How to help improve sentences

Even without speaking any foreign language, you can help a lot by proofreading sentences in the corpus.

Where to find sentences to proofread

We do not provide any predefined list of sentences to proofread. You can proofread sentences simply by browsing the website. Here are a few relevant places where you can go:

  • Latest contributions (from the homepage)
  • Browse by language (from the menu: Browse > Browse by language)
  • Browse sentences of a specific user (from a user's profile page: Sentences link in the sidebar)

It's up to you to choose what is your preferred proofreading method.

Post comments on incorrect sentences

Our main tool for fighting mistakes, typos and unnatural sentences is comments. Whenever you come across a sentence that you feel is wrong, simply post a comment on the sentence. The more specific the comment, the better. In particular, if you indicate the part that you think is incorrect and what it needs to be changed to, you will make the sentence easier to correct.

Posting a comment is done from the sentence's page. The comment form is at the bottom of the page, below the sentence and below all the previous comments.

If the owner of the sentence has email notifications enabled, they will receive your comment by email and may come back to correct their sentence. If not, they can always check the comments on their sentences from the menu: {username} > Comments on my sentences.

If the sentence is left uncorrected for too long (usually at least two weeks after the comment), we have corpus maintainers to take care of it.

Add action tags to incorrect sentences

If you are an advanced contributor, in addition to leaving a comment, you can add a tag such as @change, @check, or @needs native check to the sentence. Others can then find sentences with these tags (top menu: Contribute > Improve sentences) and take appropriate action if the owner of the sentence has not responded within two weeks.

Proofread your own sentences

Proofreading your own sentences can be useful, especially if many of your sentences are translations. You can look at them apart from the original sentences and decide whether they sound natural on their own.

You can access the page that lists all your sentences from the menu: {username} > My sentences.

You can order by 'date created' and look at your older sentences. Reading sentences you wrote months ago can give you another perspective.

Guidelines and tips

How to write good sentences

We have an article that explains it: How to Write Good Sentences.

When proofreading you can rely on these guidelines to evaluate what is a good sentence and what is not, and decide whether or not you should post a comment.

You are encouraged to share this article to anyone who seems to struggle to understand our quality standards.

You are also encouraged to help us improve this article. If you think something is missing, unclear, or incoherent, or if you disagree with something, let us know.

Don't spam the same user with comments

If you notice a user is repeatedly making the same types of mistakes, there is no need to comment on each of their sentences saying the same thing. It actually scares off new contributors when they receive 10 emails in a row saying that they forgot a period. Instead, only post one comment and explain that this mistake can be found on several of their sentences. Or send them a private message to explain the common mistakes they make and tell them to review their sentences to fix those mistakes.

Report bad contributors to admins

If the overall quality of a user's contributions is really terrible and they do not seem to take any comments into account, you do not need to bother any further to try to improve their sentences. Contact the admins instead.

  • Admins can be contacted via email ( or private message (to TatoebaAdmins).
  • Indicate which user is contributing too many bad sentences and what language(s) they are "polluting".
  • Give your estimation of the percentage of bad sentences from this contributor.

Admins can temporarily suspend a user.

  • When suspended, the user won't be able to add more sentences but will still be able to edit their sentences.
  • The user will be asked to proofread their own sentences and correct them.
  • The user will be unsuspended when they have corrected enough sentences.

The collection/rating feature

We have a feature that lets users rate sentence as "OK", "not OK", or "unsure". Whenever you rate a sentence, it is added to your "Collection" and you can browse sentences you have rated from there (top menu: {username} > My collection).

To use this feature, you have to go to your Settings (top menu: {username} > Settings) and check the option "Activate the feature to rate sentences and build your collection of sentences". You also need to make sure that "Display sentences with the new design" is disabled.

This feature has not yet been fully incorporated into our core features because it still needs improvement, but at least you can use it to keep track of sentences you have proofread.


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