https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

Please double check when you're reporting.

Salvete Beta Testers,

When you report a sentence, please double check your sentence for spelling errors. I'm currently one of the contributors going through the sentences and looking at all your suggestions. Common issues are things like:

Misspelling names like Marcus as Marucs

Misspelling verbs like agis as ages.

Skipping out on spaces, adding characters.

Not using the vocative, or using the vocative when not needed.

Adding in with locatives like Romae.

Accidentally using Latin words in English translations, specifically et. And the opposite also happens often.

Placing question words or -ne, not at the beginning of a sentence.

Reporting that a verb is or isn't used in a certain way, one user reported about five sentences raving that studere cannot be used intransitively. I looked it up in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, it can.

One thing that is really helpful is putting forth alternative translations, like using the dative of possession instead of habere, or amabo te instead of quaeso for please. I saw one learner used a dative of possession and am adding them as I see them.

Some of the audio-based feedback is great, but swearing at us isn't very productive. So remember to please keep it positive. Trust me, I know it's frustrating to get the red bar and the incorrect noise.

Valete

Colin

September 6, 2019

53 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

First, thank you Colin for slugging your way through the reports so I can catch my breath! You've done an amazing job at sorting that mess!

"Reporting that a verb is or isn't used in a certain way, one user reported about five sentences raving that studere cannot be used intransitively. I looked it up in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, it can."

I'd love to expand on this. We see this in other courses too. Just because one person wouldn't use a word a certain way does not mean that particular way is wrong.

There seems to be this worry that users are going to pick up "bad habits" from the course. Since most of us are preparing to read and not write Latin, those habits do not matter much. Once you start reading real Roman authors you'll start developing habits based on the hundreds of lines you read.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bartleby

I can't find the mentioned discussions about "studere", and it sounds a little strange, given that the verb almost always is used intransitively. However, the use of "studere" in the course is definitively worth discussion, as it is used in a way that is rare in classical texts.

And sure, users can correct their habits later. But why not teach good habits from the start instead?

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

I'm a Latin teacher. When I want to remind my class to study, I have to use studere this way. It might not be Classical, but neither are my students ;).

Sometimes we have to mix a little NeoLatin in to get the job done.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

From the OLD:

To devote onself (to a specified activity or study, the attainment of some object, etc.), concern oneself (with), concentrate (on), strive after, etc. (w. dat.). (w. inf.). (w. acc. and inf.). (w. final cl.). (w. gen.). (w. purpose, field of activity expr. by advl. phr.).

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bartleby

Yeah, but as far as I can see this still doesn't really cover using the word in an absolute sense for studying at a specified place without "a specified [...] study", as in the duolingo sentence "Livia non in urbe studet".

Lewis & Short gives a more complete picture than the OLD: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=studeo&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0059

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

No, I cited the first entry. But since you insist:

Studeo -ere -ui: Verb: Intr. Tr.

1: To devote onself (to a specified activity or study, the attainment of some object, etc.), concern oneself (with), concentrate (on), strive after, etc. (w. dat.). (w. inf.). (w. acc. and inf.). (w. final cl.). (w. gen.). (w. purpose, field of activity expr. by advl. phr.). (ellipt.).

2: (w. acc., usu. of neut. pron.) To make the object of one's concern, concentrate on.

3: (w. dat.) To be a partisan (of), support, favor (a person or his aims, a party, etc.); (absol.) to take sides, show favor.

4: (absol.) To apply oneself to one's books, study; (tr.) to study.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

But shouldn't studens be accepted for a student as well, in this case? When we as well have universitas and just studium universale or something?

(referring to the NeoLatin bit, L&S does also list the rare absolute usage of studeo in classical times)

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

That's the first definition for studeo. And consulting the Oxford Latin Dictionary, there are about eight ways to say student. Some more rare than others, so we don't want to dump every possible meaning of every word on students at once. Discipulus/a. Studens, actually isn't even a noun, it's an adjective from the present active participle of Studeo. It's not listed in either L&S or the OLD.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

Well, the OLD is strictly classical (even considered to be frustratingly so), L&S extends into the middle ages.

But herein lies the rub: We have words already, that work for student. We did not/have not a word which accurately describes a modern university. I know of many universities whose Classics Departments use Universitas in their title, Universitas Oxfordensis and my alma mater Universitas Iowensis for example.

I know it's studens in an obvious cognate, but it's not the most accurate one. We don't have words for coffee, car, or airplane attested in antiquity, so we have to devise them ourselves. But we do have words for table, chair, cup, and student, so why should we come up with new ones?

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

I wonder what I wrote so wrong or rude or cranky that I deserve just downvotes instead of a reply. That happens to me in our course too and it does hurt the willingness of any further cooperation or reporting.

But perhaps it seemed that I was just concentrating on one particular medieval university. That is not the case though.

It is not even the case that I googled desperately for any occasion of usage of the word. On the contrary, in several occasions I rather went for a particular document or author and searched there. It is however quite difficult to make a representative search without a good corpus of medieval university texts. The texts that relate to my alma mater are just the easiest to find for me and honestly, there were not that many other universities at the time.

And the same holds for Jan Hus for his letters are much easier to fiend, in comparison to other scholars from the same time, due to his role in the reformation and his burning at the stake in the council of Konstanz. You can try to search the occurences of discipuli and studentes in his correspondence. The collocations are quite different.

"discipuli Christi", "discipuli antichristi", "Hussonis heretici suis Pragensibus discipulis erroniosis", "precepit Christus suis discipulis" , "quod dixerunt discipuli ad Ihesum" -- these do not really describe the university students at all, they are closer to the followers of someone

On the other hand: "magistros, doctores, baccalarios et studentes in locum suum", "baccalarii et studentes almae universitatis studii Pragensis", "magistros, doctores, licenciatos, baccalarios, studentes et presbiteros predicte universitatis", "Nos igitur Johannes et Zdislaus magistri, Iohannes, Benessius, Petrus, Michael, Petrus, Iohannes baccalarii et studentes prenominati", "ut scolares et studentes libros Aristotelis"

I believe you can translate some of them as just "studying". Certainly that is impossible in "Petrus, et Johannes, baccalarii et studentes suprascripti". You just cannot use a passive participle with an active participle. It really does mean the signed students.

But not most of them. You can check yourself whether I did any cherry-picking or not.

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

Well, sure it is a participle - the one that is studying. Most of modern words ending with -ent are that way.

Not sure about OLD but L&S is strictly classical. It does not list universitas in the modern sense either. Universitas is a community. Even in 1348 Carolus IV writes he is establishing a studium. The seal of the university does say Universitas but it is a community. Sigillium universitatis scholarium studii... The seal of the community of the ...

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

My alma mater, Universitas Carolina, also uses Latin for its name and also for the diploma and for the graduation ceremonies. But those texts are not useful for our purpose, as they do not refer to students, but to graduands and doctorands.

However I claim that using studens, studentis in this sense is as old as using universitas. This comes from our alma mater rector Jan Hus, 1415:

"honorabiles et in Christo Iesu amantissimi magistri, baccalarii et studentes universitatis Pragensis!"

This is only slightly younger:

Studens pius is a dutiful student, not studying dutifully, that - at least I think with my extremely rudimentary Latin - would be pie, not pius.

And when it comes to Oxford you have mentioned, well:

Studentes Universitatis Oxoniensis (Oxford) celebranat Kalendas Maias de ponte Magdalenae in undas Thamesis saltantes. http://ephemeris.alcuinus.net/athletica.php?id=635

Looks a bit non-grammatical though.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

They were freewrite reports, not every learner gets to make them (I think they're only available on certain platforms). But there have been several verbs that I've gone and checked over just to see if they can be used in one way or another. Studere is by nature intransitive because it takes a Dative, not a Direct Object.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

I once reported an English verb that couldn't be used intransitively as it had been in the Latin to English translation). However, I did look it up beforehand just to be sure. And it wasn't studere! Phew! Well, I don't rant and rave anyway. The freewrites are available on Android, which I don't have. I am so sorry you get abusive comments, because it would be SO USEFUL to have a freewrite option! I often do the "legwork" and can cite resources to prove my point. So if you ever get a report from me that doesn't seem to fit the motivation for reporting, look at the SD -- I'll have left an explanation there.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

After this run-thru (I'm about half way done), I'll check all the sentence discussions.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hope150193

It might be worth discussing this point as suggested. In which case this forum is probably the place. But I believe it is not appropriate to report such points within the course since that is the place for highlighting unintended errors. This is clearly a usage resulting from a decision made by those who put the course together and therefore not an error in terms of their intentions. I think reporting such matters wastes the time of both the reporter and those checking the course for errors.

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chocochipkookie

I will make sure to double check every time now! Thanks so much for contributing and dealing will these issues :D

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie973350

Thank you all so much for clearing these reports. It is amazing, how fast you are working. I must have gotten around 50 of those acceptance mails already, mostly within a few short hours. Some other languages took months for that! So, great work, and sorry for all those times we just miss something despite double checking (which I know has probably happened to all of us).

I have a question though. When doing several lessons in a row, I'm sometimes unsure if I've already reported the missing word order. So, if a user sends in two completely identical reports, do you have to clear it twice? Should I send it (maybe again) or leave it?

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

That doesn't really matter, they "stack" if you report for the same thing multiple times. I just see 5 reports of "sentence has an unnatural translation" or what have you. Also, all of the suggested translations line up in a neat column, repeated ones also stack, so don't worry if you report "my sentence should have been accepted" 2 or 3 times. I knew I did it as a tester. I've added/modified about 200 sentences for additional translations that, while less than ideal Latin are still technically acceptable. So please, report away if reports need reporting.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Thanks for clarifying that. It has happened that I have had a sentence rejected for syntax and I've reported it, and then later of course it crops up again. Usually I do remember the way that the owl wanted it, but sometimes I write it again wrong, and then I'm not even sure if my second attempt was the same as the first one. Now, because of your answer, I'll just report it again.

Btw the freewrite is available on Android, which I don't use. When I see that my motivation is not included in the report, I check all available boxes and then leave an explanatory note on the SD page. Thanks for all you guys do. It's really awesome!

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dootlovania

I'll try to be a bit more careful, thanks!

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanRankin1

Me too!

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

Oh, and I can't believe I forgot!

Welcome to the team Colin!

I've only spoken to one person who has a better command of Latin than Colin, so please pay close attention to his answers in the sentence discussions.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jane-German

Thank you for your work, it is greatly appreciated. I am looking forward to seeing the Latin tree grow with time.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/midori.now

I've personally just done a little of this new beta-latin course, and I haven't reported a thing (I couldn't really even spot an actual mistake), BUT, I just wanted to tell you that, HEY, I feel you, and I thank you on behalf of all of us trying it, for dedicating the time to provide the world with a course of an amazing DEAD FU**** LANGUAGE (for Zeus sake). Ad meliora et ad maiora semper!

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthias1414

In Rome it was actually Jupiter for Zeus who originally was a Greek.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

Actually Jupiter comes from Zeus Pater -> Zuepater -> Iupater -> Iupiter

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melyndi

I looked it up once. I think it was by Jove is what you are looking for lol

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

ω Ζεῦ :)

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andu444

These reports are accepted amazingly fast, thanks for that. One thing though, sometimes I want to report 'my answer should be accepted' but it only shows a couple of the other tick boxes, eg 'the English sounds unnatural'. So I either don't report it at all, or sometimes if I keep coming across it I simply select an inappropriate tick box so that at least it's reported, do you think that is not a good idea though please?

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

So here is what happens when you report: I see a number of total reports next the the sentence. When I do to that, I see all the ways we've currently approved as a correct answer. Below that is a list of suggested translations, some of them are legit, (albeit with a less than ideal Latin word order like subject at end, adjectives before the noun they are modifying, etc.) I input those because they are technically accurate, and while they aren't good Latin, an over dependence on studying Cicero gave people the impression that personal style shouldn't be a thing.

Below the sentence suggestions are all of the tick boxes, I leave up any that say anything about the audio for future reference, then clear the rest. Some people get really upset if a sentence isn't the way they'd do it, so the report it. But we can't win them all. : ) Just have fun, and if there is something that seems really bizarre, don't feel bad reporting it. You can at worst, waste a minute of my time, and at best, add something which will improve this course.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Why can't the reporting boxes be standardized? Often there are five possible reasons, but sometimes as little as only one! It is frustrating.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

I've voiced this concern to the staff.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

They're contextual. You don't need a "My translation should be accepted" option for a write-what-you-hear exercise, for example.

The problem isn't that the reporting options differ, it's that they don't include all the issues one might actually have with a given exercise type: missing translations for picture and fill-in-the-blank exercises, things that shouldn't be marked as typos, etc, etc.

September 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nick_Pr

Can one really study too much Cicero?

September 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

Interdum mea culpa, ignosce!

Audio-based feedback ???

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

So, several users report when there are issues with the audio, popping noises, words not coming through, words sounding like other words, missing audio hints. Feedback, based on the audio. Whenever I clear reports, I always leave those intact, so we know to come back to it.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

Got it. Thank you.

And, the course is great. Thanks for that too.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoyceA

Thank you, Colin. I'll try to be more careful. (Raving? Really? I wish I had the "Rant and Rave" option on my report form.)

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

We're talking all caps and everything, livid. STUDERE CAN'T BE INTRANSITIVE!!!! I looked it up and said, "yes it can" to myself while I deleted their report.

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

I hope you email them too, copying the URL of the source you found that disproves them. Usagiboy7 has some nice phrases they use in the forums to put people like that in their places, without offending them.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

There isn't an option to reply to the person directly, probably to protect both Contributor and User. But there is a nice running list I have of comments, the studere guy said his piece and I haven't seen anything else about it.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoyceA

Well Latin grammar does get the juices flowing. :)

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bellerephon69

Interesting that someone would write that because studere is usually used intransitively. That's why it takes the dative rather than the accusative.

September 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

I call those people armchair Latinists, they took some Latin once, misremember something, fixate on certain aspects of the language. My high school text book said this was that. Well my professional dictionary says otherwise... so... : )

September 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sidloki

okay!!!!!!!!

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanRankin1

Thanks for ALL you do, and please don't take the swearing personally. Sometimes I do the same sentence so many times and between my fat fingers, typos, mistakes and lack of duolingo synonyms it can be VERY frustrating!!!! So I suspect other people have the same experience and the swearing is at THAT not REALLY at you!

September 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

I was an active duty Marine, you could sling every curse word at me in the book (specifically the Vulgar Latin Dictionary) and I wont bat an eye. Other contributors definitely don't need any abuse. But I understand the frustration for sure.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

By the way, one change I'd like to see would be to have a little more tolerance for typos. I think in other courses usually one wrong letter or missing letter, or even two letters switched around are accepted with "you have a typo" message popping up. Today I wrote "German" instead of "Germany" because I was typing too fast. The second time through, same thing. Glad I lost only 2 XP and not some hearts or something.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sharon275517

What I have found, across Duolingo, is that typically if a typo forms an actual word in the language, it won’t be accepted. So German for Germany won’t be accepted, but Germanu for Germany might be accepted.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ehartz
Mod
  • 394

For the record, from what I know Sharon275517's answer is correct (I think I mentioned the same thing in a reply back to you before). I'd personally strongly lobby against changing the typo policy if that were under discussion - not that Duolingo's staff would actually consult me about it if they planned to do so, but even so. If your typo forms an actual word, how can we know if it's a typo or if you honestly misunderstood the meaning of the sentence?

Imagine if the French course accepted "es" as a typo for "est," for instance? There's only one letter different between them, and typing one instead of the other certainly could be a typo - but it could also mean that the learner hasn't learned the difference between third-person and second-person singular conjugation of the verb "être." If the latter were the case, the student might never learn how to conjugate the verb properly because the system always accepted their incorrect answer as correct (and not everyone carefully heeds typo warnings).

It might seem obvious to you that your answer is a typo and not a misunderstanding of the language(s) involved, but the system isn't able to judge your understanding versus the understanding of another user for whom the mistake wasn't a typo. I make typos and get marked wrong all the time, so I understand that it's frustrating - but my understanding of the matter is that I should either slow down and be a bit more careful or accept that I'll continue losing a few XP here and there for moving through exercises quickly.

September 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinJParry

I think that's more of an issue with DuoLingo itself. When I was doing the course I had plenty of those, or silly mistakes like saying, "A girl was born in Germania", so I feel you there.

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bellerephon69

I actually think for Latin you need to be extremely strict on typos. Getting the noun endings correct is essential in Latin. In many other languages a small spelling error is no big deal, in Latin it can totally change the meaning.

September 10, 2019
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