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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

62 Comments


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


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?


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.


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

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!


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

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


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.


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.


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!


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

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


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

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


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

It may have actually been Deus Pater


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

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


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?


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.


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

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


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

I've voiced this concern to the staff.


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.


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

Can one really study too much Cicero?


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

Colin, the course should teach us the ideal word order, I mean, there should be sentences and grammar explanatiosn in an unit, to show the classical order, and the emphasis provided by a change in the order.

It's the ideal, because I wonder if it's really feasible. But it's something lacking to the course.


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

Ideal word order is fairly subjective. Caesar for example prefers SOV and OSV, but there is about 800 years of Classical prose, so it depends on who you're asking.


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

That's just the problem, there is no ideal word order. Word order varies depending on several factors. These can include emphasis, literary style, and even how the sentence sounds when read out loud. Romans often read out loud rather than silently so authors would arrange words to produce what they considered a pleasant rhythm.


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

Interdum mea culpa, ignosce!

Audio-based feedback ???


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.


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

Got it. Thank you.

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


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.)


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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... : )


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

Latinistes du dimanche, avec du latin de cuisine.

Teaching the teachers.


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

I'd would to know more about the dative use exceptions for studere.

I won't post a new thread for this, as threads are downvoted, so no questions elsewhere that in an existing thread.


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

Studere doesn't take an accusative at all. It takes a dative as if it is an accusative. Saying Linguae Latinae studeo means I study the Latin language. (literally, I have passion, zeal, etc. for the Latin Language).

Compare this to Linguam Latinam disco which does take a direct object I learn the Latin language.


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

It's not literally true that studeo NEVER takes the accusative, although it is quite rare.


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

Get a copy of Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, that will cover just about everything you would want to know.


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

You're not wrong about studeo never taking the accusative. But I believe when it does, it's not used in the same sense. to make the object of one's concern, concentrate on according to the OLD.


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

The OLD shows that studēre can "take the accusative" (i.e., be used transitively) under the limited circumstance that the writer wants it to mean something like "fixate on," and the accusative object has to be a neuter singular pronoun . One example, from Ennius, is id agit, id studet ("This is what he does, this is what he fixates on").


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

Well Latin grammar does get the juices flowing. :)


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.


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?


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.


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.).


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)


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.


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?


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.


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

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.


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

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


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.


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!


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.


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

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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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

Hello, for placing "-ne" not at the beginning of the sentence, this is not mandatory. It's only a good practice. (not from myself, because I'm nothing in Latin, but from grammar books and examples)

I sent probably a few silly reports (I don't report too much I think), as I sent some of them while flooded with sleep.

But I try to correct my sentence before sending it i.e, redoing the sentence only for the report, and being careful to put uppercase, punctuation, and right spelling, as a respect for contributors.


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

That's true, but my professor used to say that Cicero and Vergil can break the rules, but you can't.


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

I'm going to stay pretty strict on that. If nothing else for my and the other contributors sanity. If, for example, we wanted to allow -ne to be on other words we'd have to:

Make an individual alternate translation to place it in each spot in the sentence

Account for every possible alternative, singulars vs plurals, words with different gender variations (discipulus vs. discipula), and the various things like including tu, or ego.

This would result in a LOT of work for us, and minimal tangible benefit to the learner.

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