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https://www.duolingo.com/zinkster

Why have non-native speakers generate "correct solutions"?

I just finished the German tree. I have lived in Germany for 19 years and teach German to English translation, so I'm pretty good at spotting English that has been written (incorrectly) by Germans. I was shocked to see how many English translations or "correct answers" fell into that category. Why would you have non-native speakers generate your material on a site like this?

4 years ago

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/revdolphin
revdolphin
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Frankly, I agree with you. If I were learning German, I would want a native German speaker to have contributed to the course. And if you're recognizing that these sentences are types that are regularly used by Germans, then you are also suggesting that, in fact, the creators of the course are native speakers of German.

If you're talking about the German --> English course, you should be aware that the course is still in Beta phase, and you can be that native English speaker to help make sure the translations are correct.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatriciaJH
PatriciaJH
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Too many of the answers were (infamously) generated by the bot, not by humans at all. Reporting bad answers via the "Report a problem" button is one way to get correct answers into the system. (That's why I always encourage people to use the "report a problem" button if they don't mention that they've reported problems.)

However, I gather that the "correct" answers are also crowd-sourced, so if many people give an "off" translation, it can wind up as the "correct" answer. I have a horrid suspicion that this may mean that some answers, say for harder questions, trand towards Google-translate's solution, not a more-correct human one.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
jfGor
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Sorry I am not following your question. Do you mean non-native speakers of English, or non-native speakers of German? The experts of both languages on this site should be fluent in both. However, I have seen awkward English translations in the Spanish tree, so I think you are saying that German speakers (the experts) are translating incorrectly to English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zinkster

Precisely. There is obviously a German person who has made up both a German prompt and a "correct" English answer formulated in a typically German way (and something no English speaker would ever say).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tertio

"There is obviously a German person who has made up both a German promp......"

I am not so sure of that. Some of the German is so poor and some of the German sentences are so weird, that I'd rather think the language material has rather been made up by a computer program, without any English nor German speaker of some proficiency coming near it.

4 years ago