Two observations about the Exchange.
Davidjvl 46301 44608
I have over the past two months made a couple of large recording requests on the exchange. One in Spanish, and one in German. Here are two things that bother me.

1. Each time that I have made an exchange request, I have received messages from people who do not speak the target language in which I have found apologies for inability to complete the request due to their not speaking the language. I'd feel more comfortable if notifications about exchange requests only went to those who speak my target language as a native language.

2. Point splitting. This problem has been elaborated upon before on the forum. Within a very short amount of time after my posting of the request yesterday, I received 3 recordings. This is great, only I had to split the points between the three users. I felt bad that each received fewer points, so I gifted them each additional points. I ended up having to use more points than I had initially desired. I don't feel this is fair. There should be a way for the poster to limit request completion to a specific number of users, per request.
October 2013
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 0
    You can do private requests, I guess? (It's fairer on the tutors too, IMO.)
    October 2013
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    Well, I could, but does that not defeat the purpose of the exchange? Like that, its no longer really an exchange, but a service, and it is much harder for a new tutor to make themselves known.

    I also like the idea of being able to get the input of a variety of native speakers, something that the exchange should be able to facilitate, I think.
    October 2013
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    The problem is nothing that can be solved easily. If you want to have more answers and make an open request, you have to split points. It is very generous that you have added points, and have spent more than you initially wanted but you don't need to do it. You can feel bad because each tutor got less points, or you feel bad because you've spent more points than you wanted.

    Helpful would be if people could see that someone has already started working on the exchange. At the moment you cannot see this. It was discussed on the forum to add a comment when you start, but I think lots of members don't know this and there was a case where a member wrote it but other members didn't recognized it.

    I figured out these problems very early when the new exchange page was invented. After some bad experiences I decided not to work on open exchanges any longer. Even with the suggested points corrections are payed on a very low rate compared with the time I need for them.


    Another problem is that members can adjust the points. I got a private request and got only 20 % of the standard rate offered for a correction.

    And recently I saw that the suggested rate for a transcript is too low compared to the time it takes. I've done a lot of transcriptions. I guess Mark, Alex and Steve have never made a transcript on their own so they don't know how much time it takes.
    October 2013
  • Moderator
    Ress 32891 12941 46812
    You are lucky! ;)
    For example, mikebond have waited for some days but his request was not fulfilled. In my native language the requests appear very seldom.
    October 2013
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    Mikebond asked for a transcription. And as I wrote above the suggested points for transcriptions are very low. So it is not attractive enough to do them.

    In German there are not much requests, but there are a lot of people interested in fulfilling them. And that is why David got so many answers in a short period of time.

    Interesting is that the quality of writing corrections differs a lot. In open requests I can see what others have corrected. Sometimes the corrections are fine, other times I saw terrible ones.

    What I miss is the option to point out that only answers from natives are requested.
    October 2013
  • Administrator
    mark 33628 3879 2042
    I will try to respond to all these points:
    If you are posting an open exchange request I don't see how we can reserve that request for native speakers only. The point is that it is open, and available to all members who would like to respond. If you want to reserve your request for a specific tutor you can post a closed request. As for point splitting, you certainly shouldn't feel like you have to add additional points for additional responses. People respond knowing that they may be sharing the points especially if they can already see that others have responded. In fact, in many cases people are happy to respond and are happy to receive however many points they get.

    The rates or amount of points offered are adjustable so people are free to reduce or increase the points offered in order to attract more responses. Of course, the supply and demand for different languages is different and depends on the number of people from certain countries or studying certain languages.
    October 2013
  • Fasulye 2707
    In fact, I could work on requests for German and Dutch, but I haven't done this so far. Important to know for me is that there is a flood of people fulfilling open requests in German. So, if you do respond, you are one of a whole group, so that doesn't seem worthwhile to me. I would rather be interested in doing corrections for Dutch of shorter texts. The other thing is that I have seen very low amount of points awarded for abundand tasks. In one example there were 75 points awarded for the correction of a long audio-transcript. The work involved would have been in no relation to the task.

    Fasulye
    October 2013
  • evgueny40 69491 13465 5560
    @ Fasulye
    The same about me. I'm ready to translate from\to Russian, German and English and to record to Russian and German, but I am afraid of this "open e\change" - it means that I spend one hour or more and maybe can receive "zero".
    I don't want a lot of these points etc, but to take part in the competition where the judge-consumer could be very subjective - it isn't for me, I appreciate my time!..
    October 2013
  • Paule89 15423 2657 13998
    @Evgueny @ open requests and non-native speakers

    "I'm ready to translate from\to Russian, German and English and to record to Russian and German..."

    Your German is really really really good, you *are* one of the best non-native German speakers I´ve seen on LingQ, but IMHO you´re not as good as an eloquent native speaker. It´s not that what you´re writing and saying is grammatically wrong, it´s just that some things don´t "fit" or don´t sound 100% natural. If I would need a translation from German into Russian, I´d ask you, I´m sure you could that, but I´d ask somebody else for a translation from Russian into English or German. Recording yourself in German might be interesting for someone who wants to speak with an authentic Russian accent.

    I´m sure that the same thing applies to Fasulye´s Dutch (I can´t tell, I don´t even speak Dutch), my English and the vast majority of other language learners . A lot of people seem to overestimate their abilities. I´ve seen people on iTalki who claim to be "a C1 in German" even though, in reality, they make mistakes in every sentence they write or read and can hardly understand what I´m saying. This is why I think that non-native speakers should not be allowed to fulfill open requests.

    I´m *not* trying to say that you guys are unqualified and I´m not saying that I could do better. That´s just my opinion, nothing more and nothing less.
    October 2013
  • Fasulye 2707
    Paule, are you qualified to judge my level and abilities of Dutch? What's your own level of Dutch then?

    Fasulye
    October 2013
  • Paule89 15423 2657 13998
    I wrote "...Fasulye´s Dutch (I can´t tell, I don´t even speak Dutch)". I´ve edited that in after posting that.
    October 2013
  • [[donhamiltontx]] 18662 45031 7145
    Three Things

    1. I have made three private requests so far. I offered the suggested amount of points. Two of the requests were fulfilled excellently. The third was not acknowledged (not a problem, but I wonder if the member received the request). I stay away from open requests.

    2. @djvlbass "it is much harder for a new tutor to make themselves known." To find a (relatively) new tutor, I sorted the tutors by Recently Active*, went to the bottom of the list, chose a tutor, and wrote a message on the tutor's wall asking if they were interested. When I received a positive response, I knew that the member was (a) not dead and (b) active enough to look at the wall from time to time.

    *I suppose you could also sort by Roses and go to the bottom of that list.

    3. To all the tutors: if I make a request and offer the suggested amount of points, I will not be offended if you ask for more points. I may not increase the number of points I offer, but on the other hand maybe I will agree. I don't see why you shouldn't try to negotiate.
    October 2013
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    I know of a lot of people who speak English at near native levels. I would NEVER reccomend someone to use recordings of them to practice pronunciation.
    October 2013
  • Fasulye 2707
    I find it ridiculous that a language level of one of my foreign languages is rated by a person, who doesn't even speak the language! If I make corrections of Dutch texts, how can such a person as Paule estimate their quality?

    Fasulye
    October 2013
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    I don't think Paule was judging your Dutch. He was talking about non-native speakers of a language and their ability to fulfill exchange requests. No one is denying that your Dutch is assuredly incredible.
    October 2013
  • Paule89 15423 2657 13998
    @Fasulye

    I´ve never said that I can judge your level of Dutch, please re-read my post.

    October 2013
  • evgueny40 69491 13465 5560
    Paul, it's not about my 'native' or 'not-native' pronuciatian.
    You can notice maybe that I prefer in my interview-podcasts less to speak in German or English (less that 25%), only setting the questions, giving the full freedom to my native-speaker partners; and in my German and English mono-podcasts I write the lessons myself, but then ask the native speakers like Fasulye, Reinhard, Franz in German or Nerelle, Tim, Rick in English to correct my writings and to record them. I make compleately myself only the Russian lessons and podcasts.
    But I'm not ready even in Russian to participate in the "Open exchange" because it is waisting time for me for nothing.
    I see how (especially in English) 5-7 or more people translate or record the same text, and especially if the text is rather long -they spend a lot of time, and only one or two would be "winners", and the others have just lost their time.
    Maybe it's interesting for very young people, but I have so much things where I can spend my time more useful.
    That's why I'm not adored with this new function "Open exchange".
    October 2013
  • Moderator
    alex 1705 656 31848
    @Paule89 - We don't have any plans to restrict exchange corrections to native speakers. Aside from the fact that there is no way to actually ensure that someone is a native speaker of a language, the exchange also includes activities such as translation that may be better done by non-native speakers.
    October 2013
  • Paule89 15423 2657 13998
    @Evgueny

    It seems like you understand what I´m trying to say. :)
    I get the impression that Fasulye is (at least a little) offended and I was afraid that you´d feel the same way...

    Your procedure for English and German content sounds pretty good. ^^

    @alex

    According to Benny Lewis (I know he´s controversial, but at least he made a living from translating to English) "legitimate translators" only translate to their native language.

    But hey, it´s just my opinion and I´m neither an employee nor the owner of LingQ, so in the end it´s you guys who have to decide :)
    October 2013
  • Fasulye 2707
    Good to hear that, Alex! I from time to time have people contacting me on You Tube and on Facebook to have their Dutch e-mails corrected by me. In Germany 95 % of the school language teachers are non-natives. Here on LingQ the makers of the Esperanto-podcasts are probably non-natives. I am strongly against the arrogant discrimination of all non-native language teachers. By the way at the VHS I have an excellent teacher of Danish and she is - Austrian! :)

    Generally, I have a positive opinion about the exchange, because my post of an open request enabled me to find my Norwegian tutor! Otherwise I couldn't have found him.

    Fasulye
    October 2013
  • Paule89 15423 2657 13998
    "I am strongly against the arrogant discrimination of all non-native language teachers."

    Do you feel "arrogantly discriminated" by me, Fasulye?
    October 2013
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    Yes to non-native teachers ! Just remember that there is a difference between a teacher and a translator, or a voice artist. Questions of style addressed in many writing corrections would require a native speaker aswell.
    October 2013
  • Fasulye 2707
    I am not a language teacher, but I feel more Dutch than German. I have been speaking and writing Dutch on a daily basis for 30 years. My best friends are from the Netherlands. I always wanted to have the Dutch nationality. And yes, such a discussion hurts me personally.

    Fasulye

    October 2013
  • Paule89 15423 2657 13998
    @djvlbass

    Exactly! Non-native speakers are generally not as a good as native speakers (there are exceptions), which makes them less qualified for voice acting and translating (once again, there are exceptions) BUT some of them are amazing teachers because they have deliberately learned the language they´re teaching. Let´s try a soccer-analogy...

    Some legendary soccer players started working as a trainer after their career as player, but even though they were once world class soccer players, some of them were mediocre trainers.
    Then again, there are coaches who didn´t have a big career as players, but they´re amazing coaches.

    (edit: I don´t know if that analogy makes sense, but it´s always nice to act like I know stuff about soccer, anyway^^)

    @Fasulye

    I´m sorry for that.

    I think it´s important that people state their honest opinion, and yes, that might offend somebody...but I still think that it´d be even worse if people wouldn´t be honest because some people might be offended.

    However, if it hurts you, I´ll at least remember to not mention your name in a discussion like that.

    Deal? :)
    October 2013
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 0
    Speaking of Dutch, I've always wanted to visit Amsterdam: not so much for the language as...well...y'know...

    Cool man. Very cool. :-D
    October 2013
  • Paule89 15423 2657 13998
    I think they´ve stopped selling "Sportzigaretten" to tourists, but I´m not 100% sure. ^^



    October 2013
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    @Jay
    Why not go to Seattle? You will have to put up with hipsters though.

    500 posts here I come
    October 2013
  • From my point of view the exchange is basically correct, although perhaps a few changes could be made. I know that open requests may not be the best option for all, but it's a very interesting experience. Most of the time I choose "open requests" when I make a request, because the feedback I receive is very interesting and useful for me, and because this is for me a community and I like to comment the questions with different people. In return I always answer all the open requests in Spanish that I find, regardless if I get more or less points, or even none. Of course I prefer my requests to be fulfilled by native speakers, but it doesn't bother me if non native speakers do. When I want a quick and accurate answer I just choose a private request. Regarding points, I think that you must have the option to increase o reduce the amount of points, and everyone is free to answer or not. Sometimes I increase the points if I consider that the task I'm asking for is very time-consuming. If someone has few points and makes an open request I don't mind to answer it either. Furthermore, what I miss is more exchanges. The more exchanges, the more points go from one place to another and the more practice we have.
    October 2013
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 0
    (I am, of course, referring to the famously fresh and bracing canal-side air on evening strolls...:-D)
    October 2013
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 0
    @David

    Seattle, eh? I thought San Francisco was the place for cool evening strolls. :-)

    @Paule

    Yes, I think you're right - I heard they don't allow foreigners to enjoy the breeze unless they've been living there for six months, or something crazy like that. But if you know the right folks...well...? ;-)
    October 2013
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 51559 7603 179
    @ Paule

    "I´ve seen people on iTalki who claim to be "a C1 in German" even though, in reality, they make mistakes in every sentence they write or read and can hardly understand what I´m saying."

    To be fair, italki defines C1 as 'upper-intermediate'. There are many different versions of the A1-C2 scale. C2 on a forum like this seems to mean the level of a highly-talented native speaker with a PhD in poetry and a lifetime experience writing best selling novels and advanced technical textbooks, whereas on somewhere like Wikipedia, it is more like an advanced learner.
    October 2013
  • Paule89 15423 2657 13998
    @ Colin

    Yeah, it seems like there no universal, unquestionable, waterproof, 100% scientific, Christophe Clugston seal of approval...definition of what "C1" actually means, you´re right about that.
    A B2 on LingQ is a D1(...) on iTalki, I guess.^^


    October 2013
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    I remember many months ago when, upon completing the Michel Thomas French audio course and reading a few blog posts by Benny about redefining fluency, I was convinced that I had a decent C1 level. Boy was I wrong!

    October 2013
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 51559 7603 179
    When it comes to getting corrections, I would always prefer them from a native speaker. There are for sure non-native speakers who are good enough to do the corrections as well as native speakers, but most non native speakers are not at that level. I work in English almost entirely with non native speakers of English in Vienna and a lot of them have been working in English for 40 years or more and they cannot correct English as well as I can. (I hope that doesn't sound arrogant)

    Of course, being a native speaker doesn't necessarily mean that one is a good corrector. Lots of native speakers also write their own language terribly.

    ...though personally, I never make mistakes in English. It's unpossible!
    October 2013
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 0
    @Colin: "...though personally, I never make mistakes in English. It's unpossible!..."
    ---

    Me neither - it's never bean known! :-)
    October 2013
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 51559 7603 179
    ...thinking about what I wrote in the last post, I have not actually done any systematic testing of my other colleagues' abilities to correct English, so I am not completely certain of this.
    October 2013
  • yukiko 18150
    Is it possible to adjust the points AFTER posting a request now?

    If so, where would it be a good place to write, "I will add points if I get more than one corrections” when I post a request ?

    I'd like to attract potential correctors by writing this. I have gotten benefits from a variety of corrections :)
    October 2013
  • Administrator
    mark 33628 3879 2042
    @Yukiko - After posting your request you can enter a comment on the request page below your original post.
    October 2013
  • mikebond 627 17123 111
    I'd like to point out that there are still a couple of issues with the Exchange page that would need to be dealt with, in my opinion:
    1) many correctors don't understand they need to click on "Fulfil a request" to get points (maybe due to bad or non existing translations of this label);
    2) many posters are not aware that they need to manually award the points to correctors when they post an open request. I just found a request that was fulfilled several weeks ago, but no points had been awarded to the corrector;
    3) many requests remain open because the poster doesn't award all the available points.
    Do you guys plan on addressing these issues?
    Thanks,
    Michele
    November 2013
  • [[donhamiltontx]] 18662 45031 7145
    To add to what mikebond says, I think correctors need a way to say yes or no to a private request. I posted a couple of private requests that the corrector never acknowledged or completed. From now on, I will ask a prospective corrector first before posting an Exchange request.
    November 2013
  • [[donhamiltontx]] 18662 45031 7145
    Duplicate post.
    November 2013
  • Moderator
    alex 1705 656 31848
    @mikebond - Thanks, we are looking into these and other issues related to the Exchange and will continue working to improve it further.

    @donhamiltontx - The current private requests are virtually identical to the previous writing correction platform. The main reason we opened it up for all correctors was that we noticed this exact issue that you described, and wanted to give members the opportunity to submit a request to multiple tutors, not just one specific tutor. If you are interested in submitting private requests only, it is probably best to ask first just to make sure they are available.
    November 2013
  • [[donhamiltontx]] 18662 45031 7145
    Thanks, Alex.
    November 2013
  • mikebond 627 17123 111
    Just today I have seen two more misunderstandings about how writing correction works (not to mention members who write their correction as a comment instead of using the "Fulfil" button):
    1) some members don't understand they are supposed to select the error type when correcting a writing;
    2) other members do click on "Fulfil" but don't use the correcting tool: instead, they write a corrected version of the text in the text box that is meant to be used for general comments.
    I hope you will soon do something to better educate members on how to use the Exchange page.
    Thanks,
    Michele
    December 2013
  • Administrator
    mark 33628 3879 2042
    We do have some improvements coming. Thanks for pointing out the guy who didn't use the correcting tool. We should make sure there is at least one correction.
    December 2013
  • Moderator
    Ress 32891 12941 46812
    It was not easy for me to fulfil the exchange request at first time. It is not evident now. The design should be organized logically: from top to bottom and from left to right. Now the buttons are above the text while the user expects it beneath the text boxes. That was my personal problem in understanding how it works.
    December 2013
  • mikebond 627 17123 111
    Mark, I look forward to the coming improvements and I hope they will make it clear how the Exchange works. I agree with Ress's suggestion.

    I have just informed two more correctors about the need to select error types when correcting a mistake. That part seems to be very unclear to most correctors who don't select anything. So, either you remove it or you should make it more prominent (e.g. with well visible numbers: 1) select error type - 2) write corrected version - 3) add notes - 4) add general comments - 5) submit your correction).
    December 2013
  • Wulfgar 19996 8738 27065
    Back to the earlier discussion about non-native vs native audio: can someone tell me under which conditions they would use non-native audio? Personally, if native audio is available, I wouldn't use non-native, but maybe I'm missing something.
    December 2013
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    I agree. I would use non-native audios only if there are no native audios available. For example for dead languages like Latin or artificial languages like Esperanto.
    December 2013
  • mikebond 627 17123 111
    Back to the Exchange issues, I have just posted this link http://www.lingq.com/help/write/ on an Exchange request where many correctors did not know how to use the correction tool. Since the Write page was merged into the Exchange page, the Write Help page is hard to find (I had to search for it). You really should make it more prominent, e.g. with a "How do I correct writings?" next to the Fulfil button.
    December 2013
  • Administrator
    mark 33628 3879 2042
    The help page for the exchange and the request page does explain how to respond to exchange requests including writing corrections so I'm not sure exactly what you mean. I think if people do go to the help page they will find they answers they are looking for. However, we will see if we can add some more instruction on the request page itself.
    December 2013
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    Ress made a quite good observation and suggestion: "The design should be organized logically: from top to bottom and from left to right. Now the buttons are above the text while the user expects it beneath the text boxes."

    Maybe you could show the comment field only if someone presses a button which says "Add a comment". Then it is more obviously if you respond to the exchange or just add a comment.
    December 2013
  • mikebond 627 17123 111
    Yes Mark, there are two lines about writing corrections in the Exchange Help page, but the "Recommendations for writinng corrections" paragraph, so useful to learn how to make good corrections, can only be found on the Write Help page. You can add that piece of content to the exchange help page, although the Help button is so small and far from the correction button that new users do not find it.

    Vera's idea is great too. You should implement it.
    December 2013
  • Maria2 1208 25761 1209
    I see that the exchange system is not functioning as desired as it is possible to post several requests, leave them open for days such that they accumulate about 20 responses, then simply delete all the requests, not allocating any points whatsoever to the correctors.

    I've emailed support.
    January 2014
  • [[Ginkgo58]] 376 100585 144
    Non-native versus native audio is not entirely a simple issue. Some non-native speakers are actually easier to understand and just as correct in their language use, as some native speakers of a language, at least in my experience.

    I certainly notice this sometimes on radio interviews, both in English and in German. What I want, and what I imagine others often want, is to hear clear and accurate speech.My linguistics lecturer at university spoke impeccable and clear English with a slight German accent. Definitely no problem to the overseas students in the class.

    What is meant by 'native' anyway? Being born in a particular country? Having parents who speak the l

    If a lesson is spoken with a heavy accent (meaning that I cannot easily understand - personal bias) and uses a dialect that varies markedly from standard language (if that can be defined - more personal bias) I simple close it again and try another.

    I also imagine that most learners want to learn to speak clearly and reasonably accurately in the language they are learning, so that they can be understood by native speakers and others. A good, clear non-native speaker could be very helpful in reaching that goal.
    January 2014
  • Moderator
    alex 1705 656 31848
    @2Maria - Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The new Exchange gives control over the learner regarding who they give points to. However, our intention is not to allow learners to post requests, collect responses then delete the request without paying any points. I have alerted our development team and they will look into this.

    The requests have unfortunately been deleted from the system, so we don't have any easy way to get them back nor to retroactively award points, but we'll do what we can to improve the Exchange further to avoid this kind of situation in the future!

    In the meantime, I've messaged this user directly (thanks for providing their username via email) explaining how to use the Exchange.

    *EDIT - Also, we are looking at adding a reminder email notification which will be sent to the learner as a reminder if their request remains open for more than a few days.
    January 2014
  • Ozemite 60 2050 3530
    As a first-time user, I noticed that when I tried to award kigoik more points than the suggested 150 by the system, I got an error message saying "not enough points" (but I have plenty in reserve). Is this normal? I had to separately gift the extra points.
    January 2014
  • Moderator
    alex 1705 656 31848
    @Julz611 - At this time you can only award as many points as you've set aside for that specific request. The reason for this is that these points are set aside for the request, and once this balance is zeroed out the request is considered completed. If you like a particular response and want to award more points, you can gift points directly from that member's profile (as you mentioned you did above).
    January 2014
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    @2Maria: I feel very sorry for you. In general I think the Exchange is a good idea. But I also find it has some drawbacks. Sometimes the offered number of points for writing is much lower than the recommended number of points. I find this especially annoying for writing corrections which turned to be out a lot of work for languages like German, French, Russian etc. (more than for English) because they know inflections and other grammar issues. For these languages even the suggested points are not much. For other Exchange requests the suggested number of points is much too low compared for the time it takes to fulfill them for example for transcription. And when you then have to share the points it is not worth to spend the time. That is the main problem I have with the idea of public request. That is why I decided not to answer public requests any longer. The system is good for the student (who has all the power) but bad for the tutor who works without knowing the outcome. This seems not fair to me.

    I also find sometimes really poor corrections of writing in the public space. I don't know how to deal with them. I'm not speaking of overseeing a typo. I'm speaking of real heavy grammar errors. Especially in the German sector there is one person who claims to be a native but I cannot understand how a native can make such elemental errors. Also I find writing corrections of non-natives a problem (besides Mikebond, his German is great). When I come across such poor correction, what should I do? Making public the problems? Contact the student or the tutor privately? I'm only a paying member here, and it is not my job to watch the quality. I don't want to offend somebody. I miss the option to contact the support here and someone of the LingQ staff members who takes care for quality.

    In general I think taking care for quality is something that should be much higher on the priority list. I don't know if you have a different attitude according to quality in America than we have in Europe? I often think it is maybe a different cultural sight on quality. I speak of quality in the following aspects:
    - the website (functioning without bugs)
    - the lessons
    - the Exchange
    - the tutors

    Don’t get me wrong. I really, really like LingQ. That is the reason why I want it to be really good that I can be proud of being a member and can recommend it without hesitation what now is not the case. Almost every 6 month you surprise us with a new website, and for about 2 weeks it is not possible to work as usual. What do you think will the experience for new members be?
    January 2014
  • mikebond 627 17123 111
    "Also I find writing corrections of non-natives a problem (besides Mikebond, his German is great)."

    Danke, Vera! On the other hand, I only correct easy texts or grammar submissions in foreign languages I am advanced in, and only when I feel I can do a very good job.

    "When I come across such poor correction, what should I do? Making public the problems? Contact the student or the tutor privately?"

    I once corrected an Italian text alongside with three other Italian members. None of them did notice a particular mistake and, when I pointed it out publicly, I was blamed for criticising their work.

    "it is not my job to watch the quality. I don't want to offend somebody. I miss the option to contact the support here and someone of the LingQ staff members who takes care for quality."

    I agree. I've also got tired of telling students and correctors how to use the Exchange functions. We used to have a way to report low-quality lessons, but now it's gone, and we never had a way to report low-quality tutors or corrections. It may be, indeed, a different perception of quality. We need someone to take care of quality, without us, ordinary members, doing it.
    January 2014
  • jolanda 37818 23820 13845
    @Vera @Michele

    I totally agree!

    j:-)
    January 2014
  • evgueny40 69491 13465 5560
    I participate in all this new Exchange very seldom.
    And every time after this rare participation I feel disappointment and I promise and decide never more to take part in such an open Exanches , und unfortunately sometimes I break my word.
    Why am I against this new open Exchange?
    Firstly, like Vera writes the proper writing correction takes a lot of time and the reward is too small and it would be in addition share between several correctors.
    Secondly, I feel like one of the hungry dogs which are fighting for the only one bone that the 'master' threw in order to observe all this fighting for poor reward!..
    Thirdly, I don't think that is very useful even for this 'master' - he receives 4-6, and in English up to 15 versions of the writing corrections and for he isn't a native speaker, he isn't able to understand which version is better - and that's why for him would be better to receive one correction even if the tutor omits some of his mistakes, but he/she doen't omit the main mistakes - and it is more important for the learners - not to make the main mistakes than to be lost among all the details or even to feel that he/she never acquire this language where the native speakers have so different opnions about each sentence!
    So, once more my promice to myself: NEVER to participate in the open Exchange, only sometimes in the privat requests maybe!!!
    And good luck for the other people who don't appreciate his/her time.
    January 2014
  • Ozemite 60 2050 3530
    I hear you Vera, I'm a bit confused as to etiquette in this situation too....

    For example, I noticed a supposed native speaker's correction for someone's writing...perhaps they consider themselves at "native" level, but their written English is often full of mistakes. I'm not talking about say, the subtle differences of American, British and Australian speakers. I'm talking about real English mistakes. Now, they did revise their correction, but still it has errors. The best correction was left by someone at the end in the comments section.

    If I messaged the supposed corrector and said what I'm really thinking: "I'm confused...I thought you were supposed to be a native speaker on your profile? !!", it would go down like a lead balloon, haha! But I don't want to offend, sigh.
    January 2014
  • Ozemite 60 2050 3530
    Has anyone noticed that it's cumbersome to "edit" now? I have to scroll sideways just to read the text, and have to scroll sideways all the way back
    to see the save or cancel buttons. Also, once I save, the updated version doesn't show immediately. I have to refresh the page to see what I just typed.

    Anyhow, I wanted to say that the person I was referring to is no one on this thread...
    January 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 0
    In the past I have used the exchange section to send private requests to individual tutors - and I hope to do some more of this in the future.

    However, I decided right from the start that I would never use the 'open' part of the exchange. As far as I am concerned this system is grossly unfair to the tutors. (And it also probably encourages rushed and slapdash corrections.)
    January 2014
  • mikebond 627 17123 111
    Yes, the downside of open requests is that tutors compete for the points and they submit rushed corrections just to be the first. :(
    January 2014
  • Ozemite 60 2050 3530
    @Jay - grinning here....I figured it was safe for me to post my Chinese pronunciation correction request on the open exchange - not too many people are stampeding to do Chinese corrections! :)~ Now, if they weren't native, I might have been tempted to say, "Bugger off! You're not Chinese!" ^^
    January 2014
  • Maria2 1208 25761 1209
    Julie, Rae, Alex, Vera, Jolanda, Michele, Evgueny & Jay

    You have all made some excellent observations and I hope these observations are taken into account if and when a concrete strategy towards improvement is implemented.

    It is also nice to hear from you Alex that ways to improve the exchange system are currently been explored.

    It has now become a question of not only listening to what people are saying but also reading between the lines. Cosmetically, LingQ has achieved a lot in the past couple of years, now it's time to tackle the concrete issues that are crying out for attention.

    If these issues are systematically fixed, loyal users will stick around. If they are left in limbo, drifting afloat new changes, loyal users may also gradually drift away.
    January 2014
  • Moderator
    alex 1705 656 31848
    @all - Great points raised here. Our intention with the Open Requests was that we were constantly having pending writing requests which would sit for days or weeks at a time. Learners were submitting these requests to tutors who were no longer active, and there wasn't a good way to get it in front of everyone to attract attention from multiple tutors.

    One thing we were adamant about keeping was private requests, as we recognize not everyone wants to make their texts public and some learners actually *like* submitting their requests to specific tutors, as they like that specific tutor's corrections.

    What we wanted with the Exchange was to increase the amount of activity on our site and the amount of interaction between members. The quality of corrections may not be as high, but those who are putting lower point values may not be too concerned with the quality either. What we do is simply provide the platform that these learners and tutors can interact through, and while the result is a wider range of quality, a secondary result is that we have a more active and more engaged group of members. This to us is a very positive thing, as our goal is not just to attract new members but also to engage existing members.

    That being said, our intention was not to allow learners to delete requests that have already been responded to, as 2Maria mentions above, and it is in our list to fix this. In addition, as mikebond and others have mentioned, there are some improvements that can be made to make the Exchange easier to use and understand.

    @Julz611 - The forum edit issue is on our list now!
    January 2014
  • mikebond 627 17123 111
    I recently corrected an Open Request submission, which other users corrected too. I am not "following" the conversation (when I click on the arrow on the right, I can click on "Follow", which means I'm not following it now, otherwise it would say "Unfollow") and I don't want to. However, I keep being notified about new comments to that request. Is this normal? I find it quite annoying.
    January 2014
  • mikebond 627 17123 111
    Has anybody read my question?
    January 2014
  • Moderator
    alex 1705 656 31848
    @mikebond - I thought I had responded the other day, but it seems I didn't. My apologies! It appears the "Follow" is only for following conversations that you haven't taken part in. Conversations you have taken part in are automatically subscribed to. I have added this to our list for now and we'll take a look as we continue to optimize the Exchange.
    January 2014
  • Moderator
    alex 1705 656 31848
    @mikebond - Correction: The "follow" is actually for following a specific user, not for following a conversation. There is currently no way to unfollow a conversations/post, and this is something that we will address in a future update to the notifications.
    January 2014
  • mikebond 627 17123 111
    No problem, Alex. Thanks for the explanation. I hope you can implement the "unfollow" button for conversations soon.
    January 2014
  • opewale 12998
    Alex,

    If you get a chance. I am a little ignorant on how to correct writings for others on exchange request. I just spend well over 45 minutes correcting a writing..However i did so via "Word" and i could not copy and paste via the Exchange response window..it would not let me ,,is there any way to simply correct writings using "Word" and cut and paste the text to the right window/space for corrected writing in Exchange response window?? You can bet from now on I'll begin to use the Exchange response window to correct rather than 'Word". BTW it was very difficult to find how to even get to the exchange response screen ....as the video tutorial does not even go into this...it only shows the exchange request screen ..at least the tutorial i searched for and found.Trial by error..

    Thanks
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    alex 1705 656 31848
    @opewale - Sorry to hear you've been having some trouble with this! To correct a writing, just click the "Fulfil Request" button that appears underneath the request. On the next page, you'll see the original text on the left and the corrected text on the right. To make a correction, just highlight some text from the left then click "New Correction". The writing correction functionality is built right into the site, so you don't need to correct it using Word. Once you've added all the necessary corrections just click the button at the bottom to submit the response then wait for the member to award any points.

    Should you have any additional questions about this be sure to let us know!
    February 2014
  • opewale 12998
    Alex,

    Thanks. I used the function correctly today on a request response.Thanks also for the hint re: that the "tabs" are working on the "Learn" page..they certainly are/ I was able to find the specific type of spanish accent lessons I wanted...Opewale
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    We had a great discussion here about the pro and cons of the Exchange. A lot of interesting points were raised.

    I've made my descision: I stick with personal requests because I offer quality work.

    @Alex: Alex, I'm really interested in the point of view of the LingQ staff. What are the experiences on your side?
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    @Vera

    Since the last time I posted in this thread, I've done a couple corrections on the exchange. I've come to the same conclusion as you. The exchange does nothing but encourage correctors to rush their corrections in order to get it submitted before anyone else.
    March 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 0
    @David + Vera

    I agree. (The exchange is a great function - but I always use it to make private requests to individual tutors.)
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    @Jay

    Well, in that case you're not actually using the exchange as any type of free exchange. For you it's a service.

    The only way that the exchange could work as a true exchange is if points that equal money were not involved. The results that I currently see coming out of the Lingq exchange are no better than those I see on Lang-8, which is a free exchange.



    March 2014
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    @David: I tried Lang-8 a while ago. Unfortunately I did more work than I got out. For me it was a waste of time. I prefer the LingQ system: I get paid with points for corrections, and I use them for my requests. But as I wrote above, I prefer the private requests.
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    Here is the fundamental flaw of the correction system on Lingq:

    The learner evaluates the correction, and awards points based on his or her evaluation.

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

    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    @Vera

    Anyone who wants to use the Lingq Exchange as an exchange will have to put in much more work than they ever will get out of it. Due to the problem of point splitting, one will have to do 3-4 corrections for every correction received.

    This will take a lot of time, since the Exchange here is nowhere near as active as the one on Lang-8.

    That is great that you want to earn points by giving corrections as a service. I do too.
    March 2014
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    @David: That is why I only do answer to personal requests. I too expect to get at least the points that the LingQ system suggests. Otherwise I refuse to fulfill the request.

    Some students offers only a percentage of the recommended points.

    I was shocked when I saw that Steve offered only about 600 points where the recommondation was 2598 points for a translation and a recording. I think he has to be a role model.

    The rates on LingQ are quite low compared to the time you have to put in. If people undermine the system it will not work.
    March 2014
  • jstoddard 119 1930
    I'll put in a suggestion -- take it or leave it; I haven't yet any experience with the exchange (I hope to start writing and requesting corrections in a couple of weeks) -- A few years ago I registered for a site called, if I remember correctly, TextBroker, in which requests are put up for writers to write articles on certain topics (I think it mostly gets used to create fake content for spam blogs, but I digress...). The way it worked is that a request was put on the "exchange," and then a person who met the qualifications asked for "checked out" the request. Once it was "checked out" it was no longer available on the open exchange, but the person who checked it out was expected to fulfill the request in a certain amount of time. If the request wasn't fulfilled within the number of allotted hours, it was removed from the individual's account and put back on the open exchange to wait for someone else to check it out and fulfill it. Perhaps such a system would remove much of the problems with the exchange here while still fulfilling its goals...
    March 2014
  • Ozemite 60 2050 3530
    @jstoddard - definitely a great idea that would remove pressure to rush a correction. Other would-be correctors would have a way of knowing that someone else has (in theory) started work on it. It doesn't necessarily guarantee a great correction, but at least in theory it removes rushed work.

    I could be opening a can of worms (ouch!), but I tend to be annoyed with some non-native speakers offering sub-standard corrections on the Exchange, especially for English. Personally, I cannot understand how certain "tutors" think their written English is good enough to offer corrections. Even worse, are those with thick, heavy foreign accents offering to fulfil English audio requests. Of course, I really don't mean to offend people, but it's a bee in my bonnet. I don't care how long someone says on their profiles they've lived in an English-speaking country or whatever - it doesn't automatically mean they're up to scratch in English.

    My Dutch-born husband has lived in Australia for 45 years - he's certainly a native English speaker - but I'd shoot him if he offered to do written English corrections (sorry honey!) ^^ Similarly, not every "corrector" dwelling in Holland has a great command of the English language either...^^ (*not* referring to Silviad, of course!)

    On the other hand, there probably aren't enough native English tutors for the Exchange, and I myself am too busy to offer corrections. Ironically I sponsor a certain member for English conversations, only to realise the other day that one of their tutors is one of those in question! The only reason I tolerate it is because there is a lack of available tutors, and their English is better than the member (!) Plus, the member is still nevertheless getting oral practice. But still... ^^

    I don't know how people feel about this. One tutor responded to a prior complaint with, "We can all learn from each other". There's nothing wrong with us all trying to help others on the language forums. However, I don't think it's our place to offer corrections where points are involved, if we're not at an extremely high, native-like level.

    Personally I refuse to award points to anyone who is not a native speaker of my L2's. But it is not always apparent when a request is fulfilled if it's a rushed job, a machine translation, or a non-native correction. Lucky for me, that's not a problem so far for Chinese or Japanese corrections.

    Apologies to anyone I've offended... I'd be interested hearing others' views.
    March 2014
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    @jstoddard: In earlier versions of LingQ is was exactly like you have described: if someone had "taken" a correction, it was no longer available for others.

    @Julz: I've seen the same for German. And same for some native speakers. I've seen some worse corrections. But there are enough good German correctors as well, but most of them like me refuse to correct the "open" exchanges because you never know what you will get out.

    What I miss is a kind of quality control. But this is something what lots of people has claimed for many years now regarding to lesson quality and correction quality. The statement is always that it is up to the student to judge, but often the level of the student doesn't allow him to judge. He has to trust the tutor. Quantity above quality.
    March 2014
  • mfr 0 1588 715
    @Julz
    I couldn't agree more. I myself was an teacher of English as a foreign language for more than 35 years but I know my limitations. I may answer to some questions in forums, but I think exchange requests should be answered by native speakers only, unless the learner wants to listen to different accents or pronunciations.
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    @Julz
    "On the other hand, there probably aren't enough native English tutors for the Exchange"

    There are loads of native English speakers on Lingq. i don't know if you have spent much time on the English exchange page, but it never takes more than an hour or two for a request to be seen and completed by a native speaker.

    There is no reason someone from outside of the Anglosphere should have to fulfill any requests - but they usually seem to do so, often after a native speaker has already submitted.

    March 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    I use free services for my language studies but also a lot of services where I pay trained professionals for their help. I enjoy language exchanges with native speakers or people who have reached a native-like level (both in writing and speaking). Otherwise, I prefer to pay an experienced tutor for his help.

    People ought to understand that while there is a lot of free and useful study material available, personalized service has both its benefits and its price. At the end of the day you get what you pay for and if you feel you overpay for any service you get, you need to find a provider who manages to meet your requirements in a better way.

    I prefer one good source I pay for to ten free sources which are full of mistakes or mediocre at best. I know there is free material available which is of very high quality but it tends to be scarce.

    I have seen quite a few corrections both on lingq and on similar sites whose quality was far below anything I'd be willing to accept if I were asked to pay for it (whether in cash or by points or any other similar system).

    I think the general problem is that mediocrity has become somewhat of an accepted standard. While it is important to encourage people and certainly praiseworthy if someone makes an effort to learn another language, people need to be realistic about their own skills.

    I very much enjoy my studies of Russian, Chinese and Japanese, but it would be ridiculous if I offered tutoring services in any of these languages. While it is perfectly alright for me as a learner to make the kind of mistakes I make, I would not want to see a tutor fall into the same linguistic traps. If he does, he should not be tutoring.

    You can still form study groups with peers, but tutoring to me is something else and it should be recognized and valued as the quality service it normally is if offered by an expert.

    March 2014
  • Administrator
    mark 33628 3879 2042
    What we do on the Exchange is offer people both the option of choosing a specific tutor to correct their text and the option of posting their text openly to potentially receive multiple responses. The fact is that there are people happy to do both of these things. Many people are happy to receive whatever points they get for corrections, as they just enjoy doing them. Others want to be compensated for their time spent. All people are different. All we have tried to do is to create an open market so that people are free to do what they like. People posting requests are free to assign whatever value they like to the request. People responding are free to respond to Open requests or not. Nobody is forcing anybody to do anything.

    If you are trying to recruit people to submit texts to you directly, you may decide it makes sense to correct a few open requests to "get your name out there". I personally have submitted a few texts in Italian lately and had great response on the Open exchange. Multiple responses with great feedback received very quickly. You are right that I can't judge the accuracy of the corrections but any corrections I can get from native speakers are good enough for me. They all speak much, much better than me, obviously..! Having said that, there are those people who want their posts reviewed by an "expert" so if they can identify such a person, will gladly submit privately to that person. That is great and works for them. The Exchange is a flexible, open system that seems to be working well. The learner has more choice now. Surely, that is a good thing.
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    Mark, the exchange is not providing quality results. Here is a "correction" that was rewarded with 300 points.

    "I work for a hotel in engineering department. I take care of the building which includes repair maintenance and decorations. In the morning brief, I organize/assemble grouping of technicians into 3 small teams to service the whole building in order to make sure that all the systems will be ready to service our guests at all times.

    The first team is assigned to general and routine task which entails walking through the machine room, preparing checklists for all machines and their proper functioning, and finally monitoring all system and sign off the log sheets. If there are some malfunctions in the machines, we will check whether it could be fixed right away or whether it needs outsourcing to to a specialist company. In case of a serious problem that may occur, (or In the eventuality that a serious problem may arise….) , the implementation of the action plan co-operative will assure smooth operations. This team is required to act quickly at anytime following work orders from all public area especially if life safety issues are involved.

    The second group is the guest room engineering service. The team will receive work orders from concerned departments like housekeeping or guest services agent through the sms via mobile phone. We are required to acknowledge incoming work orders sent by by code of work order (abbreviation for #WR) . A reply to the system will signal that the task is done, and when it is completed (accomplished) another message is sent back to the system by #WR and -d . These steps complete the whole process. . Sometimes the task will take too long to fix for the standard duration allowance. In this case, after the acknowledgement step, we need to resend the message with #WR -w to generate another type of work order designed to communicate on call with the appropriate departments, in regards to the estimate duration time the task requires to communicate with the guest. This process will ensure the best solution and satisfaction.

    The third group handles kitchen services. We've got 7 restaurants in our property for all day dining , so one can imagine how many tasks need to be completed each day. Kitchen services closely work together with the culinary team to ensure that all the equipment in the kitchen will be in good standing and within safety conditions. This system includes all HVAC system for all outlets that will be part of co-operative with the first team in order to provide our building with comfortable and cool temperature as much as possible.

    Those are just some aspects of my job with its specific details that I manage to perform. I will try adding more details later.
    Hi, you have a lot to say and appear to be eager to say it all in one sentence. I can see your enthusiasm. In English, make an effort to shorten your sentences, use punctuation to help the reader to catch his/her breath. My suggestion to you, is when you are conveying lots of technical detailed information, think at the specific task, and simplify it to make it straight to the point. It will be an easier essay to read. Overall, you did well.
    1. In the eventuality that a serious problem may arise
    2. This phrase is convoluted and needs to be simpler:)
    3. I am not sure what you like to say here"
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    I did not look for one of the particularly bad examples, I just took the first one done by a non-native English speaker that I happened to find.

    Obviously this was completed by someone with a high level of English. Still I think, given the proponderance of good, and free, language learning material online, charging for material like this is a rip off.
    March 2014
  • Administrator
    LingQ_Support 44 0 336
    @Davidjvl - If the request is posted openly, and that is one of the responses received, great. The poster is free to wait for others although as an initial correction, that is not too bad. I posted in Italian and was extremely happy with the results and happy to pay. I don't understand your point. This is our system. People are free to do what they like.
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    Better corrections were given for the same request by native English speakers. Why is it fair that they were rewarded the same amount as (and in one case a corrector was rewarded less than) the non-native speaker?
    March 2014
  • Administrator
    mark 33628 3879 2042
    In the end it's up to the poster to decide what they feel is fair and up to the responder to decide if he wants to continue responding.
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    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.
    March 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 55512 2826 92339
    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.
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    @Steve
    "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.
    March 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 55512 2826 92339
    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.
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    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.
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    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.
    March 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 55512 2826 92339
    People can pay what they want. There is no guarantee that the corrector will be paid as I understand it.
    March 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    "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.
    March 2014
  • [[Ginkgo58]] 376 100585 144
    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.
    March 2014
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    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.
    June 2014
  • [[galina]] 43 1070
    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.
    June 2014
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    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.
    June 2014
  • Moderator
    SanneT 487 343
    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.
    June 2014
  • Moderator
    SanneT 487 343
    @galina:

    P.S. Would it be possible to include a tick-box for the correctors where one would tick "Native", Non-native, Near-native, etc.?
    June 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 55512 2826 92339
    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.
    June 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 55512 2826 92339
    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".

    June 2014
  • mfr 0 1588 715
    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.
    June 2014
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    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.
    June 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 55512 2826 92339
    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.


    June 2014
  • Moderator
    Yutaka 15406 1621
    "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.
    June 2014
  • Moderator
    SanneT 487 343
    @Steve

    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!)
    June 2014
  • Irene777 15172
    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.
    June 2014
  • Moderator
    Ress 32891 12941 46812
    It would be helpful to see the corrector's native language (maybe with a flag) next to the corrector's name.
    June 2014
  • Moderator
    SanneT 487 343
    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.



    June 2014
  • Moderator
    VeraI 17683 2664 0
    As the roses are not for specific languages and not for the tutoring only, they are not a good indicator of the tutor abilities.
    June 2014
  • Moderator
    Yutaka 15406 1621
    Recent, Most Active, and Highest Rated
    You can choose a so-called corrector from the above three lists, each of which has three tutors.
    The order of the tutors on the list is not clear. More fundamentally, I don't know what 'active' means in this context.
    "Recent" is also hard to understand because the same three tutors remain there all the time.
    (Edited)

    P.S.
    There is no list titled 'Recent' in the case of German.
    June 2014
  • Moderator
    SanneT 487 343
    I sometimes think I need a "LingQ driving licence" exam after each update, to learn how to make the best use of all the various things on offer.

    The Exchange has been around for a bit now and I am still discovering new bits . . .

    June 2014
  • Irene777 15172
    Hi Sanne,
    that's a relief - I thought I am too old :-)
    June 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 55512 2826 92339
    This is a great discussion and as the day begins here, let us discuss this internally to see what can be done. We would love to have a more active exchange. And yet, it is not obvious how to use it, let alone how to better organize it. However, the potential is great, if we were able to get more participation.
    June 2014
  • Maria2 1208 25761 1209
    mmm...native speaker flag....what to do when a correction by a native speaker is submitted by me? I can offer corrections in five native speaker languages by five native speaker individuals all under my profile. Anything I have ever offered has always been by a native speaker, though obviously I am not a native speaker of five languages. I wouldn't dream of offering a non-native correction though I see many others do.
    June 2014
  • Moderator
    Ress 32891 12941 46812
    OK, it was not a good idea about the flag.
    June 2014
  • Davidjvl 46301 44608
    @Maria

    I don't think Lingq allows, or should allow, multiple users on a single account. It kind of defeats the purpose of the social features of the site.
    June 2014
  • Maria2 1208 25761 1209
    Sorry David, I don't get what you are saying, could you please clarify?

    I am the user of my account, when I make a correction I ensure that it is the correction of a native speaker. In other words I wouldn't dream of offering a non-native correction and always ensure that the correction offered is by a native speaker.

    I can offer corrections in five native speaker languages by five native speaker individuals but I am the user of my account, and as it happens, I was a paying member for a year but ceased due to the constantly reoccurring bugs and simply gave up using it as a site to learn languages.

    June 2014