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Why can't Translation allow us to translate both ways?

I would like to ask a question about the translation functionality. I am a native Spanish and English speaker from Mexico. I have been using Wikipedia for a while, and to be honest the Spanish Wikipedia is still lacking a lot of content or quality. Couldn't someone who is learning a given language translate from and to a target language? Currently you can only translate from a target language into your language. (I am aware that in the case of Spanish there is an English -> Spanish and a Spanish -> English class, however it is not the case for French, German, and Portuguese)

October 28, 2012



If you are a native speaker of Spanish, you could just edit the Spanish wiki directly. But translation quality is vastly improved when people are translating into their native language, rather than the other way around. One of the problems with the limited number of languages offered by Duolingo at the moment is that non-native English speakers are using the English-based lessons to learn a third language, and it's easy to see that in the multitude of poor English translations. So in a sense, what you're asking about is already happening- and the results are often not much better than Google's translation algorithm.

I assume that in the future, Duolingo will work on offering more "from" languages, so that native French speakers could learn Portuguese without going through English. Then it won't be as much of an issue, though Duolingo won't ever be able to design lessons in all the thousands of languages currently in use.


I think it would be a great idea to combine the translation effort. Have some texts translated by people who are learning a language checked by more experienced or native speakers.

English person learning Spanish translates wikipedia article into Spanish. More experienced users/native speakers see this text and make corrections. Just as it is already. The English person gets notified when/where his translation was corrected/improved. It would be different to signing up to the Spanish duolingo, because the option would be easily accessible from the English site and shared with the Spanish side.

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