Why Memlingo?

Duolingo Esperanto and Asian Languages

Duolingo is the best language learning application - modern, simple, quality, easy to use, and spread all over the world.

However, Duolingo is not going to include Asian languages for Esperanto-learning, because it costs too much for them, and too little number of users are expected.

For building a course in Duolingo, it takes more than 2 years - a huge investment.

Here's the list of language pairs on Duolingo, and you can see how long it took for a language-pair. (Less popular language, the longer it had taken.)

Currently it's not likely to happen for Duolingo to include Asian language like Korean/Japanese/Chinese and Vientmese for teaching Esperanto.

That's why we need to build a new set of Esperanto Learning Courses, common for Asian people.

※ An aritcle from the initiator(Nomota)'s Facebook. (May. 2019)

Why not Duolingo/Esperanto?

Duolingo/Esperanto is an excellent course. If you speak English, Spanish or Portuguese and you want to add one more language to become a real polyglot, then Duolingo/Esperanto is a perfect choice.

However, Duolingo/Esperanto misses a large part of active Esperanto learners in East Asian countries. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. These language group shares a common cultural inheritance around Chinese literature, and by far the most remote from Esperanto. Learners from those countries also suffer from bad English, in spite of their huge investment of learning languages. (The investment would be bigger than any other part of the world.)

Considering the linguistic distance from Esperanto and the number of learners, we can conclude that no other part of the world has more demand than these countries.

※ Some other Asian countries like Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia seem that they do not feel that much of difficulties in learning Esperanto. There can be several explanation why is it so, but it's certain that people from CJKV countries are more often failing in learning languages.

That's why we need some special treatment for these language groups.

Alas however, Duolingo would not accept these languages for learning Esperanto, because the demand level (of Esp/CJKV) is still far below compared to some more popular national/ethnic language pairs.


Why Memlingo?

We're thinking of building a common Memrise course ("Memlingo") for these four language groups, as an alternative to Duolingo/Esp.

'Memrise' is basically a tool for memorization, and not very useful for learning structural aspect of a language. So a simple-minded mimicking Duolingo isn't possible on Memrise.

The idea is to make repeated exposures to the skeleton of structures, stimulating the learners' natural ability to fill the gap. People generalize and grasp the structure easily if they are exposed to good examples. These are what we want to teach using Memrise,

  • ~ temas pri ~
  • ~ mankas al vi
  • iru gxis la fino de ~
  • ~ gxis tiam, kiam mi ~
  • ~ hieraux mangxis ~

So the goal of the Memrise course is not giving well-formed sentences, but giving skeletons in some incomplete parts that make sense only for active learners who are engaged.

These are some broken part of phrases, but if we select the right set of sequences based on the frequency of real world usage, then the learners may get accustomed easily to the skeletons of the language.

For voice exposure, we're going to record using www.vocalware.com and translate.google.com (Estonian, Italian, Romanian). These voice sources (TTS) are good enough to make decent Esperanto sounds.


Any recommendation for this kind of course building? Please send an email to hiongun@gmail.com