Reporting in the Latin Course - Where, What, What NOT, and How to Report
First things first - thank you all for being so eager to help improve the Latin course! The enthusiasm (and the help!) is appreciated.
Now, on to business. :)
Where to report
Please do not report in the sentence discussions!
Reporting in the sentence discussions is far less likely to be seen by the contributors, not as helpful because we can't see your exact answer (so we can't tell at a glance if it's something we've already changed that isn't yet working on the user-side, if you actually had a typo, etc.), it adds clutter to the discussion that will only confuse other learners after the problem is fixed, until someone sees it and deletes it (which is more unnecessary work for the moderators), the tools we have in the Incubator for dealing with reports can't do anything with them, etc.
Instead, please use the report button in the lesson. This goes directly to the contributors in the Incubator, where it will be seen sooner or later, gives us more useful information, works with our tools, and helps keep the forum clean and reserved for questions and answers as it's intended to be. Here is where the report button is located:
What to report
- Bad audio
- Missing or incorrect hints (but bear in mind that the hints are for the entire course, not sentence specific, so a hint may apply to one sentence but not another)
- Missing translations IF there is no error at all, not even a typo
- Incorrect existing translations
What NOT to report
- Anything containing a typo (there's a good chance it would have been accepted if it weren't for the typo, try again without the typo before reporting)
- Bugs (the contributors can't do anything about that, send a bug report instead)
- Other technical issues (those belong in the Troubleshooting forum)
- Anything in a language other than English or Latin (sorry, this course is Latin for English speakers and other languages will not be accepted)
- Anything containing an emoji (we will not be adding emojis to the translations and are not responsible for your answer being rejected if you use them)
- Questions (we have no way to respond)
- Profanity/Insults (missing translations are nothing personal, and not generally because we don't know the language, things just get missed. And we are real people reading the reports, not robots)
- The primary English answer using American English (Duo is an American company and primarily uses American English. If a British English answer is not accepted, report that, but don't expect it to be made the main answer)
- Sentences ending in prepositions (no, it's actually not a capital offence)
- Sentence not agreeing with your personal preferences (teaching you a sentence about a particular view is not pushing anything, it's teaching you how to express your own views and understand when others express theirs)
- Anything not grammatically correct, even if it's a literal translation (eg. "Marcus is boy" will not be accepted, it must have an article)
- Anything that it's already been explained in the sentence discussion why it isn't accepted (if you want to argue, do so in the sentence discussion politely and with sources)
- The audio using the Classical pronunciation instead of your favourite
- A translated/anglicised version of a name (no, we will not accept those, keep names as they are)
- The lack of slow audio (Latin uses recordings, not TTS, so will not have turtle speed)
How to report
Before reporting anything, please read the entire sentence discussion! If there's nothing in the sentence discussion about it, check a trusted source (or at least do a quick Google search) to make sure you're right. An example of where this would save us time is "Quis est ea", for which we've received multiple reports that it should be "quae", which is either plural (in which case the verb would not be "est") or a relative pronoun (when we need the interrogative pronoun). That's only one example, there are many others.
- Report missing translations as "My answer should be accepted". If you have details or an explanation to go with it, you can add these as a freewrite report (preferable if you have the option). Freewrite reports don't get tied to the answer you submitted, so it's good give a little context. Only use a sentence discussion to explain an answer if you don't have the freewrite option and it really needs an explanation. The contributors do speak both English and Latin and rarely will need an explanation, usually it will be quite obvious, including British English translations.
- Report any other issue with a sentence in a freewrite report. If that option is unavailable to you, you may use the sentence discussions as a last resort. Only do this if absolutely necessary, meaning there are no other options available (this is most likely to be the case with a translation that is accepted but should not be).
- Report issues with image exercises in a discussion in the Latin forum. Remember to note which exercise it concerns and the exact problem.
- When it comes to the report option "This sentence is unnatural or has an error", it really is too vague to be of any help. Clearing these reports is just a time sink to us.
- Report audio issues as "Audio does not sound correct." Do not report audio just because it uses Classical pronunciation.
- Questions go in the sentence discussion if they're relevant to its content or grammar, and in the relevant sub-forum if not. We're unable to directly answer questions asked through freewrite reports; it's a one-way channel.
Before reporting that your answer should be accepted, please read the sentence discussion and check that your answer doesn't contain:
- a typo
- an untranslated word
- a duplicated word
- a disagreement between the subject and the verb
- an "a/an" error (it's a classic)
- an unnatural word order
- an emoji or non-standard character
- a non-standard contraction
- slang or -very- regional regionalisms
- an English word that hasn't seen regular use for the past 500 years
- a translated name
- "Corrina" - it's "Corinna", and you'd be surprised how many reports I've seen with "Corrina" already
And double check that it isn't missing:
- a word
- an apostrophe
- an article where one is required in English
If your answer is completely identical to the translation displayed, in spelling, punctuation, and capitalisation, and still graded as incorrect, this is a bug. Any translation you're shown is present in our list of accepted translations. If you want to report it, please do so through the bug form, and remember to add a screenshot.
We know there are many missing translations at present, especially with Latin word order. We are working on it! Unfortunately, it takes time for the answers we add in the Incubator to begin to be graded as correct, sometimes two weeks or even longer. We can't control that, so you may well have an answer marked as incorrect that we've already added. Please don't assume that this is the case, still report it (we miss things, we're human!), but bear in mind that, while it's frustrating to be marked wrong for something that's perfectly fine, we're doing the best we can for you. :)
We also know that the audio doesn't have the slow/turtle speed. This is because Latin uses voice recordings rather than TTS, and will not change.
If anything's unclear, feel free to ask questions in the comments. :)
Once again, thank you all for all your help!
Thank you very much!
but bear in mind that, while it's frustrating to be marked wrong for something that's perfectly fine, we're doing the best we can for you. :)
I know that. It's really amazing: I've got a reply to my report within hours. Absolutely amazing.
Many, many thanks for everything you do -- and I'll try to keep your reporting guidelines in mind.
Most of it does, yes. But there are some differences between courses (for example, for most courses we would tell you not to report a word that hasn't seen regular use for the last 500 years in either language!) and some teams have slightly different preferences (eg. some would prefer the ultra-vague reports to SD comments),and we want to keep the number of stickies on the general forum limited, so personally I think it would be better for every course to have its own version. Some actually do already, I borrowed extensively from the one Deliciae wrote for the Norwegian course (in the Weekly Norwegian series).
Thank you guys for posting these guidelines. I hope my submissions have been in line with these standards so far. :)
Something that I'd really like to recommend to admin is that they include a short freewrite report option on all platforms, in addition to the boxes, in all courses, especially in older ones. There is nothing more frustrating than finding an error which does not correspond in any possible way to the boxes present. There should at least have a box marked "other."
Btw, I just checked a report box in the Latin course. The possibilities were: audio unclear, hover suggestions missing or wrong, or the Latin sentence had a problem. But what if the English translation given were wrong? Or something else?
From what I recall of your comments that I've seen I think you've done pretty well. :) But now you've read this I'll have higher standards... ;-)
Believe me, we'd like freewrite reports to be available on all platforms as well, and we've asked for it. The choke point is probably mostly that we're asking for some modifications to the freewrite system first to make them more useful for us (on reasonably mature courses 99% of freewrites, like everything else, are useless, and we get more abuse in freewrites than any other report type).
There are often both "correct solution" and "sentence" error reports. The "correct solution" is for the sentence you were told is the correct translation, the "sentence" is for the sentence you had to translate. Those are too vague to be much help in most cases, so use "my answer should be accepted" if at all applicable (if you were shown a translation with "a apple" and had "an apple" rejected, that will do the trick), freewrite if you have it. If you have no report options except for audio and hints, you can use the SD as a very last resort. Make sure you're very clear on exactly what happened, remember we can't see anything, and also mention what device you're using and what report options you had. That will let us tell you if one of them would have been appropriate for the situation, and helps us keep up to date on what options are avaiilable.on different platforms.
Yes, that is exactly what I have done. Well, no, sometimes, rarely, I just throw my hands in the air and don't report anything, just move on. I am sorry to hear that there are vicious people out there that would abuse the reporting feature. I guess a lot of people cannot keep their emotions from taking over their brains.
For those of us who don't abuse, freewriting would be sooo much better. Just a few words of explanation in a box versus opening up the SD, searching if anyone else has discussed the concern, and getting interested in other user's concerns, responding to them... that's exactly why I sometimes spend hours on Duolingo doing what could be done much, much faster...
@iiai: Freewrite reports contain profanity/abuse/insults far too often for my liking, in my experience. I might see them more often in my main course (Japanese) just because it's got a high volume of users - or maybe because it's inherently a very frustrating language for English speakers to learn. But I find myself regularly insulted and defamed in freewrite reports, so sometimes I'd honestly prefer that they weren't on any platform at all. It's hard to want to do your best to improve a course only to come across people sending you profanity-filled insults on a regular basis, especially since some of the problems (such as audio) are out of the contribs' control...D:
@ehartz, wow, so sorry to hear about that abuse. How about this idea: to submit a freewrite, or indeed even any report, you have to enter your username and real-life name? I think the anonymity of the reports encourages abuse. They might think twice if they have to sign their name.
@jairapetyan It would be reduced some, but from the number of people who happily spam the forums where their username is visible to the whole world I don't know how much it would help. We have some other things in mind, but unfortunately dev time is limited in the Incubator just like everywhere else, and there are many other things we're asking for as well.
I just started the latin course a couple of hours ago. I use a Samsung tablet. On one of the pages the answer (multiple choice) was written over the printed text. I tried to report it but I had only the 2 standard reporting options. I know that you probably have very little to do with programming the user interface, but how do you report something like that?
I do not have a reply option for your answer, Heike so I just edit the first remarks.
I would love to use the bug report, however i do not seem to have one on my tablet.:-)
In this case, you should use the bug report and include a screenshot.
Yes, that's it. If the audio is really, really bad and you get a listening exercise you can report it for a TTS language as well (if it's really bad we can disable the type what you hear), but don't bother otherwise as we can't disable it anywhere else and can't improve it, and in all likelihood already know just how bad it is.
Just a small sample of a few reports I've cleared today that we don't want:
On "Puer non dormit, sed puella dormit.":
- The blog is not sleeping but the girl is sleeping.
- The bot does not sleep but the girl sleeps.
On "Soror in urbe est, sed frater domi est.":
- The sister is in the city but the bother is at home.
On "Livia is a woman.":
- Livia puella est.
- Livia est puella.
On "Corinna is a girl.":
- Corrina puella est.
- Corinna peulla est.
On "Quis est mater?":
- father not mother
You get the idea...
It is a balancing act knowing whether to report. For example I myself have reported a number of things and received your very pleasant automated replies as a result when they are approved however I also suffer from dyslexia so I might not see that I’ve got a spelling mistake. Literally I might be completely and utterly unable to notice there is a letter missing - so given your very firm stance on typos It becomes an issue of report and irritate you or don’t bother and hope someone else will do so. Which do you prefer?
I also feel I must say that it’s simply not possible to ‘try it again without the typo’ unless you do the same lesson multiple times and hope that that particular question will come up again. We don’t have a ‘go back and do it again specifically button’ do we?
The firm "don't report if you have a typo" is primarily for two kinds of people. Those who know they have a typo and report anyway (many people report things they feel should be accepted as typos, which is something we can't control), and those who don't check. If you've checked carefully and don't see a typo, go ahead and report. If you're reporting in good faith, having done due diligence, we won't complain if you make a mistake sometimes. It happens to us all, even to course contributors who have spent many an error practicing their typo spotting skills. (EDIT: And this was a perfect example... I really did not see that I wrote "error" instead of "hour")
My experience is that when doing lessons, if I make a mistake on a sentence, I always get that sentence again in that very lesson, usually at the end, which means you're not only getting another chance but you're getting it soon enough to remember what you tried before.
Believe me, we do that kind of thing too. After going through a couple hundred reports I can find myself staring at one wondering why it isn't green (if the reported sentence is entered in the accepted translation, it shows as green) for a full five minutes before I finally realise there's an entire word duplicated or missing.
No problem! :-) Our brains are used to automatically filling in the letters they expect from experience.
This is what makes reporting so difficult if you are not aware of the issue. We have to read our supposedly correct sentences extremely carefully before sending them.
If you're not sure, don't report. Instead, ask in the discussion if it's acceptable (don't just post it, specifically ask "Is this also correct?", making sure to specify exactly what the entire sentence is). Then if it's confirmed it's fine and you run into it again, report away!
Also, please read what other people have posted before posting your own concern. The discussions get really long, filled with people asking the same questions that have already been answered. (And ironically those users seldom come back to read if their question was answered)!
There aren't millions on any particular discussion. :) If you have a question about a particular sentence, read the discussion attached to that sentence, it's not all that long, and if it's about something general rather than a specific sentence you can use the search function on the main forum page (or Google). :)
Trofaste, when I get an e-mail saying someone has responded to a discussion I'm following and I click on it, it no longer opens on the comment but at the top of the page. This has been going on for around 6 months. Did Duolingo make a change that is causing this or do you think this is caused by something else? It has become very time consuming trying to find comments on threads, especially if they have over 50 comments, and you know some discussions have 300 to 400 + comments. I have spent over 10 minutes going up and down this page trying to find the thread of a comment I wanted to read without any luck yet. I turned in a Bug Report months ago to no avail.
That's because the link changes to a broken one (for example the link to your comment changes to https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33853120$from_email%3Dcomment&comment_id%3D34044750). Change %3D to = and it should work again.
They also work on the mobile browser, by the way.
Good comments and questions are upvoted, sometimes with a lingots. There are not millions, because I can read them all, in a few minutes, for each sentences.
Really, if you do like I do, read everything, you will see you'll progress faster, as the grammatical discussions teach us more than the course itself, and trying to answer other users' questions is a real challenge.
Doing a Duolingo course without reading the grammatical forum is 80% less efficient, at least!
Please people upvote the good questions or interesting answers, make them visible with lingots and upvotes.
I only report if I'm sure, as best as I can (I've had cases (in other languages) when right after reporting I realized that I had misread something ... But in these cases I seriously scold me! ;-)).
If I'm not certain, I go to the sentence discussion to see whether others have had the same issue, and to state the issue if this is not the case.
If after the sentence discussion I'm sure that I was right, I wait for the sentence to come up again, and report it.
Let's see what others think about it. :-)
(Cross-posted with Trofaste)
Even course contributors are guilty of misreading or using the wrong language sometimes... The number of times I've reported sentences about cheese and realised just after clicking the button that I had the wrong language, after carefully scrutinising my translation for any errors, is ridiculous. If you do it in good faith and make a mistake occasionally, we won't complain. :)
You mentioned something I left out and shouldn't have... Read the discussion to see if it's already been discussed before asking! About anything. If only everyone always read the whole discussion before posting the moderators' lives would be so much easier...
Ah, thanks; I'll try to remember to use them (I already have an easy shortcut key for them from Danish).
I imagine that, much of the time, it's going to treat a single ligature as a typo, however, and not give me any opportunity to send a report; some sort of coded-in solution would certainly be better.
Hi, thanks for the course! I really think it is a great example of the best Duolingo can offer, a nice introduction and a gentle nudge "hey, try Latin" to the general population, and a new way to practice. Yes, despite the missing alternatives and despite being short and so on. It is the first version and it is in beta. And it is made by an awesome team of volunteers! And from what I've heard, you've been doing great and adding stuff really fast. I wish it existed ten years ago, that's my only complaint. Make a time machine and deliver it to my teenage me, she'll be grateful. :-) Thanks!
Freewrite reports are a field that let you type in a report yourself instead of using one of the checkbox options. They're located in the same place as the other reports if you have them. I believe they're currently only available on Android (maybe on iOS as well, I'm not sure).
Thanks for the clarification. I've reported a number of things using both the report button and the sentence discussion. Despite that, I think this is the start of what will be a great course. The course creators are to be congratulated and thanked for all their hard (and rapid!) work.
Thanks for the cohesive guide! I would like to point out that users can't take back reports, so that may be one of the reason why there are many bad reports. There have been several instances where I report a "mistake" only to immediately realize that I misread part of the sentence (Latina lingua versus Latinis litteris is a common one for me). I apologize for sending several bad reports!
That definitely accounts for some of them, but very likely only a small percentage. On a mature course, 95% of reports are useless (99.99% in the early skills, it's a bit lower in later ones where there are more advanced sentences where it's easier to miss something or make a mistake), and I'm doubtful that the majority of those would be retracted. But I agree that it would be nice if we could.
It's hard to concentrate on the languages I SHOULD be working on (and the laundry I SHOULD be putting away ...) when I've fallen so happily in love with the Latin course. Thank you for the amazing amount of time and paperwork you have put in to this irresistible cat toy of a game.
I've seen people suggest this, but it is not an option in the Duolingo backend. You have to use the recorder there as far as I understand. Perhaps someone with more Duolingo audio experience or on the staff can chime in about a workaround? Creating the audio was frustrating sometimes and we are trying to make it better. I know how to use Audacity and would love to use it for this project if possible, but I will need some guidance.
I'd like to remind everyone to please be mindful of our guidelines. We all have personal opinions towards subjects or content that we may come across; however, we wish to keep the forums a safe environment for everyone. Simple respect goes a long way.
Instead of having a discussion here, I encourage users to report content that they believe should be reported. This can be done by using the report function in sentences, or by reporting the sentence or phrase in Abuse.
Any guidance on usage of simple present vs present continuous, like "you visit" vs "you are visiting"? It seems like the course so far uses one or the other or both for different sentences.
Also regarding synonyms, like nice/kind? And verb phrases, like making a journey, going on a journey, being on a journey, or just journeying. Can you give us any general rules for how far you want to go in accepting these kinds of variations?
Latin doesn't distinguish between simple and continuous, so both should be accepted as long as they fit the English sentence. If one isn't accepted, check to make sure there's no other error and that the sentence actually makes sense, and report.
Synonyms - check a good Latin/English dictionary. Keep in mind that words often used as sunonyms aren't always full synonyms (the ponies are nice vs the ponies are kind, for example) and make sure the meaning is the same or a valid meaning of the word you're translating. If you're not sure, then that's what the sentence discussions are for!
Verb phrases - don't go archaic (the same rule applies to English sentence structures as to words, if it hasn't seen regular use in the last 500 years don't report), but apart from that, as long as it's corect English/Latin that makes sense in the context and either means exactly the same or is also a valid meaning, go ahead and report, after checking the SD.
Sentences ending in prepositions
I was given the sentence "Unde venis?" and the answer "From where do you come?" was not accepted. I reported it. It seems that prepositions at the end of a sentence are actively preferred over ones at the beginning.
Report any other issue with a sentence in a freewrite report.
In my experience, that option is available only on the Android app. When will it be added to the website?
They're not preferred, it's just whatever is most natural. "Where do you come from?" is more common than "From where do you come?", so it makes sense to use it as the main translation. The other should of course be accepted, it's just one answer that was missed when the sentence was created.
We have no idea when freewrites will be added to the website. We've asked for it, but there are also some changes we want made first, which is probably a large part of the hold up.
I tend to forget that the norwegians have started the unlikely rumour that they have a language of their own. (Until 1907 the official written language in Norway was Danish.....Hmmm that is now more than 100 years ago - tempus fugit).
Still, norwegians are extremely nice people so i'll just pretend to go along with the rumour.
@trezapoioi1 We're not saying there's any problem with using "city", and it won't be removed from the translations. :) The point about the ambiguity in "city" was only saying that that's the only difference between "city" and "town" so both should be accepted as translations of "urbs".
Consonant gemination is a part Italian kept from Latin, and the biggest source of mistakes for foreign people learning Italian. Very few language geminate EVERY consonant, which makes it phonetically hard to recognise for those who don’t. Even people who’ve been in Italy for a long time and speak very fluently still make mistakes with doubles.
Thanks very much for your ongoing commitment to this course. There are a lot of us out there who have always wanted to learn Latin but in the same manner as “living languages” are taught. We’re very happy you can provide us with such a course. Please keep up the great work!
"Sentence not agreeing with your personal preferences (teaching you a sentence about a particular view is not pushing anything, it's teaching you how to express your own views and understand when others express theirs)"
I'm not defending people who get mad and write all sorts of things because they disagree with something, but some people take their views as right and instead of trying to understand why people are mad and then just say "learn to listen other people"
the thing is that some people feel like the course is trying to represent that one idea they dont disagree with because depending on your background or your culture something is seen as bad, its not duo's duty to change that, this creates division and makes some people go away either because some people say very offensive things in response to the sentence or because they dont like the course pushing some views. I would love to see a course using texts that go away from politics and ideologies on most skills and being neutral unless you are talking about the "politics" skill.
to be fair, sometimes it seems like the developers are raising a flag of what they support like I have seen in some courses with Marxist citations, Feminist citations and some other things (that are obviously activism), the reason why people get the impression that those things are being pushed is because it seems to be unilateral and the personal conflict of writing something you dont like several times, duolingo is about language learning and while politics is part of using a language forcing people to write down something opposite of what they think regardless of what it is or if its right or wrong will cause an unnecessary discomfort, if at least they could get some phrases from their own beliefs there it would be more fair, but that would mean that Duolingo is trying to be political and that is not what Duolingo was supposed to be.
how would you feel if the course had something totally contrary to what you believe in and you had to write it down several times to conclude the course and learn the language which should be our main objective? we all know what could happen if we had ideas contrary to what usually appears on duo's courses here, it would be total chaos all over the internet because every side thinks they are correct, forcing them to write that down several times does nothing to help the language learning process or people in the real world, I personally would love to learn a language without any kind of political view being expressed or pushed, the world is already polarized enough, politics is made to be discussed, it being on sentences seems like a monologue and makes people mad, that is not discussion, can we please study just a language? lets have phrases from old latin texts that cant be compared to our current world and then an optional skill with something political from current times preferably with both sides if you must include politics? I think everyone is getting tired of this happening everywhere on the internet
other than that, the course is amazing, something I was looking for for a long time since my native language is a romance language and I think that classical latin is fascinating, the efforts made by the team to record the course and put it together are amazing, congratulations to all of you for that
Thank you for taking the time to contribute to this course! I started it today and I must admit that I might have reported some sentences that were actually not correct, but I realized it afterwards. I deleted the comment in the sentence discussion but there's not way to "delete" the report, so for those I apologize. I'm seeing this discussion just now.
On a different matter, is there a way to "jointly" contribute to a Spanish-Latin course using this course's material? I searched on the different incubators and there's no Latin from Spanish course either in "beta", "in progress" or "hatching". And if one could use this course's material and transpose it to Spanish it would be great (I'm a Spanish native speaker if you need help with that). I didn't sign up to be a Spanish-Latin contributor because I don't actually speak Latin yet, but maybe doing a Latin-English-Spanish bridge or something?
Keep it up and thank you!
Loving the Latin course so far, but I have had quite a lot of perfectly correct answers marked as incorrect, even when they match the suggested correct answer word for word. The main problem is that the option to report 'My answer should have been accepted' is missing from the list of reportable incidents. Thanks so much for providing the Latin course for us :)
Without sounding too ungrateful of the people who volunteered their time, what should we do about some of the recordings that are difficult to understand? There's a few of the volunteers that clearly are enunciating well, but either their equipment or their environment is not the best for recording, and without headphones turned up, I can't make out what they're saying.
It's probably because, either the creators of the course don’t know another language sufficiently enough to create a Spanish-Latin, German-Latin etc. course. Or it’s that they are testing the waters with the English-Latin course (as it is in Beta right now) and will eventually work on another language to learn Latin with after it’s out of Beta.
Could they put a warning in the course when we enroll to a new course. Because I'm very tired to see that the forum are flooded by reports about sentences, word orders, and pronunciations.
I know they don't do it on purpose, they simply don't understand how Duolingo works, even some people who attended many courses until the level 25 seem to misunderstand the way to report, and the purpose of the forums
So, I think Duolingo is guilty for this, more communication and information should be provided to the users, it would save a lot of time to everyone.
I wish we could have this, but it's not something we can do ourselves and, as usual, dev time is limited. And, unfortunately, many people wouldn't read it... It's clearly stated when a course is in Beta but some people still seem to think it should be perfect, which no course on or off Duo ever is even after years of work, let alone in Beta.
"Corinna is not a girl but a woman" is a perfectly good, grammatically correct English sentence. It's hard to introduce new words and write sentences that "flow nicely" to all of our ears with just a handful of Latin words. I think we should give the creators a break and only complain about English and Latin sentences that are grammatically incorrect or are being pronounced incorrectly.
I'd hate for them to develop sentences like "Oh, look and see. See Spot run. Run, run, run." until our vocabularies are sufficiently built up to write longer, more flowing sentences in English. But, primers are primers.
No offence to Sally, Dick, and Jane, Spot and Puff and their cousins across the pond, Peter and Jane, who did have a better primer, though.
Rather than have us report all the garbled audio, could there just be standards in place for those doing the audio recording so the audio is consistent? Simple things like don't record when there's a tv or radio on in the background or don't record quietly 3 feet away from you desktop mic.
All that said, it's a great course and this is nitpicky stuff, but these details are probably going to make or break the course's popularity.
Thank you all for the work! To be complete: ‘quae’ could also be used as an interrogative adjective. ‘An example of where this would save us time is "Quis est ea", for which we've received multiple reports that it should be "quae", which is either plural (in which case the verb would not be "est") or a relative pronoun (when we need the interrogative pronoun). That's only one example, there are many others.’
Well, I suspected they'd go for classical, or "classical", even though I hoped for.. Ecclesiastic I think it's called? It was used for much longer, so I feel it's more "alive". Also that's how I studied it at school and as an Italian I find it phonetically more comfortable and well sounding. More like an actual language, less like imitating something old and unused. But well, that's a point of view. (A point of view from Italy, however, this should count when talking about Latin)
It's funny, when I was in school, classical just seemed more pure, in some abstract sense, and so that was my preference and was happy to learn it in the one or two odd classes I chose to take. Having been out in the world some time now, my opinion has drifted to your point of view as a matter of practicality.
Really, why do people study Latin at all? Probably mainly to dabble in a "proto"-language for English or the Romance languages, or to study ancient/classical texts, or to participate in the Church. Or a very few for academic/linguistic research. Unless they can dig up Cicero's old YouTube channel, I'm not sure what relevance classical pronunciation has, outside of academic research.
But I wonder how many people cling to that idea that classical is preferable, just because. I hope your point is well taken.
A problem with classical is that no one is native with its phonology, so people make it sound like they’re talking a constructed language, while Ecclesiastic is comfortable enough for us that we can make it sound fluent. When I was France one year during.. high school I guess you’d call it, I had to take the Latin option (in Italy it wasn’t optional, you just did it), even knowing it would be at a lower level. At some point the teacher, who used Classic, asked me to read a poem and he was surprised by how well it sounded in Ecclesiastic.
In Italy, even in scientific high school, Latin is studied to move on to Latin Literature. The main focus is on reading and grammar skills, rather that actually using it as a language. Some writing is sometimes required to prove you’re confident with the words and grammar.
Guys, just listen to the captions in the course, who would want to hear Horace pronounced as if Latin was a constructed language. Classical would sound good pronounced by Horace, but modern people can probably just butcher it. It sounds awful. Duolingo is for languages, this course doesn’t probably even give you the tools to actually read Classical Latin (way too short to go in-depht enough, is for instance ablative absolute taught? All the tenses?) With a course like this you probably get to a basic communication level, for which Ecclesiastic would make more sense (it’s alive!) and many people are native to its phonology, meaning it doesn’t sound as forced and unnatural as Classic does here.
Imagine learning a language, but just with phonological rules, without ever hearing anyone who can actually pronounce it correctly. It’ll always sound like a constructed artificial language. If you don’t believe this go and compare this courses captions with those of High Valyrian and those of actual loving languages. Even Esperanto sounds more like a real language.
"Duolingo is for languages, this course doesn’t probably even give you the tools to actually read Classical Latin (way too short to go in-depht enough, is for instance ablative absolute taught?"
The course is in beta. It will be longer in further trees.
The Spanish course can't teach you to discuss politics in a café in Madrid or to read Pablo Neruda. That doesn't make the courses invalid.
There are sources for Ecclesiastical Latin. When we add more audio we need to be consistent for the learners.
It hurts your soul? I'm sorry you feel that way, but the Classical pronunciation sounds beautiful. Ovid doesn't sound right if you use the Ecclesiastical pronunciation.
Each has its place.
Is that what he said when you asked him? Because he told me something completely different!
Reconstructed doesn't mean a blind stab in the dark. We have quite a bit of evidence from how poetry is arranged (Ovid in particular is very helpful) and from one Roman who described the sound.
Ecclesiastical Latin is also artificial. It was an attempt to maintain what they thought it sounded like, never realizing the Latin was changing little by little.
I really don't understand how anyone can get that upset about either one. They both sound nice. You'll be hard pressed to find a Latin professor tell you one or the other is wrong.
What I mean is, even without a stab in the dark, it’s based on rules we know about a language we’ve never heard. Like trying to pronounce Chinese, but all you have is a handbook explaining the phonology. As well written as the handbook can be, it will never be enough to speak the language as someone who actually knows it.
Ecclesiastical Latin has changed too. You can't be sure what we hear now in a Latin Mass is how Charlemagne's scribe would have pronounced it. In fact, we can be pretty sure it would be different.
There is no consistency among Ecclesiastical Latin speakers since they all are influenced by their native language.
Actually, it is far more likely that Latin courses for native Italian and Spanish speakers go live than multiple English based courses. If a course were created in Italian, I suspect that it might have the Ecceliastical pronunciation. Either way, the Latin would then be spoken more fluently (no offense intended). I would suspect that a Spanish based course would probably retain a Spanish accent. The Duolingo course for Spanish purports to be Latin American, and it is certainly so in terms of accent, but they have recently added lessons on vosotros. It's not Castilian, certainly not in accent which some people seem to think is the only proper Spanish, although I would personally dislike a Castilian Latin accent, and it's not Mexican, but it gives one the tools to speak in both places and to read the Bible and classical Spanish texts.
I think it would also be pretty cool if we could play with Latin through Catalan and Romanian. Duolingo hasn't been around too long and I am curious to see where all this goes.
Interesting point! Portuguese is also the Brazilian one, which kinda makes sense. Does Duolingo choose or do the people who contribute to the course? Are people who make a course that already has a course in another language supposed to use it as a template or do they have freedom in developing their one?
Usually Duolingo chooses or gives guidance to the contributors, if there isn't an obvious choice (I don't think it took much thinking to choose Parisian French for the French courses).
New courses are free to use an existing course as a template, if it fits their needs (they can always modify it) or build their tree from scratch, as they prefer. They're expected to use the same dialect as other courses using the language, but they choose the words, grammar, and the tree structure themselves.
Lmao I was joking around but aight. I am an immature little kid. I cant help it. Sorry for offending you I guess. Honestly though you should've just ignored me. I stopped reporting after reading this discussion anyways. By the way I don't need you chewing me out, Thanks. Goodbye.
"Sentence not agreeing with your personal preferences (teaching you a sentence about a particular view is not pushing anything, it's teaching you how to express your own views and understand when others express theirs)"
What does that even mean? If that refers to sentences like "Femina uxorem habet", then I would strongly recommend nevertheless that you stop trying to push the perversities of certain perverse groups and stick to the language skills.
What I mean by that is that your own view on homosexuality etc. (and our personal views, which should not be assumed from the sentences you see) is not really relevant. Whatever your view, it's a common subject of conversation, and as communication is what Duolingo teaches, we would be remiss if this were not included. You don't have to like something there's a sentence about, but you won't be able to express that or understand when others do if we don't teach you.
In other words, these are language skills.
I see. So then you'll be including sentences having to do with claims of racial superiority, sexualization of children, etc.?
Moreover, what constitutes a "common subject of conversation" is very culture specific. Just because you, in your very small circle, converse about the minute number of individuals involved in sham "marriages", doesn't mean that it's a common topic of conversation in general.
Like I said, lad, stick to the language skills, which, from what I've seen, give you all a hard enough time.
You're making a lot of assumptions about me, and the team in general, here.
I'd appreciate it if you didn't address me as "lad". You know neither my gender nor my age, and while you may not have intended it that way, it comes across as condescending and there's no need to risk that interpretation. :)
I actually have a large circle, of people from many different backgrounds from all over the world and with many different views. I have also read a variety of different news sites, from different places and with a wide range of political positions. This subject is common on all of them. They hold different views, but they all discuss it. You don't have to like it, but you can't ignore it because you don't like it.
As far as our language skills are concerned, bear in mind that this course entered Beta less than a week ago. All Beta courses contain many mistakes, not because the contributors don't speak the languages but because they're human, and human error happens. Also, even basic sentences like "I am a man, not a woman" have over 500 Latin translations to add, so even on the "simple" sentences it's not a small task and it's no surprise that translations get missed and occasionally something gets added that shouldn't. Even the most mature courses have mistakes, but that's not a reason to declare that the contributors don't speak the language.
Finally, the other topics you mentioned require far more advanced vocabulary than is used in Duolingo courses, which only take you to a basic level. If the courses are eventually expanded to the point where that level of vocabulary is taught, the question of how to approach them will be considered, but at this point it's not relevant. Once a student has reached that level, though, they'll be in a much better position to do their own research than they are at the basic level Duolingo teaches now, so it may not be as necessary.
@Trofaste. That user did make a lot of assumptions. I also have an assumption and it is that you are a remarkable human being, homo mirabilis. From my perspective, the Duolingo courses drill the basics of the language in a way that is very helpful. I spent some time with the German course in 2015 just before a trip to Europe and it nailed down many of the articles, which is probably the hardest thing about learning German. Latin feels similar to me, just more complex and difficult. I have not had any success trying to Latin through Youtube videos or Latin textbooks. I bought Wheelock's Latin back in 2014 when I began to use Duolingo for Spanish. Spanish was always hoped to be a backdoor into Latin.
Over time the German, French and Spanish cources on Duolingo have added a tremendous amount of content. Something in the area of 30 modules/units were added to the Spanish course this year and I haven't yet tested out of all of them. The vocabulary does get deeper, richer, and more sophisticated. It may take years, but the beauty of Duolingo is that it is constantly undergoing improvement.
I do wonder about some of the sentences. I am not offended by a husband having a husband or a wife having a wife, but all the violence toward parrots seems unnecessary. That's the only criticism I might have. I have been looking through the lessons behind each unit and it is better than Wheelock's textbook. In the end, this course is for linguaphiles and academics. But beginning with basic sentences in the present tense, and adding in examples from each case, is a terrific way of beginning to drill the language. I anticipate that when these case endings become unconscious, then I can go back and look through the grammatical tables, the declensions, and it will be helpful. For some reason self-taught Latin has never taken hold of me, but Duolingo does. Many thanks to you and the whole team for creating such an incredible resource.
Duolingo is proud that Duolingo’s learning content is LGBTQ+ inclusive. There is nothing wrong or perverse about a woman having a wife, and we course creators have no intention of removing inclusivity and diversity from our courses.
Sorry to disappoint you! ♥
I'm absolutely new to Duolingo, never heard of you prior to this afternoon, and I congratulate you on your insistence upon maintaining inclusivity and diversity in your courses. Perhaps a work around in this particular instance, since we are studying Classical Latin, would be to concentrate upon uniquely Roman standards and values when searching for ideas for translation exercises. It would, I'm sure, provide some entertaining posts condemning, or not, genocide, slavery, murder, blood sports, before we got to the considerably less destructive and painful topic of same sex relations.
There again I think I shall stick to inclusivity, diversity and most importantly tolerance. Keep up the good work ehartz and the rest of your colleagues. Thank you.