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Immersion : filtering new Wikipedia's articles to translate


I think there should be a validation by users (or by administrators, but it seems to much work when users can do it) for articles added to the Immersion since Wikipedia.

Indeed [I'll take all along for my example a spanish Wikipedia's article that we want to translate into english] a lot of spanish Wikipedia's articles we're asked to translate already exist in english and are VERY WELL DEVELOPPED and many times even more than the spanish one.

The idea of the Immersion (at least with Wikipedia's articles) is to practicing the language when, at the same time, translating the web. And with this type of articles i described just above, we lack both.

It's obvious that we lack the later but for practicing it's also the case. Indeed people who add this type of contents only do it to gain coins by Copy/Pasting the english version into translation, so they translate it as soon as they put it into Duolingo. And so these articles are useless for other users since everything is already translated. Yes you can try to make marginally better an already well-developped english wikipedia's article but it's not motivating and you lose a lot of time looking for a Wikipedia's article to translate in Immersion that is actually not a "fake translation" one.

That's why I think, now that the community is not small anymore, you should filter or we should validate the new articles added to immersion from Wikipedia. Or, at least, add a section to the "report article" option as "This article is already a well-developped article in the arrival language and so should not be here". For the moment the report is only for "Violent, sexual, or other inappropriate content" or "Copyright violation" and I don't want to use it for another reason as long as Duolingo do want it.

I hope I was clear and sorry I'm double posting with this post http://www.duolingo.com/comment/578927, but I think it's a topic of interest and as commenting in a discussion doesn't make it go up in the list of discussion, I feel forced to double-post...

August 27, 2013



Well stated! I stopped translating wikipedia articles because of such behavior. The whole ''translating for coins'' aspect is not appealing to me at all. The motivation is all wrong and people are abusing it to up their coin count. Far too often I'm notified of a very small correction to one of my translations only to find out that someone has actually changed it back to their original incorrect translation. So I change it again, not to earn a coin, but because the translation is now wrong. And the ''game'' continues. Ah, but they got that coin!

Duo's vested interest is in selling the translations. Indeed their very survival is at stake. What motivates people to translate is not a high priority to them. Just keep translating so we can sell the translations. Please understand that I don't mean to be disrespectful of all the hard work the dedicated Duo team does but it is the reality of running a business. We, as students, are vested in learning a language (for free!) so we need Duolingo to continue operations. Will people remain interested in crowd sourced translating activities if too many people continue to abuse the reward system? Only time will tell.

I, for one (probably the only one), would like to see the whole rewarding with coins done away with for translating activities. IMHO, motivation enough should be provided by two things....

1: If you translate, Duolingo will be able to continue to offer you, the language learner, a free, ever improving language learning platform supported by a very responsive, dedicated team.

2: You, the language learner, get to improve your fluency with real world materials. This is what sets Duo apart from other language learning programs. You get to apply what you've learned in the real world outside the constraints of programmed algorithms.

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A strange side-effect of gamification. The coins are there as a motivation for learning a language, but it seems that occasionally people ignore that aspect and decide that the game is to accumulate as many coins as possible. It's hard to imagine gaining satisfaction from getting thousands of completely non-existent virtual coins for copy-pasting Wikipedia articles.

Still, it gives me an idea for a Duolingo revenue stream: just start selling coins! One dollar gets you one completely non-existent virtual coin. Go on, be the envy of your friends, be the first Duolingo millionaire -- without the inconvenience of actually having to learn anything! At least it might distract them from abusing the immersion feature, and let DL hire some more devs.


Nobody should upload an article and then crib from an English translation that is already done. I should add that, at least in the Italian version, Wikipedia can be slim pickings, and you will often find entries that reference longer English ones on the same subject. I have uploaded such articles myself when I thought that the Italian article was sufficiently different from the English one. It's not too much to ask people who translate or check translations to check up on such things.
Of course, the bigger problem is that if we're talking about translating the web we need to go far beyond Wikipedia. I think some of us could use advice from Duolingo about when we need to ask for permission from a website before we upload something, and how to do it. Another question occurs to me: Some pages are just too long to be uploaded on Duolingo. Is there a way to upload part of one?


Nobody should but some are doing it...

Yes we could ask translator to check and then... be able to report the article (with an option like "This article is already a well-developped article in the arrival language and so should not be here"), no ?

The thing about translating the web is that the idea is to translate then to share it. but for the time being, except Wikipedia (may be some other ones ?), when we translate it we can't put the translation back into the original website. So we can't translate (and share it) the internet but we could translate (and share it) Wikipedia.

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