A Welsh course would be great because.......competition
With a number of courses coming to completion in the incubator I thought it would be fun to restate why a Welsh course would be a great new addition to the family of languages on Duolingo.
So let's see who can think of some good reasons:-
"A Welsh course would be great because..........."
Prizes:- 20 lingots for the best sentence 10 lingots for the runner up 5 lingots for everyone taking part
A welsh course would be great because it might stop mishaps like this from happening:
A Welsh course would be great because then we could visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and understand its name!
Bonus skill: place names. =D
[No lingots required, as this is merely an enthusiastic comment on davidvdb's reason. But, thank you!]
A Welsh course would be great because Welsh culture is struggling to be preserved. Less than a million speakers remain, and it would be somewhat like Irish when it came to the preservation of a small language.
Because spelling Gaelic words isn't quite enough of a challenge for us spelling nerds. :)
It would be a great way for Welsh descendants to rediscover their ancestry. (Like me) :)
Or, for people with extended family back in Wales they'd like to talk to.
A Welsh course would be great because... ...it is the oldest continuously spoken language in the British Isles. ...it bizarrely (and seemingly by accident) shares several features in common with Hebrew, which also demonstrates the awesomeness of natural language. ...it has first language speakers on two continents (name the one besides Europe). ...it is the language in which some of the greatest poetry ever written has been composed. ...and because it is the language of WALES.
Need any more be said other than that last one?
From the little I know the grammar of the pronominal suffix system is similar. Some of the pronominal suffixes basically sound the same too. Welsh has something called "mutation" that can happen to sounds at the beginning of words (I think it's at the beginning, no books to hand, so please forgive errors), which is similar to some processes that can occur in Hebrew. I've heard that some German semiticists have even tried to argue that Welsh and Hebrew have some kind of genetic relationship, but I don't have any citations.
Yes, these features and others like verb-initial clauses, possessive constructions and seemingly similar vocabulary have fascinated the Welsh for centuries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insular_Celtic_languages#Possible_Afro-Asiatic_substratum.
A popular opinion at one time was that the "Cymry" (Welsh people) came from Gomer, Noah's grandson, and that "y Gymraeg" (Welsh language) was derived "Gomeraeg" or "Gomer's language".
Interesting, but mainly seems to have been based on linguistic gymnastics and rather a lot of wishful thinking.
Yes, it's basically a bunch of delightful coincidences.
Thanks for the wikipedia article, hadn't seen that before.
Wales is the nearest country to me with a different language, so I could go there and listen to, perhaps speak Welsh. (I am learning Italian, but I shall never be able to go to Italy.)
A Welsh course would be great because it would open doors to the native speakers and culture in Wales!
A Welsh course would be great because for those of us who are Celtic nerds we might be able to actually pronounce things correctly!
A Welsh course would be awesome because some people like Welsh more than Irish (sorry guys xP)
A Welsh course would be great because.......... ….. Welsh is one of the few languages in the world where you can go ahead and speak with others with confidence and without worrying about knowing every word you want to say! If, when speaking Welsh, you come across a word you don’t know, you can simply use its English equivalent or, in the case of verbs, make one up! Simply take the English verb and add “io” to the end! Not only do Welsh people often do this themselves they would far prefer you attempt the Welsh sentence then take the easy route and say it all in English. As an example, I once heard a Welsh person say “I like jogging” as “Dw i’n licio joggio”. I quote from https://twitter.com/useyourcymraeg “Anyone who belittles anyone else for the standard of their Welsh is causing more damage to the language and is contributing to a quicker demise of the Welsh language than having a few English words here and there will do.” If only speakers of a few other languages I could mention thought like this! (native English speakers included!).
They should have a welsh course because all languages should be treated equally
I was fortunate enough to go to Welsh language schools (with a guest appearance by rmcode), but many of my friends didn't and can barely string together a Welsh sentence. It's such a shame - all of them wish they could (genuinely, all of them. Nobody has ever said to me "Thank god I don't speak my national language. That would be an utter waste of time, now wouldn't it?"), but they say their Welsh lessons at school were very basic, or lacked the appropriate educational resources. Hopefully, and hopefully very soon, Duolingo will become that resource.
p.s. If it weren't for Duolingo, I probably wouldn't've passed my French & German exams at Uni.
A Welsh course would be great for DuoLingo as not only would it add another Celtic language to its portfolio, but one of the "P-Celtic" variety. :)
That is super cool, but do you realise she's not saying exactly what's in the translation, especially the last phrase?
I do; they have the phrases and some translations on the Civilization Wiki, but I am not sure how accurate they are as my knowledge of Welsh is very limited: http://civilization.wikia.com/wiki/Boudicca_%28Civ5%29
Yes, they are accurate, it's odd that the in-game translation on the video is different though.
two additional points to all the good ones already made; it has plenty of films and television programmes to watch, and choirs and singers to listen to, and has the best flag. How many learners would like to have y ddraig goch on their list?
A Welsh course would be great because then I could prove to myself that I can handle non-germanic and non-romance spelling and vocabulary
A Welsh course would be great because... it would encourage a lot of young Welsh people to become enthusiastic and actively involved in their language and heritage, helping to keep the language alive!
Yeah, good point! It'd be such a great way to revise and supplement what they do in school. I can only think a kid using Duolingo's marks would improve and that, in turn, might encourage them to continue learning after they finish school and become fluent Welsh speakers.
With the use of mobile phones, the younger generation especially would be far more likely to take an active role in learning Welsh. Like you say they will do better in school which will make them feel better about themselves! Then of course, having the ability to speak two languages will increase the likelihood they'll learn another... the list goes on :P
I'm a Welsh speaker living in the U.S. and I have a load of friends who want to learn the language. It would be awesome if Duolingo offered this facility. I think it's pretty much a guaranteed win all round!
Because it's a direct successor of the ancient language of the Britons and the flag is just badass
A Welsh course would be great because it would support all the people in Wales and beyond that are already learning in classes and on their own. It would also be great for those with little time to commit to classes and courses.
We have the learners that are all fired up and ready to go, we just need the Duolingo course!
I wonder which dialect of Welsh would be taught if Welsh were to make it to Duolingo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_language#Dialects)? Being from North Wales myself I have somewhat more of a desire for a northern dialect to be taught :) Anything would be great, of course, and I could get my nain (grandma) to teach me the differences ;)
We would try and make it as standard as possible and include notes in lessons where there are differences between North and South, we would want to make it useful to everyone. :-)
Perfect! Diolch yn fawr. Hopefully Duolingo staff take note of this thread, I would really like to see this happen. There are not enough quality online resources for Welsh; I would like to see Duolingo become the best, I think it would do a lot of good.
"There are not enough quality online resources for Welsh"
This is why we've just started these two YouTube channels for Welsh learners:
Would be great to see more stuff for learning Welsh online, so let us know if you have any suggestions.
Because it's one of the oldest languages in Europe, there are plenty of online resources to help develop the course, and it would also be good simply to have another Celtic language in the Incubator.
A Welsh course would be great because it's a language known for its beauty. And because I want to win the competition :)
A Welsh course would be great because I miss having like minded people to speak this amazing language with.
A welsh course would be great because it would help people understand what a beautiful country it is. Not many people speak it so it could also be very useful for private conversations!
well the question is who speaks fluent welsh here? only they can begin to make a course. therefore we must seek out contributors!
Hi there are quite a number of us who are fluent Welsh speakers on Duolingo, at least 10 of us have recently reapplied to the Incubator. So we are eager to go if (or when, hopefully) we get the go ahead.
what i don't understand is why some languages get the go ahead and then do nothing, or why dothraki is available as an option despite its obvious irrelevancy, and then to top it all Klingon gets a spot in the incubator? come on something odd is going on, most courses are built on the work of a few, why should it take such effort for real languages to appear in the incubator? the application of 5 alone should allow the option to appear in the incubator. many have applied for Latin as a duolingo course, but so far nothing. on the other hand the reason for the Irish course existing is because of the concerted efforts of just a few moderators. so why is welsh not given an equal opportunity either?
I think there are a number of factors, but clearly one of the strongest ones is the need for Duolingo to establish itself as a company and generate an income stream, which is quite a challenge given their commitment to making using the courses free. After the obvious world languages I imagine their chose the next ones on the basis of how they can strengthen Duolingo itself. In the case of Irish the huge Irish diaspora in the USA is obviously a factor. Those of us who support Welsh can only hope our turn comes soon, as do many others who advocate for their language.
I may or may not have used the internet to help me translate a sentence about how much i love Wales and welsh culture into Welsh so i could send an application to the incubator to start a Welsh course.
Not that i am able to contribute but if enough people send in requests then duolingo won't be able to say no for much longer
Thanks so much for your support and let me say I am totally in awe of your linguistic abilities as evidenced by your long row of level 25s.
7,000 iaith yn y byd. 6,000? Ar fin marw ond dim y Gymraeg. Mae statws swyddogol, iaith ysgrifenedig, lot o siaradwyr, teledu, radio, addysg, dysgwyr, siaradwyr newydd trwy'r amser, llawer o lyfrau, cwmniau, presenoldeb uchel ar y we, nifer fawr o siaradwyr ifanc, iaith gymunedol mewn rhannau o'r wlad, iaith rwydweithiau trwy Gymru a thipyn o'r byd. Dan ni ddim Am farw am sbel
One of the strongest languages in the world
Dehongliad cwpan hanner llawn? Perspectif gwahanol i'r un Cymdeithas Yr Iaith?
Gwthrychol fasai fy ngair i ac mae'r Gymraeg yn wan i gymharu a rhai cannoedd o ieithoedd ac yn enwedig Saesneg ac mae modd i ni wneud lot yn well ond.....
Duolingo will miss a chance if they resist a Welsh course. There are lots of other platforms.
Welsh is one of the strongest languages in the world and well worth adding to the languages already available on Duolingo.
Rhaid i mi ddysgu Sbaeneg !
Welsh for me would be great to help me with my family history, genealogy, as I am from Welsh descent, my family can do only so much not understanding welsh. If we could learn Welsh we could come to know our family better.
A Welsh course would be an amazing thing! It just makes me so sad to see the overall state of Celtic languages - they've survived for thousands of years, and for what? To be dying now, at a time when we have more language learning resources and opportunities than ever before in all of human history.
But Welsh, Welsh is important - it's the least endangered one, and the only one that can make any difference for other Celtic languages as well (let's face it, Irish can't even help itself). I hope more people would not just learn, but actively use it. And a Welsh course would not only give more exposure to Welsh, but also open the possibility of adding Manx, Cornish, Breton and Scottish Gaelic courses too.
I know there's probably a lot of people out there thinking we need more courses for big languages instead of these small ones. But frankly? I think they're wrong. There's a million free places on the Internet where you can learn Spanish and Italian and Russian and Chinese and Japanese - a Duolingo course would just be one drop in the ocean of available resources. But for Celtic languages, the resources are limited and a DL course could actually be significant addition.
If I could upvote your post a million times, I would. I think it would be very difficult to create courses for Manx and Cornish due to their state of decay, though the current movements for revival of these languages give me hope.
One reason I became interested in the Celtic languages was the music of Julie Fowlis; I thought one of her Scottish Gaelic songs was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard. Another reason was because a DNA test I recently had revealed that my paternal ancestors seemed to have a high presence in the Celtic-language zones of antiquity (as well as a high presence in Catalonia and the Basque regions).
It would forever sadden me to see these languages be lost to time, and I think additional Celtic language courses on DuoLingo may generate some enthusiasm for these strangely charming tongues.
I would LOVE Duolingo to add Welsh and it'd be great for me because I'm moving to Wales (Carmarthen), and I'd really like to be able to speak a bit of Welsh there. Even though I know I could get by on English alone, I think it's important to try your best to learn the language and culture of others around you, especially for us native English speakers who can get by without learning other languages. It's really about respecting Welsh culture for me; people all over the world have taken the time to learn my language, so I'd like to try to do the same in return.
I hear there's a Welsh language centre opening up in Carmarthen, so I certainly plan to use it, but it'd be even better if I could supplement it with practice on the Duolingo app in my spare moments. :)
Ah, Carmarthen? Brilliant! Welsh learners elsewhere would be so jealous - you'll have so many opportunities to practise right on your doorstep. A few classes and plenty of practice and you'll be fluent in no time. Give us a shout if you ever need some help with the Welsh. Pob hwyl!
I lived in Swansea for 3 years, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobollllantysiliogogogoch for 4 months and Cardiff until I turned 9
A Welsh Duolingo would be great because it could be used to supplement what goes on in schools! Since it's already compulsory for children to take Welsh for GCSE; that's already 250,000 people who could greatly benefit from the course, without even taking into account Welsh adults, primary children or the worldwide Welsh diaspora.
More importantly, it would be great because it has the endorsement of J. R. R. Tolkien, who proclaimed: "For myself I would say that more than the interest and uses of the study of Welsh as an adminicle of English philology, more than the practical linguist's desire to acquire a knowledge of Welsh for the enlargement of his experience, more even than the interest and worth of the literature, older and newer, that is preserved in it, these two things seem important: Welsh is of this soil, this island, the senior language of the men of Britain; and Welsh is beautiful."
Tolkien deeply understood both modern and ancient Welsh; how can Duolingo justify having Sindarin on its list of incubator languages, and not have Welsh, the language that inspired it!
A welsh Duolingo would also be great as it would help people connect with the tremendous amounts of Welsh literature and cultural history Wales has produced.
Welsh has some of the oldest literature in northern Europe; such as Stafell Cynddylan, the oldest recorded literary work by a woman in northern Europe. It also opens up some of the twenty four different types of poetic meters found in Welsh. Welsh tales such as the Mabinogion inspired a whole genre of fantasy fiction. All of which is just the tip of the iceberg as well.
Why wouldn't Duolingo want any of that?
Some great points, thanks, although I just looked at the incubator pages and didn't see a reference of Sindarin. Is it listed somewhere else?
Your quote about Tolkein is really good. I'm doing a statement of support for the campaign for a Welsh course on Duolingo, is it OK to include it?
Welsh is also great because it is the official language of two great events, The Urdd Eisteddfod, next week, and the National Eisteddfod in August.
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.
Here is my contribution:
A Welsh course would be great because when we get to heaven we will all need to learn it then anyway.
And to the obvious question: "What happens if you go to hell?" one should reply: "I already speak English".
Fabulous answer!! Da iawn and watch out for the incubator new entry this week :-)
Hey guys, we'll be doing an AMA on Reddit about the Welsh course later today. Feel free to join in.