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Dictionary of the Oldest Written Language–It Took 90 Years to Complete, and It’s Now Free Online

When will Akkadian be added to Duolingo?

Dictionary of the Oldest Written Language–It Took 90 Years to Complete, and It’s Now Free Online


September 2, 2017



Is there anyone fluent in it who wants to work on a DL course?


How do they know that it is the oldest?


No other written texts predate the earliest Akkadian texts. The oldest of these was carbon-dated to 2600 BCE.


The oldest founded written language.


Is it really that easy to just add a language? Especially an old one...actually THE oldest.


It's not easy. Usually it takes a determined volunteer team months to years. If the language is different in some basic way to any done before it requires the paid duolingo team to put a lot of effort in as well. For example the first language that isn't written in the Latin alphabet (the one we use) took a very long time to sort out because it required a redesign of some aspects of the website.


Exactly. I don't think there are many (if any) speakers of this language today. Nowadays, a skillful and dedicated team of bilinguals that want to contribute with their sacrificed time and energy towards making a course for the sake of free education is not enough. Duo staff would have to spend quite some $$ to make this course happen, and would it really pay off? There are tons of bilinguals that speak modern languages (or ancient ones, that are still more pertinent to today's society; like Latin and Ancient Greek) waiting in line and hoping for a course too. Realistically, how much of a chance does this course have to actually be developed? Not that I'm against it; the more languages, the better. But honestly.


omniglot.com says Akkadian was spoken 2800 BCE - 500 CE.

So no there are no speakers of it today. That means no one really knows how the language was spoken and those that are familiar with it have only a reading fluency. And they're all academics with better things to do.


I figured as much. But I didn't want to risk someone correcting me by saying something like "Oh this one person speaks it" or something similar to that. Thanks for the info!

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