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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin56776

Let us have an "insults" lesson.

Hi! I know this may seem silly to ask for but I think an insult lesson/vulgar language should be added to the learning experience. I know Duolingo is for educational purposes so I think it's very important to learn about vulgar sayings, curse words, and insults.

I live in a military town with ESOL students who are married to overseas officers. Even in their classes they learn about curse words and insults in English at some point.

What do you guys think?

August 7, 2018

67 Comments


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

Your example of the Military Town only deals with adults but Duolingo has to deal with children of all ages from 4 to 90!

Most children learn the cuss words (and others) in the School playground, not the school classroom!

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin56776

Then how about it be an unlockable learning bubble through a high number of ingots?

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Multi0Lingual4

Because...kids can't get a high number of lingots?

The vast majority of them won't, but some might...

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/le_tra-jeudi

actually as a kid i'd say they would if the lesson was titled "insults" now if it wasn't titled "insults" then that would just be misleading on duo's part. and also some kids who are learning a language on duolingo with their class in school get a high number of lingots because of the deadlines they have to meet imposed by their teacher ya know? I think a better solution would be upon signing up for duolingo to ask your age and explain why. if you lie, then that's your buisiness.

August 8, 2018

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

So we can insult duolingo?

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Multi0Lingual4

That would be amusing...but unfortunately children use this, so probably not the best idea.

Clozemaster and Memrise both have curse words that they teach. In fact, I learned just today that the f-word in French is very close to the word "poutine". I might have said the f-word instead of what I wanted when I was pronouncing it wrong in Montreal! O.O

August 7, 2018

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

If you are referring to the word "putin" in French. It is not a direct translation of the F word, it is a derivative of the derogatory word for prostitute which is "pute"; which is like calling someone a 'slut' or a 'whore', terms that have been reclaimed by the movement against 'slut-shaming,' and are therefore only insults if meant as such. "Putin" is actually used more as an exclamation in Quebec parlance, much like 'calis' or 'tabarnac', which, like most 'swear' words in Quebec, are based on its history as a culture dominated by the Catholic Church, (which Quebec was up until the Quiet Revolution in the 1970s).

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Multi0Lingual4

Actually, I was referring to the word "putain". But I learned something new. Thank you!

August 10, 2018

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

Doubt it will happen but that would be pretty sick.

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin56776

Thanks! I know that these shouldn't be the reasons that someone should learn a language! However it should be something that every one should at least "know" when it is said to them.

August 7, 2018

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

I like the idea but many teachers (high school) use this site for their students. So I doubt duolingo will include such skill. Plus, I don't think Duolingo is a place for you to learn insults/vulgur language. You can find a langauge partner and let them tell you all the dirty words you would like to know.

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin56776

Thanks for your reply! But simple, teachers don't teach that part of the language in class. But you think high school students are innocent to cuss words? HA.

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.Fink

When i was learning German in high school, we learned some "minced oaths" - like English "gosh, darn, heck". I remember learning. "Zum Teufel!" - "Devil take it!"

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

I think that really depends upon the teacher. I took four years of Spanish in high school and had three different teachers. My teacher for 11th and 12th grade taught us many swear words. It wasn't part of the planned curriculum, but she always answered our questions about how to say things. There were certain things I wouldn't dare to ask her--some very useful phrases I would not learn (or need) till I started having some success with women in Mexico and Latin America.

Lessons for injurias have the potential to put some educators off. I think it is probably a matter of great pride among the duolingo staff that some public school educators are using duolingo, but these days schools are uptight. Very uptight. I'd imagine that language teachers would drop it very quickly if vulgar, violent, sexual, sexist, bigoted, insulting, indecent, or otherwise offensive language were being taught here. For that reason, I suspect that they would not add a section especially for profanity of any sort.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tachy90

This seems like it could be feasible, at least? A PG-rated insults lesson could still be amusing, while steering clear of anything obscene.

And hey, that would give you a feel for how to cuss in the language if you wanted to look the swear words up . . . they're not exactly hard to find online.

August 11, 2018

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

high school students are the worst.... especially when it comes to innaproriate language and names. giving them duolingoers a vulgar/insults lesson would just encourage them to use this language, and who knows, maybe increase bullying among Latinx/spanish speaking people! not a clever idea, but if u want to learn spanish insults That Bad ask a spanish friend for answers or use google.

August 8, 2018

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

high school students are the worst.... especially when it comes to innaproriate language and names. giving them duolingoers a vulgar/insults lesson would just encourage them to use this language,

What is inappropriate language? Why is it bad, if they was going to use it?

Danger, those questions are trick questions about a topic you can't possible be aware of.

Some help 1: Answer this question: Who had decided that?

Some help 2: It has something to do with being monolingual or not.

maybe increase bullying among Latinx/spanish speaking people!

They already know that, and you knew that they know it.

No more straw man arguments, please.

August 9, 2018

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

I think it would be Great so long as there was an age restriction of some kind.

Would be helpful to know for sure that you "are not" saying anything offensive...I often worry that the translations I'm ingraining into my head are somehow close in relation to words that are offensive.

It would definitely be helpful to understand what makes a sentence toxic so I don't accidentally tell granny to go to heck when in all honesty I was telling her not to go in the basement because the sewer backed up... As odd of an event as that may be. Would still be good to learn.

August 7, 2018

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

that is true... I have made the mistake a few times with different language exchange partners and said things that turned out to be a little off colour lol :3 It would be nice to be warned when there are swear words that are very close and easily confused with other words lol

August 8, 2018

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

I think something like that would be

  1. offensive to people and would turn some people off Duolingo,

  2. It's against Duolingo's guidelines.

A long time ago when I worked in a nursing home, an old woman used to swear at me. At the time I only knew a few words in Ukrainian, yet I knew it was swearing (probably because she used to spit in my face while she was saying this stuff) and even understood what it meant, without any courses about it. When I asked some Ukrainian-speaking people what she was saying, they refused to tell me--I guess because it was very offensive to them. But I kind of figured it out myself what some of it meant. Of course, it didn't bother me much, because it was Ukrainian, not English.

  1. Can you imagine what doing to Crown Level 5 in a cuss word would be like?
    I can imagine. Years ago I had a neighbor who was always swearing at me, using the F word to me non-stop 24/7. I got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore. So, no thank you, I'm not interested in something like that on Duolingo.

Online, it's easy to have moderators who filter out all that, but in real life, it's not so easy.

Believe me, I don't think those kids were learning all that in school. It was like they had a 2 word vocabulary. One reason why I like Duolingo is because profanity isn't allowed.

As well, content from Duolingo's forums gets on search engines.

I'm guessing that profanity would also affect what kinds of ads appear on Duolingo.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lilsquatch4

Yes. People in this world are already messes up so why mess up the future generations when we can make them better in an attempt to fix this screwed up world

August 8, 2018

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

The best places for learning insults are Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, so start following controversial content (politics and religion) on your target language and voilà!

August 8, 2018

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

Personally, I love swearing. But there is a quote by Kurt Vonnegut that often keeps me from doing so (just as I often wait a day before hitting the SEND key...)

"Profanity and obscenity entitle people who don't want unpleasant information to close their ears and eyes to you." (Hocus Pocus)

August 8, 2018

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

I will have to remember this for Facebook.

August 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

What do you guys think?

¡órale cabrón!

August 7, 2018

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

This isn't really any level of vulgar at all, its something my grandpa (Mexicano) says when the cars in front of him arent moving fast enough jaja

August 8, 2018

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

whooooow..

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Made1ine

I'd say the best thing to do is Youtube things like this and learn it from a native speaker. They are the most likely to not only give you the correct words/phrases, but also the context in which you could properly use them, and/or contexts you should never use them in.

August 8, 2018

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

better learned organically I think... I've had Spanish friends offer to teach me but really you can get yourself in a lot of trouble swearing in a language you can't fully speak. Better to learn the connotations in the field rather than in a classroom. After all swearing is very idiomatic and very hard to explain

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/C_R_A_Z-Y1273

NO. Many kids are on duolingo, and even if they don't know cuss words, after duolingo, they will. NO. I say NO.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lilsquatch4

Exactly! I'm sure the parents wouldn't appreciate their kids learning to cuss in another language, when some have to deal with their kids cussing in one language.

August 8, 2018

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

Learned all mine in school...or on the bus after school. one day I was in a big hurry in the supermarket and I almost ran over a Mexican family, turning the corner, with my grocery cart. The man called me crazy in Spanish and I fired back Kiss my ... in Spanish. I was so embarrassed at myself. What I should have said was Lo siento, senor. Wish I had never learned those Spanish insults :-(

August 8, 2018

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

This is an amazing idea! If there were an insults tree it would probably be the first one I'd complete on a course. Priorities, y'know. But sadly, children use this app. Maybe Duolingo should ask for your birthday and offer the tree if you're over 16?

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Omar811197

It should be an unlockable at the end of the course. Like at level 25 and at a min. streak of 365 or something. This way people that are really serious about learning would get to it. I too think it important to know. Most kids will find the way to learn this faster than Adults. Especially if you don't have any friends that speak the language that you are trying to learn. But this is probably just a pipe dream because someone would complain and then twitter would blow up with professional complainers, DL would end up on TV and Facebook and would have to apologize, pay people off and shut down. Not worth the worry by the company. So no there will never be insults in DL :)

August 9, 2018

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

So we can insult duolingo?

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/icemule1

Just Google it on your own, and let Duolingo continue to be clean.

August 9, 2018

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

Actually, learning what words NOT to use isn't a bad idea at all. Case in point, the new update for Spanish is teaching coger for to get, obtain, take (as in take a taxi) Fine for Spain, not so much for Mexico and many other countries in Latin America. The developers of the course need such a course.

August 9, 2018

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

That's a great idea! You know, when we meet a foreign country and then some bad guys figure this out and they want to be popular in social networks by sending weird videos, they insult us and say:"Hey, she does not understand. Let's capture a great video and share it to....."

August 9, 2018

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

Foul language isn't accepted everywhere. Yes, people speak it everywhere, but there's a time and place. Even if say they did do something like this, they would have to be very careful with what types of words were picked for particular countries or beliefs. The wrong insult or curse word and suddenly there's a backlash of complaints or threats. People can be sensitive lots with these. I would love it though, I need some more colorful words and phrases to add to my arsenal. I have a really dirty mouth so would welcome this. Not that I can't pick it up elsewhere, but it would be fun to have them as lessons.

But other thing I would like to see is some slang, only problem with that, it comes and goes with the ages, so would have to stay very current. Oh, and onomatopée, that would be fun.

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin56776

Yes, but you'd be surprise how many fluent speakers insult those trying to genuinely learn a language. Sometimes figuring out what they say can discourage others from learning it further.

Besides, language is language. When you learn it, you want to learn every part of it, yes?

August 7, 2018

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

Isn't "tree" slang on these forums for a whole entire Duolingo course?

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin56776

You're right. Thanks for the correction

August 7, 2018

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

You're welcome!

August 7, 2018

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

While it may seem like a good idea, imagine how many ways you have to insult somebody or something... there would be too many lessons and too many variations, etc.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lilsquatch4

I think that is a bad idea. There a children who have been raised right and are taught not to cuss or insult others, putting up this lesson would encourage that behavior, and the world we be going even further down the hole than it already is. Lord know we don't need children walking around saying "F you" to everyone. That may be how you see the world but some of us want our kids to grow up in a half decent world.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin56776

I am sorry. But these words are a part of the LANGUAGE. Why would you deny parts of the language that will evidently be learned anyway? I'm not advocating for children to learn curse words, but for people in general to learn curse words/vulgar language simply because in the real world people DO use that sort of language. It's only a matter of time.

August 8, 2018

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

In the old days, they used to wash out the kid's mouth with soap. On a TV show called "Road to Avonlea" on one show, Aunt Hetty washed out her young niece's mouth with soap, simply for saying something disrespectufl about the Queen of England. The setting was the early 1900's and it was probably Queen Victoria.

My, times have changed!!
In those days soap was a luxury too.

August 9, 2018

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

Respect is a word from the language as well, and you should keep vulgar word to talk with your friends outside Duolingo. Why you don't make a private club so only the ones in the club can see what you say or write. ?

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/le_tra-jeudi

THANK YOU

August 8, 2018

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

I think the best way to learn insults is by making friends with Spanish speaking native users (who can discern who's a child and who's an adult), taking in account regional variations and other aspects. I'm Chilean and can help a bit, for a start.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/max254902

As if the world needs more negativity.

August 8, 2018

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

I love this idea! Not that I'd ever use it wink wink nudge nudge

August 9, 2018

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

I'm down for that

August 9, 2018

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

It would make the stories more realistic

August 9, 2018

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

Go to Netflix or YouTube and watch stand up comedy in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. You’ll be swearing like a sailor in no time. Lots of good resources out there to supplement Duo.

August 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Topkicker26

My cultural Sociologist says yes, definitely, but realistically I will have to say no. Duolingo is an educational app directed at kids and even if Duolingo charges a lot for the lessons, they're still going to find a way to access it. If you wish to learn insults, perhaps speaking to someone who's familiar will help or just... researching like I did. I mean, shoot. I learned many of my Italian insults from Assassin's Creed 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations haha!

August 9, 2018

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

Kids swear enough already, so it wouldnt be much of a problem.

August 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert434576

I would say, it is a bad idea only because I don't curse and I have no reason to learn how to curse - I can search that out with online translators if I desire this. Additionally, it would only take one child to get to that even if they don't understand it - just getting there is enough to cause a real problem. Like a 'Adult Web Site' having a child slip through - - all it will take is one and there would be a problem. None of us would like the outcome of that.

Most of what Duo changes is with the intent for the better of everyone here - - not select few, is my impression. I can't see anything good coming out of cursing at someone - even in another language.

This is only my opinion -- -- --

Also, once you open that flood gate it is the first step in a gradual slide downward - - high standards and morals are gone.

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tita.popi

I don't think so...

August 7, 2018

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

Great idea. I know the first thing I wanted to know was how to say naughty things in any language. Kids hear this language all the time. If we put a huge taboo on it, then it remains that way. Let them know that there's a time and place to use that language (with friends or whatever) and a time and place not to use it (work, with grandma/grandpa). It's called register and people should know which language to use when.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin56776

I thank everyone for the response. Please continue giving your thoughts.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NaomiNoel3

that would improve the whole website

August 9, 2018

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

It´s against Duolingo Guidelines. Anyone can report it and they w/cancel your account.

August 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoelEscalante0

Seria bueno pero insultos moderados osea que sean insultos pero no tan agrecivos

August 10, 2018

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

It might spice up the stories some?????

August 10, 2018

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

IMO insults are an important part of a language and it might be important to understand and know them. To use them or not is everybody's own decision.

I did not teach my children and grandchildren swear words and rarely used them myself (which is the best way to teach, by the way) - but I explained them if necessary.

For me it is very interesting to find out what kind of words are used in a language for insulting and swearing and to compare cultures. That would be an interesting topic for a scientific research or a thesis.

Concerning sexist, racist and other sick swear words I doubt whether Duolingo should list them.

But there should be units to explain the non-offending stuff that might lead to embarrassing situations - like "to cut cheese" - which in German just means what it says, but I once experienced a situation where not knowing what it means in English caused a very embarrassing moment. There are lots of expressions like that - and it would be very useful and helpful to know some of them.

January 30, 2019
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