Anyway, it's already obvious that Duolingo will use the flag of Haiti for the language. Which monument could Duolingo use for the course page? :)
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/order=country#alphaH lists World Heritage Sites instead of monuments, but some of those have monuments so it's a good place to start. :)
That list includes only one World Heritage Site in Haiti, National History Park – Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/180 . https://www.google.com/search?q=National+History+Park+-+Citadel,+Sans+Souci,+Ramiersbiw=1208bih=776source=lnmstbm=ischsa=Xved=0ahUKEwjto_-n2-PRAhUG0YMKHf94BJIQ_AUIBygC shows more photos.
The momument really should be the iconic image of the "Maroon" blowing the conch shell, calling for the slaves to revolt, that stands in the middle of Port-au-Prince. It is by far the most famous monument in the country and, IMHO at least, the most inspiring.
The second choice would have to be an image of the Citadel near Cap-Haïtien -- which is a marvel of engineering even today (to say nothing of when it was built some 200 years ago).
The third choice might be the monument at Vertières, commerating the battle where the slave army, in 1803, won its final major battle against the French and secured Haitian independence. However, I am not sure it would be an easy monument to translate into the format used for Duolingo icons.
Great ideas! The "Maroon" is famous, inspiring, and also would look good on https://www.duolingo.com/courses together with the other monuments without being too similar to any of them. :)
As for translating monuments into Duolingo's format, see https://tinycards.duolingo.com/decks/a4229eea-ac59-4cd3-b302-09849b143d4e and https://www.duolingo.com/comment/20155978 . They've already translated the Great Wall of China into their format. :)
This is a fantastic choice. I lived in Haiti for two years and had the opportunity to learn Kreyòl. The language has a largely French-derived vocabulary but completely different grammar. The two languages are not mutually intelligible and since many Haitians do not speak French, knowledge of Kreyòl goes a long way. I see the course being very useful for the many international organisation workers, missionaries and (hopefully) businesspeople spending time in the country, as well as to members of the large Haitian diaspora in Canada, the US and France who want to keep up their knowledge of their ancestral language.
The most fun part of Kreyol are the proverbs and idioms (see www.haitianproverbs.com, and many other websites of the genre), which are both interesting and give good insight in Haitian history and culture. My two favourites are:
--"Pale franse pa di lespri pou sa" (literally, "Speaking French doesn't make you smart"; figuratively, "Just because you say something in a fancy, educated way doesn't mean you are right." or "Just because you went to a fancy school doesn't make you better than the rest of us".)
--"Milat san kòb, se yòn nwa. Nwa gen kòb, se yòn milat" (literally, "A mixed-race person without money is black; a black person with money is mixed-race"'; figuratively, "Race is a social construct").
If I may give a plug: Haiti is a truly fascinating country worth taking the time to learn about. It was the second country in the Americas to win its independence (in 1804, after the USA) and the only country in the Americas were independence was won by the slaves, who rose up against the French and -- to the shock and dismay of the "civilised" world -- defeated an army sent by Napoleon to retake the country. Even though Haiti is a small country that has had a host of political and economic problems, it has long punched much above its weight in cultural contributions to the world, especially in the areas of painting and literature. Haiti is (arguably) historically the third most important contributor to French language literature -- which is quite the feat for a country where some 3/4 of the population can't read.
Ever since I started with Duolingo, I have said to myself, "I wish Duolingo had been around when I lived in Haiti; I could helped organise a group to create a Kreyòl course". It's great to see it now happening!
What do you think of http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2014/01/13/hrpp_fall2014_boute_surtab/ , since you know lots more than I do about Haiti?
Maybe someday people will be taking Duolingo courses for Haitian Creole speakers on tablet computers made in Haiti? :)
Certainly possible. I always hesitate when trotting out generalisations about a society, but I think it fair to say that Haitians have a well-deserved reputation for being very hard working and entrepreneurial. The country has great economic potential if the political situation can improve, and thereby allow for better education, more reliable infrastructure and most important of all, less corruption. And I am sure it will happen someday -- and probably even soon!
I guess one line of thinking would be that most Haitians would only concern themselves with English after mastering French, since it is commonly used as a prestige language in the country? Granted, I have little insight into the relative social/educational status of the ever-growing numbers of Haitian immigrants in the US.
I'm actually a little surprised that Haitian Creole isn't making its first Duolingo appearance in a Haitian Creole for French speakers or French for Haitian Creole speakers course (such as the Peace Corps making a Haitian Creole for French speakers course the way it made a Guarani for Spanish speakers course).
I'm not, either, but I think it is one of those countries where much/most education is in a non-native language. One consequence of this is that native language literacy can be less than one might expect. Of course, it could just be because the contributors seem to live in Miami.
There's an article and discussion from 2011 at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-14534703 about whether elementary schools in Haiti should teach French as a foreign language or teach math, science, reading, etc. in French from the first day of the first year of school (even though most of their students come from families that speak Haitian Creole instead of French at home). It has this bit too:
...But the question of Creole or French as the language of instruction appears to be of less concern to the Ministry than the very different question - how to give students a good grounding in English or Spanish...
Many English speakers move to Haiti for a length of time to give aid. I knew someone who had a daughter who was a nurse, and the daughter moved to Haiti some years ago after the earthquake to give aid for a number of months. A foreigner knowing the indigenous language of the area helps more than the indigenous peoples learning the language of the foreigner, especially in a situation where many of the natives are homeless and without power.
I don't think many Haitians use the internet. It's been widely guessed that this is mostly for the scores of organizations and volunteers who go there to help with the vast poverty and natural disasters. A lot of these organizations are from countries where either English is an official language or is spoken by a high percentage of the population.
If they did English for Haitian Creole they would have to build an interface for Haitian Creole to be the base language. I think this will probably be quicker to build.
And after the Great Immersion upset, I think they wanted to surprise us with a small language as promised on reddit.
I have seen this argument made, but translating the interface is built into the Incubator (at least as shown in the "amazing FAQ" pinned at the top of the main English forum) as one of the things for course contributors to do. If they can do it for Bengali, Punjabi, and Telugu, it would seem pretty straightforward for Haitian Creole.
As for interface languages, at https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2551488 fluffyby (contributor to English for Thai speakers) said
There are about 60 UI strings left which I absolutely have no idea what or where they are. All arrows for localization turn green now.
and I said
Uh oh, I just remembered that Duolingo has added some new UI strings.
For example, https://www.duolingo.com/courses/ta displays "Language Courses for Tamil Speakers" when I'm taking Spanish for English speakers, "Cursos de idiomas para hablantes de Tamil" when I'm taking Catalan for Spanish speakers, etc.
Someone at Duolingo may have forgot to add them to the list of strings to localize. :(
Maybe the localization tool is showing only green arrows because it's not taking into account new phrases Duolingo user interfaces need like "Haitian Creole for English speakers," etc.?
When Duolingo adds something to the English user interface, does it automatically notify all the volunteers who maintain other user interfaces that they have to translate the change into Bengali, Dutch, Hungarian, Thai, etc....or not?
Also see http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2014/01/13/hrpp_fall2014_boute_surtab/ about tablet and mobile phone usage in Haiti. Maybe Duolingo staff want to wait until more people in Haiti use tablets with internet access or smartphones before adding courses for Haitian Creole speakers?
Last week Nandre7 and NyToussaint (the course contributors and moderators) introduced themselves at https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3551564 . :)
Since their accounts are new, they don't seem to be really into Duolingo and more than one language including Haitian Creole.
It seems like they're really into Haitian Creole and more than one platform including Duolingo. :) No wonder they haven't spent a lot of time on the Duolingo forums before this week.
I really wish this was a live course now!
I'm heading to Haiti in less than a week and I've been making due with substandard web-based learning. A Kreyol course on Duolingo would be amazing! I do speak French but that will only go so far. Here's hoping Kreyol is live before my next trip!
Looks like the Estimated Completion Date was a bit off. A month ago it was stated that all the words were added, but it seems like sentences had not been added. I would be surprised if it only took one month and a half to add all the sentences. Also, the status page has been very quiet lately.
Please do us a favor and update the estimated completion date, or make a comment to let us know you are still alive and making progress!
So many of us are so eagerly awaiting this course!!!
Oh, and thanks for your work. Mesi anpil !