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should answers be in the same form as the posted term?
Thread poster: Patricia Rosas

Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 10, 2008

Hi, all!

Twice today I've answered KudoZ questions following exactly the format in which the term was posted, thinking ahead toward the moment when an answer would be put in the glossary.

In one case, the asker had a phrase in which a noun was in the plural, but the term that appeared in the box was in the singular. So, my answer was in the singular. I didn't see another person's answer until mine was posted. We essentially gave the same answer, and he seemed unhappy when I posted a "neutral" comment, pointing out that his answer was in the plural and misspelled.

Similarly, I posted another answer where I responded solely to the term in the box, and after I did that, four others gave essentially the same answer, but with the translation of additional context. Their answers have all gotten a agrees, and that's fine. But one of the other answerers said to me in a note he posted later that he hadn't seen my answer, but he thought the asker wanted the whole phrase translated.

I'd like to know if there is some sort of consensus about this. What do you usually do?


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with you Jun 10, 2008

One situation when the answer shouldn't necessarily be in the same form as the query is when the asker is mixed up and what they put into the query term box isn't actually the nub of the query. But that wasn't the issue in your examples.

It's just one more annoyance about the "democratic" nature of KudoZ, in addition to wrong or poor answers being chosen over right or better ones.


As for your question, "What do you do," when answering I do the same as you in trying to keep the answer in the same form as the query when appropriate, but also if I happen to see a glossary entry with a blatant mismatch between the grammatical form or scope of the query vs. the answer, I edit them to match.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Bothersome Jun 11, 2008

What you mention, Patricia, is a bit bothersome, but what I usually try to do is put my answer in context (if there is any!) below, and try to respond as the question is posed above when they are different. However, I would prefer that askers keep everything in the specific context in which it appears. Often the particle appearing as the term consulted is incomplete or not a "unit" for lack of a better term, and needs more added to it. In many cases, due to the need to restructure sentences, part of what is being asked might have to be broken up with other information in the middle.

In some cases my own answers do not correspond precisely to the term being asked because of the above considerations. If I am awarded the question I will normally make adjustments or corrections for the final glossary entry.

It is still a bit of a hassle, but my main concern is providing an answer within the specific context... again, if there is any.

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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:01
French to Spanish
+ ...
Not exactly. Jun 11, 2008

I was involved in the first case.
Question was: bachada.
In context: bachadas.
I wrote batchs. Wrong all right.
Patricia posted a neutral: batches, she said. That's was right.
In this cases, when the answer is right, with a typo, I always agree, with comment.
Then she posted batch.
I put a neutral. Context was bachadas.
I considered it a double game. I don't like that.
Not much, though.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:01
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It depends a lot Jun 11, 2008

In principle I agree with you. I assume that what the asker wants is a sort of 'jigsaw piece' that will fit neatly into the 'hole' in the context that he/she is asking about.
That is freqently the most helpful form of answer, at least to some of the questions I ask.

I regularly answer questions where the short answer is 'rephrase' ...

In Scandinavian languages the vocabulary is often deceptively close to the English, and it may not be strictly wrong simply to translate word for word. But often what sounds perfectly acceptable in one language is clumsy or unintelligible in the other.

At other times Scandinavians use their wonderful 'telescope' words - and there is just no exact equivalent in English, so the whole sentence has to be remodelled.

Or the conventions of legal or academic writing are different, so a paraphrase is necessary.

It is very hard to make rules about KudoZ, especially as the 'real' KudoZ questions may be out on the periphery of established language anyway, for whatever reason. But that is why the answers are not in the dictionaries

Happy translating!

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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
thanks! Jun 16, 2008

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your thoughts. fwiw: I didn't see Juan Jacob's answer until after I'd posted mine, so my apologies if the "neutral" offended him, but I do think that spelling counts ...

Hope everyone is having a good Monday!

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