https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

Finally! A proper article discussion in immersion, well done staff

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This picture is definitely worth a thousand words:

alt

Hopefully, now we shall have an improved learning environment.

P.S. It would be nice if the sentences in immersion had line/sentence numbers though, so we can refer to them in the immersion discussion.

5 years ago

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Varys

This is great news! I actually just sent a feedback ticket with this very suggestion a few days ago.

However, I don't think it should be an open discussion for the entire article. In my opinion, it would be better if there was a sentence numbering system (as Dessamator says) or an open discussion for each sentence (as opposed to the discussion system now where you have to edit/revert translations in order to discuss).

Anyways, great job Duolingo team! You can tell they really do listen to feedback.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stecchetto
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I think we need both. Discussions for individual sentences (without having to edit) are definitely needed, but there are some issues that pertain to the article as a whole, such as date or number formatting, word choice, capitalization, etc., that really need a whole-document discussion section rather than a per-sentence approach.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Varys

That is very true, and I didn't really consider all of that. A specific issue that I've encountered that I can see the document discussion being used for is working out some consistency over whether or not to translate certain Spanish proper nouns. I've been seeing articles where a proper noun is translated in one place but kept as-is in another.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimothyGeek

A discussion for individual sentences would likely be difficult to design and implement, and since very few sentences are commented under using the old system, a new one would probably also contain very few comments, and probably not be worth it most of the time.

Not only that, but since there can be so many sentences in a single article (sometimes more than 600), there would have to be thousands of discussion areas (most of which not even being used). That would not be very practical.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
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Agreed, discussion for each sentence may be overkill. I think we only need line numbers to be available so we can reference them. Otherwise people will have trouble looking for the sentence being discussed since we have no way of searching or even knowing what page number we are on.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thoughtdiva

Line numbers are a good idea. This may become apparent when the article discussions inevitably become a bit unwieldy...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stecchetto
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This is great, but I think it needs something more to encourage users to actually read the discussion section before editing. Perhaps either make the discussion view the default view or prompt the user to check it (with a popup or something) whenever there are discussion comments the user hasn't seen yet.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
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Not necessarily, the discussion is to be used if there are things to be discussed, and it shows if there are any comments in the immersion discussion. Most people will be curious enough to click it if they really wish to discuss or learn more things.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Birdexplorers
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This would be a good box to help set some of the parameters for the translation. For Example:

(1) I have uploaded this article from Wikipedia and it is about the history of the US State of Colorado, and in translating it, I will be using American English, mm/dd/yy dates and a 12:00 AM/PM time.

(2) I have uploaded this article from the German Met office about the recent St Jude Storm and in translating it, I will be using British English, dd/mm/yy dates and a 24:00 UTC time. There will be a lot of specific meteorological terms which may not be familiar to basic English speakers.

(3) I have uploaded this article, mate, about boomers (male kangaroos), from Australian Parks and Wildlife, I will be using fair dinkum Aussie English, dd/mm/yy dates and that really weird time called unstandardised ADST 24:00+1,+2,+3,-1….. There will be lots of Aussie words that those living in cold, sad countries might not recognise. Where Aussie slang is used, there will be a note thingy. Ignore any bunyips (like a cross between Bigfoot and the Creature from the Black Lagoon) ;-)

This would help reduce a lot of debate if the parameters were framed at the beginning.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo
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I notice that you have used the first person in your example declarative statements e.g. 'I will be using American English' etc. So if what you mean is that you are just making clear what you are going to do when translating the article then fine. But if it also means that you are expecting other translators to follow your lead in using a particular variation of English then I respectfully disagree with that idea.

I disagree because I think that would be putting an unnecessary cognitive burden on translators. Their primary job is to take a sentence in a foreign language, make sense of it, and then express it in their native tongue. It is most comfortable for them to do that in their local variation of their native tongue (as would be accepted in formal writing in their own country). But if they are having to constantly think to use variations in spelling that do not come naturally to them, then I think that could be quite an off-putting thing.

And as I have remarked to Thoughtdiva in another comment in this thread, going through a completed translation and changing all words that have regional variations to a particular version of English is something that a computer can do very easily. So why make humans jump through that hoop?

I do agree however, that requesting consistency in date/time format or the use of say a particular type of quoting can be a reasonable thing to do and moreover, would be something that it would be harder to program a computer to clean up. Does '5/9/2013' mean May 9th or September 5th? There's no way of knowing and so a consistent rule should be followed. But both 'colour' and 'color' clearly mean the same thing and so it is very easy for a computer to switch them from one spelling variant to the other as necessary.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thoughtdiva

That is an interesting point. Personally I am happy for everyone to use American English with the articles I upload and I think this should be the default since Duo is of American origin.

Thanks for the authentic Aussie English. It's such a comfort when people finally use language I understand ;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
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This sounds counterintuitive, you are only evaluating your own perspective, what about other languages, French, Mandarin, Spanish, and so on?

The best thing is to define such things in the discussion if there is a conflict about it, and refer it in the comments before/after it appears.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thoughtdiva

Yes, I was talking about translating to the target language of English, not the other languages. I wasn't trying to speak for native speakers of other languages. I think Birdexplorers has an excellent idea - setting language parameters from the start would be extremely helpful if that's what the uploader wants to do, and would help prevent lots of pointless edit wars if there are specific preferences in mind. However, if these parameters are not set (or people do not think/ bother to check the discussion) I think there should be a default use of English and it makes most sense to me that this is American English. Also, my personal preference would be for people to use American English in the articles I upload, because most native English speakers on here are American, so I think that would draw more people to the articles (despite this being more challenging for me because I am Australian, as I'm sure you can see from my joke). If someone sets parameters that are different from this, I would do my best to stick to them. I'm not sure what is counter-intuitive about that?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
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Well the differences between US/UK/AUS/CAN/SA English are negligible at best. I see no real reason to use American English over any other. The staff themselves has indicated that they accept both at least in the lessons, which indicates to me that they have no real preference for one or the other.

Besides, if you combine all the native speakers of English living in other regions, it is by far more than US citizens. This is a global site afterall, it is better to follow a global standard, accept the English in whatever form it may come, as long as it is consistent and declared beforehand.

In any event, I hope you didn't take my statement personally, I was only speaking in general. You are free to have your preference.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thoughtdiva

Thanks, Dessamator, it would be silly to take differences of opinion personally - that is what these discussions are for. As you know, the spelling patterns can be quite different for English speaking countries, and you can see examples of this in my comments. As I like consistency in translation, it bugs me if different spellings of words are used in the same article, like "realise" and "realize", although I never edit just to change this. That's why I think the idea of Birdexplorers is so good - to encourage consistency without wars (this is even more pertinent with foreign vs English versions of proper nouns, etc).

I would be annoyed at Duolingo if they didn't accept different versions of English in the lessons, and I report it whenever Australian spelling is not accepted. However, I think translation is different. It's better to have consistency and a default standard if parameters are not set. It seems we actually agree about consistency so perhaps we are on the same wavelength after all.

I sympathise with people who might be annoyed about choosing American English as a default, and I understand the point about non-American English being more prevalent. I was a bit taken aback when my spelling was first "corrected" in my translations. I'm sure this debate will appear repeatedly in the article discussions, which is a good thing :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo
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Personally I am happy for everyone to use American English with the articles I upload and I think this should be the default since Duo is of American origin.

I don't agree with your portrayal of duolingo as being of "American origin". The origins of the two co-founders are both outside the USA - Luis, as we all know, is from Guatemala and Severin is Swiss German. I think that's an important point because they both would have experienced the need early in their academic lives to have facility in languages other than their native tongue. That is usually not the experience of people born in the USA. Had they both grown up in the USA they may not have identified the tremendous need for high quality, free language instruction around the globe.

Beyond the two founders, the staff of duolingo also seems to display a very wide range of country of origin backgrounds.

Yes, duolingo has a physical office in the USA, has received venture capital from US American investors and is presumably registered as a company there too. But I think the spirit and culture of duolingo is truly global and has been from the beginning.

Having said all that I do understand the point you were making here and in your further comments about consistency of language in a document. But I don't think that's something that the translators really have to worry about. It would be very simple to run completed documents through a program to change all uses of the word 'color' to 'colour' (and vice versa) and so too for all the other regional variations. The whole point of human computation is to focus our efforts on what we can do well but machines still find difficult and to leave the stuff that a computer can do easily (and without experiencing boredom) to the computer.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thoughtdiva

I agree it would be good if Duo used a computer to do that. The preferred version of English really depends on the main readership. I think it makes sense for the person or company uploading the article to decide that. I must say, though, that Duolingo "crowdsourcing" has already chosen American English as a default, as can be seen in almost any article (with English as the target language, of course).

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
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I hope it works well with the test group so it gets released to the rest of us. This is a feature that would make Immersion that much more approachable for me. Thanks for posting it up! :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thoughtdiva

Very happy with this! Thanks Duolingo :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lieryan
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Rather than line numbers (which makes no sense in webpages), it is probably more usable that each sentence has a unique URL (they already have) then Duo can modify its Markdown parser so that pasting a sentence URL into any discussion text box will turn it to a clickable hyperlink to the sentence with the sentence itself as the link text.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alipaulam
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Great idea. Then maybe they could make the 'go to sentence' link in the notifications work again as well.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_-C1-_
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Useful!! Thanks Duolingo :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
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Wow, thanks Duolingo!

Just hoping we'll all use it with moderation, to avoid 3km long discussion... ;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
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Truly a ray of light in what has been a very dense forest lately.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
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I add my thanks to Duolingo for this great addition to Immersion.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alipaulam
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I've started some threads off, mainly on the sort of consistency issues raised elsewhere in this thread, but I haven't seen any others yet, nor had any responses.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
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Like the concept send details.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alipaulam
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I've had one response now, rather hostile, maybe I phrased it badly. It's very high stress, translating on Duo. I must develop a thicker skin.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan
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Oh, I hadn't noticed that! Thanks Duolingo team. There are often times when certain translator's decisions should be discussed so that others will adopt those for conformity. For example, I once clicked on the name of someone who had edited a sentence of mine, in order to post in his stream, and found out he was a scientist. The article was right in his field, so I appreciated the expertise.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Noe010101
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Good, I like it.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
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This sentence discussion thing is confusing, how do we know who has access to it or rather if we are having a monologue, while the limited experiment takes place?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mstreeter

This feature is rolled out to everyone now.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
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Excellent, do all contributors/editors automatically get all the messages in the discussion? I mean it becomes confusing, if someone actually reads it or not. Maybe we could have a counter for total people that have translated or clicked the discussion button?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mstreeter

Only people who post to the discussion or manually follow it get the messages automatically.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
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Would it be possible for the 'following button' to be automatically/by default turned on for the article we uploaded? Or at least have the choice of it in the settings.

For future articles but also for all the article I uploaded: don't really want to open all of them to activate the following... ;)

Thanks.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mstreeter

Yes, we'll consider doing that. We could also have a setting to automatically follow the document-level discussion whenever you translate or edit a sentence (maybe this should be the default).

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
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I've also noticed each sentence seems to have an index number when we receive it in our e-mail. Is there any way of showing these or at least the line numbers? It will be horrible trying to tell someone which sentence it is, especially in articles where the sentence repeats, for example, like a poem or an essay where the writer tries to emphasize the title within the text.

It is also a big problem finding the particular sentence in general, maybe if we had something like a "go to line"/search feature we often have in simple editors like notepad.

P.S. The index feature doesn't seem to work, it no longer takes me to the particular line or page when I click the link on the email.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALoUSyUseRnaME
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Hmm... that is strange... why don't I have it?

edit: oh, actually, never mind, it appeared right after I posted this, except for, the discussion is actually for the entire article, oh well, I like this feature a lot!

5 years ago
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