The Duolingo Owl
What is the owl's name? Is it a boy or a girl? What specific species is said owl? Is the owl naturally green or is there some kind of mutation and/or cosmetics involved?
Also, I noticed that the owl wears a number of costumes when trying to be 'encouraging', but seems to always cry in the nude. Is this some sort of subliminal message, or just an owl-thing?
My favourite appearance of Duo is when you try to scroll too far up on the mobile app.
Yes, I should have stated in my original comment that I am aware of that symbolism. Just that I think the association is a bit too general for a tool made only for language learning. And also that wisdom is more often found in speaking less, not more.
Anyway, this was never meant to be an attack on the green owl. As I said, I'm fond of it in itself.
Perhaps it is a subtle hint that learning a language requires more than repeating phrases parrot-fashion ;-).
Not to belittle your sugestion, it was a good one. But the symbolism I enjoy most is the front page shot and subtlety on every page, the photo of the owl between two worlds bringing them together. I think the beauty of Duolingo beyond making us "mimic", is as they are making us at the very least bilingual (Duo), they are doing two (Duo) very amazing things. Teaching us a language which will make us wiser (Owl) in that it opens us up to new ways of thinking, new experiences, new information, and broadens our horizons in general, but it also makes the world wiser (Owl) by the translations it produces, making it possible for knowledge to be spread. Little by little bringing the world together, so you see the Owl is a much more apt a mascot given the mission of Duolingo.
I believe duo is part barn Owl due to the mask looking thing on its face that it shares with the barn Owl.
In Cantonese the idiom for "losing a lot" is "lose until one's pants fall off" (輸到甩褲). Maybe Duo took it literally.
I know the owl is named Duo, but where did you get the idea of Duo being a girl?
When I wrote that post, I thought that I'd read it in some official Duolingo forum post or blog entry. Duolingo have since referred to Duo as male, so I must have been mistaken.
I still think he's related to Space Owl, though :).
"Duo" is a girl name in Turkish, and it is one of the names commonly used in the Duolingo Turkish course. If you've ever done the Turkish course, maybe that's where you got that idea! ;)
In the French skill 'Nature', level 2, lesson 1. The whole lesson is devoted to describing Duo as the kindest, prettiest, most beautiful owl. All the French verbs are using the feminine form so French Duo is definitely female.
However, whether every language has the same Duo or if there is a multiverse of Duos is yet to be seen.
In one of duo lingo's translation , it called itself 'la plus belle chouette' so either chouette is always feminine or duo is a girl.