Recommending Books Based on Weird Duolingo Sentences

“Quentin did a magic trick.”

First line in The Magicians by Lev Grossman

(That’s “hello” in Korean. I think)

I’m stealing an idea today because Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner has already made posts where she recommends books based on weird sentences from Duolingo, the language learning app. She actually did it twice so make sure you check out both of them! They’re hilarious!
I’m going to do the exact same thing, although I’m doing it with some different languages. You might have guessed Korean from the introduction because that is the language I primarily focus on at the moment. I really wanted to learn a language with a completely different alphabet and I’ve had a great time with it so far, although it’s super difficult when Duolingo doesn’t think grammar is important.
The other language I occasionally do lessons in is German because that’s what I was taught in school and I’m trying to make sure I don’t forget everything. Those are easier for me to do so I usually switch to German when I get too frustrated with Korean and the many mistakes I make.

So this is going to be a mix of Korean and German but the alphabet should make the language obvious for each, so let’s just get started!

Alternative Entertainment

Duo, I need you to direct me to the person who has actually said this sentence out loud. Is this a Korean thing? Anyway, if you are one of the, apparently, many people who would need to know such a sentence and thinks yawning is absolutely hilarious, you should read A Master of Sorrows by Justin Call. It’s a strong candidate for the most boring book I’ve ever read and should provoke plenty of yawns. You see, Call is a big fan of describing even the most mundane tasks in excruciating detail.

Where To Stay in Korea

I’m not sure if this is some kind of tourist information to remind travelers to bring a tent if they visit Korea because apparently, you can’t get a room. I’m curious if they only mean hotels or if there genuinely aren’t any buildings in the country. Who knows, maybe all the photos and videos are fabricated. However, should you find yourself in lack of a room in Korea, you can always read The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern and imagine yourself in one of its numerous magical rooms. It’s a place filled with stories and we follow Zachary as he tries to uncover why he can read about a childhood memory in a book older than himself. I’m sure the book will mesmerize you so completely that you forget you’re standing outside in the rain.

Pastime Activities For Mice

Naemi, I need an explanation for this. Why would I need to say this? I’m just slightly concerned.

If you also have a strange love for mice, I recommend you read The Betrayals by Bridget Collins. One of the POV characters is continuously referred to as “The Rat” (yes, I know a rat is not a mouse but it’s close enough), and you might start out as confused about whether you’re actually reading from the perspective of a rat or a person. There are also people in the story who behave like rats but that’s a whole different thing. It all takes place at an exclusive academy and it’s all very, very good if you like solving mysteries and reading about complicated people.

Zootopia is Real

Doing Korean on Duolingo has almost convinced me that Korea is some kind of real-life version of Zootopia because there are a lot of sentences about animals owning stuff I only thought humans could own. Like an apartment.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman has a couple of fox-like characters so that’s the book I’m matching this Duolingo sentence with (I’m recommending the show more than the book, actually). At one point, some of the human characters turn into foxes and do… stuff. There’s also an appearance by Reynard the Fox, a type of trickster god from European folklore, and let’s just say that there is a scene in an apartment you definitely don’t want to be a part of.

A Cat Runs Without the Correct Equipment

Do I need to applaud the cat or what’s the deal here?

In recommending a book for this strange sentence, I clearly just picked the book with a cat on it so In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce it is. It’s the second book about Alanna and her efforts to become a knight despite being a girl and along the way, she gets help from a cat named Faithful. The book is perfect for this sentence because I bet you Faithful has the audacity to run every day without gym shoes.

The Most Useful Sentence

Not a strange sentence but too obvious for me to leave out of a post like this. It’s also nice to know that Duolingo can teach you something useful.

So a long but good book? A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin which checks out at 1,178 pages (Kindle edition). It’s the third book in his Song of Ice and Fire series and I think pretty much everyone agrees it’s the best one. I definitely adored it for its amazing politics and high stakes.

An Even More Useful Sentence (?)

I appreciate Duolingo for knowing we all need to be able to say this, but I also feel slightly attacked?

But a book that will have you saying this sentence? What could I possibly recommend but A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara? I have yet to read anything more depressing because it’s a book that will make your entire soul hurt. I was definitely very far from okay when I finished that book.

A Sensible Warning

But… why would I try to ride a bear?!? Who is this warning for?? Still, any mention of a bear and I get to recommend my favorite trilogy so thank you, Duolingo, I guess. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden obviously involves a bear, although not your typical bear. It’s more your standard evil, cunning, god of chaos so I advise not attempting to ride him. Or touch him. Or be within 500 kilometers of him.

That was a different challenge but also a fun one! Which sentence do you think was the weirdest? I’m personally stuck on the “yawning is fun” because I can only imagine non-sober people saying it. Also, let me know if you’re using Duolingo and what languages you’re learning! Do you also find that the sentences are a bit strange?

Auf Wiedersehen!
(That’s “goodbye/see you again” in German)


7 thoughts on “Recommending Books Based on Weird Duolingo Sentences

  1. 😂😂😂😂😂

    This post was the best thing ever!! Please feel free to steal my ideas whenever you want to because I feel like you’re much better at executing them than I am. Seriously, I’m dying! 🤣

    First of all, I think it’s kind of a statement that you started your list of recommendations with the most boring book you could think of 😁 It does really fit the prompt, though, and I guess maybe if you’re really sleep-deprived, a yawn-worthy book wouldn’t be the worst… I would’ve done anything for a bit more sleep in December, for example!

    I’m afraid I have no explanation for the swimsuit-wearing mouse one, though. I think I can safely say I have never used that sentence in my life and don’t think anyone around me has, either 🤔 Although reading it did give me intense Wednesday flashbacks – Yes, I am guilty of having binged through yet another new Netflix show even though I still haven’t watched the rest of Umbrella Academy 😅 – because there’s this creepy store where a taxidermist sells stuffed mice wearing clothes. A swimsuit one wouldn’t be that far-fetched, so maybe that sentence is simply a sign that you should watch Wednesday? I obviously still very much approve of the Betrayals recommendation, though! 😍

    Faithful definitely would have the audacity to run without gym shoes! 😂 As would any other normal cat, for that matter, but I guess maybe the author of that sentence had Zootopian South Korea in mind 🤔 If foxes have apartments there, cats wearing shoes is probably normal, too…

    Also, just reading “I am not okay,” instantly had me knowing what your recommendation would be 😭😭😭 I AM STILL NOT OKAY AFTER READING THAT BOOK!

    And finally, can I just say that my bear sentence was at least as fitting as yours for recommending The Winternight Trilogy, so you have no right to complain? 😇😜 You’re definitely at least as guilty as I am of simply wanting to push that book at people, but since I agree with that philosophy and think you made some quite convincing arguments, I guess I’m gonna let it slide 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I had to set the tone with the first one and let people know that this post was going to be ridiculous 😁 And who knows? Maybe there are people out there who think yawning is fun and are frustrated by the lack of boring-book recommendations. There’s gotta be something for everyone 😄

      I’m extremely disappointed that you can’t explain swimsuit-wearing mice. I was already starting to picture swimming competitions for mice and now you’re telling me they don’t exist? Devastated. But anyway, you can’t exactly complain about Swedish/Scandinavian cheese slicers when I’m learning about swimsuit-wearing mice and shoeless cats 😂 (Other things Duolingo taught me about Germany is that you like running marathons and buying 30 cucumbers at once).

      Oh, but I read the bear one and just immediately knew how I was going to frame it so I couldn’t help myself 😂 It’s not like I was going to spend time figuring out if I’d read other books with bears in them so I’m glad you approve 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, a lot of people I know do like running inexplicably much, so the marathon thing probably isn’t too far-fetched 😂 And the cucumber-buying person is probably just a character from a math book! People are constantly buying strange amounts of watermelon or sausage or juice in those, so I don’t think 30 cucumbers is that out of the ordinary…

        Liked by 1 person

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