Why we need A Comment section for Immersion
I have been lobbying for a means of communicating with other translators. Here's an example why. A passage about a soccer trainer getting a new job. "Jetzt ist er weider auageglichener." has been rendered more than once--"..he is well-balanced again." If we had a comment section it could be explained once that this would mean "he is no longer insane.' Then everyone would be the wiser and the translation could proceed.
I strongly agree with you. It would help make the immersion section more civil. Here some examples.
What should I do when I have a slight doubt about a translation? I used to click on "Looks wrong" but that wasn't such a good idea in hindsight. I have no way to tell other translators my thoughts in that case.
Giving praise to a fitting translation. Right now I have no way to express why I think a translation is really good. Well, I could post on the stream of the translator but others won't see it.
Overall remarks about the document. For instance, continuity issues i.e. translation of frequently occurring words, or even thoughts from other translators concerning the content would be interesting.
By the way, what's the document you are talking about. "jetzt ist er wieder ausgeglichener" literally means indeed "he is well-balanced again". If it really meant "he is no longer insane", it would be a huge understatement by the author, which should be translated accordingly. I guess it depends on where you draw the line, is a sane coach worth hiring?:)
Today is my first day in the immersion area, though I have been a professional editor for a long time. I ran into a problem with this very issue; in the text there was a document called 900 something. It happens that the year that the document was written was 1900. So, I wanted to mark it looks wrong, explaining that maybe it should be 1900. What I had to do was edit the number to 1900 so I could explain why.
May I ask a question which is a bit off-topic? I see that we are editing or proofing Wikipedia articles. What I was looking at today was too wordy in general, and several items were mentioned twice in a row, unnecessarily, in the original language. What am I supposed to do -- make certain that the translation is correct, even though the content is lousy? Or should I correct the content?
Here are unofficial guidelines, http://www.duolingo.com/comment/984423.
Although the community rarely sees it, and mostly ignore it, I think that it at least provides me, and perhaps others with a guideline. Actually from now on I think I'll always put it as the comment for the title in any article I upload.
As far as I know, there is no official guideline or something similar. But let me tell you what works for me. You just translate the texts that means ideally you shift it into the target language without changing content or style. A reader should get exactly the same impression from reading the translation as from reading the original text. For instance, if the reader is completely confused by the original text, whereas the translation is a piece of lucid prose, the translation has failed. Having said that, it is usually a good idea to tactfully remove typos like in 900/1900 example or to slightly improve the style, because the style of the translation tends to be worse. Mistakes in the content, however, should in my opinion be left as is. Right now you can leave a remark below the translation in such cases.
I would take the liberty of not only correcting the content, but paraphrase it, re order it, generally massage it until you get a result that faithfully reflects the source while appreciating the target audience. I'm native English, and I find it perfectly normal to refine bad English into better English, even sometimes go as far as to confront people and say "in other words, you mean...". I don't make it quite so obnoxious as that, it is more like confirming I have understood something by repeating it using my own words. So I see absolutely no difference in refining bad English into better French/German/Japanese/Klingon... the distance is just greater :)
Excellent, this means we have a proofreader. Maybe there should be a different Tier for that, Proofreader Tier.
If it's Wikipedia you can just nip over there and fix the original yourself. The link is next to the article as it appears here. I had to do it with a couple of Vikidia articles, I struggled too much with the degree of misinformation - it does seem to be intended to inform kids rather than provide hilarity for adults (which is how some of it reads).
Unfortunately unlike real life translations where you might be able to contact the writer to express concern and request permission to make changes, on Immersion you just bite the bullet and do your best. But alas no basic changes. Check out @Dessamator on this page and the reference given.p
Hello, British here!
"He is well balanced again" can indeed be taken to mean "He is no longer Insane" - the trick is to say it in the snarkiest tone you can possibly manage while simultaneously maintaining a façade of appearing deadly serious. Anyone with a like mind will instantly understand that you are actually trying to say "Well, he used to like waffles and ice cream, but has since regained a liking for meat and two veg"
Now I want you to know, I am breaking ranks here by sharing this insight, I could lose my passport for divulging this information!
@chilvence Well, my lips are sealed. Speaking of lips it's a bit tricky to be snarky in a typed text--or is that too secret to share. Seriously, thanks for the imput. It's what I've been hoping for in an Immersion Comment section. Now, I can struggle on with more assurance.
Glad to be of help! And remember our motto: "Always remain professional, and by gods' will the badgers will cull themselves in their own time!"
That's how we remain so relatively free of Tuberculosis, you know :)
@chilvence Now that you mention it I haven't seen a badger in these parts since..since ? Well I've come up with a neutral translation for our soccer guy: "...he's more content now." Here's a question for you. If we start a discussion thread for Immersion mutual assistance what's a catchy heading?
I don't know but it sounds kinky so you have my vote!
Actually I should stop mucking around because this is serious business. It seems like at the moment lots of people are turned off immersion by tedious edit wars. It obviously isn't any fun to fight someone when you know you are right and they won't see reason, but I agree it is a problem of communicating with the other translators. If you were required to explain every correction you would be both documenting the language for others and forced to defend your stance ; And it would make people reluctant to edit for petty reasons. A little bit of respect for other translators should be the norm, in other words.
Ps don't you mean football?
I am currently arming the badgers at the end of my street - I am co-opting them into the edit wars as well as the war on our grubbier politicians.
Agreed, but meanwhile, nothing prevents users from starting a thread and discussing an article.
Like the idea of starting a thread. Would we inform translators on the edit site? .
Yes, although I doubt it will work, unless people are genuinely worried about learning how to translate, and care about the quality of the documents.
I'm afraid you might be right about lack of interest for a thread but unless we try we'll never know. My email box was so full of interesting views--mostly about Immersion-- I stlll haven't done any exercises. But the interest was very encouraging.
Try it out, it is worth a shot, maybe you should just use a special Tag for it, for example, "[Immersion Article Discussion] - [Title].
That way we always know what article it is, and what the discussion is about.
Edit: It would also make it easier to find.
Have often been left wondering and have even resorted to writing on people's stream with very good responses but if we could check a "comments section' how much easier and efficient it would be. As for the "unbalanced trainer" the expression was meant as "he is settling into the new job."
Actually, this has just given me an idea, for a whole new yardstick to measure each sentence. Every language is full of idiomatic expressions. Phrases that 'Carry On' films would be saturated with, but wouldn't make the slightest bit of sense to the uninitiated. They are like fragile vases and paintings, the language would be barren without them, and like those have to be moved from place to place with great care, so do idiomatic expressions have to be handled carefully when translating them.
Now, imagine if some native speakers were entrusted with the task of keeping a database filled with ever growing amounts of common but eccentric expressions, words that can have two meanings, etc. Duolingo could poll this database when it displays an article, when any of these canned phrases are used in the article, it can highlight them in bright red pulsing light as a visual cue that suggests 'warning, handle with care'
--- Ideas-Man flies into the sunset...
Crowd, in Unison: "Thank you again, Ideas-Man!"
I definitely agree with you. I had a similar experience the other, however I believe that if you edit the sentence by clicking edit sentence then there is a small edit box, although this comment section could perhaps be made easier to use because I'm not sure how many people know about this.
I always leave a message in the edit box (except for typos etc) but I think either they are not read or not accepted. On a comment section others might reinforce the change to give it more veracity and reach more people. I've even resorted to posting on people's streams--with positive results I'm happy to say.
I think there is no way to write into the edit box when you revert a change. That makes reverting in a nice manner impossible. It might so easily be misunderstood as being obstinate. You almost always want to tell the other translator, that, yes, you understood his intent but there are reasons to prefer the old version.
There is a way - you just make a minor change (like deleting a full stop) and save it. You then edit it again to change it to the original and this version will appear instead of the first fake change you made. Before you save it, write a comment.
EDIT: Another handy thing to know is that the original translation does not lose any upvotes (and is +1 because you reverted to it). Whenever an edit is the exact wording of another translation, the upvotes accumulate for the original translation.
Yes, you're right. Maybe something like on Wikipedia, where they have the page with the actual content, but then another separate page to discuss issues such as citations. There could be a similar page on Duolingo where members can discuss translations in an article more widely.
Yes, I think a comment section/ discussion page would help also because people can upvote/ downvote comments, so they will appear in order of popularity (which often, but not always, corresponds to accuracy).
This (http://www.duolingo.com/translation/95c13e6ce1c0e5fb9a49989739270c2b) is the exact reason why we need a comment section, there are people who are translating Ulysses to Odysseus, when in truth both are accurate. Yet one name is generally reserved for Greeks and the other is the latin/roman translation.
Personally I use them interchangeably, but in this instance for the purposes of consistency, it needs to be one or the other, it can't be both, and in this article the Roman translation seems more accurate.
I can't see any reference there. Did you mean this one? http://www.duolingo.com/translation/762750aaff7da4566586e8649b2ed060
I think Odysseus is correct there, as it talks about the account of him in Homer rather than Virgil? You wouldn't write Ulysses is the hero of the Odyssey... - you lose the relationship between the names. If you were talking about the Aeneid instead, then you would use Ulysses, but Odysseus is usually the default version in English as Ulysse is in French.
Indeed, I put the wrong link, the right one is this(http://www.duolingo.com/translation/95c13e6ce1c0e5fb9a49989739270c2b) . My point was that regardless of whether it is Odysseus or Ulysses, it must be consistent throughout the text, and a discussion would iron those disagreements before a final one is put. Someone put Ulysses in the beginning, and someone else put Odysseus in the middle, and later on there is Ulysses once again.
The poem mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus (known as Ulysses in Roman myths (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odyssey)
I would have thought the title and last line dictated Homer, but each to their own. Obviously a text for publication does need to be consistent.
I very much agree. It would help if we could agree for example how to refer to things that have no direct equivalent in English for example the French office of Juge d'instruction. There is in Count of Monte Cristo an unnamed minor character who is referred to as "un exempt" Larousse provides a detailed definition of this post which is virtually impossible to convey in one or two English words. I picked "deputy" but it is slightly random.
Someone might object that we can comment in the general discussion area. Well, I did it yesterday, and my comment got lost in the depths of Duolingo, without any apparent attention: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1110076
This way is useless unless you spam the link to your new discussion to every comment you do there (and still it might not be enough). Having an Immersion comment section (with link to the discussion from every article) would solve this.