Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Some of you may use an App called DuoLingo. This is language learning software that rewards daily tasks with "idioms". An example of an English idiom would be, "It's raining cats and dogs." The more lessons that you complete in DuoLingo, the more idioms become unlocked to the learner. These idioms should be statements or questions that might come up in day to day conversations with a native speaker of whatever language it is that the student is trying to learn.

I recently met a Berber man who was trying to learn English and Italian thru a similar App on his smart phone. Under his English idioms, that he had unlocked, was the phrase "fag hag". As if, "fag hag" is going to come up in a typical English conversation.

Here is an example of a normal English language conversation: Q: "How are you today?" A: "I am fine but I wish this fag hag would back up off my grill". See! Totally normal situation.

Unfortunately, I had to describe, to the best of my abilities, what a "fag hag" is to this poor gentleman. A lot was lost in translation but some things supersede language such as math, music and the arts. Sadly, the term "fag hag" supersedes nothing, if anything, I'm pretty sure it hinders language skills and might get you knocked out in a bar fight. Language skills should build bridges; not tear them down with a Molotov cocktail and hate speech.

Here are my suggestions for English idioms to any language learning software companies out there:

"Those kicks are dope"

"You be lookin' fly today!"

"Would you care for some chronic?"

"News team assemble!"

"I think I might have restless leg syndrome"

"Will you be on my squad?"

"You do you."

"Those beats are illmatic"

"Swiggity swooty I'm comin' for that booty!"

"Will you be my battle buddy in World of Warcraft?"

"What is World of Warcraft?"

Do you see how positive all those idioms were? Or at least neutral? Let's build some bridges people! What idiom do you suggest I add to this AMAZING roster?

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