Brace yourselves, Arabic is coming.
We're out of Beta!
After 459 days in phase 2, today on the 11th of August 2015, the English course for Arabic speakers graduates from Beta. The report rates witnessed a sudden decrement upon the release of the course on smart-phones. That decrement was stabilized and further sustained by the actual stability of the course.
Reports curve for the past two weeks
What does that mean?
A course graduating from beta is always a cause for celebration, but in the case of our course, it is also a huge step towards the long-awaited Arabic for English speakers course.
You will see Arabic hatching anytime soon.
The English for Arabic speakers uses the Modern Standard Arabic MSA, and we are willing to stick with it for the reverse one as well.
We chose to use MSA because it is the most understood, well-documented and widely-taught variant of Arabic. It is the official language in the countries across the Middle East and North Africa.
It is also the variant speakers of different distant dialects use to understand each other.
bonus skills for the dialects are in our plan - We are already planning for the bonus skills, that's how excited we are.
What should I do?
Your suggestions and ideas are most welcome. If you are qualified for the mission, feel free to apply for it.
Woohoo with Russian almost ready this will give me something new to look forward to :)
Will someone please correct me if I am wrong: MSA IS the official language of a lot of Middle Eastern countries, but as far as I know, it is not the language that is used on the streets. This corresponds to the dialects, which one must learn separately to be able to speak to locals in every country. However, MSA is used for formal interviews (as a formal type of language) and in written Arabic. Thus MSA is more useful for business and political interests. Anyone want to add or correct something?
This is more true for politicians than for businessmen, and more likely to happen in very formal occasions than in simple TV interviews. And even in occasions when a person is supposed to speak in MSA, there is a tendency to slip a few dialect terms and expressions while speaking, unless the occasion is super formal or the speech has already been prepared beforehand. You can listen to plenty of MSA when listening to the news, however, not all broadcasters use absolute 'pure' MSA even there. It is hard to use just MSA to describe a constantly evolving world. The good news however, is that once you know MSA, picking up the more popular dialects is just a matter of being exposed to them. It's not that hard. We as natives Arabic speakers pick up other dialects from satellite TV as well, so there is no reason for you not to do the same!
Here ya go...
(see the 2nd section here): https://www.livelingua.com/fsi-arabic-course.php
"YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY" (lol):
DLI -- DEFENSE LANGUAGE INSTITUTE
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I think both of you would be very helpful to your respective language courses if you really grew up bilingual. You can probably offer an excellent perspective on the differences between each language, that would be very helpful to new learners, even if you might doubt your mastery of the language compared to others. I think that is an under appreciated vantage point.
A question for those who know more about Arabic: is it possible to make educated guesses about the pronunciation of a word written in the standard manner, without the vowel marks? Or do you have to always know the pronunciation beforehand in order to pronounce the vowels correctly?
As a native Arabic speaker, yes, I can guess the pronunciation of a word without the accent marks. But sometimes, a word can be read in more than one way.
Like this word: كتب. Someone might read this as Kataba, and someone else might read it as kotob. The first one means "he wrote" and the second means "books". There's no way to know for sure which one it is.
So, to answer your question, yes, anyone can guess the pronunciation of a word, but it might not always be correct.
Wow, how could I have missed this! Arabic is one of the language I'm waiting in DL and this news means that the reverse course will start anytime.
I know that it may take time before the reverse course will move to beta, but I'll be waiting
Congrats to the team! What an accomplishment!
Start at the right, and follow through. The verticality is just artistic. If two letters connect together, and then another one lands above them but between them, that letter comes after them (like in the last word). This is really just cramming letters in in a beautiful arrangement, so don't be too upset if it's hard, it's hard for arabic speakers too. It's more just art.
I feel that Modern Standard Arabic will be sufficient for now. But as Duolingo gets more efficient in other writing systems it would be good to have an Egyptian Arabic course. People all over the Arab-speaking world understand Egyptian Arabic because Egyptian movies are very popular in most of those countries. So it would be a good alternative for for students of Arabic.
You say Arabic is coming - 2 years ago - but is it? 2 years later there's no sign of it even entering incubator phase.
It seems there are plenty of qualified people willing to contribute so if fake languages like klingon and esperanto are getting higher priority than Arabic... Well that's extremely, extremely frustrating.
Hi! If you have a program for Arabic speakers willing to learn English, why not the other way around? I am sure there are hundreds of thousands of people willing to learn Arabic. I would be very thankful to you guys if you introduce Modern Standard Arabic courses for English speakers.
Thanks in advance!
I'm almost tempted to see if I could manage the reverse course as I don't think Arabic for English speakers is coming any time soon. Might be an interesting project - the alphabet is phonetic so it isn't as impossible a task as it seems although the Duo interface in Arabic font is a bit overwhelming!
I know, but religious landmarks are used for other languages as well, not to mention a Mayan temple for Spanish.
Edit: approximately 47-77% of Russians and 78% of Danes are Christians. Are Christian buildings fair representation? In comparison, 90% of Arabs are Muslims. (And yes, Arabic =not necessarily= Arab)
Well... they could also go with the Pyramids of Egypt. Then we'll have two sets of pyramids on the site that have nothing to do with the language they're representing. Symmetry!
Monument notwithstanding, though, I'm definitely looking forward to this course and glad to hear it'll be in the works soon.
Based on their language, the Ancient Egyptians weren't Semitic, but they were Afro-Asiatic. They were still related to the Semitic peoples, just more distantly.
I would love an Ancient Egyptian course, but they would probably have to invent hieroglyph-input software specially for it specifically. It could be a while.
Did you see https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8619542 ?
There, Raulxancez shows the art he made for courses he'd like to see Duolingo add, using the existing art for courses like Danish for Spanish Speakers and his own art for courses like Nahuatl for Spanish speakers.
He also uses the Chichen Itza pyramid for Maya for Spanish speakers and uses the Angel of Independence ( http://simerida.com/courses/angeldelaindependencia.php ) for the courses teaching Spanish. :)
And the Wailing Wall is used for Hebrew. Slightly religious overtones, there(!); but no-one is complaining that it is a language and not a religion. Especially as Hebrew was resurrected as a living language from almost entirely religious source texts. Methinks there is some eggshell-treading going on with regard to Arabic.
Who's treading on eggshells? I just wanted to provoke some responses so I could learn something new. I already thought of Mecca before I even posted, but is that the single greatest monument in the entire Arab world? I mean I am not religious in any way, so for me,it is essentially.... A cube... Sorry if that sounds irreverent. But well...
While I definitely agree that Arabic is a language, not a religion, could you not still have something Islamic as the picture as the region where Arabic is most widely spoken has been heavily influenced by Islam? Alternatively maybe some native flora/fauna such as the Socotra dragon tree https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socotra#/media/File:Socotra_dragon_tree.JPG ?
I suggest Arabic calligraphy (see my picture), rather than a particular landmark! This has always been the classical choice for language courses and programs. Landmarks would be more relevant to colloquial dialects. If you use the pyramids for MSA, then what do you use for the Egyptian dialect??? They are in fact using the pyramids now (Sept 2018) and this to me implied that they're planning to offer the Egyptian dialect rather than MSA.
This post is almost 4 years old and we still do not have Arabic -Language with 4th most native speakers. The post says "we are out of beta" but the progress bar says there is still 32% to go. Seriously 5 years and a language as important as Arabic is STILL not here? Jesus.
Am I missing something?
Like, I understand that this is done on a volunteering basis so there might be some delays but when we have Klingon, High Valarian or Navajo but not Arabic it is just ridiculous. I do not mean to bash the other languages but it's just that more speakers = more contributors = faster finishing of the hatching. At least logically it is supposed to be that way. The site said August 2018 for the estimated time of release. Now it says 1st of May 2019. Hope it works this time.
I would like the course to teach both MSA and a dialect/some dialects/all dialects but in this way: first, a skill for teaching MSA and next to that skill, a skill for learning a dialect. Imagine that you want to teach us greetings, you can make a skill called Greetings in MSA and next to that skill, a skill called Greetings in (name of the dialect). I would like Egyptian Arabic. Thanks
With over 200,000 people who have asked to be notified when the Arabic course is released, it would be nice to have an update. I am very keen to learn Arabic and so far I am left in the dark as regards the progress being made by the duolingo team in getting this language off the ground. Is the date of 1 May 2019 still achievable? I am asking as otherwise I need to consider other options. I am sure that none of these are as good as what duolingo is potentially capable of. Any news from anyone in the know would be more than welcome. I appreciate that bringing this project to fruition is no easy feat.