Hi TraceyG, sorry for the late answer.
You wrote “I change the translation.”
Well, in fact you don’t. You create a new one. Whenever you edit a translation someone else wrote and press ‘enter’, you create a new hint. You can look at the collections of hints available for a specific word or phrase by clicking ‘popular translations’.
Let’s say 3 people used translation #1, 1 person #2, 1 person #3.
Now you come along and add something to translation #1. You will see that a translation #4 appears in the list, used by one person (you) while translation #1 stays untouched.
Until a few days ago, you had the option to edit these translations. You could mark a false translation as such. LingQ staff were to look after translations that had been marked as wrong twice and remove them. That was THE cleanup mechanism for garbage translations. It has vanished now.
I never looked for wrong translations. When I needed the function, it was mostly because I had had something to add to a translation I had written or misspelled something.
Sadly the edit option is gone now, that’s what I meant in my original posting.
I am learning modern Greek here, a language with a wide variety of verb forms, and I use LingQ to acquire these forms. But this consumes much too much time.
When I am working on a lesson on my phone, I don’t have the time to look up these details, I prefer just to write down the translation(s) I find.
Ideally, the system should allow me to edit my own translation later when I know more about the word.
To stay in my situation, I think the majority of the Greek learners has chosen Google translate as their preferred translation source (also the default setting). Google translate does two things:
- It offers you exactly one translation.
- It often offers you erroneous translations when you ask for single words while it is good at translating whole sentences or phrases.
About 1: Just as you wrote, you often need three or more translations instead of the one that’s often presented to you by the system. I think the automatic translation is to blame here. You can help yourself by selecting a more powerful dictionary from the menu, or look at popular translations first. A strength of Google translate on the other hand is that it deals with different forms of verbs/nouns directly, while using standard dictionaries you first have to figure out what the basic form is.
About 2: I just found a good, representative example of what happens often when I use LingQ on Greek words (system language German):
word I am looking for:
Er/sie/es sah (English: he/she/it saw)
3 people fortunately used my super precise hint:
i.e. my abbreviation for third person singular, aorist of sehen(English: see).
2 people, probably before I offered my hint, had used this hint:
“Säge” (English: saw (the tool for cutting wood etc))
This happens all the time until someone comes up with a valid translation.
Why do so many learners use false translations? I guess it is because on the one hand they want to collect LingQs (in order to preserve their activity streak), and on the other hand they want to progress. So what would a user with these two objectives in mind do when he/she sees a well known word that is still blue?
I’d say he/she will create a LingQ for it (standard setting is auto LingQ creation when you click a blue word) whithout controlling if the hint that is automatically added is correct, and voilà, the number of users voting for a completely absurd translation rises.