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Two observations about the Exchange.

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Well, I'll just repeat what I said above:

"How can a learner of a language evaluate the accuracy of corrections for a language with which they may or may not be familiar?"

Your position is apparently that it does not matter if a learner with low language ability is swindled into paying for poor quality learning materials.

Presumably a person requesting a correction will do so more than once. On each occasion they will see at least one, and often more than one translation. Going over these different translations is good training. Others cannot also comment on inappropriate corrections. I think the whole process is beneficial to the learner, and to other learners, regardless of level.

If the learner wants, he or she can specifically designate a native speaker tutor as the corrector.

I don't really see a problem here. I like the dynamic of many correctors.

In my case, when selecting whom to pay, since I would prefer a native speaker corrector, I would not pay for a non-native. I recognize , however, that there are some native speakers who are poor correctors, and some non-natives who might be excellent.

"Presumably a person requesting a correction will do so more than once. On each occasion they will see at least one, and often more than one translation. Going over these different translations is good training. Others cannot also comment on inappropriate corrections. I think the whole process is beneficial to the learner, and to other learners, regardless of level."

I cannot tell if your point applies to translations, corrections, or to both. In general, I think that multiple corrections - some good, some poor - will result in nothing but confusion on the part of the inexperienced learner.

It seems to me that you are assuming the learner is as experienced as you are. You have the ability to recognize errors even in languages you speak poorly. I, for one, cannot.

No that is not what I am saying,David. I am saying that the process, despite some imperfections, works fine. A learner can designate a native speaker if that is desired, but on the whole benefits from the open exchange which is more flexible and where a variety of input is obtained. This much better than the previous set up where learners often had to wait a long time for corrections, and often received poor corrections even from native speakers.

The odd incorrect correction will have little effect on the learner. With the proper response from others on the exchange, the learners will orient themselves to the correctors they prefer.

Remember, it is the process of interacting with the language, in many different ways, that leads to progress in the language. A single corrected text is quickly forgotten and has little impact, even one that is flawless.

A single badly corrected text that costs three and a half bucks every hundred words does not a good deal make, even if the errors are quickly forgotten.

My point is not the amount of money, it is that money is being paid at all. This would be fine if there were a guarantee to good quality.

People can pay what they want. There is no guarantee that the corrector will be paid as I understand it.

"There is no guarantee that the corrector will be paid as I understand it."

That's a whole 'notha problem.

It was suggested by Mikebond to make payment automatic, as in the old system. I'd have to agree with him. That is, only if there is some kind of guarantee of quality, or rather a safeguard, available.

Vera has made some interesting points on this topic, too.

This topic seems to be going round in circles. If you want a particular person to correct your work, ask him or her.
If you want to correct an open request, do so if you want to, native speaker or not.
If you see a poor correction on the Exchange, correct the correction if
you feel strongly enough about it.
If you receive corrections and you don't know how to deal with them, you could put together a version you think would be alright, and re-submit.
If you want to receive all the points for a correction, perhaps the Exchange is not the place to look.

I still miss an answer from LingQ support (or have I overseen it?), what to do if I see a really, really poor correction that is already closed, or where I don't have the time, or I don't want to do the correction because of the point split issue.

Hi Vera, sorry for leaving your question without an answer. As open exchange requests are optional for participation, you can contribute correcting or posting comments about poor corrections and your suggestions... but there is no guarantee that you will receive all the points or any gifted points (for closed requests). We understand and appreciate your willingness to contribute to a proper German learning, but the current system designed for giving the opportunity to more people to participate, makes it up to a request's author to award and split points. You are always welcome to contribute when you have time as it, of course, takes a lot of efforts.

I don't feel that your answer hit the point. It is not about getting paid. I don't want to make the corrections, but I feel sad if I see extremly poor corrections. They are not fair for the student who has paid for the correction. On the other hand I don't want to offend the corrector, but the correction is horrible. I feel very biased. LingQ misses here a quality control, in my opinion. The student is not able to judge the correction. If he is able, he would not need to have his text corrected.

I agree with Vera. She and I may be talking about the same correction, a fairly recent one, where a so-called correction was perhaps more of a worsening . Like Vera, I do not want to name the person and certainly do not want to get involved in a mud-slinging match.

I have no other suggestion to offer as to try to persuade correctors who know they are not completely at ease with a language to refrain from correcting others work for points.

If members want to correct texts without accepting points, but simply as an exercise or out of friendliness, that's fine, as long as they alert the learner that there may still be errors in their attempt.


P.S. Would it be possible to include a tick-box for the correctors where one would tick "Native", Non-native, Near-native, etc.?

Vera, we had no quality control before. There were many poor corrections then too, and the learner had no recourse, and we can't control all corrections.

You should not feel reluctant about pointing out poor quality correctors. I recently commented on an English correction where I thought the corrector had over corrected. There is no perfect solution. I prefer the present group correction system. We should all comment and that way learners will find out who the good correctors are, and the poor correctors will perhaps improve or drop out. That is my view.

I would agree that only native speakers should correct texts. I would not want my text corrected by a non-native no matter how good his or her knowledge of the language was. I would not pay a non-native. Perhaps we should enable people who post on the exchange to tick "native speakers only".

Unfortunately native speakers also write with mistakes, not only spelling mistakes, but also syntax errors. But it's better to have "native speakers only" correcting texts.

Fernanda, you are right, but we speak about a correction with serious problems - not about some overseen spelling mistakes. They can happen to each of us.

@ steve
some background info:

I have had a good look at this whole situation, and after discussion here at LingQ HQ, have come to the following conclusion.

My first observation is that there is quite a bit of fur flying here, as we say in English. LingQ is a unique community consisting if many different personalities. Our most active members, such as those who have gotten involved in this particular discussion, are helpful and enthusiastic people. That does not mean we won't occasionally have disagreements.

At LingQ we have chosen to go to open corrections, largely because in the previous closed system, learners often had to wait a long time for corrections. Correctors would sometimes hog writing submissions and then take days to return them. Even some of our native speaker correctors didn't always do a good job. While this was a minority of correctors, we felt that the learner had no recourse if he/she paid for a correction and it was poorly done.

I said I prefer native speaker correctors. However, others may feel differently. Others may prefer to see a prompt correction by a non-native rather than have to wait for days or longer, for a native speaker. The way our German speaking community responded to the original writing submission shows that our system works. There were problems with the original correction and others came forward to improve it. The learner benefited.

It may seem unfair that a corrected text with so many problems earned all the points and subsequent correctors earned nothing. However, we want to encourage our learners to write. Seeing the quick response and subsequent improvements will probably make the learner want to to submit more writing for correction. Next time he may wait before awarding points to the first corrector, wait until he has seen what others have to say. He can also direct the correction to a specific member.

We may add a note of warning to our notification email advising the learner to wait with awarding points until other correctors have had a chance to comment. Then he/she can distribute the points as he/she sees fit.

"Next time he may wait before awarding points to the first corrector, wait until he has seen what others have to say. He can also direct the correction to a specific member."
I am of the same opinion. That is what I am doing now. The problem is that you need some knowledge of which corrections are better than others, so 'open' correction is not for novice learners. You are supposed to be a well-informed, savvy consumer.


Fair enough!

Here is an idea of how we could establish a sort of voluntary quality control; it is only an idea, but it might reassure those of us who tend to towards perfectionism (me, for one).

I sometimes read Exchange requests as part of my general procrastination. When I see a particularly good translation or discover a good translator, I tend to comment, either on the Exchange thread or here on the Forum. So far I've done it infrequently, informally, and only on the English thread.

Would it be possible to rate correctors in the same way as we can rate tutors? I realise that this type of "star" would have to come not from the learner but from disinterested readers.

Any thoughts?

P.S. Edited for typo (ref. perfectionism!)

This is a very good idea, Sanne. I think, to see, if the corrector is a native speaker or not would help, too.

Spelling errors cannot be avoided (for me, I am a little older :-) - but I see very often that non native Speakers have mostly problems with the word order and with the new orthopraphy that we have in Germany. Even Germans have problems with that!

It shouldn't be the goal for a corrector, to bring the sentences in the optimum. The sentences must be understandable and correct in spelling and word order.

To wait for more than ONE corrector would be helpful.

It would be helpful to see the corrector's native language (maybe with a flag) next to the corrector's name.

I have just noticed that when we post a private request, the three most prolific tutors/correctors are shown. In addition there is the rose system. So the beginning of a working quality control is there.

I find that roses are fun (and nice to have). We get roses for all sorts of reasons. The problem is that newcomers don't know their way around and may not understand the significance of roses. A slightly more 'business-like' evaluation system might be useful.

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