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When is an Immersion article "done" and what happens to it?

As I progress in my language learning, I am becoming more interested in the immersion section. However, it seems like most of the articles have full circles already which made me wonder what the criteria is for a finished translation, and if those articles are then removed or made inaccessible from the "new" and "popular" tabs. I am guessing there must be both a quantity and quality estimate reached...is there a "good" or "excellent" quality of translation?


June 21, 2013



Great questions! Articles are removed from 'popular' when we've decided they're complete. How do we do that? We don't read every article :) We have a machine learning algorithm based on the ratings that determines an article's completion, which is constantly improving and impressively accurate. We do not remove articles from the 'new' or 'translated' tab.


and what happens to the finished article? (i.e. is it sent to the website?)


I believe it is. Duolingo gets money for that, and that is then used to fund this free learning experience for us.


@BarbaraMorris I agree completely with everything as stated below. One person's weak attempt might be the prompt for someone else to polish it up and as it passes through various attempts a clear translation will emerge. I often do as BarbaraMorris mentions and am genually pleased when someone corrects it.


I also have been having fun with translations. Is it possible or advisable to contact the original author to provide and get feedback?


Just what I have been wondering too. Great answers below. I was also wondering if there was or could be a kind of forum where those working on a particular article could exchange views. Lately i have been scratching my head over an ariticle about St. Nicolaos of Myra. The existing translations are really good but sometimes as a native speaker I find some area that can be clarified. But it's such a hugh responsibility and there's always the fear o making a drastic error which might change the meaning and it is all really time consuming. Some feedback-through forum or other method - would be a great help.


There sort of is. I've certainly had some good comments in the "explain your correction" box, and have used it myself on a couple of occasions to explain my reasoning. Presumably if you do make a drastic error, someone editing it could explain why they've made the changes they have. (I do sometimes feel an "I know it's wrong, but it's the best I can come up with, somebody please fix it!" button would be handy!).


I'm glad to read everyone's comments about this. I'm learning that to do good translations, and not just transliterations, is difficult and time-consuming, but a lot of fun, also. Other questions; is there a certain syntactic style book we should try to follow for publishing in Wikipedia? (e.g., are names for books underlined or "quoted?" Do we use BC and AD or BCE and CE?, etc.) Should we make suggestions for edits back to the author, such as "date needed" or "citation needed"? What if the original text needs edits or corrections before translation - is it our part to do this or should we keep the original author's meaning as closely as possible? More comments invited!


to jharrer: that's kind of what i meant by asking for a forum for exchange of ideas re translations. great questions and i too would like the answers. hadn't even thought of some of thm. well done.


I like your idea of a forum, but how do we start one? Maybe on these discussion pages? I could use some help on "Homer," if you'd like to give me some feedback. I can try and review St. Nicolas of Myra, if you like? Perhaps we can engage an expert later as well. What do you think?


Good to hear there is interest in the forum idea. First of all let me make it really clear that I did not translate anything-let alone the St. Nicolaos sections. Would that I could but it would be impossible for me at my level of Ger. and for many moons to come, but I can usualy tell if something is natural sounding and or has grammatical errors in English. If you've already translated the "Homer" article I'd be glad to go over it and give my view and we can assume others will too. It's a kind of safety net having many viewspoints. Where can the article be found? i'd also like the answers to the questions in your previous message. Please have a look at the St. Nikolaos artilcle.


I think we should jump right in and start translating as soon as it says we can translate 0.1%. You don't have to do the whole article even if it's not translated at all yet. You can just do one sentence. Even just start to correct one obviously badly translated sentence. If we wait until we're ready, we'll never be ready.

I have even done the first translation on a few sentences. I find that it's easier to correct a really bad translation than to start a new one, so on that basis, I don't feel too bad about possibly submitting a bad translation as the initial translation for a sentence. I have even submitted translations that I know can't possibly be right because they don't make any sense in English, but I assume that my attempt might help the next person.


BarbaraMorris - Yes I agree with you and jaye16. Doing (or just trying) the translations is a lot of fun and challenge. It really shows how people talk and think in German, and forces you to think how to say it in English, which is not always straightforward! jaye16 is very good at cleaning up some of my translation attempts, so I know he and others like him will polish my attempts - and then I get better at it also. So yes, your attempts help all of us!


Sorry for my delayed reply - I was away from Duolingo several days. By all means take a look at Homer under Categories > Art & Literature; Although it looks like someone has much cleaned it up since I last saw it, Thanks jaye16 if you did so! I think you are onto something with reading the Translation through and the correct it for more natural sounding English; I sometimes get hung up on the literal German expressions and don't quite "think it through" to the English. I also find myself checking my English grammar rules as well. I's like to learn additional hints others may have for good translations, acceptable for Wikipedia. Also, thanks for your invite - I will return to St Nicolaos and attempt some additional translations.


jharrer: I still haven't looked at the Homer site ( it sounds intimidating but I will try) Lately, I've delved into fairy tales (and forgive the aweful pun "they're not child's play). I agree with your comments above. This method of translation, a kind of "crowd sourching" seems truely productive. Some of the edits of my edits have been so good as to make me even more enthusiastic to go on. As andrewduo above mentions it's so good to know some one might come along and "fix it". Add the benefits of our learning a new language and you have a pretty good find.


jaye16: I just read through your edits to "Homer" and I must say you did a great job! Thank you very much. I like how the translation tab now shows Deutsch and English side-by-side. Also I attempted a translation of the small section, "Bekämpfung der Diana" in St. Nikolaos, which probably could stand a little polishing, if you find a minute; I hope to do more with that later also. Good luck with your Fairy Tales study; I've enjoyed reading Grimm's book as an adult in English, but what an experience to read in the original German!


jaye16: you added some more good edits - thanks for catching these. I think "Homer" looks pretty good now and I wonder if it can be submitted to Wikipedia soon?

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