What would you want to see in a FAQ?
FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions
EDIT: NEW unofficial FAQ at http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Duolingo_Wiki
Suggestions for this discussion :
I suggest 1 question per comment preferably with an answer (if you don't know the answer it is ok :) someone else will reply)
Try to use Reply only for posting an answer or correcting a question/answer if it is needed. (try not use reply for posting additional questions, post them by leaving a new comment)
Be sure to read all the questions before posting your own.
Try to refrain from asking for a specific language. (example: When is Gibberish going to be available ???)
If you want to find a certain answer faster in this discussion just press Ctrl+F and this will open your browser's search function.
I hope this way we can help Duolingo a bit :)
Q : In a lesson, I think I found a mistake in the translation of a sentence, what do I do?
A : Use the Report a Problem button at the bottom of the lesson's page. If you have already pass to another question, please use de Support bottom on the left of every pages and explain the problem with at least the following information :
- I'm learning [language Y] from [language X].
- The question was (in [language X or Y]) was : "blablabla"
- Explain the problem/error and give your correction.
A: Asterisk = *
single asterisk at beginning and end = italic
double asterisk at beginning and end = bold
triple asterisk at beginning and end = bold and italic
use a single asterisk at the beginning to get an unordered list
for more about this check: http://www.reddit.com/r/duolingo/comments/1h9hvo/dowlingo_comment_formatting/
I managed to dig out my last answer to this question -- here it is for reference:
On Ubuntu the [keyboard switching] shortcut is configurable via "Keyboard Layout Options" (I favour alt + caps lock). On Windows it's either left alt + shift or ctrl + shift according to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows7/keyboard-shortcuts . On Mac you can apparently configure cmd + space for this -- see https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3766394?start=0&tstart=0 .
The thing with switching is that you have to know by heart where the character of the new language stands on the keyboard (azerty/qwerty among other differences)...
UK windows keyboard:
- for special french letters http://french.about.com/od/writing/ss/typeaccents_3.htm.
french mac keyboard:
- for spanish ´ accents (á, í, ú, ó) : ALT + SHIFT + vowel
- for ñ : ALT+ n then n (again)
french windows keyboard:
- for spanish ´ accents (á, í, ú, ó) : http://users.numericable.be/denis.liegeois/kbdfrac.htm for example.
Windows international keyboard:
- ¡ = RightAlt+1
- ¿ = RightAlt+?
True, the answer should also mention diacritic-composing techniques for those who are not comfortable with learning a new keyboard layout. I'm not sure how much of this should be in the FAQ answer itself though -- DL users are from all over the world and there are hundreds of keyboard layouts. It's not practical to exhaustively list all required diacritics for all layouts, regions, target languages, and operating systems. Links to existing resources are good, but I can't help feeling that a question of this scope would be better served by a wiki than by a static FAQ.
Q : In a lesson, I have a question about a translation or a grammar/vocabulary/idiomatic/conjugaison/... question tied to a translation. Who can help me?
A : Use the Discuss sentence button at the bottom of the lesson page. Check your question isn't already here. If not, or if nobody answered it yet, ask your question to the community in this discussion.
But you should first search by yourself within some dictionary websites (www.larousse.fr or http://dictionnaire.tv5.org/dictionnaire for French; www.rae.es for spanish; XXX for German; XXX for Italian; XXX for Portguguese; http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english or http://www.collinsdictionary.com/ for English), some reputed website as about.com or directly in your preferred web search engine (and go to a dictionary or a reputed website after to confirm with reliable sources).
We memorize better things that we have look for.
Q: How do I use the search engine of the discussions page?
- [Word A] [WordB] (or [Word A] OR [WordB]) : search all the discussions where at least one of the words [Word A] and [WordB] has been used in one of the posts of the discussion.
- [Word A] AND [WordB] : search all the discussions where both words [Word A] and [WordB] have been used in the discussion.
- "[Word A] [WordB]" : search all the discussions where the exact sequence [Word A] [WordB] has been used in one of the posts of the discussion.
- search: new language | results: 7603
- search: new language -start (same as: new language OR -start) | results: 7164
- search: new language AND -start | results: 4898
- search: new language -start -a | results: 1991
You can use it by itself which I think is equivalent of OR, or you can add AND before it.
I would have make the test, I thought you already knew the answer. So, thanks.
However, since new language = new OR language, I would have think that new language OR -start=(new OR language) OR -start=new OR language OR -start and so that it would return any discussion that has new or that has language or that doesn't have start (independently of having new or language and so it should give at least (and probably much more) the same number of results than new language (=new OR language).
@jrikhal and @dnovinc
This conversation is super nifty and I'd never come across this before. It's good to know though!
Do you want to add these search bar tips here: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Forum_Guide:Where_to_Discuss_What_on_Duolingo%28Unofficial%29
I have a link and a comment up so far, but it would be nice to have an step by step added explanation added. To edit the page you can sign up for an account but I also think you can just do it as a guest. :)
Q: I'm new to Duolingo. How do I get started?
A: 1. Start out in the "Home" tab. Here you will find your Duolingo tree. Once you complete all of the lessons in a section such as "Basics 1", other sections will become available to you. 2. Check out the following things. - The "Immersion" tab This section will really help fine tune your foreign language knowledge. It will be more helpful when you've learned more, but check it out. - The cogwheel/gear drop down menu on the right side of the menu. This contains "Help" and "Settings" Check out both of these because they contain really helpful information and options that will enhance your learning. 3. Make friends. They will encourage your learning. 4. Participate in the Discussions. Here you will find answers to many of your questions. If something is confusing you, most likely it confused someone else, so you will often find an answer in the discussions. And, if the answer isn't there, just start a new discussion.
A: There are several ways you can practice your weakest words:
- By clicking "Lesson practice" button that is above your Leaderboard (weakest words from your whole vocabulary)
- By clicking "Practice weakest words" button that is in vocabulary (weakest words from your whole vocabulary)
- By clicking "Practice skill" button that can be found in every skill (weakest words just from that skill)
note that there is no difference between #1 and #2, they lead to the same page
there is also "Real world practice" that lets you strengthen words from your vocabulary by translating an article from immersion (I think this is unlocked when a user passes certain amount of skills or they are testing it)
When in the Words section (i'm using a browser), on the right hand side is a window with the indicator key and an option to 'Review Flashcards' i ran through this a couple of times and seemed to improve on most of the words that i was weaker on. It won't cover every word but is a quick way to catch up with a varied vocabulary test.
Q: How can I help Duolingo users learning my language ?
A: In Discussion tab there are language sections which contain general questions about that language as well as questions about specific sentences taught through Duolingo lessons.
note: When answering a question try to back up your answer with dictionary or grammar references.
Q: What Duolingo actually does when a user is reported for abuse by another (several) user(s) in the Immersion part?
A: [cf. http://www.duolingo.com/comment/795393]
Duolingo uses the reports to help to identify people who are entering garbage translations just to get points.
If Duolingo sees that, it deletes those translations and takes back the points that were awarded for them.
Duolingo is careful to never take points away unfairly.
Duolingo advices to not report a user unless you think he/she is doing something intentionally wrong.
Note that right now (but it could change) you can only report someone once: once you reported him, the report will stay forever. except, of course, if you undo the report action.
Q : I want to translate articles in the Immersion section. What rules should I observe while translating?
[I'm copying/pasting the comments of olimo (that I find great) from this discussion: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/374605.]
A: For technical texts like user manuals the language has to be as precise as possible. There are usually glossaries of terms and you can't use synonyms if the word is in the glossary. You can't add anything or remove anything. Of course this does not mean you have to use exactly the same word order that is used in the source, but you have to convey every concept that is present there. Once as a beginner I translated "mp3 files" with something like "files encoded in mp3 format" and was told off for adding the words that were not there.
You also have to take cultural differencies into account. For example, Russian is much less personal than English, so we don't write "your computer" but just "computer" (in Russian). Omitting "your" is not a mistake here but adherence to the standards of style.
For articles or marketing texts like booklets and leaflets we have to use more "beautiful" style. The language has to be rich, natural and pleasant to read. However, we are still not allowed to remove any information or add anything. We can't rewrite 5 English sentences with 3 Russian ones: as a rule it is one target sentence for one source sentence, only very rarely they are split or combined.
I have never translated literature, but of course a good fiction translation is impossible if the translator is not a good writer himself. Here, the language must be as rich and vivid as possible and not only convey the facts but emotions as well.
Now comes Wikipedia. The goal is usually to make some article available in another language. This can be achieved either by straightforward translation from the source language or by collecting the facts and writing the article from scratch. It can also be a combination of both. People who use Wikipedia don't ask for exact translations, they just need reliable and accurate information in their language. However, if you translate Wikipedia in some sentence-by-sentence editor like here on Duolingo, it is the best practice to make it accurate. "Accurate" does not mean "literal", style has to be as good and natural as possible. It would be also the best for other users to learn from accurate translations.
Another point I want to make is respect. First of all, a translator should respect the text author. It is above all his or her work, the translator only acting as a means to make the original text available for people from other countries and cultures. It is not translator's business to judge if the text is good or bad, helpful or useless, reliable or false. He has to translate it, that's all.
Second, a translator or editor should respect his or her fellow translators. Perhaps this rule is not official, but it is impolite to rewrite someone's translation unless it contains mistakes or inaccuracies or is absolutely poorly phrased. Rewriting valid translations is unnecessary work for you and can create inconsistencies across many articles in the project.
For people who read the translations of others here on Duolingo, I'd like to suggest the following algorithm: Is the current translation correct (i.e. is the meaning right, is it in adequate tense, are the words translated correctly, is not something omitted or added)? If no, edit it. If yes, proceed to the next step. Is the style of the translation acceptable? If you saw this sentence on Wikipedia, would you click "edit" to rewrite the style because you can't bear it or can it be accepted as is? If it can be accepted, just confirm it. If it is absolutely bad, rewrite it.
I think some things that are mentioned here should go on the "Help" page. Like, praktical things on how to use the site, where to find certain buttons and what the different symbols (coins, lingots,..) are for.
My personal question is what's with the green puzzle pieces from immersion?
A: If you're in the test group you can earn them by leveling up, by learning a skill, by finishing a lesson without losing any hearts, by having longer streaks, and by inviting friends that end up signing up to Duolingo. If you're not, just wait couple of weeks when they are going to be accessible to everyone.
Q: How to stop receiving notifications from a specific discussion ?
A: One way is to press "Unfollow Discussion" button that can be found in your email notification or by pressing "Following Discussion" (green button in right upper corner of the discussion you want to unfollow)
I added some of these questions to the Duo Wikia, http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Frequently_asked_questions. I hope you guys don't mind, I did reference this post though.
Q: How does the Duolingo experience differ for users of different platforms? What (if any) features does an Android user (for example) have that an iPhone user doesn't, and vice versa?
A: I don't know! I'm just curious about what other users are talking about when they refer to "their owls," "duels," et cetera.