https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrevKAllred

Duo's response to refugee crisis

Let me begin by stating that I am deeply thrilled to be a part of a community that realizes its effect on the world and takes action to fulfill this effect. I felt myself replenished (I mean in my heart) to see the creation of English, French, German, and Swedish courses for Arabic speakers in response to the crisis.

But, as the courses move on and become further used and supported, I have to ask if there will be a similarly urgent response to make these reverse trees. I feel that, if the English, French, German, and Swedish for Arabic speakers trees were created to help refugees merge into their new countries and communities, shouldn't there be similar forces moving to help the hosting countries merge with their arriving peoples and histories?

I am asking this: Where are the Arabic trees for English, French, German, and Swedish speakers? Can we talk about bringing these into Duo even quicker?

Let me leave off here and simply say: I understand this is a deeply difficult, complex topic to discuss/bring up so, if I have offended you in any way here, please forgive my ignorance and trust in my good intentions.

All the best to you-

April 7, 2016

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El2theK

Try to keep the discussion civilised. If you feel like there is no need to have Arabic courses with the purpose that hosting countries can integrate with refugees then just say so. However, please refrain from generalising complete groups or turn it into a discussion about whether refugees should be seeking refuge or not, or if they are genuine etc.. Duolingo is not the place to have those kinds of discussions.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrevKAllred

Can I ask for help understanding? I probably misspoke, but what part of my post reads as a discussion on whether or not they are genuine or not? I only asking just so that I can better my language about sensitive topics. In no way do I intend to be disrespectful to anyone :) And I'm actually all for having Arabic courses with the purpose that hosting countries can integrate with refugees (I quote you because you said a lot better than I did; thank you). That is my interest in making this conversation.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El2theK

It was not directed at you but at comments other people were making.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrevKAllred

Ah, I understand. Thank you for your addition to the conversation :) I did still appreciate your comment.

April 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vytah

It was not directed at you, but to everyone else commenting underneath.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neptunium

Usually the reverse courses start after the originals have been completed (often it's the same team working on both).

Actually one of the moderators for the English-for-Arabic-speakers course confirmed that the Arabic-for-English-speakers course would enter the incubator "soon" a while ago... I wonder what happened with that: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9968130

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

"Soon" in Duospeak is actually quite a while. There is an in-forum joke that it has a small trademark symbol after it, because it has it's own unique Duo meaning. But, take heart, it means that it will come to pass at some point. It just has to come with a reality of a constrained budget and a team of busy volunteers.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ConorHoughton

In fact, the flow of courses into the incubator seems to have ceased; I wonder why that is, are they reorganizing the incubator, or are the waiting for a "big bang" addition of a large number of courses at once so they can publicize it?

As for helping refugees, I imagine another helpful, but difficult, thing would be to add English for Tringya speakers.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kuah

They also have a cluster of courses waiting to enter beta, so I imagine that might be taking a bulk of current resources.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bducdt

It seems to me they try to only allow a certain number of courses in phase 1 at a time. Sometimes when one completes, they'll add another. Sometimes they'll wait for 4 to complete, and add 4 more all at once.

April 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ConorHoughton

Perhaps, but this is the longest hiatus I can remember; one explanation may be that they allowed the number of courses in the incubator to expand beyond what they consider ideal when they introduced the * for Arabic courses and so the delay is the time it takes to reduce the number back to the equilibrium.

April 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/worstquestions

At least it's better than valve time (half life 3, coming soon!) or whatever calendar George RR Martin is using.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amgad

Volunteers are willing to start ASAP :)

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amgad

Here's what happened to that topic :)

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/teresaiwhite

I had never thought about this before. Thank you for bringing it up, you make an excellent point. I agree with you, it needs to be a two-way street.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrevKAllred

This is exactly what I'm trying to say. Thank you.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankKool

DuoLingo has already stated that they want to have an Arabic course for English speakers, but at the moment, there are a lot of technical difficulties with that (DuoLingo is rather ill-suited for non-Latin languages).

Also, I don't think that the host countries have any obligation to adapt to immigrants. It would be nice if they did so, but it's the responsibility of the new-comers to adapt to the country they choose to live in.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amgad

Hello Tallred :)

I'm one of the contributors in the Arabic->English course. I add my voice to yours and would recommend you check this recent topic to upvote it as well.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrevKAllred

Thank you for this :) I'm grateful.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GORZASH

You're making a good point. As a Swede, I would definitely take the Arabic course. After all, it feels like I'm hearing more Arabic than Swedish when outside. Although, I don't think the Arabic for Swedish speakers would be that necessary; Swedes are proficient enough in English to take the upcoming course for English speakers, being a reason why there is no English for Swedish speakers course.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hmada993

The part of "I'm hearing more Arabic than Swedish when outside" sounds kinda unsettling.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GORZASH

It's not that bad. There might just be a lot of Arabic speakers living in my neighborhood and I've also gotten the impression that people from Arabic speaking countries tend to speak more and louder in public than Swedes.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brittalexiswm

Good points

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheBramnotABram

I've heard before that Swedes don't need an English course (same for Norwegian and Danish), but studies have found that the Dutch speak better English and more other languages (German, French...), yet they do have a reverse tree.

Besides, Swedes would still have to learn English in school, almost all of them (/you), and I don't see why Duolingo cannot be used in schools in Sweden if it is being used by schools in some Latin American countries.

I understand this logic to say it need not be a high priority, but I do see a future for these trees at some point.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GORZASH

Actually, Sweden is currently ranked as the country with the best non-native English speakers. One reason a why there is a course for Dutch speakers is probably because there are more Dutch speakers than there are Swedish, Norwegian and Danish speakers combined. But don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that an English for Swedish speakers course would be useless, I bet tons of children would like it. It's just that Duolingo will probably prioritize tons of other courses over this one since they already know that all Swedes will end up English speakers.

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicholasOKane

I still feel more need to have more courses for refugees, like Dutch and Italian for Arabic speakers. And also German and English for speakers of Kurdish, Persian, Dari and Pashto. Not all migrants speak Arabic and/or need to learn English, French, German or Swedish

April 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MouPeMantissa

Definitely Dutch for Arabic speakers! I feel like we need more distribution of Dutch across Duolingo - not just making it available for English speakers wanting to learn Dutch and vice versa.

April 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ModyDj
  • 1415

Great subject :) , I think we have many priorities and qualifications to building ِArabic courses, because currently there are four courses in Arabic Language (English, French, Swedish and German), in fact all users on the site who are from another cultures have a curiosity to knowing this language like you ;) addition we have already found a discussion that talking about the same subject {Arabic courses}, anyway we want from you to support this discussion and give us your upvote here

May 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrevKAllred

Yes! And that wonderful 528 count already has a part of my upvote. Someone had passed that post on to me shortly after I made this thread. Thank you very much!

May 10, 2016
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