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A dilemma: choosing the most helpful answer
Thread poster: Alexandra Goldburt
Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 15:50
English to Russian
+ ...
May 22, 2008

An e-mail comes with a familiar request to "Please select the most helpful answer(s) to your question(s)"...

I have to admit that it is almost always a dilemma for me. Translation is not an exact science. Unlike the question "What is 10 + 10?", to which only one question is acceptable, and no other, not even "19.9999" will do, a translation question can have an almost infinite number of answers.

As the asker, I have the authority to decide which answer is "the best". Yet, on what grounds am I given this authority, when the very reason I'm asking the question is that I don't know the answer?

In many cases, people who generously share their knowledge by answering my questions have extensive experience and deep knowledge in a particular field, the kind of experience and knowledge that I can only hope to have one day. I feel very uncomfortable choosing among their answers - frequently, I'm simply not qualified to do it, and in may cases, I fell that ALL the answers have been equally helpful.

Is there an option of choosing more than one answer? If not, maybe there should be...

Looking forward to your thought on the issue.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:50
German to English
Just do your best May 22, 2008

I feel the same way, Alexandra. Choosing the best answer is often hard work, just as asking the question properly in first place is hard work.

I devote plenty of time to "justifying" my choice, especially when some very fine people have carefully reseached and documented their answers.

I sometimes feel inadequate as a judge, just like you. But I think we just need to take the decision seriously and do our level best to explain why we've made our decision and thank everybody for their contributions.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:50
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Points to compensate the effort or a brilliant idea May 22, 2008

Kim Metzger wrote:
I devote plenty of time to "justifying" my choice, especially when some very fine people have carefully reseached and documented their answers.


I entirely agree. A priority is thanking everyone for their efforts, big or small, documented or quick. We must assume that all answerers give the best they can based on the time they have at the time of the reply.

As for choosing one reply, the rule is to choose "the most useful" one, i.e. not necessarily the one that matches your final decision, but the one that put you in the right track to resolve the problem. A short, decisive hint might be worth more in that sense than a very long, out-of-track explanation....


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Thank you, answerers May 22, 2008

Yes, I've often wished I could award points to more than one answerer. As that is not allowed, let me here issue general thanks to all who have generously helped me, many going to lots of trouble and giving rise to interesting discussions.
Jenny


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Andrei Yefimov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 01:50
English to Russian
+ ...
agree! May 22, 2008

I suggest that there be the option that allows every asker to distribute the points among responders at his sole discretion. For instance, I may award two points to A and the remaining 2 to B or 3 to 1 etc., if I may want. Is there any chance of adding such option? Thanks!
Andrei

[Edited at 2008-05-22 21:49]


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:50
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Kudoz split. May 22, 2008

I've requested several times the possibility of splitting Kudoz. There are several posts here deling with that issue. Unofrtunately, it has not been implemented, yet. Your post indicates the number of people wishing that implementation is increasing.

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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 15:50
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'm very happy to know that I'm not alone in thinking this May 23, 2008

It is really a good feeling to know that you are not a lone voice screaming in the desert...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic.


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