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  5. Are reported sentences ever c…

Are reported sentences ever corrected?

[deactivated user]

    On occasion we came across sloppy translations and we are told to report them, but I have never seen any action being taken. At least in the German course.

    Two examples:

    Damit war der Sieg eindeutig. translated to The victory was unambiguous with that.

    I'm not English native but this sentence sounds completely off.

    Worse still:

    Die Bundesliga ist ein großer Verein für Fußball. translated to The German Soccer League is a big club for soccer.

    This is complete rubbish. It makes no sense at all. I'm having a bit of a trouble believing this was translated by a human.

    If you read the comments for both sentences, you can see that both were marked for revision 4 years ago already, yet the translations remain in place.

    There are other minor occurrences in which translations could be bettered but these were the most obvious ones.

    So... is it really worth it to report bad translations? Did you come across some other bizarre translations in other courses?

    January 17, 2018



    I don't do the German course but I've had many suggestions approved for the courses I do take.


    You will only get notification if your suggested correction is accepted. However, it can take quite a while. I suspect that for most courses there is a large backlog of suggested corrections and not enough (volunteer) moderators to review them. I have received notice of accepted corrections months after submitting them.

    [deactivated user]

      Both the examples I gave are signalled for 4 years now with many people saying how bad they sound... that's what prompted me to launch this discussion.


      Both the examples I gave are signalled for 4 years

      I'm confused, how do you know they have been reported without access to the incubator which is the only place where the reports are visible?

      Reminder: mentioning a problem in sentence discussion is NOT reporting it.
      Volunteers maintaining the courses cannot follow the dozens of thousands discussions corresponding to each existing exercise (nor can a staff member, nor anyone, by the way). That's why report are done through the dedicated button and why mentioning an issue in discussion is absolutely not reporting the issue: it doesn't get to the persons who can fix it. Of course, volunteers also follow discussions but they cannot follow them all, so mentioning errors is sentence discussion is inefficient hence not the way to do.

      Now, why the sentences that are indeed reported (=with the dedicated button) take time to fix? Various reason that I'll order from, IMO, the largest effect/reason to the less impacting:

      1. 99%+ of reports(°) are at best wrong and at worst pure spam.
        So the volunteers have to read (and refuse) hundreds of users' error being reported by the user as correct and spam, before ending up on a report of something indeed correct and missing or on a mistake in the course.
      2. Duo keeps presenting exercises that have been withdraw from the course for long. This is a long-time on-going bug, unfortunately.
        Bis: reports of sound issues (for courses with TTS) -> because Duo cannot fix them directly as they buy the TTS to a third-party company. Volunteers can even less act on them.
      3. The tool presenting to volunteers the reports is far better than if volunteers had to follow the dozens of thousand of discussions but it's not a perfect tool and sentences like "I'm a man." with dozens of new wrong reports a day, appear on top of the list of reports to treat.
      4. Volunteers' time is not infinite, the time they spend/lose discarding spam and wrong reports is time lost for treating valid reports.

      So, yes, if a sentence as less reports (=through the dedicated button) than the average, it may stay at the bottom of the pile for several years, covered each day a little more by tons of wrong reports.

      (°) Speaking about courses in Phase 3 for some times, like the course you mentioned in the OP.
      For new courses, the ratio is of course different

      [deactivated user]

        I'm confused, how do you know they have been reported without access to the incubator which is the only place where the reports are visible?

        Well, both of the comment sections are full of people saying how clumsy the translations are so I have to assume at the very least a couple of them used the report button. Here's one for instance:

        I reported like ages ago, and still no action has been taken by DL. For a football fan, this sentence is really annoying. - From 3 years ago.

        I didn't report based on the fact that if they didn't change them for 4 years they won't be changing them now surely.

        99%+ of reports(°) are at best wrong and at worst pure spam.

        I had no idea of that.

        I don't wanna sound unappreciative... you guys do a great job even more if it's unpaid. And we use it for free. The title of this post was a genuine question for errors correction... not to demean the volunteers work in any way.



        Yep, for sure there are some reports from people also commenting. But unfortunately generally less reports than comments. And, in any case, far less occurrences of those kind of legit reports than of wrong or spam reports on same sentences and on other sentences.

        One comment, upvoted by anyone agreeing saying something like

        To all learners, be aware that IMO the answer "BLABLABLA" is incorrect for that and that reason.
        Don't forget to report it = to use the "Report a problem" button.

        is a great and useful thing and anyone who agrees upvote it after having reported it.

        But everyone adding a new comment about "this or that should be accepted" or "the wanted answer is wrong":

        1. doesn't make things been corrected.
        2. just load the discussion, making questions (which are the purpose of the discussions) in the discussion barely visible due to the massive number of comments.

        I didn't report based on the fact that if they didn't change them for 4 years they won't be changing them now surely.

        You should have: the more reports the more chances it'll be finally noticed by the volunteers hence corrected.
        The main reason for no correction is that the reports for the sentence have not been spotted by volunteers because it has far less reports than most of other exercises.

        I don't wanna sound unappreciative...

        I didn't take it like that. ;)
        I get the frustration and wanted to explain why it is like that, remind why it's important to use (only) the "Report a problem" button to report issues, and to also share that volunteers are at least as much frustrated as users by the fact that corrections take times (due, mainly, to spending too much time treating non-sense reports).

        I dream of a situation where any single report arriving is one to be accepted: one pointing out something we missed, or a typo we made or even a blunt error we made.

        I also hope (and ask for) that staff will put back the disclaimer on sentence discussions saying "Please don't report errors and/or problems here".


        I think most of the course contributors interact quite a lot on forums, many of them on a daily basis. That's at least the impression I have when looking at courses' forums.
        But they do it mainly (but not only) in the forum of their courses. Of course, there'll always be discussions they'll not see (as there are too many) which can give the impression they don't answer.

        I guess one of the things that what brings the frustration is that many users think that the courses' forums are places "to ask (linguistic) questions to the course creators/maintainors", therefore get unhappy and frustrated that no volunteers answer their questions, while forums are "for the users BY the users" places where one asks questions to the community. Of course, volunteers are part of the community and will answer from time to time when they see the question, but it's not part of their job to go and look for questions to answer, they do it like any user who encounter a question that they know the answer of.

        [deactivated user]

          Once again thanks.

          It's not everyday that an actual responsible for the maintenance of the courses comes forward and communicate with us. In fact that's a common complaint read here, that those behind the scenes rarely say something and interact with members. And at times it seems to be a confusion between the mods, those in your position and Duolingo's higher rankings... who does what...

          Shame your posts are buried here in this discussion because many should read them... but anyway, appreciate the time you took to answer me.


          Yes! I've gotten five emails accepting reported sentences.


          Once, when the Welsh course was newer, I talked to one of the Welsh mods about dialectical differences in American and UK English for words about cleaning (to clean, to tidy up, etc). The course was not accepting many of the American English answers and thus frustrated a lot of people, and the mods were asking for dictionary definitions from American English sources to verify legitimacy. Since then, the sentences will accept more American English translations from given Welsh sentences.

          So: it depends but if the team is active, there should be regular improvements.


          "The German Soccer League is a big club for soccer" could be correct, if you were talking slang, so yes that is technically correct. "The victory was unambiguous with that" doesn't make sense i agree. They definitely need to revise their vocabulary and make sure its up to date

          [deactivated user]

            Slang? How can the Bundesliga be a club? "for soccer" is weird too.

            If their idea was something like "The Bundesliga is a big football competition" they went way way off.


            That sentence does sound a little off and I'm native English


            Yes, it happened to me in the Welsh course, I got an email from Duolingo telling me that my request for considering the answer as correct was approved. Few weeks ago. On other languages i must admit that never happened



            Hi AlexDiaconescu,

            You suggested “plîs Ga i losin ” as a translation for “May I have sweets, please?” We now accept this translation. :)

            Thanks for the contribution, please keep it up!

            • rmcode from Duolingo

            [deactivated user]

              I guess they're more open to include alternate answers than to correct/adjust the main answer. Dunno, maybe that would screw up the algorithm?


              If you select "my answer should be accepted" your answer shows up in the incubator and if it then is accepted a button can be pressed which results in the email.

              On any other feedback you give it is impossible to let you know that something was done with that. There is no option to respond, nor is it visible who gave the feedback.

              Also don't take sentences for being true, it could have said that the Bundesliga is a country.

              In the case of the other sentence I assume you wouldn't have any issues with The victory was unambiguous. However, damit probably is a bit hard to translate directly into English. Though, damit translates best to with that. So for the purposes of learning the sentence was probably formulated like that.

              [deactivated user]

                it could have said that the Bundesliga is a country.

                I guess it could... I mean, I can take bears reading newspapers in kind of a cartoonish kind of way, but the Bundesliga being a country...

                I assume you wouldn't have any issues with The victory was unambiguous

                In sports terms that would be "The win was clear" simply... "Win" is usually more used in sports than "victory" and "unambiguous" is being a bit pompous for no special reason. If we want a big word "unequivocal" sounds better.

                That said, the whole sentence could've probably been "So with that, the win was clear."

                Thanks for your input.


                I've seen tons upon tons of these unfixed errors in courses such as French for Spanish speakers and Italian for Spanish speakers. Even the comments in the Discussion section of the phrases are all complaining about the answers, but they never fix them. Some even have strange sounding "correct" answers. I guess there comes a time where after a few years they just stop fixing questions? I don't know, but it would be really nice if they had people looking over reports.


                I believe the only contributor for the French for Spanish speakers course is jrikhall, so that could have something to do with it.


                Same for Italian. No action at all. I think the contributors may just be too busy with real life obligations. That’s completely understandable, but maybe they then need to add some people to the team.

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