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https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio

scattergun translations

Soglio
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OK, now I'm really baffled. I just uploaded four articles last night for the first time, and somebody immediately translated several scattered, short phrases and sentences in each of them. I could see it if somebody likes to translate the subheads first and get the "framework" before going through - but it doesn't seem methodical, it's just a subhead, one caption out of several, a couple of the references at the end, maybe a couple of short sentences. What don't I understand here?

4 years ago

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
wazzie
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Maybe they would like to try their hand at translating, but can only translate simple sentences.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
Hohenems
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Level 12 translator - achieved by translating "Weblinks" in every article.

Also, as a side note, there seems to be a downvoting troll here. I just watched you all get downvoted.

Edit: I'm not saying that's what I do (I'm just level 6 and make an effort to translate sentences), just a sarcastic example.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
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With roughly 4000 articles online you could achieve level 40 this way :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ziggKogg
ziggKogg
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Ridiculous way to level up your translation tier. Makes it completely meaningless.

@ Hohenems It's not directed towards you. Just a general opinion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
Kai_E.
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I agree completely. I worked real hard to get to 9, yet there are people wizzing past me by doing these several word translations.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ziggKogg
ziggKogg
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Worst is when someone gets credit for translating : "4" or "134" or "?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ziggKogg
ziggKogg
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Glad to see people agree with me, yet sad to see that people feel this way. Maybe there's something in the work to fix this concern?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/revdolphin
revdolphin
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I did that early on. I didn't have the knowledge yet to translate the more complicated sentences, so I stuck with what I could do accurately.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

Some people probably just want points and go through looking for the really easy stuff. As long as they are putting actual effort into the bits they do translate, I don't think it's a big problem.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Preusser

In my view, the implementation of points and tiers and downvotes and upvotes promotes quite a bit of gratuitous word swapping and questionable puntuation — apparently in pursuit of points and a higher tier.

If there's a tangible benefit to many points and lofty tiers — I'm missing it. But some people seem driven by the need to score big.

Now... this may be seen as a cop-out, but I'm an adult with very limited time... so here's how I'm dealing with it: Pick something that looks interesting or fun – translate all I can, skipping over sentences that exceed my confidence level (yeah, there are a lot of those still) and move on. Oh, If you turn off "notify me of changes to my translations" — others can quibble while you move on to the next article. :-)

Hopefully, at some point Duo will introduce a workable dialogue system so we can discuss the finer points of syntax and the more sublime elements of translation without someone getting in a panic because others might be getting more points.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
Hohenems
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My issue with turning off the notifications is that then I can't learn from a legitimate change or suggestion. You are far more knowledgeable than I am in German. If you edit one of my sentences and explain that I missed something subtle or the meaning of an idiom, how will I know/learn if I turn off notifications?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Preusser

While I do try to be conscientious about citing sources, etc. Your point is well taken — and I plead guilty to having overlooked the didactic role in all this. So... henceforth I'll read the notifications and make use of the comments box to refer people to the Discussion page where we can (hopefully) learn from one another. Thanks Hohen. :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I think I see immersion differently from some, to me it is just a nice way to practice reading and writing, and have some feedback from other people. Whether I get 1000 points or zero points is irrelevant.

There is an immersion discussion section, or do you mean something like a chatbox in real time?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Preusser

It's not used! I had to go through quite a few articles before I found one that had comments (3 total) — all regarding (inconclusively) one short sentence. A sentence, by the way, that has been changed 35 times in the past four weeks ... without resolution.

It you can think of a way to get people to actually use this discussion section before blithely amending something, I'll buy you a drink the next time I'm in Paris or Rome or wherever.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I certainly agree that it is not used often, mstreeter (1) (a duolingo staff member) indicated that he/she thought it should be auto-followed by all who translate, and the uploader. I don't know if he/she planned to implement it or not (perhaps he/she was vetoed by the CEO), or perhaps they want many discussions complaining that it is simply not working.

I have already recommended something like this (2) in the past to the staff, and well I think it fell on deaf ears. I don't really see any way of getting people to use it, aside from spamming a sentence (comment) and telling people to use immersion discussion whenever you see such mistakes.

Another [evil] way of getting it to work, is to edit a sentence, and indicate that there needs to be a discussion in immersion section, and find some top tier people to upvote your sentences thereby blocking future edits. This way, either they will talk, downvote it till it is unlocked or leave the sentence alone, and make you a happy camper.

1 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1174787$comment_id=1182623 2 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1093740

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Maybe a beginner who isn't very confident got directed by the site to try translation and picked out the only phrases they were confident about to have a go at? It's a perfectly legitimate thing to do. The site says go and have a go at translating something now, you find something you can translate. We're all (presumably) learners - if not, what are you doing here?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
Kai_E.
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Of course there are beginners who do that. I don't think this post is about them. I think it's more about those who consistently do this article after article. The ones who are at or around tier 12, the ones who I've never seen do anything other than translate headings, small bits of data, etc, would have had to have gotten at least 1100 upvotes to get there since you start out at 1. They seem to deliberatly go for the points/tiers.

I know everyone's avoiding names, but I just need to mention this user: http://www.duolingo.com/arethusa

Look through headings, and go through tables, numbers, dashes, and random little bits in the latest German articles and you'd be hard pressed not to find them.

Level 25 in German and completed the whole tree, so what's their excuse?

P.S. check out this article and look at all the dashes and asterisks (excluding the first few by wataya who was just translating sequentially):

Edit: somehow the link changed.....

http://www.duolingo.com/translation/3dad47a3fd5c9174d7f1aa0faf283aac

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BellaLibellula

That seems to be the normal trend for most that I have seen. Pretty random order of translations for a while. Like smearedink said, it's mostly for easy points I think.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/queendeeny

Oh dear, I hope it wasn't me. I was only 9 points from leveling up to level 17 in Spanish last night so I picked some of those easy ones for the points. But it it's any consolation, I went to bed with a guilty conscience and did some thoughtful translations this morning to make amends, but not from the same article. I generally put a lot of effort into my translations.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
Soglio
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Personally, I don't need the points, tiers, levels, hearts, or lingots: for my purposes, they're just piling up, gathering dust.

And I can't complain about the value of immersion to my learning - it's free, after all, and if I find the downvotes too annoying, or if poor quality re-translations overwhelm the value I'm getting from the more productive feedback, I can just quit.

But part of my purpose in engaging in translations is to "pay back" for the instruction I've been given here, and I do wonder what Duolingo's getting out of this. If its purpose is ultimately to sell participant translations - but there is no oversight, and the prevailing translation is simply the most recent translation - well, it's hard to see how it's going to achieve that purpose.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Yes, they "wanna" get the gold coins like Scrooge McDuck. It is probably either someone who doesn't know or doesn't want to risk getting downvoted for wrong sentences, so they translate easy sentences, or someone who is gunning for higher Tier Levels.

@ kaiengle someone actually did an experiment in immersion and got downvoted for entering something like "10 cm". So yah, to each his own.

@ hohenems This is just the kind of thing I expected when I suggested some translation tier test to advance to higher levels (e.g. Level 5 - passed certificate test; completed Translator test).

To me the tier levels have no use other than motivating people to use immersion more without some form of assessment of their proficiency. I recall olimo and myself had an interesting discussion on these, apparently my prediction was accurate:

http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1089090

Edit: According to Duolingo, "Each language learner is assigned a tier representing the quality of their translations, as judged by other members of the Duolingo community."

Unfortunately the blind leading the blind, makes for really inconsistent quality.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
Hohenems
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I think I'd rather see tiers thrown out all together, as well as the "current" translation. Unless I'm not remembering properly (which is entirely possible), the "immersion" section that was here a year ago or so when I first started (I don't think it was called immersion then) was a better set up. I could go through any article and translate any sentence I wanted without stepping on anyone's toes or accidentally altering someone else's hard work. You translated a sentence, got points or coins or something (?) for your effort, then saw a handful of other people's sentences to vote on. You could give them a smiley "looks great" face, a flat "looks okay but has errors" face, or a frowny "looks wrong" face, as well as suggest edits. The sentences got graded and you could translate any or all sentences you wanted to without bothering anyone or feeling overly self-conscious. I'm struggling at the moment to remember what the issues were with that version (maybe I was too new to have realized any of its drawbacks). Regardless, I'm quickly becoming disenchanted with the immersion section.

Edit: In reply to your edit. I'm assuming that downvotes work the same as upvotes. i.e. I'm a level 6, only someone at a level 6 or higher can upvote me (for tier advancement)...I'm assuming only a level 6 or higher can downvote me. That means that the more I translate fluff like "Weblinks", the faster I get to a high level, the more power I have. The faster I get to a high level, the more control I have because my vote counts for more. If I'm a level 12 (based on Weblink translations) and kaiengle is a level 9 (based on actual effort), I can downvote him into oblivion and there's nothing he can do about it. I "win" the "game". Right?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

The issue I remember being raised most often was that it was set up so that you translated random sentences without really seeing the whole article (I think technically you could, but it was not optimized for that), which was bad for translation quality. The sentences didn't flow together well, and different translations for the same words/phrases might be awkwardly mixed.

Whether the current "Immersion" system does a good job of fixing this is up for debate I suppose, but that is at least a major motivation for it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
Hohenems
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you translated random sentences without really seeing the whole article

I remember something like that, but wasn't that just as part of the Lessons? Like...you do a few learning lessons, then you were forced to translate a sentence? Again, I could be way off (bad memory). I thought there was also an "immersion" section where you could go and translate articles.
If not, and it was as convoluted as you say to find the article, then a combination of old and new might be better.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I wasn't here at the time, but as a researcher in an IT related field. The first thing that comes across is that it was ambiguous, a frowny face can mean a lot of things. Also statistically speaking, having a sentence that is neither good nor bad may create an anomaly. Suppose many people voted looks okay but with errors. You could have many sentences lying in limbo for a lot of time, then the other issue is that they are relying on perceptions.

Translation is an art of course, but without some way to assess it objectively, it becomes cumbersome, my guess is that is why they prefered the good or bad solution. Another problem is that it may have created a feeling of isolation, in a crowd-sourced environment for each person to translate what he wants makes it less effective than everyone working to improve a single sentence/document. Of course the end result of that are our so called edit-wars.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
Soglio
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Are you kidding me? It's worthwhile to somebody to collect points for the sake of the points? Are these worth valuable prizes, and nobody told me?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Yes, they can feel happy with their internet gold. Attempting to use logic to understand human behaviour is a folly endeavour in my opinion.

No prizes, just Higher tier, and language levels, that's all!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LisaLucas

I don't understand it either... I thought people used this site to learn a language, not to get coins that literally do nothing other than show how much you've practiced. Also, are tiers really important? Other than saying you have more "credibility". I understand that you trust people with more experience but some people seem to think the tier level is more important than actually learning the language which is a sad thing...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

If there's a "game" element in something, there will always be some people who strive to get the best score at the cost of logic and reason. The trick I think is to use that mentality to make people learn things. Duolingo is good at that as long as you keep the "I want to learn a language" part of your brain somewhat active. It could maybe use a tweak or two to ensure that even the nutcases are learning. ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LisaLucas

Oh I totally agree, making things into games makes learning fun. That's the whole reason I decided to use this particular site (other than if being free of course), but the system is a little flawed. I feel like many people want to earn points more than actually learn a language. It's easy to earn points, even if you don't know the language well at all. I have a feeling that these people will get bored because they've reached a really high tier, or coin count, and leave without really learning the language. Of course there's nothing wrong with that. Whatever makes people happy, as long as they don't hinder other people's progress or downvote/discredit other people's translations. (unless they're wrong of course lol)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I just remembered what this behaviour is called in Gaming lingo. It is called FARMING, when players want to get the best items or best scores, they keep going for easy kills or easy ways to amass points or gold, and achieve their goal.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MJBS
MJBS
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I'm really glad I read this discussion. I'm fairly new to Duolingo and, as such, am at level 14 and level 2 translator in Spanish currently. However, I'm basically fluent (I just tested out of everything and was about level 10 by the time I'd finished the tree) and try to add comments whenever I correct a translation in the spirit of sharing the wealth.

I've also noticed that people just seem to translate headings etc and not bother with any of the substantive content of the articles and I wondered why this was, as what possible enjoyment could anyone get from this? Also, I've had quite a few of my (clearly correct) translations replaced by ones which make no sense whatsoever; that is until I run it through Google translate and, hey presto, the exact same nonsensical translation magically appears...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Viaggiatore

You can look at this in different ways. If a person doesn't have a lot of translating skill or experience, translating headings or short phrases is a way to get started. I can hardly ever work on a long translation without seeing somebody nibbling away at it at the same time. It's not a big deal.

The complaint seems to be that people will get a lot of undeserved points this way and even go way up in tier levels. Especially if no translation is involved and the translator only has to copy addresses or numbers. I'm surprised that the reward is so great for doing short passages. The obvious solution is for DL not to award many points for them, and maybe none if the "translation" involves nothing but copying.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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The real issue is what does Translation tier really mean?

To me it simply means that you translate a lot and people upvote it. Whether it is complete nonsense or correct is anyone guess at this point, especially with this phobia people have developed that they just "can't" downvote.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jheavner724
jheavner724
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It may be for points, but that isn't necessarily the purpose. Sometimes I'll do this sort of thing if people are working on different sections, if I see some phrases that I think some may struggle with, if I'm just trying to quickly translate a few phrases, etc.

As a bit of a side note, it can be somewhat annoying when all people do is translate stuff like numbers and punctuation (or even simple headers), but I do not see why these people are downvoted. I occasionally do it, not for the points, but to have a complete translation (even numbers and punctuation technically count). It is part of the translation and somebody has to do it, so, as long as it's correct, there's no harm.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/phenling16

is that a panda

4 years ago