Take the 2-minute tour ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I write e-mails throughout the day at my job and use the following resources to correct them before it goes out:

But I would like to also have a site where I can just have my German language corrected.

Is there a free community site with a critical mass like German Language & Usage that I can go to, paste in the main text of an e-mail, wait a couple of minutes, and have native speakers look over it and correct it for me?

Additionally, it would be helpful if the people who correct the language could also identify the errors which would link to appropriate grammar exercises, and allow users to collect flashcards and vocabulary from the corrections they received, etc.

share|improve this question
5  
What's wrong with GL&U? except that you cannot paste a paragraph and ask for corrections but you can ask about where you're not sure about. I doubt if there's such a website, sounds like a dream to a language learner! –  user508 Sep 27 '11 at 8:09
    
GL&U is a question/answer site, so I can get quick answers here but only if I spend the time to formulate them into a question, but most of the time I don't really have a question per se, I just want to know if the language I am using can be improved on by a native speaker and how, and I want the software to help those correcting it to be able to categorize it in terms of grammar issues to get constant feedback and allow me to choose how I want to learn from the corrections, it's the next evolutionary step towards 100% free language learning I guess, I'm sure it exists, where is it? –  Edward Tanguay Sep 27 '11 at 8:29
1  
According to what you've explained; if there is any, it mustn't be free with all of the features. (IMO) –  user508 Sep 27 '11 at 10:16
    
A site like that wouldn't be any more technically involved than StackExchange really, just a different set of features with a focus on correcting language and building up a corpus of corrections, flashcards, and explanation instead of questions and answers. I don't see why it couldn't be as free as the dozens of StackExchange sites are. –  Edward Tanguay Sep 27 '11 at 11:43
1  
You might send your text to amazons mechanical turk. Some companies use this site to get their texts translated in other languages by humans: mturk.com/mturk/welcome –  Hubert Schölnast Aug 9 '12 at 6:36
show 1 more comment

5 Answers

There doesn't seem to be such a site yet. There certainly isn't one with critical mass, like GL&U has, otherwise it would (almost per definition) be easy to find on google. There might conceivably be a tiny forgotten one hidden away somewhere on the internet, but if it's so small that google searches won't pick it up, it's unlikely to be of any use to you.

I also see a few issues that really make me doubt whether it's a viable idea, too:

  • Confidentiality: Are people really going to want their work emails out there for all the world to see?

  • Return on time invested: What would native speakers get out of correcting your email? On stack exchange sites, experts are rewarded for their efforts by being able to get their own questions answered in turn. What would a fix-my-writing-for-me site offer them?

  • On stack exchange sites, answering a question helps more than one person - you're creating value on the internet, and helping everyone else that's going to have that issue in the future. Fixing your specific email helps only you. Are people going to feel like that's a valuable use of their time?

  • Some of the least popular questions on stackoverflow are the ones that are just a ton of buggy code with "Here code, you fix," because it feels like you're dumping a bunch of work on people with absolutely no indication that you've done any work yourself. People want to help, but they also want to feel like you're at least trying to pull your weight, not just taking advantage of their generosity.

You say

I can get quick answers here but only if I spend the time to formulate them into a question

but the time and effort you spent turning your issue into an interesting question is the very thing that makes people want to help you out.

The site you want would allow you to get a ton of free labor out of people with absolutely no effort on your part, and to be honest, I think there are good reasons no such thing exists.

Your best bet is probably to find a few native speakers who are willing to correct your email for you in exchange for you correcting their English email for them.

share|improve this answer
1  
+1 for "the time and effort you spend turning your issue into an interesting question is the very thing that makes people want to help you out" very true point for why stackexchange works I think, and a worthy point to consider in planning a language correction/learning site –  Edward Tanguay Sep 28 '11 at 7:48
    
Just think of all the energy the world population expend everyday doing crossword puzzles, word search puzzles, jumbles, etc. I am absolutely confident that such a site would work: you just need to create the software that makes it fun and wortwhile for people to correct real people's texts instead of doing crossword puzzles or whatever by yourself. Stackexchange has already shown that this works for question/answers, a site to correct texts, markup texts into language exercises, and organize learning material is simply a difference in topic not kind. –  Edward Tanguay Sep 28 '11 at 8:05
    
Here, I wrote a blog post about what such a site would look like and work: ellabb.com/index.php?page=blogs&idCode=newVocabulary –  Edward Tanguay Sep 28 '11 at 8:06
    
Please stop posting links to dubious websites like that ellabb. –  karoshi Oct 14 '13 at 13:42
add comment

There is this site Lang-8 that I have been indicated. I have not used it yet though, but it looks promising.

It's not only for german language. But I don't think there is any time guaranty for being corrected.

edit: I saw elsewhere on SE someone talking about http://www.proz.com/ but it doesn't seem to be free.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Lang-8 is something you might be looking for, although randomly slapping down an email will not be corrected.

I have had my submissions corrected in minutes previously. Also, you can think about helping people learning your mother tongue.

In my experience, you would need to split into parts you do not understand, and parts you do, then write your translations, and provide them to give clarity to the translator.

Learning a language is hard.

share|improve this answer
    
I have been using Lang-8 for quite some time now; there's a very friendly community there, and the response times are fantastic. –  waldrumpus Sep 12 '12 at 12:35
add comment

try http://www.Busuu.com there is a free and a paid part to the site, and it's possible to post texts and other native speakers will correct it, usually pretty fast

share|improve this answer
add comment

www.busuu.com is really good but beware that you sometimes have to do other activities to get the the translation part but they are also quite helpful. There are plenty of native speakers who will reply, I have used it for German many times before.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.