https://www.duolingo.com/YoshiLikes

How popular should a language be to get on the incubator?

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1 year ago

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Here's a post from staff about how they decide which languages to implement next: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/18949556

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/goosefield
goosefield
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Very popular. But I'm sure there are other guidelines in order to make it into the incubator, since long-awaited courses like Finnish, Arabic, Latin, Chinese, and Hawaiian haven't begun yet. Keep in mind that there also must be plenty of willing and qualified contributor applicants for a course to begin (which is probably why Hawaiian has not started due to the small number of speakers). However, I have no clue why Finnish hasn't started yet. Also, Duolingo tends to stick to languages which use the Latin alphabet (to keep it easy to teach). This is why Arabic hasn't started yet.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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Popularity cannot be the only criterion: there was no popular demand for Haitian Creole, for example, nor is it likely to generate much publicity. I have no idea what made Duolingo spontaneously decide to add it, although it is a good thing that such things are not wholly ruled by popularity as there are very many interesting languages that no-one is clamouring for.

Having said that, it is still ridiculous that we don't have Finnish yet...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/goosefield
goosefield
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Yes, I agree that popularity isn't the only thing they look at. But in the case of Haitian Creole, even though there wasn't much popularity for it, it doesn't hurt to have as many language courses as possible!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SaoSilver

They just did Japanese which isn't Latin-based.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/goosefield
goosefield
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Duolingo is testing a non-Latin script teaching system first with Japanese. If it goes well, they will likely use it for other non-Latin languages.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WahahaDrills
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They didn't test it with Ukranian, Russian, and Hebrew?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua
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They're not character-based. Ukrainian and Russian use variants of the Cyrillic alphabet (which is implemented the same as the Latin alphabet - or the Greek - just with a few different letters). Hebrew is an abjad, where the symbols always connect with sounds. Asian script systems are different.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WahahaDrills
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That's right, considering kana isn't an alphabet but a syllabry. The most difficult part they're trying to implement, I guess, is the kanji.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/goosefield
goosefield
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Ukrainian, Russian, and Hebrew didn't use the new system of teaching non-Latin scripts. They have lessons to teach letters and treat individual letters as a "word." Meanwhile, the Japanese course displays Hiragana on flashcards and has the user choose the best Romanized version.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WahahaDrills
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Sorry, I only use the web version since I don't have any kind of mobile device. So I wasn't aware of what kinds of things they were trying for the course. I guess it does make sense since, of these languages, Japanese is the one that is much more... interesting to romanize.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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They have lessons to teach letters and treat individual letters as a "word."

It seems to me that only Greek did this. (my memory of my brief dalliance with Hebrew is rusty, however) The system implemented for Japanese seems like it could make the learn-the-alphabet part of the tree a good bit more approachable for languages where relevant.

@ WahahaDrills Actually, Japanese is almost certainly the most commonly romanized of any of them, like by the majority of Japanese people who just want to type anything at all on a computer.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/goosefield
goosefield
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Greek, Hebrew, Russian, and Ukrainian all have skills that are called "Alphabet," "Letters," or something along those lines. All of them have these skills in the very beginning of the course. I agree that implementing the Japanese course's system would be great to teach non-Latin scripts. I actually made a post about that here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YoshiLikes
YoshiLikes
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You and @Lrtward have answered this question in great detail, I thank you. Although, how did Klingdon start?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/goosefield
goosefield
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My guess why Klingon started before other courses in high demand (Finnish, Latin, Chinese, etc.) is for publicity. For example, Duolingo would get more attention on the Internet from an article like "Duolingo announces a Klingon course!" than "Duolingo starts a Finnish course." I don't really see the point in teaching a fake language before a real, in-demand one, but that's not for me to decide.

1 year ago
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