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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SvendLarsen

Course Request: Wu Chinese for English speakers!

I know Mandarin is Duolingo's Chinese language of choice for the time being, but I thought I'd start this thread in case the decision is ever made to move forward on other Chinese languages.

October 9, 2017

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Woof.

Staff has said they don't have plans to add other Chinese languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Levi.

Forever? Or just for now? I mean, Cantonese has about 80+ million speakers, whereas languages such as Yiddish have only 250k-1m depending on the source. Why wouldn't they offer such a popular Chinese language? I hope it's just plans for now, and not for the future (Btw, I'm not hating on Yiddish, I'm a native speaker and would love to see Cantonese on Duolingo too)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

If staff actually has said that, I'd love to see the reference. And even if they have used that phraseology I've come to understand "plans" in Duolingo-speak as meaning pretty much an "operational plan," an already-assembled Incubator team, i.e. they distinguish "plans" from "intentions." I think they have the intention to add e.g. Latin and Finnish, but I think they'd say they don't have plans for them as yet (well, we can hope they do...).

I suppose you're referencing the statement in the course request page (N.B. not a staff source):

Duolingo uses at the moment Mandarin Chinese as Duo's Chinese language. They may not teach any other Chinese languages in a mid-term future or even long-term.

Of course Duolingo "may not" teach, well, anything ever. Just look at the completely obvious languages that are still missing.

Of course Wu has its hurdles. For one, it's more a family of languages than a language:

The Wu group (Southern Wu in particular) is well-known among linguists and sinologists as being one of the most internally diverse among the Sinitic groups, with very little mutual intelligibility between varieties across subgroups.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CalvinJohnWu

I'm a Wu! Do I get a discount?! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvelynOlson0PP

That's my mom's dialect :) I would love to learn it, but I can always ask my mom.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iamlearningdutch

Yes, good idea. Also Cantonese too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmegaGmaster

As much as I would support such a course, Duolingo said they don't have plans to add other Chinese languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leon296232

I am a Shanghaiese and I donot think it is necessary ,the written system is totally the same. extra Traditional Chinese should be enough


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

Even if the languages were written identically, it could still make sense to have separate courses because there would be a need for separate audio.

I wonder what you think about the examples given here of differences in writing (which correspond to differences in preferred spoken forms), however: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY0AMmLuiqk&t=577s


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JensBu

Do you think it might be good to add a button to toggle between Mandarin with Traditional Chinese and Mandarin with Simplified Chinese? Or are there important differences in Standard Mandarin and Taiwanese Mandarin? (Not that I wouldn't like Cantonese for Traditional Chinese.)

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