So I have been seeing discussions suggesting that there should be a serbian or croatian course. Agreed. Would love to see one. (And I could contribute) But as some of you may know, adding such courses would be controversial.
Realistically, these 2 languages are the same. No debate, but there are obvious ethic tensions between these to peoples. The most practical choice would be to add a Serbo-Croatian course. But, which writing system would they use? Would they use ekavica or ijekavica in the pronounciation/writing of certain words. A choice would be controversial.
Another idea would be to create 2 seperate language courses for Serbian and Croatian with their respective Standard dialects and writing systems. But this would take longer and would be less practical. Still, I support this idea...
What I am asking of you is to comment to what the correct action would be here and if you support the idea of adding such courses (sharing around the idea would be appreciated)! :3
2 different courses and in the Serbian course there would be Aa/Яя option to change the alphabet (like there used to be in Russian and Ukrainian courses)
well Montenegrin is the same language as Serbian, it's only considered a separate language for political reasons
That's the point that MihajloGab's addressing in this post - the same is true of Croatian. MihajloGab's question is an interesting one - what the best way of handling that political issue.
...and it's time to roll out one of my favourite quotes about linguistics: a shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot :)
If one digs around on this topic, one finds tales of Croatian recruits into the Yugoslav army struggling when forced to produce standard Serbian. Now that might have more to deal with their local Croatian dialect not being all that close to standard Croatian, either, I'm not really sure, but I have not happened upon any such accounts for Montenegrins. I think the idea of "Montenegrin" isn't more than a couple decades old; I don't think the same can be said of "Croatian."
I would love a Croatian course. It has a lot of German words integrated into Croatian vocabulary during the time of Austro-Hungarian Empire. There is also a bit of Hungarian vocabulary aswell.
I would love to have a Serbian course as I am a fluent speaker at Serbian. But I don't know the grammar too well, especially the cases and wanted to go and learn a bit of that. Only doing this for fun, not that it is necessary.
I'd love to finally have a Serbo-Croatian course here in duolingo, although I also think it would be better to make separate courses, making one for both would stir some unnecessary controversy that at the end of the day would just slow down the making of the course.
I'd go with two courses. Conveniently, the names exist. Duolingo has a position against adding courses for separate dialects, but at the same time has courses for both Norwegian and Swedish. Frankly, I think it'd be great if there were courses for Flemish, European Portuguese, and northern and/or southern Catalan. These differ from the dialects taught on Duolingo on things as basic as how many genders of nouns there are, demonstrative pronouns, and basic default word order. But these languages don't really have separate names (well, Flemish, I guess...). Serbian and Croatian do, so they'll meet the Duolingo standard.
A question, though, I think some people are really against the notion of Croatian even being a thing. Do you think that's true? Would there be people who would get upset about separate courses on that basis?
Another interesting issue is the course teaching English to speakers of whatever-we're-calling-it. Do you actually build two and then, obviously enough, enforce the divergences in literary standard strictly? Or do you build one to avoid reduplication? After all, Americans and British folk / Brazilians and Portuguese have to use the same courses to learn other languages here, and they spell things differently and use different words sometimes. I'm guessing it's best to make two, as reduplicative as that might be. Some Croatians I think wouldn't use something labeled "Serbian" or "Serbo-Croatian"; "Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian-Montenegrin" won't fit in the space allotted; and I doubt there will actually be too many potential customers so turned off by the existence of two that they would stay away out of spite, something which could happen were there only one.
In any case, reduplicativeness isn't inherently a bad thing. It means what's built for one course can easily be adapted for the other (both as a target and base language). Or it means more interesting content if the teams worked more separately. Either of those is a fine outcome: greater overall speed or greater overall content. And it's a trade-off that would inherently exist in any case.