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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvanNewton

Enunciation and depth of courses

Hello! I have been studying Arabic for some time. I started Duolingo Arabic having already learned the alphabet, which I feel was a huge asset. Much of the lessons in the course necessarily assume that others don't have this knowledge, which is understandable. However, I feel that the depth of the course is still lacking. I was struck by the fact that Klingon appears to go into more detail on different subjects than Arabic, a language spoken by 422 million people.

The my biggest issues are that the font is too small and that there seem to be only two voices. One appears to be prerecorded, and is enunciated more clearly, enabling me to hear the difference between, for example, ت و ط . The other voice appears to be computer generated, and does not enunciate all words in a way that seems correct. Some words don't seem to be pronounced right. And I cannot hear any difference between
. ط، ت و س،ص و ض،د I know that your team probably has a lot more resources and motivation to implement more detail and accuracy in European languages, among others. However, I still feel I should express my desire to see improvements in the depth and accuracy of Duolingo Arabic. Features like stories and podcasts, available in Spanish, would be incredibly powerful adjuncts to the Arabic course. I know that support for these features in other languages is also probably in very high demand, but I would love to see them in Arabic. I think Duolingo is a powerful tool for bringing different cultures closer, and the ability for more people to learn Arabic could help unify the world in a way I feel is desperately needed. Thank you for all your hard work. I love duolingo, and I pay for it not because I want more lingots and flair for my profile, but because I want to see it grow as I know it will.

January 21, 2020

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nilomnzs

Making your voice being heard is very important, but I am pretty sure Duo is already working on it and I do believe that Arabic course is still a baby compared to other languages. So, let's just be patient and wait it's natural growth... Just like it has happened to other courses like Spanish and French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvanNewton

I hear ya. I don't mean to come across disrespectful or inpatient, and I know I'm not the only one whose said these things. I'm mostly just here generating more Arabic related feedback so that it appears more relevant to an algorithm determining how best to allocate resources for development.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvanNewton

Is that slang or a regional dialect? I only know مرحبا.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/khaledMo.

use هلا aswell it's widely known slang


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali826616

It literally just spells out hi with Arabic characters


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali826616

I wanted to write sup in Arabic but there’s no p sound since they use b instead but it would be weird if I wrote sub? Lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvanNewton

Some dialects and related languages have a 'p' but yeah the best transliteration on a universal Arabic keyboard would use ب, as in سوب. It appears that at least doesn't translate into anything embarrassing (or anything at all) so a reader who speaks both Arabic and English slang might get it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali826616

Thank you for explaining further!! سوب ؟


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvanNewton

انا في العمل... :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ghorsefield

i think that the way you have it written would be closer to being pronounced like "suub" or "soob". if you write سُب or صُب i think you'd get a closer approximation. I like the way you think though!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvanNewton

You're right, سب is a closer transliteration of sup! But it also means "swear, revile, blaspheme" whereas سوب is meaningless (according to the oh so flawless Google translate, it actually translates to "sup" both forward and back. Since it's a borrowed word, I think a native speaker would probably guess that it's not a perfect pronunciation.

Also, putting a sukun over the wauw, as in سوب "swb" would work too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/8amdani

the root of سوب and سيب literally means to leave, to let astray, to release etc. but I don't think the word in this form is used nowadays. there is سائب and مسيَّب though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/faridym

i was looking forward for arabic but this is the biggest nonsense course I ever did on duolingo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvanNewton

Me too. I don't think it's nonsense. It's still a valuable course and I'm learning from it, It's just insultingly cursory compared even to a fantasy language from Star Trek. If I didn't already know how to read Arabic beforehand I might think it was terrible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lindsey793284

Yeah I'm with you on this. While I still am learning a ton on the app, I am also watching some youtube lessons because some things are unclear and the pronunciation is definitely off. It's hard to hear the difference between those sounds on the app, but in one video the teacher described it as being the difference between a deep sound and a shallow sound. 'T' comes from the back of your throat and 't' comes from the front of your mouth/teeth (sorry no arabic keyboard). I think that goes for the rest, d, dh/th, s, etc but am not totally sure. I do hope they improve the course as well!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juliet569059

Your concerns are all valid and have been brought up over and over.

DuoLingo doesn’t care. As long as they can say “we teach arabic” to bolster their ipa valuation the vokunteers and students can all go choke on a fat one


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvanNewton

Of this I have no doubt. I'm just adding to the din and hoping the fact that I give them money because I care helps. Perhaps this will be more than an just another insignificant drop in the ocean. The odds of that being true increase with every comment, even if they remain infinitesimal, to what else can I do? I'm not famous, rich, or in control of a large botnet, so I'm aware I have little influence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali826616

I understand than seen سand suad ص have similar sounds, but cmon wow و and seen سare completely different sounds, you can easily distinguish them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvanNewton

I was referring to س & ص. I listed a few pairs of characters that sound similar, with a wau between each pair. Thanks for sorta reading this anyway, your comments slightly increase the relevance of this post so that's cool.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fazliddin671796

These letters differs according to their places of pronunciation. Yuo should pronounce س by putting your tongue lower thanص and when there is ا after س you should pronounce a, while ص comes with "o" sound. that is all the difference in it. ز and ظ also differ from this side.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvanNewton

Thanks! This confirms what I've been slowly picking up on my own and it's nice to have someone actually just say it like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali826616

Oh lol I’m so sorry I forgot it means “and” to, my mistake. Sorry


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ghorsefield

a solitary "و" literally means "and". So he was saying "seen AND saad"

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