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Immersion Downvoting Issue

I know the Duolingo team is really busy right now, but I've noticed what appears to be a glitch in the translation downvoting system for (at least) the new format.

My stats in the Immersion section claim that I have three downvotes, for a painful loss of 15 points. For one sentence, the stat page says that I have two upvotes and one downvote; but when I go to view the page I was translating that same sentence has four upvotes, zero downvotes, and is the current top translation. What's happening there?

The same goes for another sentence, which my stats say has one upvote and two downvotes but, when I click through, clearly has zero downvotes. This one is particularly frustrating because it's on a simple translation of "6. Januar" to "January 6th" - which is absolutely correct and yet I'm losing a ton of translation points.

Is it possible that people are clicking "looks wrong" then changing their minds, but that the system doesn't clear the information properly?

Also, and I don't know what the metrics say, but I'm not a fan of the major downvote penalty. We are all working to improve our skills, so why not simply allow people to approve good translations or edit them and move on? Zero points because you didn't get the best translation is motivation enough to improve. The penalty is demotivating, especially when I work hard to earn ten translation points on longer sentences only to lose them all for a non-error. Just my two cents.

Thanks Duolingo for all that you do!

January 22, 2014



Update! We fixed the issue that was related to people undoing their votes. Shouldn't be an issue moving forward.


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I believe that I have been down voted for some non-professional reason, either vindictiveness, or ignorance of French on the part of the down voter. I think down voting should be accompanied by a reason, so that the person down voted may learn from his mistakes or, in many cases, insist that his translation is indeed correct by re-editing and including comments justifying his translation.

The text I translated was a sentence in the 17th chapter of Candide (which is currently on Duo for translation). I will give my translation along with a translation which I later found in a published English translation of Candide. I fail to see where my translation can in any essential way "seem wrong". To me "seeming wrong" involves missing some important point about the sentence in the source language. And, in that case the "seems wrong" should be justified. I know that Duo currently does not provide a means do this, but maybe it could be a future possibility.

French sentence: "Il n'était pas facile d'aller à la Cayenne; ils savaient bien à peu près de quel côté il fallait marcher; mais des montagnes, des fleuves, des précipices, des brigands, des sauvages étaient partout de terribles obstacles.

My translation: "It was not easy to go to Cayenne; they knew approximately in which direction it was necessary to go, but there were terrible obstacles everywhere __ mountains, rivers, cliffs, bandits, savages."

Bantam Library dual-language edition of Candide: "It was not easy to get to Cayenne; they knew approximately what direction to take, but there were terrible obstacles everywhere: mountains, rivers, precipices, bandits and savages."

Now that that is off my chest, I want to thank you and all the Duo people for doing such a remarkable job. Sometimes I feel that we let our little irritations get in the way of comprehending what a big deal Duolingo really is for people either learning a language for the first time or reviewing and polishing up a language with which they are more or less familiar.


I agree, "seems wrong" is really too vague to give any information. I think it would be good to require a reason that something "seems wrong".

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