Flag options would be great.
It's refreshing how non-native flags are used so predominantly on this site, but I think people should be able to personally select which flags they want to represent their progress. If I'm learning German to visit Austria, I might like the latter flag up there. Similarly, if I'm translating from Canadian English, it might be good to show this to people too (plus, this would explain why I write that grey is a colour, for example).
Anyone else out there agree?
I do not agree, it would require a lot of extra work to implement and could even cause some confusion. Duo has always said that they do not have the resources to provide courses on different dialects and that it is not an essential need in order to understand a language. If you visit Austria you would be understood using the high German taught. Similarly, your Canadian dialect would be understood in the USA, Uk, Australia and any other country where English is an official language.
That would be a bit misleading (using the flag of Spain for Duolingo's Mexican-based Spanish is already misleading).
Duolingo teaches German German (e.g. "Aprikosen, Januar") not Austrian German (e.g. "Marillen, Jänner"); and US English (e.g. "sidewalk") not UK English (e.g. "pavement") (or Canadian or Australian or ...). No toques or chesterfields on Duo, either.
The flags are for how well you learned the variety that Duo teaches, not how well you know the language in general (which you might have learned from a different source that uses a different variety).
You'll be able to use your "German German" from Duo in Austria, but Duo simply isn't set up to teach multiple varieties of a single language, so no Austrian German for the foreseeable future.
I agree with everything except the idea that Dulingo teaches Mexican based Spanish.
OK, that was something I thought I had read but it seems I'm wrong :)
The problem is that Duolingo Spanish isn't from a specific country, it's just kind of a vague Latin American Spanish. Which, I think is part of why they didn't choose the Mexican flag.
OK. I had just heard that the Mexican was specifically discussed and rejected because it looked too much like the Italian one at small sizes.
I think it's just going to be too costly, and frankly, for something relatively minor. English is official in fifty or so countries, French and Spanish in about 30, German in 6, Portuguese in 8, Dutch in 3, all of which have territories and sub-national regions that also have official statuses for the languages. It's really not a big deal. While I'm mostly going to use the Spanish to speak with American Spanish speakers, I don't feel the need to change it to an American flag or a Mexican flag: the flag of Spain works fine.
I think this would be too complicated for too little gain, it could actually create a fair amount of confusion. In the example you gave above of someone translating into Canadian English as represented by the Canadian flag, it would be very confusing if they were translating from Canadian French. Not to mention all of the other multilingual countries. Personally, I think if they want to put the effort in to change the system, they should get rid of the flags and find another symbol.
Hm, thanks for replying but all the negativity really surprised me. Costliness shouldn't be an issue: it'd be very similar to loading an avatar with the exception that choice would be limited. Confusion created... I don't see this as an issue apart from the good example brought up about places like Quebec, though these usually have their own flags and rules could easily be implemented as far as what counts for a new "nation" (population, etc). And to clarify, I'm not talking about teaching different dialects/accents, just representing via better flag choice exactly what it is we're here for.
Duolingo gamifies language-learning and big chunk of this is process involves people identifying with the game. Personalized flags would help with this. The biggest surprise for me is that the added options wouldn't affect naysayers; you'd certainly be free to keep using the default flags as is, so I don't really see a problem there...
But really? No one out there wants their personal profile to better reflect their personal goals, and to tie in what culture it is they're following? I don't know. I find this hard to believe : (
I think most people don't have a big issue with your proposal, it's just that it would be expending effort into something which wouldn't have a huge qualitative difference in the site. I also think a number of people have gotten tired of discussions about flags.
Ah, I didn't know about previous discussions. Thanks for filling me in. You're right, a lot of the responses here seem tired and as if their authors are so over this topic, so your context helps explain this massive wall of resistance a bit. I still maintain custom flags would be a very simple and fun way to make Duolingo even better, but am no longer really hoping for any big changes like this.