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Typing in Arabic.

I'm really enjoying the Arabic course, but would like to challenge myself more. I'm sure when I started I had the choice of answering via the Arabic keyboard or by selecting the words. I chose the latter, but now want to practise by using the keyboard, but there is no option to chose. Can anyone help? I also hope they continue to develop the course...soon.

November 24, 2019



I mostly use the Duolingo app on my android phone and I can't seem to find the typing feature on the app. Does anyone know how can app users type in Arabic instead of picking the words.

Picking words was good for me in the beginning but i have become comfortable which means its time to push myself a bit further.


I understand you. It is the same for me. Can anyone help?


I actually use it on the web, even on my phone, which lets you type everything, but I really wish they just made the app more similar to the web version.


I use the standard Arabic (Egypt) Windows 10 keyboard. I installed it under the control panel just like I installed the US international one for doing French and Spanish. The layout looks like this

There's probably something similar on apple, linux, and other operating systems.

It is not hard to use, but it takes a while to figure out where the letters are. It takes me about 20 seconds to type even simple words like سلام. I'm sure I'll get better with practice. I also recently figured out how to add fatha, damma, and other diacritical marks: سَلام. (Note the fatha over the س in that case. It is achieved by using SHIFT+Q immediately after typing the S.)

It isn't quite as convenient for using duolingo as the English (US international) keyboard is. For Spanish (ñ, etc.), Portuguese (ã, etc.), German (ß, etc.) or French (ç, etc.), you can just leave it in US international and type English or those other languages easily. For Arabic, you have to switch between English (to write English) and Arabic (to write Arabic) but that just means that you have to remove your fingers from the keyboard and grab the mouse once in a while. Not ideal--since I don't like taking my fingers off the home row keys--but not terribly inconvenient. Mostly, it's good for looking up things, such as pronunciations on forvo, for example. For that purpose the Arabic keyboard is extremely useful!


I could use arabic input on my iphone but i find the keyboard on my laptop hard to use.


I have learnt a little about handwriting the Arabic alphabet/script via YouTube videos, and suspect that doing some of that will help reinforce some of the sounds new to me as a complete beginner in learning any African/South&East Mediterranean language. I’d love the Arabic keyboard to appear on my keyboard (as magically happened when I included Russian in my iPad language priority list under settings - but which has not happened either time I’ve tried with Arabic) however...

...I conclude from reading discussion comments that, for learners like me, this still early-ish version of the (in future) “to be much-improved” Duolingo Arabic, relies on restricting the reply options (in the word matches) open to beginners like... With no wrong options presented (e.g. only feminine words when feminine word forms are what are required/learnt/taught) a beginner can’t go “wrong” and Duolingo does not have to resort to clumsy/cluttering specification unnatural to colloquial speech (e.g. specifying female teacher, female engineer.. or teacher [f], engineer [f] etc.).

Building in a feature on how to use a keyboard, written conventions etc, seems like a rather distant project for Duolingo. It does what it does very well.

Duolingo makes learning a game... E.g. In Welsh, among answer word by word match options, they often capitalise the word that should start the sentence (& perhaps one other). As you progress into higher realms of any topic, less guidance is given, the capitalisation withdrawn...

I happily use a Russian keyboard option because I’ve experience in handwriting Russian from my teens. I do not use the keyboard option in Welsh, yet: I’d rather get accustomed to (how it feels) handwriting it first.

Clearly people who are already users of Arabic script (Urdu mother tongue speakers, for example) will need a Duolingo that meets their needs by refining the keyboard option...


I was about to first moan about that it is not possible anymore to use an anrabic keyboard on the android app and second wanted to ask if it might come back. Funnywise you did it, while I was thinking about that. I experienced that my brain uses some weird pattern-matching-algorithm, which blocks me to remember the words outside duolingo. It makes me collect a lot of xp which do not help me in getting better in arabic anyway. Though I am gifted with an arabic collegue, the course does not fit my needs to get the words into my brain.

So please bring the typing option back to the mobile apps.

Edit: I have multiple keyboards installed on my phone. This is working very well for French, German and English. But not for Arabic.

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