Mayan will come to Duolingo!
Duolingo's CEO, Luis Von Ahn announced that the Mayan language, the main indigenous tongue in his country, Guatemala, is coming to Duolingo in the following 8 month. They are looking for volunteers to work on endangered indigenous languages. Below you will find the link to the article in Spanish.
"Vamos a empezar a trabajar en el maya. Para mí es un idioma muy importante porque soy de Guatemala, pero queremos hacer otros idiomas pequeños. Si nos va bien con los voluntarios que tenemos, va a salir en los próximos ocho meses", dijo a El Economista el cofundador y director de Duoling, Luis von Ahn
Wonderful! Can't wait for those "otros idiomas pequeños" either. I can read what he said because of Duolingo.
This is great, but there isn't really one Mayan language. Will they teach Yucatec, K'iche, something else? I used to live in the Yucatan and would love to brush up on my Yucatec, but I'm excited to hear that an American language is coming to Duo either way. Hopefully it opens the door for more courses on indigenous languages.
Oh yesss! Hope we can learn some Mayan! Every language, the better! I am excited to learn it. Plusl, it might be useful for preparing for the next apocalypse :)
More I wonder what will be the monument for it. Chichen Itza was used for Spanish but shouldn't it belongs more to Mayans??
Did you see https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8619542 ? :) In the comments Raulxanchez said
...tambien es inventada la imagen del español latino (imagen del angel de la independencia) porque el monumento de chichen itza deberia ser usado para una lengua maya y no para el español.
which I think means
...also the image of Latin American Spanish (image of the Angel of Independence) is made because the monument of Chichen Itza should be used for a Mayan language and not for Spanish.
Yay yay yay! This is really exciting. I'm so interested in the ancient times, and knowing any indigenous American language is so cool! I really hope this will open the door to more indigenous American languages in the future, like Navajo or Cherokee (:
See http://aboutworldlanguages.com/Mayan-Language-Family#writing for more information on writing Mayan languages. :)
...Today, Mayan languages are written with adapted versions of the Latin alphabet. Formerly spelling was generally based on Spanish, and it is only recently that standardized orthographic conventions have started to arise. The first widely-accepted orthographic standards were developed for Yucatec Maya in 1980. Subsequently, the Guatemalan Academy of Mayan Languages adapted these standards to other Mayan languages of Guatemala...
No, regrettably, they will teach it with the Latin script, as it is the simpler and easier way to program it.
Haven't the Mayan languages themselves switched to Latin script IRL, so one needs to learn the language with Latin script in order to read what today's Mayans write outside Duolingo?
Teaching a Mayan language with Latin script (instead of the heiroglyphs) seems to me less like teaching Japanese with Latin script (instead of kanji, hiragana, and katakana) than like teaching Irish with Latin script (instead of Ogham script).
Ogham script was used to write an ancestral language of Irish and unfortunately lacks letters required to write modern Irish (which would be totally sweet!). However I agree with your main point and in fact the Mayan languages have nearly all used the Latin alphabet since the 16th century.
That just kills it for me. In that case the textbook method is preferable to Duolingo.
Wait. I thought there's only like 3 people in this world that can read them [as I remembered from one tv show]. :/
Wow. That looks amazing. Does anyone know if each block represents a letter, a syllable, a word, clause or a sentence? Or something else? There's a lot of information in each one, so it looks like they're probably words or phrases at least but I really have no idea.
See my reply to Erven.R for some links. Each character usually corresponds to a single word and can be broken up into pieces where each piece is a syllable or a logograph. It's a bit like Korean if each basic part were a logograph/syllable instead of single letter.
It is not used anymore :( I'm from the Yucatan peninsula and it uses the latin script.
I think Guarani and Quechua courses for Spanish and Portuguese speakers would be great, they're two of the most importante native languages of South America and the most spoken indigenous languages in the world!
I am so glad that Guarani is available now. I wonder when any Mayan will be available?
I just realized one thing: Spanish has stolen the Mayan monument! The pyramid temple from Chichén Itzá should be returned to its proper place!
Weren't a lot of Mayan ruins recovered from jungle overgrowth and not sacked like the Elgin marbles?
I think that the UIUC linguistics department has something for high school teachers in the unit 4 school district of Champaign-Urbana Illinois which would be aimed for teacher's of Kanjo'bal Mayan students but it would probably not be a full level instructional course. Dr Martin of Cleveland State University gave me an unpublished copy of Aprendemos Kanjo'bal during the Central American war years but it did not have audio material and I've lost all but one of the cassettes one of my coworkers made for me. There are several audio /videos online but they are mainly marimba bands, monolingual dialogues or Christian fundamentalist translations of biblical materials. There is only one English based lexicon of Kanjo'bal Mayan online that I know of -that lady from Sweden buther webpage has not changed in years.
Are there any updates for this? The article says it'll be in the following eight months and this topic was posted seven months ago... Should we be expecting a Mayan course to enter the incubator (para hablantes de español?) at any time now?
I, too, have been wondering if any progress has been made in this direction. I have seen no mention since the interview that sparked this conversation.
English is my primary language and I live in the United States. I'm learning Spanish, but either K'iche or Kaqchikel would be very high on my list! I am the president of a nonprofit that does service work in Guatemala and when I travel there, I would like to at least know the basics of several of the Mayan dialects!
With Tiny Cards coming out, I've found the deck for another Mayan language, Tz'utujil and that helps with vocabulary but not pronunciation.
How exciting! Is there an English version of the article by any chance? And would that be Mayan from the Yucatecan branch then?
Doing the whole article is probably beyond me, but hear's my attempt at the quote:
"Vamos a empezar a trabajar en el maya. Para mí es un idioma muy importante porque soy de Guatemala, pero queremos hacer otros idiomas pequeños. Si nos va bien con los voluntarios que tenemos, va a salir en los próximos ocho meses", dijo a El Economista el cofundador y director de Duoling, Luis von Ahn"
"We are going to start working on Mayan. For me is is a very important language because I am from Guatemala, but we want to do other small languages. If things go well with the volunteers that we have, it will come out in the next eight months." said the co-founder and director of Duolingo, Luis von Ahan to El Economista
Please note this is a very rough translation, my Spanish is not very advanced. I would be happy to receive corrections
Very glad to hear - thera are a lot of mayan languages, but any will of course be better than none. Mayan, quecha, nahuatl, navajo, the list just goes on and on and on.
But don't forget Latin:)!
But also don't forget small European languages like Silesian, Kashubian, Crimean Tatar or for example Sorbian :)
Thanks for being interested! We already applied to create Crimean Tatar - Ukrainian course. Waiting for Duolingo Team response. If everything goes fine, we will apply for Crimean Tatar - English course too.
Anyone who speaks Polish on a reasonable level is able to understand Silesian easily. :)
Well that also depends on your knowledge of German, because it is sort of mix of Polish and German :)
It would be awesome if they added Nahuatl, have been waiting to learn that for so long.
¡Estupenda noticia! Todo lo que sea salvar idiomas nativos en peligro de extinción estoy a favor :)
¡Qué buena noticia! I hope that Duolingo keeps on the mission of rescuing endangered languages. T'estimo, Duolingo!
Oh my dear god, this is the greatest news ever. I'm studying Nahuatl and I can't wait to study a little Mayan.
OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG!!!!!!!!!That would be awesome! I hope it will be for english speakers. :D :D :D :D :D :D:D :DD :D :D: D
If they use the roman alphabet they should include the hyerogliphics (or its basis) as additional skills at the store.
I can't wait for them to add other languages like Navajo, Latin, Sanskrit, Basque, celtic languages, etc. That'll be very exciting and help keep those languages alive
¡Excelente! Can't wait! What variant of Mayan language will it be though? :)
I did some research; K'iche' is the Mayan language with the largest number of speakers, no doubt that it would be the Mayan language in Duo.
Bona! It would be great if this could be extended to other endangered languages. I live in Australia and any number of Aboriginal languages would benefit from this, not to mention inter-racial relationships. I'm sure this could be extended around the world. Duolingo really has the potential to become a global linguistic treasure.
Great news! I'm currently living in the Yucatan right now and studying Yucatec Mayan at a school in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, my town, for five hours a day. The chance to keep up my studies at home (albeit in the future) is amazing? Will Yucatec be the dialect taught? I know that in Guatemala there are at least 15 other dialects spoken, though to varying degrees of prominence.
This is amazing! What is much more amazing [for me] is how fast I understood the sentences like as if I was not translating them in my head! :D
This is so exciting! I hope they make it Mayan for English speakers. That way, there's a lot more people that can learn it and it would be very helpful if they want to help keeping the language alive.
The Mayan languages (there's more than one :) ) are parts of the Mayan cultures of Mayan people, cultures native to central America. It's likely that more Mayan people know Spanish than know English.
Keeping a language alive shouldn't only be keeping it around for linguistics scholars and hobbyists like us. It should also be for the people whose cultures made the language in the first place! :D Scholars and hobbyists studying a language is great :) but putting some of us ahead of the grandchildren of native speakers is not so great. :(
This is why I hope they make it a course for Spanish speakers first :) and then make more courses in the same language for speakers of other languages like English. ;)
It's the same way Duolingo's first Irish course being Irish for English speakers makes more sense than having it be Irish for Chinese speakers. Even though more people know Chinese than know English, more Irish people know English than know Chinese.
Yes, I agree. It is a nonsense to revitalize a language outside its natural place. We need to optimize our resources if we really want to help the endangered languages or it is a matter of time that they will finally disappear. That being said, after the course for Spanish speakers is released, Beta-tested, and new motivated contributors are willing to do so, I can see no reason to create new courses to learn a Mayan language for different target languages.
yay! I'm so happy, the more languages you learn, the easier life is!!!!!! since I'm only learning two languages, this is the best day ever!
This is great! I was hoping duolingo would start adding indigenous languages!
Wow! That'd be wonderful! But which Mayan language would be taught? Yucatec? K'iche'...?
Unfortunately for me it probably won't be Kanjo'bal. I still have my copy of the unpublished textbook"Aprendemos Kanjo'bal " that professor Martin sent me a couple of decades or so past but my Spanish at the time was even worse than it is now and every other word of kanjo'bal seemed to have a glottal between stops and there was also a distinction between accented-palatalized -and unaccented consonants. I believe that the UIUC linguistic department has some kind of program in Kanjo'bal connected with the preparation of learning materials for the Unit 4 Champaign-Urbana school district,but I no longer live in that area. Google translation: Desafortunadamente para mí probablemente no sea Kanjo'bal. Todavía tengo mi copia del libro de texto inédito "Aprendemos Kanjo'bal" que el profesor Martin me envió un par de décadas más o menos, pero mi español en ese momento era incluso peor de lo que es ahora y todas las demás palabras de kanjo'bal parecían tener una glottal entre las paradas y también hubo una distinción entre las consonantes acentuadas-palatalizadas y las consonantes sin acentos. Creo que el departamento de lingüística de UIUC tiene algún tipo de programa en Kanjo'bal relacionado con la preparación de materiales de aprendizaje para el distrito escolar Champaign-Urbana de la Unidad 4, pero ya no vivo en esa área.
Me pregunto que pasó con los idiomas locales de Guatemala. Aun sigue en pie el proyecto?, sería excelente partir de Maya-Inglés y viceversa. Saludos y si puedo apoyar en algo estoy a la órden. Tengo contactos quienes pueden apoyar perfectamente, por ejemplo de K'anjob'al a español.