Normally, it’s down to Duolingo to scratch our language learning itch, so does Duolingo have Samoan, and if not, why not?
Spoken by over 500,000 people worldwide, Samoan is a Polynesian language with a proud and rich heritage. Although the language is mostly spoken by people actually living in Samoa, there are plenty of Samoans living in other parts of the world, and tourism in this region is continuing to grow. With this being the case, there is a demand for an accessible Samoan language course.
Let’s find out.
Is There a Samoan Course on Duolingo?
Unfortunately, there is no Samoan course on Duolingo at the moment. Despite having half a million speakers worldwide and the country itself experiencing a surge in popularity, Duolingo has made no moves to add this beautiful Polynesian language to its huge roster.
Are They Planning on Releasing a Samoan Course on Duolingo?
According to the Duolingo Incubator, which lets us know which new language courses the guys at Duolingo are working on, there is no Duolingo Samoan course on the horizon. As the incubator announces its course intentions a couple of years in advance to drive buzz and interest, it’s safe to say, we won’t be seeing Samoan on the app anytime soon.
Why Doesn’t Duolingo Have Samoan?
There are a few reasons why there might not be a Samoan course on Duolingo. Firstly, the language isn’t widely spoken outside of Samoa, and although interest in this Pacific nation is rising, it’s not rising quickly enough to warrant a course.
That being said, Duolingo does offer courses for fictional languages, so they don’t really have an excuse. The bottom line is that Duolingo doesn’t believe that the demand is there, and without that demand, they’re not going to pump tons of money and resources into building the new course.
The thing is, Duolingo used to have a forum where users could request new languages and upvote the ones that they want developing. It was a simple way for Duolingo to gauge demand and a way for users and fans of the app to be heard.
That’s disappeared now, so it’s unknown how Duolingo is measuring popularity or choosing what goes into the Duolingo Incubator next.
Another reason is that they’ve cut back their resources at Duolingo HQ. They used to create courses alongside native-speaking volunteers, normally language teachers, but Duolingo has recently decided just to develop courses with their in-house teams.
That means that progress is slower, with the more niche languages taking the hit. With lower resources, or having to buy in native resources rather than utilizing the volunteers, it’s definitely affected Duolingo’s output and the number of new courses that are making the rounds recently.
2 App Alternatives to Duolingo with Samoan Courses
Clearly, Duolingo has dropped the ball here by not having a Samoan course, but that doesn’t mean that other apps can’t help us out. Here are some Duolingo alternatives with Samoan language resources all ready to go!
Looking to expand your Samoan vocabulary? Drops is a beautifully designed flash card-style app that helps you learn helpful words and phrases. With Samoan content already locked in and ready to go, you can test yourself and broaden your horizons on the move.
It’s a quick and easy way to improve your Samoan language learning skills, no matter where you are.
Although not strictly a language learning app, Memrise is great for when you’re trying to learn new information or skills. As all the content is user generated and uploaded, there are Samoan language learning materials on the app, but not in an organized course.
From flashcards to quizzes, to Samoan language media, there are a lot of options, depending on your preferred language learning style.
I’ve used Memrise for Italian, Spanish, and French and it was definitely one of my favorite language-learning sites for a while. I’m not a huge fan of flashcards, but this app makes it much easier to study them.
3 Ways to Learn Samoan That Aren’t Apps
Apps not your thing? Don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways to learn Samoan, other than sitting around and waiting for push notifications to annoy you into learning at inconvenient moments.
1. Samoan Language Learning Books on Amazon
If in doubt, turn to the old-school way of learning and hit the books. Although you’re unlikely to find an English-to-Samoan dictionary just lying around in your local bookstore, they are available online and can help you figure out the language alongside other methods and tools.
Samoan doesn’t have the most amount of resources on Amazon, but this official Samoan Course Book is one of the best you can find. Hopefully, more guidebooks will become available in the future!
If you’re looking to learn anything, often the first port of call is YouTube. Home to millions of useful (and definitely not useful) videos, it’s no wonder that there is some Samoan language learning content on the site.
Even if you don’t want to watch tutorials, you can find Samoan news channels to listen to with English subtitles on and get a feel for the pronunciation. Using YouTube works really well alongside working your vocab and written skills using an app like Drops or buying a Samoan dictionary.
For some super easy and beginner-friendly videos, check out Islandize. If you’re looking to learn Samoan and learn more about the culture, Measina Treasures of Samoa is a great channel to start watching.
Looking for an online platform with a bonafide Samoan language course that you can follow along with? Check out uTalk for their Samoan course that uses gamification to make learning fun, much like Duolingo.
Play games, take quizzes, and learn over 2,500 words and phrases that are used in everyday life. It’s a great introduction to the Samoan language and super easy to use. This is the closest alternative to Duolingo that you’re likely to find but it is a desktop platform, so don’t expect to be nudged all the time!
No Samoan Course on Duolingo, But Lots of Great Options
So, while Duolingo may not have a Samoan course right now, there are plenty of great alternatives out there that you can use to learn this amazing language.
Whether you’re heading out to Samoa, have Samoan friends, or just want to learn a new language, you can use any of the resources in this list to help you get a solid foundation.
Maybe one day Duolingo will hear our calls for a Samoan course, but until then, the tools we have here will definitely do the job!