https://www.duolingo.com/Dimitra956826

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

1 year ago

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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DIIIIMIIIIIII!!! Tackles (Also, would you like me to sticky this for a little while?)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimitra956826
Dimitra956826
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USAGIIII! :D

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Woops, looks like somebody got there first and stickied it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/soedori
soedori
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About time now

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stergi3
Stergi3
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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. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
jaye16
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Greeklish? No more! We agree with that.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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:O That is really cool information!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Merry_Perry
Merry_Perry
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For the best - when I transliterated, I could never do it right! Much better this way.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lesdio
Lesdio
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The main problem for me was that it was a transcription and not a transliteration as for instance ει, η, ι, οι, υ and υι all were translated as i, it would've been better if it had been something like ei, ih, i, oi, y and ui.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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Even if you look at transliterations, there are various kinds of Greeklish for that, too -- for example, some people write eta and nu as 'n, v' because of the shape, others write nu as 'n' because of the sound -- so is 'n' eta or nu? And so on.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BasilLouis
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Being a native speaker, I must say that Greeklish is the bastardization of the Greek Language. Sorry for the blunt expression. But good job. Then again, though, if someone learned Greek before the removal of breathing marks and the diverse accentuation marks (before the 90s), they know the great difference. I think, slowly, maybe it would be something to consider because it opens the door for one to pursue classical reading, wether the Ancient Greek (Classical) writings, the Bible (the New Testament originally written in Koine-Attic Greek), or later writings after the tenth century bridging to puristic Greek (early 20th century). Anyways, good job again. (Sorry, a little late too.)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gonesimera

I find reading Greek in Latin characters difficult, it is much easier to read and write using the Greek alphabet , for me anyway.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/splittongue
splittongue
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Good move guys! kotgw!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryEllen246097
MaryEllen246097Plus
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That makes a lot of sense!

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ToniTonita

Hello, Probably not the right place for this feedback, but I didn't know about the Report button until now. I just finished the placement test for Greek and I've found some strange things. For example I was asked to translate 'ποπ κορν' and 'hee and colour', 'Η' at the start of a sentence 'Η Μαρία' was pronounced 'Itta' as well as some other strange bits. Is there somewhere more appropriate I can send over screenshots?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
jaye16
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Glitches such as you describe with the "H" as an article being pronounced as a letter of the alphabet are a new appearance on the course. In our incubator they are shown and pronounce properly, however, there are some areas in which the Duobot chooses what to present. The Duobot being a machine has begun to get things wrong. We have reported it but perhaps you could do so as well.

https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us

A screen shot would be ideal here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akilleyca.48
akilleyca.48
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What does this mean exactly? I was thinking I'd have to quit once and for all but I went back to do a review lesson and it accepted my typing in the latin alphabet. Of course I was typing in a transliteration rather than transcription oi dikoi tous antres (rather than i diki tus andres) but it said I had typos but accepted it. I'm glad since at duolingo ease of input is a very prime consideration. I have a greek (latin based) keyboard but switching back and forth isn't so fast since I have a few other keyboards installed that I can't get rid of. I will note that I very early on proposed a transliteration (einai instead of ine).

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
jaye16
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When the course first came out we thought it might make learning easier to accept transliterations and an accepted "Greeklish" format was introduced. We soon learned as you can see in the post at the top that it was detrimental to learning and removed it. We tried to delete any Greeklish entries but apparently missed a few.

We strongly urge you to get the Greek keyboard. It is easy to access and to learn to find the Greek letters on it. Most importantly you'll be learning real Greek. Greeklish would not help you read anything unless it was written in the same format. No one who didn't know that format could read what you have written etc.

Yes, some typos are accepted by Duo particularly in the early lessons.

To get the Gr keyboard just check the Tips notes for the first skill. There are even lessons on how to find the letters and other information about the alphabet.

Sorry, I just noted that you have the Greek keyboard. Wish I knew how to advise you on how to remove the others.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akilleyca.48
akilleyca.48
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I don't want to remove the others, I need them for various things.

It's the format of constantly changing back and forth that is tiresome, especially as I am a pretty fast typist and it takes longer to do the change than to type the sentence

It's especially tiresome when I type what I would have on the greek or latin keyboard and it isn't accepted because I hadn't changed, a change to the program that would always have three or four in a row that didn't require changing keyboards would be nice.

I know the alphabet just fine (and can type pretty fast on the greek keyboard if I leave out accents...) but typing in greek isn't a writing skill the way that writing by hand is (which I do just fine).

Maybe the course just isn't made for people like me.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
jaye16
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Yes, I see what you mean. My observation...just casual observation... is that most lessons don't have more than 3-4 sentences from Eng. to Greek thus reducing the number of changes necessary.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/splittongue
splittongue
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Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, Ctrl+3, Ctrl+4... very easy... Large is your garden, Lord...

https://www.digitalcitizen.life/how-change-keyboard-input-language

(no endorse, just the first link that came when goggled)

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eanorel2

Is not that difficult to change languages constantly once you get accustomed to it. Imagine that I am a native Greek learning Chinese. That means that my Ctr+Alt+Shift combo cycles through three different languages(!): Greek, English and Chinese.

Imagine the process when I write the phrase: "In Greek we say "γεια" but in Chinese they say "你好""!

Sometimes I get amusing results when I try to write a report in the office and I am not aware the language is set to Chinese but most of the time it is ok.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Trinity196262
Trinity196262
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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 :)

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimitra956826
Dimitra956826
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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 ^.^

10 months ago
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