distraction and can be better managed by the staff. I could think a couple of solutions, maybe opening a new section on the discussion page dedicated to possible new languages, maybe adding a permanent poll on the site. Another proposal could be to have a post in the blog or anywhere else showing which possible languages could be next (even if its not going to be exactly like that it would give some peace of mind to the troubled users) and an estimated time of arrival. [Something like we are thinking of adding arabic, swedish and swahili in the next six months and icelandic, basque and nahuatl in the next year and we are not planning on adding slovenian in the near future: just to give a silly example]. Or maybe just adding a FAQ or a suggestion box. Perhaps a simple checkbox in the account settings could do the job, asking: "which language(s) would you like to see on Duolingo next?"
Anyhow, since this topic is very important to Duolingo and it is so recursive among new users i think it would be worthy to dedicate a space to it whatever it would be (and most importantly a space far away from the places where is not doing any good or just going wasted). I don't know, i would like to hear the community opinion about this. Am i the only one tired of the language requests? Would it be important to redirect that data somewhere and keep it in just one place? Best Wishes to all.
My views are somewhat different. Statistically, chances are that the most widespread language on the Web is English (or "Globish"). Similarly, chances are that non-Anglo natives massively outnumber English, Irish, American, Australian... internet users.
Therefore, the order of priority for Duolingo should be:
Complete & improve existing languages (there is a lot to do!)
Reverse existing languages for English learners.
Personally, I'd like the current languages to be expanded to a level where I can speak with a native speaker as well as I can speak in English. In other words, I want to reach a point where I can speak about complex topics like politics, science, ethics, etc. Hopefully they'll reach that point.
Although I share your desire of language proficiency in terms of speaking, I don't see how Duolingo can achieve that. I think Duolingo is a website with an amazing, innovative potential and an incredibly effective concept to 1) get started with the language of your choice (if available) and 2) get to an "intermediate-beginners level" of listening comprehension as well as 3) even get a decent level of understanding and translating written language. However, everything exceeding this frame (e.g. listening to fast-paced conversations of natives - getting a hang of different dialects - developing a certain routine of chosing foreign, unfamiliar words and phrases as you are talking - really forcing your brain to get used to wrapping your tongue around words it hasn't been processing yet) is not feasible for Duolingo, in my opinion, because it's not just vocab, it's practice and interaction. I don't think that any kind of software is able to emulate this kind of human-to-human communication (yet). Please share your thoughts about that with me.
That's a great idea. Of all you proposed solutions, I like the permanent poll best. One place it might make sense to have it is in the settings page. As you select which available languages you want to learn, you would select as well which ones you would like to see implemented.
I think there can be an immovable post at the top of the Dualingo discussion page to make people vote for and talk about their next language requests. It may help to collect all related requests and ideas. People just want to share their opinion, if we had a constant topic about it, there would be no need to open new ones.