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https://www.duolingo.com/p_rooney

Opportunity for Duolingo to support history researchers

p_rooneyPlus
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Could duolingo expand to include images for translation? Users could get points for transcribing images, translating them and checking translations.

Museums and universities could upload scans of documents, images or tablets, tombstones, coins, etc. and the community could translate them. Courses in old or dead languages (such as Latin) could build up a large academically useful repository.

Researchers could access the translated archive to search for words, people, and objects across the ancient world. Natural language processors could use the data to find overlooked useful information and links.

The process would be challenging - missing important local/ temporal context, images may vary in quality, the language changed over time. The translation would do an excellent primary level job and save researchers time as well as giving them a solid resource - they may prefer to work with the transcribed level data products.

Duolingo could then not just translate the internet, but our past and make it available for all!

2 years ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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Interesting proposal. Main issue here for me. As a researcher you want to be sure you can trust the data you work with. Unfortunately, there is quite a variation in the quality of translations on Duolingo since people are learning the new languages and of course those that are writing gibberish just for a few XP.

In other words, if something is transcribed/translated here you still would have to go through the text and check the quality of it in order for it to be usable for research. Hence there would be little benefit for the researcher.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/p_rooney
p_rooneyPlus
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I agree there would be a quality issue. Could Duolingo not make a quality cut? This number can be chosen by taking a subsample of say 500 images and seeing the percentage correctly transcribed as a function of upvotes received and pick some threshold. A final catalogue may then only include transcribed data that have said 9+ upvotes? I imagine for research purposes people would want to work with transcriptions rather than translations anyway?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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Even just using transcription leaves you with people that just write gibberish for a few points. The upvotes is a nice idea, however still a system that is easy to abuse. The only way this would work is if there is a good number of people passionate about these type of texts and/or research.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pawsycuddles

I agree, there are people out there (trolls) who abuse the up/down votes

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson
jimnicholson
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Immersion is no longer being developed or made available for more languages.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/p_rooney
p_rooneyPlus
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Wow, I didn't realise. That is sad, thanks for the update.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson
jimnicholson
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Yeah, it is a shame.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01
leonig01
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I think what you're talking about is already implemented in another concept developed by the creator of Duolingo - ReCAPTCHA. You might want to google this term - it deals exactly with what you suggest.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/p_rooney
p_rooneyPlus
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Very interesting! Thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pawsycuddles

That idea is actually pretty neat. I believe what you are trying to say is that Duolingo could crowd source for this?

2 years ago