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https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

Guidelines for the use of the "Looks wrong" button in Immersion

Dessamator
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I'm thinking of adding these Guidelines for "Looks wrong" to the unofficial Immersion Community guidelines (http://www.duolingo.com/comment/984423):

General :

  • Attempt to edit and correct the error rather than click "looks wrong", unless it is unavoidable.

Click "looks wrong" if there is:

  1. Spam - (alternatively, click report abuse, if certain of Spam);
  2. Completely wrong translation - The translation is completely wrong with no link to the original sentence (e.g.: 1 = "a monkey dances"); and
  3. Uncertainty of how to correct -You're certain the sentence is wrong (e.g. uses idiomatic English ), but are unsure of how to correct.

Do not click"looks wrong" if :

  1. There is a minor mistake - Punctuation, simple misspelling, and so on ;
  2. There is a conflict in translation (edit-war) - if there is an edit-war, it may escalate with downvotes, review existing comments, and proceed with caution ; and
  3. To resolve arguments - the pen is mightier than the sword(downvote);
  4. Incorrectly translated idiomatic sentence - try instead to search online for the idiom, and paste the link to the use.

These are just my views on the guidelines, and they may change if the community disagrees with these points.

If you wish to comment, indicate which ones you agree/disagree with, and provide reasoning for it.

4 years ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/stecchetto
stecchettoPlus
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When I think/know a translation to be faulty but am unsure of the best way to correct it is precisely when I use the "Looks wrong" button. It is basically a way to flag a translation as "not ready yet" so that someone with more skill than me can come along later and fix it.

In regards to how we should use the button in light of the new tier system: The DL team are attempting to optimize the system based on how people actually use the button. So we really shouldn't be modifying our behavior to fit the system. Let the system learn our ways instead.

Having said that, I think your guidelines are generally good ones.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Interesting perspective, I didn't think of that. Yes, I'm sure they are analysing the behaviour people exhibit and will adjust or add something depending on the outcome.

So, in truth whatever behaviour the users exhibit will be good, if people downvote less and produce better quality translations, excellent, otherwise I'm sure they'll come up with other incentives to increase engagement. Anyway,the guidelines are just maybe for a group of users who wish to be consistent, and learn more.

They are just guidelines nothing more nothing less, people can ignore them if they prefer. For me a reference point is always good, for example, someone recently pointed me to the guidelines I created myself, when explaining why he made a change in an immersion sentence I translated.

This made me laugh, and showed how useful such a thing is, instead of writing a big sentence explaining why, he just referred to it. So even if nobody else likes it or uses it, I'm happy to use something that will allow me to remain consistent.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Preusser

I believe the concept of "Looks Wrong" is contrary to the generally collegial spirit of the Duolingo community, haven't used it, won't be using it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zippzopp

I've clicked the "looks wrong" a few times then edited it. Thought you were supposed to do it that way, to help you "learn"and the key word there is "looks" doesn't mean it is wrong, I realized the few times I've done it that the "may" be wrong is actually correct and my edit will be the one that not only "looks" wrong but is wrong, if I get something "wrong" I want to be informed of that so I can learn the correct way.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I agree with you entirely, I'm here to learn, and personally I'd rather learn by people showing me I'm wrong, and hopefully suggesting improvements, rather than leave it alone because I'll get downvotes. This is exactly the reason why I'm suggesting this. Users seem to be using downvotes inconsistently and others merely avoid it altogether because of points.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thoughtdiva

Just be aware that downvotes will lose people 10 of their upvotes (or 5 if they are in the current test group) in terms of their Translation Tier. This will make some people angry (!) and is the reason downvotes are becoming such an issue now.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Viaggiatore

What bothers me is that "looks wrong" and "is wrong" are two different things. If I say a sentence "looks wrong" to me and I don't know how to fix it, then I'm saying that I need help. The trouble is that my "looks wrong" is then used as a downvote. I think "looks wrong" and downvotes should be separated, and "looks wrong" should simply be a kind of alarm or request for help.

I don't like downvoting and I don't do it. I can see two possible uses for a downvote: 1) to help adjudicate between two or more competing translations of the same sentence. 2) to indicate that in my view this translator is not ready for prime time. I think 1) is handled better by putting in a better translation and adding explanation if necessary. 2) is a disagreeable thing that we probably should not do.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Yes, there is no middle ground with Duolingo immersion, either something is good or bad. If that system was used for statistical analysis, it would yield very problematic results because it lacks a neutral scale. Sometimes things are neither good or bad, but somewhere in between, meaning that it is acceptable but probably not the best version.

I agree with your "request for help idea", and proposed a similar thing here (http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1093740). However, I don't think it will happen anytime soon, and I wish the immersion was a bit more like the lesson practice, with the possibility to discuss every sentence.

We can learn a lot while arguing about semantics, and old prose contains considerable idioms and exceptions to rules used in Duolingo which native speakers can shed light on.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/javax
javax
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Yeah, I never press the button "Looks wrong". I just press "Looks good" and if it's not accurate, then I just edit it, to improve the translation. But some people just press it like an old Dislike from Facebook. That's a little bit irresponsible.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
Kai_E.
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Neither do I. If it "looks wrong" to you, that implies you know how it could be fixed, or at least think you do, so why not just write what you think is right? If that's not why you click it, then you're probably just being immature and arbitrarily clicking it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Not necessarily, sometimes you just can't quite put your finger on what is wrong, yet you know it is wrong. I'll give you examples that aren't immediately visible unless you're a proficient or a native speaker:

  • The panda eats, shoots and leaves;
  • This is a very unique situation; and
  • The firm is proud to have served our clients for fifty years.

The above sentences seem correct, yet all of them have a subtle error which makes them wrong, and one of them could be right depending on context.

Anyway, people will use the "looks wrong " button as long as it is there, so this is just a guideline (which some will ignore anyway).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
Kai_E.
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You're right, I suppose that could happen, but that seems like an odd juxtaposition to me. You can't put your finger on what is wrong, yet you "know" it is wrong?

Personally, if I'm not able to justify why I think something is wrong given a situation such as the ones you listed above, I'm more inclined to leave the sentence alone altogether, rather than mark it "looks wrong". I don't feel like anyone who has put an effort into translating a sentence deserves for someone to go "eh, looks wrong, can't say why though, better just click this here button". It just doesn't contribute to the translation and discourages people.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ceaer
ceaer
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There are also situations where you know the translation is wrong because it simply doesn't make any sense or the syntax is so garbled you can't decipher it, but at the same time, the original sentence is too complex for your current language ability -- so you don't know what it says well enough to translate it, but the English sentence is clearly not an accurate translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
Kai_E.
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@ Dessamator: Pressing "looks wrong" doesn't raise a flag though, does it? It can only initially be seen by whoever presses it, and it shows up under your translator tier without context. Other than that, you only see upvotes/downvotes after voting for a translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Well said! This is one of the scenarios I was attempting to explain, I don't know about other people, but I often go through the sentence discussions to advise learners who haven't got a response regarding their queries.

Sometimes I'm stumped, and I just tell the person the sentence they suggest is wrong, hoping that someone else will come and explain it better. This often works very well for me because it raises a flag to a native speaker/ proficient Duolinguist who can offer better advice.

Leaving the sentence "as is" will just reduce the quality of the articles and the lessons. I prefer to identify a problem, hoping others will correct rather than leave it, and risk that the problem will go unnoticed.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
Kai_E.
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Ah, yes excellent example. But I still don't see how pressing "looks wrong" helps anyone. Perhaps it would be nice if pressing "looks wrong" flags the sentence in some noticeable way, because as it stands, you can't even see a downvote until after you vote. That way people could see that a sentence has been flagged for correction and someone else who has the language ability to help can step in and fix it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Katherle
Katherle
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What actually happens quite often is the following scenario: the translation might be a grammatically correct English sentence, but the translator misunderstood the meaning of the original. And I'm not talking about a "free" rephrasing of the original sentence, but about a totally wrong meaning.

As a native speaker of German, I frequently come across such sentences, but don't have the time and/or ability to think of an idiomatic English translation. In the past, I downvoted some of these sentences, especially if they had previously received a lot of misleading upvotes. Now I don't dare downvote anybody anymore because I don't want to mess up their "score". To be honest, I don't know if that's such a good thing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Indeed. My advice would be for you to to edit the sentence, add a small change maybe a space, and add a comment indicating why it is wrong and/or requesting for it to be corrected by someone else.

Otherwise, if the suggestion I offered here (http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1093740) were implemented I think this would resolve the issue.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalocaris

These are great! :) The only one I'm not sure about is Do not click #2, about dealing with an edit-war. I can see how downvoting would be unhelpful, but I'm not sure editing again is good advice, either. We could have a whole thread just on this topic, but I'd say if you're not already involved in the edit-war, don't do anything to the sentence--anything you do will just add fuel to the fire. Then again, if it's one stubborn person who keeps reverting to an irrefutably wrong version, downvoting might be the best thing to do. Maybe the best advice just APPROACH (the whole situation) WITH CAUTION, even if that's not very specific.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Thanks, I agree with your point. I've made an edit to the guidelines above, and as you advised, I'll start a discussion on guidelines for resolving edit-wars (http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1103396).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruth-mac
ruth-mac
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I like what you have written, Dessamator, but I would prefer if regional differences were not included under "minor mistake" as they are just alternative correct translations. (In fact I would like some way of resolving this, for example in English by having both American and British parallel translations. Otherwise it ends up pointlessly alternating between the two.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Good point! I suggested a way to resolve it here :http://www.duolingo.com/comment/984423. I'll remove it.

Edit: I meant that I removed it from the "looks wrong" guidelines, not the immersion community guidelines.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruth-mac
ruth-mac
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I think you should keep the regional differences in your Guidelines, just not under "minor mistake".

4 years ago