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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shelby943663

Can we be expecting Mandarin or Cantonese in the next few years?

I'm just wondering. I'm eager to learn those.

May 3, 2017

22 Comments

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

Considering Japanese will be released in a few months, I'm sure Mandarin cannot be far behind (I think Luis von Ahn might have said something vague about this year at some point—although he said a similar thing about Arabic last year and it didn't happen) .
I imagine Cantonese has a considerably lower priority, however, in addition to being primarily spoken rather than written.

May 3, 2017

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

Here's a link to Luis's announcement that they're expecting to see Japanese and Chinese courses this year.

Hopefully the Mandarin course will be one of the next few courses started in the Incubator. I think they'll probably let the Japanese course settle in first, though.

May 3, 2017

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

He said something about them making an Arabic course? Do you happen to know where I could find that post? I thought that if a language is not in incubator, then that means Duo hasn't started working on it at all whatsoever. Is that untrue?

May 3, 2017

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

You can expect Mandarin this year or next year!

Japanese is a good sign for Mandarin.

Cantonese is unlikely (though I would definitely contribute, I'm a native Mandarin and native Cantonese) because Luis said they would not do any dialects of any language. They could make exceptions, though!

May 3, 2017

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

What constitutes a 'dialect' is very ill-defined, so saying 'no dialects' really means very little. If the same criteria for considering Cantonese and Mandarin dialects of the same language were currently used in Duolingo, Portuguese would be considered a dialect of Spanish and Norwegian a dialect of Danish.

May 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oritteropo1

A language is a dialect with an army. That rule explains all the above, and rules out Cantonese :)

May 3, 2017

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

We should not lose hope—Yiddish is in the incubator, a language both bereft of armed forces of any description and easily arguably a dialect of German.

May 3, 2017

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

I don't think that Cantonese would be included in what he meant with "dialects". I think he was talking about just variations of a same language. If we have a US English course we won't have a British English one, if we have a Brazilian Portuguese we won't have an European Portuguese one (I would like we had both EU Portuguese and U.K. English, but this is life :P).

As Cantonese is linguistically a separated language from Mandarin, it could make it to the Incubator in some way. However I think that Mandarin stills being a priority for Duolingo rather than Cantonese.

May 3, 2017

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

There is the following quote from the language request guide:

Duolingo uses at the moment Mandarin Chinese as Duo's Chinese language. They may not teach any other Chinese languages in a mid-term future or even long-term.

There is some wriggle room in there, but it looks fairly negative regarding Cantonese. (Also, I would think the above text was OK'd with staff.)

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15014194

May 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryannichols7

Mandarin is likely and is relatively simple. see HelloChinese for proof that it can be done

Cantonese has no standard really and would be really difficult to teach

May 3, 2017

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

Cantonese may not have an official standard but that does not mean they cannot pick the Hong Kong or Canton version of Cantonese. It is already done in other courses that teach Cantonese. They appear to usually use the Hong Kong version. And besides, how did Duolingo decide Brazilian vs. European Portuguese and Latin American vs. Castillian Spanish?

May 3, 2017

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

I really hope we get one of the two, seeing that Mandarin is supposed to be released sometime this year or the next. I'd love for a course in Arabic to pop up sometime soon as well.

May 3, 2017

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

I am fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin and would love to see representation of Chinese languages on Duolingo! Unfortunately I think it would be difficult to teach unless we find a way to revamp the system (by teaching tones and characters at the same time).

May 3, 2017

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

The Japanese alpha course uses romanji to teach kana and kana to teach kanji; I've no doubt this system could easily be modified to use pinyin to teach hanzi.

May 3, 2017

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

I'm fluent in them both too! Are you native to either of them?

May 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Horako224

Luis said we are getting Mandarin this year.

May 3, 2017

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

I'd be surprised if it wasn't at least in the incubator in the next few years. The only problem is how different it is from English.

May 3, 2017

[deactivated user]

    It is really difficult since designing an interface for switching back and forth between English (or other languages) and the characters of Chinese is nearly impossible, unless it's more "multiple choice" style questions. Of course, I think a pinyin based course would be a great option and it wouldn't have the interface problem that characters present.

    May 3, 2017
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