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How About a Native American Language Course Maybe?

Maybe someones already working on one?

May 22, 2017



In addition to Guaraní, the most convenient Native American language for which to create a course would be Quechua, because it is codified, it is one the main languages of a relatively big country, it has many speakers and its grammar is not very complicated. For the same reasons (but to a lesser extent), Aymara would also be convenient. Classical Tupi has a long tradition in second language teaching in Brazil, and it also doesn't have a grammar that is too difficult for English speakers.

Now, if you're looking for a language from the United States or Canada, only Navajo and Cree (if you count all variants together) have more than 100000 speakers, and by all accounts both are nightmarishly hard to learn.


How do you define "not very complicated"? My knowledge of Navajo and Cree is non-existent (although I'm familiar with the WW2 story) so maybe Quechua is simple compared to those but evidentiality and cases numbering in the league of Uralic languages seems complicated.


Quechua has no true cases. It is "simple" because its regularity. I think Aymara it is not simple because its scary phonotactics.


What do you mean by "no true cases"? At least for the purposes of Duolingo, Aymaran phonotactics shouldn't be a problem since Duolingo is mostly focused on written language.


Nothing, I was wrong, thinking of verbs (!). And, again, you are right, where I said "scary phonotactics", I was thinking "scary morphophonology" (?), those suffixes that supress or keep vowels of previous suffixes.

My previous comment just won a prize to my worst comment in Duolingo until now. I feel embarrassed.


A Nahuatl course would be nice, please :3


I have thought of this, and no, I don't think they are. However, if somebody knows a bit, they could teach some on tinycards.


I would really love this, since I have a huge percentage of Native American (Cherokee) within me. ^ ^


They had a goal a few years ago to have 5 Native American languages on Duolingo. But this was dependent on other factors, such as they wanted to approach the US government to secure funding etc.

Although it wasn't specified which Native American languages it would include, nor whether they were mainly looking at US native languages, or from the whole of the Americas (this was when Luis v A was talking about there being a Mayan language).


They had been in contact with representatives of the Cherokee nation and the White House about support for such a course but apparently that fell through.


True. I remember them mentioning Cherokee being on the list now you say it.

Guaraní (from Spanish) is obviously already here, and I completed that tree. But it was a different case, as it was part of their Peace Corps project. Interesting though, that's the first time I'd learnt any of a Native American language.


I was very disappointed about that. I was really hoping for Duolingo courses for more indigenous languages as the resources for most of them are extremely limited.

I haven't finished that course yet but Guaraní is such an interesting language. Nde piko reñe'e Jopará? ;-)


I reckon with Luis' interest, more Native American languages will come eventually.

Yep, I speak a little Guaraní... It is a fascinating language. I have a couple of issues with choices made regarding vocab in the course, but that's to do with the Peace Corps educational philosophy.

The interesting thing I found after learning some Guaraní was that I was reading some stuff in Tupi from the Brazil colonial era and could understand quite a lot. It's a bit of a shame that Tupi didn't persist as the Brazilian national language alongside Portuguese in the way that Guaraní did in Paraguay!


Muskoegee or Algonquin?


Algonquin would be so cool!


Luis von Ahn said a few years ago that there would be a course in a Mayan language (didn't say which), but nothing like it has showed up in the Incubator yet.


I was Thinking mainly US OR Canadian.But whatever.Choctaw is a nice Language.

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