Should they add Ojibwe?
I believe that Duolingo should do Ojibwe but I want to hear other peoples decisions.
Anishinaabeg would be wonderful! There are many teachers and learners in Northern WI and MN, and the demand for people of Native ancestry to know this language is currently huge.
Interesting! Ojibwe is not one of the more highly requested Native American languages! Does the language have any significance (i.e. do you have people in your family who speak it?) And yes, all languages should be added!
Lots of significance. Used to be a Lingua Franca in the Great Lakes. An important trade and diplomatic language. We Anishinaabeg are also one of the highest populations of natives north of the Rio Grande.
It was and is a major language in huge parts of Ontario and Quebec (and some parts of the prairies) as well as some parts of the US. It's one of the most widely spoken aboriginal languages spoken in Canada today (I think it's maybe third after Cree and Inuktitut for number of speakers in Canada?). There are a lot of people interested in learning or improving their family language, as well as some non aboriginal people learning about the language of the place they live.
In addition, the Assiniboine, possibly Sioux, Minominee, and several other tribes get their names from our language. Michigan, Mississippi, Wabasha, Ottawa, and more all get their names from our language.
There are only three other Native American/First Nations languages with more speakers: Navajo (which is offered), Cree, and Inuit. So as far as these languages go, it is one of the most sensible to add and as easy to find contributors as any other.
It's so difficult to communicate on this forum without a private message feature. I am working on putting a few "experts" in touch with each other. If you're interested in finding out more about a working group on this, please join this facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/544686815918463/
If you don't use facebook, then please reply and suggest an alternative method of getting in contact.
I'd love to see some Native American languages on here but from the last update we got it looks like they are a long way off.
i've been using memrise and although you can't get too far in it, its still really nice. I'd also recommend the UW-Eau Claire free online courses- they just record the classes and have the first two semesters of it online http://www.uwec.edu/academics/college-arts-sciences/departments-programs/languages/academic-offerings/all-languages/ojibwe-online.cfm
I would like to devote a lot of time towards this end during my off-season (and other free times). I speak (A)nishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) fairly well and quite regularly with my grandparents. I believe duolingo is a great app and there's a large number of people trying to take up the language in an effort to strengthen their identity and devote themselves to their family history. I feel that an Ojibwe app could draw in some of those folks as they are constantly looking for tools to further their language learning. It could even be good publicity for duolingo as they are helping a struggling culture survive ("Duolingo the good guy").
For some of you folks an Ojibwe language app may just be an interesting gimmick or an exotic addition to your repertoire but to me it could be a vital tool in the revitalization of a language on the brink. You might say; 'What use is it in the modern world?', 'What's the point?' to me it's a verbal representation of a people, a culture. As long as there have been (a)nishnaabeg (Ojibwe people) they have spoken (a)nishnaabemowin (the Ojibwe language). For thousands of years the words have been passed down through the generations, parent to child until this last little while, in fact in our community it was my mother's generation where that passing stopped. I think the last child who grew up learning the language first was about 3 or 4 years older than my mom (born 1960) and aside from that at that time every adult in the community spoke the language, now only a handful (all over 65 years old) still speak. It humbles me greatly to know that I stand here at the end of an unfathomable, imposing pillar of history within reach of that knowledge, that culture and knowing I have the power (and difficult task) to continue that pillar or let it slip into obscurity. It pains me to see how so many others my age struggle with the language and relent, it is difficult in this overwhelming and pervasive society to hang onto that culture when everybody just wants to have a good time and get by in life. I struggle with that balance myself and I have for probably 15 years or so (I'm 25). What struck me is that since European cultures imposed themselves on our people what was desired was for native people to give up their identity, their culture, and to be like Europeans, to dress like them, worship like them, live like them, and speak like them. When I look around what I see is despairing, the transformation nearly complete. Indeed there are modern versions of our culture that define us but sometimes they can seem incomplete or hollow. The one item of culture that would resoundingly say we are nishnaabeg is the language. I also find it sad that so many young people try to define themselves some way, spending money on certain fashions, jewelry, and other interests when they could use their peoples culture to define themselves. Personally I don't give a damn if I ever make a million bucks, have fancy cars or find fame, all I want is to be able to help that language of our people continue. For myself the language is one way of securing my identity, if I had nothing else I would have that language. It is also a duty I feel compelled to undertake for the sake of our people so when I am unsure of what other paths to pursue I know that knowing and speaking our language is the one act of defiance I can undertake to stand up for the history of my ancestors in the face of assimilation.
In our area of Ontario, our community is tied together with other communities including one with a casino so revenue is shared among the communities for various projects. I asked my aunt recently if there was any gaming revenue being used for language funding and she said 'no, maybe you should do up a proposal'. So if there are any associated costs perhaps funding could be covered. Additionally I have been told there is money available from the Canadian government for funding languages due to the results of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The only major concern I have is how to approach the issue of dialect. Preferably I would like to see a variety of Ojibwe versions or at least a specification of the region a course is taken from. I would say there is no one dialect or standardization that could be broadly used to cover Ojibwe as a whole. Additionally, although I am fairly familiar with the wide variety of Anishinaabemowin I would love to be able to do the course in different dialects to hear and say things in the slight variances between regions. I should add that the changes in dialect are not prohibitive but selecting one and only one dialect would likely alienate some learners and result in less positive results. Additionally spelling and pronunciation varies widely and spelling in particular is not quite universal (although the writing system is consistent and sound, if that makes any sense)
I would love to get this off the ground. Aandi maajtaayang? (Where do we start?)
Make lessons on the discussion forum! Style it like Duolingo, Basics 1, Basics 2 etc.
I suppose I could start there. The only thing I need to figure out is what breakdown would best correlate with Duolingo's style. This may take some time but I'll see what I can do.
You guys, I'm working on an Ojibwe Discord server. I could actually use some learners, speakers and teachers if y'all wanna help out or learn.
Let me know what you want help with and I'll see what I can do. My life has been weirder than normal lately but I think I can try to get involved, I just don't know where to start.
Personally (non-aboriginal Ontarian) I would love to have an anishinaabe duolingo course, and I know other people who would too. Of course dialects would be an issue, but I would hope that wouldn't stop it. Maybe presenting mainly one dialect but accepting others in the responses? Even if it had to start with just one (based on whoever was able to do it or some other criteria), that's a start.
All very true. I agree wholeheartedly too. I've been trying to relearn the language and it's an incredibly bumpy ride.
Native American cultures and languages need all the support and preservation they can get in the modern era. I lived several years in Northwestern Ontario, and I think this is tremendously important.
I think we should, it would be cool to learn. In fact, it sounds fantastic!
I have a friend who is Ojibwe and I've always wanted to learn his language. It's beautiful from the little I've heard.
You won't likely find an Ojibwe expert in the forums. If you are serious about I would recommend looking online for different language and tribal organizations and contacting them.
All languages deserve attention, whether it's popular or not. This especially goes to Native American languages. There culture needs to spread. Besides, the more languages, the smarter.
yes! i'm learning ojibwe right now, and i really love the language. it'd be awesome for it to be on duolingo
I'd love to learn Ojibwe! I'm a non-Native who lives in Toronto and I would really learn more about the Native people of the area.
I'm interested in helping to organize a working group for this, although I'm just a beginner in Ojibwe. If anyone wants to help, please message me on skype, jedm06. Especially nishnaabenini - I would send you a PM but there isn't any such function on Duolingo I guess.
I would love to learn it. My Grandmother moved away from the reservation because she was afraid of the government. I want to learn the language to honor her AND to teach my own children.
I actually have an Ojibwe translation of Pope Pius XII's "Ineffabilis Deus" (in Ojibwe: "Kije Manito"). It would be great to have a way of learning the language, but it seems to be declining even among those who speak it.
The University of Minnesota is working with Tribes/Bands to develop an electronic learning software for Ojibwe. I thought this would be an excellent platform as well, but my assumption is there is grant funding involved.
The dialect issue would be a tough one. I've been considering that a lot...
I’ve a very close friend who lives in Winnipeg so I’m a bit biased towards whatever they speak there... Or whichever is the most widely spoken dialect, hopefully it’s mutually intelligible :Þ
I don't know that there would be a widely spoken dialect geographically but rather the most widely spoken would simply be which dialect has the most remaining speakers
I'm not sure, Northwestern varieties likely have a lot though they may not have many people able to read or write it, Odawa (Ottawa) has a lot of speakers and younger speakers but it also has a lot of innovations and differences from other dialects
I know some people who speak Ojibwe... who I think are fairly awesome. That is more than enough reason for me to want to learn how to speak Ojibwe.
So yeah... I'm down to learn this language. Sign me up... I cannot provide material to help it incubate--but I can show that I am interested.
My great grandmother was métis and anishinaabe from Canada and living in Minnesota. I have always been fascinated with the culture. I grew up with stories, etc from my grandmother, but as an American military (Navy) child, lived all over the southern and eastern coast in military housing communities. Luckily, a very diverse upbringing with many cultures, but I never felt like I fit in anywhere (also being dark haired, dark almond- eyed, and very pale just never seemed to go together. My dad is the one my anishinaabe comes from, I’m a pale version of him. My mom, is from England and is pale with red hair and freckles!) Still, I’m positive most military families feel this way, and it is why they have their own communities in the first place. And there is also a lot of mixed heritage, especially in the Navy traveling to various ports and marrying people from other countries. Anyway, I’m rambling..(bad habit lol). I want to learn this language so bad! Any American Indigenous language is a win, but this language has my heart.
I live near an Ojibwe reservation in Wisconsin. They all speak English, but I would be interested in learning some of their native language. I think being able to speak a little bit of another person's language makes it easier to get to know them better.
i'd still be up for it, it apparently has a "fourth person"... head-marked verbs.
100% yes, they should add it!