I am puzzled by your post. I have long found many translations for the Russian lessons to be
inaccurate (the most common error is that whoever created them doesn't understand the meaning/role of the grammatical cases used so who is doing what to whom is incorrectly translated).
Whenever I see something that is wrong, I change the translation. I don't know anything about erasing the number of uses, I just insert the correct translation. The correction appears in my review exercises so I am assuming that they remain in the lesson for others to use since I also receive statistics that X number of my translations have been used by others. (Of course someone could change my translation to something else in the future but the translation that appears on my own vocabulary list remains the one I corrected.)
Thus, in my own experience (I also change incorrect translations of Spanish lessons), it is possible to change an incorrect translation regardless of how many times it has been accepted by prior users. (Why they are accepting the mistakes is mystery to me since often the translation is waaaaay off and doesn't make sense. If one doesn't understand what a phrase or word in a particular context truly means, certainly one cannot use it correctly in the future. By far the most pervasive problems seems to be: (1) users don't understand the grammatical construction of given phrases or sentences;, and (2) users don't understand that words can have different meanings in given contexts and that one should choose the correct one for that context in order to use it correctly in the future. (One can add that a word has a different meaning in a different context but I don't understand using a translation that makes no sense in a given context.) Sometimes these errors even occur in a lesson that specifically addresses the grammatical construction or lexical distinctions that are incorrectly translated!
Anyway, perhaps I've misunderstood your post, but I have had no problems correcting translations when warranted for either Russian or Spanish lessons.
One thing I do notice when adding my own translation, and going back to the word to select it, only my translation appears. However, the incorrect translation has not disappeared, and is merely hidden from me. I know this because I have found that when I ignore the word I just 'corrected' - I do this for words that I have corrected but knew the meaning of before correcting - the old incorrect translations re-appear. I also note that when I come across the same word elsewhere e.g. later in the text, the incorrect translations appear. Therefore, I believe that the corrected translation I have made only appears on the specific page that I corrected, and on other pages my correction appears alongside the incorrect translations. I should state that the corrections I have made are on private documents, and as such other members are unable to view them.
You are correct though about translations being way of. It is clear that non-natives are correcting text without proper knowledge of the English language. I presume this will also be the case for e.g. native Spaniards reading corrected Spanish text. It is also clear that many are taking words and phrases directly from Google Translate without any proper research into the contexts they're used in. Some of the the phrases are complete gobbledegook and some words don't even exist in the language or are grammatically incorrect. See 'uncomplete' being upvoted numerously over the correct 'incomplete'. The upvoting of the incorrect translation also lends credence to it being correct, as 'how could so many people be wrong?'. It is frustrating not to be able to correct mistakes made by people who've no grasp of the grammatical structure of a language nor any mastery of it. Meanwhile, the same mistake will continue to appear later in a document or in other documents, even though I've already 'corrected' it.February 10 at 11:19
Hi aitchemm :-)
"is merely hidden from me."
Please have a look at a LingQ you have created. Under the text field containing the hint you entered you can see two buttons: "all dictionaries" and "popular translations". Click the latter and you will see all the translations that have been used by other LingQ members and yourself.
" many are taking words and phrases directly from Google Translate"
Yes, that's what I think, too. As I wrote in my answer to TraceyG's statement, I think in many cases these learners will know the word they are creating a (false) lingQ for quite well but won't care about the hint it contains, thus ignoring the fact that they are polluting the learning environment for others.February 11 at 23:15
Yes, I know I can do that, but what I meant is when I go back over the text in which I highlighted a word and I click on that word, the popular translations are hidden and it only presents me with the translation I added. As I said, when I go to the same word in another text I haven't covered it will automatically show me a number of translations.
I agree that many don't care about the hint. This is a massive problem with gamification in language learning. The emphasis is on not breaking your streak and having this 'target' for words 'learned', rather than on making meaningful progress. I detest gamification. It is designed to get you hooked and make you feel guilty for not having achieved these often arbitrary targets. It is one thing I hate about Lingq, not to mention Memrise which is much worse, and all of those other language learning apps. I want to feel as if I'm genuinely learning, and not as if I'm being scolded for not going fast enough and pressurised into going at a rate of noughts just to hit your target for the day, but I guess that's a whole other argument.February 13 at 20:56
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:
1) It offers you exactly one translation.
2) 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.February 11 at 23:04