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Tlingit for English speakers

This is a shot in the dark, but I propose that Duolingo adds Tlingit. I noticed that there isn't a discussion post or request for it yet. It is a Native American language spoken in Southeastern Alaska by about 500 people. There are about 10,000 Tlingit people but the language is dying. There have been efforts for revitalization, but I do not think they will work with such a low amount of speakers or interest. I feel like it would be very helpful if Duolingo added it soon. Duolingo has added dying languages and even artificial languages, it even has plans for dead languages, so I believe that this is not impossible for Tlingit to be added!

Another interesting fact to possibly make this more interesting, is that the Tlingit people were important in the Russian colonial period of Alaska. They revolted against the Russians and were important in this period. The language uses the Latin alphabet and used to use the Cyrillic alphabet. I think that this would be a language that might interest those learning Russian or wanting to learn Native American or dying languages. I hope that Duolingo will add this at some point to help save this language!!!


Edit: It has been recommended that I make a Tinycards deck. I may do that, but it would be difficult for me to figure out how to teach the alphabet and phonology, so I have found an app for now. It was made by some women in Alaska who worked hard to find enough audio from speakers to make it. It teaches the names of various birds, ocean animals, their environments, things you'd find in your house, and some prepositional phrases. The app is called Tlingit Games. It is for both iPhone and Android. I hope that this helps until I can learn how to make something and hopefully this post will be discovered by someone like Lrtward! I hope this helps!!!

The following link contains multiple interactive Tlingit games!!!


January 20, 2018



Of course it would be great for Duolingo to help revive a dying language but there are so many languages that are dying and I doubt Duolingo would add this course unfortunately :( But I wish you luck! :D


I agree, but I believe that proposing it is the first step in the right direction. Hopefully they will get to it someday now that it has been proposed! Thanks!


Of course! Proposing is the right way and if you know any Tlingit, even just the basics, I'd highly recommend making a course of it on Tinycards, Memrise etc. And if that starts getting popular then that could be a first step to getting a course!

Hope this helps :D


That's a good idea! I do not know any Tlingit besides "gunałchéesh," but I will learn some and then I will try and make a deck or two for Tinycards! Hopefully this goes well!


What an interesting history! Sadly, apparently one language disappears from our world every two weeks or so. While this is likely not completely unavoidable, some may be saved, and Duolingo could be a part of this (you can see how this is happening in Wales with Welsh, and Duolingo now offers this as an option.).
Some other information if people are interested in Tlingit: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/tlingit.htm http://alaskool.org/language/indexing/tlingindex.htm http://tlingitlanguage.com/learning-tlingit/


Thank you for this!!! I hope that Tlingit can be saved at some point, I feel that it is unlikely, but not impossible!


After disappearing down the YouTube rabbit-hole watching Tlingit videos, I can honestly say I have never encountered a language like that before. Those are some wild sounds! (I mean 'wild' as a compliment here.)

Have a 'Tlingot'! :D


It really does have some wild sounds! Thanks for taking the time to look into this and thanks for the 'Tlingot'! :D


I took a look at this language, and it seems fascinating! Its phonology reminds me much of Circassian. You have my full support for this language course. One of the weird things I found about this language was the presence of a velar ejective fricative. Insane! I love it.


I'm glad you love it! I had not yet heard of a velar ejective fricative and I had to look it up. I have never heard of a language that has it and Wikipedia gives Tlingit as the only language to contain it (I'm not sure if that's true). It's fascinating! Thanks for your support!


I'm actually from Alaska, and this language is very hard to get sources for from the community, but it is very important to our communities, and it would be great to get it on here. It is taught in school in places like Wrangell, but the elders of our communities do not speak much of their cultures and there is a huge generational gap between the youth and the elders. It would be nice to have a resource like this for it.


I did! Tlingit isn't on there so I followed the steps for the proposal, I just hope it gets added to the list now and eventually to Duolingo!


we need 2 languages 1) latin 2)tlingit


I would love to learn Tlingit as I am a native on my father’s side. To my knowledge no one in my family speaks it fluently, but I would love to learn!


I just found this thread, but I want to say—Yee gu.aa yáxh xʼwán! (Be of good courage!) I think there are quite a few young Tlingit language learners developing into fluent speakers and teachers right now, and hopefully maybe in a few years some might be able to start working on developing a Duolingo course. I don't think anyone in the Tlingit community would say it's a top priority, but it could be a huge accomplishment for the language. Gunalchéesh for bringing it up here.

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