Duolingo, the world’s most popular language learning app, announced that users can start learning Haitian Creole on its platform. It is the 41st supported language on the platform behind others such as French, German, Spanish, Klingon and many more. The language has 9.6 million native speakers in 2007 and for anyone who has studied French, the similarities between this language and Haitian Creole will be immediately noticeable.
After adding many European and Asian languages as well as Swahili which is spoken in some African countries, Duolingo focused on preserving some languages spoken in the New World such as Hawaiian, Navajo and now Haitian Creole . Interestingly, Haitian Creole was preserved through spoken word and informal education until the late 1970s; with its introduction on Duolingo, it will help formalize the language and allow more people to learn it.
Writing on the Duolingo blog, the company’s Emily Moline said:
“As with many Afro-Latino and Afro-Indigenous languages, Haitian Creole has a similar history of persevering under oppression. The language had its most extensive development throughout the 200 years of enslavement of people, mostly from West Africa, who were forcibly brought to the island during the transatlantic slave trade. The slaves spoke dozens of different West African languages (mainly Fon, Igbo and Ewe), and contact with speakers of Taino, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, French and English led to the formation of a global language in the Americas. identify as Creole. It is most widely spoken by the Haitian population in Haiti and elsewhere under the label of Haitian Creole.
As Duolingo continues to add languages to its platform, it also continually improves the basics with smart technologies to encourage people to learn. One such technology that Duolingo uses is a machine learning model called Birdbrain that works constantly to present you with lessons that aren’t too difficult but not too easy either; this led to an increase in user learning and engagement.
If you’re unfamiliar with Duolingo, the service is available for free (ad-supported) but also offers a Plus subscription that gives you some perks. Duolingo is quite unusual among language learning platforms, as much of the competition usually charges high fees to access course materials.