Duolingo to add five endangered language courses
Language learning app Duolingo has announced five new language courses – Zulu, Xhosa, Maori, Haitian Creole and Austronesian Tagalog – as part of its work to help protect endangered languages.
The new courses, which will roll out over the next year, were revealed by company founder Luis Von Ahn during Duocon, an annual language learning event first held in London in 2019.
The five will join the over 40 languages and 100 courses currently available on the app.
“Language is about connection and bringing people and cultures together. What better way to keep the vibrancy of cultures alive than by making languages accessible to everyone?” said Myra Awodey, senior community manager at Duolingo.
“What better way to keep the vibrancy of cultures alive than by making languages accessible to everyone?”
“I’m looking forward to learning Xhosa, our first language that incorporates clicks.”
The new languages were revealed alongside new updates and changes to the app including Duolingo World, which will use machine learning to build text to speech voices for characters, and updates to Birdbrain AI, the app’s personalised learning system, which will have new features to generate the difficulty level of lessons.
Other unreleased courses currently in the incubation phase on Duolingo’s site include two Mayan languages, K’iche’ (spoken in Guatemala) and Yucatec (spoken in Belize and Mexico) for Spanish speakers, Cantonese for Mandarin speakers, and Tamil for English speakers.
A Yiddish course was also released for English speakers earlier this year.