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

I would like to see Mohawk (and maybe other Iroquoian languages) on Duolingo.

After doing a search in the form, I was surprised most of the 54 results I got was comments. So here is a discussion for Mohawk and other languages related to it.

Mohawk is an indigenous language in the Americas, specifically in parts of Canada and New York. It is one of the languages of the Six Nations of the Iroquois people (the others are Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga and later Tuscarora). Mohawk still has native and fluent speakers of the language, since there have been efforts to revive it.

I specifically would like to learn Mohawk, however the other five should be considered. Mohawk is the least endangered out of the six (with 3,500 total speakers), while Tuscarora is almost extinct (only having 1,200 native speakers). As hard as it would be to revive them, Mohawk has the best chance of living again. Duolingo can at least start with one. There are private schools that teach all of these languages to those of Iroquois decent, but unfortunately not everyone of that decent live near those schools; I am one of those people. My great-great grandmother came from the Mohawk nation. I am pained that she couldn't teach her children and grandchildren this language.

Here are reasons Duolingo should try to add these languages:

  • There are growing efforts to revive them; there are even resources online and printed for each.

  • It will help grow the number of speakers

  • There are still native speakers as well as learning speakers that can contribute to the creation of a course.

  • It will raise awareness of revival efforts

  • Duolingo can provide these courses to the private schools, which statistically should help the children learning these languages.

I would like to see efforts to revive Native American languages in general, but this is my only specific request. Please consider Iroquoian languages.

July 25, 2016

30 Comments


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

I'd love to see a Mohawk course—particularly if the 'household' skill includes the word for 'stove polish':

July 26, 2016

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

Oh my, this is so fun to see! It's exactly how I was talking in English before my vocabulary got better xD "the thing that does this and that that you use when you do this"

July 26, 2016

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

Lol! As long as that word is, it's fun to pronounce (I just read it out loud).

July 26, 2016

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

LOL I got that book!

October 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerardd88

Very interesting! I remember there was a discussion about Duolingo wishing to add Native American languages (notably Cherokee). But then there was something about some problems with money from somewhere (there are a lot of some's here, I don't know, maybe someone knows something more specific about it :)). Let's hope some of those languages will be added soon.

July 26, 2016

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

I think it was more about publicity and bringing in traffic.

We were very keen on getting started with Native languages right away and were working with the White House on an agreement to promote it but it got very bureaucratic on their end and fell through, unfortunately. While Duolingo really cares about protecting languages and helping teach heritage languages, we are still focused on growing our user base. Because of that... we can't really launch a course unless it has real potential to help us grow either through a large user base or through media. With regards to Native American languages, it'd have to be through media exposure and it will be hard to achieve that without the support of a large entity like the White House.

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15670097

July 26, 2016

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

Thank you!

July 25, 2016

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

Thank YOU ;)

July 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisLaRos1

How does one have a language added to the program. I am in contact with the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge and many fluent speakers of Mohawk and Oneida. I am interested in getting the ball rolling on adding the language. Who must I contact with Duolingo to begin the project?

September 15, 2016

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

Hello! I am thrilled you would like to help! The process is very long and done in very careful steps. It requires both linguistic and technological knowledge as well as group skills.

The first thing to do after finding fluent speakers is to have them create a Duolingo account. This way they can access the Incubator, which is a different website where Duolingo creates their courses. Next, the contributors need to go to the Incubator, which is here: https://incubator.duolingo.com/

The contributors must but fluent in both languages of the course, so they will have to prove that in an application. Mohawk and Oneida are not popular languages, so the contributors have to select "other" in a drop-down menu of what language they want to teach. A second drop-down menu has a list of languages they can teach from, which they must also be fluent in. They have to type two different versions on the application, one in each language. They must also provide an e-mail address when they submit their application, because when Duolingo decides (yes, sadly it's up to Duolingo when they will start working) to use resources to create the course, the people who applied will be contacted by e-mail if they qualify.

From there, the course must be worked on constantly by the team. How they do this varies, but the goal is to provide the highest quality course there is. I know that many people on this website has worked to get the courses we have, and according to them it's not an easy task, so they really need dedicated people.

I hope that answers your questions! Thank you very much!

September 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackhammer1212

I live in western New York, so I'm surrounded by these tribes and I actually learned about them back in third grade. I'd love to learn the language indigenous to my area!

July 26, 2016

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

What an absolutely great idea, I live in Sydney and there is almost exactly the same problem with Indigenous Australian languages, and what a shame it would be to lose all of the culture. Duolingo has the perfect platform for language conservation and revitalisation, it's just so difficult to get a language approved...

October 1, 2016

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

As someone who lives in Tiotia:ke (aka Montréal), occupied Kanien’kehá:ka territory, I think it is important to respect the language of the indigenous peoples, and not perpetuate the use of colonial languages such as English and French upon their communities. It is truly unfortunate that colonisers in Kaná:ta (Canada) never have the opportunity to learn an indigenous language in school as children, yet are offered the chance at courses in most major Western European languages, which are of little relevance in a regional context.

If the colonisers of areas of Quebec and NY State (ie non People of the Flint Nation, myself included) would adopt Kanien'kéha as a common regional language, it could potentially eliminate national chauvinism between both anglophone and francophone settlers. But I am an also an Esperantist anarchist, so my Utopian idealism may be difficult to implement as pragmatic solutions. At the very least, free language education in First Nations languages would remove a lot of cultural barriers and allow more equitable discussion on native issues.

There is a course on FirstVoices in Kanien’kehá for both anglophones and francophones (albeit very limited in scope). If anyone discovers other online resources , please do share...

Quote from the above mentioned site that I linked prior: "Kanien'kehá:ka na'akwaia'tó:ten, ne ken:ton ne "Ohnien'karehró:non. Ohna’kén:ke Mohawk wa’onkhiná:tonhkwe'. Ne ni' iakwarákwas ne tkahsennaié:ri tsi aionkhiná:tonhkwe, ne ne onkwahsén:na "Kanien'kehá:ka." //"The name of our Nation is Kanien'kehá:ka, which means "People of the Flint Nation". Later, we were referred to as Mohawk. We prefer to be called by our correct name, Kanien'kehá:ka."

September 19, 2016

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

Mohawk would be interesting.

December 3, 2016

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

I know this was 9 months ago but i'd just like to say i wohld also love a course on the mohawk language. I have a friend studying it and having it on duolingo would be such a great resource. It would be great to converse with her in her language.

May 4, 2017

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

Even though Mohawk would clearly be more useful as it has more speakers, I think it would be great if they made a course for Oneida (or other severely endangered languages) to help preserve it for future generations. Obviously, with only ~192 native speakers it will be difficult finding people to contribute to a course. Still an interesting idea for keeping languages alive.

May 5, 2017

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

As somebody who will be moving to Montreal in a couple months I would very much like to learn Mohawk, in order to properly appreciate and acknowledge the Native people whose land upon which the city was built (stolen).

July 19, 2017

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

I am not of Native American descent, but I could not agree more that these languages are very important. I would love to learn Mohawk or another language of the Iroquois. I hope you are able to as well!

August 24, 2017

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

I would love to see Mohawk and other languages on here!

January 29, 2018

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

Is Mohawk a language? Just wondering...

July 26, 2016

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

Yes, it is. It is also known as Kanien'kéha.

Information on Omiglot

Wikipedia page

July 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elissaf1

I love the example on the Wikipedia page:

(translation:) The mosquito is bringing a message He's coming to tell us how poor he is. The truth of the matter is, that He is so old fashioned and brings the same old message.

Such an awesome tongue-in-cheek sense of humor!

April 20, 2019

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

The languages of Iroquois people are historically important as they are the people who our modern days laws are based upon. Most laws of this current era in history originate from the Iroquois people or the Ottoman Empire... with some of it being Renaissance Fan Fiction of the Roman Empire... that was not the Ottoman Empire itself (or am I thinking of Byzantine Empire when I am thinking of Roman Empire fan fiction as an empire's basis?)

They've had a historic influence on the world on an international scale that actually is larger than that of what the Latin language has influenced... despite most of the Iroquois languages' influences being translated into Latin (International Language of law until roughly the 1950s) and French (International language of Diplomacy until roughly the 1950s).

So even as a dead language set, the Iroquois languages are about as important for world history as Latin and Sanskrit (arguably more important)... never mind there are people today that still speak various languages of those nations.

Just going to throw this out here for all of y'all.

Mostly because I can predict a possible issue with some international users trying to find relevance for why they'd want to learn stuff from the Iroquois people.

January 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kidd_S16

I am totally new here but I would love to speak these languages. Is there a way we can vote on this? Or I don't know. I seriously been looking up videos on YouTube to learn.

June 22, 2017

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

I would certainly appreciate it. I have Native ancestry from Canada, and Native languages are just interesting in general.

September 10, 2017

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

I grew up in upstate New York in the Mohawk Valley and would adore a course for any of the Iroquoian languages.

October 19, 2018

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

Love it! I live in Montreal, on (occupied) Mohawk territory, and I think it's super important to revive indigenous languages, especially if you live on their land. Hope it'll come to life one day!

December 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yep2yel

I'd love to learn Mohawk. I'm not Mohawk, but I descend from Johann Conrad Weiser, a famous mediator between the Mohawk and British before the revolution, and who was an honorary Mohawk, so I feel it would be fitting for me to learn it.

August 2, 2019
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