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Inappropriate vocabulary

One of my students parents mentioned that while her child was working on duolingo there was a part where it had little cartoons that looked like vikings. The viking said "El es mi amigo Erik. Nosotros bebemos cerveza. Que quieres: agua o cerveza?

Is there any way this can be removed from my students lesson?

November 28, 2017



What is wrong with it? It's not that inappropriate in my opinion. Surely children know about beer, and knowing the word for it is certainly not wrong.


You could all use to step off of LuisanaSan18 a bit. Perhaps you don't teach in a US public school, so you can't relate. I used to (don't anymore, thankfully), and schools in the US can be ridiculous about these things. I taught German in liberal Massachusetts and I still had to take some episodes of Rick Steves' Europe out of rotation for substitute plans because there were glasses of beer visible in the shots. This was the case even when no one actually lifted the glasses to their lips.

I agree with all of you that it's ludicrous, but it's not LuisanaSan18 who finds it inappropriate – it's the school district. And as someone else pointed out, losing your job over a duolingo sentence that the school board or principal or whatever deems "inappropriate" is would be a crappy way to go.

LuisanaSan18, sorry folks feel the need to hassle you. I feel your pain. Have a bunch of lingots!


It's not even just some of the public schools - it's some of the private schools too.


The thing is, it wasn't developed for schools - it's peer-to-peer internet stuff and the schools feature is just tacked on. If you weren't here four or five years ago, you'd probably hardly believe the lewd asides that were embedded in the 'lessons', or even the display for the language tree (all human figures were moustachioed men except for - that's right - 'passive voice'). Someone complained about English for Indonesian containing 'I eat pork.' and they were shouted down because people didn't see the problem. They don't understand the constraints that are second nature to us - but you also have the problem of targeting all markets at once. I'm not sure how you apply separate censorship regimes for all different educational climates. I'm surprised they haven't hit issues in the US with some of the material on religion and science .


Very inappropriate—you could get extremely nasty diseases by drinking water in Viking times. Duolingo should really consider more carefully the effects of its sentences on the impressionable minds of time-travelling children.


It's not about the effects of words on children, it's about the effects of angry parents on teachers trying to keep their jobs...


You said what I was going to say. Have some lingots.


Well, in classroom settings, click privacy settings (top right). Then, go to "enable all words". Turn that off. THat will keep inappropiate words from coming up.


My students learn French using this program and when it came to the plural version on female dogs, the word used was "bitches", this is highly inappropriate for school age children. If possible that should be removed from the program as a phrased used. I get that it is a word used for female dogs but it should not be used in conjunction to learning french. Also, the word stupid to describe a less intelligent person is offensive to my students and many have brought it to my attention. Is there a way to eradicate this issue?

Thank you!


Yes a parent of one of my students mentioned "stupid" too. How do we get it (and other words) removed?


I must admit that I'm surprised by that. To my knowledge, the word 'stupid' isn't in any of Duo's language trees. But I will investigate this for you. Can you please tell me what language your student is learning?

Also - to ensure that students are not seeing mature words in their lessons, go to https://schools.duolingo.com/ and in your classroom settings you can make sure that "enable words" is not checked so that mature content is disabled across each of your classrooms.

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