Duolingo - how to get people to translate for free

Language Exchange ads posted in the Learning Chinese forum will be removed

Moderator: ironlady

Learn a new language for free and help expand global knowledge

Postby Modest Mouse » 04 Jan 2012, 20:02

Listen to this TED talk about how you are already helping to digitize old books. Also, how you can learn a new language for free, while simultaneously translating the web.

TED Talk:http://www.ted.com/talks/luis_von_ahn_massive_scale_online_collaboration.html

The website for free language learning talked about in the TED Talk:http://www.duolingo.com
Modest Mouse
High School Triad Member (gāozhōng liúmáng)
High School Triad Member (gāozhōng liúmáng)
 
Posts: 521
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 20 May 2008, 10:14
7 Recommends(s)
3 Recognized(s)



Re: Learn a new language for free and help expand global knowledge

Postby ironlady » 04 Jan 2012, 20:56

Yes, this one is particularly entertaining.

You can learn a new language -- that you don't know -- by providing translations for other people to use?
If only it were that easy.

I think I'll start up a Web site where you can navigate by just guessing where things are. No map cost. Sweet!

I know everyone just adores TED and many people take everything that shows up on TED as gospel and "good ideas", but I've seen this before and it really doesn't make much sense, unless you want a "chabuduo" Internet world out there.
Terry Waltz, Ph.D
Click here to Finally Learn Mandarin!
Squid for Brains Learning Games -- not your nainai's flash cards!
...although his father beat him every day, wishing him to learn the speech of Ts'e, it will be impossible for him [at least using current methods]...-Mencius
Forumosan avatar
ironlady
Goddess of Fornication & Prostitutes (tōngjiān hé jìnǚ de nǚshén)
 
Posts: 8369
Joined: 13 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: A place where people can't sleep or teach English in McDonald's
87 Recommends(s)
321 Recognized(s)
In Taiwan since: 0- 0-1987



Re: Learn a new language for free and help expand global knowledge

Postby Modest Mouse » 04 Jan 2012, 21:07

ironlady wrote:Yes, this one is particularly entertaining.

You can learn a new language -- that you don't know -- by providing translations for other people to use?
If only it were that easy.

I think I'll start up a Web site where you can navigate by just guessing where things are. No map cost. Sweet!

I know everyone just adores TED and many people take everything that shows up on TED as gospel and "good ideas", but I've seen this before and it really doesn't make much sense, unless you want a "chabuduo" Internet world out there.


Have you tried it out yet? Were you paying attention to the part where he explains how they cross-reference several users' translations?
Sure, starting at this site from scratch might be challenging, but if you have a good foreign language foundation, I think it would work a lot better.

I know they don't have Chinese yet, but a friend of mine said he had a good experience studying Spanish with this website.
Modest Mouse
High School Triad Member (gāozhōng liúmáng)
High School Triad Member (gāozhōng liúmáng)
 
Posts: 521
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 20 May 2008, 10:14
7 Recommends(s)
3 Recognized(s)



Re: Learn a new language for free and help expand global knowledge

Postby ironlady » 04 Jan 2012, 22:13

Spanish is 40% cognates with English, to start out.

But yes, I have visited the site.
I've also had experience with a similar system set up for the use of language professionals (!) where they would post terminology questions and have people answer them. The result was chaos, and more wrong answers than correct ones. And that site was catering to professional translators (though the problem that occurred was the same -- there was no quality control by anyone who actually knew the two languages in question, and a system of "votes" meant that people who didn't know where determining what was "right".) Not much different than waiting for the same wrong answer to show up several times and then deciding it's "correct". We actually would expect learners of a language who are learning without comprehensible input (no way to know what things really mean for sure) to make the same kinds of mistakes, since they will have to rely on their knowledge of their native tongue to fill in the gaps (which will be many in this sort of setup).

But it's cheap and it's sexy. Flavor of the month. I'm sure it will be very "successful". Just like immersion programs for language.
Terry Waltz, Ph.D
Click here to Finally Learn Mandarin!
Squid for Brains Learning Games -- not your nainai's flash cards!
...although his father beat him every day, wishing him to learn the speech of Ts'e, it will be impossible for him [at least using current methods]...-Mencius
Forumosan avatar
ironlady
Goddess of Fornication & Prostitutes (tōngjiān hé jìnǚ de nǚshén)
 
Posts: 8369
Joined: 13 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: A place where people can't sleep or teach English in McDonald's
87 Recommends(s)
321 Recognized(s)
In Taiwan since: 0- 0-1987



Re: Learn a new language for free and help expand global knowledge

Postby heimuoshu » 05 Jan 2012, 00:40

ironlady wrote:Spanish is 40% cognates with English, to start out.

But yes, I have visited the site.
I've also had experience with a similar system set up for the use of language professionals (!) where they would post terminology questions and have people answer them. The result was chaos, and more wrong answers than correct ones. And that site was catering to professional translators (though the problem that occurred was the same -- there was no quality control by anyone who actually knew the two languages in question, and a system of "votes" meant that people who didn't know where determining what was "right".) Not much different than waiting for the same wrong answer to show up several times and then deciding it's "correct". We actually would expect learners of a language who are learning without comprehensible input (no way to know what things really mean for sure) to make the same kinds of mistakes, since they will have to rely on their knowledge of their native tongue to fill in the gaps (which will be many in this sort of setup).

But it's cheap and it's sexy. Flavor of the month. I'm sure it will be very "successful". Just like immersion programs for language.

Sounds like yahoo answers. Thank God I have a smart wife who trusts me otherwise our kids would have not had any vaccinations based on yahoo answers and by God "smart" people vote for the shit they see. :loco:
heimuoshu
High School Triad Member (gāozhōng liúmáng)
High School Triad Member (gāozhōng liúmáng)
 
Posts: 509
Joined: 29 Oct 2004, 01:44
6 Recommends(s)
24 Recognized(s)



Re: Learn a new language for free and help expand global knowledge

Postby ehophi » 06 Jan 2012, 04:49

Duolingo would probably benefit if it used a more incremental approach. Translating whole encyclopedia passages at its outset is daunting and demotivating work.

The principle is interesting, but the error-checking doesn't appear to work without something of the following in place: One could borrow a parallel corpus of professionally translated sentences (for Chinese, maybe this one: http://corpus.nie.edu.sg/babel/index.htm). Following that, one orders the sentences by "difficulty," which from a more mathematical perspective reduces to the following variables: term/morpheme frequencies, binary/ternary/n-ary collocation frequencies, and sentence length. With colloquial outliers, most basic sentences can translate readily to another language without much grammatical concern at all. One could then incrementally increase the number of terms and the lengths of the sentences until, at last, one has learned a few thousand terms and can state sentences of invariable length.

The other line would require a parser which simplifies sentences into all of their constituent forms, but that would require a level of intervention that users probably couldn't engage, and it would be costly unless someone could devise a strategy through which one could challenge native speakers to eek out the atomic sentences from their complex ones.

My guess, as was hinted earlier, is that the TED talk cherry-picked the example. However, if you manage to borrow enough sentences from parallel corpora, determine a way to organize them by difficulty, and then feed that loop back into the data pool which estimates the accuracy of the translation, the rest is borne of itself.
Study Chinese at your leisure.
(Disclaimer: There's no moneyback guarantee because it's already free. You're welcome.)
ehophi
Gravel Truck Driver (suìshí chē sījī)
Gravel Truck Driver (suìshí chē sījī)
 
Posts: 1380
Joined: 06 Oct 2010, 04:59
Location: Tai-to-the-muthaluvin'-bei
54 Recommends(s)
67 Recognized(s)



Duolingo - how to get people to translate for free

Postby Petrichor » 21 Mar 2012, 11:51

I just came across this website: Duolingo It seems to be an underhand way of getting translations done for free. What do others think?
Use what talents you possess: The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.

http://talesfromthebeautifulisle.blogspot.com/
Forumosan avatar
Petrichor
Bird Walker (liù niǎo de rén)
 
Posts: 1446
Joined: 22 Dec 2008, 04:30
Location: Muzha
86 Recommends(s)
90 Recognized(s)



Re: Duolingo - how to get people to translate for free

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 23 Mar 2012, 02:26

Petrichor wrote:I just came across this website: Duolingo It seems to be an underhand way of getting translations done for free. What do others think?


I think anyone who uses it might be worse off than using a machine translation, since at least the vocabulary in a machine translation would be mostly correct.

It might be good for the learners to start off with, but there are much better ways of learning a language for free.
tsukinodeynatsu
Mandarin Marvel (Guóyǔ gāoshǒu)
Mandarin Marvel (Guóyǔ gāoshǒu)
 
Posts: 1816
Joined: 10 Jun 2009, 14:40
Location: Tainan
57 Recommends(s)
65 Recognized(s)



Re: Duolingo - how to get people to translate for free

Postby ehophi » 05 May 2012, 18:23

I got my invitation fifteen minutes ago. It's got bugs, or "Él es un niño" doesn't translate into "He is a boy."

But, for what it is, it's got an interesting interface, and I guess it's interactive. I'm betting that someone will get the bright idea and code it for mobile phone interfaces, since everything that the program does can be done on a cell phone.

Oh, and it could do itself a better service by teaching its users how to use a Spanish keyboard over clicking buttons for foreign characters. I don't know how much time it would have taken me if I hadn't been on my Spanish IME and had been clicking on characters squares, instead.
Study Chinese at your leisure.
(Disclaimer: There's no moneyback guarantee because it's already free. You're welcome.)
ehophi
Gravel Truck Driver (suìshí chē sījī)
Gravel Truck Driver (suìshí chē sījī)
 
Posts: 1380
Joined: 06 Oct 2010, 04:59
Location: Tai-to-the-muthaluvin'-bei
54 Recommends(s)
67 Recognized(s)



FRIENDLY REMINDER
   Please remember that Forumosa is not responsible for the content that appears on the other side of links that Forumosans post on our forums. As a discussion website, we encourage open and frank debate. We have learned that the most effective way to address questionable claims or accusations on Forumosa is by engaging in a sincere and constructive conversation. To make this website work, we must all feel safe in expressing our opinions, this also means backing up any claims with hard facts, including links to other websites.
   Please also remember that one should not believe everything one reads on the Internet, particularly from websites whose content cannot be easily verified or substantiated. Use your common sense and do not hesitate to ask for proof.




Proceed to Learning Chinese



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: Tempo Gain and 3 visitors

No man is quick enough to enjoy life to the full -- SPANISH PROVERB