FoundCAT - the new open source immersion resource

The tools we are considering

The tools we are considering

by Gary Evans -
Number of replies: 4

Tools for use in Found CAT

The project aims to take the functionality of three platforms and combine them in one open source tool to help learners improve their language skills by translating content as a community.

The main part of Found CAT is largely based on Duolingo Immersion, which unfortunately is no longer available online. A comment thread about this can be found here:

1. Duolingo

Tools previously offered by Duolingo

Crowd-sourced translations

Peer review

Peer feedback

Peer grading - score points, badges, levels, all of which are the result of peer reviewed point-scoring.

A glossary of words, phrases and terms (mouse-over)

Machine translation (Duobot)

A discussion forum

Here is a useful guide to using Duolingo Immersion:

2. CAT tools

Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tools make use of Translation Memories (TM) and Term Bases (TB). Both TM and TB can be exported/imported in open exchange formats to and from most CAT tools. Basically, the more comprehensive they are (in terms of matched sentences and glossary terms), the better they function as tools.

In addition, some CAT tools make use of machine translation (MT), often conecting to Google Translate, or Bing Translator. Duolingo used its own bot (Duobot).

An overview of CAT tools:

Open Source:




Trados (market leader)


The open source CAT tools are not as well developed or as functional as the leading propriety ones. Memsource offers tools for agencies to manage translators and is simple to set up and use.

Here's a comparison of CAT tools:

3. LMS tools

Learning Management Systems such as Moodle can be used for managing registrations, grading, forums etc.

One approach would be to develop a Moodle plug-in, based on an open source CAT tool such as OmegaT with all the functionality of Duolingo Immersion.

Presentation Module

The final element is the development of an online tool for sharing presentations whereby peer review is implemented. This is a separate module, which we should focus on later.

In reply to Gary Evans

Considering Weblate

by Sebi U -

Hello everyone!

Lexi already did a broad research regarding what tools are suited to build CommuniCAT. I now too had a closer look at Weblate and I support his idea to use it as a base. Here is why we think it's the best tool:

Weblate is a translation management tool that allows comments, version control and contains it's own user management. Therefore it's great to let students perform peer reviews. It still requires some adjustments to make it feel like it's Duolinguo Immerse but it already covers the base functionality of what we want to achieve.

Let's consider CommuniCAT already existed and we look at it from a learner's point of view. We adapted the use cases from the original posting in this thread. Here is an illustration of how one could navigate through CommuniCAT:

It contains the following functionality:

1.  A leaner starts by selecting English as his course.
2.  They then pick "Wasser" from the list of texts and sees the full text, divided into separate sentences.
3.  They pick a sentence and then gets four things:
3.1.  A form input for their own translation
3.2.  A list of the other learner's translations
3.2.1.  They can comment on other translations
3.2.2.  They can revoke other translations
3.2.3.  They can revise other translations
3.3. A list of similar sentences and their translations
3.4. A glossary. 

Weblate already has most of these features built in. I took screenshots of (and edited the text, so it is easier to understand):

Overview of texts and their translation status:

Looking at an actual sentence, with the context below:

You can see that it already matches most of our needs.  The interface is designed to enable string translations, so it doesn't always fit our demands to preserve the context of longer texts.

What is already available:
- Weblate is capable of representing the desired course structure by setting up a project (Course), containing a language (English) which may contain several components (texts), each containing a set of strings (sentences)
- Has a list of "Benachbarte Zeichenketten", which display the leading and trailing sentences in the text. This helps to understand the context of the sentence within the text. 
- users can pick which sentence to translate
- users can submit their own translations, even if the sentence already has been translated
- all translations are visible to all users
- translations can receive comments, suggestions and revisions
- older translations can be restored
- glossary is shared through all texts

Not on the screenshots:
- Similar translations
- (Empty Glossary)

I. Currently Weblate starts by presenting the first sentence to the user and then shows a list of similar sentences (benachbarte Zeichenketten). To improve the workflow, we need to first show the whole text to the user and let him pick a sentence. 
II. Also we should hide all elements we don't need so the user interface is clear and only shows what students will actually use.
III. Weblate doesn't cover any peer grading aspects (no scoring or badges), no intelligent machine translation (but computer aided translation) and no discussion forum. They could either be implemented by hand or be delegated to an external service.

Weblate's setup configuration already provides possibilities to make some of our required adjustments. The rest can be done by forking Weblate, which is based on Django (Python). It is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License and is well documented.

To make Weblate really feel like Immerse, I would start by cleaning up the overview of strings (see TODO I.). This could be achieved by creating a new Weblate view type that displays the sentences as a text, each one clickable and leading to Functionality 3.

Are there any considerations of another framework that I don't know of and is there maybe a server available that allows us to run Weblate? I would love to get a prototype running that we all can visit.

What's your opinion on Weblate so far?


In reply to Sebi U

Re: Considering Weblate

by Gary Evans -
Excellent work!

Weblate could go o the server if it's possible to do that. Lexi is looking into this.

In reply to Gary Evans

Combining LMS platforms

by Gary Evans -
Here's an interesting resource:

And I quote:

"The project is a joint venture between the universities of Stuttgart, Hohenheim, Ulm, Konstanz, Mannheim and the universities of education of Baden-Württemberg.

Project Targets

First of all we want to integrate the learning management systems ILIAS, Moodle, and StudIP so you can internavigate between these platforms in respect of consuming courses. This will be provided through so called course links.

Second we want to give the mentioned platforms access to HIS/LSF campus management system, e.g. to prevent a repeated data input while creating new courses.

Ticket creation

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