https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wildwm

Bonus Skill: Swear Words

This is not an issue but I think it would be cool if DuoLingo added another bonus section where it teaches you the common phrases people use to cuss. I know that a lot of kids use this site but it would still be fun.

January 11, 2014

66 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emiceh

Or somehow just unlock this if you're +18 or somethg like that

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pinkduckling

That would be tough to monitor, I used to sign up for things I wasn't supposed to until I was 13 never mind 18.

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ontalor

I think it'd be fun too, but honestly the linguistic base Duolingo gives you is enough for you to be able to go on your own and learn some swear words pretty easily. But I think this is a cultural issue as well; people are very sensitive to swearing in English, but much less so in Spanish. They don't think it's nearly as big a deal to say swear words. On the other hand, in Chinese, the concept of actually swearing is so inappropriate that there are swear substitutes like the English 'darn, shoot, etc.', but even those substitutes are considered improper to use most of the time.

Personally, I just use this system to my benefit, and most of the time I swear from surprise or anger, if it's not in English, it's in Spanish, because chances are people won't understand, and even if they do they won't be nearly as offended as if I said it in English. :)

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bill-Roca

Thanks to golf and fishing I learned to swear fluently in four languages. Don't need to learn it here :)

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gnorian

Based off how the other bonus skills were handled, I'm actually very nervous about this one.

Duolingo tried to do a direct translation of idioms and phrases where there was no direct translation, so you would use an idiom at the incorrect times.

Imagine how bad that could be with cursing? They teach you that X is equivalent to Y cursing in your language, but really it is much, much more offensive if not used correctly. That could be embarrassing, and dangerous.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sknipp

so true, I had a terrible time with idioms

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angelastic

Meanwhile, in the 'Flirting' skill (in French) I think I about six of the ten questions I got were, 'Hello, how are you?'

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sknipp

I swear like a sailor as well and do want a fully fluent experience. However I get that this site is for all ages and to add another category just for 18+ requires a mess of other things that will at the very least slow down the incubator for other languages. BUT! I did get this book for german, and this company makes them for many other languages as well. So if you plan to continue your seedy inappropriate lifestyle abroad (i certainly do) go pick this up for your language. http://www.amazon.com/Scheisse-German-Never-Taught-School/dp/0452272211/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389411969&sr=8-1&keywords=scheisse

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pablobaytart

We Germans do not have a 18th-birthday-barrier for sware word inauguration. If anything we tend to stop using them by - say - the age of 20.

And someone understanding the spanish subjunctive or german konjunktiv should be able to express himself carefully even if he knows how to curse.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sknipp

We have no official birthday barrier either, however, I have yet to see a parent not activity shush their child for cursing before at least late teens. I think language should be a full experience. Whether one curses or not it doesnt matter, understanding when one is the target of someone elses cursing does.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wrathful_Midget

Ik. One of my ex-gf's always got onto me about it tho.

April 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Banana119

This is an excellent idea because it would help me understand movies, for example, as swear words are used a lot to convey meaning and emphasis. This post is really not asking for a lot, just add a bonus section where if someone chooses they can learn common phrases people would use in a conversation. I see no problem with that I dont see why people make such a big deal about it (were not saying you're required to learn them). It would just help you understand an everyday conversation better because many people use these words to add a stronger meaning. But another argument is: why not just look them up? well first of all you can do that also but if over half the duolingo population would rather learn them here because of the convenience than why not add the option? Also if you look them up it may give you single words but their are also many phrases such as "wtf", "stfu", "lmao", etc that people use too.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wildwm

Exactly!!

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/j00liag00lia

that would be fun and help to understand when it does happen

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrWhoops

I think we can start with "Bonus Skill: Slang Works" before the swear words.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/I.m.Geniza

RCSMFTCP is right that it is written in the terms of agreement so suggesting swear words is a dead end.

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pleiadian_

Can you copy and paste the quote that you're referring to? I couldn't find anything covering the use of an arbitrary list of words labeled as "swear/curse/cuss words".

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

In the guidelines: http://www.duolingo.com/guidelines

Hateful, obscene and off-topic comments don’t contribute to learning. Cursing doesn’t either (let people discover those words in the wild). Leave them out of the language discussions.

If Duo taught swear words, moderating would get a lot harder. "Why did you delete my post? I didn't intend to insult him when I called him a F-wad. I was just using the words Duo taught me." Given that this is in the guidelines, I don't see them introducing swearing. The German owl used to say Verdammt! when you ran out of hearts, but that disappeared (probably due to complaints).

I swear regularly in French and English. I don't have a need or craving to learn German swear words. If I make it to Germany or Austria some day I'd like to know some, but I wouldn't expect to learn them from a program that only gives you the language capabilities of a child. German only has about 1700 words in the program right now...if it had 10,000 and had better grammar instructions, then I'd be tempted to ask for a swearing section.

As for the reasoning that kids use this site, I don't know where Duo stands on age now, but Kristine had mentioned several times in the past that Duo was for ages 13 and up. If a kid doesn't already know how to swear by the age of 13, then they are going to have a hard time in life when they escape their over-protective parents.

Edit: Here's one of Kristine's posts. It's 9 months old, so it's possible their position has changed since then. http://www.duolingo.com/comment/281985

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

I see a difference between hateful comments directed to other users and learning how to swear. The former one is simply a matter of netiquette, and I don't think anyone here wants users cursing at each other. But I see no harm in learning sentences like: "my f*$%&/g car won't start" = "mein Sch§$%auto will nicht anspringen." I'm sure every language has such curses everyone has heard a dozend times before in their native language, and I'm just interested to know how you would word this in Spanish, too.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wildwm

Okay I can see why you guy's can't add them, though it is more important to know the most frequently used words rather than 10,000 words that aren't as common. Nevertheless, I still believe that it is the person who causes a conflict, not the word used. But, if an addition like this can scare people away then I can understand.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pleiadian_

Thanks for directing me to the correct location. And you left out the title, "Write inflammatory comments." which, together with the fact that these are 'community guidelines', applies to the users when interacting with the community, hence them saying "leave them out of the language discussion.". You can use curse words without them being inflammatory, i.e. 90% of stand-up comedy, an industry devoted to making people laugh. Likewise, you can use words that Duolingo teaches you in an inflammatory fashion as I posted elsewhere in this discussion, "I'll break this beer bottle over your head."

Duolingo can teach curse words without changing their community guidelines, similar to how parents can teach their children about curse words, drugs, and alcohol while at the same time prohibiting them from using them.

Also the 13 and up position is related to the law...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_Online_Privacy_Protection_Act

I doubt Duolingo will ever change their position when it comes to the age requirement.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

Thanks for the law link, I was unaware. I originally had the title in the quote, but it looked odd out of context. As you can probably tell by my post, I don't care if they add it or not, but it would make it harder to moderate, which is my only concern.

Edit: If they did implement it, I like Sakasiru's suggestion of putting it way down at the end of the tree.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chartreux

I swear like a sailor but the pedestrian language has no place on Duolingo. There are people of all ages and all walks of life using this site that don't appreciate that kind of language or the environment that promotes it. That said, if you really want to curse in a foreign language then google it.

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach1337

So who should be catered to then? What if I say that I don't appreciate the kind of site that censors such words? Should I be catered to then? Why cater to the people who are afraid of swear words? Swear words should be included, but there should be parental controls for people who want to turn those off in order to make everyone happy.

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lee_livingston

I think it should be available as a 'Master Level' course. I studied Russian a couple decades ago, and it was their medium. True artists. And knowing the level of acceptability was critically important. I knew someone who almost got bounced out of the language program because - on his very first day - he scandalized a little old Russian lady by saying: 'your mom'.

Also, there are huge cultural insights. The best example I can recall at the moment (and I hope is clean enough not to offend anyone):

At the time, older Russian power brokers hauled themselves into the baths early in the morning; commiserating while sweating out the toxins of the previous evening. Business got done - just like on the golf course in other cultures. Typically as you walked in the door, there was a stand with freshly cut birch branches - switches - that they used on themselves/each other, ostensibly to encourage blood flow.

So in that context the word for word translation 'sticks to his ass like a wet birch leaf' suddenly becomes clear: what we call a brown noser.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gnorian

This is what I mean. These courses would need to teach you carefully, not like the way we were taught idioms where you could use them incorrectly. Using more dangerous forms of communication incorrectly is... more dangerous.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sknipp

interesting

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Equilibrio99

I learned my favorite curse phrase in the whole world from a Russian man who was forcing himself to use English 24/7. The English version has enriched my life. The sequence of words is so unexpected that even in the darkest of times it gives me (and most people who overhear it) a laugh. It would be nice to have more of these spicy phrases.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankKool

wildwm, since I see that you are learning Spanish, you might enjoy this video: "Spanish Lessons. 26 Adv Speaker Los Insultos 3 (strongest!)"

WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2NuELMdK64

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JessieKaye

Do you really need swear words???

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wildwm

Holy F(udge)! some people need to realize that part of learning a language is so you can understand what people are saying including their mood and intentions. Don't think of it as profanity but think of it as learning the language more in depth. So no, we don't need them but it would be helpful to know them.

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wolhay

I don't think that you can properly learn a language without learning the swear words.

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach1337

Do you really need to learn a foreign language???

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sknipp

To accurately convey my daily thoughts and feelings and to truly connect to a native speaker, yes.

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaveatEmptor

If I want to fully understand the language I'm learning, then yes I do need them. Maybe I won't use them myself, but I'll certainly need to be able to understand when someone else is using swear words in German. It's not just about being able to deploy swear words, but also about recognizing when you're being bombarded with them by someone else. I can't control what others say to me, but I'd like to be able to understand them at least.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StrapsOption

That's exactly it!

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

I would like to have such a lesson, too. They should place them way down the tree to only give access to very dedicated learners, but I would not see a problem with learning such words and phrases. As for small children, they hear curse words all their life in their native language (you would not believe what words my kids bring home from kindergarten). It's important to learn what is acceptable to say and what not, and in a foreign language you would want to know what people might be throwing at you and be able to give an appropriate answer.

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liamtbrand

The first thing kids usually do (myself included) when learning a language is learn the swearwords haha, still people can google this if they want to know it..

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pia6320

Yeah, if you want to know it then google it, but some religions are strongly against swearing, why make Duolingo less popular?

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wildwm

Or why not just include a Parental control etc to turn it off? If some people want it then why not add it with an option to turn it off? were not forcing you to do anything

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liamtbrand

This is true, but I'm not sure teaching swearwords should be taken into account on duolingo as their aim is to translate the web, not teach people how to swear well.. EDIT: I'm not against the idea I'm sitting on the fence.. (I would buy it if it was available in the store lol)

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaveatEmptor

The web has lots of swear words in it though. Thems need translating too :P

Omg, imagine translating Youtube comments haha.

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaveatEmptor

We're talking about bonus modules that you can buy in the store with lingots. If it's against your religion to swear, keep a kung-fu grip on them lingots and use them for something else.

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roseeposey

Yes! Curse in Spanish.

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inkybaba

It would be totally exceptional as long as it was always a bonus skill. That way it will be strictly optional

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angelastic

I don't really see how this would fit with the Duolingo lesson format. Swear words are just individual words, and they can often be used fairly interchangeably and in any position in a sentence you feel moved to put them. So would duo be testing us on whether we use the swear words in a grammatically correct way? Would it be teaching us to remember which has which translation, even though the literal meaning of the words often doesn't matter? Or would we only get pronunciation tests, which are not really accurate and which we always get a point for anyway?

It might work if there were a new kind of question, so that we could be asked to order a set of swear words from mildest to strongest. But otherwise, I think we'd have to settle for 'Idioms 2: Idioms that should not be used in polite company' with whole sentences that incorporate swear words or off-colour imagery.

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thecheese123

I totally agree, I live in Spain and people curse at me in Spanish and it's extremely frustrating to not understand what people are telling you

October 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Azux-

swearing is for idiots

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SazzyJazzy

In my opinion swear words are not necessary. If people really want to learn them they can just go on Google translate in their own time!!

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phaikon

Duolingo needs cuss words because it needs something better for users to spend lingots on. Either cuss words or famous politicians and celebrities of the past or present. It would be fun if every 100th sentence I got something like, "My cat is a giant [cuss word]" or "The Rolling Stones eat the apple".

February 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

But celebrities just are names you do not translate. I don't see the sense in that.

February 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rhalfik

Yes and call it "driver's wisdom"

May 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreas940642

I am not quite sure whats the résumé of this discussion is but I really would like a lesson "Swear Words" for spanish.

July 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregorycalonia

You don't need swear words as part of this. You can learn it from people.

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreas940642

Yes I do, I don't live in a country where spanish is a spoken language but I am neverthesame interested in learning it and also to learn the "real life" swear words.

December 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregorycalonia

Plus, cursing is kinda bad although you are right.

January 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fkoziar

I would really appreciate a bonus lesson of French swear words, not because I have any intention of using them, but because lots of other people use them and I want to understand what they're saying.

December 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christiany0101

i agree because if someone cusses at you in spanish and you don't know what there saying you look like an idiot

April 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mehihohu

Yeah, it would be cool to swear at a person in a different language and get away with it :))))))((((LOL

April 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AweBlobfish

Maybe not swear words, but insults would be good!

June 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SmokeyJoe6

I swear alot in english....now swearing in French...thats a whole nother lvl of amazing

November 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Justin925559

I 100% agree, just like how they add a flirting bonus for lingots they should add a swearing version also. :)

December 22, 2016

[deactivated user]

    I can see a lot of arguments about children using the site, however, if something was set in place as an age restriction, such as YouTube has on certain videos, I can't see why having a bonus skill for cuss words would be a problem

    April 20, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FoxyThePirate100

    that would be good, but you would need to be 45% fluent in the language for the requirement

    July 14, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SkariaeAsteria

    I agree, as a bonus skill that you can get with lingots. So you don't have to get it if you don't want to. Using google translate isn't always accurate that's mainly why I use duolingo to try and learn languages.

    August 21, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thicc_neck_nibba

    thank you i think they should put it at the bottem of the skill tree for very detacated people

    September 20, 2017
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