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https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo

Duolingo to teach Whalesong !

oskalingo
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Really happy to announce that after quite a lot of correspondence with the staff at duolingo I'm going to be helping them prepare a course teaching whalesong!

My joint fields of study are computational linguistics and marine science at the University of Queensland. Perhaps a lot of you haven't heard that academic study of whalesong has advanced quite a lot in the last few years, to the point where, even if we still wouldn't class it as a language, we are able to relate melodic motifs in whalesong to general communicative themes. These motifs are now quite easy to pick out and reproduce (although they vary across the oceans, just like with human language dialects). So the course will be teaching these motifs and how to put them together in, eventually, hours long whalesong. We'll be teaching South Pacific Humpback Whale song (this is the whalesong I specialise in and also the one that has been most completely deconstructed).

We've found that speech recognition engines are actually really good at recognising these whalesong motifs (as they are less complex than human speech) and so this course will focus a lot on song production. It's of course best to do this underwater, so this is a course well suited to being done from your bath-tub or backyard pool. We'll need you to be careful to keep your electronics out of the water though!

Here's a brief section of Humpback whalesong recording that is expressing themes of “Let's head north” and “Watch out for large squid”. This is the kind of song we will teach and you will soon be able to produce (under water).

Anyway, this is an early announcement as I have just received final confirmation of the go-ahead from Luis. It's late at night here now in Australia (actually the clock just ticked over midnight to Friday, April 1) so I have to go. Will be back with more detail soon. Hope a lot of you sign up for the course!

2 years ago

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lento_Rodriguez
Lento_Rodriguez
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Great! I will be able to communicate with my mother in law.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pratyush.
Pratyush.
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2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Green_Coconut

Your mother in law always sings to you? Lucky you.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SenorDustin
SenorDustin
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And it's still March in the Western Hemisphere. I love Duolingo.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xefjord

So hyped! I identify as a South Pacific Humpback Whale but I have always felt isolated from the other Whales. Now that I will be able to learn their language I will finally be able to achieve my dream of becoming a true South Pacific Humpback Whale.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Portofan
Portofan
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Is learning whalesong easier if you already speak Dolphin?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolMicheal
PolMicheal
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They're from the same language family but they're really not too closely related other than a few grammar points.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Malwen
Malwen
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Why is Whalesong being added before Dolphin? I really want to learn how to say "so long and thanks for all the fish" in Dolphin.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ifphigenia
Ifphigenia
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They're adding whalesong before dolphin on porpoise.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lento_Rodriguez
Lento_Rodriguez
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Have mercy!!! lol

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ifphigenia
Ifphigenia
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Ok .... as they say at the end of French films ....

FIN.

:-))))

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lahure
Lahure
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This is one of the best posts here ever! I shall certainly subscribe to your course and study it in depth.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarah-Cheung
Sarah-Cheung
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And reach level 25. :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Selma-Ibrahim

I can't wait! It's such a beautiful language! =)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete
psionpete
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Happy April 1st. Looking forward to taking the course so I can eventually communicate with my neighbours. Although they are North Atlantic Sperm whales, what are the chances of them understanding the South Pacific Humpback Whale dialect?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Selma-Ibrahim

Hmmm, tough question.

I'm a native South Pacific Humpback whale, and I have lots of North Atlantic Sperm neighbors. It's a little hard for us to understand each other, and what makes it worse is the common words that mean something in South Pacific Humpback, and something else entirely in North Atlantic Sperm.

Take this for example:

AniMMo (letters in caps don't exist in English)

South Pacific Humpback: Hey there, cutie!

North Atlantic Sperm: Stupid whale.

This causes many offences.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/frenchlearner53

Great, soon I'll be able to sound like a mixture of squalling baby, dying cow, and helicopter! :-D At least, that's what it sounds like to me! :-D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1
Dcarl1
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African or European? ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/susanstory
susanstory
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"I hope a lot of you sign up for the course!"

People whose usernames or real names are "Jonah" definitely should sign up for this course. Or the guy in the story of Moby Dick. I don't know what his name was-- Captain Something.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ifphigenia
Ifphigenia
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His name was Captain Ahab :-))))

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rosencross

This is a well written out joke. Great job!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarah-Cheung
Sarah-Cheung
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I would really love it if it were a dogsong course! XD But whalesong might be more important since it can be life-saving!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ifphigenia
Ifphigenia
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At the same time every day/night (depending on your time zone) the trolls arrive on their downvoting spree ... and here they are again! ..... This very funny and clever post from oskalingo had 8 upvotes not 10 minutes ago and now it's down to 2 ..... They really are quite pathetic, not clever enough to produce anything this sophisticated themselves they try to destroy it. What empty and sad lives they must lead.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarah-Cheung
Sarah-Cheung
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Last night within one hour after he posted, there were already 35 upvotes.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ifphigenia
Ifphigenia
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Apparently there were at least 39 at one point, who knows how many this brilliant post would have if the downvoting hadn't happened, after all if you add later cancelled out upvotes to the original number plus the ones which remained standing at the end, the total is probably well over 50 if not more ... all well deserved. ..... Mind you, just look at the responses, no troll can cancel those out even if they succeeded in burying the post. What a wonderful response to the most imaginative April Fool's Day joke I've ever seen :-)))

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/otsogutxi
otsogutxi
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Is this real, or just an April fools joke?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj
finndj
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Southern Pacific Humpback Whale Song? I'm pretty sure that this an April Fools joke.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/susanstory
susanstory
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Probably an early April Fool joke. I was almost fooled.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ann314
Ann314
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I want to wail some whale, maybe in an ocean gale. I hope I don't fail.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sple00
sple00
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You are some time zones before me. ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ifphigenia
Ifphigenia
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Does it involve much wailing from the blue whales or has their mood improved now they've had a good laugh? :-))))

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lindrhound
lindrhound
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Is it 1. April already? ...lol

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TB1144
TB1144
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April Fools is tomorrow, man.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/frenchlearner53

Not in Australia. It's already after midnight there.

2 years ago