In a shocking turn of events, the final assessment of language learning app ‘Duolingo’ has  been revealed to be a hostage extraction, performed in the user’s selected language.

Harper Greenwood was busy completing her course in Italian when she received an email containing the coordinates of an abandoned warehouse, where a rabid Duolingo Bird was holding seven innocent civilians hostage. The list of demands included Harper being able to introduce herself in Italian, talk about her dream holiday, and a signed boxset of the American sketch show, ‘Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!’

Greenwood, a committed student with nothing else to do on a Sunday afternoon, opted against advising authorities, instead venturing to the warehouse alone, where she was surprised to discover a quaint Bed and Breakfast had been established. Upon entry, Greenwood learned that things had changed since the demand was originally posted in 2011, the year the app was launched.

“Well, after a few months, I sort of just felt bad, so I started giving the hostages pieces of bread as opposed to their own faecal matter for meals”, squawked the Duolingo Bird.

“After I while, I learned that David, one of the hostages, was actually really into foosball, which was funny, because I was just getting into foosball. So, I bought us a table.”

“Soon enough, we just kinda hit it off. I brought in some nice fake plants, imprisoned a chef, installed a sound system and minibar. It was so pimp. Then, Rachel had the genius idea to turn the place into a nice little BnB as a front for when we needed to capture other hostages. So I did! She’s great, right? I sort of forgot about the whole hostage thing by then.”

“I honestly thought more people would actually commit to learning a second language after deciding to learn it. Greenwood’s achievement is the furthest anyone’s ever gotten, and she’s just done it for a week.”

Since Greenwood’s discovery, the app has redesigned its final assessment so that the hostage extraction occurs after only two days, for the convenience of the hostages, and to prevent Duolingo Bird from developing further close relationships with the new detainees.

Faisal Hamza would like to take this moment to thank Richard Ayoade.  

Words by Faisal Hamza

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