https://www.duolingo.com/cazort

User Gaming The System (Reached Tier 3) By Just Pasting Google Translate Translations

cazort
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I came across a user today. I was editing a document and I saw two sentences that were translated by this user, which raised some suspicion The first one was suspicious because it was a translation that was obviously grammatically incorrect. It was in this document:

https://www.duolingo.com/translation/71e4e614dfd81e5c5c0fdfab90b11b88

It translated the sentence "Con estas dimensiones enormes, Sơn Đoòng supera a la caverna Deer del parque nacional del Gunung Mulu en Malasia tomando así el título de la caverna más grande del mundo." and wrote "With these huge dimensions are Đoòng exceeds..."

This looked suspicious, like the sort of mistake only a computer would make, like because "Sơn" here is clearly part of the name "Sơn Đoòng", not the Spanish word "son" which is usually translated as "are". Incidentally, the given translation exactly matched Google translate. Then I found this sentence:

" Puesto que el río subterráneo que fluye en la caverna desalentó a los exploradores de ir más lejos, pudieron solamente considerar la longitud de la caverna utilizando la luz de las linternas."

and again the text this user added, exactly matched what Google translate says.

I think this user is automatically translating texts without actually checking them or thinking.

This upsets me. They're already at tier 3 and I think this is clear abuse of the system. I work very carefully to translate and I check every sentence to see that it is grammatically correct and reads naturally.

I reported the abuse to DuoLingo but I feel frustrated and demoralized because I put so much care in my translations and I'm only at Tier 1, and this user has been able to abuse and game the system to reach Tier 3.

I also am worried because if DuoLingo doesn't address this problem, their whole business model is going to fail--since their business model is based on making money through crowdsourced translations. If we can't trust the integrity of their peer review process, we can't trust the translations. I'm the type of person who would actually pay for a crowdsourced translation under the right circumstances, but I'd never want to use a service like this if I knew there were people gaming the system like in this case.

2 years ago

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

The business model is no longer based on crowd sourced translations.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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Yes, see this article: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2016/04/duolingo_made_language_learning_fun_can_it_do_the_same_for_language_testing.html.

That said, when people create this sort of mess, it's a problem for the rest of us, as it's harder to clean it up than to start from scratch. (It also means that they're not getting any of the benefits of actually attempting to translate the sentences, but that's their problem, not ours.)

I advise down-voting.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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By the way, the peer review process is working in this instance. You found the problem and are trying to take steps to rectify it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cazort
cazort
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Oh wow, I wasn't aware of this, thanks for the link!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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You're welcome.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Great info in article.. Thanks, b05...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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You're welcome.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1
Dcarl1
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Downvote, and then revert if possible. I always do this when I see such a thing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ViticellaV
ViticellaV
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I really don't like it when that happens. The only times I have ever used d google translate is when I want to know something Duo is not going to teach me, like Magnetoplasmadynamic Rocket Thruster. And then I don't usually use google translate, I use Dictionaries. I find it sad that people are cheating. Try asking the person not to, and block it if it is rude.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Demon-Kiyomi
Demon-Kiyomi
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Welp. They're not going to get anything out of the system then. And TBH it'll be funny when they're like "Yeah I completed the Spanish tree lol" and the person they're talking to suddenly switches to full, fluent, Spanish.

Don't feel bad. You're ACTUALLY learning the language... and they're probably just trying to impress their friends until it comes around to bite them in the butt. NBD. Don't let the cheaters ruin the experience for you. : ) Good luck!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1
Dcarl1
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Yeah, I've seen this happen here, but I don't think those people care much. They just want points. Most of them are kids I think.

I used to let it slide, but now I down vote when I see it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
CodyORB
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It's so annoying when people do that. At least I have an opportunity to edit them and get points :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tammythree

There will always be cheaters. For example, Fitbit, the device used to keep track of the number of steps taken in a day. You can join groups and compete against each other. Of course, there are people there who have given their Fitbit to a friend to wear. They then end up at the top of the leader board because of it.

The same goes for anything in which people can cheat. There will always be someone who cares more about impressing people than actually achieving something. A sad life indeed.

Just know that you are progressing. This person will most likely never become fluent in any language and will spend his or her days trying to impress people. Thing is, I'm not impressed, you're not impressed and many others will say the same.

Just keep up the good work. I would rather read one of your translations than an inaccurate computer translation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/d100
d100
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Another problem is that people can easily cheat by copying the Duo Bot translation. They don't even have to go to Google Translate!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aamira828

I don't understand the motivation to cheat. It is not like you get money for performance on this system. Cheating would take the fun out of it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1
Dcarl1
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It's mostly kids, and usually over all those silly competitions they keep having. They get the glory of "winning" the competition, along with some useless lingots by stuffing articles full of nonsense. It's selfish and time wasting.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mikemcdonald58
mikemcdonald58
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As others have mentioned, down vote. We are learning the languages, whereas the cheaters are not. Clearly we have the motivation and they do not.

2 years ago
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