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why I've stopped translating websites

Ever since Duolingo changed the format of the Translations page, I've stopped contributing.

Firstly, it's really frustrating through to a translation page and find that most of it is already translated. All you're asked to do is rate a sentence (which is hard when you look at it on its own) or else translate one sentence left over (also hard to do out of context). Why not have it set so that once a group of people start translating a page, they have to finish translating it? There shouldn't be an opportunity to contribute to a page unless you can do so in its entirety.

Also, I think a better way to encourage people to translate pages would be to specifically invite them to do so. Send me an email that says I've been selected to translate a page, let me log in and contribute to the WHOLE page (with, say, 20 other people), and let us as a group translate the WHOLE page (as well as rate each other's translations). Right now there's just no point in contributing bits and pieces here and there.

I really hope you guys give your Translation page a rethink (or take a look at the stats to see if people are actually translating as much as they were before). Otherwise, it defeats the point of why you guys set up in the first place.

November 6, 2012



I agree. I'm about to give up on the translation sections. I think I'll check back now and then. But it is thoroughly frustrating to see somoe of the worst translations finalized at 100%. There is some other glitch going on right now where I can't even complete a section.


I usually translate only the most recently added articles, and translate most or all of an article (I sometimes skip a sentence or two when I think that I would probably be far off in interpreting its meaning). The website requests that you translate a specific sentence, but you can choose to translate others instead or as well. It is much more satisfying to translate most or all of a document, even though I don't find most of the documents particularly interesting. If you use the "recently added" tab to choose documents to translate, you can usually find a couple which have few (if any) sentences already marked as "completed".


When I was an educator, one of my mottoes was "Don't let your schooling stand in the way of your education." :-)


Yeah the rate 3 translations where you only have the sentence in a foreign language and the three in English is a very bad idea on Duolingo part. There is no way I can even begin to do that without opening up a text editor and translating the sentence as normal or using pen and paper.


That works if you have already finished the Skill Tree. But for those who are trying to complete sections and move on to the next, they have to complete specific translations assigned to get credit and unlock new skills.


It still works if you do the sentence the website asks you to do as well as others. It slows you down, of course, but what's more important-- whether you are making rapid progress in a series of tasks "assigned" by the website, or whether you're learning something from what you're doing according to your own judgement? The design of the website includes a number of features which I think are misguided as far as providing useful teaching is concerned. However, there is enough flexibility in the website so that you can use it in ways that promote your learning more than what it is trying to steer you into doing.


This is very interesting ...I agree with eugeneyiga on many points . The new format has some good innovations , but I agree with DonnaMarie that showing something that is faulty as 100% is very frustrating . I , too , would prefer to do a whole article , not just the crumbs left by voters who may be still at an early stage of their studies . I think Duolingo is doing a great job , trying to find the best way for this translation work to get done , and obviously there is a bit of trial and error . Don't give up on them . Like fuonk , I look for recent articles now , but that is a crazy way to practice ....lurking by the computer waiting for a " new " one ....they must be going to change that soon , or add more new ones more frequently !


I am around level 9 in verbs present and there seems to be no prompts for translations. Of course, some changes have occurred in this site, so maybe that is one of the things discontinued? I still seek out translations because of the challenge, and exposure to written Spanish. My vocabulary according to Duolingo has swelled, however, my word strength on all of them is not high. I have resorted to going back over lessons that show 3 hearts so that I can increase my confidence.


I'm kind of frustrated and confused with the translation section (reminding that it is the whole purpose of Duolingo)... How come a level 1 student is supposed to translate a sentence or paragraph out of context (considering you didn't read the whole website), containing lots of unknown words, conjugations etc... I was struggling to translate even the most basic German sentence due to lack of vocabulary, sensibility, experience with the language. Wouldn't it be better to invite natives to translate and then let students try translating and comparing, or something...?

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