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Another step in the evolution of the Immersion section

As part of our continuous improvements to Duolingo, we’re starting to test a new design for the “Immersion” articles that you can see here: http://imgur.com/ShKvg48

Only half of you will be able to experience this new design during the testing period, but we wanted to highlight what’s new, so that we can get your opinion. We’re excited about these updates because we believe they make the entire translation experience better.

Here’s a summary of the changes:

  1. Instead of automatically showing the translation of a sentence when you hover over it, you now have to click to see it. In addition to simplifying the design of the page, this allows you to attempt translating a sentence in your head with the help of our dictionary but without having to see the translation of the whole sentence unless you really want to.

  2. When you click on a sentence, its translation will appear on the right side of the page, as opposed to above the sentence. This fixes a number of problems with the old design. For example, the translations of sentences in those extremely long paragraphs will now appear in full on small screens.

  3. Instead of being forced to add new translations to un-translated sentences in order, you can now translate any sentence you’d like even if it’s the last sentence of the document and no other sentences are translated. This let’s you pick the material that you feel most comfortable translating. It also allows beginners who want to take a stab at translating to have more sentences to chose from.

  4. You can now see all the revisions of a translation directly below where you edit it. This gives you a better idea of what people have already added and makes it easier to see the translation history of the article.

  5. When you edit a translation, you will have the option to include a reason for your revision. Many people have asked for this, and we think it will help with language instruction since you’ll be able to explain language issues to others who have translated the sentence before you in error. We also hope this leads to an interesting language conversation among community members.

We’ll be incorporating feedback from all of you as we test out this new design. Let us know what you think!

May 13, 2013



I really like the changes so far! Thank you! One suggestion though: I just translated an article where the person before me had just copied and pasted the French text into the translation box for every single sentence. Obviously, this person is being purposefully unproductive, and it would be nice to have a button being able to report translations/translators (it would also be useful for those that post inappropriately). Once reported, maybe that person would be given a warning, and if it happens again, they would not be able to translate anymore?


I love it! This seems like exactly what needed to be done! I also love the fact that the Duolingo team listens so much to their users, creates a warm feeling inside :-)


It seemed that nobody saw the comment button on the last version. The new "reason why you changed it" thing is way more obvious. Thank you!


The revisions sounds great! Thanks for making this my new favorite language learning site.


I see the new system! I like being able to skip over sentences in order to give someone else a shot if I can't figure out the translation just yet. Is there any way to report bugs on a translation? I've seen a few where sometimes I'm asked to translate a period or single digit or something like that. While the lazy part of me loves getting points for nothing, it's probably something you guys would rather know about, right?


I know how you feel. I got points the other day for translating fresh air - there were blank sentences that I had to translate to be able to get to the next actual sentence. In the end I put "(Nothing here)" to get past them, but I guess it's just teething problems with parsing the original documents that will eventually get ironed out.


Some other users have commented on this, and I've just come from working on an article where it's rampant (the article Luz, in the Spanish immersion section) - the person translating often just put a single word in the translation section of a long sentence so that s/he could skip that section or get points for translating, even though the sentence was long and convoluted. It would be nice to be able to 'flag' translations like that as inappropriate so that such practices could be identified and their occurrence reduced. It seems to disregard the spirit of cooperation that Duolingo represents and it is disrespectful to the person or entity who uploaded the article and to other users. Maybe the new translation interface (where beginners can skip over sentences they don't want to translate) will help with this, but a 'flag' option would hopefully help weed out those trying to get points without effort.


does the "looks wrong" button serve this function? That's what I've been using when I see this- and yes, I've seen it quite a bit as well.


Is that a feature on the new interface? I haven't seen it (sadly, I'm still stuck with the old interface - can't wait til they roll out the new one for all users!) - if it's on the old interface I must have overlooked it.


I really like the changes! The new approach solves most of the problems the previous method had. The only thing that is still missing, in my eyes, is a small "meter" next to each sentence (or paragraph?) that indicates how "good" the translation is (estimated). Say - it becomes green when 3 people indicate the sentence "looks good (+1)" and gets red if 1-2 people indicate "looks wrong (-1)". Editing a sentence brings the rating one step closer to 0.

Thanks for the constant improvement!


Nooooo, I don't have the new udates yet :( But there were a lot of issues trying to translate on a tablet, and it sounds like these changes have probably fixed all those problems.


In the "translation" view give people the same options to translate, rate and edit sentences if they click on them as you do in the "original" view. I like the translation view as a way to read the document and add to it where there's gaps.


I cannot find a comment button or section in the new version. Are they there?


I found that I can make comments to my edits, but I still cannot see any place for general comments that relate to the whole article. I think this option would be handy.


Agreed. I just translated a German sentence to English and the German sentence contained factual errors (along the lines of 2+2=7 sort of error). I corrected the errors in the English version. Since there is no space for comments, I included my comment in my translation (in brackets like this). Not the place to put it, but how else do you share issues? Comments would be handy.


When will this new design be available to everyone? I'd REALLY like to be in on this... I still show the old interface.


Please consider collapsing revisions of a revision, when the same editor makes two or more edits in a row.


Good idea! This is implemented now.


Change 3 is not working for me, I can only translate sentences in order.
Another comment: I wish I could translate texts into languages other than English. I am learning French and am a native Portuguese speaker, but I can only translate French into English. I would like to have the option to translate French into Portuguese and or Portuguese into French, as well as English into French. Thanks!


Looks like you read my mind, I just posted about being able to practice translations: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/395737


I'm pretty happy with these changes. It has a nice look on my PC. On the Android, in Chrome, the view doesn't change from the desktop version, which is awkward; but it's less difficult than it used to be and it's not as buggy on an iPad as it was. I like the freedom of the new design, which will get easy sentences translated faster and harder sentences will get more attention, as should be, I predict. Thank you for keeping the improvements rolling out.


Sounds cool! Can I have this version, too? :-)

Update: Thanks for letting me in! I definitely like these updates. The version history is more visible and comments fit neatly.


Is it possible to be able to move the "view translation" box around with a mouse? I can make things work on my work computer, but it's a bit clunky, but on my mac at home I can't always see all of the translations, and if I could just manipulate the box in which we can view alternate translations I'd be able to read everything.


Nice. It seems that it went back a little to the more interactive and collaborative feel of the old(er) version.

Now, here is the mandatory list of user demands that you can and probably should ignore:

  1. I like the idea of adding new words you've encountered to a vocabulary list that you keep for personal reference (and who knows, even some sort of practice?);
  2. I also like the report button that mike suggested;
  3. Oh! Oh! Also, maybe a little badge or icon keeping track of sentences/paragraphs/articles you've translated or participated in translating. You know, as a reminder for people like me to head over to the immersion section (and for people like my grandmother, who is using duolingo and climbing up my leaderboard like a persistent Jon Snow, but probably has no idea that immersion exists).


I found something strange with points for immersion today. I wanted to test if it is true that you can't make your streak go on by just confirming translations. First thing today, I went to Immersion and confirmed two translations. Each of them showed 1 point, but on my home page there was 0 for today and my streak was as of yesterday. Yes, I refreshed the page a couple of times.

Then I did a timed practice and got 19 points. I thought my 2 points for confirming translations would add up at this time, but no - I only had my 19 points. I confirmed one more sentence in Immersion, it showed 1 point again, but on my home page there were still no changes - 19 points.

I thought that maybe I have to translate something from scratch to make my proofreading points count. I translated a short sentence and it showed 1 point.

After I refreshed my home page, I saw 29 points for today. Where did these come from? I believe I should have got 23.

I would like to get some comments from the team on this :-)


This should be fixed now. The actual number of points awarded (as reflected in your total coin count) was correct, it was just the value displayed in the daily coin stack that was wrong. Going forward, the value in the coin stack should be correct as well.


Ok thanks. I was only looking at the coin stack.


I never get points for confirming translations. I seem to get 10 points for every section I translate regardless of its length or how many points it suggests I should get.


Oh, great news! Sounds like this is really going to improve immersion/translation!


Great! This incorporates the best of the old and the new systems, thank you.


I've done some translating with the new system and I only have 2 comments (other than it looks great): 1) As ftasb1 has already said, being able to comment on sentences would be great. 2) For stylistic purposes, having the owl pop out from behind the stats window when you've finished translating the whole document would be nice to have back. I'm probably alone with that one though.


Thanks for the suggestions!


One more (late) suggestion. When I've finished translating a document (I'm doing German to English), I will go to the English "translated" version tab to read the whole document and proofread. Sometimes a sentence seems to make sense when you translate it, but it doesn't really "fit" when read in the whole paragraph, or, more often than not, I find a typo and want to fix it. It would be handy to be able to either edit the sentence right there in the English version, or be able to get back to the German sentence through a simple click or two. At the moment, I have to navigate back to the German text, then scroll around to find the sentence I want to edit, edit it, then go back to the English text, scroll around to find where I left off, and keep going. It isn't a big deal if the document is only 20 sentences or so, but if it's 100+ then trying to find the sentences can be time consuming. I don't know if you followed all of that. If not, let me know and I'll try to clarify. Cheers!


Well, actually I was asking for an option to comment on the whole article, for example, to discuss where to find additional information about the text, where to look up specialized vocabulary, and to try to agree on using the same terms in the whole translation. There was a french article about ancient Rome a few months ago, and the word 'gens' was being translated in 5 different ways in different sentences. The translation would be incomprehensible. I don't have anything against commenting on sentences as well, as long as users don't end up too confused by too many possible places to comment.


Forgive me for misinterpreting your statement. Yours is a good idea as well. There was an article in the German section about currywurst which could have used a comment section for the whole article as every few sentences had currywurst translated wrong. Maybe both could be implemented?


When can I expect to have access to it? :) I really want to get started with the new immersion!


I am new to Immersion but was just noticing that I had a sentence that was "revised" by someone else when no change was actually made. Can 2 people submit at the same time? It was just one word and it seems that they were submitted around the same time however, there was no change to my post but it was listed as a revision.

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