Lets Learn English!
Note: This is a joke post.
Over the years, I've heard many complaints about needing different languages. Of all the requests, I feel the most important language is English. English has the most speakers of any other language on Duolingo. If you're reading this, and you're fluent in English and English, then we need you to help us create the most important language on Duolingo.
Some background about English: The English language has 26 letters (A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z). It has 1.5+ BILLION speakers, and has over 379 million natives. We need all of you to help contribute to this course. Let's all contribute to this course and we can get even more users on Duolingo. It won't take much effort. Let's do this together.
We could do this for every language here! How about we do this with Chinese and Spanish which have even more native speakers than English? We could create so many more amazing learning trees on Duolingo. We could even do this for languages such as Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, and more! Let's start a Duolingo revolution!
Can we get 100 upvotes so other future volunteers notice?
This is a great idea. I believe bringing English from English to Duolingo would be the key to world happiness. Heck, I bet all the complaints on the forums will disappear completely if such a course is made.
I will go apply now. If there are 50 contributors, the course will be made even faster, thus bringing world peace faster.
I absolutely agree. We're all in this together. Thanks for taking the time to make Duolingo a better place.
so I am English and i have always been curious if English is a hard language for those that are not fluent? i have heard it is I just want your take on it. Was it ever hard at all?
I'm pretty sure it's crazy hard for people not fluent. Of course I am fluent, so I don't know. but there are a bunch of crazy stupid rules, in it. LOL
Actually the english grammar is easy. The most difficult is to learn how to pronounce.
Oh yeah for sure, my point is all languages have this own weird rules. But english pronunciation, that is a thing to freak out.
Well, it is easy, but there are really weird rules that no other language really has. :D
some words I'd like to see in the English for English speakers course
You're making me doubt my nativeness in English. Maybe I'm not good at English. Maybe we do need a course!
Hippo, you took the words right out of my mouth! Maybe I am not as fluent as I thought.
Deprecate is a common word if you are software engineer or a software development.
They are all reasonably common words. If anyone wants to find more uncommon words, the stories of Clark Ashton Smith are a treasure trove of them. Not to mention most enjoyable if you appreciate the ghoulish. 'The Dark Eidolon', in particular, is a masterpiece of getting even the most well-educated of English-speakers to look practically every other word up.
"The Dark Eidolon" ? Ugh. The problem with that is that much of it deliberately uses fairly archaic grammar constructions and style, to create an impression of the stories happening long ago. He also uses some words that really are obsolete.
None of which means that it's not a good read. It is. Very atmospheric. But I wouldn't recommend it for anyone whose first language isn't English - not unless they've read a LOT of other English Literature first. It's almost (but not quite) as bad as suggesting they read Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" (and not the editions that have been updated to modern English). And, if you feel inclined to try it, may I suggest "The Miller's Tale" from the Canterbury Tales - although none of the updated English versions I've come across are quite so boisterous or as downright rude as the original !
The events of 'the dark eidolon' take place in Zothique, far into the future. The ludicrous archaisms are really quite a clever way of establishing a great distance in time from the reader, albeit in the opposite direction. The plot isn't his best, but I love the way it's written.
By no means was I recommending it to anyone learning English, but rather to good speakers of English looking to discover new and interesting vocabulary.
Most of his other stories are less mock-Tudor blank verse, but they all show an enviable dexterity in the English language. 'The Double Shadow' is one that sticks in my mind.
Not sure I approve of modern 'translations' of Chaucer; they won't rhyme or scan properly a lot of the time, and it's hardly difficult to learn how to pronounce Chaucer in a reasonably-authentic way.
i'm just throwing some words out there I don't know if they have these cause I don't take English lessons, but here they are:
Ironic enormity sophisticated accommodate abstruse
Don't forget somnambulism, cavalier, destrier, jongleur, raconteur, and any of a bunch of other English words I'm not at all inclined to try and rediscover. And of course we can't forget such glorious verbs as defenestrate and cornobble. :D
Wonderful things happen when you get lost in a dictionary. :D
Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.
I can help, here's a good basic phrase translation that can be used;
ENGLISH; I'm giving the man my shovel
ENGLISH; I'm giving the man my shovel
It will be difficult to create this course but together we can overcome!
I think you've made a mistake in the English line "I'm giving the man my shovel". You used the accent mark "" which in fact makes it translate to "Me consuming the spaget but no-no electric flight" in English. A less important problem with the translation is that you used the masculine transgender informalitated continuative stressed form of e, instead of the formal formation formula progressionne version. This could confuse a lot of people, as using such could suggest you are in fact stealing their words to make your own in an attempt to inverse the statement you didn't not educate at youthn't. I hope this helped clear things up.
i believe a spade and shovel are two slightly different things, spades have sharper ends to help cut through dirt and break it up and shovels are wider, allowing you to carry more stuff on them.
This might be difficult, but all of us together will be able to do this!
Do you not read the incubator updates? It is already in A/B testing. I am one of the guinea pig users (or as Duolingo translated it in Skill 1: Dinner. I think a Peruvian was used to bulk up the early volunteer team).
There are still a few issues where the translation is written in American English but only accepts an English English answer (or it may be versa-vice, I am currently a little confused by it). Anyway, as far as I'm aware, elephants do not have large boots on their faces but the Animals skill insists that is the case
Also it is using a new reward coin: the Dolour. They cannot be used for anything yet in the shop, so are a cause of great sorrow and distress.
Really? I thought elephants did have large boots on their faces. I don't know why people would complain. Am I wrong?
I am a little hazy about automobile production in the UK. Does a Vauxhall's bonnet come from Steele's Millinery or from a steel mill?
issues where the translation is written in American English but only accepts an English English answer (or it may be versa-vice, I am currently a little confused by it). Anyway, as far as I'm aware, elephants do not have large boots on their faces but the Animals skill insists that is the case
I seem to remember a sentence from the Russian course (I think) for which the translation DL was very keen to impress upon me involved someone telling a floor.
Your example sounds like the same, long-standing, (I presume) algorithmic bug.
An idea I'd actually think be good, is if you could have a duolingo course from english targeting grammar. Since that's the main thing I struggle with.
And by enhancing the english grammar, it'll be easier to figure out the structures of other langauges and that would lead to a deeper understanding for the langauge.
I guess all of us have discovered, when we try to learn our (first) second language, that we don't know enough grammar. I'm actually learning english and in the process I've remembered a lot of things about spanish grammar.
That's right. I guess you're the opposite. I don't know if that phrase (you're the opposite) makes sense in english.
Shame it's a joke? I would love to see an English course in English, in the fun duolingo format, for those with poor literacy. As a volunteer tutor in English literacy this woul d be a fantastic tool for students to practice spelling, sentence structure etc. No joke. Bring it on I say.
Well, there are regularly people who ask if duolingo could teach them English from English, sooo... XD
This is great! I’ve been wanting to learn English my whole life! I hope it’s easy if my mother tongue is English.
This seems like a bit of a revolutionary turn. After all, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Duolingo's main priority is to gift meaningless currency to all, and make countless useless gimmicky graphics. I feel such a dramatic turn in course could shatter Duolingo's significant progress towards the aforementioned goals.
I feel you would be a great contributor, Linda! I look forward to seeing you be a contributor, as your English is quite good. Maybe you could even contribute to the Italian for Italian speakers course as well.
I can help contribute too iIve been doing English for 13 years .....(just not on here)
Oh wow! You're going to be perfect then. Are you also fluent in English?
After reading the comments it seems there is no easy way to add an English from English course to Duolingo.
But if you still want to learn English from English there is a workaround named laddering:
- Learn Chinese from English, then
- Learn English from Chinese
If Chinese seems to difficult to you replace it by another language like Polish or Russian. I am pretty sure you will learn a lot this way.
Wonderful idea. Please cover grammar and spelling. And here are just a few questions that could be answered by this course.
Explain why in English we say, "to, too and two?"
Explain "big mouth bass" and "bass drum".
Explain "so" and "sew".
Explain "nite", "knight" and "night"
Explain why it is "i' before "e", except after "c" when sounding like "a" as in neighbor and weigh.
Explain why English has 26 or so vowel sounds, while Spanish (and many other languages) get by with 5.
And how did "y" get to sometimes be a vowel?
Who came up with the words, "eleven" and "twelve" when we all know oneteen and twoteen would have worked better.
And why "Q" is always followed by a "u" as in queen and quiet.
There are so many questions about English and so little time, I agree lets get this tree started!
Following further with Kelvin's suggestions, some more confusing words: Through, though, thought, tough, trough
Those are good ones. What about sight, site and cite. Like when we say, "I'm going site seeing so I can see the sites." you can cite me on that one.
Oh also: tion and sion. OH also There and Their and they're XD Oh yeah! And why "though" makes an "oh" sound and "through" makes an "oo" sound and "tough" makes an "uh" sound and "thought" makes an "Ah" sound. XD WHY
This is because we borrowed many words from French at different periods. And French also has words borrowed from the Normans and English during different periods.
For example even though both French and Spanish have many common words, due to their common roots that come from Vulgar Latin, they each have different ways of handling the "tion" and "sion" suffixes.
And English borrowed some of those words from each language at different times.
" i " before "e" except after "c"?
And another point to explain is why the English/Canadians spell it "neighbour" whereas the Americans spell it "neighbor"
Also, (I need to know this, too LOL) Why does the word "weird" have "ie" even though it is not after C? XD Seriously, WHY? :D I think it's actually just one of those things. Ugh. There's probably no explanation. LOL
The "i" before "e" rule has many exceptions also. This is one of the things that makes English so difficult for speakers of English and non-English speakers alike.
Which is why even though this post is meant as a joke, there are some good reasons to have an English course for English learners.
KEITH and SHEILA had a WEIRD thought of PROTEIN by the WEIR.
The only exceptions (I think)! Just remember that the rule is: ...when the sound is "ee"
And lots of exceptions the other way (i and e not reversed after c), but most of them are when i and e are pronounced separately - e.g. glacier.
A few answers (or, part answers) to some of those questions:
To too two. Too means in addition. So to distinguish it we add something in addition - in this case an extra "o". Two is related to "twain", which also mean two (in certain circumstances) and has a Germanic origin (compare with Germanic languages. Old English for Two was Twa.
Bass: when meaning deep, or low of sound tone, it comes from bassus which is a Latin word. I think the fish (and derivations of that) have a Germanic origin.
So and Sew "So", with minor variations in spelling is common in Nordic and Germanic languages (and others) and almost invariably has an almost identical meaning to the English "So". "Sew" is almost certainly of Indian origin, but has come to English via Latin "suere" and Greek "suein", both of which (I think) would have been pronounced as though the "su" at the beginning was an "sw". I think we just got lazy, shortened it and put the "w" on the end to make it easier to say.
Nite.... etc "Nite" is NOT a word. Except for a few theatricals and gamers who think it's easier to write it like that. At best, it's an abbreviation of "night".
i before e I've covered in another post.
Vowel sounds - because English is such a mix of ancient languages and has developed and changed over many centuries. Also, don't forget that England was last successfully invaded in 1066 - so there has been no particular urge for its people to feel proud of their ancient language and hang on to it to spite the invaders. It has just developed naturally, and has never been afraid to adopt foreign words or their pronunciation.
Y is a relatively recent addition. In Old English the vowel sound was frequently written as "ig" when it was at the end of a word. Using it as a consonant "as in "yellow") is probably a corruption of words that started with "J" or "H" or "G" and it became desirable to distinguish them. Note: The use of a Y, often popular on signs in England like: Ye Olde Shoppe is NOT the letter Y. In Old and Middle English, a "TH" was written as "Y".
Eleven and Twelve
Well, if all words were logical, languages would be very boring. Anyway, French, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic, Dutch, German, Spanish - and probably a lot more languages that I don't know - also do the same sort of thing.
U after Q? Actually there are a lot of words where Q is not followed by U - most, admittedly, of relatively recent foreign origin. Sources of words that have formally included in the English language where Q comes without a U include Arabic, Hebrew, Mandarin, Inuit, Zulu, and a few recent words. Most aren't words you'd use every day, but every fluent English speaker should at least know "Burqa" "Qi" "Sheqel" "Qwerty" "Suq" (among others).
Anyway, I hope you like my thoughts on these. If anyone thinks I've got any of it wrong, I'd be pleased to be corrected.
"Nite" is NOT a word.
Nite, v. to repudiate (an obligation, etc.), to refuse (a request) to one, to deny (a statement, etc.), to deny, abjure (a person). Also absol., to refuse to do a thing; n. denial. (O.E.D.) Most of the citations are from the 14th century, but still, it IS a word!
The O.E.D. also describes its use as a respelling of 'night' as 'a widespread vulgarism'.
Ok, fair comment. Not a current, active word in English - unless you're including "vulgarisms". How's that?
And thank you for the correction.
@SecretlyAHhippo I'm so axcited by this course. Will all the different dialects be like covered? I can do most but not Geordie. It is very hard to accomplish, pet.
I'm very axcited too! I can't do Geordie either, maybe another contributor can?
i think i get it but i'm honestly kinda confused... so your wanting to make the English lessons better? also one more thing @SecretlyAHippo what is the original language you are fluent in? i'm curious.
English to English Legalese would be fire! I'd learn how to defend myself in court without an attorney. I just really want an excuse to say, " I OBJECT, your Honor!"
Oh yeah! That would be SWEET! Haha! But seriously. I wish I could go to court for some reason and actually understand the lawyers and judges. :D
I made a Tiny Card deck of English words that no one knows! ;D Come check it out! https://tinycards.duolingo.com/decks/NBWLLZ4z/english-from-english-d
There is a calendar on the market, published by Pomegranite, called Forgotten English. There was also a book published by the same name, authored/edited by Jeffrey Kacirk. Some samples, quoted from the book:
- Elf-Locks: hair that is tangled to the point where it cannot be undone
- Hidegild: money paid in lieu of a flogging
- Mumpsimus: any incorrect opinion stubbornly clung to.
- Galligaskin: Baggy trousers (17th, 18th Centuries)
- Besom clean: When something is "clean enough", as with a quick sweep
Secretlyahippo. Tonight I sleep like a baby, knowing that at long last I'm gonna be a Contribuotere with a extra flag! Thank you.
Dago yagou thagink aganayagone cagould agundagerstagand aganagy tagype agof Agenglagish bagackslagang?
Oh my gosh! I understood, like all of that even though it's like gibberish! :D
It most certainy isn't gibberish. It's one of the English Backslang "dialects" (if you take out every "ag" you'll recognise the English words). Also - it's quite easy to speak and understand fluently, with just an hour or two of practice. Just put "ag" (pronounced "ay-g") immediately before every vowel sound - not every vowel, just every sound, and pronounce the rest as a normal English word.
So... why? Because you can pick it up very quickly, both speaking and understanding, and then no one except you and your friends who know about it can understand anything you say to each other.
And again, you may ask, why? Ah, well, very childish. Suffice it to say that it was popular at my school, very many years ago, and the teachers never figured it out :D
It works less well in writing than when spoken.
I guess all languages have something like that. In spanish we have "Jerigonza". For example:
- Hopolapa, ¿copomopo epestapas? (Hola, ¿cómo estás?)
How you said, I'm only heard that when I was child.
You know what the funnest thing to say in that language thing? ago! You say it like agagago! XD :D
Try some of the words that have multiple vowels adjacent to each other but which are pronounced separately and therefore each requiring an "ag". Some of them sound wonderful, once you get your head (and your tongue) around them!
Incidentally, while on the topic of the SOUND of words, some perfectly normal words really do sound SO much better than others - and all languages have their own. One of the best I've come across so far is borôbabongwe. Just SAY it - it's pronounced approximately as it's written, using standard English pronunciation. The stress is on the "bong" (where else?). And listen to that WONDERFUL sound. It means "ninth" in Setswana.
We don't know. It's "English" to "English", we'll never know what type.
I say we cover all dialects of English. That will prevent complaints about not accepting answers.
Then people will start making up their own dialects, though. People HAVE TO complain. We can try, though.
You can't cover all the dialects of English - there are too many, and they vary not just from country to country but city to city, (although, mostly not true dialects but accepted variations on "standard English"). And what may be correct in one dialect of English is totally wrong in another, often making it difficult or even impossible for a platform like Duolingo to give meaningful answers. It's made worse, because many "non-English" countries have English as one of their official languages. For example, in Kenya where English IS one of the two official languages, it may be perfectly acceptable to say "There are two lion at the waterhole", (and I've heard it said EXACTLY like that) whereas in almost every other form of English you need an "s" on the end of "lion" otherwise it's wrong. Most Kenyans (or, at least, all the ones I've met) always leave the "s" off the end of plural words when it refers to animals. Right for them, wrong everywhere else.
England itself has dozens of variations in language. Most, but not all, are covered in the Oxford English Dictionary that lists 176,000 words (and another 46,000 obsolete words). Websters International English Dictionary lists over 470,000 English words and variations. The average English person knows somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 words, and a few with advanced education may know as many as 100,000 words. [Note: that compares with over one million words in Korean or just 100,000 official words in French].
So... I think that Duolingo must stick to one form of English and not try to cover every variation. Almost without exception, the variations - "dialects" - are interchangeable with no more than a very few differences and rarely causing any confusion.
Although... some of the English grammar and usage in Duo's translations INTO English from some of the languages I've looked at, is absolutely horrible. I can see that in some cases it's done to give a better understanding of the words in the other language and the equivalent English words, but it does [frequently] end up with English phrases that no one with even a rudimentary education in England (or the USA, Canada, Australia etc etc) would ever say!
At the risk of distracting the thread from jokes, that's very interesting about "two lion".
This is what Partridge called a "snob plural" when it came out of the mouth of upper-class English hunters:
You would very rarely hear this in Britain now, but very interesting it took root in Kenya. (To be clear, I'm absolutely not saying that it reflects the attitude of an English snob when used by a Kenyan!)
I'm pretty sure if the greeting/farewell lessons are filled with any of the following, we're dealing with British English:
"Top of the morning to you." "How art thine morning?" "Chip-chip cheerio." "So long." "You're a wizard, Harry."
Looking forward to the 2000-post thread on whether to call the course "American English to real English" or "real English to British English".
I'd love a course in 'Real English', but can anyone persuade the King of Spain to write it?
Sure. They're clearing out an office for him in Buckingham Palace right now!
I would be willing to contribute. I speak decent Spanish but do I need to be 100% fluent?
Wait, English for English?
Andres. Hi, for this English to English course, Spanish might not cut the mustard. I fink your English would be batter.
Yep, I fink so to...I ain’t gonna be bragging. But I’d say thut my Inglish is prabobly best then mi Spañish. :-)
I just tried to apply for English and English and it said it could not accept same languages.
@SecretlyAHhippo. For audio, can I sujest Stephen Fry (him voice) and Joanna Lumley (her voice). Even better Peter Kay and Lily Savage, perhaps!?
Or, we could have Siri and the Google voice. Then it would NEVER mess up/butcher it. ;-)