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.
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)
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.
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
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.)