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https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

Changes to downvotes in Immersion

A quote from the Immersion page:

"Update: the effect of downvotes on tier progress has changed. Now, you advance to the next tier once you have at least 100 upvotes and at least 90% of your votes are positive."

This is a positive change. It's nice to know that Duo peeps are listening to requests from users and changing things for the better.

Merci Duolingo!

4 years ago

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Alipaulam
Alipaulam
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I don't think I have that, must be a test group. I have something different.

"Update: tier progress now depends on sentence length.

Before, you could get up to 3 upvotes for a given sentence. Now you can get more upvotes for longer sentences.

For each sentence translation you do, there is a limit on the number of votes that can affect your progress. The limit is one vote for every five words in the original sentence (so for a 10 word sentence, only the first two votes are counted)."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TurronDeCoco

Both great changes!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
Kai_E.
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I love this change!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

I don't have that message- Merci beaucoup pour cette information! :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I guess I'm not in any of the test groups.

This is interesting and probably meant to dissuade people from only making 1 word changes. Though I don't understand exactly how it works. Is 1-5 characters = 1 upvote at most, or do you only get an upvote for every 5 words?

I think what could be used in addition to that, is not awarding any upvotes for an exact duobot translation. Doing so would promote creativity, rather than relying on machine translations.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alipaulam
Alipaulam
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It's not clear whether you can get any upvotes for translations of less than 5 words. I don't do them much, but I'll let you know if I find out.

I like your no votes for Duobot translations idea - and that in itself would rule out a lot of upvotes for single words, since the bot usually gets these right and they don't need editing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Sometimes there is only one sensible translation and sometimes if you compare your own with the bot translation before submitting, the bot does get it right, even on a longer sentence. There is little room for interpretation in a sentence like 'His eldest son died at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917,' or 'That's £3.50, please.' I'm not sure people should be penalised because an unreliable mechanical translation they may not have seen does sometimes get it right! And actually, the bot often gets the one word items wrong because it decontextualises them.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

I never thought about it that way. I've never used the Bot and only looked at a Bot translation once, out of curiosity.
I was thinking that people might simply click a button or something to post the Bot translation.
I never thought about the Bot getting it right and having the same translation as a human.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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There are many ways to re-write that huge first sentence, to name a few:

  • In 1917, his eldest son died at the Battle of Passchendaele;
  • At the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, his eldest son died;
  • At the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, his eldest son met his maker; and
  • In 1917, at the Battle of Passchendaele , his eldest son died.

So there are many ways of translating that segment, as for the second part:

  • That is £3.50, please; and
  • It is £3.50, please.

There are many ways to skin a cat. What I proposed is that creativity should be rewarded. If a user manages to get the same translation as a bot, and if it is accurate then obviously there is probably some room for improvement or creativity. That was my point.

As an alternative, if the user enters the exact same translation as a bot, then 1 point (or fewer points than the full version) could be awarded with a prompt indicating that more points will be awarded for a different version.

That way Duolingo could have its cake and eat it too. Points would be awarded for good sentences that are similar to Duobot, and more points can be awarded for creativity, thereby motivating users to create more interesting translations.

Edit: Corrected omision...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drenglish
drenglish
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I fail to understand what a "creative" translation is, at least if we're not talking about poetry: much less how such a thing would be recognized and scored by an automated system. The point of doing translations is not to produce independently interesting writing. The point is to express some prior content more or less faithfully within the bounds of good usage in the target language, and as far as possible (in more sophisticated work) with attention to significant nuances of tone and rhetorical context. I don't want users motivated somehow to "create more interesting translations." Accurate and appropriate are enough to ask--ask more of a non-specialist population of users, you're almost certain to get neither.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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But if you wrote one of those and hadn't looked at the bot, you wouldn't know which the bot had chosen - though actually, only two of them are viable, one is not good English in isolation and the the other is not an accurate translation. So why should everyone have to look at the bot translation and then come up with a 'creative' way of varying it, if the natural and best translation is one that the bot happens to match? Finding an alternative to use in translation when 99% of us would use one natural formulation in every speaking and writing is not creativity, it's perversity. It's ridiculous and would lead to the deliberate avoidance of the best translation to avoid being penalised for resembling the Bot!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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'Such behaviour of creating a translation similar to Duobot's one is probably a sign that the person isn't proficient enough to create a good translation without help. Also, nothing prevents someone from keeping the same translation as Duobot's translation.'

No, that's the whole point. Sometimes the bot is right and sometimes it will match the correct sentence that someone has created without their ever having looked at the bot. That person is neither in the wrong nor lacking in creativity for writing the best possible translation (usually the simplest translation) just because the bot matched it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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@DREnglish, to put it simply, if more than 90% of user's translations in a document match Duobot's translation exactly (word for word). Then it is highly likely that the person is copy-pasting, and it is more than likely that some (or most) of the translations are incorrect. If that weren't the case then there would be no need for crowdsourcing translation. That is a simple fact.

I used the nice word "creativity", but I actually addressing this inherent problem in immersion, which is simply caused by blindly copy-pasting. Matching an exact Duobot sentence makes it likely that the translation is wrong most of the time, if not wrong then it is likely that it is not natural. Of course there could be false positives, but then again, users are still being awarded for their effort. Today for example, I received a notification a sentence of mine was edited:

Original, Ulysse allait enfin rentrer chez lui !;
Your translation, Ulysses would finally go home!;
Latest revision, Ulysses would finally going home!

Now there is a chance that I made a mistake, there is a chance that somebody copy-pasted that translation from a translation software, and there is a chance that the person made a mistake. As far as checking for creativity, it doesn't need to do anything special, just check if the words are identical to Duobot's translation and/or some other translation software.

P.S. Translation is an art, which by definition makes it a creative process.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Well, Duolingo can always determine if your translation resembles Duobot's translation without the need for the user to look at it. Paraphrasing one's sentence is also an excellent way of learning a language, and ensuring comprehension[1,2]. Also there is no penalty, there simply is no reward, which is a different thing. I presume users are here to learn a language, and not amass points.

Such behaviour of *often creating a translation similar to Duobot's one is probably a sign that the person isn't proficient enough to create a good translation without help. Also, nothing prevents someone from keeping the same translation as Duobot's translation.

As far as I'm aware immersion is also serves as a way of learning, not only translation, and teaching people different ways they can write a sentence is one of the exercises my high school teacher once used to test and improve our proficiency. But anyway, I believe we have actually discussed this issue in various threads, with no particular consensus. Seeing as we are slightly offtopic, I would say, 'to each their own'.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication_strategies_in_second-language_acquisition [2] http://crins07.wmwikis.net/file/view/Vocabulary-Learning+Strategies+of+Foreign-Language+Students.pdf/49605695/Vocabulary-Learning%20Strategies%20of%20Foreign-Language%20Students.pdf

*Edit: Added a word (often) for clarification.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

I wonder about the details, as well.
It would make sense, if one upvote were awarded for 1-5 characters, so I hope that is how it works.

I wasn't aware that Duo awarded points for merely posting the DuoBot's translation. I'm not sure why anyone would even do that. The whole point of Immersion (aside from helping to keep this website free for all) is to practice reading, writing and comprehension skills in the language we are learning.

I agree with you that there shouldn't be upvotes for a DuoBot translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arethusa

How do you know that a person did a DuoBot translation though? In the one word translations, most of the time I already know the word and can type it in without ever looking at what the Bot said. I don't know whether the Bot was right or wrong half the time and in fact, not infrequently my translation is correct an the Bot's is wrong.

The longer a sentence is, the more likely the Bot will be wrong though. In short sentences, it lacks context, and in long sentences, it gets confused with grammar and word order differences between languages.

But just as Luscinda pointed out, why should you be denied points or upvotes just because a mechanical translator got it right by accident?

And I'm sure that translation Bots are getting better all the time. As the Bots get better, it would get more difficult to come up with a translation that isn't the same as the Bot's. If the Bot has it correct then, that shouldn't count against you.

BTW, it's often possible to tell who's relying on the Bots by some of the odd things that they post. When the translation is correct but not for the particular context or when a word used is a peculiar word to use in a certain situation. Sometimes by misuse of articles, tense or specific punctuation errors.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Or the rather outré translation of pronouns into expletives as I noticed this afternoon!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaHill

I am not sure, but I believe that the reason for upvoting is to maintain a sentence's best form once enough translators have tweaked it unmercifully and verified that the end result is good. I upvote every sentence I like even if the whole community has already upvoted. What I find is that eventually I have translated the article completely to my satisfaction and then I move to another article because I get a screen message that I have finished with that article. After all, the idea is to get articles translated and back on the Internet.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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In fact that is what you are supposed to do, in my opinion. However, most articles have not yet begun to be sent back to the internet after translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MJBS
MJBS
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Well hopefully that will dissuade those who go around only translating titles and headings.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IngridSchuler

How can you prevent getting downvotes for no apparent reason? I got one and can't think of an explanation for it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

Unfortunately, we cannot prevent it. :-(
Users are not supposed to give downvotes, unless under certain circumstances (per the Immersion Guidelines).
They should edit the translation, instead.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Thank you for letting everyone know about the update!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tariqnisarahmed

Better and better, 'cuz better's not good enough for Duolingo. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruth-mac
ruth-mac
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Yay! :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALoUSyUseRnaME
ALoUSyUseRnaME
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I think that is a good change, but it does make me worry if I am being downvoted...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arethusa

I myself give very few downvotes. I think in the 3 months I've been on I've only given perhaps 3 downvotes. Mostly I'll just edit without upvoting if it's not a good translation. And if it's not a perfect translation, but not bad, then I upvote before editing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tariqnisarahmed

If I understood your concern properly, there's an easy way to check. Just go to the immersion tab. The right-hand column displays your percentage for you. (Sorry if that's not what you were getting at.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/z0k
z0k
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The tooltip on the progress bar still shows the net upvotes (after subtracting the downvotes). I wonder if this is intentional, or a bug?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mstreeter

The tooltip will be fixed soon, thanks for pointing this out.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/weema
weema
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In my opinion, rewards are motivating and punishments are discouraging. The downvotes that I have received have definitely turned me away from immersion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

Oh no! Don't let the downvotes hurt your feelings or discourage you. I suppose the downvotes happen to us all- whether deserved or not. :-(

I had two downvotes from someone, who edited two of my translations and replaced them with sentences that made no sense.
So, I got angry, reverted back to my translations, and posted the 'Immersion Community Guidelines' to that person's stream.  I also grumbled about it for a while, which made me feel better. :-)

With these new changes we have less to fear from undeserved downvotes. So, now is the time to reconsider immersion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/weema
weema
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Thank you, SongbirdSandra. I'll reconsider immersion when the new changes are released.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaHill

I've been in immersion for 2-3 weeks. The first two days I received 5 downvotes. Then, I learned to tweak and select the right part of speech to make sure I got the context\vocabulary ratio right. Since then, I've not yet gotten more downvotes. I expect that I will someday when I make an error, but I look upon mistakes as learning experiences. After all, it's not real money out of our pockets. Linguots are more a measure of our progress, and a way to compete with yourself and others for fun and the satisfaction of being altruistic.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Markmcopc
Markmcopc
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Since a downvote is sometimes nothing but an anonymous vote, that requires no actual basis at all, I think it's the least educational aspect of the tier system.

So far all I've learned from downvotes is to wonder why somebody doesn't like me. That's useful for encouraging polite and generous behavior, I suppose. However, it says "Looks wrong". It's unhelpful in terms of learning a language if it's used as though it said "I hate you".

Anyway, if I have a steady partner to use the "I like you" button for me many times each day, I can quickly climb to tier 30 without ever learning the language. That makes me think that the tier system is presently more social- than learning-oriented.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brackenwood3

So nice that now - 2017- they have removed Immersion altogether. A definite retrograde step

1 year ago