Why Is There No‌ ‌Farsi ‌On‌ ‌Duolingo?‌‌ ‌‌#1 Helpful Blog

February 4, 2021

No‌ ‌Farsi ‌On‌ ‌Duolingo? That's not fair! I think that Farsi really deserves to be on Duolingo. They have Romance languages, Germanic languages, Slavic languages, and even such distant languages as Hungarian. From what I've heard it's not too difficult language and the script is also quite easy to learn.

About Farsi Language

Farsi is an Indo-European language from the group of Iranian languages spoken mainly in Iran. Its dialects are also spoken in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. It has around 110 million speakers in the world. It is a very soft language, some people say that it sounds like reading a poem.

Nowadays, people usually think about Iran as something evil. But, it has a long history since the Persian empire and their culture is very rich. Persians have a long history of literature and poetry (for example a poet Rumi). Their movies are also very beautiful and touching (watch for example this short movie called 'The Frozen Rose'). 

Why Is There No‌ ‌Farsi ‌On‌ ‌Duolingo?‌‌ ‌‌

The reason why there is no Farsi on Duolingo may lie in the opinion of the majority that there are not many people speaking the Farsi language and not many people would like to learn it. Well, they are wrong!

As already said, Farsi is the language of Iran, a small country in Western Asia and it's also called Persia. The language has 110 million speakers currently.   

I know many people who go on trips to Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Tajikistan and they have no clue how to speak anything other than English, and to just have the few basics of Farsi would be amazing.                                                                                                        

The other reason why there is no Farsi on Duolingo could be that it's hard to learn it. Based on the information I have so far, Farsi is easier for English speakers than Arabic for example. There are no long and short vowels as much as I know, it is an Indo-European language, it's wonderful in sound and you can find many similarities with other IE languages, Turkish which has a lot of Persian words, Arabic and Urdu.

What seems to be difficult is the alphabet, as it is a modified Arabic one.

I guess many learners would like to learn this language to decipher the culture of Central Asia. There's great poetry written in this beautiful language. 

What Are The Alternatives To Duolingo?

Ling

No Urdu On DuolingoI am glad you asked. There is one very obvious recommendation that can be made here, and that is the Ling Farsi app. Ling uses native Farsi speakers to help you learn Farsi just like it will sound in the country. 

Through the gamification of learning, also makes the whole process much more engaging. You can see yourself progress as you make your way through the different topics and tests that come along with it.

Then there is the chatbot feature that simulates conversations and makes for great practicing your Farsi language skills. For an introvert like me, it helps to build up my courage to eventually feel confident enough to use it when out and about.

While these mobile apps do share a common goal of making language learning fun and accessible, what sets Ling apart is the focus on practical vocabulary, sentences, and phrases that you will use in everyday speech.

Simply Learn

No Urdu On DuolingoThis one is actually a part of the same family as Ling. Simply Learn Farsi is a phrasebook in app form, giving you all the benefits that come with that. You can listen to the words and phrases being spoken by native Farsi speakers, along with the Farsi and phonetic spellings of the words.

It makes for a great companion both when practicing and when you are in Farsi. It makes use of flashcards and the spaced repetition learning technique that is said to really improve language learning.

It may not be the top choice if you want a deep understanding of the language but helps you start out with pronunciation and basic grammar like word order.

Other Resources

There are quite a few different apps and websites that work great with helping you to learn Farsi. Each one goes about its own way to replace the hole made by the lack of Farsi in Duolingo. Ultimately, it is a case of finding which option works best for your case.

Like we said before, it is good to make a language learning plan and mix things up if you are serious about learning Farsi. If you are just looking for a more casual experience to learn a few phrases before traveling, then apps might be the best option for you.

What Are The Chances Of Farsi Appearing In Duolingo?

There are many languages that are already in the development phase and almost ready for the incubator. Whether Farsi language will be inserted in the language section or not depends on the desire and will of users willing to help create a Farsi language course. Also, it depends on those who would like to learn Farsi and the assessment of people who lead this site who need to decide if they need that language or not. I really don't know if and when the Farsi language will be taught by Duolingo.

In my opinion, the chances of the Farsi language appearing in that form at Duolingo are very slim. Since Farsi is not in that so-called Language Section, and since Duolingo cannot be set to the Farsi option, the precondition to be able to learn any language on this site is to know English. You may like it or not, but this is how things are working right now on Duo.

The most important thing is money. Unfortunately, Duolingo is very busy. At the moment Duolingo is spending a lot of time on making their service monetizable. If you were using Duo several years ago, you likely would have noticed that the ‘Immersion’ feature disappeared. This was a feature that allowed Duolingo to make money, by letting websites pay Duolingo for users to translate their sites. When this feature disappeared, Duolingo lost its main income source. Today, Duolingo is focusing on making income once again. They have introduced things such as ads, Duolingo Plus, and the Duolingo English Test, but to this day monetization remains their primary focus.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I think that Farsi deserves a lot more attention. I've wanted to learn it for a long time but I didn't find any good source on Duolingo. My hopes are very low at the moment that we will see the Farsi language in near future.
However, I don't give up so easily and want to call all Persian speakers to please go into the Incubator and select Persian for English speakers.

I have noticed that a lot of people are interested in learning the Farsi course but not many people have applied to the incubator. The more people that apply, the better the chance of getting the course on Duolingo.

If you know someone that speaks Persian, push them to apply. We need a Duolingo community effort to bring this language to as many people as possible.

Let's make this happen.

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Stanislava Zivojinov

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One comment on “Why Is There No‌ ‌Farsi ‌On‌ ‌Duolingo?‌‌ ‌‌#1 Helpful Blog”

  1. Hi Zivojinov
    I am from Iran and many Iranians, including myself, emailed Dolingo to add Persian. Unfortunately, they did not even answer. Even Google Assistant now supports most of the world's major languages, but Persian is still missing. I hope Dolingo and Google do not confuse technology with politics. Finally, I thank you for your interest in the Persian language and for publishing this post.

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