No Malay On Duolingo? Try These Amazing 2 Alternatives This 2023

No Malay On Duolingo

Malay offers insights into the diverse traditions, customs, and literature of the region. Whether for business, travel, or cultural appreciation, acquiring Malay language skills provides a valuable asset in today’s interconnected world, fostering understanding and enhancing opportunities for personal and professional growth.

And for this reason, plenty of people ask where they can learn the Malay language all the time. This is the reason why I am shocked by the sad fact that there is no Malay on Duolingo. So, let’s talk about the possible reasons for that and some alternatives like the Ling app.

Why There Is No Malay On Duolingo?

Given how close Malaysian and Indonesian are in mutual intelligibility, I was just wondering if that is the main reason why there is no Malay on Duolingo. Do a few people speak Malay, by the way?

Where Is Malay Spoken?

Did you know that Malay is actually spoken in several countries across Southeast Asia? It’s spoken in Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, and Singapore. In Malaysia, they call the Malay language Bahasa Malaysia, but in Brunei, they refer to it as Bahasa Melayu.

Besides those four countries, Malay is also spoken in some regions of Indonesia. Specifically, in the Riau Islands, it’s called Bahasa Indonesia. It’s also spoken by different ethnic Malay communities in Indonesia, especially in places like Sumatra, Kalimantan, and West Java.

In other words, is it possible that Duolingo has decided they don’t need a Malay course if they have an Indonesian course? Do you think it makes sense not to offer Malay lessons, even though Malay and Indonesian have many similarities?

I really hope this is not the case here because I recently have found myself more interested in Malay (but not necessarily in Indonesia) and would like to learn that interesting language. I think it probably would be an easy course to make after Indonesian is completed, assuming Duo uses Indonesian as a template.

However, I seriously hope Duo will add them as separate languages at some point. Until then, I will try to find some other apps that have a Malay course.

Limited Language Availability

Duolingo offers a wide range of languages for learners, but due to the constraints of time, resources, and user demand, not all languages can be included. As a result, certain languages, including Malay, may not be available on the platform.

The Complexity of the Language

Malay, being a complex language with various dialects and regional variations, presents challenges for the development of a comprehensive course on Duolingo. Creating a well-rounded learning experience that covers all aspects of Malay grammar, vocabulary, and cultural nuances requires significant effort and expertise.

Lack of Contributor Support

Duolingo courses are created and maintained by volunteers known as contributors. These contributors dedicate their time and effort to developing and maintaining courses. If there is insufficient support from fluent Malay speakers who are willing to contribute and maintain a Malay course, it becomes difficult to introduce the language on the platform.

No Malay On Duolingo Market Demand And Prioritization

Market Demand and Prioritization

Duolingo prioritizes languages based on market demand, user interest, and potential learner base. While Malay is widely spoken in Southeast Asia, its demand and user base on Duolingo may not be as high compared to other languages. The platform focuses on languages with larger user communities to cater to the majority of its learners.

Resource Constraints

Developing a language course on Duolingo requires significant resources, including funding, time, and language experts. Limited resources may be a factor in the absence of Malay on Duolingo, as allocating resources to other languages with higher demand or strategic importance may take precedence.

What Are The Alternatives To Duolingo?

I am glad you asked. There is one very obvious recommendation that can be made here, and that is the Ling app. It uses native Malay speakers to help you learn Malay just like it will sound in the country.


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 of your Malay 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

This one is actually a part of the same family as Ling. Simply Learn Malay 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 Malay speakers, along with the Malay and phonetic spellings of the words.

It makes for a great companion both when practicing and when you are in Malay. 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 it helps you start out with pronunciation and basic grammar like word order.

Other Resources To Learn Malay

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

As we said before, it is good to make a language learning plan and mix things up if you are serious about learning Malay. 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.

Why Not Learn Malay With Ling?

Not sure what to do next? You should set up some goals for your language-learning journey. Studying Malay isn’t that hard if you have little steps that you can accomplish daily, weekly, or monthly. If you’re looking for basic vocabulary and other useful phrases, use the Ling app. It contains 60+ languages and 200+ lessons that will help your memory retention.

Download the Ling app now on the Play Store or App Store and focus on mastering the Malay language!

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