In russian course the english version of the word to be translated not always matches the exact translation to russian. Say, when the english asks for "her" or "hers", which is "своей", a reflexive pronoun, which should translate to "herself" or "of self". Also, when there is no one-to-one correspondence, only one given hint is insufficient to remember the right word, thus in these cases a few hints are welcome. Finally, if please notify when an exact word from a set of synonyms is required, otherwise improve english description for a wanted word such that a clear distinction would be visible.
Hi, @julius0991! The author or the Russian course @Sabina , as far, as I can tell, is very responsive and willing to help, but if you are really want to get that course improved, you probably would have to be more specific and give concrete examples with you suggestions, as other people do in very special Russian section. I'm sure, that the authors do their best to come up with quality material, and I doubt that one of the Lingvist authors would intentionally publish a bunch of vague and obscure translations, so one would have hard time to learn from them. But you have to keep in mind, that you and the author are looking at the course from different perspectives and something that makes perfect sense when you are composing a course, may not me so obvious during the learning process. And it's really difficult for the author to find those vague places as they already know the course and know the answers. I guess, that is one of the reasons why Lingvist is in beta now, so the users would give their feedback and help to improve the system. Also, Russian is much more grammatically complex than English and sometimes it's difficult to find a hint that would translate to a single construction. If you know how to make it better, your help is very welcome.
P.S. here is a helpful article about her/hers/herself, I just thought it might be interesting for you to read.
Thank you for a very thorough explanation, @dev_temp ! It works exactly as you said :)
@julius0991 Thank you for the feedback! Russian and English are grammatically very different languages, which sometimes makes explaining the grammar details in a simple and clear way a great challenge. But I'm trying to give my best!
As to reflexive pronouns, "себя" is translated as "-self" and the possessive pronoun "свой"means "one's own". @julius0991 are you learning from an app or a webapp? At the moment, in the app version we show more additional translations than in the webapp. So I would advise you to use our app to see more information, if you are interested :)
Would it be possible to improve english translation hints for these words:
her: свой, её
main: основное, главное
It is annoying when after typing a whole word it is not accepted just because that sentence requires a different word. I think phrasal translations should be kept on top of the card, while the bottom translation should be literal. Similarly туда-сюда should be hinted by "there-here", while "back and forth" could be kept up there. In general, this problem of translation of synonyms or to synonyms is also a problem in Memrise, because a lot if courses there are built by users, and most probably lack of time vs fast completion is a culprit, but this is compensated by them being able to create courses. Whence this is not the case, a certain quality standard should be kept, i.e. no cheap challenges. It should be understood that to avoid ambiguity a translation between ideas has to be implemented, which means that the same idea may require different number of words in different languages. If it takes 3 words to disambiguate the situation, so be it. There are not many words that have this problem, but I am constantly failing at them just because I do not remember the exact sentence they go with. App looks better than the webapp, but in principle the situation is the same on both platforms. There were a few more examples, but I have not written them down yet. I will post them whenever they pop out.
begin - стать - начать
go - ходить - ехать - идти
Another thing I noticed was покупать vs купить. One has a meaning of finalising a purchase while the other one is some general buying. This has to be the problem of english, because I myself am from Lithuania, and there we have a similar structure, i.e. our verb with a prefix would have similar meaning to a russian verb with verb that seems to have a prefix, but in english words seem to be too flexible. Therefore something should be done to prevent this confusion.
Also, some literal translations seem to be not literal enough. I.e. sometimes a full english phrase is taken (say, in the example with pancakes and trying), and clearly it does not match (3vs 5 or 6 words). Making it verbatim could
cause loss in writing style, but I wonder if literal translation is the place where perfect language should be used.