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Translation Length & Difficulty Should Determine How Many Extra Points Are Awarded

The time and effort taken to translate 20 vs 100 word paragraph are not even comparable. Larger paragraphs should reward you with more points than the shorter ones. Maybe this would encourage some people to skip less and attempt the more difficult and lengthy translations.

Also, I spend way more time on a single translation than a practice session, but the latter rewards more. Maybe increase the points for translations so they are in comparison to the lessons?

What do people think?

December 17, 2012



Agree, the difference in points between a large paragraph and the title of an article are so small


I agree, it really takes a lot of time to translate but you can quickly and easily do a couple of lessons so maybe the translations should earn you more points.

  • 2378

1) I agree that the length of a translation should determine the number of points awarded (actually I was shocked recently to get 6 points for a three word headline, but only 10 for a text consisting of 8 lines); 2) While I basically agree that the difficulty of the text should play a major role in the number of points awarded, I have not found out yet how Duolingo attributes skill points to the "steepness" of text; a word from Duolingo/Luis would help to settle at least this point; 3) I agree that it takes more time to translate; but since translations are optional exercises, while practise lessons are mandatory, I think the distribution of skill points should stay as it is so that people who do not want to translate still are motivated to complete the course, while people who translate get their satisfaction from doing creative work in a foreign language; thanks for your time


The beautiful thing about Duolingo is that you are helping to translate the web while learning a new language. It's crowdsourcing for the greater good.

I agree that people need to be motivated to do the lesson which is fundamental, but I also consider the optional translations equally as important. I haven't finished a language, but so far the course permits advancement in lessons without completing any translations. Because of this, I've noticed how this could lead to an imbalance of the give and take relationship, which is detrimental to their core model. Relatively distributing points for translations would mitigate this and provide incentive for people to do more translations.

My current level is of a beginner, so I haven't developed the necessary means, skills and abilities, to achieve satisfaction of the creative process of translating ( maybe one day, I will ). And if a user has the option to decline translations in their lessons, they may never get to this point you describe.

  • 2378

Hi eunoia, thanks for your answer; as you pointed out, Duolingo´s original idea (and why I joined Duolingo) was to learn a language and help translate the web. This "idealistic approach" (quid pro quo) to which many of us subscribed is, to my mind, no longer true. If you are interested follow the link to the heated discussion a few months back, when Duolingo changed the translation page, and in effect separated language learning and (crowdsourced) translation.
http://duolingo.disqus.com/official_duolingo_blog_a_new_skill_page/latest.rss Recently (after continued complaining by users) they changed most of the translation page back the old system (with a few rating changes), but it does not feel the same as before. From my experience in language learning I can only encourage you to keep on translating anyway, accept that it can be frustrating but sometimes you find yourself rewarded by the spark of creativity that you yourself have created :-)) and yes, someone who does not try it, will never reach this point (but learning cannot be forced on you, can it?); ... keep it up and enjoy


Thanks Bernard. It seems that translations are the most difficult to implement in an efficient and beneficial way. There are major issues that still need to be addressed; skill level pairing being one of them. Duolingo is still in its infancy and I'm sure they will resolve a lot of the issues with time.

Regarding the forced learning, there are many ways to learn. I personally believe in intrinsic motivation, which I gather from your words that you also support :).


I think the latest changes which include relative scoring versus giving a "perfect" score is the right path for translators of all levels to feel that they have something to contribute. I hope they will add "winning scores" in the stats soon.

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