My Push for Irish
Dear Duolingo workers and users,
My name is Alex (also known as alexinIreland around here) You may know me from my post a few weeks back when I announced that I applied for the Irish for English speakers course in the Incubator (www.duolingo.com/comment/1746430). I was truly overwhelmed by the response I got and the interest people expressed in my course. But now its over a month later and nothing has happened. This is my push for the course.
I understand that Duolingo receive lots of applications and that the first new courses for English speakers were only released a few days ago but I hope that if I can bring my course to the attention of as many people as possible, what was once just an idea in my head could soon come into fruition on this great site.
Here is why Irish for English speakers should be incubated soon:
Demand/Response: As I mentioned above, my original post received a great response from the community and after reading all the comments on that discussion, I believe there would be sufficient demand for the course.
Seachtain na Gaeilge: It is currently Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Week) here in Ireland. It is the time of year when people all over Ireland celebrate the national beauty that is the Irish language. What better time to release the course?
St. Patrick's Day: As I'm sure you know, St. Patrick's Day is coming up very soon. How fitting would it be to release Ireland's national language on (or around) Ireland's national holiday.
Irish is Endangered: UNESCO classifies Irish as an endangered language, especially if you compare it with widely-spoken languages like Spanish (approx. 410 million speakers worldwide, compared to 1.77 million (L1+L2)) Imagine the difference something like Duolingo would make to a language like Irish.
Please support this discussion by giving it an upvote and please spread the word so as many people as possible can see this.
Beir bua agus beannacht,
Ó mo thiarcais! This means so much to me...thank you so much...I think you just made my St. Patrick's Day (even though it's still two days away) As we say in Irish "Tá áthas an domhain orm!"
Féir plé duit a Alex! Grmma as do thacaíocht.
Well done Alex! Thanks a million for your support.
As a non-irish speaker, brmmblargh grrduklandonkidonk thawwao woowwwuuwiiw Amriurd ééééridwwwa to you too.
They will learn that soon upon the course being unleashed for us all to learn from!
Welsh has a ton of those, I once learned that "w" is read as "oo" (long 'o') in welsh if it is between two consonants. (or something like that) Because a game spawned me as a character called Gwwggr (or eh, something along those lines) and I couldn't read it.
Well, look at me, learning irish already! :D
Excellent news! I didn't actually really anticipate it coming anytime soon; I'm so excited! :D
Go raibh mile maith agat, muchísimas gracias, merci beaucoup, obrigado, Danke, grazie and thank you so much. Just overjoyed! I know with duolingo's fine learning platform and alexinIreland's amazing enthusiasm and the world's love of all things Irish labhróimid as Gaeilge.
This is a historic day!
I totally support this - not just irish is endangered, every single celtic language on earth is endangered, so it should be about time to support one of those with a duolingo course:)
Start with Irish, and then later on also put on some of the others, like breton, welsh, scottish gaelic, manx, cornish - the last one has been revitalizied from the death!
Manx too. It was thought to be dead in the 1970s.
Also: Other endangered languages like maltese, galician, kurdish, basque, etc. etc. should be added. According to Duolingo's Wikipedia page "the Duolingo Incubator also aims to help preserve some of the less popular languages such as Latin, Mayan, and Basque."
I'm descended from Scottish and Irish, I'd love to know the languages of my ancestors, this must happen.
On behalf of my wife (and myself by default..insert whip crack sound), please make this happen Duo.
Thank you for your want and willingness to do this. Not to mention your patience. :-)
I fully support this. I want to learn Irish to connect with some of my heritage just like I have with German. How many others have applied for the course besides you?
I would love to see a Celtic language added to Duolingo, crossing my fingers and hoping this happens! Thanks for the info and good luck (:
/r/duolingo on Reddit did a survey a few days ago. There was a huge response for Irish:
Ar aghaidh linn! Let's move this forward!
AlexinIreland, maybe add this to your post so it gets noticed (and not lost in the discussion). Maybe a link to your original "IRISH!" post as well? Just a thought.
I was just about to do it before I read your comment. Great minds think alike, I suppose!
Yes, an irish course on duolingo would be great. Particulary when you consider that everyone learns Irish in school here and yet few learn to speak it.
An irish course would also help my little ones get through the leaving cert!
May the luck of the Irish be with you in your quest! Let's get an Irish course !
We even got a few likes in the Portugese forum section! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1765723 and some interest in the German forum https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1765776 P.S if anybody would care to translate and repost these discussion please do! Particulary in the Polish section as quiet a few of my polish friends have irish now and love the language- there are a lot of Polish people living here and it would be interesting to see what the polish community on Duolingo has to say
Re: Polish speaking Irish. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland teaches Irish. :)
I think Portugese is a great idea but Mandarin is the top spoken language in the world! Or do they already have it and I missed it? Then we should get portugese
I'd love to see Irish here - Scottish Gaelic one day too (I hope), even more endangered than Irish, with fewer speakers left.
What if then they manage to but Busuu up and bring it back from de facto death.
If it's an EU language, I am absolutely all for it. Now if only someone will apply for a Maltese course...........
Four people now have! uuf6429, MichaelCamilleri, Moonraker and CDuane have all applied. Go Maltese!
You have my full support. Imagine seeing Irish coming up on St. Patrick's Day!
There are a lot of languages in this world spoken by few and still easy to do. Irish is DEFINITELY one I would love to learn and study. A great reason to is because for a lot of people learning a language is heritage. Irish is a BIG part of my heritage and where most of my royalty comes from. Some people watch movies and really want to learn that language. Example: The hobbit has gotten a lot of people to want to learn viking which is understandable. They do not realize that viking would require a lot of accent work. So I would suggest to learn Irish first which needs to be taught considering how many people hail from that language.
CROSSING MY IRISH (English, French, German heritage and American) FINGERS. Erin go bragh!!!
I´d love to see this happen quickly......hopefully we can get enough support
Dear people who love their country,
take notes, because this is how patriotism should look like.
Best wishes, Grumpycat1
I am absolutely thrilled to hear that we'll have the opportunity to work on Irish here.
MUST LEARN IRISH!!!
Thanks a mil AlexinIreland! Are you the only contributor or are there more?
I'm the only applicant that I know of at the moment. More may apply later on but I would be happy to try and do it myself :P (both directions of the English and French, and Portuguese and English courses were all made with just 1 contributor).
Just trying to figure out if I am missing something: Has Duolingo confirmed you as a contributor to a course? But no one else yet? Or have you simply applied in the Incubator? In that case there could be plenty of other applications that we just don't know about.
I was speaking more in terms of if my application gets accepted that I don't know of any other applicants. I'm hopeful though :)
Ah, OK. In that case I wouldn't (personally) use the word contributor (yet).
After all, they have received upwards of 20,000 applications, some already back when the Incubator came out in October, and many applicants have not heard back yet (but no one else has been enlisted for those courses either, as far as we know, so their applications haven't been refused either). With this many applications, there are bound to be some fellow Irish-speakers in there in the mix!
I know the automated email states "We plan to get back to you over the next few weeks", but it seems one shouldn't hold one's breath...
As I write above, this is just my personal point of view, but I had misunderstood what you wrote about your course and about being a / the only contributor, that's why I asked.
Anyway, good luck with your application! :-)
Greetings from another hopeful applicant...
Yes please! I would really love to learn Irish, especially because of my Irish heritage. Please make this happen!
Yes yes please Irish! I wasn't planning on starting anything new before I felt comfortable with German, but the one language that I would definitely make an exception for is Irish!
Alex - Would love to be learning the language of more than half my ancestors, hope it gets under the heat lamp soon
Upvoted! It didn't occur to me before, but DuoLingo could very well become an aid to saving endangered languages. This actually makes me want to suggest my ancestral language now.
If you could find another few speakers to make a course, then apply! It might take a while for a response, but it will be worth it in the end.
I totally support this. I was being taught Irish by a friend a while back and loved it. It would be great for this site to do it, as its such a great way to learn.
I would gladly add Gaelic to my language learning. I tried it once on one of the learning cd's but it was horrible. I'm looking forward to the other languages being added in the months to come and including Gaelic would be a great addition! Not that I'm partial or anything....
Bheadh se go hiontach! Ta me ag deanamh mo hArdteist agus bheadh se an usaideach ar fad domsa agus do na daltai eile! Maith thu :)
Man, I would say that you've impressed me. It's a great action you're doin' and the way you speak about the language really touches... following what you said, it may save the language, recovering it's popularity and you be sure, if I learn irish, I'll certainly go to Ireland and practice talking with natives. It would be a huge pleasure. Thank you for such effort.
Adding Irish is a wonderful idea. I believe your patience and eagerness will be answered.
Duolingo seems most focused on helping people learn English. Learning English can have a dramatic effect on a person's economic and social opportunities. The same really can't be said of Irish.
Why is Irish more important than Lakota or Anishanaabe? They're all endangered languages spoken primarily as secondary languages by people who speak English well. Why is the only big push for an endangered language for a European endangered language? What makes Irish more urgent? (And I'm saying this as an Irish-American)
Right now, duolingo's "from English" languages are totally Eurocentric. Irish doesn't even make wikipedia's list of languages by speakers. There are well over 100 languages with more speakers than Irish. Many of the speakers of those 100+ languages don't also speak English, which can't be said for many Irish speakers. Surely, Mandarin, Hindi, and Arabic (the number 1, 4, and 5 most used languages) are more urgent than Irish.
Does learning a language have to have economic advantages? Learning a language, even a minority language, gives you access to a society and way of thought you didn't have before. And no, no one is saying it's more important than another endangered language, just that it's a place to start. Having one minority language paves the way for others. Also, right now, Irish seems to have enough people to create a course, but I haven't seen many, if any, other speakers of minority languages post here wanting to create a course.
I agree that Irish's need for help in preservation is significantly less "urgent" than thousands of languages. If Duolingo's goal of translating the web is to be taken seriously, I would expect languages like Waray-Waray and Minangkabau (indigenous languages with many times as many articles in their wikipedias as Irish) to be on the list of priorities by now.
Ironically, though, Irish would make an excellent test case or pilot study in the use of Duolingo in helping preserve endangered languages: There is mass appeal due to the tens to hundreds of millions of people of Irish ancestry living throughout the world. Practically all native speakers are already proficient in English and live in an industrialized country with ready access to the internet. In short, Irish has far more feasibility as an immediate project - low hanging fruit, so to speak.
At present, the incubator activity is growing on a slow, geometric curve. In a year or two, I think all the low hanging fruit will have been picked, and the course offerings will quickly become more varied and less Eurocentric.
It should be kept in mind that which language does end up coming first depends as much on users willing to create a course for free as it does on Duolingo's priorities, and will probably swing more-so towards the users as the Incubator develops (considering that's one of the points of the incubator - allowing users to create the course if they are there to create it).
With a reported 20,000+ applications for contributing to the Incubator already in, I think it really depends on Duolingo's preferences... Not all of those applications will have merit and be serious, but even 5,000 good applications means a heck of a lot of combinations of languages.
Consider how many of those applications, even good ones, have been for the same popular languages though. We've seen from the incubator so far that courses seem to accept up to about six contributors at most; it seems a pretty safe assumption that many of those good applications were also for the same popular languages. So many good applications mean nothing once the contributors are selected.
And at the moment, there certainly is an element of Duolingo's preference, but of course the incubator is still in development and so it makes sense for them to choose languages with particular qualities in order to further the development of the incubator. I was talking more in terms of the future than the present, given what has been stated by Duolingo about how much they'd like to leave in the hands of the users.
I see your point, but 20,000 is still a heck of a lot of applications... (I checked when they mentioned that figure, and it was 2 months ago, so it might be even be a lot higher now, as the user base is growing and information about the Incubator is spreading). And as you state, you only need a few good ones to make each course.
As much as Duolingo wants to involve the users, I believe they would still keep some control of the process and their product (they certainly like to do that now -- see some of the comments from the upcoming English-->Russian team in a recent thread).
@annika_a - agreed, I'm sure they'll always have a hand in some elements but I do think the extent will lessen as the incubator becomes more fully developed.
I certainly think it's likely that there could be applications in the hundreds of thousands and still be plenty of languages which just don't get the attention. At the end of the day though, it's just speculation so there's not much more I can say about it. :P
Mandarin is a language giant, Hindi is spoken by hundreds of millions, and Arabic is a lingua franca in the Middle East. Of course these will be added one day because they're giant. But Irish got contributors, and Mandarin will probably get many more contributors in the future, along with Hindi and Arabic.
And does it really matter what country or continent a language comes from?
Yes, I agree. Although Duolingo's primary goal is (was?) translating the internet, teaching people English comes at a second place. And for good reason, obviously. Duolingo is not really about learning languages just because, but more about using these languages, whether it is for improving your social-economic position or to translate articles. Irish seems to fit in neither category. Are there even websites entirely, and solely, in Irish? Sure, it could be a fun project to learn Irish but I doubt that's where Duolingo's priorities are.
There are websites in Irish and also with Irish options. It's part of the revival movement. There's even a YouTube channel (TGLurgan) that posts only Irish content. Nobody here is suggesting it for economic reasons, but rather heritage and social reasons. Creating a course also requires willing volunteers, especially for minority languages. So far, the only speakers of minority languages that have publicly expressed their interest have been these Irish speakers. Duolingo is a great way to preserve these struggling languages and to rekindle interest among the youth (who frequently grow up hating Irish because they're forced to learn in. If they learn it in a fun way, then they're more likely to learn and speak more).
Well said, and with the Gael scoil movement over 40,000 people are speaking Irish all the time in school (this not including the Gaeltacht areas!) but many stop using Irish at all once they get to secoundry school which is sad. It would be great if even more websites and materials were available in Irish.
As I see it, Duolingo's main purpose/priority is to get people interested in learning languages by providing interesting and attention-holding material in order to enable users to learn - whilst also having the translations done. This they are doing well.
A language need not be the most important for trade nor the ones with the greatest numbers of speakers to do this, otherwise Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, Vietnamese, Russian, Turkish and more would have been built by the company before Italian/German/Portuguese. Now some of these are being built via the incubator, but still - a language learning websites main priority ought to be to get people interested and learning - after this everything else falls into place! They could cover every language in the world, but if the content/methods suck Duolingo would fall by the wayside.
Okay, just clearing something up here: I believe it is great that you would want to protect your national heritage, of course! And yes, learning a language for fun is fine and should be promoted. It is just that, for Duolingo's goals, Irish does not even come close to being on the shortlist. It does not have many native speakers, and those who do, probably already know English, the world's language. It has barely (okay, so there is some) content available for (useful) translation and learning Irish will help you speak to zero more people.
On the other hand, there are languages like Hindi, Arabic, Bengali, Japanese, Punjabi, Javanese, Wu, Indonesian, Telugu, Vietnamese, Korean, Marathi and Tamil, all of which are spoken by at least forty times as many people as Irish. And the part of speakers that does not know English is far, far larger. Now this is obviously not a completely fair comparison, as a lot of speakers of those languages do not have access to Duolingo, but I hope you get the point.
Many of those courses are being built right now, so they clearly are priorities. Now that those bases are being covered, we can start paying attention to other courses. The number of native speakers doesn't really matter when it comes to helping preserve a minority language. If more people start learning Irish, then we might see more materials being produced in Irish (much like the advent of the printing press: people learned because there was more to read and there was more to read because there were more people reading) because more people know it.
Having a course could generate more interest in the language and thus generate more material for that.
Yes, but Duolingo's goal is by no means preserving minority languages, nor is it generating interest in a language. But I can clearly see that there is an overwhelming support here for Irish, so it would be alright to add I guess.
"Everyone who contributes to language courses is doing it because they also believe in our cause, be it to perpetuate a dying language or help those without means to gain access to previously unaffordable education." - Luis von Ahn, 4 days ago
Its goal is to teach languages. It also has a goal to earn profit, but this is easily done with major languages. It would be fulfilling its goal to teach languages by also including minority languages. With this goal, Duolingo also has the amazing opportunity to participate in language conservation efforts, which were previously hard to maintain, but a site like this with its opportunities is perfect to participate in such efforts.
Fierce interested Am 72 and started to relearn gaeilge on1/12/2014 This should help a lot but puts me into Spanish
Must try again
Togha fir! Ní raibh tada cloiste agam faoi Duolingo go dtí dhá lá ó shin... agus tá mé gafa anois leis! Tá mé ag súil go mór le cur leis an gcúrsa Gaeilge! Tá mé cinnte go mbeidh foireann láidir dhíograiseach againn - ní neart go cur le chéile! :)
Bheadh sé sin go hiontach ar fad! I really like the idea of Irish being available on a platform as accessible as Duolingo, it would help so many people to learn Irish and it would help to preserve and grow what is a truly brilliant language. Go néirí leat! :)
When can people start learning Irish through this? I was crap in school but would like to be able to speak it :)
Soon hopefully, they are currently finishing off the Audio and other final preparations for the program to go into beta.