answers exploiting your answer
Thread poster: johnjack
johnjack
Belgium
Local time: 02:57
English to Italian
+ ...
May 1, 2008

Hello,
I assume the issue will have been extensively debated, yet it doesn't stop being irritating!
I am referring to answerers using your answer by changing it very slightly.
Interestingly, the point is not so much about answerers but rather on askers who then choose the other answer as the best, when it is crystal clear that he/she used your answer (sometimes even confessedly!). However, I want to think that not all "exploiting" answerers act in bad faith...
Is it me being too touchy? Thanks for bearing with my rantings!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Contribution May 1, 2008

I supppose refining a prior answer could be termed a welcome contribution, or it could be that answerer already had that exact answer in mind before even seeing yours. On the other hand, they could also be taking advantage of you to grab points.

My own usual practice is to agree and maybe offer a refinement at the same time if an answer is close enough.

It's probably best not to worry. After all, what can you buy with all those points?


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:57
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not about points May 1, 2008

A modification of someone else's answer can be very helpful, but as Henry suggests, it should be offered as an agree + suggestion to the first answer. In my opinion, that is simple professional courtesy, never mind the points.

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Taylor Kirk  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:57
Portuguese to English
+ ...
For many terms... May 1, 2008

It is highly likely that several people will have very similar answers. But since these terms end up in a glossary, anyone who can get closest to the most precise translation deserves the points, regardless of how fast they were to stick it on the board. In fact I think it helps the quality of the glossary when we take the time to enter to most complete, glossary friendly answer with explanations in the field. Instead, what many people do is write "see below", a misspelled answer without diacritical marks, or any other types of errors. Points should be awarded by quality, not by how fast you can slap something up there.



[Edited at 2008-05-01 20:23]


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George Fabian
Local time: 02:57
Polish to English
Slightly different situation (actual exploiting of answers) May 2, 2008

Dear all!

I just wanted to get your opinion on a slightly different situation. What would you think about a situation in which a fellow translator gives an answer, next other answers fall in (including my answer), the 'first' anwerer's answer is selected and next - this translator enters MY answer (together with the answer of another translator) into the glossary. Not his answer! Funny isn't it? Let me just stress, I don't care about the points, it's the principal of the matter.

Thanks for your comments.
George


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johnjack
Belgium
Local time: 02:57
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
certainly points are not the matter May 2, 2008

Dear all,
I wanted to make clear the issue is not about getting points. I would like to emphasize how blatant the habit is for some people to post right after your answer a slightly different syntagm, whereas (I agree with Henry Hinds and Tina Vonhof) a note to the first answer would be more suitable. In your case, George, it is even more evident. Again, a more careful choice from askers is to be wished!
Thanks for your contributions!


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:57
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
It's not you May 2, 2008

johnjack wrote:
Is it me being too touchy?


I don't think it's you, or, put it another way, it's the same story with me!

I despise this practice. A number of times I took it upon myself to bring attention to shameless answer stealing/exploiting.

The typical result is being called a jerk for putting people down, being accused of behaving unprofessionally and abusing KudoZ rules by posting personal comments (huh?).

Part of it is that many askers use Kudoz questions as a way to "outsource" a sentence or two, i.e. get someone to do their job for them. Obviously, they don't care from where or from whom the translation comes, as long as they can drop it nicely into their text and go on translating, oblivious to the efforts of their peers.

I've been told that this sort of issue, if there indeed is one, has to be resolved through a moderator. Well, fine, but people just don't learn their lessons that way. They don't change their ways - neither the askers who practice this grading method nor the answerers who don't mind exploiting other's contributions.

I'm not indifferent enough to the Kudoz system to let this happen.


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:57
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Re points May 3, 2008

johnjack wrote:
I wanted to make clear the issue is not about getting points.


It may not be for you, but it is for at least some of the exploiters.


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:57
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Agree + Suggestion May 4, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

My own usual practice is to agree and maybe offer a refinement at the same time if an answer is close enough.



Tina Vonhof wrote:

A modification of someone else's answer can be very helpful, but as Henry suggests, it should be offered as an agree + suggestion to the first answer. In my opinion, that is simple professional courtesy, never mind the points.




Yes, it is more courteous and professional to give an agree + alternative answer when there is an alternative answer that is essentially the same as a previously suggested answer.


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moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
A few possible explanations May 8, 2008

Hi johnjack,

I'm sure that most of us find KudoZ irritating at one point or other, but I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer to your question.

Initially I'd award the people involved the benefit of the doubt.

I'd ask myself whether or not this is a persistent trait in the subjects involved.

If it is, then I'd consider if the person 'adding an extra comma' - or the asker for that matter - is an experienced user or not.

Getting the most out of KudoZ, both as asker and answerer, involves a learning curve that will vary for each user and I think this requires a certain degree of patience and guidance on behalf of the rest of us. I'm sure a number of us have committed these or other little sins in our 'boot camp' days.

If we're speaking of long-time users, then I'd ask myself "What real difference is there between the two answers?"

Sometimes an apparently trivial difference can have an enormous bearing on the translation. Although I agree that a peer comment will generally suffice, sometimes you want to make sure that the asker is well aware of that difference and you might feel it really needs a separate answer.

Further possibilities: after pressing the 'suggest answer' button, the answerer has put valuable time and effort into researching the term and providing a written explanation, references etc. and may not have seen your own answer.
In such cases, before finally posting my answer, I refresh the question on another page to make sure I'm not treading on anyone's toes. It only takes a few seconds, but remember that sometimes people are rushing to get back to their own translations.

As I say, you won't find many experienced answerers behaving this way and, if it's the asker who gets on your nerves, you can always filter him/her out.

In any case, don't despair, there are a few 'rotten apples' in every community basket; we just have to learn to live with them as best we can. Foruntately for KudoZ, they might make a lot of noise, but I don't think there are that many of them.

Optimistically,

Álvaro


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johnjack
Belgium
Local time: 02:57
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Alvaro May 8, 2008

Dear Alvaro,
I would say your post comforts me.
Fancy I just experienced the situation again. I would post the link were it not against good manners. In any way, the case was like me having posted "door handle" (pure example) and another answerer posting "handle of the door" after me. Well, as you can imagine the latter was chosen, despite 3 agreers on my behalf. I would lie if I said that doesnn't frustrate. In any case, I appreciate your advice, particularly about admitting bona fides, though sometimes (let's say seldom!) I wonder whether answering kudos is really worth the pain...
Optimistically, too
Filippo


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moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Worse things happen at sea... May 17, 2008

johnjack wrote:

...though sometimes (let's say seldom!) I wonder whether answering kudos is really worth the pain...
Optimistically, too
Filippo


I think we all go through those phases. I disappear from KudoZ for months at a time and have noticed that plenty of site users do so too.

However, each time I come back I find its downsides easier to live with and enjoy its positive aspects more.

As good old Eric wisely wrote:

Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad,
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle.
And this'll help things turn out for the best.

And....
Always look on the bright side of life, (whistle)
Always look on the bright side of life, (whistle)

If life seems jolly rotten,
There's something you've forgotten,
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps,
Don't be silly chumps.
Just purse your lips and whistle, that's the thing.

And...
Always look on the bright side of life. (whistle)
Come on...
Always look on the bright side of life...

For life is quite absurd,
And death's the final word,
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin,
Give the audience a grin,
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

So…
Always look on the bright side of death,
Just before you draw your terminal breath,
Life's a piece of s**t, (Sorry Eric - ProZ.com policy there!)
When you look at it,
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.

You'll see it's all a show,
Keep 'em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.
And always look on the bright side of life,

Always look on the right side of life,
Come on guys, cheer up.
Always look on the bright side of life.
Worse things happen at sea, you know.

Always look on the bright side of life.
I mean - what have you got to lose?
You know, you come from nothing,
you're going back to nothing.

What have you lost? Nothing!



Cheerfully,

Alvaro

[Edited at 2008-05-17 08:41]


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