A platform to learn African languages, Yay or Nay

Hello everybody.
Just this afternoon as I was strolling through the street of Google Play Store I came across an app called Duolingo. It’s an app for learning different languages across the world. I downloaded the app and see what it got and to my utmost surprise, I couldn’t find any African language on the platform, but why???
OK, I hit google in search of apps or any platform for learning any African language but again I was surprised and dissapointed. In the course of my search, I landed on different forums and webpages where people were asking for where to learn different African languages. Infact, I checked Duolingo forum and see how people were massively requesting for African languages to be added to the platform.

Now, I’ve identify a problem which is lack of learning resources for all these African languages. And am proposing a solution. I dunno how good it is but it’s just what I was able to come up with.

The solution is to build something like an app similar to Duolingo specifically for learning African languages. And it’s will be free. There is going to be one or two tutors for each language.

How the tutors will be compensated, How to get these tutors, how to get people to use the app and how to fund this idea are some of the questions that have been bothering for sometime now.

What do you think? Or You want to join me on this journey? Please leave a comment below.

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Wow. This is the third time I’ve heard this pitch. It seems like it’s going around.

Here are a few pointers I gave some people:

  1. Look at the Duolingo Crunchbase profile. See how much funds they’ve raised. That’ll give you a fair idea of what you want to do.

  2. Remember that the tech is only part of it. Have some linguists on board with you. I wouldn’t even know how to teach a Nigerian language. I’ve only being ever been taught French besides English (and I speak my own language from hearing my parents speak it so I won’t be conjugating any verbs anytime soon). Bonus point, there’s the NBTT (Nigerian Bible Translation Trust?) who should help with experts and some funding via foreign aid for especially non-big three (Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba).

  3. It won’t be profitable if it is for only one language. Whatever you do has to scale language wise.

  4. Don’t even begin with gamification except you’re sure. You may be overwhelmed with coding quiz builders. If it were me, I would start with an Udemy type content manager.

Wow. That’s a lot of unsolicited information.

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Good tip. Your insight are outstanding.

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Unsolicited information lol. Your insights so far on this thread and others are exceptionally good. I have been thinking about some of the suggestions you made and how to make things work. If you don’t mind can you please connect me to where you heard this pitch before (as you stated in your first paragraph) maybe I can meet others guys with this same idea and work on it together if possible. Thanks

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Just people in my circle. Two ladies independently pitching it.

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Can you please help me reach them. Who knows maybe we can build something together. Just asking and if it’s not possible, it’s alright. Thanks

No wahala. I can make the intros. Hit me up @stigwue

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@stigwue Sir you have put a big smile in the face of @AbdulSamad

God bless you.

This is why this platform was created.

To share ideas.

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Solid advice that people often seem to forget. Domain expertise is important, tech is not a magic bullet that will automatically make problems easy to solve.

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As someone from the diaspora who can’t speak my native tongue, I’d definitely download the app - please keep us posted!

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@AbdulSamad. I’ve been working on something like this for a while now. Funny enough, I discovered the gap in the Duolingo platform (the only African Language there seems to be Swahili and Afrikaans).
I focused on WHY Duolingo decided to skip over 2000 languages in Africa on their platform. A factor could be the problem of dialects. Even our major languages seem to differ as you move from community to community.
BUT rather than see this as a problem, I believe it can be an opportunity. Especially for Africans in Diaspora - A PLATFORM TO LEARN YOUR NATIVE TONGUE AS NATIVELY AS POSSIBLE.
This will take a lot of work but it is certainly possible.

I am very excited that others are aware of this gap and willing to fill it up.
@AbdulSamad, It’ll be a pleasure to work together on this. :smile:

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Hey blessing, am glad I found someone working on idea similar to mine. I didn’t think about dialects in the first place. You raised a good point. Will love to work with someone like you to make this a reality.

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Because no one has created learning content for African languages.

They’ve provided a free platform and an avenue to add new languages; Africans should create the language courses they want to see instead of merely “requesting”.
I know there’s a substantial interest in Hausa but no contributors.

While I’m not against rolling your own solution, Duolingo has a platform and massive reach that can be taken advantage of and have done a lot of the hard but necessary work.