https://www.duolingo.com/chainy

How to level up fast in translations*

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A) Translate the first words in the articles.

Most Duolingo users are lazy and won't read farther than the first lines of a given text; no one is going to bother to value your translations if they have to scroll down to the end of the page, it's boring.

B) Translate single words, or sentences with no more than five words.

A Duolingo user gets the same number of coins grading your translation for "Historia" as he does with a five line long paragraph. Reading is hard for people. Can you imagine which one will have the biggest chance of being rated!?... even if you get less votes for it, it's worth it.

C) If you see a good translation, change the sentence a bit and you will receive points with no sweat.

There are people who do splendid translations that you can take advantage of. First click on "Looks bad" to get your coins, don't worry about the users work, be coherent, he will get his positive feedback from others. Then change a comma, an upper case, something that is not noticeable enough to ruin the translation... Masterstroke! Make sure to do it with big paragraphs so you are later able to receive more positive points.

D) Translate popular texts, those first in the list.

Having a good background of the topic or even knowing what it is about is not the key, improvise and use the techniques A, B and C. No one will revise a non popular geek article, even if you like it a lot.

E) Fight for your translations.

Activate the option for the modifications that users do to your "well positioned and short" translations, to be sent directly by e-mail to you. Rate those as "Looks bad", and switch it back to yours, so people can keep giving you credit. Remember, nothing personal, just translations, fight to level up!

F) Don't take advantage of users with a higher level.

While leveling up, be aware that users from inferior levels or "that poor ignorant scum" cannot touch you. But don't start a war with users on a higher level, because their ratings can hurt. Go and comment something on their Activity to gain their sympathy.

G) AND THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE: Don't waste time learning.

This is about the points, to show off your level and take advantage of it, not becoming Cervantes. Don't invest time searching in other sites and getting information to translate difficult sentences, take advantage of other losers who do that to later snatch their translations. Remember, the faster you level up, the less chance there is for people to give you downvotes.

*(This post is written in a total and absolute sarcastic way to reflect the bad use that may be done of the translation ratings in this site, and to give visibility to abuses from certain users. I hope the developers at Duolingo have this in mind for future versions of this marvelous platform, do you know any others? - Please excuse my English :)

Spanish version: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2386810

Hace 4 años

51 comentarios


https://www.duolingo.com/ijoni
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I've been learning German for 5 years now. 2 full years at school, Rosetta Stone, reading, listening, watching, eating german. I also participated in some German activities in my school and region and did a major 2-year project, in German, about Alternative Energy Sources in my home country. My frustration goes, as you say, with these level 18 translators who just assume they're better than you and go change one word, or add a comma, a dot, or whatever little tiny thing or even worse add a comment saying "I think sentence is too hard for you" or "this word is better" when it actually isn't. You(the victim of a crime) had not just translated the sentence but you actually put work into it and chose the words very meticulously, while these jerks just change the first word they see with the first word that appears in the 'peek in'. Please stop them. It's getting ridiculous!

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
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I totally agree!

Hace 2 años

https://www.duolingo.com/chrigugegl
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So do I. Abusive bullies they are. Shame on them.

Hace 2 años

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
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I downvoted you at first, and then upvoted and gave you a lingot when I reached the end XD (by the way, your English is perfect :)

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
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There are some small errors, but it's pretty close.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/chainy
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Learning is what we are here for, any tips? Thanks!!

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/mirandak

Hi Chainy -- a couple of things, if you really want feedback on your writing. It isn't particularly noticeable that you aren't a native speaker, they are mostly errors that a native speaker could make (I didn't know you weren't a native speaker til the end.) But here are a couple of examples: Your second sentence: ("Most Duolingo users...") should either be three sentences, or the first two clauses should be separated by a semicolon rather than a comma, then the third should be its own sentence. (I've noticed Spanish sentences tend to go on a lot longer than English ones typically/comfortably do.) So: Most Duolingo users are lazy and won't read farther than the first lines of a given text; no one is going to bother to value your translations if they have to scroll down to the end of the page. It's boring. In English in proper/formal writing numbers ten and lower are always spelled out ("five" instead of "5"). If they are at the start of a sentence, even larger numbers need to be spelled out. In this part of your second section..."even if you get less votes for it, is worth it" you need an "it" (or change to "it's") in the second clause, so: "even if you get less votes for it, it's worth it." I hope that's helpful. Again, your English is great, just putting this up because you asked! I hope someday my Spanish is as good as your English.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Justinito
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I do agree with the points given here, and would also reiterate that they are absolutely not a big deal.

But I'm mainly interested in discussing this bit here: "I've noticed Spanish sentences tend to go on a lot longer than English ones typically/comfortably do."

Man, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has noticed this. I struggle constantly in Immersion with sentences in Spanish that are definitely run-ons when translated into English. They read fine in Spanish if written well, though. Which makes me feel, when I'm translating, that there should be a way to organize the sentence to make it flow without having to split it up. Every once in a while I can, but I usually end up with something that sounds awful, making me admit defeat and split it up (which makes it a prime candidate for someone to come in behind me and re-do it in literal fashion).

But what is it about Spanish (or perhaps other romance languages as well) that allows these sentences to go on for so long without seeming poorly written?

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/chainy
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Thank you very much. Since we are a bit off-topic, and I am the one to blame asking for help, do you mind moving this to another post? https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2492611

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/queendeeny

You forgot a great tip. Look for articles with pictures and translate all the captions! When you're done, move on to the next article with pictures. On a serious note though, sometimes one does need to change punctuation or change to a capital or lowercase letter, and proofreading is legitimate.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/CecilieO.

agreed, I don't like doing it, and usually check the box "share credit" when I do. It can help to leave a comment on it as well, to explain why (consistency in formatting, wrong use of capitalisation for the language etc.)

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Amy-schultz

Oh so true! Ugh! Yes, there are definitely times when I wholeheartedly "E) Fight for my translations" by reverting back, but it is when others C) change the sentence a bit just to receive points. I see a many people (...especially levels 1 and 2) who change a sentence translation just because they think a synonym is "better" and don't even add a comment (for example, the word 'big' is better than the word 'large'). This appears to be just a way for them to get upvotes without doing lots of work! ...especially when there are already comments in previous translations about why someone chose a particular word and then a new translator uses that word anyway. (I recently saw someone do this on almost every sentence in an entire article.) On the other hand, if a new level 1 translator finds a true mistake (I typed largeee when I meant large or I accidentally left out the needed word 'the'!), I will definitely upvote a valid correction!!

And yes, it can be frustrating when the occasional "heading" quickly receives an upvote while the 10 longer sentences in the article go weeks and no one touches them. Not that I am complaining about the upvote on the heading, but it would indeed be more satisfying / beneficial to know I correctly translated that 20 word sentence that I worked to understand.

However, even with its limitations and frustrations, there are still benefits to Immersion and it is still a great learning tool!!

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Turtle492
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I don't actually understand the purpose of the 'looks wrong' button. The only time I ever use it is if I see a translation that's clearly wrong (or very unnatural english) but I can't or don't want to fix it myself. Does it actually do anything except stopping the person who wrote it from getting to the next tier? I feel kind of bad about that... I mean, they're trying.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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In my opinion, you should only use the down-vote for people who are clearly taking advantage of the system or writing nonsense.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/carloscadorna

Hey Samsta!

But... Those are the reasons why there is the option of "Report abuse". Or am I wrong?

I still can not see the real meaning of "down-votes":

  • If a translation is "correct", you vote positively. It is a win-win.

  • If can be improved, you do. Whenever possible, with a proper foundation.

  • For details or just "minor" errors (typically, the meaning or style of a word, or a punctuation mark), my friend https://www.duolingo.com/MMortega designed this brilliant strategy: first of all, she votes "positive". Then, edits those details sharing credit with the previous translator.

  • If it is "malicious" (spam, nonsense, vandalism, "authorship stealing"... whatever), then you report it.

Only my point of view. TY, cya later.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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That sounds like a good approach. I completely agree.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Justinito
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I'm with you. Even when I find sentences that are pretty off and clearly incorrect I just can't bring myself to hit the 'looks wrong' button. Just feels so judgemental.

The only time I've been really tempted to use it was when I stumbled across someone who was flying through an article just copying and pasting the Duo suggested translations, no matter how nonsensical the English was, and hitting submit. That aggravated me more than it probably should. And even then I just went through and edited them and left them comments about it.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/AabLevellen

I think it is meant for those situatioons when you know it is wrong, but you don't know how to improve it.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
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That's probably the intention for the button. But if you are at the same tier or higher than that person, your downvote affects their progress towards the next tier, while your own tier progress isn't affected, even though you can't do any better at the translation yourself.

I think that if we can't improve the translation ourselves, we don't really have any right to downvote it.

Better to post something on their stream, or even better, post something in the discussion for the article. That way, you can say what it is about the sentence that you think is wrong.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/tejano
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"I think it is meant for those situatioons when you know it is wrong, but you don't know how to improve it."

This idea has been expressed a number of times on these threads and, frankly, it is baffling.

Barbara is spot-on.

Forgive me for being a little less diplomatic: If someone doesn't know how to improve another's attempt at a translation, then they are just barely qualified to think it "looks wrong" and (excuse me) not qualified at all to vote someone down and penalize them for it.

Suppose, in attempting to decipher one of those lengthy, sometimes convoluted Spanish sentences, you get into it and thinking you have it, submit it. Then, finding it still doesn't quite read properly, you try to edit it further but find (like some later person who might think it "looks wrong") that you simply "don't know how to improve it."

What then? "Un-attempt" the translation? Sorry, you can't, and you're simply a sitting duck for the next person who thinks it looks wrong but can't or won't solve the problem.

Although it's not as bad as it was, the down-vote-plus-penalty aspect of all this, in my opinion, creates a whole set of perverse incentives and disincentives. It should be discarded.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/AabLevellen

I agree that Barbara Morris' suggestion is a better way to act than to make use of the down-vote button. Just let me explain why I think as I do (at least did think - I'm reconsidering it now!).

First, I will tell you all that I'm a beginner at the translation feature of Duolingo. This means that I, obviously, had not understood all aspects of the functionalities of this section.

I thought that its purpose was to contribute to good translations of the texts, while learning - from the translation as well as from each other. And that all Duolingo students, no matter their language or translation level, were welcome to do their best.

I didn't thus realize that a click at a "This looks wrong" button did penalize the translator but thought it to signal that something might be wrong with the latest translation! That is a huge difference. It is not a negative thing to do, instead it is a - less preferable - way to improve the translation and the mutual learning. It is not a means to hinder others to make a good work or to progress in their learning but a way to contribute!

My native language Swedish is not one of the Duolingo languages. English is my first foreign language, and I know it far from perfect but I can express myself quite well in English. French is my second foreign language, and I do not know it as well as I do know English, but still quiet well. I improve my language skills by the courses in these languages and in immersion by translating from French to English.

Sometimes I can feel that the present translation definitely is wrong. Most of the times I try to fix it myself - that is always the best choice - but at times I cannot solve the problem myself: perhaps I'm lacking my dictionarys (I have French-French, French-Swedish/Swedish-French, English-English and English-Swedish/Swedish-English but no French-English/English-French dictionarys), or the time necessary to do my research. I know how I would write it in my native language, but here I sometimes have to translate the sentence twice since I cannot yet think perfectly in my foreign languages or transpose between them without effort.

I then thought it to be a good way to report the translation to look wrong - in order to make others conscious of the problem and come to help. I didn't realize that the report was next to invisible or that it penalized the translator/translators. I will stop signalling this way!

Another time, when I have used the "This looks wrong" button, is when I had started a discussion of a translation matter (first action to make an agreement), and the translator who did the translations I had reacted to, continued to make this choice I thought to be wrong. I then made use of the "This looks wrong" button instead of starting an edit war by changing this particular translation again. I was instead making my point that I did think it looked wrong, and had before that tried to lift the matter in the discussion page of the article. I still think this use is legitimate. Not the only solution, not always the best solution, but still a legitimate solution. In this particular case we eventually came to an agreement by discussions in the discussion page of the article.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/tejano
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Åsa, you wrote this: "I thought that its purpose was to contribute to good translations of the texts, while learning - from the translation as well as from each other. And that all Duolingo students, no matter their language or translation level, were welcome to do their best."

I believe you were correct in thinking this and it's still the case. You may have thought my comments were directed at you personally. They were not intended to be.

Also, it is understandable that you did not "realize that the report was next to invisible or that it penalized the translator/translators." (Neither did I, until, early on, I was the object of it.)

Lastly, yes, you do express yourself quite well in English — better, in fact, than many native speakers, so don't let that be a concern.

t

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/mirandak

I downvote if the translation is really, really bad, and I suspect but am not absolutely positive they just pasted Duolingo's translation or used Google translate (e.g., they are a level one or two and might have legitimately done a truly bad translation but not been cheating.) (If I was positive, I would report abuse.)

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/melanie86

So true and your English is great, although you do give yourself away as Spanish with one little symbol ¿

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/chainy
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Ouch! Got rid of it. Thanks!!!

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/melanie86

¡De nada! I actually really like the upside-down question mark (and the exclamation mark for that matter), maybe because we don't have it in English...

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Peremptor

It's the people you describe here why I'm not doing any translations anymore. I have to fight enough in the real life and I won't fight after having so much fun learning. After learning here at Duo I'm usually in a very high mood and I always want to keep it this way.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/chainy
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Even if you are being abused from time to time, please don't give up. There are great people here, as there are great people everywhere that make it worth keep trying. Just ignore those fools and stick with the learning, have fun!! ¡Muchos ánimos!

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Peremptor

I will have a try from time to time. But I've got the feeling there are more idiots in the world than "normal" people (maybe I'm the idiot?!). I found a German phrase that describes it best: "Herr, lass Gras wachsen, die Zahl der Rindviecher nimmt ständig zu!" - "Lord, let the grass grow, the number of beef critters is constantly increasing!" (beef critters is from Google translator, I don't know, if they are the right words).

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Chris.koch

I am even surprised that people do that, there just seems so little benefit: sure you gain points and lingots, but they are so easy to get that it wouldn't make sense to "cheat" for them.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/carloscadorna

Well done, Chainy!. The translation from Spanish was a great idea (and a good exercise, for sure).

See you around, buddy.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
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I know this was written in jest (or aggravation), but you don't have to 'look wrong' a translation to revert back to yours or change it :)

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
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'A Duolingo user gets the same number of coins grading your translation for "Historia" as he does with a 5 line long paragraph. Reading is hard for people. Can you imagine which one will have the biggest chance of being rated!?... even if you get less votes for it, is worth it.'

You haven't actually read the 'how it works' section, have you? It's a point per word and the benefit of one upvote for every five words.

I have noticed a lot of the 'I'm going to change every sentence in this piece regardless of whether it's right or not' the past couple of days, though, and have a downvote from someone who thought one letter should be capitalised in a caption - the only change - so I have some sympathy with the general frustration, though.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/chainy
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Luscinda, I was refering to the rating of a sentence, which will give you from 0 to 5 "coins", depending on your translation tier, regardless of how many words are there in that sentence.

Just the rating, if you modify the sentence then yes, you get "coins" depending on how many words you change.

Do you think it is not clear in the post?

Thanks.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
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Then I misread. I never think of checking stuff as progression.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/headlesscookie
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Haha a little humor is a great thing, especially since this is literally happening to me right now! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/14438544

Hace 2 años

https://www.duolingo.com/RosadelosVientos

Great job! (and good practice for you). I've seen you've added the version in Spanish. That's great! It's interesting to read this text in the orginal language to improve on the Spanish skills.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/headlesscookie
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Sadly this is all true...

Hace 2 años

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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" If you see a good translation, change the sentence a bit and you will receive points with no sweat." Oh no!!!! It's not the good frame of mind!!! To take the laurels at others' expense!!

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
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Someone systematically followed me through an entire article changing something in each box the other day, making the translations the teensiest bit more literal but still perfectly viable so no one will change them. And needless to say, they didn't touch the reams of untranslated text in the same article to do some off their own bat. It's infuriating to have that 'x just changed your stuff again' alert popping up every 60 seconds or so as someone does that. And the same day I noticed someone else changing everything (and certainly not improving it) in another article and thus pinching the positive feedback from some new translators. It's just as well we're not within throwing things distance of each other.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/tejano
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I think Luscinda's is a fair analysis. When you still see people hitting an article and changing some small aspect — replacing one valid synonym with another, for instance — in every sentence in the first couple of paragraphs, yet not bothering with (sometimes) a wealth of untranslated material deeper in the piece, then, yes, something is amiss.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/chainy
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I think those are not the majority of users, yet they seem to make most of the noise, use the option Report Abuse if you see it fits the case.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/chainy
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I see you fit the stereotype in A) :) Please read through the whole post, or follow the * at the end of the title. Cheers.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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Ok, I'll try, but it's a bit long for an non-English speaker ;-) And I'm sure a lot of people do it for real.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Amy-schultz

Perce_Neige, yes, it is a bit long for a non-Entlish speaker! I encourage you to still attempt to read the whole thing, but in summary, he is being sarcastic. He wrote this to show how some people abuse Immersion, but is not saying we actually should do A), B), C) etc. , but that we should not. (For me when I read a long article in French, it can be helpful to know the summary to keep me going through all the words!) Hope that helps!

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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Thanks Amy. Yes, I understood when he replied to my comment. X-D But I keep that I said, a lot of people are abusing :'-( I know Duolingo team does it best to improve the system, and that this system support Duo by the paid translations too, but I don't like it. Too many abuses, and I get profit of the immersion tab only in English, my most advanced language, not for the ones in which I'm only a beginner or an advanced beginner. I would prefer we write short texts and get corrected instead.

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/ElijahTrotter

Did not even know you were not american or another english speaker. Perfect english!

Hace 4 años

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
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Hint: Clicking "Looks good" on good translation also gets you coins.

Hace 2 años

https://www.duolingo.com/aistobe
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You nailed it.

Hace 2 años

https://www.duolingo.com/._Linden_.

Somebody's doing that to me right now. It's driving me crazy!!!!

Hace 2 años

https://www.duolingo.com/Alyssac_31

on my other account keepcalmandlive im on level 1 and it doesnt let me text!!!!!!!! And iv been practicing and practicing

Hace 2 años
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