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Die Kinder haben eine Biene.

Ich bin ein Bär.

Das ist ein Fisch!

So, I’ve decided to try and teach myself German using Duolingo.  I learned about Duolingo awhile ago via a TED talk given by Luis von Ahn.  I really liked the idea in which you end up translating the web via crowdsourcing.  And it seemed the logical next step from using CAPTCHAs to figure out weird, mutated words when digitizing text.

But what I really like about Duolingo is that there is the somewhat arbitrary leveling up in the language you’re learning.  I am now a level 6 German.  I am also a level 6 French because I haven’t not used my French since high school.  It’s probably pretty good that I am a level 6 French.

Leveling up really amuses me because I like to think of my life within the context of a game, RPG or otherwise.  I like to think that when I reach a certain level, I just magically know more vocabulary or grammar or semantics or whatever.  Never mind that I had actually been drilling in those subjects prior to leveling up.  No, no.  It’s like magic.  It’s just downloaded to my brain when I level.

But an added bonus to using Duolingo has been the absolutely ridiculous sentences that it sometimes has you translate.  Like, “the children have a bee.”  Um…ok.  Most children I know don’t like bees.  I may be the only person I know who likes bees, and I definitely didn’t like bees as a child.

How about, “I am a bear.”  But…I am not.  Really, I should be translating things like “Ich bin ein Elch.”  That would make more sense.

And my favorite, possibly because it was the first ridiculous sentence I came across, “That is a fish!”  I have decided that I will declare this sentence, in whatever language I please at the time of speaking, when I am asked just a ridiculous stupid or obvious question.  Just that.  Nothing else.  I will probably ignore the person after I answer his/her stupid question with “that is a fish!”

DAS IST EIN FISCH!

Or maybe…

C’est un poisson!

Or even…

這是一條魚!

I need to learn more languages…

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