Recommending Books Based On Weird Duolingo Sentences || Swedish Edition

Καλή Παρασκευή σε όλους!

Yes, I’m aware that isn’t Swedish. However, since I am currently in Greece and not Sweden like I’d originally planned, I thought it’d only be fair to greet you in the local language. After all, there’s still going to be plenty of Swedish in the rest of this post!

Some impressions of Greece: Let’s just say I’m kind of obsessed with this country and do not want to leave! There are so many cats here! And ruins! And beaches!

Anyway, if you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that I’m also obsessed with Duolingo, an app that allows you to dabble in all sorts of languages for free. And since you guys seemed to really enjoy my book recommendations based on weird Duolingo sentences and I had a ton of fun writing them, I thought: Why not do this again? 🤗 Ever since I wrote that previous post, I’ve been steadily collecting even more questionable quotes. And due to me recently hitting a 500-day Duolingo streak, I’ve decided that now is the perfect time to share them with you!

In contrast to last time, though, all of today’s sentences will be Swedish ones. Which actually wasn’t planned at all! True, I’ve been investing the majority of my Duolingo time into Swedish, but I have also been dabbling in Russian, Spanish, Polish, and – most recently – Greek. Like, duh. When I learned I was coming here, I had to familiarize myself with the language at least a little! However, the only remotely weird sentence I encountered in any one of those languages was this one:

Which I couldn’t for the life of me find a book recommendation for! I mean, I guess the Percy Jackson series at least has blue food, but pink bread??? I was totally lost. So I just decided to stick to Swedish because I do have a few recs for you there!



Slicing Cheese

Maybe I’m just not familiar enough with Swedish culture to realize that cheese slicers are a perfectly ordinary part of Scandinavian everyday life, but to me, it seems as though Duolingo is oddly obsessed with these devices. Like, why is “cheese slicer” one of the first food-related words the app makes you learn? How is being able to rudely demand that someone to give you a cheese slicer useful? Why would anyone own a cheese slicer in the first place, when you can just cut your cheese using a knife? Let alone multiple cheese slicers? What would you need those for? And how incompetent do you have to be to break all of them? My confusion is real, so please, if any of you Swedes out there can explain this to me, I am all ears!

Still, if there’s anyone I could see using a cheese slicer, it would be Emoni Santiago from Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High. An aspiring chef, Emoni is constantly on the lookout for new recipes and kitchen skills, and I’m sure that proper cheese slicing is something she’d be very passionate about. And as a single mom fighting her way through high school, she’s got self-assertive bossiness down to a T. I wouldn’t put it past her to yell at her co-workers to give her a cheese slicer the moment she realized she needed one.


And So The Lion Stalked the Sleeping Lamb…

Stalker stories can be creepy enough if you read them from the perspective of the victim. Particularly if that victim sees no problem at all with the stalking and ends up falling for the man who has creepily climbed through her bedroom window to watch her sleep at night. But when you read the same story through the eyes of the stalker and get to intricately experience his lovesick plans to follow his victim home and oil her bedroom window so that he will have better access, it gets decidedly more creepy – and hilarious!

Oh my god, I never expected I’m-super-hot-and-super-old-and-sparkle-in-the-sunlight Edward Cullen to be so emo and self-aware, but the fact that he was made reading Midnight Sun in conjunction with Twilight an absolute blast. Watching this “sick, masochistic lion” fall in love with his “stupid lamb” and ogle at her while she slept, first in her own bed and then in the ridiculous golden one he bought for her, had me snorting with laughter and simultaneously deeply nostalgic 🤣 So how can I not recommend these books?


Yummy, Ants!

If I thought the cheese slicers were weird, it’s nothing compared to Duolingo’s fixation with eating ants. With the number of sentences about people finding ants in their food or even voluntarily devouring them, I was seriously starting to wonder whether there might be a second meaning to the word “ant” that I had hitherto not known about. Maybe ants were some kind of typical Swedish food? 🤔

But anyway – for those of you with similar tastes to Duo’s (and yes, that pun was 100% intended 😜), I’ve got the perfect book: What Does an Anteater Eat? by Ross Collins! Since this picture book is about Anteater, an anteater who has forgotten what anteaters eat and has to ask other animals for help, I think it will be right up your alley!


Tiger-Approved

Speaking of animals, let’s move on to tigers. Because, let’s face it, Duo, the sentence “The Tiger thinks you look like a good person” has me at least as disturbed as “The bear likes the vegetarian”, which we already covered last time. In a similarly ambiguous manner, this statement leaves it rather open what exactly, being a “good person” entails. Is this about morality? Or are we being more sinister here and talking about eating people? Because after all those ants, I wouldn’t put it past you!

Whatever the case, Yann Martel’s Life of Pi fits perfectly here. Not entirely unambiguous itself, this is the story of a boy who gets shipwrecked with a tiger. And there’s plenty of devouring and morality, too…


Bodies, Kidnappers, and Murderers

In order to maintain my Duolingo streak, I have often had to resort to late-night language learning sessions. I mean, what am I supposed to do when I realize at 11:57 p.m. that I’ve been neglecting the app all day?

That creepy green owl might disagree with my methods, though. Whenever I procrastinate particularly badly, it seems to throw particularly disturbing sentences my way. Which I’m convinced are a form of punishment! There’s nothing quite like reading about people in lakes, being stopped from returning home, or men with knives hiding around your house in the middle of the night, right? What better way to celebrate witching hour?

So yeah, if you’re a fan of the creepy like Duo, I highly recommend checking out Chris Priestley’s Tales of Terror. This is a trilogy of short story anthologies, all three of which are filled with tales of the supernatural, grotesque, and highly disturbing. They include some of my absolute favorite ghost stories out there – so go read them if you love a bit of creepily macabre content from time to time!


Kissing Choices and Letter Mishaps

If you’re a bit picky about choosing your love interests but, despite all odds, end up with multiple potential candidates, you probably shouldn’t solve the problem by selecting several boyfriends and accidentally sending them letters they weren’t intended to have. Well, unless you’re in a polyamorous relationship and want to spice things up a little, I guess.

Otherwise, things might get embarrassing… Particularly if you don’t just accidentally send a letter to one of your crushes, but five of them. However, I suppose things worked out for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before‘s protagonist Lara Jean Covey in the end, so maybe this tactic isn’t actually as bad as it seems at first?


Duo’s Guide to Insults

Sometimes, I really wonder how truthful Duolingo is about its mission to facilitate understanding between cultures by enabling people to learn each other’s languages… Because, let’s face it – I’m kind of skeptical whether the sentences it teaches you always facilitate understanding 😅 In every language I’ve used the app for so far, “You are ugly” is part of the basic curriculum. And I’m just not sure whether I’d be that well received if I ever used that sentence while abroad.

R. J. Palacio’s Wonder, in contrast, does wonders (nope, I am not getting rid of the terrible puns any time soon 🙃) in trying to get you to see other perspectives. A middle-grade novel following a young boy with cerebral palsy who attends public school for the first time and faces quite a bit of bullying due to his appearance, this is ultimately one of the most heart-warming and multi-facetted stories I’ve ever come across!


Strange Bed Guests

I sincerely hope I will never have to ask the question of who has slept in my bed – if anyone apart from me wants access, they need my prior approval! And I think I would probably remember giving it, unless I’d suddenly started suffering from dementia or something. Which is an even less appealing alternative to the people secretly sleeping in my bed one.

However, as far as book recommendations relating to creepy bed stealers go, I’ve got you covered. Just go read Snow White! Honestly, that girl is lucky the dwarves ended up being so forgiving because it might have taken me quite a bit longer to warm up to some gigantic stranger who mysteriously turned up in my house… And, while you’re at it, you might as well read the rest of the Grimm’s fairytales, too. There’s a whole bunch of other disturbing content in there for you to devour! 🥰


Flying Felines

Do you need anatomy lessons, Duo? Your biology knowledge seems to be a bit off here…

Unless, of course, if we’re talking about griffins! These mythological winged cats are some of my favorite fantasy creatures ever, so obviously, I adored them playing a role in Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small Quartet. The third series set in the medievalesque kingdom of Tortall, these four books follow Keladry of Mindelan, the first girl to openly train to be a female knight at court. And although it can’t quite compete with the love I have for the Song of the Lioness Quartet, I’d still highly recommend it!


Multi-Marriage

Nope, marrying multiple people is strictly forbidden – at least here in Europe. Like, what did you expect? It took us Germans until 2017 to legalize gay marriage! We’re definitely too conservative to authorize anything polygamous, even if all parties involved are on board with the union.

In some cases, though, being legally forced to stick to one partner might be good thing… Because if you’re a creepy old man who already has one wife locked in his attic and hasn’t told his new fiancée a thing about her competition, no marriage might be the better option. Just read Jane Eyre if you don’t believe me!


Anyway, that was already it for today! Let me know which of these sentences you found the weirdest and whether you’ve read any of the books mentioned here 🤗 Do you agree with my pairings? If not, which books would you have recommended instead? I would love to know!

(Also, sorry in advance if it takes me forever to get to your comments – Greece is simply so interesting that it’s demanding all of my attention at the moment! 🤩🇬🇷🤩)

36 thoughts on “Recommending Books Based On Weird Duolingo Sentences || Swedish Edition

  1. Line @First Line Reader says:

    I feel like I should have guessed the topic of this post from your Swedish hint the other day 🙈 It was hilarious to read! And so helpful! Now when I go to Sweden in little over a week, I can say so many useful sentences. I was just going to stick to English but now I can say that the tiger likes you and that the cat has wings in Swedish. I’m sure those sentences are going to help me a lot 😂

    Also, not a Swede, but I’ve never seen anyone cut cheese with a knife. It’s always a cheese slicer! Most households will have one (not me because I don’t like cheese 😁). And I do believe they break quite easily or at least get too difficult to use, so I really don’t think those sentences are that weird. Although I also don’t see the point in teaching YOU about cheese slicers that early on 😄 And I have no explanation for the ant-obsession 😂

    And omg, those sentences that made you recommend Twilight! 😂 It was like Duo knew you wanted sentences that related to books because that was so accurate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      It was probably still harder for you to guess this was coming than it was for me to guess you were writing a Winternight post that one time (especially since I knew you were rereading the trilogy 😅), so I’d say you have nothing to be embarrassed about! And I’m glad you enjoyed it and were able to learn so many helpful phrases! Between the ones you mentioned and ‘The horses drink beer’, I’d say you’re all set for some very interesting conversations and have nothing to worry about regarding smalltalk 😂

      Also, the cheese slicer thing now has me totally fascinated! 🧀 In my experience, the only people who have them are the people selling the cheese and snobby rich people who have unnecessary kitchen utensils for everything – you know, like special spoons just for eating kiwi or a machine for decapitating soft-boiled eggs… Almost everyone I know uses a knife! Although, now that I think about it, most people do have special “cheese knives” that are a bit different from regular ones… 🤔 But I’ve never used a cheese slicer in my life! So I guess it’s a good thing Duo was looking out for me early on to save me from that culture shock when I do eventually visit Sweden.

      And yes – the Twilight sentences were absolute perfection 😂😂😂 So even though I wasn’t sure whether that book really deserved to be recommended, I just HAD TO go with it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line @First Line Reader says:

        Well, maybe it’s also more my parents’ generation and older who use a cheese slider but I feel like that’s because they’re more likely to eat the kind of cheese where you’d need one. Maybe younger people are more inclined to buy the easy pre-cut stuff. But still, IF people eat that kind cheese, they use a cheese slicer and they’re not expensive. I don’t know why I’m pretending to be an expert on cheese 😄

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Ugh, no, how can you buy the pre-cut stuff?? 🤯 Even I, as a fellow non-cheese-expert, agree that it tastes way worse than the proper kind! If that’s the alternative, I guess I approve of the cheese slicers…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. FangirlFlax says:

    Love this idea! I’ve been learning Welsh on Duolingo, after holidaying there–can confirm pink bread seems a Duolingo thing, not an other-countries thing, haha! (Also green bread?! But at least the Duolingo cartoons always seem to be saying they *don’t* want to eat that…)

    Also I laughed out loud about Midnight Sun. That was my exact reaction reading it, too–I found it so funny I blogged it chapter-by-chapter. Suave and smooth, Eddie is not. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      😂😂😂 Now I really want to know what is up with all that colored bread! Like, isn’t there some other way Duolingo could get the words for pink and green across? Like, I dunno, by talking about watermelons, maybe? 🤔 But I guess those sentences and the unhappy facial expressions of the cartoon characters saying them provide more entertainment for us, so I’ll take them! 😁🤗

      And gosh – I just looked up your Midnight Sun posts and they’re genius!! I think I’ve found my reading material to pass the time during my trip back home next week, so you can expect some snarky comments then 😁🙃 (And just in case you’re interested – I also couldn’t let Emo-Eddie’s thoughts slide without infodumping my thoughts on their ridiculousness, and have a live reaction post up somewhere on this blog 😉)

      Liked by 1 person

      • FangirlFlax says:

        Honestly, it never occurred to me to talk about coloured foods (other than green tea and brown bread, where is it all that relevant?), but now you’ve mentioned watermelon I’m having a very big head-desk moment where I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me earlier! I barely notice the little cartoons until it’s a weird question, and then I think a part of me is looking at them to confirm they think it’s weird, too. 😅😂

        Thank you so much! I look forward to your thoughts 😂😊 I’m 100% headed to find your live reaction–I can never get enough of people’s thoughts on Midnight Sun, but Emo-Eddie-thoughts are my kryptonite. (Particular brand of heroine?! I swear it takes like two seconds for it all to come flooding back. 😂😂) Have a safe trip!

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Lol, I’m actually always analyzing the Duolingo cartoons 😁 Some of them – Like Zari? Is that her name? – are downright creepy even when the sentences are normal! 😂

          And oh my god, the particular brand of heroine 🤣🤣🤣 Eddie just knows how to say the most romantic things 🤩

          Liked by 1 person

          • FangirlFlax says:

            I’ve never looked at the name! It doesn’t help their cause though that with Welsh, the earlier lessons talk a lot about dragons–having them say ‘Good Morning, Dragon!’ makes them no less weird, haha!

            🤣🤣🤣 you are not wrong! What a smooth talker. 🤣

            Liked by 1 person

              • FangirlFlax says:

                🤣🤣 it makes sense given the amount of dragon imagery with Wales, and it’ll be a lot of fun to go around knowing the word for it the next time I go there–will definitely be greeting every dragon ornament I pass 🤣

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Nehal Jain says:

    An ant eater who forgets what ant eaters eat ….what even?!? 🤣🤣
    I’ll just have to Google if there are other definitions for ants out there because you’ve seriously given me a dilemma now.
    Also the “who has slept in my bed” reminds me of that children’s fairy tale- the three bears. Wasn’t it something like this? 🤔 Bears sleeping and eating in somebody else’s house…something like that 🤔🤔.
    Also wowww, can’t believe you’re recommending Twilight 🤣🤣. I mean not exactly, because the midnight sun does make sense. Not that I’m ever reading it though 😸.
    Also your pics of Greece are so pretty 😍😭. I wanna go to Greece!!!!! That’s like the one place i really wanna go to, mainly because of all the thing with me being a fan of Greek mythology, even if i don’t find many mythological significant things there i wanna have a visit!!!!!!
    Loved the post lol. Crazy and amazing idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      It’s a very difficult position to be in as an anteater, so obviously, it makes for a very compelling plot 🙂 Still, if you find out anything about that Swedish ant delicacy, let me know, because in spite of reading that anteater book, I’m absolutely clueless!

      And yes! I think the “who has slept in my bed” thing shows up in that three bears story, too! Although as far as I remember, it was a girl (Goldilocks? 🤔) who slept in the bears’ beds… I guess it’s just a really common fairy-tale trope?

      Also, with those sentences, there was no way I could recommend anything but Twilight 🤣🧛‍♂️🤣

      And OMG, yes! Being at all these mythologically and historically significant sites is so cool!!! 🤗 I really hope you get to come to Greece sometime, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jan says:

    A 500 day streak on Duolingo is so awesome!! the most I’ve managed is a week (I’m trying to get back into learning French)

    This post was so fun to read! Also your choices are so accurate? ‘Tiger approved’ is literally life of pi lol. You’re so right – the twilight love story is both extremely creepy and extremely hilarious ( I couldn’t stop my laughter while watching the movies)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Suhani says:

    AHHH NAEMI I LOVE THIS!!! ( AND THIS SERIES ON YOUR BLOG HAHA!! )

    and ahhh all the photos of Greece look AMAZING??? The ruins and the historical structures must be SO COOL to see in real life!!
    oh my gosh CONGRATS ON YOUR STREAK!!! i kinda gave up with Duolingo, I don’t have the patience nor the dedication!!! (I haven’t touched it in over a month yikes)😂😂😂

    oof the first sentence itself hahah, like pink bread??? that does seem like something I’d be up to try out though 😂
    that sentence fits twilight SO PERFECTLY, and I’m so glad that the tiger thinks we’re good people, it’s the validation I’ve been seeking 🥰 the life of pi fits that prompt really well as well ahhh!!!

    LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH AHH!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Haha, thanks Suhani!!! 🥰 Honestly, I wouldn’t mind trying that pink bread myself – it sounds weirdly good somehow?! And the Twilight sentences were literally so perfect that I didn’t even have to think about which book to pair them with! 🤣

      And ahhh, yes, seeing all these historical places for real and being able to walk through the ruins was AWESOME! 🤩🇬🇷🤩 I’m definitely going to have to return to Greece again someday because there’s so much more I’m dying to explore!

      Like

  6. Meena Green says:

    Wow, Duolingo is weird about Swedish! I will say, we do not eats ants or talk about it that much for you to need to memorise those sentences haha

    All the osthyvel ones though…Yeah, I’ve heard the “ge mig osthyveln” many times, especially in schools during snack or breakfast times if there’s cheese available. It is oddly important 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Haha, I’m very relieved to hear that ants aren’t actually part of your diet 🤣 I’m not so sure whether I’d have wanted to eat them when eventually visiting Sweden…

      The osthyvel thing is so interesting, though! Seriously, I’ve hardly ever seen people use them! Like, grating cheese? Sure, you need a tool for that. But for slicing? A knife, and you’re good! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Phoenix @ Books With Wings says:

    Aah so happy to read this post after popping back onto wordpress after a few months (even if I’m a few weeks late). I’ve had Duolingo for years but have always been on and off about it just because I’m busy, but I currently have a 112 day streak which I hope I’ll be able to keep going! Duolingo sentences are really ridiculous. Their unit on farm animals has tons about animals doing all sorts of weird things – I remember some about animals washing dishes and closing doors? I’m not sure. But just today I got a sentence on Duo that said ‘I did not come here to die’ which was one of the more strange and ominous ones I’ve gotten recently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Hahahaha – I don’t think I’ve ever had that many strange farm animal sentences all at once, but I do vaguely remember having the ‘I did not come here to die’ one 🤣🤣🤣 Sometimes that owl can be seriously creepy!! And congrats on that 112 day streak – I think that’s already pretty impressive! Honestly, I feel like the first month or so is the most difficult anyway, because after you just kind of fall into a habit and keep going… What language(s) are you using the app for? 🙃
      Anyway, it’s so great to see you around again, Phoenix, and thanks for stopping by!! 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

      • Phoenix @ Books With Wings says:

        Haha I think there used to be a unit called like ‘farm animals’ (before duolingo changed their whole app and now it’s weird) and I’d get a ton there. Yeah I’m pretty happy with how I’ve been able to keep my streak going! I hit 131 today – only 234 left until one year, I guess! I’m learning Spanish at the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

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