There’s a reason so many of us watch The Ellen Show. The most obvious one that comes to mind: Ellen DeGeneres is hilarious. But one Dominican woman named Diana Aquino started watching the show daily for a very different reason — one you wouldn’t initially expect. The young woman who moved to the United States seven years ago, has been watching the show daily to learn English and apparently it has really worked!
Aquino only knew two English words when she first arrived to the United States. Those two words were “Hello” and “Goodbye.” Being the awesome person that she is, Ellen of course, took this as an opportunity to invite Aquino on stage.
Ellen begins by asking the audience a series of a questions. “Stay standing if you watch my show everyday,” she first said. She even made jokes about how the audience should be ashamed of themselves after more than half of them sat down. “Stay standing if you’ve written me over 30 letters. Stay standing if you’re originally from the Dominican Republic,” she went on to say. Aquino at this point remained the only person standing and she bursted out into happy tears before Ellen called out: “Stay standing if you’ve learned English by watching my show.”
Ellen invitees Aquino up to the stage where she shares how The Ellen Show inspired her. “I moved here May of 2011,” she told Ellen, who then asks her to confirm that she didn’t speak any English at all at the time. “No, I literally speaked [She said speaked not spoke] two words. It was hello and goodbye.”
Aquino then breaks down how she learned English by watching Ellen’s show. “I was just flipping through the channels. Just flipping through it and I came up to your face. You were there. And I asked my mom: ‘Who’s that?’ My mom was like: ‘She’s Ellen. She’s really funny. Just watch the show. You will love her.’ I was like ‘But I don’t understand what she’s saying.’”
“I didn’t understand anything you were saying,” Aquino told Ellen. Literally, like I’m sorry but I didn’t. And then at the end of the show there was just this word that you said. You said “Be kind” and that word stuck with me.” Apparently the word “kind” really resonated with Aquino even before she understood what it meant. She grabbed her dictionary and quickly looked the word up.
“To be good to other people and that stuck with me forever because I’m loud, I’m affectionate and I like to be kind to everyone,” she said. It was the sweetest thing ever. Ellen was incredibly touched by it and surprised Aquino with two very generous gifts.
The first gift was The Ellen DeGenerous Dictionary which was beyond hilarious. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. She had Aquino rolling.
The second gift was a check for $10,000 that Aquino can use towards her education. Ellen is such a wonderful person — I swear — and this story is so heartfelt it literally almost had me busting into tears.
It’s not easy to learn a new language — especially as an adult. The fact that this woman was able to learn watching The Ellen Show is quite impressive and the fact that Ellen used that has an opportunity to help her out is simply amazing. Check out the video clip below!