Strange community translations

A couple of times I have come across very strange translation suggestions. The most recent one was the Russian “гипс”, which was turned to “werfen” in German. This makes no sense, until you realize that both are translations of the English word “cast”.

Sometimes these hints are supported by a few people - which makes you wonder - but sometimes the number given is 0. I guess my question is, in order to understand the origin of those hints: Does the system make use of such “transitive” translations? Or is it Google Translate that messes up?

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This is a serious problem! I come across these strange translations every day that I study with Lingq. It is a hindrance, it stands in the way of effective learning and it costs a lot of time to sort it out: “The given translation is nonsense, but what should it be …?” Especially beginners who trustfully turn to the “all community translations” or the “user hints” as they are called in the Classic version, will be confused and disappointed. What can be done about this problem? Should there be inspectors for every combination of languages who control the given translations in the given contexts and who at the same time think about what the word could mean in other contexts?

Well, of course you have to check if the hint makes sense in the current context. If it does, I usually accept it. If it doesn’t, I consult a dictionary. And at least in some viewers we can all vote down certain hints. I don’t think there is a need for dedicated “inspectors”.

My question was more about how these things happen in the first place.

Hi svenreichard,
es, we do have occasional translations that appear in the wrong languages. This is caused when users have set up their Hint language incorrectly and add new hints.
We are clearing this wrong hints and moving them to correct language all the time and we hope to have all this wrong hints removed/moved soon.

That is another problem. In the case I cited the language assignments were correct.

I also encounter a similar problem, when checking a blue word with no hints on it, the automatic google translation says something that makes no sense and when popping up the google translator it gave a different translation. I’m not sure but that happen to me only on the new view mode. I like the new view, but i find that the hint and translations are working faster and with less issues on the classic. For example, the hints that a create on a different language are not sowing up on the new view, that means I have a bunch of yellow words with no hint at all, but when opened with the classic view I can see the hints.

Hi esko_yera,
The issue with hints in other languages not showing up is already familiar to us and we hope to have it fixed tomorrow. We are also doing our best to improve speed on the new reader and make it work faster and more reliable.

I’ve worried about how many spurious suggestions I may be adding.

LingQ (not unreasonably) seems to complete user input when the return/enter key is pressed. But I’m using the Japanese dictionary for studying Korean, and when typing Japanese you have to hit return/enter to choose each converted kanji.

Normally the input source wouldn’t pass those on as text to the browser, but LingQ seems to intercept the keypress directly, and often thinks that I’ve completed my editing early, often 2 or 3 times per item.

I hope those don’t get stored away as user suggestions, since they’re just half-baked gobbledegook.

I think in this case, Google Translate is what is messing it up. Google Translate does not translate all languages directly into all other languages. Instead, it has certain language combinations that it does really well. Of course, it is mostly setup for English and usually works best when English is one of the languages. To translate from Russian to German, Google Translate will translate the word into English first and then into German. Usually this is fine, but quite often you end up getting nonsense.

This is how I work. I check out words if the hint makes no sense in the given context, otherwise I just trust it. It is not ideal of course, but it is mostly accurate and is much faster. Of course it is better to have accurate professional translations for each word, such as what you would get in a professional dictionary. On the other hand, I have such a professional German–>English dictionary installed on my Kindle and maybe 75% of the German words I look up are not in it (though my vocabulary in German is quite large, so I usually look up rarer words).