https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arjofocolovi

Sentence thread to unlock

Hi,

Can a mod please unlock this thread:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11142758

Thanks.

August 12, 2017

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El2theK

Perhaps they will if you explain why you think it should be unlocked.

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arjofocolovi

It's an exercise thread, there's no reason to lock it unless most of the points of an exercise are covered, and it's apparently not the case for this one. I have a question to ask about the exercise and I'm certainly not the only one.

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El2theK

Seems a pretty straightforward sentence to me. There can be plenty of reasons why a discussion is locked, even when not directly visible.

Perhaps you can ask your question here for the time being.

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arjofocolovi

That's not how it works, this kind of threads (sentence threads) is dedicated to a specific exercise so that the rest of the forums don't have to be cluttered with questions which refer to exercise X or exercise Y and instead every question on a specific exercise can be grouped up there. The other big advantage is that FAQ will be naturally displayed to anyone who has an issue with the exercise (instead of having to come to the discussion tab and disturb people like I'm doing right now, when he/she could have had his/her answer already).

I'm a mod myself on the French/English parts, there's no reason to lock a sentence thread unless most of the points have been covered, and it's clearly not the case. If the thread was locked for clutter, it's fine, but then the FAQ should have either been kept or regrouped under a single post so that learners can see them, which doesn't seem to be the case here.

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El2theK

Perhaps that is your interpretation. I have locked plenty of discussions myself. Generally simple and straightforward exercises that either has been the victim of a bunch of nonsense, people asking the same questions over and over again, and/or discussions that go out of control/contain a lot of wrong information.

Now I don't know what question you have for this sentence. But it is a simple straightforward sentence. The main issue that people can have with this sentence has been addressed, namely that the spelling is forty and not fourty or any of the other wrong spellings I have seen. I personally don't see what other "points" there are to cover. Obviously you could have stated what your issue is from the start, though it seems you prefer to go on about the issue that the discussion is locked and it does not meet "your standards". You seem to be referring to FAQ, though since it is a simple and straight forward sentence there really shouldn't be any FAQ.

Also if you are a moderator there are easy ways for you to contact course moderators directly (if clutter is your main issue here now).

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arjofocolovi

"Perhaps that is your interpretation. I have locked plenty of discussions myself. Generally simple and straightforward exercises that either has been the victim of a bunch of nonsense, people asking the same questions over and over again, and/or discussions that go out of control/contain a lot of wrong information."

I don't think locking is an answer. Duolingo is a learning platform, these sentence threads are the first opportunity new learners have to either ask a question or to learn more about an exercise, they shouldn't be locked, and if they are, FAQ should be available, this thread certainly doesn't have a FAQ, so I think it should be kept open for the time being.

If there's clutter, it should be deleted, the rest of the legit questions should remain (or grouped up under a single post, I did that in a few threads where there was many comments). If there are incorrect statements about the exercise, they should either be deleted, corrected by answering to them, or voted down. Most of the time these should be kept because a learner making a false assumption often means that many other learners will make that false assumption, so they should be able to see the counter-argument to it (or alternatively, it goes in the FAQ).


"Now I don't know what question you have for this sentence. But it is a simple straightforward sentence. The main issue that people can have with this sentence has been addressed, namely that the spelling is forty and not fourty or any of the other wrong spellings I have seen. I personally don't see what other "points" there are to cover."

My question is pretty much irrelevant because the only fact that I have a question that is not answered in the thread means that another learner may also have one (the same question or a different one, doesn't matter). The fact that you don't see what other points could be covered is normal, because different people see a same exercise differently. I personally have followed some sentence threads for years and even some of them which have 100+ answers can still be updated with some new information from time to time, even if I personally thought the thread was done.


"Obviously you could have stated what your issue is from the start, though it seems you prefer to go on about the issue that the discussion is locked and it does not meet "your standards"."

My standards? What do my standards have to do with anything? There's a thread linked to an exercise, the only fact that I have a question about it and that question isn't covered in the thread means that locking it is counter-productive, because that means that other people may have a question also. And again, yes, these questions can be asked in the main forums. By that logic we can lock all the sentence threads and let the main forums be a mess, but that's the purpose of these sentence threads: to gather questions about specific exercises.


"You seem to be referring to FAQ, though since it is a simple and straight forward sentence there really shouldn't be any FAQ."

It is a simple sentence indeed. That doesn't mean that there shouldn't be any FAQ. The sentence threads can gather questions which are related to the exercise, but not necessarily about the literal sentence itself, for example similar vocabulary or alternate phrasing, pronunciation issues, comparisons with similar sentences, etc...

Even a simple sentence can be the cause for many questions from learners, you can see an example of what I mean here:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/446500

The sentence is pretty straightforward, and yet learners had many questions still.


"Also if you are a moderator there are easy ways for you to contact course moderators directly (if clutter is your main issue here now)."

? No, clutter is not my main issue. It's only a side-effect of locking sentence threads. My main issue is sentence threads being locked when there are still things to be said about an exercise (and here it's me who has a question, but really me having a question is irrelevant, it could be anyone).

I don't see what me being a mod has to do with anything either. The vast majority of learners are not mods.

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamKean

I would be fascinated to learn what your question is regarding that sentence, but regardless, you make a good point about needlessly locking threads in your discussion with El2theK.

Disclaimer

I'm not a mod.

So, just taking a stab in the dark, maybe the thread was locked because it was being abused (or at risk of being abused) from the use of "cow" as a derogatory term for a woman - and clearly duolingo is no such place for anything like that.
I obviously don't have a clue, but it's the only feasible reason that comes to my mind, as to why that thread would be locked with only two comments.

As I said, I'm not a mod, so I can't help with unlocking the thread, but I would love to try and answer your issue with the sentence if I can.

August 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arjofocolovi

I understand the urge to lock a thread with loads of spam and useless comments, I've been on this end myself, and there's been several times where I've come close to make this decision, but I eventually went against it and took the time to delete all the counter-productive comments.

Except for those very high traffic threads (mainly those in the early lessons), it's not necessary to go to that length, we have the means to delete such comments. And even those high traffic threads should have a proper FAQ (for most of them it's not a problem because as a result of having high traffic, they get loads of questions, but the thread I'm talking about is in the middle of the tree, only serious learners get to it, which means that you'll get less beginners AND almost no spammers, but that also means questions are less frequent).

My question itself is not a very important one, it was about a precision on the pronunciation of "vierzig" compared to the pronunciation of "vier", since it's the first time I noticed a difference and wanted to check that I'm hearing correctly. Since the thread was locked I used external resources, so I'm fine now, but there's no reason that such information shouldn't be available to other learners, so I'm still asking for the thread to be unlocked so that I can post IPA spelling and forvo links for "vier" and "vierzig", that way if other people have the same question, they can have their answer directly (which is the point of this kind of thread, I mean we could argue that learners can always use external resources like I did for every single question, sure, but then what's the use of these sentence threads, might as well delete them all and delete the "discuss sentence" button ^^).

August 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamKean

Can't disagree with anything you've said there; you're bang on the money - although I haven't seen the FAQ sections you referred to (maybe because I don't go on the discussions for the early exercises all too often), but they sound like something that should absolutely be used for all high-traffic threads.

I found your question fascinating actually. I never realised the difference in pronunciation between "vier" and "vierzig", but I'm sure it exists. I'll check forvo in a sec, but in my head, the first syllable is more heavily emphasised in "vier" than "vierzig".

*Back from forvo*

Yeah, it's funny, both words have two syllables despite the addition of the syllable "zig". I can't believe I never noticed that before!

August 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arjofocolovi

Well to be honest I have personally made only a few of those FAQ, because the threads where I deem it necessary are usually huge threads, and it takes quite some time to compile everything together and format it properly. So sometimes even threads where I think it should be a good idea, I just don't have the time or motivation to do so ^^. I don't know if other mods do it, and what are their criteria for doing it, I think I have seen one from Sitesurf or n6zs, but I'm not sure. And it's not really a section, it's just a huge post in which I compile everything ^^. I wish we had a real FAQ section.

But for threads which are around 50 posts or under, I don't think it's such a big issue to keep the questions and answers as is, it's only when the thread starts getting very long that it becomes tedious for learners to read everything before posting their question, which tends to produce more questions to be deleted because already answered. At this point an FAQ can be very useful.

As for "vierzig" at first I thought it was maybe the artificial voice tricking me, then I checked on forvo and it seemed different as well but some recordings sounded a bit more similar to "vier" than the others so I thought maybe it's a regional thing, but the IPA in wiktionary clearly shows that it's a different sound, so I'm now convinced that they're indeed different. And maybe it's a regional thing anyway, I know some regions of France go against the IPA spelling for some French words so ^^.

Anyway, it won't be easy for me to remember pronouncing it correctly I'm afraid :(.

August 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamKean

Ah, I get you now. I guess the other issue with FAQs is that they need to get upvoted sufficiently to get to the top of the comment section to be noticed by the more 'impatient' learners; otherwise it just lingers at the bottom and I would presume you would still get a significant repeat of already-answered questions - rendering all the hard work put into making them essentially redundant.
Whereas an actual FAQ section could sit apart from all the comments and get seen immediately after posting. That would be really useful to stop needless questions.

I can totally identify with the "vier"/"vierzig" issue you're talking about - I had/have the same thing with "weg"/"Weg"* - and I am still stunned that for whatever reason, I never even noticed the complete disregard for predictable pronunciation there; because that's one of the positives about the German language (certainly versus French, let alone English) - that you can see a word, and without having heard it know exactly how to pronounce it.
I'm just grateful my brain was having an off day when I learned "vier" and "vierzig", so I don't have to add another row in my brain for "Things that don't make sense in German".


* The weg/Weg thing

In case you haven't yet had the pleasure of the "weg"/"Weg" confusion:

"weg" is a separable prefix found in verbs such as "weggehen" and "wegnehmen" and can be used in situations such as this:

„Geh von mir weg!“

Meaning "Get away from me!".
The "weg" here is pronounced "vek" from an English speaker's perspective; with a short "e" sound like in "bed".

"Weg" is a masculine noun that translates to English with the word "way" and can be used in situations such as this:

„Zeig mir den Weg!“

Meaning "Show me the way!".
The "Weg" here is pronounced similarly to "vake" or the first syllable in "vacancy"; with a long "e" sound that is approximately like the "a" in "bake" but isn't a sound we really have in English - the "e" sound is actually that of the "e" in (the German word) "geh" (as in "gehen").

At least the Germans have a word for this:

Wahnsinn

August 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arjofocolovi

"Ah, I get you now. I guess the other issue with FAQs is that they need to get upvoted sufficiently to get to the top of the comment section to be noticed by the more 'impatient' learners; otherwise it just lingers at the bottom and I would presume you would still get a significant repeat of already-answered questions - rendering all the hard work put into making them essentially redundant."

Oh no, when I do an FAQ I delete all posts that are redundant with what I gathered in the FAQ, so usually it's the only post left, not for long because obviously the thread is getting visitors daily, but it's enough for people to upvote it enough so that it stays on top. The only posts I keep are those to which I don't have the answer to and which are not resolved yet, the rest is copied in the FAQ and then deleted.


"Whereas an actual FAQ section could sit apart from all the comments and get seen immediately after posting. That would be really useful to stop needless questions."

I agree, it would be much more useful because it would be more visible and it would make it easier to gather content.


This weg/Weg thing seems even more subtle for me to hear than vier/vierzig. That's one of the reasons why I think languages like Arabic or Chinese are out of my reach, being far more subtle in pronunciation than western languages imo.

But thanks for the tip ^^.

August 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamKean

Oh no, when I do an FAQ I delete all posts that are redundant with what I gathered in the FAQ, so usually it's the only post left

Ah, good thinking.

This weg/Weg thing seems even more subtle for me to hear than vier/vierzig.

Check out hermanthegerman's pronunciation of both "weg" and "Weg" (he says them one after the other - "weg" then "Weg") - hopefully that will help clear it up a bit.

But thanks for the tip ^^.

My pleasure :)

August 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arjofocolovi

Oh I see now (or hear rather), I guess I already heard both but never realized.

August 13, 2017
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