1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. does any one want a Choctaw c…


does any one want a Choctaw course

September 6, 2017



It would be interesting to see but it might be hard with the number of speakers there are - according to Wikipedia, 10,000 and falling. Is there a contributor who has good knowledge of the language and would be willing to create a course?


I think that every language eventually deserves a Duo Lingo course. Of course, there will naturally be priorities, depending on the usefulness of the language in question, but all languages are important, regardless of the number of speakers. Having a Duo Lingo course for a language would ensure that the language never eventually faded away...which would be a great shame.


I am one eighth Choctaw, my grandma is half. I would LIKE to see it, but if there are any hopes of a Native American language being added, Quechua and Guaraní (which is already here) will come first, but as far as the USA is concerned, Navajo will likely be added first, as the amount of Navajo speakers is more than all other native languages in the USA combined.


Put me down for "yes". Don't forget that both Irish and Welsh were seen as circling the drain before Duolingo breathed new life into them.


While Duolingo has made it very easy for lots of Irish people to re-learn and improve on a language that they hadn't used since they left school, it's absurd to suggest that Duolingo has "breathed new life into" Irish, never mind Welsh. I certainly haven't seen any figures to suggest that sales of Irish language books have increased significantly in the last 3 years, or that the numbers of viewers/listeners to Irish language TV and radio shows has increased significantly since Duolingo added the Irish course.

Don't get me wrong - Duolingo is a great first step in learning the basics of Irish (I wouldn't be reading basic books in Irish, and listening to Irish language media today if I hadn't come across Duolingo), and it has encouraged a lot of people to take that first step, but "beatha teanga í a labhairt" - a language must be spoken to live, and Duolingo alone doesn't equip people to that. Duolingo, along with other social media tools, are providing more ways for Irish speakers to engage with each other, and the world, through the Irish language, especially for Irish speakers whose primary language is English but who choose to speak Irish, but the pressures on Irish as a community language haven't gone away, and Duolingo is not really doing anything to stem the continuing decline of Irish as a primary language (again, not a criticism of Duolingo, that's simply a problem that is far beyond the scope of Duolingo).



There are plenty of other articles like this to show that ---

A- Irish and Welsh were in danger of dying out within the next few generations.

B- Duolingo is the by far the most popular language-learning site/app in the world.

So therefore...

C- Many, many, many more ppl have been exposed to, and have continued an interest in these two languages directly from Duolingo's influence. And to be clear, breathing new life into something is a metaphor only for interest, not mastery. In no way did I say "Duo has increased the number of Irish speakers" even though it technically has. Nor did I say "Duo has saved these two languages from extinction." Only time will tell with that one. This site has, however, increased an interest in them, and allowed access to learning them. The numbers are there, check any source you please. I take issue with the word "absurd" being flung my way.


You're pointing to a 3 year old news article that was published the week that the Irish course for Duolingo was made available for all, and the very first sentence says "but a free mobile app may be about to make all the difference".

"May be about to" is not a report about something that has happened, it's speculation about what might happen in the future. The article also states that "2011 census found that some 1.77 million people in the Republic said they could speak Irish", so Irish isn't exactly in danger of "dying out" as a purely academic exercise (and I'm well aware of the interpretations that can be put on that figure - and the fact that the number has increased at each census in the last 50 years!).

What is in danger is the use of Irish as the community language in the current remote Irish speaking regions of the country (the Gaeltachts), which is a problem that Duolingo doesn't really do anything to address (that's not a criticism of Duolingo - these are not language-learning problems). Nobody is predicting that the 2016 Census figures (preliminary results are due by the end of the year) will show an improvement in the number of daily Irish speakers in Gaeltacht regions.

I think that Duolingo can have an important role to play in the continuing vibrant growth in the use of Irish in the cities and towns outside the traditional Irish-speaking areas, but it does so by encouraging reluctant Irish speakers to gain sufficient confidence with the language to use their Irish in social situations where they would normally use English, or to help them to make use of and enjoy existing Irish language resources like RnaG and TG4 and various written media. Duolingo really is helpful in getting people started on that journey, but unless people continue on that journey when they have completed the Irish course on Duolingo, there is very little short, medium or long term benefit for the health of the language.

Note that this simply addresses the position of Irish in Ireland. Only about a quarter of the users of the Irish course on Duolingo are in Ireland. For most of the rest, the Irish language is simply an academic curiosity, whether driven by an interest in languages, an interest in traditional Irish music or by family ties to Ireland. While some of these users may engage in Irish language forums on social media, the vast majority of them are disconnected from much of the news and commentary available in the Irish language media, because it, obviously, tends to focus on Irish politics and events. There are Irish language classes and events available in many major cities in the US and in other countries around the world, but I haven't heard anyone talk about a major upsurge in interest in these classes or events since Duolingo was released (though I do know that many of the people who have always been involved with these activities find Duolingo helpful). So, while tens of thousands of learners outside Ireland have been exposed to the Irish language (does anyone really believe that any bit a tiny minority of the registered users go any further than the first 2 or 3 skills?) it's not clear to me how this can in any way be described as "breathing life" into the language.

So I'm afraid that "both Irish and Welsh were seen as circling the drain before Duolingo breathed new life into them" is still an absurd statement, as the one particular aspect of the Irish language that was "seen as circling the drain" is not due to language-learning issues, and has been largely unaffected by the availability of the Irish course on Duolingo, and the aspect of the language where Duolingo can claim some success (encouraging Irish people to brush up on their Irish, and be more confident about using the "cúpla focal") wasn't exactly moribund (and I say that as one of the people that Duolingo can claim as a success in this regard).

If you have a problem with the word "absurd" being flung your way, you really should avoid making demonstrably absurd statements.


just about 10 miles from where i live a full blood Choctaw lady how speaks Choctaw and teaches Choctaw language classes and the Choctaws have a language website i know a little


To make a Choctaw course you need to be fluent in Choctaw as well as English. And there's the matter of whether Duolingo will accept a Choctaw course.


i am planning on taking the Choctaw language class


Halito. Chahta sia hoke.


cool what band? Mississippi, Alabama, California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Florida, or a different one


Not sure what you mean. I live in California, but the Choctaw side of my family is originally from Oklahoma.


if your family moved from Oklahoma to California in the great depression then your a California Choctaw


There are Choctaw classes in Oklahoma. Maybe we could get some of the instructors to contribute.


Me definitely. And probably other Irish people who are aware of our shared history

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.