Trivial changes in immersion
How are we supposed to deal with trivial changes in immersion? For instance, somebody changed my sentence "It is more common in patients with..." to "It is more frequent"... In another article, somebody changed my "frequently" to "often".
I'm looking for the correct way to deal with this. I think these kinds of changes are "upvote bait": People change a correct sentence so that later upvotes count towards their "score". That's why I don't want don't want to upvote them. I don't want to edit them either because I don't want to start an edit war. And I don't want to downvote them because they're not really spam, nor even wrong. But I do feel an inexplicable urge to do something...
What do / would you do?
There's really nothing you can do. If you've already gotten three upvotes, then just let it go unless it's something that is stylistically or grammatically wrong. If you translate popular articles, it really won't matter if anyone changes it once you get 3 upvotes.
Sorry people do this. I know it can get annoying and petty. :)
Ahh, such a lovely problem. This is one of the reasons I decided to create the ICG. In this particular circumstance, it was/is a violation of one of the main guidelines. It is up to you what you should do in this case, but I believe maybe the ICG-IRA1, would apply.
What I would personally do is to neither up-vote nor down-vote the sentence, and in effect I would leave it alone. There was no benefit from changing those sentences, aside from gaining artificial points, and I wouldn't waste any of my time attempting to "resolve" the situation, as I can find more productive things to do with my time.
P.S. Perhaps users could start a Duolingo Immersion Club, and create a Crowlist (blacklist) of users who go out of their way to make unnecessary edits. Kind of like a hall of Crows (shame). :)
I correct grammar and adjust style because a lot of people create awkward sentences. Does that count as petty?
Grammar corrections and style changes make sense, and should be made. But there is no point in changing a perfectly good translation without a VERY good reason, preferably with proof.
I've found that a lot of people forget commas, periods, and capitalization. Others do over half the work, but they just botch the style and make it awkward.
All reasons you list are necessary changes. However, changing a word for a synonym without a good reason makes no sense at all. The aim of a translation is to represent the original sentence as closely as possible. Changing one synonym for another may not always make any difference.
It is also a problem that people say that L1 speakers don't say it "this way". That may be true, but L1 speakers from where? There are enough regional differences in many countries that could render most sentences in any immersion document as incorrect.
There is a difference between personal preference, and correct sentences. It is this difference that some people often can't figure out, and when that happens a conflict can emerge because of two conflicting (personal) styles, which are both correct.
I find that annoying as well, and actually your comment made me proofread my post :) Anyway, these changes are entirely justified in my opinion. But when someone changes a word to a synonym, I'd expect at least a comment that explains it (e.g. "register").
Puddleglum, maybe you are petty. Maybe you have grasped that sometimes a synonym is simply the wrong word.
I recently corrected someone's translation of "air" to "wind". Their translation was good for a document without history, so, I upvoted it first. But, the translation was inadequate for a document which existed to immortalize precise details.
I'm sure I came off as petty. But, a simple synonym won't do when my avatar's special affinity is with the wind (Imagine lively, untamable, racing movements!). Now, imagine "air" (submissive gasses) sit around and watch the motes while my princess is slaughtered. (Or more readily to mind, "oxygen") Suffocate anti-heroes to death, no need for 5 seasons of the anime! Yes, an upvote, and a necessary edit.
There is a place on the track to let lose when speed is of the essence! And there is a time for precision when approaching the bends. (My article is nearly all bends. If you want a challenge: https://www.duolingo.com/translation/420d4f405e0946936fc8cc32a7712a97 be sure to read the translator notes).
If everyone's goal was to improve as translators, many of us would find what we thought was petty was a necessary alteration; and still others that their precision was simple pettiness. We would become more gentle as we progressed, seeing all of this business as par for the course.
All very well and good, Tenou_Haruka, but 'air' and 'wind' are not synonyms.
Extremely tenuous. Although, yes, 'wind' is air-in-motion, 'air' alone certainly is not wind, and the point is that your edit (as described) was not a gratuitous — or petty — substitution of one synonym for another as in the complaint above.
While you can't control what other people do, you can improve your skills as a translator in Immersion. If you haven't already, take a look at the Immersion Community Guidelines: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/984423
Also, always check the article's individual discussion forum. People aren't using them a lot right now, but everyone can change that by being aware that it is there and starting the conversation. The article discussion forum is a good place to post translator notes, resolve translation conflicts, share translating techniques and resources, and discuss the article itself.
Just because to words are synonyms doesn't mean that they have exactly the same usage. Sometimes one usage of the word is correct in a special circumstance, sometimes a different word will be correct.
In medicine I would say that the word "frequent" sounds better than "common". It doesn't mean that you were wrong, just that someone had an alternative they thought sounded better.
Don't take it personally, most people (I hope) submits an edit because they think it improves the sentence, not to be rude.