Calling all Tamil, Telugu and Bengali speakers!
The following courses are on the Incubator roadmap but we're still looking for applicants:
English for Bengali speakers
English for Tamil speakers
English for Telugu speakers
If you are a native speaker of these languages or you know of anyone who might be a great fit, please tell them to apply at:
We're looking for bilingual speakers (e.g. to contribute to the English for Bengali speakers course you need to be fluent in both English and Bengali) who are passionate and can commit hours of time each week to building and creating a course for English learners around the world.
Q: Are you also looking to start other courses?
A: Yes, we absolutely are! We have a ton of courses we want to start, and we receive new requests for courses every day. You can apply at https://incubator.duolingo.com/apply if you'd like to put your language skills to good use and contribute to the Incubator :)
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I can't tell you how happy I am to see this! I've been (very slowly) learning Bangla (Bengali) for a number of years now - it would be amazing to see it on a Duolingo course! Sharing this now with some friends in Bangladesh =0)
This is English for Bengali, not Bengali for English. While you can use a reverse tree for improving a language, it's better to have a straight tree if you're a beginner.
Oh I know this is English for Bengali, I wouldn't expect them to start the other way around as there would no be as much demand. But the other course would likely follow after. Personally I am far from being a beginner in Bangla - I speak at least a little of it on a daily basis and I've been at it for years. I never thought about learning from a reverse tree, but I think it'd work well for me =0)
I am Hindi Speaker and And for me even English for Bengali Speakers are as good as Bengali for English Speakers. It is quiet similar to Hindi Language. I can learn it from Reverse tree. Also script is very similar. I am already able to read Bengali.
Some are, some aren't, I hope the ones that are will have an interest in contributing to this. Bangladeshi people are very passionate about their language. My wife is fluent but she doesn't have enough confidence with her ability with the script to be able to contribute. My father in law has detailed knowledge of every level of the language (there is a prestige dialect that is not commonly used) but he doesn't have the time currently. I have a few contacts in some universities in Dhaka and Chittagong who might know someone with the interest in this and I will reach out to some other friends and family.
My condition is same as that your wife, even though I'm a native bengali speaker I know nothing about Bengali grammar to be able to contribute.
I think you should still apply. The goal is not only to provide perfect grammar, but also to ensure that it sounds and feels natural.
Besides, you will first help on the English for Bengali tree, which is probably easier for a native speaker of Bengali, and there are more resources too.
I was wondering the same thing, but for all we know, they may actually have enough contributors for that course and are ready to begin work on it. This post merely mentions the courses that they wish to begin that don't have enough applicants ready.
This is great news (though perhaps the hidden bad news is that you didn't have many people who signed up for it yet?)
Question: Punjabi is also a major language in that same area, and it has been in the list of languages you can apply for for a while now. Does that mean that you already have sufficient volunteers for that language, or is it slightly lower in priority than the three languages just mentioned?
Aaaah that's really awesome!! I'm Bengali but I don't have time to contribute since I'm a high schooler going into Uni soon!! I hope this works out tho because it would help a lot of people, and even help my mom improve her English haha
I'm glad that other english courses will enter, because courses entering for english speakers should take a little "break" and other languages speakers receive courses (like Portuguese, third biggest community here and German speakers that has a lot of inverse trees and only 3 courses) :)
I agree. I've even seen some people who are asking for English courses in languages you would think have more people speaking perfect English. (Like English for Swedish speakers, the one requesting it saying "even though it's common to speak it, it is usually not that good. I could use some practise myself.") It would be nice to see things like Welsh for Spanish speakers as well, so there can be more learning through a language we're learning. (Which helps those learning two or more second languages) And reverse trees are always a ton of help.
Welsh for Spanish speakers would also be useful for people in Argentina studying Welsh: http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/jun/30/patagonia-welsh-valleys-south-america-s4c-150 . :)
This is great! I will definitely be doing these courses once they come out, even though they teach English instead of being for English speakers. I was just reading a news post online that Duolingo is going to add more Indian languages, and this happened fast! Thanks Duo!
I'm not a fan of the flags to be honest. Look at Tamil. Is it going to be Sri Lanka or India?
I would guess, out of those two, Sri Lanka since Hindi already has the Indian flag. A regional/other appropriate flag would also be possible - like with Catalan - but I don't know if such a flag exists, not my expertise unfortunately.
Why would they use the Sri Lankan flag for Tamil? It will be needed when they get around to a course in Sinhala.
So what? Tamil is an Indian language. Sinhala is the language of the indigenous people of Sri Lanka, notwithstanding the presence of Tamil speakers in the country. Tamil should either use the Indian flag or that of the state of Tamil Nadu.
catalan's flag represents the soon-to-be autonomous state of catalonia*
*where barcelona is
Since India is a multilingual country, it is inevitable that it would feature in many courses.
30 languages spoken by more than a million people, 122 spoken by more than 10,000 people and 1599 other languages, as per 2001 cencus.
There are a lot more, and I mean a LOT. However, your estimate is close to the number of languages that have a sizable speaking population.
"India has 22 official languages. According to Census of India, the total number of mother tongues spoken in India is 1652. However, only around 150 languages have a sizable speaking population. The Indian census of 1961 recognised 1,652 different languages in India (including languages not native to the subcontinent)."
bloody hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! mein gott! dass ist viele Sprachen fur ein Lander
Yes, Duolingo's decision to give the languages flags is a poor one, since languages do not always (and in fact usually don't) conform to national boundaries.
Is it possible we could use this for Tamil? நாங்கள் இந்த பயன்படுத்த முடியுமா? (Naangal inda payanpaduttu mudiyumaa?) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_Nadu#/media/File:TamilNadu_Logo.svg
I think there were also some people who were quite eager to create a Kannada course. Any chance of that?
I've signed up for Tamil, if and when Kannada comes, I'll sign up for that too.
YESSS! I don't speak any of these languages but I will be an enthusiastic learner when the time comes!
Great news! I still don't know those following languages, but I can learn and use and speak after that course launches after it launches from incubator!
The news that duo is making an English course for Bengali speakers is great. But there are major questions to be answered:
Bengali, just like Chinese is not a uniform language. It means just like Chinese which varies a LOT from one region to another, Bengali also has many versions and dialects, each distinctly different from the other. Just in the state of West Bengal, India, the variety is mind boggling. Which version is duo going to teach?
When it comes to speaking, duo's voicebots are awful many a times. And as said before, the Bengali dialects vary a lot. Mispronunciations can make life really difficult. Moreover, which dialect will duo choose as its standard?
Dou should come out with a Bengali keyboard. Not every phone or computer has it.
Most likely whatever form is the most standard, or most neutral, if not whatever dialect the group designing the course is most comfortable with.
Not all Duo languages use text to speech software, certain languages, like Irish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese, use recorded phrases contracted out by Duolingo. If a standard Bengali TTS isn't available they will most likely get a company to record the phrases with the most neutral sounding voice.
As much as it would be helpful for Duolingo to come out with keyboard stuff especially for lesser known languages such as Cherokee, Duolingo has never come out with a keyboard before, so I would say it's safe to assume they won't now. Even if the computer an individual is using doesn't have a Bengali keyboard pre-installed, free keyboard extensions are readily available online with a bit of digging.
Also for people learning Bengali on Duolingo, wouldn't the ultimate goal be being able to also use Bengali off of Duolingo? I think that if you're investing in learning the language you should probably also invest in having the keyboard available.
Once Duolingo get's over the hump of coding non-standard keyboards, especially character based keyboards such as Chinese and Japanese, the flood gates will be opened, to languages they have been putting off due to coding issues surrounding the alphabet (or lack thereof in the case of Chinese) see: Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic, who all have to English courses, but due to keyboard issues don't have from English courses.
As for Arabic, I don't think the keyboard is a problem – it's twenty-something letters, not much different from dealing with Cyrillic, Hebrew or Greek.
Thank you for the correction, I admittedly know very little about Arabic, and am now twice as curious as to why they don't have an Arabic from English course.
The way that most online courses deal with chinese and Japanese is to use pinyin/romaji, (the latin versions of the pronunciation) but you will never see written pinyin or romaji signs in china or Japan. with japanese using only the hirigana & katakana are options, but to understand signs and communicate effectively written you'll need to use kanji. And in chinese all signs are written in Hanzi.
Duolingo, with their Ukrainian and Russian courses, showed that they want to provide an opportunity to learn a language with postponing learning the native writing system.
Chinese and Japanese at least have standardised romanisation schemes, which both accurately represent standard pronunciation and match the native writing system. Arabic doesn't have such a thing – every scheme either fails to represent pronunciation, fails to represent the native writing system, but usually both.
I wonder how Hebrew course will look like. Both Hebrew and Arabic use abjads, so they share similar problems. Maybe Duolingo wants to see how Hebrew fares, so they will know what they need to make ready before starting Arabic.
Thank you for your clarification on middle eastern languages.
Many people at the opening of the Ukrainian & Russian courses protested at the ability to use romanized writing systems, including the course contributors.
I personally believe Duolingo is far more effective at teaching writing and reading than speaking, the voice recognition software leaves much to be desired, and all other exercises rely on reading and/or writing.
I'm interested in how vietnamese fares in teaching tones to people with no base in tone based languages, since that will be another huge hurtle for the Chinese team (should that happen)
I'm also interested to see if hebrew uses a roman alphabet at all, when they were looking for an alpha tester they specified they wanted someone who didn't know the hebrew alphabet because the contributors designed the course to teach the alphabet (as the Ukrainian contributors did, and I assume the Russian contributors did, though I didn't follow they're updates as much.)
Duo staff and Duo contributors seems to be at a bit of a disagreement on romanizing languages. But I'd like to point out that (at least for sure with the Japanese one haven't actually tried the others) in reverse trees using a non-romanized alphabet is not an option, you're required to learn the latin alphabet to learn English from a non-latin alphabet language, so the fact that you don't the other way around is quite a conundrum.
(I'm really interested in the conversation it makes good thinking about stuff, but I feel like it's very off topic from the original topic. :/)
Also the last two points are more applicable to the reverse tree which most likely won't happen until the English for Bengali speakers is stable.
This plan is great! But, I have been looking forward to learning Telugu from Duolingo (I am an English speaker, mostly). It had be great for those who are applying to build the 'English for Telugu speakers' course to create a reverse 'Telugu for English speakers' course too. Anyways, my point is that, if you need people fluent in 2 languages to make a course, then you can of course use those same people to build a reverse course for those same 2 languages (so it wont be hard to get contributors) . I want this idea to be used to make a 'Telugu for English speakers course' as I really want to learn Telugu. So whoever is applying for the original post, please do discuss for this plan to be implemented too. Thanks for reading my post !
The contributors will probably consider it after they complete building this course.
im a telugu speaker. Im looking for someone to contribute for a platform that help indians in learning other indian languages..
I am an Indian that would like to learn an other Indian language i.e Telugu, just as you say...I had be grateful if you can build this platform on Duolingo? (Learn Telugu for English speakers).
Glad to see Telugu and Tamil in Duolingo. These languages have a lot of historical importance attached to them. I am Telugu native but I'm not that fluent in English. So am I eligible to apply for?
This is great news! Three great Asian languages to look forward to (my favorite is Bangali)! I have a friend who speaks Bengali but he doesn't have enough time to contribute, though.
- These are English for X speakers, I believe the endangered languages were supposed to be taught, not that it would make much sense to create English for Endangered speakers anyway
- Tamil and Telugu both have over 70 million speakers, hardly endangered
- And now that you edited your post, this looks pretty random
My childhood friend was from Bangladesh! All he talked about were mangoes and rock candy, lol! So, I only have good impressions of Bangladesh and it's language.
Like, big crystalized sugar. I don't know if that's a big thing in Bangladesh, but it was to him. Haha
Oh okay. We have a Bengali name for it, I never thought of translating that to English. It's not a very big thing here (I'm from India, though) but it's pretty famous in weird oldie songs and with young kids. :)
I have a question. If the Hindi team is teaching English speakers the Devnagri script, won't any of the above teams teach the Roman script?
Doesn't seem likely as folks are expected to be familiar with the Roman alphabet. Even to open the website, one needs to input them in the URL :)
This is really great news! The interview with Luis about Duolingo's newly found focus on India made me very happy!
If you are a native speaker of Indian languages; I've mentioned a few methods to support your language, for which you don't need to be accepted as a Duolingo course contributor, but still can help a great deal! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16073058
The same team will probably create this course once English for Bengali speakers graduated.
I would like to contribute for Tamil to English and English to Tamil learning.
You can send here your applications (one for each course).
- the "English from Tamil" course is already under construction, so your application could be accepted in the following weeks/months
- the "Tamil from English" course isn't yet under construction, and will not be at least as long as the reverse course isn't released (and have after that pass the beta phase), so your application will be kept for the day the course will be added in the incubator to be constructed.
you go to the flag and scroll down once the list of languages comes(you might not have another language) ,then you'll see add course and from there you'll get to start a new language
It would be quite nice for these languages to be available for English speakers