https://www.duolingo.com/Darkenstern

Discussions locked out?

When I first started here I tested out of a lot of things on my tree. Now I am going back and doing each lesson. At times I have a question on the lesson and hit the Discuss button on the bottom. I have found in many of the early lessons it says across the top that the discussion has been locked out and I am not able to post a question or give an answer.

It is not because it was a simple lesson and all the questions had been asked or answered correctly. For example the lesson said "Es una papa" and the answer was "It is a potato". I wanted to know if "He is a father" would have been accepted and it was not asked in the Discuss area previously. Also someone asked "Why is the "it" not stated in the Spanish sentence and there was not an adequate answer to the question and I was not allowed to put one there.

It is not because there were many off subject responses because there were only 14 responses in that Discuss subject. I have seen a Discuss subject about "That surely is my elephant" have hundreds of responses having nothing to do with the grammar of the sentence and it not be locked out. I do however hate these types of Discuss topics because it takes forever to wade through all of the garbage to find an explanation for your questions.

So why does Duolingo lock out Discuss topics on certain subjects?

January 1, 2018

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward

I can't find that sentence. I did find this one, https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13373374, which says "It is a potato" and translates to "Es una papa" but it is not locked.

I found https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12549640 - "No es una papa, es un limón". It is locked. There are a lot of deleted comments in that discussion, such as:
- ...as potatoes are so often confused with lemons!
- ikr i once thought i saw an apple but it was a pineapple so yeah...
- Even if you're colorblind, the texture of the skin is so different, you would also need a large sight impediment to mistake a potato for a lemon.

Some sentences just seem to attract a lot of off-topic clutter. Clutter like that makes it hard for folks to find answers to legitimate questions, and even after they've been deleted they still make the discussion page load more slowly (even if you can't see the deleted comments, they're still there). So they get locked.

There are a lot of sentences that have not yet been cleaned up and locked. It takes a surprising amount of time to clean up a messy discussion.

You can always ask your question in the general forum. To answer your specific question, "He is a father" would not be accepted because la papa is the potato, el papá is the father, and el papa is the pope. Note the differences in gender and diacritical marks (accents).

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalousjack
  • ...as potatoes are so often confused with lemons!
  • ikr i once thought i saw an apple but it was a pineapple so yeah...
  • Even if you're colorblind, the texture of the skin is so different, you would also need a large sight impediment to mistake a potato for a lemon.

So are you able to go in and delete these, to free up space for other more useful posts?

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward

We can (and do) delete them, yes, but it is not really a matter of having enough space for other comments - there is not a space limit, in other words. The deletions are done in order to keep the sentence discussions on topic by removing duplicate questions and clutter.

January 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Darkenstern

I am sorry I did not add this.

I know that I can ask my questions in the general forum and have done so and received quick answers to my questions.

The problem is that if I am halfway through my lesson and I have a question about the sentence on the screen, I want to be able to ask and follow the discussion right away and not have to write the details of the sentence and answer down as well as write down what my question was and then get out of the lesson and go over to the discussion tab and write my question(s).

The Discuss button was created to let students of the language or other languages help each other. It is very clear that the Duolingo staff does not enter every discussion every day, week, month or year and answer peoples questions. It is a daunting task and is not expected. Thus is the reason for my question. Why prohibit other learners from answering questions in Discuss topics by locking them out.

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete

La papa = the potato (feminine noun)
El Papa = the Pope (masculine noun)
El papá = the dad (masculine noun with an accent mark)

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Darkenstern

Thank you. I figured it was something like that.

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LasCicatrices

I've seen some discussions get locked for having controversy in the comments typically related to the phrase, but I can't really imagine what "It's a potato" could have. There seems to be a few in the German from Spanish course, if I remember the course correctly. Also, just in case you still need help, to answer your question about the sentence: No, "he is a father" would not be accepted, that would be "Él es un padre". El papá works for "dad", but is different than La papa.

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Darkenstern

Thank you that helped.

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/YozakuraHime

No idea, but I'm finding it annoying too... There's a surprising number of them in the Portuguese lessons and I don't know why.

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalousjack

Darkenstern, you make very good points here, and I agree with much of what you say. Knowing Lrtward to be a helpful moderator during my time at DL, I too was surprised that her post on this ocassion came over the way it did and I understand your chagrin.

In my first post (now lost somewhere in the bowels of the earth) I tried to contribute to your post by highlighting some of the pitfalls of a forum in an app like DL that often launches material to users before it is finalised and checked and then relies on user input for suggestions and corrections in an environment where there is little input from moderators. Ironically, this subsequent discussion on your post has further highlighted how too many off-topic and unhelpful comments can often adversely affect that process and the very purpose of these forums by quickly burying useful and valid input below 'clutter'. As is, the system is anarchic and one too open to misuse to be effective. More moderating would appear to be a sensible answer. And perhaps the moderators might start by deleting anything off-topic here? Because unfortunately, after all the rash downvoting of on-topic posts and all the upvoting of off-topic posts has been done, anything useful has ended up at the bottom of the page and we are nowhere closer to an answer to your original question!!!

UPDATE: You can access more on-topic and fairly useful comments by clicking 'hidden comments' below ;)

January 2, 2018
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