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Ido for Duolingo

Bona jorno. My name is William, and I'm a fluent Ido speaker (ISO: io). I've for long wanted to see an Ido course here on Duolingo, and I hope we can create one together.

If you don't know about Ido, this is the history of Ido in summary:

In the beginning of the 20th century, people were worried about the growing number of different constructed languages that arose. People from all over Europe banded together as a delegation, to democratically choose one. In the end, after 18 considerations over a span of a year, the two that where on top were Esperanto and Idiom Neutral (a Volapük reform). But in the end they couldn't win everyone over on one specific language, people had complaints about things in both languages. So, after a proposal to form a new language based on these two with new and fresh ideas, they started working on Ido. The original team consisted of 3 German, 3 French, 2 English, 1 Danish, 1 Spanish, 1 Greek and 1 Hungarian representative (all of these people were either a qualified scientist, mathematician, linguist, or something similar). In a magazine called Progreso (progress in Ido), these people could propose additions or changes which followed with a vote. Other people that read the magazine could also submit a proposal or a comment by sending it to the secretary, who will add it to the magazine (only the voting was restricted to the members). The committee has continued for 110 years now, and Ido has had hundreds of creators as of today. You can in fact still today propose changed if you'd like, but big changes doesn't happen often now days.

In the end, Ido is quite unique. It doesn't look too artificial. It resembles at times Esperanto, but the two is not fully mutually understandable. If you take a look at Idiom Neutral, you will also see a lot of similarities between it and Ido.

Ido tries to balance being a neutral, international, logical and easy language at the same time, and I think they succeeded pretty well. Ido was designed to not replace our natural languages, but instead be used between different people of different linguistic or cultural backgrounds. When choosing words for Ido, they have to first grade each proposal. "Does English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian all share the same or a similar word?", "Does several, but not all, share a word when the others don't have a good alternative?" These are just a few of the questions that gets asked for each word. If neither of these language have a good word, then Ido often chooses to take a word from a dead language instead (often either Latin, Greek or Sanskrit), so that it doesn't single out a single language over the others.

Here's a snippet in Ido (La Voyajo, from Complete Manual):

Me arivis en la staciono. La veturo haltis. Portisto advenis. "Ube vu iras?" il questionis. "Me iras a Paris." me respondis.-"Ka vu havas vua bilieto?"-"No!"-"Venez komprar ol en la kontoro." Me pagis la veturisto. Me donis ad il drinko-pekunio. "Hastez!" klamis la portisto. "La treno departos sen vu."-"On devas vendar la bilieti plu rapide! Me volus komprar jurnalo. Ube esas la jurnal-vendeyo? Me perdis mea monetuyo: Ho no!" Esas tri kloki. La treno departas. Mea kofro esas en la pako-vagono. Til la rivido!

I learned Ido through text books, flash cards and trial and error, which is really insufficient compared to Duolingo. Ido is really easy and straightforwards, so I think creating a Duolingo course would be really easy. On top of that, I hope that more people find out about this beautiful language. There are about 500 speakers of Ido today, and that could easily grow ten folds in no time if we could get a Duolingo course. If you have friends or family that you have a hard time communicating with because of the language barrier, then you could learn Ido together and use it to communicate.

There are a few hundred to a thousand books and magazines in Ido, as well as a few songs. I hope you're interested in Ido, and that you'll help us create this course. If you have any questions, just ask me. Thanks for reading. Adio, e til la rivido!

May 29, 2017



Looking at its structure and vocabulary, it's designed to be easy and logical for speakers of European languages. Like Esperanto, it's still going to seem alien to the majority of people across the world. Not too surprising really, seeing as Ido is derived from Esperanto!

This is the biggest hurdle that conlangs designed to be 'international' face, in my opinion- their perceived simplicity is always coloured by the backgrounds of those who develop them.


Yes, both are too Indo-European, but although ido did well in some respects, it destroyed the many things that Esperanto did well, Ido has less word combination and it replaces the regular and neutral correlatives table with European words.

Also, Esperanto is not as European as it is Indo-European in my opinion, and 46% of humanity speaks an Indo-European language. Of course it's still a bit unfair, but not that bad.


Well, yes and no. Even though Ido adds a few more roots where Esperanto derived the words from already existing roots, Ido does the same in other places. "Restoraci-o" is "restor-eri-o" (restaurant) in Ido, "kvalit-o" is "qual-es-o" (quality), "normal-a" is "norm-al-a" (normal), the suffix -eco is in Ido -eso, from the word "esar", and so on. Even though Ido did add a few new correlatives, the majority of the Ido correlatives are derived like in Esperanto, but with entire words: "nula-tempe" (never; in no time), "ula-loke" (anywhere; at any place), and so on. It's a bit unfair to compare these to languages to each other, they both have their ups and downs, both Esperanto and Ido.


I'm of the opinion that it's as natural to compare Esperanto and Ido as it is to compare Dutch and Afrikaans- they're both closely related languages where the latter developed from the former.


Well, Ido didn't only derive from Esperanto, it also derived from Idiom Neutral at the same time. On top of that, the ideologies of Esperantists and Idists are different.


I'm interested in How the ideologies differ in that the two aim to accomplish the same objective (as i understand it)


Afrikaans has also been influenced by Zulu and Xhosa, and I'm certain that there are a variety of ideologies among Dutch and Afrikaaners. :)


Its phonology is originally Slavic, its vocabulary is Slavic / Romance / Germanic and its grammar is a Slavic / Romance hybrid. No surprises there, seeing as it was developed by a Yiddish-speaking Pole. Its influences are overwhelmingly from those three minor groups from within the Indo-European family.

What would you say that it took from languages in the Indo- part of the Indo-European tree such as Punjabi and Gujarati, or Celtic languages like Welsh and Irish?


According to http://interlanguages.net/Grammar.html regularly formed correlatives are also permissible.


So much negativity here. Well, I don't think this is a good place to discuss whether or not the goals of a conlang meets their desire. Me and about 500 other people speak Ido happily, including some people that doesn't speak any Indo-European languages otherwise. Besides, as I tell everyone, don't just look at the cover, study Ido some more (why it did certain thing the way they did) before you prejudicially make up your mind.


I'm not being negative at all. I'm a big fan of conlangs as well as natural languages, as I find something fascinating in all of them. I've proudly studied Klingon, Esperanto and a bit of Sindarin over the years, and at some point I plan on making a start on Toki Pona.

It's perfectly possible for someone who doesn't speak any Indo-European languages to learn Ido or Esperanto to fluency- my only point was that it's easier for those who do, and is designed to be that way. Every language is worth learning, as 'worth' is entirely subjective. Every language is also open to objective criticism as well as praise.

Just because somebody says something you may disagree with doesn't mean they're being negative.


I'm sorry, I didn't mean you specifically, I meant the entire thread. :p

Please read my reply to KoleBowman below about the potential problems of arbitrary additions of foreign words. I personaly don't think that adding words from other none Indo-European languages would necessarily improve the language in neither "easiness" nor "neutrality".


It's true that they are too eurocentric, but creating an IAL without bias is quite hard, I've been doing it myself, taking vocabulary from Spanish, English, Chinese, Hindi, and Arabic, and most of the time I end up picking the European word because I say "It's similar in Spanish and English... and also German, Italian, French, Esperanto.." while isolated roots from Chinese or Arabian or even Hindi don't have such an appealing, with the only exception so far being "kitabe" for book which is similar in Hindi and Arabic.


I think if you're trying to make an unbiased language and two out of your five sources are European, you're bound to found similarities between those two and then jump from there since all the Romance languages are similar etc. If you had, say, one Romance, one Germanic, a Semitic or two, Hindi, Mandarin, maybe Cantonese, just a more balanced mix, you'd have something a little less European.

By the way, I'm a year late. How'd it go?



I think an Ido course would enrich Duolingo and give Millions of people an opportunity to learn a simple and logical language.

I read a lot of criticism about the different conlang approaches here and I think it is quite funny to see these kind of comments on a website which praises linguistic diversity. It's like banning Dutch from Duolingo because one may think it is just a different approach to German. The Dutch (learners) among us would revolt - and they're right. Ido is a nice, independent language, so why preventing it from becoming part of the Duolingo community? Languages have no natural ranking: as a language among thousands of others it has the same "right" to be represented here as Welsh, Dutch or English - and it is spoken worldwide.


Thank you very much for your support. If this will ever become a reality; rest assured, I will work my hardest to make it perfect.


I think the negative comments about conlangs on Duo stem from the belief that the course development for a conlang somehow delays or bars the development of a course for a natlang. Personally I'd love to see a course for Toki Pona and Solresol. I was happy to find that there are Tiny Card decks for both of those languages.


I did see a rumor on the forums that there is a limited amount of space on the incubator in terms of how much can pass through the incubator at a time. I don't know whether that's in terms of data or language slots or what. I can't verify this, but if it were true then it would make that argument right. I find it believable because why else would there be languages that have a lot of demand and qualified people applying to make courses but them never entering incubator anyways?


But who would want to ban Dutch?


I have always wanted to learn Ido. However, I could not be bothered reading through text to learn it. I would really appreciate it if you were to make it on Duolingo. Thank you.


https://incubator.duolingo.com/apply to apply.

(Select other in the language drop down list and specify Ido in the text).


I am an almost fluent Ido speaker, and I completely support the addition of Ido course in Duolingo. I believe that learning Ido would be a great introduction into the world of international languages for English speakers especially in the US. Ido: Me pensas ke Idolinguo certe meritas esar inkluzita en Duolingo. Me dankas Algentem pro krear ica diskuto hike. Ido vivez! Vivez Ido!


I too hope that Ido is added to Duolingo. When I first discovered Duolingo and saw that Esperanto was on it, I was keen to give it a go and find out what it was really like. I enjoyed doing so but was somewhat put off by a number of what I perceived as flaws that could have been improved upon. I later discovered Ido and was so pleased to see I was not alone with that thinking and that a group of well qualified people set about improving it further, reforming those perceived flaws and so creating Ido. It would be great to see Ido on Duolingo and then users can compare the two versions and make their own assessments. I think Ido would be the easiest language so far to add, especially if the existing Esperanto course was used as a starting point template. I think Ido also makes a good foundation course to learning additional languages. It's also easy to type without any jiggery pokery required so making it easy to share with anyone.


Ido esas linguo simpla, logikala, esas granda ideo por krear curso en doulingo, por ke onu havas bona nivelo il mustas lernar pro du semani, mea linguo matrala esas la hispana, e la vera esas ke me povas komprendar rápida ido linguo, mea intenco esas ke povas krear la curso hike n doulingo a me prizus multe ita ideo.


Alex, vu esas tote justa. Esas tre desfacila expresar en vorti la plezuro on derivas dum praktikar Ido. Forsan lo esas la sama dum uzar altra lingui konstruktita, ma me certe sentas lo kun Ido. Certe, me volas esar tante fluante kun naturala lingui, ma to esas tro desfacila. Quankam me lernas la Hispana dum multa yari, me ne povas expresar me quale me povas agar per Ido.


Me sentas lo sama. Me komencis lernar Ido en 2015, nur kom tempopa manieto. Pos to, me nultempe povis cesar uzar Ido; esas tre facila e plezura, e me ne povas expresar me samamaniere per altra lingui. Ka vu anke interesesus kontributor a ta kurso?


Yes, me voluntos kontributar a la Angla-Ido kurso.


Ido ya esas bonega linguo. Ka vu anke volas kontributor a ta kurso?


Si curso en ido me gustaría mucho


Gracias para su apoyo, Alex.


yes, i would love to learn IDO in duolingo


Ka kom me povas kontribitar a la kurso?


For me, Duolingo's a pretty good place for people to know more about a language. The internet makes it possible to spread conlangs like never before.


Wow, just by knowing French, Spanish, and Esperanto (and even a little German), I understood most of the Ido text and was able to even LEARN some Ido words (like Ube = Where; which is funny bc as a Filipino, Ube = Purple Yam hahaha). Very interesting! I hope to see it someday!!!


"There are too many conlangs? - Let's create a new one to rule them all" - Now there are too many +1. See https://xkcd.com/927/


Well, this is a bit blunt. Ido is the result of democratic voting by a large body of people (the delegation had originally 1,250 members), and many praise Ido for just that. You can read every single decision about changes or additions (words, grammar, etc.) in the 400 or so magazines published from 1907 until today. What are we without democracy and freedom to choose for ourselves? Besides, there are currently 4 auxiliary language with a substantial amount of speakers, not 14, and only Ido and Esperanto share similar goals (so 2 really).


Never enough conlangs - Link


That's sounds great! I'm a native Spanish speaker, I've learned English and Esperanto; the English my whole life, and Esperanto through Duolingo. I would like a course about Ido, I feel a big interest about that language. If it is created in Duolingo, I would learned it immediately.


Well, this is a bit blunt. Ido is the result of democratic voting by a large body of people (the delegation had originally 1,250 members), and many praise Ido for just that. You can read every single decision about changes or additions (words, grammar, etc.) in the 400 or so magazines published from 1907 until today. What are we without democracy and freedom to choose for ourselves? Besides, there are currently 4 auxiliary language with a substantial amount of speakers, not 14, and only Ido and Esperanto share similar goals (so 2 really).


What I meant here was that Ido was an attempt to "fix" Esperanto and make it somehow "better" than it already was. One step in doing this was by removing the culture around Esperanto. A language can't exist without a culture. Now Toki Pona has more speakers.


Google shows some frustration with this idea. Perhaps the keen Ido users such as yourself might find more luck with memrise? There are already a couple of courses there, it would be great to have some more.


I'd like to see Ido on Duolingo too.


I would learn Ido if it were available on Duolingo.


If you speak Ido then you can contribute to making a course for it on Duolingo from here: https://duolingo-incubator-web.duolingo.com/application


It sounds pretty interesting. It would be nice to have another conlang on Duolingo.

[deactivated user]


    I was reasonable in Ido a few years back - I even made a few videos about it on YouTube - but am now rusty (and no longer have my physical books). However I'd absolutely love to see it on DuoLingo.


    I'm dabbling in Esperanto and would love to see Ido on here. I believe Ido deserves a chance on this platform, just like Esperanto.


    Anke me parolas Ido and we've been trying to do the same for Occidental as well.


    It would be great to see Ido finally get approved. Duolingo now has courses in languages as obscure as High Valyrian and it's time to open the door to some of the major auxlangs.


    I will gladly help you with the technical aspects if you apply for Ido in incubator.duolingo.com (I have applied to create an Esperanto course in German - i.e., to translate the English one and ammeliorate it so that not so many people come from "Usono", but from German-Speaking lands instead).

    There are quite a few things Esperanto may take up from Ido, and I find the "language war" between the two asinine. Both have its place IMO, and Esperanto DID take on some Ido concepts.


    When is the Ido course going to be opened?


    I really like Ido, but Lojban's etymologies are less Eurocentric, so my favourite would be Ido with Lojban words, or Lojban with Ido grammar.

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