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Course Update - Learning Greek instead of Greeklish

Hey everyone!

This post is technically an announcement and an explanation of why we no longer accept the transliteration (Greeklish) of Greek sentences.

The team had created a basic set of transliteration rules (the ‘Greeklish Alphabet’), because we thought it would be helpful back when the Greek course still hadn’t been released for Android or iOS devices. There was (and still is) no automatic keyboard, so for more than a few learners, there wasn’t any way for them to type in Greek.

We had more than one discussion posted about how to add a Greek keyboard for the web version, and had also posted way more than one comment on several sentence discussions of the first few skills, but unfortunately, the reports kept on coming.

However, since the course is now available on Android and iOS devices, our lives -as well as the learners’- have become much, much easier. We figured that Greeklish is no longer needed, and decided to drop that concept completely. This means that Greeklish translations will be permanently deleted.

Other reasons behind dropping Greeklish include:

1) Ineffective learning. Greek is definitely not the easiest language for an English speaker to learn. Different pronunciation, different rules, but also a different alphabet. We are not trying to teach learners perfect Greek, but we do want them to learn proper Greek. The only way that can probably be achieved is by getting the learners used to the Greek alphabet, so that they can easily follow and understand proper grammar, syntax and most importantly, spelling and accent rules. They will be able to read and write Greek as it is found outside Duolingo.

2) Way too many transliteration options. Due to the variety of spelling combinations in Greek, different letters produce the same sound (i.e. the letters ι, η, υ, but also the diphthongs οι and ει produce the same sound, that being “ee”.) So we would have to accept each and every possible transliterating option, because it technically wouldn’t be wrong, in terms of pronunciation (According to the Greeklish alphabet, λουλούδι should be luludi, but why not looloodi or luludee, or even looloodee?).

There would be way too many options for each word, making it almost impossible (if not really time-consuming) to include all of them. And even so, none of them would be close enough to the actual Greek spelling and pronunciation.

3) Way too many reports for alternative spellings. The reason previously mentioned is probably what actually makes learners “overlook” a fixed transliteration alphabet, and keep reporting the same sentence over and over, because their own spelling seems to also be correct.

We do hope that this is all clear and understandable. The sole purpose of our decision is to improve this course.

Lastly, please don’t forget to always check the sentence discussions, as well as the forum discussions. Any question or concern you have may have already been answered or discussed. ^.^

To get the Greek keyboard for your Android or iOS device, check the links posted here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/20607862

To get the Greek keyboard for your PC, check the links posted here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22040507

Happy learning,

-The Greek Team

July 3, 2017

This discussion is locked.


The reason that that Greeklish started used was back in past of Computer Science, when there were only 128 ASCII code numbers to code everything, from which 32 were specially referred to some special characters. There is no excuse to use Greeklish anymore, unless one is used to them or it is impossible to use it in his computer, by some reason. Moreover the proposed transliteration is not generally accepted, so as it makes confusion. There are many Greeklish alphabet :) The Greek alphabet does not have many letters after all.

It is heard weird to my ears that some Greeks defend the language integrity in texts written in Greeklish! Some texts, even Greek, are difficult to decipher, as they use a personal transliteration, a headache really!

Greeklish? No more!

Notice that there are Greek texts written in Linear B, 4000 years ago, but since about 8th c. BC Greek language has adopted the Phoenician alphabet, that from Cuma, Greek colony in Italy, traveled to Rome to become the Latin one etc etc. So as one could think that the alphabet is a part of the language, it created the English alphabet in a way. :)


Greeklish? No more! We agree with that.


:O That is really cool information!


DIIIIMIIIIIII!!! Tackles (Also, would you like me to sticky this for a little while?)



(Feel free to keep that sticky... stuck for the rest of eternity, if you wish.)

[deactivated user]

    About time now


    For the best - when I transliterated, I could never do it right! Much better this way.


    That makes a lot of sense!


    As a spanish native speaker Greeklish is a complete waste of the energy i could use for learning the actual Greek


    Hey guys! I don't know if this is the right place for this (I suppose I could've used the report button lol), but I'm on a Chromebook and it won't let me use a Greek keyboard? I added the keyboard, but it won't let me switch to it. Any help would be extremely appreciated :)


    Hey Trinity196262 ^.^ Did you check out this page https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/1059492?hl=en ? It seems like it provides instructions on how to change your keyboard language on a chromebook. If you have any further questions, or the link doesn't work, please feel free to ask ^.^


    Hey Greek team :) Question... I'm trying to learn Greek and despite occasional mistakes, it still moves me to the next level. Are we supposed to be 100% confident on all items within a lesson before we move to the next, or is the broad course designed to keep us learning from some past lessons as we move forward? Thanks!:)


    Hi, I have just hopped by here. Sorry for the delay in response.
    You might like to check out https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/34036785
    That talks about this issue.

    Especially to read : https://making.duolingo.com/whats-the-best-way-to-learn-with-duolingo

    Wishing you all the best with your language learning.


    For the latest update on the new tree, please check out:
    New Tree Development - Update on Progress

    This discussion will now be locked as it is no longer being monitored.

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