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Erroneous Translations for Points

It has come to my attention that some people are translating articles erroneously after they were previously correct just to get points. For instance, I had translated several sentences from Spanish to English in an article and someone came behind me and edited them by adding a letter after the period or a comma just so they could get points. If someone has a better way of saying my sentences in English, I want them to correct them, but not someone who is making them incorrect on purpose. Is there a way to stop these people who are cheating the system?

April 3, 2013



I was wondering this too. Maybe there could be a list of editors and what edits they have made somewhere so these users abusing the system can be reported. That, or bots that auto-detect these kind of things, as the Wikipedia.


I work as a translator; and there is one rule of thumb for proofreaders: if the translation is not wrong, don't edit it. We have to respect our colleagues' work and only edit their translations if they contain mistakes or the style is very poor. Editing without strong reasons should be discouraged. Cheating by adding letters is absolutely unacceptable, but making minor preferential changes to good translations should not be very welcome, too.

My suggestion is:

  • Give as much skill points for editing as you give for just reading and confirming others' translation. If a user is only interested in points, he/she at least won't make the translation worse.

  • Make possible upvoting/downvoting the edits. If the user's edit gets upvoted (for example, if it gets a score of 3 or 5 - the exact number is to be determined), he gets additional points for his contribution. If not, well, then he does not get any more points. Another option: if any final translation version is made by Duolingo team, perhaps they could award the best contributors afterwards.

  • Make it possible to comment the edits. Discussions are fine but not very convenient to refer to specific edits.

These are only first thoughts, the final concept has to be tested and developed accordingly.


I noticed one that i worked on, the person re-edited a word from upper case to lower case and back to upper case. The last 20 sentences were then translated as 'hola'. Does it truly affect it if it is now marked as 100% translated.


I just came across what I believe to be one or more bots that are going through articles and using what appears to be either an auto-translate (I initially thought it was just a poor job, or someone translating from one non-primary language to another, which is very difficult).

Anyway, I went through several of their articles (and some of their friends whoo have a similar naming scheme) and noticed that for the most part they don't even bother with running the words through a auto-translation script, instead typing nonsense or simply copying the words in the original language and submitting it as a translation!

I'm with kaicce that there needs to be some kind of spam / bot reporting option for users so that these translations don't ruin the hard work of people who are spending actual time translating things well, not to mention the reputation and good work Duolingo is trying to accomplish.

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