https://www.duolingo.com/Betelgeuse11

Why is Duo teaching languages from fantasy stories, but still not Arabic?!

Betelgeuse11
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There's an English to Klingon course, an English to High Valyrian (!) course and an English to Esperanto course. But still no English to Arabic!

This is really inexplicable.

It's great that there are little used languages on Duo, such as Irish, Yiddish, and Welsh. This will help to keep the languages alive, and protect the history of these cultures. People will be able to learn ancient stories and poetry that have been told in these languages; the world will be richer for it. But Arabic is one of the most spoken languages in the world, and there still isn't a course for it after years of posts like this asking for it. Why?

According to contributors from the Arabic to English course, they are just waiting for Duo to give the go ahead and add the English to Arabic course to the incubator. So why are the powers that be not making this happen?

1 year ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SeptimusBones
SeptimusBones
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Since no one seems to have mentioned it yet, I'd like to point out that Duolingo has infamously had problems teaching languages that use non-Latin writing systems (or something functionally similar). This is easily the most significant reason for the lack of an Arabic course so far (and has nothing to do with the existence of conlang courses). With the emergence of the Japanese and Korean courses, Duolingo seems to have solved at least some of these issues, so we can expect an Arabic course (as well as a Mandarin course, most likely) in the near future - whatever that is in Duolingo time. We just need to patient.

In the meantime, one can always follow the instructions in the following post to vote for the Arabic course: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15014194

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Eyl
Mr_Eyl
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Arabic uses an abjad (a consonant-only alphabet), just like Hebrew. I don't see why the script would be an issue in developing a course.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/daviddempsay
daviddempsay
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Are you of the opinion that Esperanto is a language from a "fantasy story" and should therefore be lumped in with Klingon and High Valyrian?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/daviddempsay
daviddempsay
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Betelgeuse11, please allow me to "back up" as we have run out of reply options on the prior thread.

If the number of people who speak a language is YOUR priority (and there's no reason it shouldn't be) then you would naturally expect Mandarin for Spanish speakers (and vice versa) to make an appearance on Duolingo long before any priority was given to Arabic. Obviously, that is not the way Duolingo operates. Whatever you, me or anyone else may think about its choices, Duolingo remains a stunning achievement in free language education. Rather than appreciate that, you choose to sit back and criticize.

Well, talk is cheap--if you don't like the way things are handled here, you always have the option of creating your own language learning platform.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson
jimnicholson
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They have created a guide, to avoid the creation of posts just like yours:

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/igelchen
igelchen
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Courses need people to develop them. That takes a lot of time and effort from volunteers who actually know both languages well enough to pull it off, as well as staff. Would you be prepared to sink hundreds of hours into a course, over a span of at least a year, and not even get paid for doing so? Personally, as great as my interest in languages is, I wouldn't and couldn't do that and I applaud anyone who actually does make this sacrifice.
For a long time, this site didn't offer languages with other writing systems at all. Those that do exist now (Hebrew, Russian...) are all recent additions. I don't understand the hate you're getting, it's a valid question to ask why constructed languages get seemingly more attention than big, naturally developed ones like Arabic, but there are a lot of factors at play here, and I don't know most of them.
Arabic is a beautiful and fascinating language though, and I tried to learn it for myself in the past, for the poetry and the wish to understand these cultures better than I currently do. But I failed and unfortunately don't really have the time to start a completely new language at the moment, but if you're really that interested and willing to do some work of your own, why not try the official Memrise course for Arabic? Arabic 1 is right at the top and it goes on from there with the goldish-brown coloured courses :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Thank you for linking to an alternative learning resource for Arabic. Also, I agree. Arabic is a beautiful language.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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With all the current geopolitical instability between the Orcs and the Dwarves , it is laughable that Duolingo should start a course in a little-known, fictional language like 'Arabic'. Oh, wait a second...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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"Current" :-S

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brittalexiswm

If you have IOS, try the app "araby" for now

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Currently, Duolingo offers Swedish, German, and French for Arabic speakers. These courses were prioritized because of the refugee crisis.

Will there be an Arabic for English speakers course in the future? Most likely.

Fantasy languages generate much needed funding and new market reach for Duolingo, and are built by volunteers. For instance, the creator of High Valyrian, David Peterson, is the person building the course on Duolingo.

Meanwhile, developing Japanese took nearly the entire Duolingo staff and many volunteers to put together (I can't find the announcement where that was mentioned at the moment.) So, very expensive. It was one of the languages that Luis mentioned wanting to learn when the Incubator first launched in 2013. Still, it took until 2017 to arrive. So, there are likely factors behind the scenes guiding the release of courses if a course Luis personally wanted still took 3.5 years to arrive.

Conlang volunteers on Duolingo get a bunch of negativity for the time they freely give. So, it's always disappointing and off putting to see these posts whenever they pop up. Duolingo isn't the only resource for language learning. Requesting a course is fine. Demanding it in a way that disrespects Duolingo volunteers is not.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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developing Japanese took nearly the entire Duolingo staff

This sounds ... absurd. I mean, they have people doing a wide range of jobs there, as with any growing company, and I can't imagine most of them being involved in making the Japanese course specifically. So if you can find the announcement, that would be great (but no stress if you can't).

1 year ago
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