No Armenian On Duolingo? Try These Alternatives

February 19, 2021

I'm very disappointed by the fact that there is no Armenian on Duolingo. Let's find out possible reasons for that and what are possible alternatives. 

I just love System of a Down and definitely would like to learn the native language of its members. As I use Duolingo for learning Japanese, I thought it would be really amazing for me to learn basic words and phrases in the Armenian language in the same place. Unfortunately, Duo's team doesn't see things the same way I do and there are no Armenian courses nowhere in sight. That's the way it is for now. 

Let's try to find out more about this interesting language and the reasons why there is no Armenian on Duolingo.

About The Armenian Language

Armenian (Armenian: Հայերեն) is the language of Armenians. It belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. This interesting language contains many elements borrowed from neighboring languages, especially Persian, Greek, and Syriac. Historically being spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands, today, Armenian is widely spoken throughout the Armenian diaspora. Armenian is written in its own writing system, the Armenian alphabet, introduced in 405 AD by the priest Mesrop Mashtots. 

The Armenian alphabet has 36 signs (two were added later) based partly on Greek letters; the direction of writing (left to right) also followed the Greek model. This new alphabet was first used to translate the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament.

It differs from other Indo-European languages not only by the peculiarity of its forms but also by the voice system, which is taken over from the neighboring Caucasian languages. 

Old Armenian still lives only as of the language of the church. About six million people speak Armenian. Together with the Indo-Iranian, Balto-Slavic, Albanian and Thracian languages, it belongs to the Satem group of Indo-European languages.

Who Speaks Armenian And Where?

There are 6.7 million Armenian native speakers in the world. In the early 21st century the Armenian language is spoken by some 6.7 million individuals. The majority (about 3.4 million) of these live in Armenia, and most of the remainder live in Georgia and Russia. More than 100,000 Armenian speakers live in Iran. Until the early 20th century, an Armenian population had lived in Turkey in the area around Lake Van since ancient times; a small minority of Armenians lives in Turkey today. Armenians also live in Lebanon, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Iraq, France, Bulgaria, the United States, and elsewhere.

Armenian is the official language in Armenia and Artsakh. Its recognized minority language in Cyprus, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Iraq (Kurdistan), Ukraine, and Georgia. 

The Armenian diaspora as a result of several historical events. During World War I, Armenians in Turkey suffered from ethnic cleansing and genocide (1915-1916). From 1918 to 1920, those who resisted the Turks attempted to create the independent Armenian Republic, but their efforts failed. Armenia was then divided among the USSR, Turkey, and Iran. This resulted in the mass emigration of Armenians to different parts of the world.

Why Is There No Armenian On Duolingo?

There are many people that think it would be wonderful to have the Armenian language on Duolingo and hope that its team will consider adding it soon. However, it seems that the duo's team thinks differently about the whole thing. Let's find out the possible reasons for that. 

In my opinion, there are two main reasons why there is no Armenian on Duolingo: 

  1. A small population of people speaks Armenian. As I already mentioned, there are (only) 6.7 million individuals that have Armenian as their native language. I know that is not a large percentage of the world population. However, having in mind that the Armenian diaspora isn't that small - you can find native speakers on at least 4 continents. I think that they need to have the opportunity to preserve their language and give their successors the chance to learn at least some basic words in their mother tongue. 
  2. There are not enough Armenian “teachers” in Duolingo. While preparing to write this blog post, I could see that there are many Armenians on Duo who think that it's a great idea to put the curriculum for the course to be made. I personally know several people who have applied, perhaps more than once, to contribute to an Armenian language course—so it English for Armenian speakers or Armenian for English speakers—for a year or two and have not gotten any response. It seems that Duolingo doesn't care so much about its users or has spread too far and does not have the resources to follow the wishes of its users written on various forums.
  3. It's not a popular language. I personally don't think this is a legit reason since there are many people on Duo who think that Armenian as an ancient language deserves to be there. Some of them may have heard the Armenian language for the first time visiting stores in Armenian neighborhoods and wished to learn it. It's an interesting sounding language and it would be a fun addition. I would also be glad to hear an Armenian course for English speakers, it could be a good opportunity to learn another symbolic language. I like using Duolingo because it provides good tools for teaching process languages and hope that I will see the Armenian language in the list of future courses. 

What Are The Alternatives To Duolingo?


No Urdu On DuolingoI am glad you asked. There is one very obvious recommendation that can be made here, and that is the Ling Armenian app. Ling uses native Armenian speakers to help you learn Armenian 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 Armenian 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 Armenian 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 Armenian speakers, along with the Armenian and phonetic spellings of the words.

It makes for a great companion both when practicing and when you are in Armenian. 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.

What Are The Chances Of Armenian Appearing In Duolingo?

Having in mind that there are people who have sent their requests for contribution and the Armenian course is still not available on Duolingo. That's sad because many Duolingots including me are interested in this interesting language but there is no Armenian course on Duolingo yet. However, I think it would appear eventually on Duo's list of languages. In the meantime, I don't see the reason why you shouldn't use other apps like the Ling app that have Armenian courses. Using this app,  you will learn Armenian by playing games: cards games, speaking games, spelling games, and more. The app has a web version as well, that is Ling web. I hope this app will help you with learning Armenian!

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