Is Swahili a bad course?

Hi, I've heard from a lot of people that Swahili is a bad course on Duolingo. I've head about audio problems, bad translations, etc. Is this true, or is the Swahili course still worth taking?

July 25, 2018


The thing I enjoy most about the course is the interaction between learners. Yes, some aspects of the course have been frustratingly lacking, but the community has more or less banded together to improve it. There's a lot of discussions going on, and as oolt mentioned one of the learners created an extension for audio. There's also a bunch of native speakers (myself included) that answer questions in the discussions, so you can ask for translations and sentence structures that don't make sense to you to be expounded upon. So yeah, I think it's worth taking

July 26, 2018

Can you link me to the audio extension?

July 27, 2018

It depends on your definition of bad. It is definitely the lowest-quality course I've done on Duolingo. It's a bit frustrating at times because there are inconsistencies in lessons and many acceptable translations missing, even though it is supposedly out of beta now, which it was certainly not ready for. That being said, it is by far the best resource out there for actually practicing Swahili. You should definitely use it together with other resources like Memrise and readings about the grammar, but it's definitely worth taking. You just have to be a bit patient.

July 27, 2018

I am close to the bottom of the Swahili tree and I am so tired of trying to figure some broken English the sentences are written in. There are also many typos. And they seem to have been reported for months!

August 5, 2018

It's very difficult without any other resources, especially help with pronunciations.

July 29, 2018

By the end of the 3rd level the errors are pretty woeful. My wife is Kenyan and has helped me through a lot. I feel bad for those who don't have someone at home to help

August 10, 2018

Sadly the Swahili course is a giant steaming mess at the moment, and I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. And it's a shame since Swahili is such a fascinating and important language. There is no audio at all, a lot of translation problems, and I heard some Swahili speakers native and otherwise have offered to become contributors but got no answer.
This is such a shame because I really want to learn Swahili and there are so few good resources out there to help learn it, even finding a good dictionary with noun classes is all but impossible. Duolingo has done a lot of great things in the field of language learning, it has helped me get a grasp on Spanish, Italian and to some extent French and let me dabble in a bunch of other languages. It is truly an amazing site.
But they dropped the ball on their Swahili tree.
To get some grounding in Swahili I can recommend the Language Transfer course, it is incredibly helpful, if and (hopefully) when the Swahili tree is fixed they will be a powerful combo for learning Swahili.

September 2, 2018
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