By: Kate Gruetter
If there’s one thing my friends know about me, it’s that no matter the day, time, or place, I will make sure to do my Duolingo. Whether I am about to go to bed, at the beach, or enjoying a movie, I will still secure my streak. A streak, which, as of Jan. 13, is 600 days long. What language fuels this dedication? The answer to your question would be Dutch, which my mother’s side of the family speaks fluently.
You might implore, “how good at speaking am I when it comes to Dutch?” Well, the answer is “not very.” I am so terrible at speaking Dutch that over the summer, when my family from the Netherlands visited, they laughed in my face when I attempted to make conversation. As soon as the Dutch word “tomaat” left my lips, I was met with giggles and guffaws. I am so bad at speaking this beautiful language that my flounders and failures made my foreign cousins more confident in speaking English; no matter how limited their vocabularies, they could never be worse than I was.
I blame Duolingo for my inabilities. You’d think that once you reach a 600 day streak, you’d have something to show for it. Alas, I’m still stuck typing out four-word sentences about clogs (klompen), or dogs eating sandwiches (honden eten boterhammen). It’s possible I could try to practice more dedication; most nights I opt to skip activities asking me to listen to or speak Dutch out of pure laziness. Even so, I still feel cheated.
Duolingo’s inability to educate isn’t the only thing I resent about it. The second thing is its complete and total mockery. I know I got the question wrong, so you don’t have to take away one of my five hearts and also show me my score (usually 73 percent) at the end of the lesson. It’s just cruel.
Finally, Duolingo is clingier than your ex. Seriously. Once the clock strikes 7 o’clock, I receive countless notifications reminding me not to lose my streak. The app even employs little cartoon figures and emojis to accompany these reminders. Poor souls.
If there’s one thing you take away from this article, I hope it’s that you should never, ever, trust Duolingo. Not only will its stupid green owl haunt your dreams, but its inability to teach you anything of substance will also leave you stranded — and a laughing stock — whenever you attempt to boast your skills.