The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘duolingo’

Attn: Ellen (8/16/17)



Back (apologies for my handwriting!)



The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

In my feeble attempt to learn some German via Duolingo, I am also learning that I don’t know much English. For example, today I am doing a lesson on ‘Genitive Case.’ I don’t know what that means, but I can only assume it’s language you’d use while visiting Geneva. Stuff like, “hey, nice watch!”

Sincerely, OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?


Hallo Fliege

In this post I am going to attempt to use my fledgling German knowledge to express my hatred of a fly that is inside my house and does Top Gun style fly bys of the tower (my face) and I want to kill him but he never seems to land. Except for on my legs when I am eating.


Hallo Fliege,

Mein freund, du bist nicht gut. Und ich habe kein liebe für du.

Ich bin stark, und groß, aber du bist schmutzig und … um, nicht stark.

Hmmm. Ich spreche ein klein Deutsch so das ist schwer. Ich brauche … etwas.

Mit hass,



And now a translation to see how I’ve done. I can already tell you – not well. But let’s see it. I am lacking a vocabulary. You want me to say hello to a potato? I can do that. But to fully express my hatred for a fly? That’s beyond me.


Hello fly,

My friend, you're not good. And I have no love for you.

I am strong, and tall, but you are dirty and ... um, not strong.

Hmmm. I speak a small German so that is hard. I need something.

With hate,


8% Fluent

According to Duolingo, as of tonight, I am 8% fluent in German. I don’t know who I could communicate with my 8% fluency but I think it would have to be someone who has been hit by a truck several times.

I could maybe keep up with a 16 month old. Would you consider yourself 8% fluent in the English language at the ripe age of 1 and 1/4 years old?

Ich bin eine banane. Did you know that means I am a banana? I can tell people these kinds of things with my 8%.



“Du ist eine kartoffel?”

“Nein, bitte! Ich bin ein mann!”

Here we see one of any number of classic German conversations I might have. Someone greets me, I greet them in return, they ask if I am a potato, and in turn I inform them that I am actually a man.

What if I need to find a bathroom in Germany? No clue. But I can point to a glass of hot chocolate and say, “HeibBe schokolade, bitta! Mmmm, es ist lecker!” (This is tasty!)

Also that B should be … well, a different B. It’s called Eszett. Did duolingo teach me that? Of course not, I know “8%.”

I wish I could be confused as this guy, you need 80%+ understanding before idioms can even make sense enough to baffle you.

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