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Average Rating: 4.7

Website typos and incorrect translations?

Ph0t0n October 21, 2015, 5:50 am
I like the new website format - it's a great improvement!  There are still issues though... for example errors in translations:

Section... 6.2
مع بابا و ماما - اخ واحد متجوز وعايش في شقته. والباقيين عايش هنا
A7' wa7ed mitgawiz wi 3ayish fi sha2toh. Wi il ba2in 3aysheen hina ma3 baba wa mama.
One of my brothers is married and so he has his own apartment. The rest of us live here with mum and dad.

--- The first two words are backwards - the Arabic script should read:
اخ واحد متجوز وعايش في شقته. والباقيين عايش هنا مع بابا و ماما
----------------------------------------------------------
 
And then there are a decent number of things that are unclear... for example in 6.1:

Section 6.1...
ماما هي اللي زينته. هى بتحب تزين البيت
Mama hiya ili zayineto. Hiya bit7eb il tizayin il beyt.
My Mother arranged everything, she enjoys decorating.

---The Arabic is saying My mother arranged things, she enjoys decorating the house, but the English translation leaves out the house
----------------------------------------------------------

Another inconsistency involves genders:

Section 6.1....
بيتك
Beytak
Your home (said by female)

---The audio uses the "uck" ending.  The section in parenthesis "(said by female)" needs to be changed "(said to a male).  This phrase is invariable depending on who says it, what matters is who it is said to
----------------------------------------------------------

There ones I listed are by no means a complete list - I've run into many other inconsistencies and minor errors which do not inspire confidence in the lessons. Were these pages just generated by a computer, with no proofreading by a human?  I'm just a beginner and these errors seem pretty obvious...  what would an expert say if he/she were to proofread it?  Normally I wouldn't say anything, but we spent a pretty large chunk of money on these lessons so I think it's fair to bring it up.

So far, the audio conversations themselves are excellent - I definitely didn't find any errors in them.  If the website's text was fixed, Rocket Arabic could go from a B- to A.
Website typos and incorrect translations?
Rocket-Languages October 27, 2015, 10:30 pm
Hi Luke, 

Thank you for your feedback on the course - I have passed this information on to our Arabic tutor to have a look at and make the necessary corrections. Our apologies for any confusion caused!
Website typos and incorrect translations?
Ph0t0n January 22, 2016, 5:52 am
It's been three months but there are still errors all over the place. Do you guys plan on fixing the problem, or should I give up on using most of the web exercises because there are too many mistakes?  If so, is there an estimated date for the proofread version to be released?
Website typos and incorrect translations?
eiman-k-elmasry January 24, 2016, 6:54 pm
We're actually currently working on all the reported problems and mistakes. I will immediately forward your concern to the person in charge
Do not stop using the web exercises .  but please keep on reporting any noticed errors.
Thank you for your feedback
Website typos and incorrect translations?
Ph0t0n January 24, 2016, 8:45 pm
The issue is that most of the people reporting the problems are beginners like myself. I will report as much as I can, but you really need a professional expert in both languages to comb through it word by word.  It would take a couple of weeks and it wold be boring, but it would be worth every minute!  I would definitely chip in to help pay for someone to do it  There's nothing more frustrating for someone attempting to master a new language than to learn a phrase or grammatical pattern only to find out later that it was incorrect and then have to relearn it a second time.

Thanks for passing on the info for us eiman-k-elmasry !
Website typos and incorrect translations?
eiman-k-elmasry January 24, 2016, 8:55 pm
Sorry for the inconvenience. We're on it yes
Website typos and incorrect translations?
Ph0t0n January 26, 2016, 5:17 am
That's good news  

I've been reporting some of the issues using the "Send us feedback on this phrase" link next to the question.  Not all sections have this however.  Is it easiest for you if I report those types of issues in the forums, or would you rather me use an alternative method?

For example... https://members.rocketlanguages.com/members/arabic/lessons/706/1-2_survival-phrases has "you (refers to female)" listed as أنت , but in other places throughout the lessons it is listed as انتي .  I'm not sure which is more correct (I suspect انتي is), or if both are correct, but it would be less confusing if it was spelled consistent throughout all the lessons.
Website typos and incorrect translations?
eiman-k-elmasry January 26, 2016, 8:04 am
Hello
You can report in whatever way convenient to you.
All the concerns are immediately forwarded to the person in charge wherever they are sent.
Thank you for your positive participation
Website typos and incorrect translations?
figgles May 9, 2016, 11:55 pm
Module 1.0, Extra Vocabulary. The word "how" has an extra alif. Compare:

How are you? ازيك
How? ازاي

The extra alif should be dropped.
Website typos and incorrect translations?
figgles May 10, 2016, 12:11 am
Module 1.5 in incredibly inconsistent about transcribing the /i/  sound of ي. At the time of writing:

1) بيكم  = "bekum", IPA: /bikum/
2) بيك = "beek", IPA: /bik/
3) بيكي = "beeke", IPA: /biki/

1) In plenty of other places, "e" is used for a /e~ɪ/ sound. Example is 1.0 "Ma3a essalama" for "مع السلامه".  This transcription contrasts with "ee" of 2) and 3) which is unambiguously /i/, but ironically not as commonly used here. For example the hostess's name أميرة is written as "Amira" with an "i" and not "Ameera".

2) While represents the sound /bik/ unambiguously, it is not commonly used in other modules. Consistency throughout the modules would be appreciated.

3)Pretty much every final ي is transcribed using an 'i'...Read More
Module 1.5 in incredibly inconsistent about transcribing the /i/  sound of ي. At the time of writing:

1) بيكم  = "bekum", IPA: /bikum/
2) بيك = "beek", IPA: /bik/
3) بيكي = "beeke", IPA: /biki/

1) In plenty of other places, "e" is used for a /e~ɪ/ sound. Example is 1.0 "Ma3a essalama" for "مع السلامه".  This transcription contrasts with "ee" of 2) and 3) which is unambiguously /i/, but ironically not as commonly used here. For example the hostess's name أميرة is written as "Amira" with an "i" and not "Ameera".

2) While represents the sound /bik/ unambiguously, it is not commonly used in other modules. Consistency throughout the modules would be appreciated.

3)Pretty much every final ي is transcribed using an 'i'. For example, "انتي" is written as "inti", and "اسمي" as "ismi". Therefore, it would make more sense for the phrase to be transcribed as "ahlan biki" using your system.
Website typos and incorrect translations?
figgles May 10, 2016, 12:15 am
Module 1.1 is inconsistent with respect to how "my name" اسمي is transcribed. This is kind of ridiculous given that the sentences are right next to each other.

Hani: Ana ismy Hany. We inti ismik ey?
Amira: Ana ismi Amira. Inta mineen?
Website typos and incorrect translations?
figgles May 10, 2016, 12:34 am
Module 1.2 completely fails to transcribe doubled ("geminate") /l/ in the words for "speak". Of course, the speakers say it correctly.

The verb to speak (a language) itself is اتكلّم - يتكلّم. Notice the laam with shadda.
The verb to speak (to a person) is كلّم, which is also transcribed incorrectly, but has a super clear geminated /l/.

Geminated consonants are phonemic in Arabic; i.e. this is an important feature of the language to transcribe correctly!
Website typos and incorrect translations?
figgles May 10, 2016, 12:37 am
I could go on and on, but 1) I'm not getting paid for this and 2) I doubt they care enough to really fix this. The audio is great, but holy crap, if I didn't have a lot of experience with MSA, I would be completely lost by all of the garbage input.
Website typos and incorrect translations?
eiman-k-elmasry May 10, 2016, 7:21 am
Hello figgles
Thank you for your feedback.
Regarding your first concern, there is actually no mistake here as the word "how"  in the two phrases that you have mentioned serves different meanings.
Using the word "how" alone for inquiring about how things should be done and so on is translated in Egyptian Arabic as Ezay? (With a long vowel "a"), whereas using it attached to a subject or to other components of a sentence or a phrase makes it mush shorter in pronunciation  so actually that extra Alif is necessary and more accurate.
 
Website typos and incorrect translations?
figgles May 10, 2016, 1:06 pm
Disagree, اي is used to render the sound /aj/ which would be like the "y" in try. Example words:  عايزة آية حكاية بداية
ازَّيْ is a much more accurate transcription using the Arabic alphabet, but given that there isn't a "standard" for how to write Egyptian, it's of course up to you.
 
Website typos and incorrect translations?
eiman-k-elmasry May 10, 2016, 8:36 pm
Hello again figgles
Knowing that you have already studied MSA explains the way you are receiving the lessons' content. Please allow me to clarify that MSA is a formal language with a specific translation and transliteration to literally every single word and phrase and that might normally make you feel a little bit uncomfortable with the flexibility and inconsistency that you might find in Egyptian Arabic which is the only focus of this course.
I'm Egyptian myself and would like to tell you that Egyptians have even more than 10 different Egyptian dialects according to where they live in Egypt and all of them are considered Egyptian Arabic although they might differ in the way the words are pronounced. As a quick example, the name "Amira" that you mentioned (which is a name that tens of my friends have and is written by them in all possible different yet correct ways) can be also written as "Ameera", "Ameerah" and "Amirah"...Read More
Hello again figgles
Knowing that you have already studied MSA explains the way you are receiving the lessons' content. Please allow me to clarify that MSA is a formal language with a specific translation and transliteration to literally every single word and phrase and that might normally make you feel a little bit uncomfortable with the flexibility and inconsistency that you might find in Egyptian Arabic which is the only focus of this course.
I'm Egyptian myself and would like to tell you that Egyptians have even more than 10 different Egyptian dialects according to where they live in Egypt and all of them are considered Egyptian Arabic although they might differ in the way the words are pronounced. As a quick example, the name "Amira" that you mentioned (which is a name that tens of my friends have and is written by them in all possible different yet correct ways) can be also written as "Ameera", "Ameerah" and "Amirah". This name is literally translated in MSA to "princess"=أميرة having a single correct Arabic form but so many ways to be written in English.
My own name which I write as "Eiman" can also be written as  "Eman" and "Iman" which are all different correct ways for writing the word إيمان meaning "faith".
You were perfectly right when you mentioned "but given that there isn't a "standard" for how to write Egyptian" because there's no fixed standard for a country's dialect as it's not an official or standard language which applies to almost all languages dialects.
Regarding the consistency, we promise that we will get that re-checked very soon to avoid any confusion that that might cause to new learners but I would like to reassure you that all of the transliterations are correct. However, more checking, consistency and corrections will take place very soon.
Again thank you for your feedback.
Website typos and incorrect translations?
figgles May 10, 2016, 9:19 pm
Hi Eiman,

I'm well aware of the difference between MSA and dialects. I understand the example "Eiman"/"Eman"/"Iman"/etc. That having been said, I think there is a strong need for a consistent system within your program. I'm glad that you're going to work on that; I reported issues like these more than a year ago and there has been no change.

It's not just the Latin spellings though. There are also spellings that I object to, for example  أهلاً  as أهلآ using alif madda. I get that spelling can be "variable", but I don't think for example, that it would be OK to write your name (إيمان) as آيمان or إيمآن -- clearly there are rules. For some things, I understand there is no standard, e.g. ما بحبش or مباحبش etc, but for plenty of other words that are unchanged from MSA, there is no reason to vary the spelling...Read More
Hi Eiman,

I'm well aware of the difference between MSA and dialects. I understand the example "Eiman"/"Eman"/"Iman"/etc. That having been said, I think there is a strong need for a consistent system within your program. I'm glad that you're going to work on that; I reported issues like these more than a year ago and there has been no change.

It's not just the Latin spellings though. There are also spellings that I object to, for example  أهلاً  as أهلآ using alif madda. I get that spelling can be "variable", but I don't think for example, that it would be OK to write your name (إيمان) as آيمان or إيمآن -- clearly there are rules. For some things, I understand there is no standard, e.g. ما بحبش or مباحبش etc, but for plenty of other words that are unchanged from MSA, there is no reason to vary the spelling. At all. It just looked uneducated and offers no value.

Why is "store" (Survival Kit - City Life) spelled like ماحال and not the obvious MSA spelling مَحَلّ even though they are pronounced identically? Silly stuff like this makes me cringe. Do you really think ماحال is acceptable? Eek, I hope not.

Look, I'm not asking for everything to look like MSA. The Egyptian dialect is not MSA. I get it. Apparently as soon as I say, "I have studied MSA", everyone stops listening and assumes I must be confused. They graciously decide to tell me that MSA is different from Egyptian Arabic. Yes, I know. No, I'm not confused at all.

Anyways, I'm done writing about this. Given that this isn't a "new" problem, I mostly just feel embarrassed for the company. Their other products are so well polished, but not this one. I won't recommend Rocket Arabic nor change my negative review of the Arabic course until this issue is systematically addressed.
Website typos and incorrect translations?
Ph0t0n May 18, 2016, 5:14 pm
Personally, I completely ignore all the "Romanized" latin phonetic translations about 95% of the time.  I'm really only interested in the Arabic script.  I think Figgles hit the nail on the head - the problem is with consistency.  In one lesson, many words will be shown with two or more different Arabic spellings even though they're used in the exact same sentence with the same gender, plurality, etc. 

As a result, the "Write it!" section becomes pretty much useless.  I found myself typing in words the way they were written in the lesson, but when the "answer" is revealed they turn red and are marked as incorrect because there were multiple spellings and I chose the wrong one.  

Sometimes I get the answer "wrong" because the lesson is mixing MSA and Egyptian dialect - for example sometimes they use قهوة and other times أهوة ...Read More
Personally, I completely ignore all the "Romanized" latin phonetic translations about 95% of the time.  I'm really only interested in the Arabic script.  I think Figgles hit the nail on the head - the problem is with consistency.  In one lesson, many words will be shown with two or more different Arabic spellings even though they're used in the exact same sentence with the same gender, plurality, etc. 

As a result, the "Write it!" section becomes pretty much useless.  I found myself typing in words the way they were written in the lesson, but when the "answer" is revealed they turn red and are marked as incorrect because there were multiple spellings and I chose the wrong one.  

Sometimes I get the answer "wrong" because the lesson is mixing MSA and Egyptian dialect - for example sometimes they use قهوة and other times أهوة .   Sometimes my answer will be wrong because the grammatical translation is off like in the example I used at the top of this thread where they left out the words "the house".  Other times, the spelling on one of the words is wrong - like حدرتك instead of حضرتك  .  I submitted that particular misspelling in the help desk and it has been fixed!  I'm happy to see that some of my submissions have been noted and remedied

If there are indeed two or more alternatives that are correct, perhaps the "Write It!" section should take that into account and not mark the answer wrong if an alternative was used?  Either that, or use the same spelling throughout all the lessons.

I pretty much gave up using the "Write it!" section because more often than not revealing the answer resulted in a bunch of red "mistakes" that weren't really mistakes.  I don't have the time or desire to submit corrections for them all so I am using other learning programs for writing skills.  I would consider using Rocket Languages again for writing if I received word that a professional went through all the lessons such that consistency is achieved.  

I don't really find the "Play it!" section very useful either since it's basically word-for-word memorizing a speech or conversation.  I have more than enough vocabulary to commit to memory just trying to learn a new language, and memorizing the exact words of a specific conversation between two people doesn't seem like a particularly good use of neural activity

That being said, the other quiz sections are very useful to me. I have listened to all of the audio lessons on the way to/from work and it has helped tremendously.   I love the large font - for beginners it's often hard to read Arabic in a small font where two dots tend to blend onto one.  I listened to the all the Pimsleur audio which has a Syrian dialect and it's fun trying to decipher which Egyptian words are the same but pronounced in a completely different way.

I know fixing the consistency for all the lessons would be a big job, but let us know if someone does!  إيمان, thanks for responding to some of our questions. Cool name by the way!

--luke

 
Website typos and incorrect translations?

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