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Language learners! A chance to help save lives!

Previously, the Duolingo community networked through social media and successfully helped find an emergency blood transfusion for someone with a very rare kind of blood. Here is that story.

We have the chance to save lives again!

Please help find people who speak these languages who would be willing to volunteer with the Oregon Health Authority to do voice-overs for Covid-19 materials for community distribution. The ILB (International Language Bank) was able to cover most languages, but not these ones.

Kosrae (kos)
Mam (mam)
Pohnpein (pon)
Purrepecha (tsz),(pua)
Yapese (yap)

If you or someone in your network, or your friends' networks speaks that language, please email together@irco.org. This is urgent! Thank you everyone!

Contributor teams are currently translating this message into other languages. Links to those will be added as they arrive.
Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese, Catalan.

Note: Please do not share your email address or other contact information on Duolingo nor any private information such as age, etc. (Age includes anyone of any age, as well as any information that would reasonably lead people to assume you are under 18.) The email shared above has been given a special exception by Duolingo staff. If you would like, here is a link to the Community Guidelines that can help you navigate what is ok or not to post in the Duolingo forums.

Everygreen tree emoji. Non-animated. Image description: Animated grey bunny with black eyes hops between two trees.Everygreen tree emoji. Non-animated.

March 25, 2020



Very exciting news!

Our community has networked out and found a speaker for Purépecha! Thank you everyone for helping to get the word out!!!

Of course, the more the merrier so we could still use more Purépecha speakers!


I wish I could help, but I am going to reach out to others who are multilingual to see if they can. I like that Duo is trying to help by allowing this post.


Thank you! People talking to their friends, family, and social networks is how we were all able to help find a blood donor last time, so this is perfect!


Contributor teams are currently translating this message into other languages. Links to those will be added to the post above as they arrive.


Those are some interesting languages. Thank you so much for doing this.

@Edit, I noticed that none of those languages are in Google Translate.


Kosraen, Pohnpein, Yapese are Micronesian languages.

Mixteco is spoken by about half a million people in southern Mexico.

Purrepecha is spoken by some 175,000 people in the highlands of southwest Mexico.

Mam is spoken by about half a million people in Guatemala


There are not many resources for them. Hence, I'm guessing, that's why the International Language Bank was unable to supply the voice-overs for these. (Hopefully, they will also be making text versions available for Deaf and hard of hearing people.



Quote: please email ...

In cleartext and e-mail address format?
Won't take long that spambots pick this text up.

Why not try to scramble the address a little bit with some special characters (readable for us, not directly pickable by programmed bots in one string).


@Thomas.Heiss thank you for your comment! Would you provide an example for me to use?



Something like using "(" and ")" or "<" and ">" brackets, like [] as Jack has suggested.

The "a t" is probably good.

Maybe adding "dot" or something better.

It might depend how intelligent the spambot code is written to parse any other lines than plain simple e-mail addresses.

However, I would try to avoid the "@" sign in cleartext.

Thanks Jack for jumping in and making those good suggestions.

I also like the idea to give a (shorter) subscription at the end what to replace with, which makes it maybe a bit more challenging for bots.

Well, now we have 5+ language translations in separate threads, all running into the same e-mail address link thing....


Well, now we have 5+ language translations in separate threads, all running into the same e-mail address link thing....

Yeah. :(

I've been busy since I woke up. I won't go into specifics because this whole thing would get derailed if I did, save to say I've talked to my surgeon, 2 police officers, a case manager, a social worker, and a lawyer all while trying to manage this project across various social media, while keeping up with a member of the organization putting out the call for translators. It is quite the horror show I'm dealing with outside of my screen. I think the email address is just going to have to stay as it is and hopefully the organization can deal with spam. I do appreciate the time you spent today. I'm spent and I don't have the energy to try to rally all of the contributors to update their posts and worrying whether some people will have a lead and accidentally send it to the wrong email because it wasn't written in a straightforward way. I really wish people would be better to one another and not create bots, etc. that could potentially complicate lifesaving projects. It hurts my heart.


...rally all of the contributors to update their posts...

I can do that if you would like me to. I would just have to track down each post...


Here is my example:

t0gether@irc0.0rg(replace the 0 with o's)
t0gether[at]1rc0.0org(replace the 0 with 0's and the one with a i)


Thanks for these links, AKS-47! :D


Thank you, usagiboy.


I don't know if anything will come of it. But, it was simple enough to try.
It's what I did last time. And enough people joined in that we succeeded in achieving something that was very close to impossible. Hopefully, we will have the same luck this time. :)


I know a lot of Mixteco speakers. Unfortunately they're a country away and without access to the internet and wouldn't be able to translate from English.

There are decent sized pockets of Mixteco speakers who either speak English or have relatives who speak English in California (and maybe Texas?) if anyone knows of anyone who lives near one of those pockets, you might be able to fine someone.



They wouldn't have to speak English. That is why the message I posted is being translated into other languages, so it can reach a wider audience than just English speakers. :D If they are fluent in Mixteco and another language that isn't one of the 6 listed, there is a chance an interpreter could work with them to facilitate a contribution. If you have another way to contact them, and they are willing, I recommend still using the email address to send and inquiry about how they might be able to help, given their situation. This is similar to the situation of the first speaker we located actually. They did not speak English, someone else emailed in for them, relaying questions about the mechanics of how it could work. Would you be willing to try to help make this connection?


I can try. A contact of a friend I used to work with down in Mexico runs a school where many of the children speak Mixteco . He has access to the internet, though I doubt the school itself does. Much of the community doesn't even have electricity. I don't know if they're closed down due to the pandemic. I don't know him well as I only met him a few times a few years ago. But I can get you his facebook. He and his wife are friendly people.

The best I can do for the people I do know is an address, but I have to think that corresponding by mail would be too slow.


If it doesn't work out, at least trying will be an adventure that can become a story to tell later. We are living through a major historical event, after all. :)

My recommendation would be to locate someone interested in volunteering.

It could be that you contact a person, who contacts a person, who contacts another person, who finds a willing volunteer even.

Then, get an established list of verified barriers. What languages do they speak? Do they have Internet? Phone? Voice recorder? Mailing address? If not, can they borrow any of these things?

Once the exact situation as known, whoever is designated to email icro takes that information and writes the email asking if there is a way for this speaker to be a viable volunteer option.

Meanwhile, hopefully work spreads through their networks as well. So, even if some speakers willing to volunteer arent able to because of barriers, maybe word reaches a speaker who faces fewer resource barriers and is able to successfully become a volunteer.

All epic stories involve pretty epic journeys. Imagine if you can be part of helping pull one off!

I will say, I don't know what communication barriers irco and Oregon Health Authority ultimately consider to be too great to overcome. Maybe that is something end up being able report back to us about.

Meanwhile, if these efforts successfully result in a Mixteco speaker who is able to volunteer and produces translations, you can share the details of your part of that journey with us. :D


wow thanks that was some very helpfull information :)


I wanted to take a moment while we are all networking to save lives here, to say please help keep all of us in here safe. If you have housing, please stay home except for absolutely necessary tasks like buying groceries, working, and seeing a doctor. Pick 1 day, no more than once a week to do errands like grocery shopping etc. (Follow sheltering laws in place foremost. But, if there arent any, be responsible with the lives of not only yourself, but the members of the community.) People are not good at estimating 6 feet. So, make your goal to stand no closer than 10ft (3 meters) to other people instead.

Here is a genius visual on hand washing using ink. (Does this link work?)

This video in American Sign Language is hillarious. No ASL needed to understand.

This video shows the impact that even just 4 people can have in saving lives by staying home and reducing contact with others.

This isn't the covid-19 thread. So, if you have more covid-19 related things you want to share, please use this discussion instead.

The links Ive put into this comment might be messy/not work/etc. I'm on my phone. I'll check them very soon once I'm at my computer and fix them/link to more accessible version if need be.)


Those languages are from Micronesia and the Western Pacific, right? Do they have many COVID 19 cases


I honestly don't know. This is to do with language communities in the US though. The Oregon Health Authority is trying to make sure it is reaching as many people in Oregon as possible with accurate and up to date health and safety information about Covid-19. Those were the 5 languages they had been unable to locate translators for. The state is on the precipice of having a huge explosion in the number of infections. So, the more people who have access to accurate information, the more lives can be saved all around. Time is of the essence though.

I'm assuming those translations will be shared to benefit other states too. :)


While there are no COVID-19 cases in Micronesia itself, keep in mind that many Micronesians live in the U.S.

The Federated States of Micronesia is a "Freely Associated State" wherein its citizens are allowed to enter the U.S. to live, work or study, and are considered indefinite legal residents.


Jimmy, thanks for that info. I did not get to study much history, geography, govt, or chemestry in school growing up. I've been filling in gaps as I go. There's still a long way to go. :)


The Western Pacific and North America.

Kosraen, Pohnpein, Yapese are spoken in the Federated States of Micronesia. As of today there are no cases of COVID-19 reported there.

Mixteco and Purrepecha are spoken in southern Mexico, and Mam is spoken in Guatemala


This is really thoughtful, will definitely ask around for anyone that speaks the native Mexican languages listed.


I really really wish I could help, but i can't. If there is anything I can do, please let me know.



The urgent need would be a legitimate case for emergency medical work visas for any English-knowing interpreters, translators and native speakers of those (and other relatively unknown) languages. I imagine the need for such experts/specialists is somewhat less acute for the Micronesian languages listed, given the influential presence of English in US Pacific territories and possessions, as well as American cultural penetration throughout Oceania. One the other hand, native speakers of "Latin American" indigenous languages living in the States might not even speak or be literate in Spanish, let alone know enough English to survive a crisis.

In any case, however exotically obscure such languages might be considered Stateside and elsewhere, may they be appreciated not just for any suddenly important utility, but also duly noted as tongues of cultures with rich heritages. Pohnpeian, for example, is the language of Pohnpei, Pacific island home of the ancient megalithic city of Nan Madol. Yapese is the language of Yap, another island in the same Caroline Islands chain, the spot known for its giant stone money.




Isn't there a way for you to find it like, looking at the stats or something to see who is learning those languages?


Hi HorseLover276,
Sadly, Duolingo doesn't offer those courses at this time. I am hoping that people will reach out to their family and friends and spread the information, so we have the best chance of finding people who speak those languages and get them connected.


Wow those are cool languages, I wish I could speak them :( All of the languages I speak are very common. Maybe one day duolingo will teach these languages 1 day :D


Usagiboy :) Thank you for using this platform to help others during this very trying time! :) To do this to help can definitely have an impact! :) We must all do our part to help others to stay safe and guide them where needed. :) It's members like you that put a smile on my face during a scary time of need. :) Merci beaucoup mon ami! :) Peace be with you! :)


I wish I could help! Good luck!


We, as a community, must find these people.


Usagiboy7: Talks about saving lives. Me: OMG LOOK A BUNNY HOW DID HE DO THAT?!


SophieMonc, ty! The moderator, Aprilbrown4, made it for me. :)


I wish I could do it, but I only speak French and English :) Hope you find someone!


Here is a Lingot! (Just wanted to say)


Hi, i like that you put this post out this was the first post i clicked on thanks


Welcome to the community, EsLearner1! ^_^


Usagiboy7, this is so wonderful to find in our community of language learners. I came on to find people that want to converse in German over the internet during these times, and partly because I can't find a German conversation group here in Portland. Our great state of Oregon, has really stepped up to the challenge of this crisis and I'm so glad to see that the OHA is working to find ways to communicate with all languages.

So proud of my state today.


Sorry, how does this work?


Hi Ben400,

If someone is fluent or knows someone who is fluent or knoes someone who knows someone who knows soneone who is fluent in one of those languages that wants to volunteer to help, they message the email posted in the OP (original post at the top of the page). :)


For a second I thought this post is a tongue twister.


What are the bilingual people gonna do?


Depends on what languages they are bilingual in.


If we take Mixteco as an example, many people whose native language is Mixteco speak Spanish as a second language. And of course, many native Spanish speakers speak English as a second language or vice versa. So, if you got a chain going from Mixteco to Spanish to English, you could get a translation from English to Mixteco for Mixteco speakers who can't speak English.


So you want people to translate languages to spread the message of COVID-19? Why not just use a translator?


Hi Ben400, there aren't any translators until they can find these people.

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