https://www.duolingo.com/ZhangtheGreat

English translations need to be more flexible

(If this topic has already been posted, I apologize. I did not see it in the discussions forum.)

Hello Duolingo,

As a native speaker of both Mandarin and English, and as a language teacher, I'm simply doing the course to test it out for my students, and I think some of the rigidity of the translations is hurting it greatly. I understand that the course has not been out for very long compared with others, and I know it can be difficult to cover every possible translation between two languages that are radically different, but the accepted translations right now aren't flexible enough.

I'll provide a few examples here from the "Future" lesson:

我三年没有来,这里的变化很大。

Currently Accepted: I haven't come here for three years. This place has changed a lot.

Currently Not Accepted: I haven't come in three years. This place has changed greatly.

明年我的弟弟会去英国留学。

Currently Accepted: My younger brother will go study abroad in the UK next year.

Currently Not Accepted: My younger brother will go to the United Kingdom to study next year.

你最害怕的事情是什么?

Currently Accepted: What is the thing that you fear the most?

Currently Not Accepted: What event are you afraid of the most?

These are just three of the many examples I've found. I am certain other users can provide more.

February 4, 2018

3 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/mondlichtnd

Agreed. This has a been a point of endless frustrating for me with this course, much more than any other course I've tried, and has even actively prevented me from using it from time to time. There are times where I have literally had to copy and paste their required answer, because very natural English responses aren't accepted.

February 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3

Wait until you get further in the Japanese course ;)

Obviously not an "excuse," but if you haven't done any other courses in the first few months of their being out, then you really don't have a basis for comparison.

February 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3

What frawardR said.

But you can't really be surprised that "What event are you afraid of the most?" hasn't been one of the first translations accepted, right? It's not exactly natural English word order.

February 6, 2018
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