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Are traditional characters on the road map for Duolingo?


First of all, I have been waiting for Chinese since day one of duolingo's release, I'm so happy that it is here. Duolingo took me from zero to fluency in Germany.

Thank you all so much for your hard work!

Do you ever think traditional characters will be supported for those of us who want to read things written in Taiwan and Hong Kong (I know Cantonese is written slightly differently). It would be absolutely amazing to see traditional characters. Around 50 million people still use traditional Chinese characters (if you add the native readers of Dutch, Danish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Norwegian, Irish, Swedish and Welsh combined it still wouldn't add up to the number of people still using traditional).

I would love to see traditional added to Duolingo, is there any plan for it in the future?

November 26, 2017



On the web, switching between the two character sets is trivially easy.

I don't know if the DuoLingo course relies on images at all, but if it exclusively uses system fonts, then you might be able to use this browser extension to simply toggle / replace them.

This won't do anything to teach linguistic differences between Taiwanese mandarin vs. mainland Mandarin. The differences in the formal language are minimal (just the writing system) but I've heard there are significant spoken differences in informal speech.

Try this and please let me know if it works! If it does without glitches or with only minimal glitches, there may be no need for the DuoLingo team to add traditional characters.


I hope a moderator will reply to this post. I personally have used simplified and traditional characters, and I think so far they are using Mandarin Chinese (Simplified) with Pinyin. I hope they also release a traditional Chinese/Cantonese language for English speakers, but for now I cannot say if they will or will not release traditional Chinese. If you feel inclined to help make it a language, please see the following link to make an addition to Duolingo: https://incubator.duolingo.com


As far as i know, there is no Cantonese course in the works, though i would love to see one. We would like to add a version with traditional characters, but there's no surefire way to automate this (especially going from simplified to traditional: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambiguities_in_Chinese_character_simplification) and i personally don't have any timeline for you. But i think a traditional version in the future is a real possibility, i just can't say when.


I assume this isn't your area of responsibility as a volunteer course contributor, but do you have any thoughts on how Decipher Chinese, Du Chinese, ChineseSkill, and HelloChinese, among others, have been able to offer the choice between traditional and simplified characters from the outset? Would this mean that they're initially populated with traditional characters and then converted?

Or on how browser extensions are somehow able to convert Duo's simplified characters into traditional? If this is more difficult because of the merging of homophones in the simplified version, does this mean that these browser extensions are probably making conversion mistakes? Or might they rely on collocations, at least where possible, to make the right choices?

It seems to me that, with the reporting function and the discussion forums, Duolingo should be able to pretty easily fix any mistakes that might arise in converting to traditional characters. Also, I wonder how much of an issue this would actually be for the limited subset of characters that Duo teaches.

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