https://www.duolingo.com/Raisinnoir

Why are some well meant suggestions erased?

Dulingo has been good to me, and I feel I have been good to Duolingo. I don't understand at all why any mention of the merits of the former Activity stream is quickly removed. Sadly, it was abused by trolls and spammers. On the other hand it was a unique and helpful feature of Duolingo. If it is really impossible to reinstate it in a modified form so as to enable us to at least acknowledge our followers and provide help to them, that is disappointing. Perhaps wiser heads than mine can offer an answer, Thank you.

March 15, 2018

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/BradR11

I am unclear regarding what type of help you are unable to give to people posting on Duolingo. On the few occasions I have not been able to find the answer I seek on the Search function, I have posted my question and received multiple useful suggestions, answers or tips. I have tried to respond to others in the same manner.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Raisinnoir

Thanks for your response. oh, you're right. Questions can be asked and answered as you say. However, we used to be able to thank someone for fpollowing us, as well as asking questionz of those we followed. For example, I was greatly helped by many German speakers who would notice a mistake I'd make and correct me in my stream. I could then ask further questions in the speaker's stream. I learned so much from these corrctions and I try to help others in return.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Camilla-danesa

oh yes, activity stream was very useful! I miss the back and forth so much!

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BradR11

I see how that could be useful. Can't you enter things you want to learn how to say in the online translators like Google Translate?

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl

Google Translate is a machine that wouldn't recognise an idiom if it tripped over it - hardly a replacement for an actual human being.
Type in "C'est l'arbre qui cache la forêt."and you receive the literal translation "It is the tree that hides the forest." whereas it is the French version of the English idiom "You cannot see the wood for the trees" meaning to be unable to understand a situation clearly because you are too involved in it.

I miss the activity streams immensely.

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie

That, and many other fishy translations made me use Google translate mainly as a dictionnary (not even the best one), or a way to identify a language I know nothing of (by copying and pasting an excerpt).

And try to interact with Google translate: how I miss the way I could dissect a particular usage with my German friends, then help them with similar French issues!
Another essential part was being notified of every activity anywhere from people you followed. As I'm active on several forums, it's hardly possible to keep track of my own comments, let alone those of the many good people you encounter here. Back in the days, I was sure of at least one of three things: I could be helpful by answering a pending question, or adding a useful precision; I could find some interesting information for myself; or I would read some enriching post in a form or another. I could even call or be called for help, directly on my stream.
And of course have a word of kindness to people following me, whether I follow them back or not: this I can't do anymore, and while I don't wish to follow litteral hundreds of persons I don't know, I hate to leave them in a void.
And let's not forget the easy, immediate way to contact a mod in dangerous situations: that happened!

Now, you just have to cross fingers and hope to meet again someone you had a meaninful exchange with, it's quite difficult to further it or generally help, and I always fear cluttering the forum or going off topic, even if what we say is perfectly legit.

I, too, Ripcurl, can't get over the Activity Streams…

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl

Vabelie, you might like to join the WordRef forums. It is free to join and they are terrific for asking real people questions. There are a whole host of different language speakers there helping one another. Click on the "Log in / Sign up" button in the far, top right-hand corner of the screen.

https://forum.wordreference.com/

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl

Oh, and many of your friends (& mine) - Gabrielle, Siri, Bouchka, Prenom Pierre, CommuneTexane - are on translatihan.com .

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie

Oh dear, I must, I must join Translatihan, and I've just been invited to some sort of club by a newer group of Duo people. Where does time fly…

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16

Google Translate is the proof that human language teachers, translators, and interpreters will never go out of business. For single words, it works very well but for anything more, it only does word for word literal translations which often have very little relation to reality. Check the examples by Ripcurlgirl on this page.

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl

I just thought of any even funnier example;

EN "When pigs fly!" = FR " Quand les poules auront des dents ! ". But, of course, GT spat out "Quand les cochons volent !" : D

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal

Hi Raisinnoir,

Could you relocate this discussion in the “Troubleshooting" forum? Which is the place meant for such discussion ("How Duo works?", "What is/How works this or that feature/thing?", etc.). Thx!

To relocate it (*), edit your original post then select said forum in the drop-down menu on top-left of the edition area (see here for details).

(*) /!\ please, don’t create a new one /!\

Have a look to this short guide to help you knowing where to post your (future) discussions on Duolingo’s forums.


I don't understand at all why any mention of the merits of the former Activity stream is quickly removed.

Would you have links to discussions where such comments disappeared or links to discussions about it that disappeared?

I found

but cannot find one of your posts that both contains "activity"(°) and has been erased.

(°) Your account indicates 9 of them.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss

How long have you been away? More than a year?

The Activity stream was removed longer ago even BEFORE February 2017 when the Scala re-written web portal was mass rolled out (with no activity, no PN).

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/adder3

Hello. Immersion was removed in January 2017 then Activity a few months later in April. See announcement https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22226909

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Raisinnoir

Thanks for the link. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I missed a week last April and have just now read the announcement.

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/peterviuz

Maybe you could tell me where these announcements appear. After two years using Duo, I have never seen one! Thanks!

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Raisinnoir

I would get them via e-mail. But I check Discussion every day; usually one would find announcements posted there.

March 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/peterviuz

OK, thanks!

March 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchWarriorCat

What was the Activity Stream?

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie

Please WarriorCat (lovely username and avatar, I'm a non-warrior French cat person ;p), read my answer to Ripcurlgirl above, it's that in a nutshell…

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchWarriorCat

So you speak to natives on Activity Stream? And they help you improve on the language, right?

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal

More precisely, you could post about anything at any time and at any rate. And that was the issue for Duolingo: too many messages, flooding and overloading its servers.
Between investing more and more and more money into more and more servers to support every time more things there and putting money and time on other things, Duo made the latter choice.

Combined this with the fact that they were (and still are) upgrading the infrastructure: they decided that rather than starting to upgrade it to soon stop it due to the previous choice/reason, better to stop it when they did.

That's at least what I understood of what Duo's shared about its end.

Yes there were a very useful and right use of it, but also (and, it seemed to me, at a far larger scale) an use as a (unrelated to languages) chat platform by another part of the community.

I hope it'll give some ideas about what can be the reasons why Duo took the (good or bad, when all taken into account) decision to shut it down.
It's not all black or all white, it was not just "you speak to natives on Activity Stream and they help you improve on the language". If it were only that use then it would not have loaded so much Duo's servers and I'm personally convinced that it would not have been terminated.


Plus, without any (easy) control that the content doesn't break Duo's Guidelines. This may not have help the case when staff debated to keep it or not.
Note: Please, no over- and/or misinterpretation of that last point. I'm not saying it's one of the reason (even less THE reason) why it has been terminated, just that it wasn't something that played in favour of keeping it while Duo started to thing about stopping it or not.

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Raisinnoir

Thanks for your comprehensive explanation. The thought just occurred to me that perhaps something like a Followers stream could be created, whereby members could acknowledge followers and questions or answers be strictly language related.. Just an idea.

March 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal

and questions or answers be strictly language related.

This would therefore need to be monitored (otherwise it'll never be respected by a non negligible part of the users)...

March 20, 2018
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