https://www.duolingo.com/LittleCatz

Immersion Cheating

Using Google Translate to translate sentences in the Immersion section is not cool. It ruins the experience for people. When I see a document that I want to work on translating, and then start noticing nonsensical translations, and then check the original sentence in Google Translate to see what it says in English and find out that someone just used the exact result Google Translate gave them, it's really crappy because I actually wanted to work on translating that sentence!

So please, have some integrity and don't cheat. You're not learning anything and you're just taking away from other people's opportunity to learn.

May 15, 2015

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK

True, unfortunately there are people that use Google translate to translate the sentences for them though don't let that ruin your experience. See it as an opportunity to provide an accurate translation. You are clearly able to identify nonsensical translations, so just discard them and start from scratch.

In the end you'll still learn from translating those sentences.

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/PeacockBlue

True. But more often than not, Google Translate doesn't provide any valid answers and even anywhere near a sensible translation. So really, the people who are blindly copy-pasting are posting incorrect translations which you can then take full vindictive joy in correcting. And I'm pretty sure there's already a DuoBot given translation on the immersion article itself (or this is an A/B test or my userscript dilemma), which is somewhat the same in accuracy as Google translate. Sometimes though, I type out my translation and then use GT to just verify it before submitting. Maybe that counts as cheating....

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis_Domingos

That's not cheating, because ultimately you're using your capabilities to see if the sentence makes any semblance of sense, and then you can decide whether or not to publish it. I use GT and Wiktionary while I'm in Immersion to check a few sentences for the best possible translation, but what counts is that you trust yourself and not a computer to provide you with the best translation (professional translators can't live without dictionaries either).

Some people get here and they're more excited about a number (be it level, XP or lingots) that they forget the gamification is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

It's sad, but that shouldn't stop you from doing your work and learning from it. If you're absolutely certain you've given a better response than some troll looking to get credit for you work, go back and reverse your translation how many times are necessary. Explain yourself without being overly rude, but try to stand for yourself as well.

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleCatz

I would say using GT to verify that what you wrote makes sense is totally fine. I use it for that, but of course you have to realize that it's almost never going to give you a great translation if you read it literally. It's good for inferring the meaning. And you're right, I see the DuoBot translation on Immersion documents. It just seems so pointless to me. Like, is that person just trying to get more XP by using GT's sentence? If so, that's like running a race all of your own and cheating at it. You're not helping yourself or anyone else.

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DetErMinNavn

I believe that DuoBot is just Duolingo's way of giving Duolingo users a place to check a phrase, or word that they are uncertain of, without having to open up Google Translate. It's not meant to be Copy and pasted...

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/iracemapg

I still don't feel myself confident to post a translation without take a look at GT, just to check, you know? It is not just paste & copy. And, despite other's thoughts, I think I am really learning. At my own pace.

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rosiewlf

I think "cheating" is a pretty strong word.

What annoys me is people who translate without using secondary sources to check their poor translations--or insist upon literally translating idioms because they're too lazy to research language--or can't be bothered to pull up a conjugation table. Good translation often requires secondary sources and Duolingo is too limited to provide everything--unless you want to go out into the world speaking Duolingoese. The bee is writing a letter, ect.

Throwing aspersions on someone's integrity because they are more thorough than you seems a bit nasty. I'm a GT contributor and often learn much more by breaking down and correcting poor translations there than I do in Immersion. My spouse is a native speaker so, by your standards, when I ask him to explain something in detail, I'm "cheating". I also keep Conjuga-me open when I'm translating. I learn by drawing from multiple sources and I'm not going to cheat myself by dumbing myself down.

And how, exactly, is everyone else's learning process hurting you? This sort of thing is why I spend so little time in Immersion.

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1

I think this is a bit harsh. I use lots of secondary sources, and spend a lot of time crafting sentences and still often can't nail idioms.

Sabotage or GT direct cut-and-paste (not just reference) clog things up. These ruin the flow of the article. We aren't talking about well-meaning people here who are just starting to translate and need a crutch. We are talking about a bunch of gibberish nonsense entered by people who don't want to translate.

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HebrewLearner

I really don't see why people would even use Google Translate. I mean, what is the point of using a language learning tool if you aren't trying to learn a language? It just makes no sense to me.

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleCatz

That's exactly how I feel! It seems so pointless to use it for anything more than to double check that you understood the concept of what the sentence was.

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1

There are a few lazy people here who don't want to learn, just to rack up points (for what end I have no idea, as you can't do anything with XP or lingots), and they ruin it for the rest of us.

For sabotage or an obvious Google Translate sentence I downvote. For the rest, I assume they want to improve and I edit and/or upvote.

Otherwise I ignore the trolls.

And yes, Google Translate is a great tool to help check what you are doing, if you want that. But that's different from cut and paste.

I love immersion - it's let me get to the point where I am reading books in Italian, so...yeah!!!

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleCatz

I agree, Immersion is a great tool for learning, and I just hate to see it be abused :-(

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dpjoseph

Google Translate is fine for checking words after you have made your translation. Anyways, GT has so many flaws. Just input this comment in GT and cycle though at least 10 random languages and back to English and this will get butchered and shortened. I've barely needed to check GT for sentences as if you pay attention, you can easily put sentences together. Also, has anybody noticed that for immersion, sometimes the translated copy already exists (like for Wikipedia)?

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/EmuLampen

You don't even need to go to multiple languages. Here is your comment, translated to Spanish, then back to English, to Spanish again and back to English again.

"Google translator is fine to have made the translation control words . However , GT has many flaws . Just enter this comment on the GT and the cycle , but at least 10 random and return to the English language and therefore is achieved in the quarter and shortened . I just needed to verify GT penalties if you pay attention , you can easily put sentences together. Also, has anybody noticed that for dipping , sometimes translated copy already exists (like Wikipedia) ?"

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleCatz

Do you mean, like, there's a German version and an English version of the same article on Wikipedia? I know I almost never see an exact translation of the same stuff on the those two different language versions. I'm pretty sure they're written and edited separately.

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BrookeLorren

Even if a person were to translate a Wikipedia article from one language to another (say, one language had an article that wasn't available in the other language), it's bound to get edited and changed by native speakers of the second language, and would eventually become a completely different article.

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GlobalWarning

Yes - I choose to translate Wikipedia pages in immersion, but when I check Wikipedia and find that a page already exists, I wonder why we are all bothering. Getting practice is one thing, but unless it also has a point, it loses its interest for me. I thought Duolingo's income was from paid-for translation, which we do as volunteers. How can this work, if the translation has already been done elsewhere? Can anyone enlighten me?

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/viola_power

Improper use of google translate makes problems for the rest of us. Recently, my german teacher accused me of using google translate on homework, because I got the adjective endings correct, and we hadn't studied them. At least I know duolinog is helping my grammar.

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/giantsboy

I agree hole heartedly ; ) here is a lingot for making a stand against cheaters

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleCatz

:-D Thank you!

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/viola_power

Thanks. I still don't know what to do with the assignment. She told me to redo it, but i can't exactly fix something that was never wrong in the first place.

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

For what it's worth, those people are really only cheating themselves. You can still ignore/replace/edit the sentence.

May 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarmady

Using Google translate for the rough initial translation is a common practice in translation industry (My Trados CAT tool is connected to Google translate for that). However using the exact rough translations is not cool.

If you use the results and improve them and the final sentence is clean and correct, in my opinion nothing is wrong and you learn something.

May 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Susanna35

I haven't got into immersion, and I've never used google translate. I have used bing (microsoft), but only on stuff on my own computer. I will translate it into Italian, then back to English. Overall, the translation into Italian seems pretty good - not perfect, of course, that can never be done with an automated translator - but the translations back into English are horrible. They frequently miss words completely (that happens some in the translation to Italian, but not to the same extent). Having said this, I just want to say that online translators can be helpful, but they are certainly not dependable. And if someone is using them just to get credit for translating without actually translating, that's at least close to cheating if not completely.

May 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuri353531

I don't see any harm in it if it's used to determine things such as masculine or feminine words.

June 26, 2019
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