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Frustrating to see Immersion translations that are 100% from Google Translate

Is there some way to completely remove a translation? I was just working on this one about Fernando Fernán Gómez, www.duolingo.com/translation/e949134370cfc6dbef2fbc2367265de4?from_skill=444c91e83788ae67beb7f4131a33efbd, and someone had already translated most of it just by pasting each sentence into Google Translate and then pasting the result into Duolingo.

If I see a bad translation that someone has worked on in good faith, I'll keep theirs and correct it piece by piece. But if I see one that is just the Google Translate version, I'll just wipe it out and start again.

It would be nice if there was some way to remove it from the history of the sentence too, so as not to distract others who will work on the sentence.

And it would be especially nice if, for the sentences I don't have time to work on now, I could just click a button and have their bad translation removed. Today, I clicked on "looks wrong" for some of the sentences that I didn't get to, but I gave up after a while, and anyway, that doesn't really help the next person who works on those sentences assuming they even look at the current rating for the sentence.

August 18, 2013



When you see this, you should report it as abusive. That user will lose the points they got from this and hopefully learn not to do it again.


But why can I report it only once, while the person did such thinks many times?


Maybe you need a cameo appearance from Duo here to remind new users to behave. He could say things like "Remember, every time you use Google Translate, I have to sacrifice a tiny puppy to the dark lord Cthulhu to quell his rage"

You could possibly even use the google translate api itself to catch and swat these cheaters :)


The fundamental question that overwhelmed me as I read this was why? For the coins? Who cares how many points you have? The fun in translating (and I'm still horrid at it) seems to be in parsing out subtle shades of meaning while remaining true to the intent of the original author. There is an apparent tension between a precise translation and something resembling reasonably pleasing english; getting there requires a lot of dedicated practice.


Definitely report it and help keep everyone honest! :-)


Leaving it in the history of the sentence may well be useful, if only because all changes are highlighted. It would help other users (not just the original maltranslator) to see how far a computer translation is from the real deal. It shouldn't distract users since only the most recent translation is shown by default (other translations are hidden away).

If you don't have time to correct every wrong sentence, perhaps you could try copy-and-pasting something like "computer translation" into the correction explanation boxes, at least for the first "guilty" sentence in each article. It would alert checkers to the basic form of the error and help them correct the matter. (Plus you only then need to edit one sentence, because one warning should be enough for a savvy re-translator/checker).


I'm missing something: how do you know that someone "translated most of it just by pasting each sentence into Google Translate and then pasting the result into Duolingo"?


I suspected that had been done, so I pasted a couple of the sentences into Google Translate and saw that the results were identical.

I don't know Spanish well enough to spot a computer translation into Spanish, but it's pretty easy for a native speaker to spot a computer translation.


At least at my level, I use Google Translate to get a first blush at the sentence if I'm completely lost, and then clean it up from there. Maybe they can tell that way?


Barbara may have a different answer, but I know that if you are fairly comfortable with a language, then you recognize a disjointed, stylistically inconsistent pattern when sentences are translated one by one rather than being understood in a larger context. Also machine translation produces some typical errors such as "false friends" that stand out.


I know what you mean, but given that people are here to learn a language, it may just be that the people translating are doing so in a disjointed way simply because they're not fluent in that language. Be interested to know what is the unique 'calling card' or signature of Google Translate, in particular.


That kind of translation where people have translated word by word is what I meant in my original post where I say "someone has worked on it in good faith".


It's not really that, there is a big difference even between broken language and machine tranlated language. Google translate, handy though it is, just isn't very smart at all, and no substitute for common sense. For instance if you translate a common saying word by word into another language, eg 'pie in the sky' it often looks slightly comical - there is usually a directly equivalent idiom in the target language that would occur instantly to any human being, or at least cause them to make an effort to find one, but it would take google a million years to calculate that.

Google is also very bad at descrambling German into English and vice versa, because they tend to be spoken the opposite order... another thing that is trivial for human brains to sort out.


Why would someone go to Google Translate, when Duolingo provides a window with machine translation as one of Immersion's handy tools?


I don't think the Duobot translation was available yet when we discussed this.


They're still doing it today despite the Duobot. One sort of indication is Spanish's "su" being translated to "his" instead of "its" for an inanimate object.


That's a mistake that even humans can make sometimes. If that was the thing wrong with a translation, I wouldn't assume it was a machine translation. Here's an example of an obvious auto-translation:

"If this has to go by way of performance Güela to undermine the person said the Repolido- , I will not give an army formed esguízaros ; But if it is by way of the Cariharta dello like , do not say I kneel knees, but a nail fasten my forehead in his service."


Buenas días, Bárbara, It's nice to find someone so kind and helpful here. I was just sharing one clue. Especially from a Tier 1 translator, I suppose someone could repeatedly make that mistake. In this case however, words were ignored, (e.g., river instead of riverbed), place names were over translated, (e.g., "the birth River" for the Nacimiento, and not only was the work mostly word for word translation, but each one of the person's eight sentences in the article was exactly the same as the output of Google translate. I'd be happier to be wrong.

Congratulations on your 500 day streak!


And "a nail fastened" that person's forehead?! Ouch!

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