Duolingo Courses Now Teach You How To Talk To Poors

February 6, 2019 by
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Until the day I can blame a nanny-bot for the rift between my children and I, apps can take care of pretty much everything else. We love apps around these parts. We’ve tried them all: Apps that summon broken actors to bring you take-out late at night, drive you around the city that has bested them, or build you furniture that they could never afford.

Language apps like Duolingo are also a big hit in my neighborhood. They’ve provided modern society with new ways to communicate with our fellow humans. Thanks to the new language pack on Duolingo, I was finally able to tear down that pesky language barrier and communicate with the biggest minority in my life: poors. Not since Sanford and Son, Friends or even the lovable scamps on Frasier has such a window been open to the lives of the working class.

The sheer destitution displayed by the paupers on Fraiser is almost jarring sometimes.

These Duolingo courses use pictures and repetition to teach you all about the common vocabulary used by lower-income members of society. Scary terms such as “folding chair,” “generic medication,” and “Ford Pinto” have always been very intimidating to me, a good person, so I was excited to try out this new language pack.

My kids are so important to me that I hired the finest childcare expert minimum wage could buy, but until recently, I just couldn’t connect linguistically with my au pair and vice versa. After three weeks learning poor-speak through my app, however, I can finally talk to the her! Now, when I want to say “Please take Mirantha and Chestnut to their Reiki-orthodontist appointment” or “Don’t forget to dress up like a rabbit and let the family greyhound chase you around to keep her skills sharp,” I know I need to say “You got an art degree because your parents are soft, you don’t have insurance, you stupid peasant.”

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Duo says: “Canned Spam” is poor-speak for “pâté”

With my newfound language skills, I am inspired to learn how someone who will never see the inside of a Mercedes lives. Using the auto-translation app, I was able to ask my can opener (I’ve hired a man to open cans for me—I don’t touch aluminum, obviously) where he liked to go to feel a sense of community and peace. After a long silence, my can opener let out a deep sigh, which the app translated as “The middle class is dying and so am I.” It’s still a little bit buggy, but I bet it will be fixed with the next software update.

After some back and forth with my can opener, I finally figured out that those who make under $40,000 a year go to some place called “Costco” to worship. At the Costco, I learned about the holy trinity of “buying in bulk”, “store brand” and “layaway”. During the services, I was given a “free sample” communion of one-tenth of a ham and cheese Hot Pocket, just like a local. When in Kirkland!

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Duo says: A Costco food court is like a watering hole for people who will never retire.

My experience learning and eventually speaking a language foreign to me led me to explore the world with key phrases like: “We’re on a budget,” “Please wait patiently in line,” and “I missed my bus.” I’m hoping that the future update will make it easy to translate certain words I use into plebeian-speak, but until then, I’ll just have to find cheap synonyms for phrases like “heirloom tomato,” “escrow,” and “tax-free municipal bonds.” Hopefully, DuoLingo releases them in time for my missions trip to Applebee’s.

This simple, brilliant app continues to help compassionate people like me bridge a cultural gap that we have only recently discovered to be a thing. Barriers like strip malls, highways, and literal segregation have kept us from exploring the world of the poors for so long, but thanks to Duolingo, this time has come to an end!

Images: Pixabay, Pixabay Duolingo


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1 Comment

  1. I missed my bus because of my undiagnosed ADHD and severe depression and whatever other mental and health barriers that keep me from living a fulfilling life. At least this gave me a giggle. A cynical’middle aged woman who has been long forgotten by everyone except her cat’ sized giggle..but a giggle and dare I say smirk…

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