https://www.duolingo.com/ViCastle

What gives an answer 'credibility'?

I've seen many posts in which non-native speakers reply with the ''correct'' answer and it just seems to confuse everyone else.

So what makes you believe an answer?

How do you know if the person replying is indeed a native speaker?

The language level they have?

If so, would you recommend native speakers to have a high level of their own language just so the person who reads it sees they have knowledge?

1 year ago

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MaxBabel
MaxBabel
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We can't really know for sure the credentials of anyone who posts an answer. Instead we're dependent on the wisdom of the crowd. That's the idea that each member of a group makes an independent decision, but the best decision is the result of combining the individual decisions. Good answers get upvotes and bad answers get downvotes. They also invite alternative answers, which can also be up- or downvoted.

It's not a perfect system. If an answer is posted and no one responds, it can indicate either agreement, a lack of knowledge to weigh in, or a lack of interest. That's why whatever answers you read should never be taken as the absolute final word.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
ignatznkrazy
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What should give an answer credibility are the references provided by the respondent. Are those references credible? Do they say what the respondent claims they say? And if someone provides no references, a Google search is in order.

The ability to judge veracity on the internet is an important life skill.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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A native speaker of the target language with a heart for teaching might well explain the matter without recourse to external references. This is by far the most common in the forums for Russian and Hungarian, for instance, possibly because there just aren't as many resources.

Of course, one does generally tend to figure out who these people are as they have often answered many questions.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kansokusha
Kansokusha
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This question brings to my mind an issue that has been troubling me for a while now; I have taken placement tests for both English and Spanish here, which only took me to level 10 on each. Now the thing is I am a native Spanish speaker, and as you can see I'm somewhat fluent in English...

So here comes the issue; if they don't believe me when I help with Spanish because of the level that my profile shows, I would tell them; "but hey, my English level is also the same, isn't it?" and they would be like; "Oh you're right! Hahaha"... but that never happens for some reason, maybe because other native speakers support me by upvoting and replying to my comments, but who knows, really.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ViCastle

The thing is, I'm a Spanish speaker as well and when I comment on other people's posts I get many replies of individuals 'correcting' me or adding more stuff to my replies, maybe they think I'm learning as well. If I have a basic Spanish level they think I'm a beginner, and if I don't, they assume I know nothing.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Multitaal
Multitaal
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Not all native speakers have great grammar or knowledge about their own language. Age matters because with age people usually develop a bigger vocabulary.

I think learners that have been around here for some time and have been studying seriously are more credible. When we still had activity streams I would sometimes check people's other answers to evaluate that.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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Maybe advanced learners can explain grammar points in a clearer manner because they understand the confusion learners are experiencing (although in Russian, the forums I'm by far the most familiar with, the native speakers do a simply extraordinary job), but there are so many usage questions where only a native speaker or someone with years of constant full immersion can be anything like reliable.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Multitaal
Multitaal
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Sure, but I have also seen children around here with really bad grammar and/or spelling in their native language. So I'm saying you cannot trust all native speakers to give answers of great quality.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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Indeed. By far the most confusing forum interaction I've had was with a native Spanish speaker (whom I don't really assume was a child but might have been) who confused everybody, native Spanish and English speaker alike, by answering the wrong question and then not using accents when the matter at hand was directly involving the words está and esta.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Katred2
Katred2
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Good question! In terms of what makes me believe a response, it helps if the respondent identifies their level of expertise up front- whether they're a native speaker, how they learned the language, etc. Including links raises credibility as well.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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The Spanish forums are a horrible mess. Low-level learners don't have the discipline there to not attempt questions they're not really qualified to address. I often just mention being a native English speaker on the occasions I answer something in the English-learning forums — particularly when I'm saying that the audio is fine in the face of often numerous complaints with many upvotes (wisdom of the crowd often doesn't work well when the crowd is by far dominated by beginning learners). Sometimes I rely on the inherent detail included in my post to indicate that I know what I'm talking about. When I answer a question about Russian where I presume the general rule applies, but I don't (as I basically can't) know that, I often explicitly mention being a non-native speaker (and I only bother with such answers if it's an old thread where no one better positioned than I is present to respond). People particularly dedicated to answering forum questions sometimes include an indication of their native language on their profile.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Multitaal
Multitaal
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Yes, I've noticed that on the English from Spanish forum. But I'm not a native English speaker myself so I refrain from commenting :S.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pollyperki

Native speakers sometimes are immersed in "dialects" more than the original language.On the otherhand,someimes extrapatriates are more attached to the original language.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
ignatznkrazy
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What do you mean by original language? Would you discard all of American English grammar because it is not "the original language?" Everything is a dialect, and language changes constantly.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kansokusha
Kansokusha
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I second that. English itself, for instance, is an evolution of a previous language. In fact, most languages in the world are modifications of indigenous languages that previously existed. Spaniard Spanish as another example is often regarded as the "original" variation, but it is also ignored that it is a "vulgar" modification of what previously was Latin, that is, so much of a "badly" spoken variation of Latin that it became another language.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Delta1212
Delta1212
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Any language that isn't a conlang is an evolved form of a language that preceded it. Languages never stop changing and fracturing until they stop being spoken.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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"original language" probably isn't the most descriptive term for what you're getting at. Portuguese speakers in neither Portugal nor Brazil today speak "original" Portuguese (even if those in Portugal think they do), but speakers of one variety can very easily give answers that are inapplicable to learners if they're more interested in the other variety (a phenomenon which obviously happens in English plenty as well, and unfortunately a learner who unknowingly uses a UK-only structure in the US will most likely be presumed to have made a mistake, as opposed to chalking it up to usage of a different standard dialect).

1 year ago
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