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Immersion Tug-o'-War

There are many French translators working on an article "Fee Morgane" and it seems to me to be a bit of a tug-o'-war. People translate her name Morgan le Fay, Morgane le Fay, Fey and then there are those who translate her at Morgan(e) the Fairy, the Fairy Morgan(e). The first line alone has 39 translations. It goes back and forth. How long does this go on? Is there an arbitrator who steps in in a case like this? Most times when it shows up in my inbox I try to "correct" it to what I think it should be, but it is very frustrating to have 2 sides so diametrically opposed as to a translation. I am really tempted to just give this one up. Do the powers at Duolingo ever get involved in cases like these? I have never seen one before. Thanks!

September 25, 2013



I wish Duo could have helped these sort of issues by providing a discussion thread for each document (instead of just a small comment box at each sentences). That way a consensus can be negotiated by the various translators, possibly after each side presented their case or by the document uploader making a decision or however it will be. A consensus, even one where you disagree with, is almost always better than an edit war.


Aaaamen! And the thing I don't like about the comment box is that you have to change the translation in order to be able to write in the comment box. A thread would be so much better.


Excellent idea. I second the motion.


Happens in German as well. No idea what to do, I no longer do much translating for that reason.


I've just about given up too.


I corrected a translation one time in which I spent a lot of time researching the correct word. The person I corrected came right back and returned it back to his/her translation. I just shrugged my shoulders and thought, oh well, I don't want to get into some silly tug-o'-war. So I can feel your pain. :-( I even sent this person links to French dictionary definitions of the word in question, and links to terms of the trade in English, to back up my revision, but I never received a response...


I know the feeling. It's frustrating.


There was (or maybe still is) a batter vs. dough tug of war on Gateau. After a few weeks of getting multiple emails everyday about it, I chose to stop getting notifications from it. It has made life a whole lot better :)


That's the exact document that was completed and then came back from the dead.


Yep, the problem seems to be a bunch of French newbies jumping in there and looking up the translation for a particular word and replacing the existing translation with the literal one. There is a batter vs dough tug of war and also a pastry vs dessert vs sweet bread.


My feeling on this is that it's not wikipedia, where changes show up to the public straight away. You don't have to worry about someone coming to the article and being misinformed. So there's no point in getting into an edit war.

Best to put your translation in (perhaps with a note to support your reasoning) and then leave it at that, trusting in the system to usually get it right.

Also, I think that whoever receives the finished translation should be able to 'open up' any sentence and see the different translations given and thus be able to see alternatives to the final chosen one. At least, I hope they would have that access.


Agreed, translation is mainly an art not a science. One person's nonsense or trash is another person's art. So there isn't one right answer and there are many wrong answers. The system will sort it out eventually.


This is a real issue, but as many here have said, the best thing I've found to do is unsubscribe after doing the translation. It seems like it gets worse when the article is recommended by the system after people finish a lesson.

I would like to see the tools disallow duplicate translations and allow voting on the variants when conflicts arise. This would stop the barrage of back and forth edits. The system could show something like "This translation was already proposed in a previous revision. Please use the voting buttons to cast a vote for it if you think it is the best translation." Then, next to each revision, have the up and down voting arrows just like these comments do.

A discussion thread for each article would also be nice.

Given this is their states way to make money, I would think they would be focusing on improving it as a priority.


lol... This could go on forever and ever because there isn't just one correct answer.

Per Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_le_Fay

"Morgan le Fay /ˈmɔrɡən lə ˈfeɪ/, alternatively known as Morgan le Faye, Morgane, Morgaine, Morgana and other names"


Thanks everyone. Several of us have put rationale for why Morgan le Fay is correct. My mom is a huge Arthur fan so I heard all the renditions, saw all the movies. I researched it, just to be sure and on top of it all, I know Morgan is not a fairy. I'd be happy with just about any of the Morgan le Fay/le Faye/ Morgane/Morgana, etc. I am glad to hear that I am not alone in my frustration and that helps.


My advice is that you use the shotgun method. Rather just put it as something like "Morgan Le Fay (also known as Morgan le Fay, le Faye, Morgana, Morgane, Morgan the Faire)".

Then you get the best of both worlds, because no amount of research will help with that. It is a very old story which has been translated, mutilated, and altered so many times that nobody probably knows what the original story was. For all we know she was originally Arthur's mother, and was called Morgan La Feia ( Morgan the ugly).

In any case I've seen this happen with some documents I translated. One time the translation was considered complete, then suddenly someone changed something and it became incomplete again.

Your best bet is to make your contribution, and forget (unsubscribe) the document (like I did), because I'm certain the staff is aware of this, and perhaps they'll fix it someday.


It kinda shows the flaw in the whole process


I agree, at the moment it's not good. But ... It's a work in progress. Duolingo uses discussions such as this to aid in the process of revision and improvement.

In the relatively brief time I've been here the lessons have improved significantly -- I'd be surprised if we don't see some substantial improvements in the Immersion process as well.


In respones to ryan5, I think it is something that can be easily and inexpensively fixed.

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