1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Venting a little...


Venting a little...

I was doing some translations the other day for the first time. I been reading in German for awhile and I decided to give immersion a try. At first, I sorta liked it and I was getting excited about leveling up. I was about 88 likes and about 4 down votes. I went to bed, and when I woke up. I had 88 likes and 89 down votes.

I wasn't angry at the time. I was a little confused that someone would down vote me and not correct my sentence. But I thought that he might have thought I was using Google Translate or Duo Bot a little too much. I did use a translator because I am not a native German speaker and I don't want to put something that is complete garbage down, but what happened next is what got me on my high horse.

After a day or two, I been getting really good up votes and I went back to my original article, I saw that a couple more people read the same one that was down voted and up voted the unchanged translations. I thought they might be just "auto-up voters" But that was debunked because they did change a couple of sentences.

Anyways, I am about 140 likes and 90 Dislikes right now. 60% positive. Unless you can reset, I have to wait until about 1000 likes before leveling up. Whoever did all those dislikes are complete jerks.

Okay, vent is over... I am going to have some coffee and read a German book and Duo some more. I guess that levels does not mean you are fluent or not. It is how you hold yourself when you are away from the computer that counts most.

April 14, 2015



Duolingo REALLY need to stop this. You shouldn't be able to down vote in immersion, until your reach a certain level in that language and/or translation level.


Yes, people have been complaining about this for quite a while, I'm surprised they haven't done anything about it yet. Personally, I think they should just take away the option to down vote. If the translation is good, up vote it, if it's not, then edit it.


Actually, they already have a form of this in that only votes from your translation tier or higher count (it says this on the question mark next to Your progress to next tier (or something like that). Granted, if you're tier 1, then that doesn't make any difference


Either that or make a comment mandatory to accompany a downvote, so one couldn't downvote without explaining why.


That could be even more frustrating if the comment is completely stupid and wrong... But I guess then you'd at least know if the feedback was anything to actually worry about.


Yes, I thought this could be an issue.


Hey! Don't get too frustrated! Unfortunately, there are some really obnoxious people on Duolingo who are so classless as to attempt to destroy a wonderful website and ruin the experience for everybody. I've been lucky so far with 285 upvotes and no downvotes, but I've frequently heard about those less fortunate than I.

I think Duolingo is doing a great job trying to get the necessary resources readily available to the community so that we do understand how different features work and how not to abuse them. (For example, the Unofficial Duo WIki recently got a sticky at the top of the discussion form which is very helpful). Some people don't understand that editing a sentence with constructive criticism is a better way to go than down voting someone's work.

That being said, if you give us a link or two to articles you have translated a lot of, we can upvote you some and help improve your percentage so you can advance to the next level.


Here are a few links: https://www.duolingo.com/translation/573371cfbdb47deef73d62f15fa2edfa https://www.duolingo.com/translation/c4a5282ee2576a8dd072799bff9c259f

This will really help me. In some ways I am reluctant of doing this. It feels like more of a pity party than doing justice. I feel like instead of using numbers on a computer to justify this. I should do it in the real world instead.


Brice, I'll be honest here. I don't think I ever actually downvoted you, but I began ignoring anything you were editing because it was just so badly done that it seemed like you were pulling directly from Google Translate and not even trying to edit the bad English from GT into good English. Most everything I would see was nonsensical, to the point that I'd have to completely re-do the translation to make it correct. I give detailed explanations when I do edits, but to me it seemed like there was no effort put into your translations at all, so I just ignored anything you were working on instead of trying to edit it. I wouldn't be surprised if others looked at your translations and thought the same thing as I did.

I would suggest that instead of going for quantity of sentences translated, you go for quality. Edit short sentences where you can translate each word, and then put those words together in grammatically correct English.


True, have some lingots, I do fall into the habit of thinking to myself "Yeah, that is exactly the same sense I read in German" and slap the English translation over. I will double check my English translations after every article from now on to make sure that the sense is there.

Also, the more confident I become in German, the better translator I become. I think anyone should not be punished for actively reading and learning German. I am not point hogging to reach level cap. I really want to learn.


You're welcome! And now that I know you're serious about the translating, I won't ignore. :)


This interaction between Brice and Moswell shows how good the community can be here at Duolingo! Both of you are honest and constructive.

It is so easy to get defensive or read too much into comments over the Internet. It is even harder considering how self-conscious we can get about all the mistakes we make as we learn a new language.

Thank you both!


Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I got the impression that only a limited number of upvotes per sentence count to your benefit. So you can't get a lot of people to upvote the same sentence. It won't hurt, but it won't help either.


This is something that unfortunately we have no control over. The only real thing we (users, students) can do is get some evidence in case there is (such as the person who edits translations with no reason) and send them to "abuse@duolingo.com".

It's really frustrating to see that this is one of the most recurrent problems and still there is not any way around it.


You have reached Level 19 and you're doing fine! Don't let anyone get you down. Unfortunately there are lots of jerks in the world who seem to enjoy raining on others' parades. I just treat such persons as if they didn't exist. The only vote that really counts is the one you cast for yourself. Have lingot!


Exactly! I have enjoyed reaching Tier 4, because that means I get full credit for the work I do. After that, it is enjoyable, but certainly not necessary, to garner upvotes, and downvotes without explanations can be completely ignored. If I were given a vote- I would vote to eliminate the downvote or put it in the hands of only those who have reached a higher tier, but a year and a half of reading such articles as this one has convinced me Duo. is not about to change current policy.


It's stories like this that have kept me too afraid of getting into immersion. I need to feel I'm getting something from the time I put in and if I got downvoted for no reason I'd be upset.


I'd be frustrated too! That's terrible. Duolingo needs to make guidelines to Immersion mandatory reading before anyone edits. Otherwise its not obvious how detrimental down voting something can be, especially for a minor issue. Also Fazac's recommendation about restricting down voting to a particular translation tier is interesting.


I know that you can abuse the immersion system to get incredible amount of points without learning a thing. Duo has a few loopholes that need to be fixed. And I am sure that the team knows these things happen. And I hope that they can find a way to fix it. I like the "high tier readers can down vote and no one else" Idea. Therefore, trolls can't just down vote without doing some work first.


That sounds like a great idea to me. Very few, if any, of our annoyance posts on the forums seem to be from members with more than one language and/or a level higher than 4 or 5.


>Therefore, trolls can't just down vote without doing some work first.

You underestimate the work trolls are willing to do to troll.


You are better off staying completely off immersion anyway imo, I find immersion only good lvling and appearing more knowledgable on forums in your language which you quickly discover is a rather hollow purpose. Now i just focus on regolding my french and spanish trees, hammering the basics


I enjoy immersion. Every now and then I get annoyed by someone's edit of my translation that I disagree with, but most of the time I just move on. I like reading the foreign news articles and seeing the day's events in another language, and doing it in immersion forces me to really read it, not just skim for basic understanding. And even the Wikipedia articles are neat: it's amazing how different the German articles are from their English-language counterparts. They focus on completely different things in people's lives!


I like immersion as well. I don't really feel up to doing much in German immersion yet, but I'll get there. There was a time when I wouldn't have felt like I could do the Spanish articles either.


Different countries, different cultures, different histories. It's not "amazing", it's educational.


I believe people shouldn't be able to down vote in immersion. If you want to help, great!! Please do!! I think that is what Duolingo intends for users to do. But if you just are going to down vote and do nothing else, it is completely unnecessary... just unkind. Don't let people like that ruin your learning.... it is not worth your time.


I agree. I fail to see that down voting serves any useful purpose other than to discourage those of us who are trying to learn this language. I know very little, but I've attempted some Immersion translating for the challenge it presents. Yeah, I know I don't always get it all right, but just edit it. I don't need an internet troll downvoting me just to make himself feel superior. Get a life, troll!


True, I am not the best translator because I sometimes get confused by the sense in German. Just like you don't expect a baby to be an all-star athlete in a year, the same expatiation should be for people who are just starting out on something as difficult like language learning.


Post the links to your article or upload and translate a short article and post it here, I and im sure others will be appy to upvote ^^


very true. It really depends on how you feel about your fluency not what others do.


Sorry that happened to you. I'm not at the level in my German where I feel confident working on German immersion, but if I see your name around, I'll be sure to give you a few extra upvotes. I did give you a few today.

I think that once you get past the first couple of levels, there are fewer people that downvote you for bad reasons. The only time I ever downvoted someone was when I was at level 1, when I didn't know any better.


I just started translating yesterday and didn't realise that people could do this. I agree with Fazac, below, who says that people ought to be able to either edit or upvote. Not sure why people would want to downvote someone's efforts, we're all learning after all. Don't let it hold you back, what goes around comes around (hopefully!)


I think that there should be a flag button instead of a down vote. I mean, there could be the trolls who want to get free points but putting one letter down and get 1-8 points. Those are the people that need the down votes. Not ones who are actively reading/learning.


"Go your own way and let people talk". -Horace (Roman poet)


I gave up translations for reasons like these. Normally, I only translate subjects of which I am very knowledgeable, so early on I did a translation on WHERE I LIVE, and was edited beyond belief. There is a train of thought that translations are word-for-word, but they are not. In fact, many foreign language translations are pathetic, which I am sure is the fact going the other way as well. Let a native speaker connect to other native speakers through a proper translation into the target language....that may include some new words and exclude others...right? No. Result? Clunky translations that miss the essence of the information. Multiple thumbs down later, I simply walked off never to return. Don't look back. Forget about it. Even top notch professionals get it wrong, and cause International incidents with their poor choice of words, so why worry?


May I ask where the 'rules' for immersion are written down? I find the whole thing rather confusing. I don't know the etiquette or the conventions. I attempted to translate an article which consisted of an entire list of English book titles. Apparently book titles are left in the language of origin.....in which case why have the article on a translation site at all? All my attempts at translation into German were promptly returned to English by someone else. What a waste of my effort!


Take a look here: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Immersion. And I'm sorry you got stuck wasting all that time! That is definitely an article that shouldn't have been uploaded, I'd say!


Thank you so much for such a prompt and pertinent reply!


But this is all unofficial right?


It's unofficial official. They're not official, but if you want to be a good translator, you should be doing them anyways.


I have worked as a translator, and I do not like the free for all of DL, I actually want more guidance, something official.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.