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Old French (or any other ancient form of language) - translate or not?

There is a part of Song of Roland in the Immersion section - http://www.duolingo.com/translation/c669c0ece95d8b5b127a57b85b1b38fe. It contains parts in Old French and in modern French. The modern language is definitely to be translated, but there's a controversion whether to translate Old French too or not.

For me the medieval form wouldn't be so much more difficult than the modern (it has a lot in common with medieval latin which I have studied for a year), but as this site is dedicated to study of modern languages (at least now), not to translate it would make more sense.

Brief search didn't lead to a solution, so I ask this way: is there any policy concerning very old language forms in the articles for translation? Should I translate it, pick only parts that seem to be in modern language, or report the article as offtopic (different, though similar language - the language of Song of Roland is definitely more different from modern French than Slovak is from Czech - these two are mutually understandable, but different languages).

October 13, 2013



Someone should add Old French to the Incubator! ;)

(No, seriously, that would be awesome.)

"The Song of Roland" was written slightly earlier than "The Canterbury Tales," to put this question into perspective for English speakers. Here's the original text of "The Canterbury Tales": http://www.canterburytales.org/canterbury_tales.html

My feeling is that this text is in the wrong language for the (Modern) French section, but I'm curious to see an official answer from Duolingo.


My feeling from looking at the original document is that the submitter probably only wanted to submit the right hand column, which is the modern french 'version', for translation. But because there isn't the facility to submit only part, or sections, of a document they had to submit it all.

If duolingo implemented some sort of control for submitters to deselect some parts of a web-page then this user would have been able to use that to our advantage in this case. Because really, the way it's presented now with the old and new french jumbled together is confusing.

This submitter's control tool would also allow us to remove non-useful parts of wikipedia pages, like the sources list, that currently clutter up immersion articles from that source.

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