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Duolingo Added Haitian Creole For Learners And Is Promoting Haitian Restaurants Across U.S.
Duolingo added Haitian Creole to its library of languages and has also boosted visibility of Haitian restaurants across the U.S. as part of a new campaign. Currently, Duolingo offers a variety of languages; over 100 courses over 40 distinct languages. Languages range from Spanish, French, German, Japanese to Navajo and Yiddish. As of 2022, Haitian Creole is the 41st language to be added.
Offering game-like lessons for learners to grasp the basics of Haitian Creole, Duolingo has made it easier for English speakers worldwide to learn the language. Spoken by more than 12 million people worldwide, Haitian creole is an exciting addition to the Duolingo library. The course was added at the end of February 2022 during Black History Month in the U.S. With Haiti being the first Black independent nation, Haitian Creole is a language that interests many globally across and beyond the diaspora.
Duolingo added Haitian Creole to its library while aware of the acute challenges in place, namely that, like most Creoles, Haitian Creole is historically an oral language with few writing, spelling, and grammar rules.
Given these challenges, Florida International University Haitian Creole Professor Nicolas “Tiko” Andre, founding member of the Creole Academy in Haiti, partnered with Duolingo to develop the new course and highlight its grammatical structures.
Profesor Nicolas “Tiko”Andre said that “Haitian Creole is a language filled with beauty, nuance, breadth and depth. While developing this course, we wanted to honor the history of the language and implement the patterns and rules used by Haitian Creole speakers that we saw over time and across regions,”
“We are thrilled that Duolingo’s platform will allow more people to learn this unique language and engage with the rich Haitian culture.” he added.
The tech platform, which launched in 2012 and became public in 2021, also partnered with Haitian-owned and run restaurants across the U.S. to promote the launch of the course. Restaurants included in the promotion are: Bonbon Lakay, BK9 Restaurant, Zanmi, Grandchamps and Kreyol Flavor in New York, Manjay Restaurant in Miami to name a few. While Duolingo highlights the diversity of Haitian restaurants across the U.S., these selected restaurants promoted the highly anticipated course by giving away a free month of Duolingo Plus, the app’s premium subscription service to customers.
Within and beyond the Caribbean and its diaspora, there is growing urgency and desire to learn and preserve the various Creoles that make up the region. While the pandemic proved that many chose to use their down-time to learn a new language, it is surely positive news that Haitian Creole will be easily accessed, understood and valued amongst users.