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Is there any hope for Native American Languages on Duolingo?

A while back Duolingo excitedly declared their mission and plans to get something like 5 Native American languages on Duolingo. I was quite excited about this because I feel they are an incredibly undervalued and unknown beauty in the world of languages.

However, it seems like Duolingos plans fell through. I have not heard anything regarding Native Languages in a long time and it seems to have fallen off the map. I know Luis was really interested in getting Mayan on Duolingo. But that idea seems to have fallen through as well.

Now I am visiting Arizona and have encountered a lot of the beautiful Native American tribes here. But realized it would be incredibly hard to learn their languages as few have many if any resources. I would love to get to see languages like Navajo, Cherokee, Cree, Mayan, and Quecha on Duolingo. But I am beginning to give up hope.

I even recently learned I had osage indian heritage. And I would love to learn the Osage language, but its on the verge of extinction with near no resources. And I can't help but feel bad for the many other Native American languages that could benefit a LOT from being on Duolingo. Duolingo could never teach them to fluency. But they could preserve and greatly increase awareness for the languages so that they may never fully die.

What do you think? Is there any Native American languages you want to learn? Do you think Duolingo will ever get any more native amerocan languages (I know Guarani is native amerocan)

August 14, 2017



What happened to those planned five Native American languages: "We were very keen on getting started with Native languages right away and were working with the White House on an agreement to promote it but it got very bureaucratic on their end and fell through, unfortunately. While Duolingo really cares about protecting languages and helping teach heritage languages, we are still focused on growing our user base. Because of that... we can't really launch a course unless it has real potential to help us grow either through a large user base or through media. With regards to Native American languages, it'd have to be through media exposure and it will be hard to achieve that without the support of a large entity like the White House." https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15670097/Some-bad-news-regarding-the-Native-Language-courses


Hm. That's sad to hear. They might want to consider working with the Canadian government. They're still very bureaucratic, but it's a smaller bureaucracy, owing to the fact that it's a smaller country.


If by 'smaller country' you mean 'bigger country with a smaller population', then yes...


I'd be interested in a Navajo course. The difficulty is getting people together who speak the language to make the course a reality.


Navajo is the most widely spoken Native American language in the US. And many native american tribes care a lot about preserving their languages and have organizations dedicated to it. If Duolingo contacted them about it. I am sure they would be incredibly receptive.


It would depend on the tribe. A Duolingo course would need both extensive knowledge of the language and a basic familiarity of entering data into a computer. Not everyone has both of those things.


A Guarani (Jopará) course is already offered on Duolingo, which is only available from Spanish as of currently. So, in the future, more native American languages might be offered on Duolingo. :)


Mohawk and the other languages of the Iroquois nation are well-preserved compared to some of the less fortunate languages (Mohawk is taught in some schools in New York and there's about 3,500 speakers in New York and Canada). Mohawk is one I specifically would like to learn because according to my mom I have ancestry from that tribe through her from a great grandmother (I'm not sure who exactly however there is some evidence of it).

Lakota is interesting as well in my opinion. There's still quite a lot of Lakota Sioux peoples in the far-North-West United States.


You probably won't hear anything. Most of those are kept in a in circle kind of thing. Although there are some sources on the internet. Even those sources are mostly incomplete. But it would be great if it does happen.


Duolingo excitedly declared their mission

You are exaggerating. It would be more accurate to say that they were looking at an opportunity. See comment of E.T.Gregor


Yeah, the Mayan course was supposed to come in 9 months which I think meant by May 2016. That promise is the last I've heard of it.


Why don't you spend years living with them and then contact duolingo once you've mastered the language.


An idea would be that Guaraní and Quechua in the Southern, Aztec and Maya in the Central (Haitian Creole and maybe another local language in the West Indies), Navajo and Iroquois in the North, and also Inuktitut and maybe another language in the most Northern area in the Americas.

Guaraní is already here for Spanish speakers. Haitian Creole is on its way. All major languages such as English, French and Spanish are obviously already here on Duolingo.


The Aztec language is called Nahuatl.


Thanks for the info.


I am most interested in the Cherokee, Lakota, Hawaiian, and Navajo languages, but in general I think it would be great if any native american language was added. One native american language added is better than none added and would be a first step, so I am excited for whichever native american languages make it to duolingo :-)


Well, We already have Guaraní, and that's a Paraguayan Language spoken by just a few amount of people, so I would say that we can't lose the hope of a Native American Language to be released on Duolingo. I would like to see Quechua and Aimara, languages from my country, Perú.


We already have Guaraní, and that's a Paraguayan Language spoken by just a few amount of people

Guaraní is spoken by c. 8 million people, and more Paraguayans understand it than do Spanish (although most are conversant with both). It is hardly something spoken by a 'few people'.


Did anyone ever contact any of the tribes? What came of that? I seemed to remember someone saying they had contacted the Cherokee Nation. Maybe try again?


Ojibwe (Anishinaabemowin) is the second-most (after Cree) commonly spoken Indigenous language in Canada, and the fourth-most widely spoken Indigenous language in North America behind Navajo, the Inuit languages and Cree.


The Navajo language is cool, but I'm surprised there is no MesoAmerican languages. Both Nahuatl and Mayan languages have millions of speakers.

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