A while ago I decided that I needed to replace some of my spiraling social media time with something more productive and decided to give Duolingo another go. Duolingo has a lot of problems and I could probably complain about it for the better part of an hour, but all of those problems are mere pebbles in the shoes of life compared to Lily who is a giant boulder falling directly on your car at the exact same moment your engine caught on fire and Ed Sheeran came on the radio.
God, I hate this bitch so much.
Why is she even here? What, exactly, is her purpose? All of the other characters are encouraging and supportive. They do little dances when you get answers right and try to give you a high five through the screen. Even the fucking bear manages a little shoulder wiggle. Meanwhile, the only reactions correct answers elicit out of this caustic Daria-wannabe is a huge fucking eyeroll, or – and this is the one that really makes me want to strangle her to death – an over-the-top sarcastic ooooo and hand wave. Not only does Lily not give single half-shit that you’re learning a new skill, she actively hates you and is probably waiting for this lesson to be over so she can go talk shit about you on TikTok.
God help you if get an answer wrong in front of her. I am 1000% certain this girl has a knife on her somewhere and is simply biding her time.
I tried to do some lessons in Duolingo to get screenshots for this article and all the characters were suspiciously absent from the questions. What are you trying to hide Duolingo?
Oh. Never mind, I know. How much Lily is a garbage person.
Like, I get that these people exist. I think I was one for a while in high school, although I definitely didn’t have the confidence to be this bitchy. I just don’t understand why you would want to create a person like this in a very specific situation where someone is trying to learn something very new, and very hard, and they need a lot of encouragement.
And they definitely could have made her that bitchy teenager and still made her encouraging. Or at least neutral. Which I think she used to be, basically a non-reaction. But now it’s obvious that she doesn’t want to be there and she hates her life and she hates you and she would prefer it if you didn’t do stupid things like ‘learn a new language’ around her and instead went off somewhere and died.
Do you know how hard it is to learn something new, especially as an adult? You have to find the time to do it, make the habit and keep it, and – this is probably the most important piece – get over the embarrassment of trying something new and failing for a while. Humans will do anything to avoid embarrassment, and even the possibility of embarrassment, up to and including trying literally anything that might make them seem foolish in front of other people. Even if they think they might like it, even if it looks fun, a fully grown adult might still decide not to try it because they would be trying it front of other people and what if they look silly? What if they can’t do it right away? What if they fail in front of other people? It’s a ridiculous mental block but that doesn’t make it any less tough to get around and we all have it.
The nice thing about a learning app like Duolingo is that you get to try and fail at something new in the comfort and privacy of your own home, so why the fuck would the creators include a character who has all the reactions people are afraid of? Who is this helping?
The lore (yes, there is Duolingo Lore) says that Lily and Zari are friends, and I mean, absolutely the fuck not. I’m not saying I’m a Zari, but I would need two hands to count all of the Lily’s I’ve cut out of my life. That sort of constant negativity can sour your own outlook, even if it’s not directed at you. And I refuse to believe that Lily isn’t somehow also being a complete bitch to Zari every now and then. If they’re both teenagers this is probably that situation where they’re friends simply because they’re stuck together in high school, and then second Zari goes to college and meets people she actually wants to hang out with she’ll realize that Lily was completely toxic to her their entire school career and she’ll start to do the slow fade.
Yes. That’s correct. I have fucking head-canons about the fucking Duolingo characters because I hate Lily so much and want so much better for Zari. I don’t think about the other characters like this. I don’t even know their names because they’re all exactly the sort of bland, personality-less cheerleaders I expect from this sort of bullshit. I don’t know why Lily needs a personality, and I don’t know why Lily needs this personality, but the only thing she’s motivating me to do is learn ‘Please fuck off and die’ in every language possible and I don’t need Duolingo for that. I can Google that shit.