[Suggestion] Slang skill
I came up with this idea after seeing one of the other discussions in which someone posted a screenshot where Duolingo corrected someone's incorrect answer with an answer containing the word 'f*cked'.
I think that it makes sense to stay away from using words that parents would not want their kids learning, but these words are part of a language. In fact, they are a very important part of a language. Imagine living in an English speaking country and not knowing any and/or all of the meanings of f*ck.
So, I propose that later in the tree (perhaps even in the advanced skills that Duolingo keeps promising they'll release eventually :) ), there be
- A skill or skills relating to slang terms and their uses.
- An age restricted skill using some of the more used and less vulgar swear words.
I do agree. Slang and bad words are all part of the language. It's something we all need to learn, whether we use them or not. Age restriction should definitely be enforced though.
Should the age be about thirteen? I am fourteen, and tons of people swear in my grade. No one makes much of an effort to stop it, sadly.
Thirteen, in fact, is the minimum age required to use Duolingo now.
Of course teenagers (and even younger kids) swear, but they are still underage, so their parents are responsible for them and surely most parents wouldn't like their kids to learn dirty words officially on a language learning site.
In fact, I am not at all sure that a 18+ sign would stop younger people from opening the slang skills proposed (and of course anyone can lie about their age if asked in the profile). Personally, I don't see any tragedy in this, but what if it leads to Duolingo being banned at schools, for example?
By the way, how do school restrictions work? I'm from Russia and there is no way to restrict sites kids use at school - unless you take their phones or tablets away altogether.
Well, I don't really believe in censorship too. Kids learn insults from an age of 1 or less from hearing their parents, family, friends, and others swearing. I believe Luis indicated that next year there will some [parental] controls to cater for the young students from schools.
Regarding restrictions, it can be prevented. It is simple enough to use filters to prevent children from using certain sites (in school computers) with keywords. Also you can simply ban a whole site or only allow students to use one site in their device. In fact, I believe google recently introduced parental control apps to the Android operating system (there is probably something similar for iOS), and other mobile operating systems, so parents can prevent their children from accessing whatever. Truthfully there have always been apps to prevent that even on mobile devices, the service provider (ISP or cellphone provider) can ban it from their side.
A noteworthy event was that the UK has decided to take this to the extreme and automatically force Service providers to block pornography in all conceivable devices, and you can only opt out if you're an adult and go fill in some forms.
Another method is more "hardcore", and involves a jamming device that prevents use of wireless internet in the vicinity of the school.
What about phones or tablets? How can teachers control what sites kids use through 3G?
I guess it is a cultural difference, but I can't imagine any parent in Russia using parental controls on their kid's device... well, maybe if the kid is 6 or 7 years old, but a teenager? No way :-) either they use their devices as they like or they don't have any at all.
@Dessamator: I guess I'd become a hacker if I were restricted that cruelly :D
The jamming device would apply to all mobile devices. Also like I said, the parental controls are in the operating system, so it can block these sites by default, regardless of whether you change sim cards or not. A more draconian method would be to simply disable access to the internet in the mobile device, and require a password from a parent to restore it.
Yes, it is certainly a cultural issue. From what I've heard, it is like second nature (or normal) to French people. Indeed that character (Merovingian, French guy) from the matrix movie made a mention to this. " I love the french wine, and the French language, especially for swearing..." (Merovingian,2003; matrix movie).
Edit: I would put the whole quote, but I don't want to upset the cultural groups of Duolingo. :)
I am going to have to agree with you. At my school, and surrounding schools, we are given devices like ipads to take home. I do believe we should learn slang but if they were to put that on here it will be blocked and teachers that use it as a tool will not be able to use it anymore. So its a catch 22
I agree with you wholeheartedly on your idea... but it sounds a lot like the suggestion I made in that thread, including the age restriction. Great minds think alike, i guess?
Duolingo recently made me practice "your neice is stupid" in French. I think learning "you're screwed/f*cked" would be much more relevant to learn, and more likely to come up in translating real world language... (or realizing a possible threat?)
Unfortunately, due to the feedback from users after the screenshot was posted, Duolingo deleted that sentence from the idioms lesson.
I don't think complete censorship is the right approach, and think a separate restricted skill would be a great middle ground!
The main problem with teaching slang is that it is variable by the region and that it changes rapidly, sometimes even over the course of weeks (think of any short-lived fad). It would be nearly impossible to keep up with this.
I have some reservations about this, especially for those that are learning English, because English spans a variety of countries. What is slang in America, isn't necessarily slang in Canada or England or Liberia or Barbados or any other place where English is the primary language. (take "snog", for example - from my understanding, this is a thing that is actually said in Europe, but, I've never heard it used over here.) Are you suggesting only surface slang? Things like "dude" and "what's up?". Because, any deeper than that & you'd touch on cultural slang and linguistic patterns and it'd become one big mess.
Slang would be great and also maybe some text talk? Examples in English being like "gtg" or "lol" Maybe only useful when you're in the country and communicating with locals but since my move to Paris I've found it pretty helpful!