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Issues with Immersion

First of all,I would like to say that I am very thankful to duolingo for helping me to learn Spanish(I just finished the tree yesterday 11-12-13 yay....).However when i woke up today to do immersion i saw that i have one downvote which brings my score to 61 from 66 in tier 2.However thankfully now i know in which sentence translation i got a downvote(not like earlier).I found out that the sentence is "¿Te arrepentís de haber confesado tus adicciones? " which I translated as " Do you repent of having confessed your addictions?" which i know is grammatically incorrect.But this is my question when i was learning spanish using english i did not lose heart for a grammatically incorrect translation to english as duolingo stresses on getting the feel right(sentence should convey the same message in english as in spanish) which is one of the reasons i admire duolingo.But now it's like whenever i try to translate in immersion i don't know what is expected (translate keeping the same feel or translate to perfect english to not get downvoted) btw i still don't know how to translate that sentence using "repent" perfectly.I would again like to say i love duolingo and it is one of the best things that has ever happened to me but the only thing is that i am a bit apprehensive when it comes to translating in immersion.

December 12, 2013



+1 for the number combination

As for the downvoting, Translate the text you like, to the best of your abilities. People will improve on your translations, and you will become better as you study the edits other people propose. Try to ignore the occasional downvote. Who knows what was in the mind of the person that gave it to you. In most cases it means nothing. Focus on the corrections people propose instead.


Thank you very much for your response.The point I am trying to make is that duolingo should come up with some system to ensure that a grammatically incorrect sentence does not get downvoted since that could lead to a lot of negativity among the users as they would just try to find some grammatical error and downvote. The problem with current system is that i still don't know how to use repent in that sentence since the correct translation uses "regret" instead of repent and plus i lose 5 points,so i am not gaining anything.


I wouldn't say your sentence was grammatically wrong in English - 'repent of having' is correct - but it is clumsy, and probably 'regret having' would often be better. However, I'd say the main problem is that they don't quite mean the same - repent almost always has a sense of being penitent, wanting to make amends (usually to God, often associated with sins) whereas regret just means you wish you hadn't done it or you're sorry (because it cost you a lot of money, or you want to apologise). My Spanish isn't up to deciding what was meant in this case, but it sounds to me from the English version that 'regret' is the more likely meaning.

So you could say 'I repent of having sinned (clumsy); I repent of my sins; or just 'I repent' (when being burned at the stake!). But 'I regret having hurt you; I regret buying that car: I regret my marriage.' (but there is an old saying 'marry in haste, repent at leisure, just to confuse things).

Having said all that, I think a downvote for this is totally unreasonable - it's hard - and I quite agree with your general point. and with the advice to ignore the downvotes.


That's all i am trying to say.I wouldn't have had any problem if that person would have edited my sentence and given a gentle explanation along with it.But since repent and regret give same feel but to different degrees so deciding which sentence is more grammatically correct is very tough and each one of us could have our own personal views.So duolingo should come up with some system where 5 points are deducted only if the translation is out of context and not in cases like these.But i would also like to say that the new system is an improvement since it allowed me to know which sentence got downvoted.I hope for further improvements. muchas gracias duolingo ROCKS....


akshay, I'm sorry you were downvoted for something so minor. My observation, from time spent translating Spanish to English, is that downvoting is rare. I have seen some really terrible sentences that were not downvoted. My personal preference is to edit, I don't think it's helpful to be punitive.

That said, I don't believe Duolingo has the resources to monitor downloading as you are suggesting. They could either remove the option all together (which would be my preference), or they could make it mandatory to give a reason for downvoting, as many have requested. But if you are suggesting that points only be deducted if the reason for downvoting is valid or meets some established criteria, then someone would have to devote time to reviewing each and every downvote (unless I am missing your meaning). I don't see that happening at present.


What i am suggesting is when you downvote someone's translation there should be a dialog box which asks the user "reason for downvote" and it has options like a)the translation is out of context b)the translation is grammatically incorrect.And we should be penalized only if the other user has clicked on the first option.But personally,I would prefer no downvotes.


Well, don't take this the wrong way, but in defense of the "downvoter" the sentence does "look wrong" because it is clumsy. I don't think you should take it personally. The issue is that there are no official guidelines on how to use the "down-vote" button, a sentence could be downvoted because of spam, wrong translations, typos, punctuation, and various other reasons.

In my opinion, in these cases you should post the sentence in the immersion discussion or general discussion (maybe both), and ask for feedback on how to correct it. Also, there is a difference between immersion and lesson practice, in immersion precision and accuracy is a requirement, and in lesson practice you may make simple mistakes such as spelling mistakes and get away with it.

Edit: Corrected my mistake highlighted by Alipaulam.


No, I said it was ok 'grammatically' but that there might be a problem of meaning. When you use 'repent', it's ok to say 'of doing (whatever)' ; but maybe it should be 'regret (something)' here, not 'repent (of)'.

It might 'look wrong' but it's not -5 points worth.


I apologise, I made a mistake, and misunderstood what you wrote. In any event in my opinion, it looks "strange". Google defines repent as "feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin", and regret as "feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that one has done or failed to do)", and they are actually synonyms.

I don't know Spanish per se, but I do know Portuguese which is similar. From my limited understanding of it, I would translate it as "Do you regret having confessed your addictions?". I had never seen it being used that way ("having of") before reading this post. However, a follow up google search showed me that it can be used like that, and like you said it certainly doesn't deserve a "looks wrong" vote.


The interesting thing is that in Spanish and Portuguese 'repent' and 'regret' appear to be pretty perfect synonyms, in the Spanish case above at least represented by the same word, but in English they are not, quite. So how is a Spanish/Portuguese speaker ever to understand the difference in English (and the same goes for many translations between many languages)? The answer is, only by becoming fluent in both languages, and not strictly 'translating', but re-expressing the same context and emotion in the second language.


I am not taking this the wrong way.I just want a better future immersion experience for all the users.I know that my translation is not correct(original question also says that) and i would still like to know how to use the word "repent" for that translation or do i have to use "regret" since "repent" is a stronger word and may not apply in this context.

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