Popular language app Duolingo offers language learning lessons in dozens of languages for dozens of languages. In English, the app offers 32 different language lessons, two of which are entirely fictional–Klingon (the language from “Star Trek”) and High Valyrian (a fictional language from “Game of Thrones”).
Of the many languages offered, Duolingo has yet to include Arabic, the fifth most spoken language in the world, among several others. In light of this information blowing up, Twitter users are sharing their feelings on the folks who are choosing to spend their time learning High Valyrian instead of spoken languages.
We had to download the app to see it for ourselves.
Yep. It’s real. It’s really there. So many people are stoked. It makes sense but there are so many languages that are real that make more sense to learn. Spanish, for example, which can be used in real situations.
The thought of being able to converse with their favorite GoT characters is thrilling to some.
So thrilling, that they are spending their time actually learning the language, created by David J. Petterson. He collaborated closely with Duolingo to get it off the ground and now here we are.
The language is without a doubt foreign to almost every human on earth.
It’s certainly challenging to get the hang of and to be honest, we didn’t get very far in our efforts to learn it.
FOX News even reported on the Duolingo offering, which led people to wonder.
Are people really going to spend their time learning a fictional language only spoken on television? Why would Duolingo spend time developing this learning tool for High Valyrian instead of Arabic or Farsi?
The predictions are true. People are putting more effort into speaking High Valyrian than learning Spanish.
This is not an isolated incident. We’re seeing the excitement for High Valyrian over Spanish all over Twitter.
We’re waiting for the psychologists to chime in on why this phenomenon is happening.
The thrill of speaking to millions of people seems to be less than the thrill of vaguely understanding a television language without subtitles.
Hundreds of thousands of people are reportedly learning High Valyrian on Duolingo.
We’re waiting… Real talk: there is no use for learning High Valyrian.
Meanwhile, Mandarin and Spanish, the top two most spoken languages in the world are seemingly less useful to learn for High Valyrian learners.
“Game of Thrones” may be a huge cultural phenomenon in this moment, but Spanish is the future, especially in the United States.
Plus, “Game of Thrones” is about to be over in less than a week.
After which, there will be no new content surrounding this fictional language. That’s it.
We applaud everyone who is committed to learning a language that opens relationships with actual human beings. 👏👏👏
What do you think about Duolingo’s choice to teach its users High Valyrian? Fun and games or a little problematic? Comment below!
It’s been almost three months since the Game of Thrones series finale, and if you’re one of the millions of fans of the cult HBO series, then it’s likely you’re hankering for more tales from Westeros. While the prospect of remaking the final season is unlikely, despite a petition garnering a massive 1.7 million signatures, perhaps this Disney-inspired version of the fantasy drama will temporarily satisfy your hunger for more.
Yup, it’s true. Your favorite ‘Game of Thrones’ characters are now Disney illustration.
Brazilian artists Fernando Mendonça and Anderson Mahanski have reimagined characters and scenes from Game of Thrones as if they were in an alternate Disney World Studios setting. The animators, who work for the South American country’s Combo Studio, not only turn the characters into cartoons but also insert some of the beloved — and despised — personalities into scenes from our favorite childhood classics.
In the illustrations, we see Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth dancing romantically and resembling Belle and the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast.” We also spot Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen riding on a dragon that bears semblance to Jasmine and Aladdin flying on a magic carpet in “Aladdin.” Then there’s a night walker gleefully twirling in a winter-blue setting, appearing as a blend of Cinderella and Elsa.
“Look I’ll show you … How I burn this world,” reads the caption of Combo Studio’s post about the illustrations from April, when the animation house released the images. The quote, which is presented with Aladdin-inspired art of Jon and Daeny, merge the two fantastical worlds together.
OK…so maybe to some a mashup of the often violent and sexual GOT with Disney is kind of weird.
While some might find the Rated R violence and sexual activity of Game of Thrones too obscene for a Disney makeover, the mash-up is more fitting than you might first believe. Disney’s greatest animated films are filled with monarchs, dragons, witches and mythical journeys. Princesses realize their might as evil foes, ahem Cersei, try to capture them. It almost feels like Disney sagas were inspo for some of the gory scenarios that make up the eight-season series — albeit with less blood and nudity.
But, for the most part, fans of the series are into it.
“Man, this is wonderful,” one commenter said in Portuguese on Instagram. “Love it,” added another.
This isn’t the first time the the Brazilian team have taken characters and turned them into illustrations.
The Rio de Janeiro-based illustrators, who are behind animated Brazilian series like Super Drags and GadgetGang in Outer Space as well as the documentary “Luz, Anima, Ação,” have turned esteemed characters and celebrities into illustrations before. Mendonça, for instance, has also cartoonized Daryl Dixon from AMC’s horror drama series The Walking Dead, Captain Jack Sparrow from the fantasy films “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Fiona Goode from the anthology horror series American Horror Story, and Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder from the crime drama series The Killing as well as celebrities like Beyoncé and Elvis, among many more.
Mendonça isn’t the only pop culture buff in the duo, though. His partner Mahanski has also animated famed TV characters and artists, including Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, the “Sound of Music’s” Maria von Trapp as well as a few illustrations of the pop icon Madonna.
The team is also not the first to merge ‘Game of Thrones’ with Disney films.
Back in 2014, artist Sam Tsui, also known as DjeDjehuti on DeviantArt, meshed the “Magical World of Disney” with the “Wonderful World of Westeros” to create 13 illustrations of the series’ women characters as Disney princesses.
In the project, Cersei Lannister took on the role of Aurora; Daenerys became Elsa, Catelyn Stark reemerged as Cinderella; Olenna Tyrell was reimagined as Grandma Fa; Sansa Stark became Rapunzel; Margaery Tyrell starred as Belle; Shae transformed into Snow White; Meera Reed was depicted as Tiana; Ellaria Sand was represented as Jasmine; Brienne of Tarth was illustrated as Mulan; Arya Stark was drawn as Lilo; Melisandre became Ariel; and Ygritte was portrayed as Merida.
If you’ve already re-watched Game of Thrones for the third time and have gone through all your mental rewrites of the final season, thinking through this kid-friendly version might be more indulging than you think. Sure, the battles wouldn’t be as gruesome and the brothels will likely have to be swapped for a more PG activity, but think about how delightful, rather than harrowing, the phrase “winter is coming” could be. The possibilities are endless — after all, both worlds are fantasy.
So, it goes without saying that Spanish is a language totally worth learning. However, you don’t have to wait until high school Spanish classes to pick up the language. In fact, learning a language is easiest at a young age. Doing so has added benefits too. Learning a second language has been shown to increase problem-solving, creativity, test scores and a greater understanding of one’s native language.
It only makes sense to start them young but don’t take our word for it. There are tons of celebrities who also understand this advantage. As such, both native and non-native speakers are setting their kids up for a bilingual future by teaching them Spanish now. Here are some of the celebs who are fostering a love for Español in their kids.
1. Ali Wong
Instagram / @aliwong
Funny woman Ali Wong is best known for making us laugh with her comedy specials and Netflix original movie “Always Be My Maybe,” but she’s also a really cool mom. In this Instagram video, the comedian is shown reading a Lil’ Libros book about La Catrina to her little one. She even encourages her daughter to read along. We can’t help but approve of her technique.
2. Ryan Gosling & Eva Mendes
Instagram / @gosling.mendes
Celebrity couple Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have two adorable little girls who they are teaching Spanish to. In May 2019, the actress appeared on “The Talk” and shared her experience teaching her daughters.
“We’re trying to teach the kids Spanish, and it’s harder than I thought because I speak Spanglish, and that’s what they’re picking up. It’s adorable, but it’s technically not a language.”
3. Salma Hayek
Instagram / @salmahayek
Not every native Spanish speaker decides to teach their children Spanish — especially if their spouse doesn’t speak the language. That hasn’t stopped Salma Hayek, though. The actress has shared in the past that her daughter, Valentina, knows three languages. Her husband is from France so their girl has grown up speaking French, Spanish and English.
4. Perez Hilton
Instagram / @hxrrykidd
Gossip guru, Perez Hilton is a dedicated father of one and is passing his Cuban heritage on to his son through speaking Spanish. Back in 2013, the internet personality shared with MAMAS LATINAS about his strict Spanish-only rule.
“I speak to him only in Spanish in the house, and so does abuela.”
Though she’s Latina, Jessica Alba isn’t a native speaker. Still, she recognizes the importance of learning the language. Back in 2008, she told LATINA that she was determined to learn so she could teach her kids.
“Hopefully I can pick it up because I want my kids to speak Spanish. I don’t even want them to speak English for maybe the first two to three years, until preschool.”
6. Hilaria Baldwin
Instagram / @hilariabaldwin
Alec Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria, was ready to teach their daughter Spanish before she was even talking. The Spanish-national told US Weekly all about her plans.
“I was on the phone with my nephew, who’s seven. He called me…and he asked me, ‘Is she going to speak Spanish?’ I said, ‘Yes, but you have to help because she’s going to grow up [in the US] probably so you have to help speak to her in Spanish.'”
For JLo, her kids learning Spanish was all about la cultura. She and ex-husband, Marc Anthony, made sure to teach their twins the language while they grew up. She explained this mentality during an interview with AMERICA READS SPANISH.
“[It’s] Very, very important. I want my kids not just to speak in Spanish but to know the culture of their parents. We come from a rich and vast culture and I want to educate my kids knowing their heritage.”
8. Christina Aguilera
Instagram / @xtina
Christina Aguilera is another Latina who understands the value of teaching her child Spanish. She shared with People that she intended for her son Max to learn the language as it is a part of their Latino culture and he is half Latino.
9. Roselyn Sánchez
Instagram / @sueltalasopatv
Actress and producer Roselyn Sánchez is a native Spanish speaker and has taught her daughter how to speak it as well. However, her husband, Eric Winter, doesn’t speak the language at all. This led to Sánchez and her daughter giving their favorite guy a few adorable lessons in Español.
10. Ricky Martin
Instagram / @ricky_martin
Pop sensation Ricky Martin helped usher in the Latin explosion of the early 2000s. His culture is obviously very important to the star and he’s shared that gift with his twin sons. In fact, the Puerto Rican dad and his kids only speak Spanish at home. English is only spoken by his boys at school
11. Gwyneth Paltrow
Instagram / @gwynethpaltrow
Goop-founder Gwyneth Paltrow is raising her kids to speak fluent Spanish. Son, Moses, and daughter, Apple, are encouraged to only speak Spanish to each other at home. This immersion therapy is one of the best methods for raising bilingual kids.
12. Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas
Instagram / @allegraabla
Though she is now grown, Stella Banderas was raised by her parents to be fluent in Spanish and English. Born in Spain, the young actress grew up shuttled between LA and her home country so being bilingual was especially helpful.
13. Zoe Saldana
Twitter / @MichaelStone64
For Afro-Latina Zoe Saldana, the choice to teach her kids Spanish was an easy one. In fact, according to Girls Talk Smack, she decided to before they were even born.
“Of course [our children] will speak the languages that we speak; my sisters and I grew up learning French and speaking English and Spanish, and because of that, we’re able to understand Italian and Portuguese. But I’m going to have to make a conscious effort to speak Spanish to my children, because I speak Spanglish.”
14. Tiny Harris
Instagram / @majorgirl
Wife to T.I. and mom to Heiress, Tiny Harris is working on making her daughter as well rounded as possible. In a January 2019 Instagram video, the mom recorded little Heiress practicing her Spanish. Harris’ hope is that she can help her daughter learn a second or third language.
15. David and Victoria Beckham
Instagram / @beckhamxfamilystyle
Back in 2003, David Beckham and family moved to Spain when he signed on with Real Madrid. The soccer star learned Spanish while playing with his team and taught his sons as well. This goes to show that necessity can be a useful motivation when learning a new language.
16. Matt Damon
Twitter / @enews
Though he is married to an Argentine woman, Matt Damon was a Spanish speaker long before they met. He learned Spanish through immersion as a teenager and also backpacked through Mexico and Guatemala. As such, he and his wife, Luciana Barroso, have raised their four daughters to speak Spanish as well.
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