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What should I do when others change my translation into a wrong one?

In the "Immersion", I translated some articles, it happed that someone made some modifications to my translation, some of the modifications are wrong. What should I do? Should I always change the wrong modifications back?

May 5, 2013



In translating from French to English I have noticed that my American English word will be changed to a British English word. Is it possible for an article to be translated to be tagged somehow to indicate a preference, depending upon the audience for which it is intended?


In edit mode, it gives you an option to review all earlier versions, and then accept any of these earlier versions as the correct one. If I think mine is better, I will go back and click it, or if I think someone has improved on mine, but the latest translation is bad, then I go back to the one that seems to be the best. This is a very handy mode and works quite well. Mostly the spammers do not go back repeatedly to the same article anyway.


I almost agree. All of the pieces are in place for this system to work very well, only I think the past translations need to be somehow... pushed upon people a little more strongly.


First of all, you are not obliged to do anything. That said, there are a few possible ways:

  • If you really care about the translation and don't mind spending your time, read carefully the new translations, find if there is anything better than there was in yours. If there was, edit the translation so that it would include both your translation's and the other translation's strong points. Then, go to the stream of the person who edited your translation and explain your edits to him or her. Be polite and respectful and try to help him or her learn. Unfortunately, the comments for translation are not sent to those who contributed to the sentence, but you can use them, too.

  • If it is a case of vandalism, i.e. deliberate spamming the translations, write to abuse@duolingo.com and report the name of the person who spammed. Roll the translations back to your version.

  • Relax and turn off the notifications about corrections made to your translations. You've done your part of work. You are not the last who translated the sentence, and the person who edited it after you is not the last, too. There will be other people who will correct the translation. This way is perhaps not the best for translations, but it will save you from a lot of frustration. Charging yourself with responsibility to monitor and edit every translation you contributed to is rather tough and time-consuming.

Just reverting the translation back to your version is not always the best way of action. Remember that the person who edited your translation will most likely get a notification that you got your translation back. He or she may get as frustrated as you because, again, he/she may honestly think their translation to be better than yours. This may also result in "edit wars" when you will repeatedly roll the translation to one or another translation.


I have found this frustrating too. I think the new system has a nice interface, but it needs a bit more of that element of the old system where translations were voted upon. I know that's kind of in there now, but it doesn't function the way it probably ought to, since many of the (possibly superior) past iterations are hidden unless you actively go looking through them.


If you do change the translation back, put a note in the discussion explaining why your version is correct.


Currently, when you click the button to revert to an earlier translation, there's no opportunity to add a comment. If you try to edit it again to add a comment, it won't "save" unless there's also a change in the translation.

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