Developing Welsh course
I have been using Duolingo for three months for Spanish and Irish and realise how brilliant it is. I'd like to develop a Welsh course, I teach Welsh for adults, anyone with tips about how to persuade Duolingo to let me start this?
First off, write a good incubator application - say both why you personally are qualified to make this course (the fact that you teach it to adults is pretty much the best kind of qualification I can imagine for this), and why Welsh as a language should be added (a minority language going through a revival is always a good thing that should be supported).
Now the second thing - lobbying. Dx
DL is more likely to add a language if people keep asking for it (see: Esperanto), if it's voted for in unofficial polls (Welsh already ranks pretty high up), or threads about it get lots of upvotes.
IMO the best way to go about this is to educate people and give interesting information about the language whenever possible; there's already a lot of people who want to learn it, but they're not the targeted audience - the real goal should be to convince those who've never even heard of Welsh that it's a great language worth learning.
Recently a number of people have made those "Duo goes to ~some country~" threads that show some interesting landmarks, traditions, etc. of the country whose language they'd like to see added. I think these threads are really cute. Maybe we could make one for Wales. ^^
I'd love to learn Welsh, I'd start it today if it were on Duo, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I think they are going to do Welsh sooner or later, it's just a question of how many languages they take on at a time.
The suggestions you have already gotten are great. You should definitely apply in the incubator. They have indicated that they probably won't be starting new courses soon, but they keep the applications and will contact potential contributors once they have enough resources available to start more new courses.
I, for one, am very excited at the prospect of a Welsh course on duolingo and I wish you the best of luck!
About incubator applications. Of course what you write in there is most important. But it doesn't hurt if you have a long streak and/or high levels in some languages/have been helpful in forums. Things like that show that you are committed to the site and familiar with how everything works here, which is useful when you're developing a course. (I'm a mod for the Swedish for English course).
Ooh. I would love to learn Welsh! Thank you so much for applying, and good luck!!
Thanks for the suggestions. I've applied on the incubator a couple of times. Nothing except the automatic response. Should I keep on applying, or do you think that might be seen as trolling behaviour? What about public lobbying, might that help?
Nah, if you've already applied multiple times, just leave it. I have to admit I find their whole attitude towards replying to applications really annoying (and pretty disrespectful, really); even if they told you something like "We are currently not planning on adding this language within the next 6 to 12 months, but we have received your application and will review it when we are ready to add new courses", at least it would be something. -_-
If you have any acquaintances, in real life or know people online who speak the language and could contribute, try to get them to apply as well. The more applications from different people they receive, the better the chances they'll take it seriously.
In the meantime, you could try to raise the community awareness of the language by posting, for example, links to other available resources, or small introductory lessons about the spelling, common phrases, basic grammar, stuff like that.
I think it's just a matter of the Incubator having a lot of languages in it right now, and the team really doesn't want to add more into that because they might be worried about stretching themselves too thinly. If you look at the "Weekly Incubator Updates" thread that was posted last week, they're currently developing: English-for-Thai, Hungarian-for-English, French-for-Portuguese, Turkish-for-English, Esperanto-for-English, German-for-Turkish, Russian-for-English, German-for-Italian, Ukrainian-for-English, Spanish-for-Italian, Polish-for-English, Romanian-for-English, and French-for-Italian. Even though the contributors for each language are different, I would guess they share the same Duo Programming team, and the team's probably too busy to take on something at the moment :(
They say they hold applications for the Incubator, so I think if you've applied a couple times, you're good :] I'm sure Welsh will open eventually because: 1. They already have Irish, and if they want to add to that family, Welsh is a nice progression. (Danish and Swedish were developed around the same time, if I remember right.) 2. It's popular when the "What do you want to see next?" question pops up in discussions. 3. It doesn't have any really difficult-to-type accents if I remember correctly from when I played with it? That would help development. (I don't know how non-Latin alphabet languages work on Duo and if that hinders development.) 4. Welsh is having a revival, isn't it? Duo could definitely come in and help that if it offered Welsh. That's a reason to actively do something for them.
The first paragraph of the above post explains why it would be a while until Welsh enters the incubator. In addition, Duolingo doesn't cater only to English speakers, so they might choose to develop courses for others (for instance, more courses for French/Italian/Portuguese speakers or an English course for another foreign language). However, for you it would be better to apply for Welsh for English rather than English for Welsh. I'm sure that if over time as other courses progress and interest in Welsh grows then Welsh will be added.
As you can tell, Welsh is quite a popular language amongst us Duolinguists, myself definitely included. It's one of a handful of languages that I just wouldn't be able to not jump on if it was here.
Since you're learning Irish, I wanted to ask you how similar Welsh is to Irish. I know the orthography in Welsh is very different, and it uses a slightly different set of sounds (no slender-broad, right?), and that it's in a different branch of the Celtic family than Irish, but I was wondering if things like grammar, or the way phrases are constructed around prepositions, or any of the words seem familiar to you.
The sounds and look of the languages are different, but two fundamental similarities that have struck me are the Verb-Subject-Object sentence structure and the concept of mutating initial consonants. My closest Welsh speaking friend is also pretty fluent in Irish so I'm hopeful of making good progress in it.
This is brilliant. I look forward to see this course on Duolingo. Just a question, do you teach North or South Welsh? I personally start to learn the North Welsh with its pronunciation and so on.
I teach in South Wales but am very familiar with North Wales Welsh having lived there for a number of years.
There are already a number of online resources for learning Welsh.
The best is 'The Big Welsh Challenge' which is an 'semi-interactive' video course, http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learnwelsh/bigwelshchallenge/
Click on 'Enter Course', 'Skip Introduction', 'South or North Wales', then the appropriate unit. Each unit has a section 'Practice with Tutor' which is very good. This site was recently archived by the BBC so not sure how much longer they will keep it live.
There is also 'Say Something in Welsh', which is an OK course. https://www.saysomethingin.com/welsh/course1
If you have programming knowledge you can make a course outside duolingo but following its way of teaching, and that would be great, because I don't trust duolingo will add any course soon
Just a thought: You could try making a Youtube course if you never hear back from Duolingo.
I am learning Welsh at CityLit in London and and a Duolingo course would be an excellent accompaniment . In fact it was a fellow student on my Welsh course that pointed out Duolingo to me and would also be interested in Duolingo Welsh.
Welsh is number 4 taught language in the UK, all pupils under 16 learn it and 20,000 adults enrol each year in classes
I'd definitely be interested in learning Welsh, hope that this happens!
don't worry with the amount of recent interest on duolingo for welsh and with a strong candidate like you , the welsh course i am sure will soon go into the incubator :)
Dw i'n dod o Tecsas yn wreiddiol, ond dw i'n byw yn Nghaerdydd nawr. Dw i'n dysgu Cymraeg. Hoffwn i gwrs Cymraeg ar Duolingo i helpu fi ddysgu mwy Cymraeg - yn enwedig i ymarfer ynganiad/siarad. Pan fydda i'n mynd i'r Eisteddfod, dw i'n eisiau am fod yn gallu siarad â phobl yn hyderus. Diolch Richard am ymgyrchu dros cwrs Cymraeg! / I am from Texas originally, but I live in Cardiff now. I am learning Welsh. I would like a Welsh course on Duolingo it help me learn more Welsh - especially to practice pronunciation/speaking. When I go to the Eisteddfod, I want to be able to speak with people confidently. Thanks Richard for campaigning for a Welsh Course!
While we're waiting for Welsh to make it into the Incubator, Team Cymru has been developing the first lessons and now we're putting them onto Memrise for anyone to try out.
Take a look and tell us what you think.