https://www.duolingo.com/JensBu

Language requests on Duolingo

JensBuPlus
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I always see many posts on Duolingo with the questions if there is a plan to add a particular language, if people want Duolingo to add a particular language or if people are interested in that language. There are always lots of people who vote for it.

Some even post a link where you can officially vote for a particular language.

The main requested languages are Japanese, Chinese and Finnish if I'm not wrong. There are reasons why Japanese and Chinese can't be added at the moment. There are also reasons why the number of languages in the incubator is limited. And of course there are many more people who request a course than who are actually able to build a course and apply for it. No one knows the number of applications. No one knows the plans of Duolingo.

People request languages but others are added. They might not be the majority but there are always people who are happy about any language that is added or wanted exactly the language that was just incubated.

So in my opinion we could stop asking for a specific language. There are always many people who want it.

What do you think it would change? I believe we can't influence it.

I would appreciate a really used site where we can officially vote for a language and everyone can be guided to find that page. The current forum structure doesn't support that, especially for new or less experienced members.

Is there a way we can change it? Maybe Duolingo would consider our wishes then and a real democracy could exist here.

But I also see a risk. Smaller languages would be on the positions of such a list to work down from top. Each language is important and deserves attention. Not only the bigger and more famous languages that everyone learns. People should have the opportunity to learn smaller or less commonly learned languages like Irish, Danish, Vietnamese, Welsh or Ukrainian. Courses like Hungarian, Guarani, Irish and Catalan maybe wouldn't exist with that policy. We can still win if we get another language instead of our favourite language. We can learn any language. And there will always be people who love it and people who hate it - no matter how the courses are chosen.

What is your opinion? Should we just let Duo do their work or should we influence it?

2 years ago

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Bducdt
Bducdt
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> What do you think it would change? I believe we can't influence it.

It seems Duolingo does respond to popular demand of languages. Languages which have consistently scored high in polls have been added multiple times. Norwegian, Irish, Hebrew, and Esperanto, for example, all enjoyed a time of being some of the most demanded languages.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
CosmoKaiza
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Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic are the most requested languages, but they are so complicate to implement on Duolingo (The Alphabet, the writing, the grammar etc.). Finnish in an other hand might be easier to add, because it uses the latin alphabet and the grammar is not that complicated to understand for an English speaker. Same goes for Indonesian, Tagalog, Breton and Basque.

But I think that Duolingo prefers to add courses for other speakers (Russian and French for Turkish speakers, German, French and Swedish for Arabic speakers, French and Spanish for Chinese speakers etc.)

In the 30 courses available in the incubator, 12 are for english speakers. And it seems that 30 is the limit for the incubator.

But when Vietnamese, German for Turkish, Polish, Spanish for Russian and Hungarian are going to be out of the incubator, maybe Duolingo is going to add Tagalog, Finnish and Indonesian ?

Incubator : https://incubator.duolingo.com

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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One of the biggest influences on a language coming out is whether there are volunteers who know two languages and apply to help create the course. Some languages have technical difficulties that need to be worked out, because they use a different character set, Chinese and Japanese in particular. http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Language_course

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson
jimnicholson
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I doubt Duolingo pays much attention to the individual request posts that people make. They may possibly take notice of a single request post that gathers a lot of votes over a long period of time, but only if it tells them something they don't already know. Perhaps a changing situation - an example may be the Syrian refugee crisis. Although, I am not sure how they decided to add more courses for Arabic speakers. Was that community led? I don't know. But that is the sort of thing where discussion might be useful.

All the "I want Japanese" type posts are boring and pointless. A single poll that gathers community sentiment might be something they would pay attention to. Although I doubt it will tell them anything they do not already know. This is because they probably get outside marketing information (say on the number of people studying various languages). They may even be gathering feedback from teachers now that they are in schools. I also wonder if the they ever check out the statistics at Memrise - to see how many sign-up for a language and how many actually do a decent amount of practice in it. A multi-million dollar company would have to do some serious thinking about where the language market is and where it is moving - gathering data from many places.

In the end, they are a business and probably have selection criteria we are not aware of, and are going to develop their business as best they can, regardless of any demands we make. I doubt anyone wants to hear this - but this isn't a democracy.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

"Maybe Duolingo would consider our wishes then and a real democracy could exist here."

Businesses, even ones that provide free services, are not democracies, nor should they be. A bunch of us can say that Burger King "should" sell pizza, but until they see a way to make pizza fit their business model, they won't. Duo has a responsibility to the folks that have invested millions of dollars in them, not only those of us that use the service.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
Mereade
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The new languages don't depend primarily on the staff, do they? Sure, the Japanese and Mandarin (+other languages with tough scripts) situation is a bit specific. But there are plenty languages that could be added, were there the volunteers. With latin+cyrillics+greek writing systems implemented, I can think of many interesting languages to add, including many with fewer resources available and therefore surely welcome. Croatian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Latvian, Finnish, Afrikaans, Latin, Euskera, Bulgarian... But I cannot do anything about them and I don't think I have any right to hold lack of Croatian course against Duolingo.

I don't think any kind of threads or voting platforms is gonna change this. I've applied to participate on one course to gather experience, either the team will take me on board or not. I am considering making another one, depends on my free time in the months to come and on possibly getting teammates for it. Actually, I am under the impression the Duolingo staff is doing really great work at giving the userbase the tools to create courses.

So, if you want to influence Duolingo's added courses, apply. Or spread Duolingo among your friends and community (both in real life and online), especially if you know bilingual people that might be interested in making courses.

However, if there is a limit on the incubator, than we are a bit left out of the process with little reason to complain, such a limit on the incubator would be quite understandable. Well, we can still apply to participate and help finish some of the courses there, especially if the original team now lacks the free time to do so.

https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204979660-How-can-I-suggest-a-new-language-course- I think this faq post sums it up nicely for us.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scarcerer
scarcerer
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Which language have you applied for? Because if it's one not in the Incubator you should already know no amount of qualified volunteers can bring a language to Duo unless the staff decide so. (For example, see this for Croatian: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11711416)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
Mereade
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Czech for English learners. It is in the incubator and quite close to the completion (94%). I am not sure whether my application will suffice, some threads (I found them after sending the application in) suggest you should write a lot about yourself, your learning, your motivation and so on, while I was brief. Or the team may simply not need new people. Well, if they take me in, good. If not, no harm done to anyone. :-)

However, this makes me lose hope in ever creating some of the courses I'd be very interested to participate in, as languages for Czech natives are unlikely to ever be a priority.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/widle
widle
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Czech for English learners is far from completion. Have a look at their incubator updates at https://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/cs/en/status to understand more. Pay especially close attention to the update from Week 16, which explains a lot about how the incubator works and what they need from applicants.

If you still think you can help and are willing to donate that much of your time, you can start by answering user questions in the reverse course discussions. It will help you understand some of the challenges and the team will see that you're able and willing to help.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
Mereade
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Thanks a lot for wonderful advice, I will have a look into all that! Have a lingot! :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/widle
widle
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You're welcome. Feel free to ask if you have any other questions.

2 years ago
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