Duolingo Poll (May 2014) Results!
Hey everyone, the results are in! But instead of scrolling to the bottom for the link, please read this feedback by me on the poll.
The poll was a great success, with 5282 votes, surpassing the first poll, which had around 2k. Now, here's my feedback.
Things I'm going to do different next time
Make Filipino and Tagalog one selection, having the selection be Filipino/Tagalog.
All the languages that people selected this time, including those in the "other" option, will be included in the preset options.
The poll will not run as long as this time, due to lesser chance of vote fixing (I'll explain) and faster results, as most people will be aware of the poll by now.
Things I need help from YOU
Please properly capitalize your language if you use the "other" language
Recommendation for what to do on vote-fixing/manipulation of votes. The only case I was certain of vote fixing was 41 votes of Telugu in about 5 minutes, and some even stated when they used the other option that it was the same person. These were counted toward the "invalid" category. I also suspected some vote fixing cases in Swedish and others, and you'll be able to see the raw data to help determine. (From about 3400-3600 and 4100-4300, there's a lot of Swedish. From 3900-4100, there's a lot of Esperanto. Those are the ones I'm suspecting.) A clever way would be to use reCAPTCHA, Luis's invention, but I don't think Google forms allows it.
Now, the results. There's two spreadsheets, the first one being the summary of the votes, the second being the raw data (You can see it at the bottom, the name is "Form Responses"). I did edit and clean it up, which is why some are "Invalid". You also are able to see the timestamp/time of the vote, so you might be able to suspect some vote fixing. The next polls will be done bimonthly (every two months) so the next one will be in July. If you have any comments or recommendations, leave them in the comments, I read them. Thanks!
Special thanks to morgengrauen for the chart!
I voted for Swedish... (parce que le mec que j'aime est suédois!) :P
Scandinavian languages and Esperanto are legitimately in demand, I personally am quite excited for their development! :D
This post highlights the main problem with this poll is that you don't if that many Swedes want to learn English or if that many English speakers want to learn Swedish. Counting the former should be the priority and the only statistic that matters IMHO. I'm sure more Bengalis would benefit from Duolingo than would Swedes, but you'll never deduce that using this poll.
Luis created Duolingo so that all people of this planet can experience the World Wide Web equally. If you don't know English, good luck enjoying the network that connects all of us humans together to the extent that an English speaker does.
I'm pretty sure most if not all people who voted Swedish want to learn Swedish. For one thing if you really don't know English, the likelihood you'd take that poll to begin with would be low. And you wouldn't ask the same question about Latin or Esperanto, would you? Of course this poll focuses on what languages people who already know English want to learn, and the languages where the demand is more for learning English from different languages will have to be found in other ways.
But why on earth shouldn't Duolingo teach Swedish, Norwegian, Latin and other fun languages to people who already know English? True, most Swedes already know English and don't need to learn it here. But there are a lot of fascinating websites and other stuff in Swedish that you'll never be able to appreciate unless you know Swedish yourself. It sounds like you would like to make Duolingo into a website that would only teach English. That sounds very narrow-minded to me.
I'm sorry, but there are facts in place. Duolingo mostly teaches English - most courses are Language to English. And they always begin it with Language to English, and then they do the reverse course (For Latin, Esperanto, other constructed/engineered languages and dead languages, I'm sure Duolingo will make an exception). My main question is why Duolingo is taking a "You can do anything, but not everything" stance on this - why not put all the languages in the incubator?
Most of us understand that the idea is that they usually make the English for X first, and then reverse it. That does not make my point any less valid. People voted Swedish mainly because they want to learn it. They understand that they will have to wait while English for Swedish is made first. Duo have stated clearly that they intend to do the reverse of all the English for X languages that are in the incubator already, so it is not true that Duo is mostly about teaching English.
Well, I suppose I can see your point - but Bengali has about the same value as learning Swedish (Other than missionary trips).
@Finnmark's next answer, where I can't comment: of course I'm not against teaching Bengali. I think Duo can and should do both Bengali and Swedish, and many others, but I was answering @dario_gerussi who seems to think that other languages than English are not worth teaching.
@Finnmark. It also depends on who you are and what your circumstances are. For example, Bengali would probably not help me in any way, but Norwegian would. This is because knowing the language could give me a GOOD job in the nation and could even help me to get a Norwegian passport. A Norwegian passport would be useful, not just to for Norway, but for all of the EU and EEA. I could live and work in any one of these nations. Norwegian may sound useless, especially because everyone there speaks english, but it truly could be incredibly helpful for certain people. Not to forget it's very helpful when making GOOD friends or when getting into a romantic relationship. Of course the same could be said for Bengali and I don't have any problems with that language. Of course if people really wanted to make a Bengali course they could just find people who can make it. That's all anyone has to do. I don't think the poll actually does anything.
But in Bangladesh, if you're rich, you know English. And in Bangladesh, there are chiefly two economic groups - the ones that are rich, and the ones that are not. There is no middle class. The ones that are not rich do not have computers, while the rich do have computers. Meanwhile, in Sweden, where, albeit 60% of the population knows English, 94% of the population is connected to the internet - a good 34% could use it.
Just started looking at Esperanto tonight, and it'd be pretty cool to get a course on Duolingo. I've read about some of the criticisms, and while they're valid... the overall simplicity of Esperanto is appealing, especially for somebody who has never been able to successfully stick with another language long enough to even carry a real conversation
EDIT: Also, you'll find lots of people who'll gladly help with Esperanto incubator. Seems like many people who speak it are very very enthusiastic about it
Esperanto is an excellent way for people to learn how to learn a foreign language. It also helps them with their native language.
There's research that shows that you can learn more French by learning Esperanto for six months and then French for six months, than from learning French for a year. It would be interesting to see if that generalises.
It's not a natural language and it also only includes major European languages in its repertoire, excluding most of European languages and every other language on the planet for that matter.
I don't see how those criticisms are relevant. The main point of Esperanto is that it's very useful for two major practical tasks: meeting people while traveling and increasing the speed at which other languages can be learned. (Search Google for "propaedeutic value of Esperanto".)
I'm interested in learning more Esperanto.
It's relevant because if its qualities like grammar are heavily derived from certain indo-european languages it makes it much much harder for people who are native speakers of completely different language families.
Esperanto is relatively easy for someone who speaks a romance or germanic language, but probably a whole lot harder for, say, an Arabic or Tagalog speaker. For this reason it's not practical for everyone, especially if it's for the sake of the language is to unite people around the world. There's no perfect language, but if the point is too meet people & improve language learning, it should've been less biased toward European languages.
I'm not at all against Esperanto on this site, but it's not without it's flaws & people should realize it can be difficult for many others.
I think that is a common myth. It's probably much easier for a non-European to learn Esperanto than any other major language due to the perfectly regular grammar. Esperanto can also provide an easy introduction into European languages. One of the places where Esperanto is most popular is China. It might take someone from China a little longer to learn Esperanto than for someone from Spain (for example), but it's still many times easier than a national language.
No, it's very diverse (but still only IE languages spoken in Europe), but that's what brings its downfall. Esperanto should be easiest for the greatest amount of people.
A thanks and a "well done" to all parties involved. I really hope eventually everyone else will get their wish and DL will add all those other great languages, but yes, as an Esperanto geek, I'm on Cloud Nine right now!
I think there may be a lot of overlap between people wanting to learn Norwegian/Swedish/Icelandic who know they want to learn a Nordic Language, but maybe not have one they are set on. I'll be happy with whatever one they end up choosing :)
I'd say if you just want to learn a nordic language and don't really care which, go for Norwegian. Studies have shown that native Norwegians are better at understanding Swedish and Danish than Swedes and Danes are at understanding the respective other two languages. I guess it's because Norway is between Sweden and Danish and so is their language.
Icelandic is interesting for other reasons: it is very conservative so it may interest from a linguistic standpoint rather than a communicative one. Personally, it's a bit of both. I feel like a country with low population and a cold climate would be just about perfect for me, plus Iceland seems quite beautiful. Only problem I see with it is that I'm not really into fish :P
Strictly geographiclly speaking it isn't, no, but from a linguistic standpoint, yes it is. Just like Germany is between the Netherlands and Switzerland. It's all one continuüm, and the dialects speaking in Norway are somewhere between the Danish and Swedish ones on said continuüm.
Well, if you speak any of the Scandinavian languages (Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) you are usually able to communicate in the other scandinavian languages as well. So it might not matter so terribly much which of them has the highest number of speakers, I think.
PS: For illustration it might be noted that at the University of Oslo you can actually write your exams and papers in Swedish or Danish. (I THINK that this is also the case for universities in Sweden and Denmark).
Sad to see the Bantu languages getting so few votes, but oh well. I'm glad to see that people are taking an interest in Scandinavian languages these days!
I have to say, as someone who made the mistake of leaving notifications on in this thread, and someone who has no interest in Esperanto: those who can't help but try to tear it down at every turn are much more annoying than those who talk up its benefits. I never thought when I got involved in language learning and the community that goes with it, that so many of its members would be so outwardly negative towards other particular languages.
Even if the enthusiasm surrounding Esperanto can itself become a bit tired at times, it is that same enthusiasm that we all feel for our respective languages, and I have nothing but support for that kind of passion about a language. Then there are those who are just unnecessarily negative towards that which they clearly don't want to involve themselves with, or which they no personal interest in, and I can't help but wonder why. What does one have to gain from spreading negativity in the face of positivity?
Well, all my main points are that people are uninformed about other, potentially easier IALs other than Esperanto. In 1907, during the big reveal of Ido, 20% of Esperantists became Idists. If people knew about both languages, I am sure that the ratio will be somewhat the same, or more for Ido.
It's a fair point, but remember that most people do not even know that Esperanto exists. Those that do are almost certainly aware that Ido exists. Enthusiasm is legitimate even if it isn't logical or informed. Heck, you can add both Esperanto AND Ido to Duolingo for all I care. I guarantee that Esperanto will leave the incubator first, and I for one would be among the first to take the course. Then I'd experiment with Ido. Because why not?
I once took an informal poll on the subject. I asked about 12 of my friends how many people knew what is Esperanto. About 6 said they knew about it. I asked those 6 people if they knew what is Ido. 0 said they knew about it.
Also, on a different hand, are IALs part of Duolingo's original goal (Of translating the internet into every major language)? I'm not sure that it is - Esperanto has 300 something more votes than Swedish, but Swedish was put up anyway (Though I'm very happy for people to be learning Swedish as well!).
You're right, I don't think IALs fit within the Duolingo business model, but I don't think they could possibly hurt. Esperanto, being the biggest IAL (currently) would bring additional traffic to the site, and those learners would then likely try another language as well. After all, one of the purposes of Esperanto (although not its original goal) is to facilitate the learning of other languages.
I'm certainly an advocate for Esperanto! :) I was only saying that, even IF we take Finnmark's suggestion (that Esperanto doesn't fit duolingo's business model) as true, it still couldn't possibly hurt to allow the Esperanto community to develop the program here on the site. In fact, I think that would be great, and I sincerely hope that it happens.
Somewhere else on this thread I also made the point that nearly ALL Esperantists are on the internet, eager to communicate in Esperanto with people from around the world. The same can NOT be said of other languages. For example, I speak English natively, but I have little interest in communicating with others in English just for the sake of it.
TL; DR: I think that adding Esperanto to Duolingo would attract a lot of attention from Esperantists, who tend to be active in language learning. I also maintain that the community would get the Esperanto course through the incubator faster than any other language currently in the incubation (pre-Beta) stage.
I am not so sure that Esperanto doesn't fit within the Duolingo business model. Let's consider that the Chinese government does pay people to translate into Esperanto for http://esperanto.china.org.cn/ Also Google Translate, https://translate.google.com/#auto/en/Saluton , payed people to create the translation machine for Esperanto. So I don't know why there shouldn't be other people, institutions and companies willing to pay for Esperanto translations.
It is not that much known, but Esperanto is one of the first 20 or 50 languages for international communication. The Esperanto wikipedia e.g. has about 10,000 views per hour (43rd place) , http://stats.wikimedia.org/EO/Sitemap.htm , similar to Estonian, Serbo-Croatian, Kazakh, Latvian (order by Usage). This indicates that, if a company wants to have their web page in 50 languages, then it would be worthwhile to consider including Esperanto.
duelingace, please consider also the character of the Chinese decision. They decided to have their news in just ten languages plus Esperanto. They didn't want to spend the money to have their news every day in e.g. fifty languages. So they took ten languages and added Esperanto instead of all the others. So the native speakers of all the other languages may decide what language to choose, with which of their foreign languages they are most familiar.
This kind of decision is not new to me. Sometimes I get requests to search someone who translates a website into Esperanto (from German), a website that exists only in a small number of languages. They want to show that they are sensible to the problem of language barrier, that they can't translate into every language, so they just offer it additionally in Esperanto.
Ludoviko, China is a historical advocate of Esperanto - they used to teach it in schools pre-WWI.
And all these websites want to translate into Esperanto to show that they are international, but how many native speakers of Esperanto will there be? I think Duolingo is more aimed towards translating L1s rather than L2s.
I expected to see that I was the only one who voted for the Cherokee language. I'm pleasantly surprised that I wasn't.
Don't you think Duolingo could be a great tool for the preservation of endangered languages? :)
Yes! I was actually thinking there should be a group, if there isn't already. I looked at a list of critically endangered languages and it made me so sad to see that only 2 or 3 people could speak them. I feel like Duolingo could do a language preservation week/month where it adds critically endangered languages.
Though when only 2 or 3 people speak the language, it becomes quite hard to find volunteers to produce the course
I was also happy to see that and Ojibwe, would be a great addition eventually
I went and looked up all the languages that I hadn't heard of and I was happy to see quite a few Native American languages.
In terms of votes, they all look pretty legit IMO. Anyways, I can't wait to learn some new languages. :D
From about 3400-3600 and 4100-4300, there's a lot of Swedish. From 3900-4100, there's a lot of Esperanto. Those are the ones I'm suspecting.
Sudden bursts are probably more easily explained by people posting to groups than by vote fixing (though I'm sure there'll be a little of that - I think it's naive to believe it's completely absent from any sizeable poll). Esperanto and the Scandinavian languages especially; I know a friend of mine posted the poll to her Swedish (and Norwegian, but they're mostly into Swedish - I don't understand the huge skew in popularity between the two!) language meetup group after I told her about it. And it's well known that many Esperanto fans are highly enthusiastic about the language being incorporated into Duolingo, so I could see them mustering support on reddit, groups, etc. quite easily. I'd be more suspicious of smaller, more-sporadic bursts personally. But really it's hard to say one way or another with anything other than gut feelings. Does the site you're using at least check against previously used IP addresses? Hardly a fool-proof solution, but given that I've seen some which don't, it's definitely a start.
No, it's via Google forms. I still suspect there was a bot for some, but no one knows for sure. ReCAPTCHA would be good.
This voting, 3900-4100, around May 24, 5 AM CST, is probably caused by some posting to Esperanto groups at that time.
Ah, ok. Now THAT seems a bit fishy. But I did see a post on a Swedish-learning subreddit* (which is how I found out about this) which might have caused a spike in votes.
It was linked to the Esperanto subreddit on reddit, but I didn't know about the forum. Can you link me it?
Sorry, I meant subreddit - not forum. Here you go: http://www.reddit.com/r/Svenska/comments/25y9ie/duolingo_have_a_poll_up_on_what_language_they/
Oh, cute! There was one vote for ASL, but also one vote for Libras: that's Brazilian Sign Language (LIngua BRAsileira de Sinais). I wonder who voted for those. Though unlikely to be part of Duolingo, I am really glad there are people who voted for them. They are so interesting!
I voted for Esperanto. I've dabbled with the language before, but I think it would lend itself very well to the Duolingo system. I also firmly believe that the course would be completed very quickly, due to the extremely active online Esperanto community. I have "liked" several Esperanto pages on Facebook, and almost all of them posted a link to this poll, which explains the high turnout rate for advocates of the language. Fraud can always be assumed, but don't discount the Esperantists out there ;)
Thanks for the poll and the results, krispykracker!
(May I suggest you summarize the results at the end of the (next results) message, so that the reader can get the gist of the outcome without having to click on another link?)
Can you make it that we can vote for more than 1 language, or just do the poll multiple times, I do not want to become a polyglot, but there are quite a few languages I want to learn.
T. Hanks for your time and effort in making this!
Thank you, and I want to keep it to 1 vote because if allowed multiple times, some people will vote 10 times, others just once, and the results are not accurate then.
There was a lot of discussion about Esperanto, mainly because of misinformation about the language - so we tried to put things right.
Maybe a main reason why we are enthusiastic about Esperanto and why many of us really love the language, was not yet said clearly enough: We were able to get to a higher level in Esperanto than we could reach in our other languages. For a lot of us Esperanto speakers Esperanto is the foreign language we speak best and with which we feel most at home. That's one of the reasons we often speak about "our language", something I wouldn't say about French or English (my native language is German). (Nowadays there are not many Esperanto speakers not knowing other languages. The mean is 3,3 foreign languages, Esperanto plus two other languages.)
This higher level in Esperanto is due to the structure of the language. Esperanto is easier to learn and so you learn it quicker than other languages. If for a certain level you need 1000 hours in Italian, for the same level you may need about 300 hours in Esperanto (or 100 or 200, I don't want to discuss about numbers). This means, if you put the same effort into Italian and Esperanto, you will reach a higher level in Esperanto. Or, if you learn Esperanto for ten minutes a day, you have to learn Italian for at least thirty minutes a day to maintain the same level. Quite often you don't have so much time for other languages, so your level in Esperanto will be raising above that of your other languages.
This is something you'll notice, if you give Esperanto a try. Here on duolingo after some time or already now elsewhere in the internet.
Fair enough, but I was in Cambodia recently and it seemed frowned upon to call it that. Perhaps that was just the opinion of those I talked with.
I'm glad to see I wasn't the only person who voted Latvian. Hello to whoever the other person is! Latviešu valoda FTW!
Latvia is a beautiful country (And I die for Latvian-produce Sardines), and it is spoken by a moderate amount of people. I'm surprised there weren't more.
I hope there will be more. And volunteers! It is a fun language, too. I love their word for icecream: saldējums. Just one example.
Closest translations of "kārums" in English: dainty, titbit, delicacy. There is one company in Latvia called "Kārums" which produces sweet curd snacks (http://www.milk.lv/en/products/curd-snacks)
Also, in case you have a typo in "Karums", there is a Latvian professional ice hockey player Mārtiņš Karsums.
I have applied for volunteering this language. However, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and other languages will come first because Duolingo prioritizes languages which have more native speakers.
I feel they may choose to start incubating this language in summer but I may be wrong.
Glad to hear you've applied! I hope they'll take you up on your offer. How many applicants they get (and how suitable they seem) will surely be a factor in which languages get done first. But Latvian should come, sooner or later.
I've volunteered to help out with Swedish (my native language) so maybe I'll get the chance to contribute soon enough.
I doubt it - if only 2 people voted for it ...Unfortunately, Dothraki (42) might come sooner.
I believe these results are legitimate, there is a section where there does seem to be a lot of Swedish in a row, en masse but then this only happens once and could be due to a group such as on reddit all agreeing to vote on this, I don't think you can use one suspicion discredit Swedish or Esperanto.
Everyone knows the Esperanto fans are passionate I've seen threads and threads calling for Swedish or Scandinavian languages, and while Esperanto won if you add the 4 scandinavian languages together, they account for 2268 votes, more than double Esperanto, and stand around 43% of the total votes.
Duo keeps ignoring Scandinavia and I think people are starting to notice and voice their opinions more.
In the last poll when Irish won, Esperanto came 2nd, Swedish and Norwegian 3rd and 4th, now with Irish removed as it one we now see Esperanto 1st and Swedish and Norwegian 2nd and 3rd, so largely in line with the previous results.
I hope both will be added to the incubabor by July, if only one or both is still absent, I'd expect them to dominate even further in your next poll.
When I have the poll, just click on the link and vote :) Next one is in July
When there is a new poll, there will be a new post in the discussion forum with a subject of "New poll!' or similar and when you read the post contents, it will say "Hey I'm having a new poll, here's the rules, blah, blah, blah" and in there will be a link that you need to click to take the poll. The link takes you to another website. It's a Google Forms website and you can click the button for whichever language you're most interested in learning.
Here's a link to the most recent poll, which these results are from: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3035609
Ah, thanks. I don't check the forums on a daily basis but I'll keep an eye out for it..
I'm surprised that there is nothing for Japanese - I distinctly remember loads of people wanting it.
Japanese was not a valid option, since it is in the incubator already ( though only one way, for now)
Javanese, in all fairness, is quite an underestimated language. Many people know Indonesian, but there are almost no L2 Javanese speakers, yet the island of Java dominates Indonesia.
I was hoping for more votes for Slovak, but I am glad I was not alone. BTW correct is Slovak, not Slovakian
I'd love to be able to vote for two languages next time. I had to decide between Latin and Icelandic, both languages that interest me a lot (ended up voting for Latin). Glad to see both are high up though.
Aww, only two people besides me voted for Georgian? :( Where are you guys?
Yes, some of these languages, absolutely crazy. Dothraki (language of Game of Thrones) has 42, but Georgian has 3. Come on, Georgian Orthodox!
Great work, I'd give you a lingot but I'm down to 2 today. Also excited to see SIX (6) people also want Yiddish!!! Yay!
Well, Swedish is now in the incubator, congratulation! I hope sometime Esperanto will be added too. And I hope it will happen soon.
Anyone else interested in seeing more Asian and Middle Eastern languages that don't use the Latin alphabet?
@3IRIK I totally agree with you. I have been amazed by the amount of people that I have come across that need Norwegian for their business dealings, especially in pharmaceuticals (we all know how big that is!) I have met American, German and Finnish people that need to learn the language. I personally don't need it and don't plan to study it. There just seems to be a huge disconnect here as to why people need or want certain languages. So many are deemed as not warranted for votes. I have met and know of so many people in very "obscure" places teaching English and have needed to study the language.