https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

Can we get a Latin course started?

I have been interested in seeing Latin on Duolingo for a while, and the idea seems to have a decent amount of support from the Duolingo community.
I teach Latin to middle-schoolers, and while I know that many people will take issue with using a modern language tool like Duolingo to learn Latin, I believe that it would help many people who otherwise cannot grasp well the more "traditional" grammar based classroom experience. I use a lot of modern language techniques in my classes: TPRS, Rassias, etc., and it has a great effect on kids who sometimes struggle to remember what the difference between an adjective and a noun is. And for goodness' sake, Klingon is in development! Why not Latin, which has a fairly large number of students and speakers? I am going to apply to contribute to a Latin course, and would appreciate all the help I can get in spreading the word. I know a lot of Latinists who would love to help out, and will work on getting them on board too.
Valeatis!

May 6, 2015

99 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/blissperry

Latin let's go! I applied last summer and still haven't heard back-- Luis said it would be added eventually though. Do you think the course should concentrate on spoken, every day Latin like the other courses, or should it be weighted more heavily with grammar and the words most commonly found in literature (military/political words especially)?

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

Personally, I think it should focus on the same stuff that other courses focus on. Duolingo is a great starting point, but even if your goal in studying French is to read Moliere, you start with bonjour. Similarly, I believe that even if you want to read Caesar, you should start with simpler things that will give you a sense of accomplishment as well as encouragement (which would be difficult if you made the course tougher and more rigid).

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KaiBark

Consentio. I think it should start you at the basics and then the last section of the tree could get you on the road to Caesar. I want to help create the course as well. I took it for a bit in high school and even tutored my classmates.

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/NLBuescher

The immersion section could focus on the literature, like 'Commentarii de Bello Gallico', 'Aeneidos', or 'Bellum Ciuile'.

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

The tremendous amount of Latin literature from all periods would mean that there is an almost endless number of things for people to work on.

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/NLBuescher

Not sure whether this comment is in favor of the idea... or subtly criticizing it...

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LivTierra

Well, now there is no immersion section anymore

March 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/blissperry

Maybe at the end of the tree there can be a few military/oratorical/political skills where a few sentences (albeit on the easier side) from Caesar or Cicero are sprinkled in. I agree that it would be hard to persevere through a gauntlet of grammar after grammar skill, and of course it sounds like a good idea to teach students basic vocabulary first.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Magister_Smith

I did as well, and would love to help. I teach high school Latin, and the ability to use this as a resource would be fantastic!

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Windrammer

I support. Which pronunciation would you teach? The Italian or the Classical one?

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

At my school I use Italian, but I would assume that most people want Classical...

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ichvanloy

Classical pronunciation should be teached no matter the place if we're talking about Latin.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MagisterTJL

I think there's a good argument for either (and I wish that it would be possible to choose). A lot of people taking a course for Latin would presumably want it for artistic/Church-y reasons (singing Latin choral music is a big motivation, and there are a fair number of Catholics who want to learn for religious reasons), for the majority, it wouldn't matter much either way, and Classical pronunciation is really only crucial for preparing for scansion.

I'd still say Classical is probably best, because picking up Ecclesiastical pronunciation is easy once you have a background in Classical Latin, and because it would probably be more historically appropriate for a course that is primarily aimed at getting people to read Cicero or Caesar rather than Jerome or Aquinas.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

Yeah I agree. I always get a few students who ask me why we learn one over another, but I've never had an old student say that they had difficulty switching after the fact.

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ryry915

Maybe we could make a course for both Classical and Italian.

December 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Asyx

I think every country that teaches Latin has a standard school pronunciation so I'd go for classical.

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vytah
  • 1322

There's also a standarised church pronunciation, based on Italian. This is what the popes use.

But of course it depends on the variant of Latin being taught – Classical Latin should use classical pronunciation, Medieval or Modern Latin should use church pronunciation.

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Eris_Discord

Most schools in Italy use the church pronunciation and even insist that it's the standard and proper pronunciation of Latin that was used in ancient Rome. It's kind of a political thing tbh.

January 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LivTierra

I think they should use the reconstructed pronunciation.

March 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NLBuescher

Definitely Classical. While the Ecclesiastical pronunciation is definitely a valid dialect, I feel like the best way to make the Latin course distinct in every way is to stick to classical pronunciation.

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LivTierra

I'm not sure what the classical pronunciation is. I definitely support the reconstructed pronunciation.

March 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/bumbleandtumble

Why not latin? great idea. I always thought we should, since a Greek course is in the incubator, why not a latin one? :)

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KaiBark

Well, that course is for modern Greek, which differs from Ancient :P

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bumbleandtumble

oh.....but still, greek is greek, isn't it? or not, idk? latin would be very helpful though, because English is so similar to it ;)

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MagisterTJL

The closest language to English is actually Dutch. We have a lot of loanwords, but our core vocabulary (the most common words, as opposed to technical words) and grammar are Germanic.

And Modern and Ancient Greek are probably less mutually intelligible than, say, Spanish and Portuguese. They don't even have the same word for water!

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bumbleandtumble

really? the closest language to English is dutch? idk that.....but I know nothing about dutch either ;) Spanish and portugeuse are very similar, though, so that is cool and interesting that modern and ancient greek are less mutual than the two. WOW. thanks, magisterTJL, have a nice day!!!! :D

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/diplox

Frisian is closer to English than Dutch is, tbh.

August 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/btalbert

Ancient and Modern Greek are very different, and apart from some similar words, Latin grammar is about as different from English grammar as you can get.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

Grammar yes, but 60% or more of English vocabulary comes from Latin.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bumbleandtumble

YES! that is what I am trying to tell everybody, including btalbert and Medard. Yes, I think more like 65-70% of English comes from latin, and the rest greek, French, etc. :)

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bumbleandtumble

that's grammar, not vocabulary, as augris42 has said below ;)

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Medard

I've been studying latin in high school and I don't think they (en, la) are similar.

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bumbleandtumble

are you talking about latin and English? YES they are similar! English derives from Latin word roots, and also greek roots!!! everybody knows that! ;) ;) ;) for example, the word root "pre-" means "before" in latin, and so "prefix" would mean a word or letter placed before another. do you get what I mean? :)

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CaveatEmptor

It's important to point out that English is a Germanic language, not a Latin language. English is derived from Old Saxon and Old Norse. Latin only added words to the English vocabulary, and didn't even do much of that until after the Norman Invasion, which by then English had already been established as a language. However, by the end of the Middle English period at least 30% of its vocabulary was borrowed from Latin, and about 30% was borrowed from French (which itself is derived from Vulgar Latin), so English does have a Latin flair.

To put it another way, the anatomy of English is Germanic, but it has a closet full of Latin shoes.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/savourtardis

English is actually a Germanic language, although modern English and Hochdeutsch are pretty distant cousins if my experience is anything to judge by. A lot of very basic vocabulary and down to earth words are carried down from Old English. (I think "I am a man and this is my house" contains such words, for instance. )

Norman French was also a major influence on the developing English language, and French is a Romance language, related to Latin. French-language influence on the legal system of England at the time lingers in phrases like "court martial" , where the adjective comes after the noun. Iirc, it's also where we get the distinction between pork and pig and beef and cow.

Latin was long the scholarly language in Europe, in which church and science texts were written, and widely understandable between countries by their scholars. It's still used in taxonomy for mutual intelligibility. I expect Ancient Greek was slightly less common, but still important to the study of the classics. Therefore a lot of scientific or technical terminology derives from Latin or Greek, as do prefixes and suffixes.

But English is also the language that "ambushes other languages in dark alleys and rifles through their pockets for words". It borrows widely. "Algebra" ultimately comes from Arabic; I believe "punch" comes from a word in Hindi, and that "bistro" is Russian via French.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Vrixton

I'm 100% behind this!

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/voxlashon

"...while I know that many people will take issue with using a modern language tool like Duolingo to learn Latin..."

I know most of my Latin tables by heart. However... I can confidently say that after years of study I knew lots about languages... but using Duolingo I now know lots of languages. Duolingo provides a completely different type of learning. It is an amazing tool.

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Albrechtion

Yes! Latin would be great!

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/davidvdb

Cursus latinus venire debet! Manete sperare, exspectare fructus dat :)

A Latin course must come! Stay hoping, waiting gives its rewards :)
May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/carpelanam

I have been adding a new Latin lesson every week in a style similar to Duolingo. It doesn't have the benefit of the interactive game format but the sentences are very similar and I hope to keep going until Latin is officially available. Here's my directory of lessons: Latin for Duolingo

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

I have a friend who has a similar program to Duolingo, and it's built for Latin. The obvious downfall is that it doesn't have a thriving community. http://linguachet.com/

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottMarkhus

I would be interested in taking a Latin course. I don't view it as a dead language at all. Of course it lives on through other languages, but isn't it still used by Catholic priests? (though not in mass anymore)

At any rate, I think it is a really important language that has yet to be represented on duolingo.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Medard

latin is used by Vatican state as an official language

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

Priests still have to learn Latin, and actually Latin masses are on the rise in the US.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/misscatlover

I was thinking the same thing a few days ago that duolingo should definetly teach latin. I have been wanting to learn it for a while and I think it would help me with my spanish beacuse latin is the root of spanish and the root of allot of other language and I will definetly spread the word.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sigmacharding

Salvete- quid quid latine dictum sit altum viditur :)

Excellent- hoping to take up latin in university. Please commence!

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

Loquerisne Latine?

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sigmacharding

Minime :( I picked up a bit in on YouTube and we study it next year

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

Bonam fortunam!

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

I opened a new discussion, calling all Latinists to apply to the incubator! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8540887

May 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/leonardoBHC

Would love to see Latin . . . and Greek! . . . and Mayan . . . and Nahuatl yay! pourqoui pas?

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Ghym

I'm doing Spanish right now but I would love to do Latin next if it were an option. 100% behind this!

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/NLBuescher

I just finished college with about 3 years of Latin under my belt. I applied about a year or so ago, but never heard back, but I'm really excited that people are excited for this. I would love to contribute to this course.

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KuboF

Latin would be fantastic! On Duolingo, Latin is the second language I am most interested about, after Esperanto.

But it is a little bit discouraging for course create applicants, that apply for Latin is bit harder than apply for Sindarin or Dothraki :( http://incubator.duolingo.com/apply/la/en

May 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MaestroAtticus

But there is a "choose other" option so I think it's possible (I base it on observation, I'm not familiar with the Incubator)

May 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KuboF

Yes, it is possible to apply, but apply for Sindarin is one step easier :(

May 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Italian.Ice

Yes! I took Latin for three years but had to switch to Spanish (because I wanted to take IB and there was only IB Spanish and French), and now I'm really sad at how my Latin is drying up. I also bought "Winnie Ile Puh" a while ago and want to finish reading it! Also, while the vocabulary has been borrowed/ used in many languages (such as my native Italian), the grammar is really similar to languages such as German, Russian, or Turkish, in the sense that it has nominative, dative, accusative, ablative, and vocative (even though the languages I mentioned don't have a vocative case to my knowledge). Latin would therefore help you with vocab for English and Romance languages, and it would also help you with grammar for many others. In addition, learning Latin would force you to learn/know the parts of speech and such, so you can even improve on your English! Bonam Fortunam!

May 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Melanzious

Recte dicis, hodie studeo linguam latinam in schola italica, quae clarissima est pro latina lignua. Volo linguam latinam in duolingo et possum adhibere vos cum lectionibus et cum explicationibus; sed, grammatica latina difficilis est, italici pueri studeant linguisticam ab schola primaria, ergo nescio difficultatem latine studeare; sed in aliis terrae?

December 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rcv100

Any progress??

January 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

I don't think so, unfortunately. Someone made a petition online (on change.org) a while ago and it has been gaining signatures, but it doesn't seem to me that Duolingo is really interested in Latin at all. I am kinda losing hope that it is going to happen within the foreseeable future.

January 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Fr.Nathan

Yes! Lets do Latin! I will actively promote it when it is up!

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

I wish that they would have followed this, but it looks like Duolingo is not adding Latin any time soon :(

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Ghym

Supposedly they want to do it eventually, but it doesn't look like it's in the near future. I just hope I have time to get through the tree before I'm dead...

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Fr.Nathan

Do you know for sure that they aren't, or are you basing it on the fact that they have not done anything.

I wonder if there is a way to improve our chances.

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

I think that they have said it's not on their short list. I have been trying to get it going for well over a year now, and have gotten a bunch of Latinists to apply as well. I just don't think it's happening, sadly.

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/H.Valentine

Latin is my favorite language, it is so interesting. It is sad that a place such as Duolingo does not a have a latin course. I would love to see Duolingo start one. Latin is an amazing course, but there is so much to learn. Duolingo would be a huge opportunity for thousands of people to learn Latin. There are many supporters of this idea. Duolingo, please: Latin Course

What is with Klingon? Sure, many people may think this was an important part of history...

LATIN!!!!!

April 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Ciaria

Yes please, we need Latin ASAP

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Theodric

Yes, yes, and again yes. Just the possibility of this has me excited.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MaestroAtticus

Great idea! I suggested it to them myself a while back. Latin not only sounds beautiful and noble but large parts of most of European languages come from it. And, speaking of new languages, it would be nice to see Arabic and Chinese here too!

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KuboF

Both Arabic and Chinese already has it's reverse course so it is more probable to begin courses of this languages.

May 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ila9198

I can't believe they've wasted their time with KLINGON and ESPERANTO, for Christ's sake! It's 2016, people, and we still haven't added a Duolingo Latin Course! Latin is far more influential and relevant than any of these meme languages. There is not a single language from Europe that has not felt the profound influence Latin has had. I would like to bet all of my lingots that Latin would be among the top 10 most popular languages. I bet it would even be more popular than Dutch and boot it down to #7 in popularity!

February 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Vina1912

Latin would be great. The only language i want to learn.

November 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza

It is highly probable that Latin will be the next language to be added in the incubator. With Ukrainian, Norwegian and Esperanto coming soon, it will leave the place for three languages. Why not Latin ?

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

Is there limited space in the incubator?

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WackyJack

That's the prevailing theory. Luis said in an AMA a few months ago that bandwidth is limited, though I do not know if that still holds true with so many courses being added. Of course, the staff really won't say, so us Duo nerds are left to fight it out. ;)

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr.Manhattan95

Bandwidth isn't the only issue here. Duolingo is composed of a small team and they have to handle all the problems any course contributors may have. That's why only a handful of courses are incubated at a time.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WackyJack

And also, the contributors themselves are relatively scarce. Small teams of people (usually 3-6) create these courses, and for some courses, such as Esperanto or Klingon, there are few native speakers.

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/thraenthraen

I'm pretty sure there are no native speakers of Klingon, unless some kid had some very hardcore Star Trek fans for parents. ;)

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vytah
  • 1322

There once was a native Klingon speaker, but apparently he no longer speaks it: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/08/a-man-once-tried-to-raise-his-son-as-a-native-speaker-in-klingon/

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Windrammer

Seems so. It is known that the DL staff has been working on expanding the capabilities of the site to allow for more languages.

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SteveLando

Well, he has also said that he (Duolingo per se) want to dominate the world of language teaching, then we cannot have a bandwidth limitation, with just these quiet few languages that now is around:)

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewjeo
  • 1424

It isn't a bandwidth issue in the internet sense, but rather in the staff sense. The Duolingo staff are involved with all of the courses, and they can only do so much.

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SurrealSoul

I'd love to see Latin, along with Czech for English speakers (they just graduated from beta on the reverse course) and possibly Finnish (which also has a decent amount of contributors and support).

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sam999804

test

August 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SteveLando

Latin is a must for the credibility of the site, out of a eurocentristic viewpoint - as is arabian, sanskrit, hindi, chinese, japanese, swahili.

Latin as it is teached in the roman school of latin, should be the obvious living choice.

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/apeironic

Estou aqui para aumentar o comprimento desse posto. Viva Latim! Temos esperado. Entregue por favor.

August 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/h.coyne

Why is this still not a thing? Really interested in learning Latin, and clearly from the comments here many other people want it too so what's up?

May 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RhomaionXIII

I still can't believe they put klingon, what a disgrace, wasted time that could have been taken for learning Latin!

August 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/caselthor

"And for goodness' sake, Klingon is in development!"

Cutting down Klingon isn't going to get Latin into the incubator any faster. As I see it, Duolingo is expanding. First, it was only modern languages. With Klingon, they've expanded into conlangs. Perhaps they're planning to expand into dead languages with Latin next. I don't see any argument for expanding into dead languages before conlangs because learning any language is equally beneficial.

May 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Augris42

That is not a suggestion to cut down Klingon, only an observation that they are not necessarily focused on developing languages that are widely spoken.

May 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/marc.libra

Vene Vidi Vici ... that's the amount of Latin that I know :(

May 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Talos_the_Cat

Yes please. If Klingon is on Duolingo, so should be Latin. As long as all sound files are in perfect Classical Latin... or even the choice between sound in Classical and Ecclesiastical Latin :P

February 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RhomaionXIII

I think adding Latin will be more useful than to learn a stupid science fiction language named klingo. When i first saw that i was what is wrong with the duo developpers!?

March 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia721110

i hope that Duolingo will create a Latin course. As a Greek learner, Latin has helped me learn and comprehend all the information.

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TKMP1964

I am also teaching Latin in a classical school, however, I want them to SPEAK, and not just read. I would love to have this course. I think 1/2 my church would sign up.

May 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/why.Jessica

yes!

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/btalbert

What a great idea, you are the first person to come up with this great idea, I can't believe nobody has ever before mentioned a Latin course, this is a new and unique proposition.

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Magister_Smith

While this post may be an oft-repeated one, your sarcasm contributes little.

If anything, instead of deriding the original poster for not scrolling down to find duplicate threads (which can be irritating, given the format of the DL site), perhaps take note of the popularity of this idea.

May 6, 2015
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