https://www.duolingo.com/Simonla

My mild Immersion translation nightmare

I saw a sentence that looked decent, but had a minor English mistake. I corrected the mistake. Someone came and gave us a "Looks Wrong" vote and changed the structure of the sentence. Actually I don't know if it was only me that received the downvote, because I had just corrected the minor mistake (added a missing "s"), I think the Looks Wrong vote might just have applied to me, whereas the person who had actually written the sentence might have been saved?

In any case, the newer version was indeed better. So no problem. But you're not supposed to click "Looks Wrong" unless the sentence is Spam, or completely incomprehensible. You can see for yourself in the Immersion Guidelines. The first version certainly wasn't gibberish or spam. When you want to restructure a sentence, just edit it.

But that's just the start of the nightmare. I tried to find a way to inform the "downvoter" of the "Looks Wrong" Community Guidelines... But I couldn't. It seems you can't add comments to the sentence's discussion unless you are actually submitting a new Edit to the sentence, which I wasn't because the new sentence was fine. So I assumed that the person who had changed the sentence had given the Looks Wrong vote and I sent that person a Stream message explaining the guidelines saying to ignore the message if they weren't the one who did it.

But that's not all. When trying to find a way to discuss the sentence and the unwarranted downvote in the Immersion module (and failing), I accidentally reverted the sentence to MY version! I realized this a minute later and reverted to the newest version. However if you look at all the changes to that sentence, it now looks like I tried to get my way with my inferior version, so I'm looking like a troll or something. I'd really like to explain that this was a mistake, but I can't, unless I post in the entire article's description, which I suspect nobody will notice.

So basically, all this lack of communication was really painful to deal with and I kept sticking my foot in my mouth with no way to say "sorry" or inform anyone of anything. All of this stemmed from a wrongful Looks Wrong (which really hinders your Translator Tier progression) that I couldn't contest or at least discuss with any potential downvoter. I realize sometimes comments sections mean flamewars, but I still prefer easily downvoted trolling to accidental miscommunications and frustration.

That was my mild nightmare. If there are any options and communication channels I'm not seeing, enlighten me!

Edit: Maybe the Downvote Guidelines should be displayed and pop up when your mouse goes near the Looks Wrong button?

4 years ago

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Thank you for working so hard to find a way to communicate with them. It sounds like you handled everything very well.

One idea that Duolingo is working with is an Immersion Discussion area for each article. It currently exists for the beta layout, I'm uncertain as to whether or not it is also in the 90% layout. If it isn't there yet, just know that the feature is being tested.

Sometimes, people do accidentally submit a copy of a previous translation. I have accidentally done that several times. Each time, I do what you did and revert it back to the first time it was translated that way. In addition, when I'm translating articles, I always look through the previous translations, and when there are two matching translations, I upvote the earliest version of it because I know that accidents happen.

You have been very considerate and I'm glad to be in this community with you. Take a deep breath, be gentle with yourself. Trolls are regular repeat offenders and it sounds like you are not. Your post has given us a great opportunity to develop compassion for one another and to begin with the assumption that someone has made an honest mistake, rather than set out to harm anyone else. :)

And, just in case anyone is looking for the Immersion Community Guidelines after reading your post, here is a link: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/984423

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
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Hi Usagiboy7, I thought the Discussion tab for Immersion articles was rolled out for everyone, I didn't realize it was still in beta. Maybe that explains why it is so rarely used. I have posted comments and replies there a few times, but when I do I feel like I'm in an echo chamber.

Other than that, I agree with everything you said. You get my vote for "Most Helpful, Responsive, and Kindest Moderator of 2014". :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

I have the Discussion tab too and have for a long time so I don't think it's in beta. It's too bad that it's rarely used.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Good! Like I said, I can't see what is on the 90% so I wasn't sure. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

I wish I had the beta layout. It looks awesome.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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I think we're actually on the better side of the deal. With this layout, we get all the new features (ability to give lingots, bonus skills, discussion in immersion, etc.) and if we want to play around with the other version, we can just make a new account (and if it doesn't work just try again). And we don't have this layout for long, so let's enjoy it while we have it!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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I am unable to see both formats. Would you be willing to take a screen shot of where the discussion forum is located?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simonla

I can see it. I even thought of using it, as I mentioned in my original post. But I didn't feel like it was the proper place to talk about a specific event that happened around a single sentence. In addition, these sections seldom have any posts in them, in the articles I helped translate anyway. I did feel like any message there was not going to be read by anyone who was concerned by this situation. Maybe I assumed wrong though. But I don't think people have noticed the tab yet! Maybe once we break into the habit of checking it out...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Phobic
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I think that people who look at the edit history for that sentence are maybe marginally more likely to care about such an easily made mistake than they are to post in article discussions. I'm pretty sure I've accidentally done similar things. As long as you don't systematically revert and un-revert many sentences in the same article, I doubt it's going to catch much attention.

I don't see why you shouldn't be able to use the article discussion to address issues with translation of that article, including misunderstandings between translators, as long as it doesn't turn into a soap opera or a flame war.

For the record, I always check the article discussion section if there's anything in it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
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Sure, here is a screen shot of the article with the tab next to "Original" and "Translation" : http://imgur.com/Gl6dNiT

and here is what it looks like when you click on the tab: http://imgur.com/49pfOQ2

(sorry, I don't know how to post images within the message)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/revdolphin
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https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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The immersion discussion is not in beta, according to a staff member [1] everyone should see it, and if they don't they should report it as a bug. I wish they brought back the blocked-edit feature, that way it would prevent people from editing, and their only recourse would be to discuss the article, rather than make random edits. Or perhaps another feature could be for them to actually redirect people to immersion discussion when the post is blocked from being edited (after one submits) their revision.

That way they would only edit something after they have had a lengthy discussion of it.

1- http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1174787$comment_id=1181204

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
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Hi Simonla, I'm sorry for your nightmare, It's a shame you were downvoted for no reason - in my experience that is not common practice in Spanish Immersion. (I have heard there have been issues with serial downvoters in some of the other Immersion language communities.)

One thing I can say to hopefully reassure you is that even though you accidentally reverted to your own translation, no one else coming along later would know that it was you that did it. The original translator "gets credit", no matter if someone else chooses their sentence to revert to, or if they do so themselves.

I'm also glad you figured out who downvoted you and posted on their stream. I hope they reply and let you know the rationale for their downvote.

My hope is that the "Looks Wrong" option will either be eliminated altogether or re-vamped considerably, but other translators feel differently, so it may be here to stay.

As Usagiboy7 said, another option for communication is the Discussion tab for the article, but in my experience comments posted there don't get a lot of notice.

Good luck, and I hope you are not too discouraged.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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All this over a single S?

I think at best you can use the immersion discussion and hope that the user will read it, aside from that there is nothing much you can do because the downvoter can simply ignore all your attempts to communicate.

I think the staff is not interested in telling people how to use the downvote button because they want it to be used in the most natural way possible. If it doesn't work, they will probably change its function accordingly.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anglea
Anglea
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I've given up on the Immersion. I must have a version that refuses to tell me why I've been downvoted. It says "Note: only votes that contribute to your progress within tier 1 are shown." and so I don't know why I've been docked 15 points. So disheartening I won't go there any more.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Anglea, the feature that shows you where the downvotes are is not as obvious as it could be. The black/grey text beside the red cross is actually a link and will give you a list of your upvotes and downvotes, so you can click through and see the text and what it has been changed to (and if someone downvoted without correcting it, just ignore them - or else ask, in the discussion at the top of the page, if someone can tell you what was wrong, because sometimes people just hit the wrong button, and that can be corrected for). If you start translating again, the upvotes will cancel it out pretty quickly. I'm sure I voted up some of yours yesterday, I remember noticing your avatar.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pcampisi
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Same has happened to me. In my case, whoever downvoted me didn't bother to correct the sentence or add anything. My translation was still the only one.

I think DL needs to:

1) Allow people to see who upvotes and downvotes each sentence

2) Users should only be allowed to downvote if they have a replacement translation

3) We should be able to upvote or downvote users too. An bad ratio of user up votes to down votes removes that privilege until their ratio is back in balance. (I know of one user who makes liberal use of the downvote if the sentence is not to their liking, even if it is correct.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Interesting, I think number one will alter the general culture, it may be good or not. People may be more hesitant to downvote if the anonymity is removed, even if they know a sentence is horrible. Number 2 seems sensible, but I would say it will not always work. Someone may just as well put an extra comma somewhere or add a small space, and voila, it is changed.

Downvoting users may lead to wars over that since people may have personal vendettas and start downvoting their "enemies", especially if they can see who downvoted them.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alipaulam
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Downvoting wars seem very unlikely, at least in the version I'm on, because only someone at a higher tier can give me a downvote, and by definition I can't downvote them unless and until I overtake them in tier level. Normally it takes a fair while to go up the necessary two levels (200 net upvotes), and even longer if you reckon that the downvoter themselves wiil continue to move upwards. So you'd have to be exceptionally vindictive, to come back and downvote after a month or more.

I think the deterrent effect of removing anonymity would be well worthwhile.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Well, you can downvote anyone theoretically, the only difference is that it doesn't count if it is a person on a higher tier.

Of course, one could always find their big brother in a higher tier to downvote their enemy. The mind of a troublemaker is exceptional indeed, and they'll probably think of better ways to get their revenge.

That said, I do believe that eventually it may end up being good. This is a learning community, anonymity sends a message that we can't get along or take criticisms when they have a negative effect.

To borrow an old saying, those who can't take the heat should get out of the kitchen.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Simonla, has anyone explicitly said (I can't see it but it may be just me) that a downvote to you does not affect the person whose sentence you corrected? So don't worry about that.

The person who downvoted you to make a small stylistic improvement is an idiot and won't make any friends that way. You are a considerate user and hopefully all the Spanish speakers are now upvoting your correct text!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregHullender
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I agree that the current way the downvoting works is powerfully discouraging. I spent an hour or so on an article, and was pleased to see I had collected 27 up votes, only to realize that three down votes had mostly erased the gain. Lots of work to only net 12 points. I think the problem is that some people believe they should down vote anything that isn't perfect. I think people need to get credit for improving a translation, even if they didn't nail it. Finally, I think there's someone who's mindlessly pasting Google translations. That is someone who definitely deserves some downvotes.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ItsWndy
ItsWndy
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It might be nice if the "looks wrong" button was changed to "looks like spam".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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@ItsWndy +10

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Acts16_31
Acts16_31
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Sorry that happened to you! I've been down-voted by others when I accidentally made one typo, and it wasn't gibberish or spam. I didn't know there are rules. That's good to know.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
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Me too - but someone with that attitude is really not worth caring about.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Acts16_31
Acts16_31
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I get what you mean. I was able to get to the next tier anyways. I just try to keep a good name when translating.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
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How happy to have found you. I agree with the sentiments in your two posts here. Now, that I've happily reached a new level on Immersion I intend to concentrate on grammar. I've a hoard of grammar sites bookmarked and it's time to get down to business.

4 years ago
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