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Duolingo has weird sentences

Have you noticed that Duolingo will somtimes have you translate sentences that make no sense at all? One of them was, "the cat sleeps with the penguin." or " the dog eats rice." I even got one that said: "He is my wife!" What's up with that?!

April 4, 2014



"they are my husbands"


I like to imagine an old widow with pictures of a bunch of husbands she had who all died, and she's giving the book of photos to someone.


i got "he is my horse", and "she is not mine"!


Pardon, ik ben een appel - pardon, i am an apple. the comment thread there is hilarious: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3733938


"My bear drinks beer" is one of my favorites, along with "We are different when we sleep".


And this is why the twitter account "❤❤❤❤ Duolingo Says" (https://twitter.com/shitduosays) exists. Submit your best ones, folks!


"The bear wears her dresses" is my favourite sentence from the German course. Der Bär trägt ihre Kleider. - I'll always remember the word for dresses now, at least.


One of my favorites that I've gotten is "He wears her dress" or "Deine Kuh ist schon" (your cow if pretty). I snapshot a lot of the ones that make me laugh so I can show my friends.


Schön/Schoen* schon is a different word


Haha good catch,thanks! I always get mixed up on that word!


Kein Problem. I thought you didn't have äöüß on your keyboard and were desperate.


I've gotten the spider eats birds... and a little while later i got the bird eats spiders.. I'm like YOU GO BIRD YOU GOT BACK AT THE SPIDER FOR EATING YOUR FRIEND


"My girlfriend doesn't eat rice" "Tell me, do you drink milk" "Good day, juice" "Dad, this is not my motor"

I'm dying!!


I've seen the 'Dad, this is not my motor' one! It's in the Russian lessons, I believe


the tell me do you drink milk one I could just imagine someone turning around in one of the big huge boss chairs and just looking me dead in the eye and saying that


"I am a duck! I speak English!" Yet the sentence was in Spanish.


You will not believe the ridiculous DuoLingo sentences I found. For example:

“¿Qué hay debajo de tu falda?” which means: “What is underneath your skirt?” Which pervert wrote that sentence? LOL!

Another group of sentences include:

“Luis es un pato.” which means “Luis is a duck.”

“Soy un pato. Hablo ingles.” which means “I am a duck. I speak English.”

“El pato cocino conejo.” which means “The duck cooks rabbit.”

“Tengo un pato” which means “I have a [pet] duck.”

“Tengo un pato bonito” which means “I have a beautiful duck.”

“Roberto es un oso.” which means “Robert is a bear.”

“Los pajaros leen el diario.” which means “The birds read the newspaper.”


Maybe not as crazy as you think. :-)

The cat sleeps with the penguin:


The dog eats rice:


Seriously, I think Duolingo's sentence choice is actually quite clever. Here's why:

Some of the early sentences look as though they were drawn from children's stories. I don't know if that was deliberate, but I know many people attempt to read children's books before they try books for adults.

When you get further along, you'll find lots of sentences that seem to be taken from detective novels and murder mysteries. I have found those to be very good for first attempts to read authentic novels for adults. (I have read a few in Spanish now, and I'm half-way though an Italian murder mystery.) The reason is that reading is such a struggle that the story really, really needs to be exciting, but you can't read a fantasy story or science fiction because it is apt to contain invented words.

Keep those two target users in mind, and I think you'll find that the sentences make much, much more sense.


tonight i got: "today I control my shoes"


yes. finally. my time has come!


I found this one especially funny, I felt I had to take a screenshot of it :)

I'd love to see that happen. I guess Duo thinks more in the fairy tale context. :) The first picture that came to my mind when I read that sentence was some stern, good old owls with huge spectacles, reading a newspaper. :)


sometimes i wonder why they give those sentences when no on would ever say them!!!! maybe to give the learner a laugh.


That's nothing. I've got: "The farm eats pineapple."


I want to believe you but I just can't.


"You are mine until I die" (Italian)


Haha, I remember that one


I've gotten "Pardon, ik ben een appel" -- Pardon, I am an apple.


"I need more grapes in my cake!"


Once I got "I am a penguin" (Yo soy un pinguino)




In Norwegian: Kriminaliteten falt etter at kyllingen ble statsminister -> Criminality fell after the chicken became Prime Minister :-)


One time I got "we are all papayas" I couldn't stop laughing


What about Luis, the beautiful pet duck, who cooks and eats rabbits? lol


I have a whole Google Doc of weird Italian Duolingo phrases I've gotten. Here are some of them:

I have your pants- Ho i tuoi pantaloni

I have your clothes- Ho i tuoi vestiti

I have a snake in my boot- Io ho un serpente nel mio stivale

You are mine until I die- Sei mio finché non muoio

We are on the roof- Siamo sul tetto

We take the tiger from the zoo- Prendiamo la tigre dello zoo

I have our cow- Io ho la nostra mucca

Who is the man in the tub? - Chi è l’uomo nella vasca?

Are my shoes electric?- Le mie scarpe sono elettriche?

The man throws the knife- L’uomo tira il coltello

It is a good bull- È un buon toro

How do I become a man?- Come divento un uomo?

She has sixteen cats- Lei ha sedici gatti

It is time for cake- È il momento della torta


"there's a snake in my boot!"


thanks so much for that account, now i know where to go when i don't feel like i'm an apple :) a lingot 4 u


It's a sure way never to forget the words for cat, penguin, dog, or rice... :-)


"the cat sleeps with the penguin." #symbiosis ;)


It's better because it's funny and it makes you not forget. Also, you should have somethings that are funny so it wouldn't be boring. :)


I'm strongly reminded of the Monty Python sketch where the English / Hungarian phrasebook contained deliberate errors. My favorite is "My hovercraft is full of eels".


Oh yes that's funny. On Omniglot there's a whole list of this phrases in every language :)


i got another wacky sentence! "We are babies!"


Favourites from each language (that I am learning) with English translation German: Ich schwimme in Milch (I swim in milk) Norwegian: Bjørnen har sykler (Bears have bicycles) Swedish: Pojken äter peppar (The boy eats pepper) Irish: got this one from the wtfduolingo tumblr Dhíoladh an scáth drugaí (The shadow used to sell drugs)


The last one omg lol


I thought it was funny enough to start making it a meme of sorts. I started a Facebook page about it, I've seen a few Twitter profiles and Tumblr blogs about it. It's a pretty great form of advertising, also just plain fun.


I got a woman saying "I'd like to be a father"


You are so hot that i believe you are the real reason for global warming XD


I am a horse. I speak English.


I am a horse. I speak English.


I got one "Mi hija es solo un nina" or my daughter is only a girl, what circumstance needs you to say that.


They are my wives. LOL


When learning Dutch, it came us with a sentence that said, "de katten drinken bier." In English, that means the cats drink beer.


I got one that said "o meu tigre e vegetariano" which is "my tiger is vegetarian".


You will not believe the ridiculous DuoLingo sentences I found. For example:

“¿Qué hay debajo de tu falda?” which means: “What is underneath your skirt?” Which pervert wrote that sentence? LOL!

Another group of sentences include:

“Luis es un pato.” which means “Luis is a duck.”

“Soy un pato. Hablo ingles.” which means “I am a duck. I speak English.”

“El pato cocino conejo.” which means “The duck cooks rabbit.”

“Tengo un pato” which means “I have a [pet] duck.”

“Tengo un pato bonito” which means “I have a beautiful duck.”

“Roberto es un oso.” which means “Robert is a bear.”

“Los pajaros leen el diario.” which means “The birds read the newspaper.”


'I do not talk to lawyers'


Its not that bad. In dutch one of then was ik ben een appel which translates to I am an apple


I just got "Luis eats soap!" with the exclimation point...


"La niña come arañas" was one of the weirdest.


I got “Ăn một cái ca!” in Vietnamese which literally means “Eat a mug!” I’ve also gotten “Tôi là con dê kia.” which means “I am that goat.”


I've gotten "Det står en mann med en kniv bak gardinene" meaning "There is a man with a knife behind the curtains". I hope I never need to use that sentence.


There is also the translation "Our clothes" WHAT


"Tu manges actuellmente un homme"--"You are currently eating a man" ????????????


"What is an apple?" "Who am I?" These are from the Norwegian lessons.


I got one that said, "my grandma is my wife's son."


"My godfather will go to England with the submarine that he has" and "Whose bear is that" are the two weirdest i got


In the Danish lessons all the animals are literate alcoholics.


Hilfe, das Pferd frisst die heilige Kartoffel!


I just had this as a sentence today: "She wants to live with my wife."


Yeah there are some really weird ones!!!


I wonder some times if they choose random words, or, they just want to make us confused. It's weird.


ikr?!?!?!! i just.... i don't even know anymore.....


In Spanish, Luis is an elephant and in Japanese, you had to go to a party in 24 hours.


I got one that said "it eats the whale." and another one that said "you have a very lovely duck."


Dude, you gotta be joking.


I have seen the ninja eats rice in youtube


"The cat is eating the pizzas* "It's a horse" "Are you a cat?"


I got one saying, "You don't learn, Juan!" Lol this

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