Duolingo Language Survey Results!
Hey everyone, I did a survey last week for which language people wanted added next to Duolingo. The results are in.
This is the first time the poll was done, so there are some things I'm going to do differently next time I do the poll, which will be sometime in May as I want Irish and Esperanto to be added first. Things I want to do different:
1) Add more languages as options, as that will decrease the number of people who selected "other".
2) I did not account for the "other" option this poll. While it did have 7% (167) of the responses, too many people did not follow the rules. Too many people were selecting languages in the incubator and it made the choices useless. I will try to make the rules more visible next time.
3) I would like to do the poll next time in Google Docs so that I do not have to manually add the results to a spreadsheet. However, Google's response form is not setup so it could be seen as a pie graph. Does anyone have any experience with it? If so, please comment. If no one does, I'll just add the results manually, but it will be substantially harder with the other option, so it might have to be removed.
4) I will not add Traditional Chinese as an option anymore until Simplified Chinese is added. Finally, the poll results. There was a whopping 2350 responses! They can be viewed here along with a pie graph
If you have ANY suggestions/questions, please comment as I am very open to making this poll better.
I took the liberty and only included the top wanted languages in this chart:
Thank you! Would you like to do this again for the next poll? Just follow me back and I'll make sure to shoot you a message when I'm done with the next poll. Thought your DL bio was fitting haha.
This is excellent! Interesting and slightly surprising. Heart warming to see Irish and Latin up so high and esperanto would be most interesting to dabble in. For any unaware, there is a fascinating story behind esperanto*(as with an language!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto and Irish of course! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2197629
3 claps on the back for the Irish! Wish us a happy saint Patricks!
Edit: Oh and we just won the rugby match P.E - post edit- Irish is on the incubator! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2244039
"I also think some of the people who picked Swedish was because of the country's women, but any reason is a good reason ;)"
I don't see the need for this sexist remark. There's no need for remarks like that at all, really.
I must say I'm surprised that Thai didn't come higher than it did, considering how many people go there these days.
I personally find it really interesting and will for sure study it once a DL course gets made (had tried it with Rosetta Stone once). But in general I guess there is only marginal demand, as it is regarded as difficult (non-latin alphabet, tonal language) and yes, you can do great with English there, and it is also not a huge country like China and perhaps less iconic as Japan.
Nice job! I am new to Duo so I did not get to do the survey. I am glad you will be adding more languages next time. I would really like to see Luxembourgish get onto Duolingo, however it is very unlikely. I do hope Esperanto gets on beta soon too!
I voted for Danish, but Latin is the language I'd most like to study that I haven't studied. In fact, if I were choosing again in middle school, I'd study Latin first.
In fact I'm curious for Latin as it appears in many many fields, in Law, Medicine, Biology etc, you know what I mean, don't you.
Yes, the professions and the sciences use Latin all the time. Philosophy too. The logic class I taught last fall uses Latin terms for logical fallacies, and my recent research for an article on the Reformation led me not simply to German-language sources from the sixteenth century, but also to Latin texts. I could translate some German passages with a native speaker's help, but sixteenth-century Latin was beyond me. Knowledge of Latin would be extremely helpful for both my teaching and my research. If parents have even the slightest belief that their kids will be linguists or scholars, they should teach them Latin at a young age.
These conversations with limited answers become more and more annoying!
To your last answer: So maybe Duolingo will mould new, present-day thinkers, when there is Latin to learn:) and the present helpless society might be remedied;)
Learning a language certainly gives people something better to do than getting into trouble, and it enriches the lives of scholars and Romance language learners. People who know Latin frequently can ascertain the meaning of new words in new languages simply by thinking of their Latin roots. A polyglot's skill with words becomes quite impressive.
I cannot unfortunatelly say anything with reference to Latin as I have no idea of it (yet). But I agree children should be taught languages at an early age, and maybe not only one language. However, this "fashion" for learning (teaching) foreign languages is quite recent, I think, I'm not sure , I might be wrong as to it, but that's just my opinion, though it may differ as to given countries. Well, I strayed from the subject a bit, so let me end here:)
Some famous thinkers were Latin learners as children.
Machiavelli is a Renaissance-era example.
In the nineteenth century, John Stuart Mill comes to mind.
In America, it is now becoming fashionable for young students who are educated at home by their parents, to learn languages. European schools have emphasized languages earlier in a child's education than American schools. Hopefully more Americans are starting to appreciate the value of languages.
And just the knowing the meaning of words, of phrases is an excellent feeling, that's why I'm kind of wild about languages, about meanings, still hungry for learning etc.:)
The students are poorer without it. It often comes down to the choice of offering what are considered more practical languages, I suppose.
I would like to be able to vote for more than one language (up to 3 for example) because my wish list to learn includes about a dozen languages. I'd vote for -- Latin, Creole, Arabic, Aramaic, Biblical Greek, Hebrew, and Japanese.
I thought about allowing voting up top many times, but then people would vote in different amounts, and the power becomes unequal.
The power is unequal anyway, for two reasons. Many users will not have seen the post where you announced the survey, or did not bother to vote; and millions of people couldn't vote because they don't know English and/or are not even members of Duolingo.
The result of the survey reflect the wishes of a minority of language enthusiasts who regularly read the discussions here. 2350 votes is not much in relation to 10 million users.
There's not much I can do on a large scale, but I'm trying to keep it as equal as possible.
Three Things: What's Creole?, What's Biblical Greek?, and I have a list of 23 languages that i want to learn!
(1) "What is Creole?" Creole is a language derived from a parent language, combined with other languages, and resulting in a new natural, primary language. There are many forms of Creole, the most common being Haitian Creole spoken by 12 million people. The variation I'm interested in learning is Louisiana Creole French because I live near Louisiana and I love their music (Zydeco), dance (also Zydeco), food and culture. I imagine the most practical way to learn Louisiana Creole French would be to start by learning Haitian Creole since there are so many resources devoted to teaching it. -- https://www.google.com/search?q=creole+language -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creole_language -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haitian_Creole -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French-based_creole_languages -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Creole_French -- http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/142562/creole-languages
(2) "What is Biblical Greek?" Biblical Greek is the form of Greek used approximately 2000 years ago. Knowing Biblical Greek is considered by some to be essential for serious Bible study because it is the language that parts of the Bible were written in. -- https://www.google.com/search?q=biblical+greek -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koine_Greek -- http://www.biblicalgreek.org/
(3) Good for you! :-)
1) You should specify the Creole your talking about, because someone might think you are talking about a Zimbabwean Creole and another might think you are talking about a Canadian Creole
2) Thanks for explanation, I know it as Ancient Greek.
3) Danke :-)
You are correct and that's why I specified Haitian Creole as the form of Creole I plan to study. I did not realize there were so many varieties until I read about Creole on the wikipedia page.
Well, I wouldn't expect the DL staff to necessarily have the same priorities. I noticed from where this poll was posted that it's really more of a "push poll," designed to over-represent Irish. (It was in various Irish threads on Reddit, for example.) The poll should be posted in language-neutral forums only, or else the results will be biased.
That's the problem with Internet polls: Any interest group can mercilessly link the poll on sites that share that interest. Instant manipulation. They should count for nothing.
Not that I have anything against Irish; it's just that there are many other more widely spoken languages that actually have a practical component: Arabic, Persian/Farsi, and Hindi come immediately to mind as languages that have significant numbers of monolingual speakers, and those should come first. When is that last time you've met someone who speaks Irish exclusively?
The point is to preserve Irish though. That is a lot of the point, so while not many people speak Irish exclusively, that is part of the point of having it...
I do also understand wanting them to add Arabic especially. It is such a beautiful language.
krispykracker, regarding "Too many people were selecting languages in the incubator and it made the choices useless." I think all you can do, is specify in an accompanying text which languages are already available/will be available. I guess in that situation you will still have people selecting "other" and suggesting these languages, but those can simply be ignored. I think the "other" option is useful to find out demand for languages you didn't list.
Imagine how many more people could speak Esperanto if duolingo had a course.... Most people on duolingo are interested in language, so they would be the type of people interested in Esperanto I assume. Many Duolingo courses have millions of learners. Esperanto has 100s of K's of speakers. If you think about it if Duolingo created a course, it would be possible that in a few years the majority of Esperanto speakers could have learned Esperanto on Duolingo!! How cool would that be...
Just because the users of Duolingo want to learn one (sometimes several) languages, it doesn't automatically follow that they are interested in Esperanto. Conlangs don't appeal to so many. As for Esperanto, it has millions of speakers ;)
Yes I know that is true, but you are more likely to find someone interested in Esperanto on Duolingo then most places...
I didn't mean that people interested in learning languages all automatically want to learn Esperanto anyway. But if I had to find people who wanted to learn Esperanto, I'd check Duolingo first.
See this discussion about Esperanto for more: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2233837
The spreadsheet doesn't work, by the way. Take off the
=sharing. It invalidates the link.
Kein Problem! Great survey! I'm pumped for Irish, which Luis has just confirmed. Maybe we could get Hebrew up soon as well...
He did in the "My Push for Irish" thread. It won't be immediate, but it will be going up in a few weeks.
Are there speakers of Dothraki apart from Khal Drogo, who is a 'fictional' character?
The other Dothraki speak it, and so does Daenerys. As far as I know, only fictional characters speak Klingon as well.
In any case, my original comment didn't mean that I want to learn Dothraki, or that I think it should be offered on DuoLingo. I was expressing my pleasant surprise that it was chosen by more people than Klingon, since I'm a big fan of the books and the TV series.
I guess I didn't make myself very clear. Sorry! :)
Not true! Klingon is spoken by people out there! There are language institutes, courses, literature (Hamlet) and songs in it ;)
Why? Are you angry that people learn whatever they want? Do you have problems when people speak in a language to each other that has no country on Earth assigned?
The language is no more fictional than Esperanto is. Both are constructed languages for artificial purposes - one as a utility language and the other as a means of fleshing out a mythology. If we draw the line before fictional languages, that line precludes Esperanto too.
Nice! And thanks much. The results are interesting and rather surprising.
Where will you announce the next survey? I missed this one.
Are Norwegian, Swedish, and Latin without slices on the pie chart for a reason? And a suggestion--add Ancient Greek. It would be interesting to see the demand.
Sometime in May or when Irish and Esperanto get added, they do have slices, and will do. Thanks!
Well, I put Romansh. Too bad the other votes don't count. Couldn't you just somehow filter the wrong ones out? I'd also like to see Portuguese<->French courses.
By the way, would asking for Portuguese->French be forbidden as both languages exist already? My priorities are PT->FR, Latin, Romansh in that order, what should I put next time?
Pick the one you want the most but if it's a course that's not for English speakers, specify it in the "Other" section.
So PT->FR is okay as the reverse doesn't exist yet (even though both languages are there)?
I'm afraid I don't understand what you're trying to say.
Okay, let me elaborate:
The course I am hoping for to be created the most is French for Portuguese speakers. You specifically said that we should not put any course wishes in the 'Other' field if said language is aready in the incubator.
However, since there is no Portuguese for French speakers course either, the exact combination of languages does not exist so far, even though both languages have complete courses (in combo with English).
Am I allowed to put French for Portuguese speakers in the 'Others' field next time?
Unfortunately, there were a lack of responses for languages other than English speakers. Also, most people who would want a course not for English speakers wouldn't be viewing and reading this. I've decided to make the future polls languages just for English speakers. I apologize for the inconvenience, but if you want a course for English speakers, feel free to answer it next survey.
I decided this because on the last survey where I allowed votes of non-English courses, only 7 out of 2350 were non-English, and again, most people who want a course that's not in English won't be able to read the English poll and discussion.
It's quite surprising that a (technically speaking) non-natural language like Esperanto got so many votes.
Good to see Swedish and Latin in the top 5:)
Edit: In the next survey, please add Georgian and Armenian. :) Edit 2: Now that the remark about the people voting for Swedish is gone in the original post, I've removed what I said against the remark, since people are downvoting me over it.
On the next survey, could you give people the option to choose multiple languages (with a a cap on how many can be chosen. Say 3-5)? I think that could greatly change the results and might be more representative.
I thought about it but I decided not to because not everyone would vote the same amount and it would make the voting power unequal.
I'm surprised no one voted for Elvish yet, considering Dothraki is already ranking.
Interesting list of languages by influentialness...
I would very much like to see Vietnamese for English speakers. I would think this would be a natural extension of the English for Vietnamese speakers.