Duolingo Gàidhlig – time to revisit the idea?

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MacBrádaigh
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Duolingo Gàidhlig – time to revisit the idea?

Unread postby MacBrádaigh » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:42 pm

I wonder if any of the more advanced Fòram users would consider trying their hand at building a Duolingo Gàidhlig course.

I take on board the points made by Akerbeltz and Níall Beag in the previous forum discussion on this topic and I understand the cynicism towards the learning structure that it seems to force upon the language. From an outsiders' perspective who kept a wee eye on the Norwegian project during its development it looks like it may not be as rigid as I once thought.

I only ask the question again because I and several of my friends have found Duolingo to be invaluable as one tool in our language toolbox for learning other languages (in my case, French). I feel that it would be, at the very worst, a good platform to expand the audience to whom Gàidhlig is appealing. For example, the Irish course has been up and running for a while now and currently has ~753,000 learners – an incredible amount.

I am by no means suggesting that learners could use it alone to fully learn Gàidhlig – I have certainly not learned French from Duolingo alone and I am not done learning! I think it would provide an attractive extra learning tool and would help to revitalize this beautiful language.

If you lovely folk would consider it I would really appreciate it. I think it would do wonders for the language. Thanks for reading, any and all comments (positive or negative) are welcome.

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akerbeltz
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Re: Duolingo Gàidhlig – time to revisit the idea?

Unread postby akerbeltz » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:09 am

I don't have time for a new project but I'm sure that if you want to look into it and run everything past the forum before submitting it, me and others will be happy to look everything over for you.

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Re: Duolingo Gàidhlig – time to revisit the idea?

Unread postby MacBrádaigh » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:10 pm

Akerbeltz, thanks for joining the conversation. Great to hear from one of the most respected forum members – understandable that you don't have time but thanks for taking the time to post.

I would love to be in a position to contribute but Duolingo requires contributors to be bilingual to a level comparable to native speakers in both languages (i.e. English + Gàidhlig), demonstrated by typing a paragraph in both languages about why you want to contribute. Unfortunately I am nowhere near that level of fluency.

For anyone interested, here's a link to the Duolingo course contributor application page so you can see for yourself what is required: http://incubator.duolingo.com/apply. At the time of writing Gàidhlig (or Scottish Gaelic) does not appear on the drop down list of languages – likely due to a current lack of potential contributors – but right at the bottom you can choose "Enter Other".

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Re: Duolingo Gàidhlig – time to revisit the idea?

Unread postby GunChleoc » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:41 am

We would definitely need a group of people to pull this off, best would be at least 1 grammar geek and 1 native speaker.
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MacBrádaigh
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Re: Duolingo Gàidhlig – time to revisit the idea?

Unread postby MacBrádaigh » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:15 pm

Good to hear that you think it's a possibility! As far as I am aware several contributors can take part at once and contribute as little or as much as they have time for.

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Re: Duolingo Gàidhlig – time to revisit the idea?

Unread postby GunChleoc » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:24 pm

Although I haven't looked at the site in detail, theoretically, it is. Practically, we would need to find enough people, which isn't easy to do. I am certainly stretched thin these days.
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Re: Duolingo Gàidhlig – time to revisit the idea?

Unread postby Mairead » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:31 pm

I am just a beginner at Gaelic so I can't contribute to this project, but I would like to say that I am an enthusiastic Duolingo user, and it's become very popular. I just started learning it to prepare for a trip to Germany, and it came recommended by many people - it seems that everyone I recommend it to amongst my friends has already heard of it or already has it on their phone. So I whole-heartedly agree that getting Gaelic Duolingo would expand the potential audience for the language! Good luck, and I'm sorry I can't be of help!
Tha avatar agam à dhealbh aig mo phiuthar anns an Cellardyke. Tha trì videothan Ghàidhlig agam anns an Youtube.
My avatar is from a photo that my sister took in Cellardyke. I have three Gaelic videos on Youtube.

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Duolingo Gàidhlig – time to revisit the idea?

Unread postby Níall Beag » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:20 am

Here's the previous thread for reference. There wasn't much said there, but as to my comment about someone getting hauled over the coals for free labour, Duolingo has been ordered by Europe (not sure which branch) to stop using free labour for translations, cos it's illegal. Then all they did was change their Ts&Cs to say that it was iklegal for EU citizens or people physically located in the EU to do translations, and passing legal responsibility to the user. They didn't bother to tell us, the users, about this though, despite a published policy of advertising all changes to the Ts&Cs.

This was bad enough as a user, but recently I was considering setting up several classes of high school pupils on the Duolingo for Schools scheme, and by default they opted schoolkids in to the already-banned unpaid labour scheme, and while I know enough about Duolingo to spot this and opt out, most teachers don't (I think the tick-box said "allow access to simulated immersion", which is a lot different from "allow kids to do illegal unpaid labour for an international business"). As sharp practices go, that's one that doesn't need a whetstone.

So I'm not going to help develop their business.

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Duolingo Gàidhlig – time to revisit the idea?

Unread postby Níall Beag » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:34 am

Besides, I strongly feel that any publically-produced material should be publically owned and publically available. I like to talk about "raising the floor" -- when we produce resources that anyone can use (even for commercial purposes) then we raise the base quality of all resources. Why have everyone pay to record "feasgar math", "ciamar a tha thu?" again and again? There are loads of resources that burn through their funding reproducing the same base material, and as a result, we only have beginners' courses, and they're all much of a muchness. But if we have a free bank of material, there are plenty of people out there with ideas about how to use that material in innovative ways.

Take a look at tatoeba.org. It's a database -- nothing else. It is specifically designed to gather information and let people use it in various ways. There aren't all that many people using the data yet, but I was pointed to a great site yesterday: clozemaster.com. Clozemaster has taken the entire Tatoeba database, covering dozens of languages (including Gaelic) and used a simple (yet effective) algorithm to turn it into a multilingual learning resource. The designer came up with it as "something to do after Duolingo", and while it's not as sophisticated as DL, thanks to the nature of the Tatoeba database, you have the possibility of far more language combinations.

If more people contributed to Tatoeba (and I should get back into it myself, hypocrite that I am) then tools like Clozemaster would become really effective. (Heck, there's already 500 questions for English to Gaelic in Clozemaster, which is nothing to be sniffed at.)

I've seen lots of clever ideas about automatically generating learning paths through material without any knowledge of the language, but they all need a source of data.


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