Fun with DuoLingo 2

You’re probably all pretty sick of hearing about my wisdom teeth operation now – I know I’m sick of posting about it! But when you’re stuck in the house ill, nothing blogworthy tends to happen… so I thought it was time to share some more odd Duolingo sentences with you. To see my first round, click here.

DuoLingo is a free language learning website. The basic idea is that you sign up and the site has you translate sentences to practice various areas of grammar and vocabulary, starting with basics and moving on through things like food, animals and adjectives. I’ve been collecting the ones that I found particularly strange or amusing, and now I have enough for a whole blog post again. Here they are… enjoy!

  1. Papa Smurf
    Papa Smurf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Der Hund isst den Vogel – The dog eats the bird (Because it wants to be a cat?)

  2. Sie kennt die komplette Feuerwehr – She knows the entire fire brigade (Is she an arsonist… or does she just have a thing for firemen?)
  3. Das sind keine normalen Äpfel! – Those are not normal apples! (I bet Snow White wishes someone had said that to her…)
  4. Eure Kuh ist schön – Your cow is nice (Just making small talk…)
  5. Der Bär trägt Ihre Kleider – The bear is wearing your clothes* (… and now they will never fit you again!)
  6. Ein roter Hund trägt weiße Kleider – A red dog is wearing white clothes (A red dog, you say?)
  7. Ich bin der Bär – I am the bear (And you can talk…)
  8. Der gesamte Kopf ist blau – The entire head is blue (It’s a Smurf!)
  9. Die öffentlichen Toiletten sind normal – The public toilets are normal (Well, that’s a relief…)
  10. Ich danke einer Katze – I thank a cat (It’s only polite, after all…)

That’s all for today. I hope you got some amusement out of them…

*Assuming the bear is female this could also translate as “The bear is wearing her clothes”, but the translation here is the first one that came to my mind and was accepted as correct. *edited to add* As someone pointed out in the comments, it only means “your” if Ihre is capitalised, but when it’s being read out there’s no way to tell whether they mean “ihre” or “Ihre”.

Fun with DuoLingo

www.duolingo.com (appen) är min nya lilla hobby.
The Duolingo owl (Photo credit: Emanuel Hallklint)

A while ago, I read another blogger’s review of a free-language learning website called Duolingo (I believe that blogger was Sherbet and Sparkles). I was on the look out for a new resource for learning Spanish, so I decided to check it out. I signed myself up for Spanish and, after a bit of thought, decided to use it for German as well – my German is good, but by no means perfect and I thought a few grammar lessons would do me some good.

In Spanish, I’m still at a fairly low level, so the software still has me working on basic sentences like “Él escribe libros” (He writes books). But as I progressed through the levels in German, I started to notice some fantastic, amusing, or just plain weird sentences cropping up. Naturally, my immediate reaction was to start collecting them, and now I have enough for a whole blog post. So here – in no particular order (because arranging them would involve effort) – are my top ten favourite sentences that Duolingo has made me translate.

  1. Sie schläft in seinem Bett – She sleeps in his bed. (Ooooh, the intrigue.)
  2. Sie ersetzt das Baby durch einen schwarzen Hund – She replaces the baby with a black dog. (She… what?!)
  3. Natürlich bin ich besser als du – Of course I am better than you. (And soooo modest as well!)
  4. Meine Frau ist nicht schön, aber sie ist reich – My wife is not pretty, but she is rich. (Oh well, that’s ok then…)
  5. Der Grossvater isst den Vogel – The grandfather eats the bird (I am picturing him biting the head off a live bird! :-/)
  6. Wir schwimmen, falls es Regen gibt – We will swim if it rains (How much rain are you expecting?)
  7. Er isst Menschen – He eats people. (Wow… thanks for the warning Duolingo!)
  8. Weiß man je, wohin man geht? – Does one ever know where one is going? (Oooh, very philosophical!)
  9. Ich will nicht gegen dich aussagen – I don’t want to testify against you. (Well, I’m glad to hear that!)
  10. Wo sind die Hosen des Jungen? – Where are the boy’s trousers? (That’s a very good question…)

One thing’s for sure, sentences like these will stick in your mind forever! Although I sincerely hope I never need to use the phrase “I don’t want to testify against you” in German…

The incorrect multiple choice answers can be pretty amusing too...
The incorrect multiple choice answers can be pretty amusing too…