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KudoZ - I give up
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:47
English to French
+ ...
Aug 18, 2008

Dear colleagues,

I would just like to announce to you that I am entirely leaving the KudoZ pages of this site. Please, do not count on me to help you with your term questions, or to agree/disagree/neutral your answer to such questions. I have simply had it with the childish behaviour in KudoZ and I have decided to avoid the nauseating parts of this site altogether.

Now, for a bit of context. I answered a KudoZ question to the best of my knowledge (tons of dictionaries and fellow translators would agree with my answer) in order to help the asker - as opposed to tooting my horn, making my profile more attractive (the question I answered is not part of the specializations I am looking to promote) or showing others what a supreme being I am.

I posted my answer with a bit of explanation. As you can see, the picture that represents me on this site is the flag of Quebec. Well, what do you know? It seems that people still think that people in Quebec can't speak good French. At least, that's what several people are expressing in different ways in that KudoZ question. So, many of the "contributors" to the question privileged an entirely incorrect English term as the correct French translation (if you know how anglicized France is becoming at the moment, you can't help but wonder how the French can cry foul at this why they find English terms more "elegant" than their own French ones, and willingly promote them). One contributor in particular, after I posted a polite disagree to her answer (please, note that it wasn't about bashing others to make sure I get four points, but rather about advising the asker not to use an incorrect term), posted a disagree to my own answer, picking at it because I live in Quebec (I guess she was unable to find a typo in my answer and had to resort to this to get her "eye for an eye" fix).

If any of the contributors of that KudoZ question are reading this, please note that the fact that the overwhelming majority of people use a specific term doesn't make that term any more correct. Look up "technical support" in IATE and you'll see that even the European Union agrees with the term I proposed. Also, please note once and for all that people in Quebec speak just as good French as people in France. In fact, please note that people in France are not the only ones who can pretend to speak French correctly - in many cases, they have things to envy Belgians, Swisses and francophone Africans for.

I sincerely think that this childish attitude of attacking people based on the country they live in or the variety of language they speak is entirely incompatible with the scope of KudoZ, which is essentially to help the asker to find the correct term. KudoZ is not the place to prove your linguistic supremacy, which in this case is a hallucinated supremacy as well. Since this problem has been ever present and it seems that nobody is willing to do anything about it and in fact the problem is only worsening, I have decided to leave that part of the site altogether.

If my presence is not welcome, I guess I will just find other, more intelligent ways to apply my talent and knowledge. Good riddance, you say? For once, same to you...


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Nitza Ramos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't give up.... Aug 18, 2008

I would NEVER give up. Remember the saying "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread". Don't let them get to you! If you enjoy helping others, don't let a few ruin it...

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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:47
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Agree with Nitza Aug 18, 2008

Maybe after you cool down you'll rethink this. In spite of some nasty things happening from time to time, the KudoZ pages are one of the best things ever, and have gotten me out of some tough spots on more than one occasion, not to mention giving me the chance to help when I can. People like yourself, who know what they're talking about and give helpful, correct answers, are the most valuable and needed ones. Besides, it's a good thing to help other people, I think.


Cheers,
Amy


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:47
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Never say never Aug 18, 2008

I agree - never say never.

However, I find it unproductive and frustrating to waste my time and energies trying to help people when others will just take advantage of that to bash away at their colleagues. Those people are a waste of time, and there are no means in place to filter them out of the system, so the only way to avoid them is to not go there.

This is not the first time I am getting attitude when I was only trying to help. However, this was really the last drop in the glass. Maybe someday something will be done about the integrity of the KudoZ system and it will be truly a place to exchange and help each other. But in the meantime, I prefer to invest my energies where they are truly appreciated rather than waste them on giving myself reasons to be flustered. It's just not worth it.

You know what the worst thing about this is? It is the asker, who didn't do anything wrong, who has less choices now. So, ultimately, it is not just me suffering from the childishness - by extension, the asker gets his/her share as well.

I am wondering about one thing, though. If people post things that are outside the scope of the forum, moderators are swift in removing their posts and/or banning them from the forum. However, KudoZ also has a scope, and I don't see anybody enforcing it. Why is that? How about banning people when it is clear that they are only looking to discredit others and they become a nuisance?

[Edited at 2008-08-18 21:19]


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Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 22:47
German to English
+ ...
Skin thickening Aug 18, 2008

I "gave up" years ago but am still here.

The rewards certainly don't come in the form of KudoZ points.

The site has a lot to offer, but it can take a year or more to find out how you can best benefit from it, i.e. what you can take seriously and what not.

Freelancers/Askers can find assistance with terminology questions (assuming they know which answerers/peers to take seriously), and outsourcers can get a fair idea from the questions asked and answers given by a candidate whether that person knows what he's on about.

From my (outsourcer) perspective and my experience on ProZ (mainly in Ger-Eng-Ger), I'd say the majority (members or otherwise) DISqualify themselves by their contributions.

It's long come to the point where you have to ask yourself, "who is NOT a cowboy?".

Viktoria, I understand your frustration. Been through it. It's a learning process. Ignorance often prevails. No point in fighting it.

Sit back and mingle when you feel like it.

Remember, the site just wants visitors, numbers...
Whether babies, nincompoops, smartarses...
Plenty of them around.
C


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Christiane Allen  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:47
Member (2007)
English to French
Ô combien je vous approuve, Viktoria Aug 18, 2008

Je suis d'origine mauricienne et je déplore souvent l'arrogance des français en matière linguistique, plus particulièrement sur le forum des Kudoz.

La langue française est maintenant maltraitée dans les grands quotidiens nationaux où j'ai l'impression que les journalistes ont définitivement refusé d'écrire correctement la langue de Molière. L'évolution est inquiétante et, à ce train, la prochaine génération de français ne parlera plus qu'un 'franglish' insipide. Pire encore, les académiciens français qui passent leurs jeudis à la révision du dictionnaire semblent s'être assoupis devant l'étendue du désastre.

Heureusement que dans beaucoup de pays francophones -- le Québec en tête -- on trouve de très nombreux défenseurs de la langue française. J'en veux pour preuve les nombreux lauréats de concours linguistiques français organisés en France et d'origine francophone hors Métropole.

Quant aux Kudoz, je suggèrerais qu'une modération plus stricte soit appliquée pour la langue cible FRA, car aujourd'hui ce forum est de plus en plus encombré par des apprentis dont la seule contribution est de semer la pagaille et d'étaler à grand bruit leurs pseudo-connaissances.

Bien à vous, Viktoria


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Christiane Lalonde  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:47
Member
English to French
Ne t'en fais pas trop Aug 18, 2008

Viktoria,
J'ai lu les réponses apportées à la question Kudoz en question. Ce genre de guéguerre arrive parfois, et il ne faut surtout pas t'arracher les cheveux avec ça. Tu avais raison pour l'emploi de « soutien », et d'ailleurs la réponse retenue n'est pas l'une de celles qui comportaient le mot « support ».
Il m'est arrivé la même mésaventure avec le terme « driving range », que les Français traduisent par « practice » ! Mes amis golfeurs étaient morts de rire.
Il existe des mots français que tout le monde comprend, mais qui sont mis de côté parce qu'on croit à tort que le terme anglais est celui qui doit être employé puisqu'il est passé dans l'usage.
Il ne faut pas oublier qu'on est moins choqué en France par ces mots anglais utilisés à tout va, parce que la France n'éprouve pas comme nous le besoin de défendre mordicus l'emploi de mots français.
Dans le même genre d'idées, je lisais un jour un des romans de la collection Rivage noir traduit en français, et le traducteur a employé "Bison futé" quelque part dans le texte pour faire une analogie avec je ne sais plus quoi. Bison futé est le système de surveillance de la circulation en France, que l'on nous sert tous les jours au journal télévisé pour faire le point sur l'état de la circulation sur les routes de France. Je me suis dit que les Québécois se sont sûrement demandé ce que ce chef indien venait faire là dans le livre... Comme quoi il faut toujours être à l'affût de ce genre d'erreur dans les traductions.

[Modifié le 2008-08-18 23:30]


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:47
English to Polish
+ ...
The problem is solvable Aug 18, 2008

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
I am wondering about one thing, though. If people post things that are outside the scope of the forum, moderators are swift in removing their posts and/or banning them from the forum. However, KudoZ also has a scope, and I don't see anybody enforcing it. Why is that? How about banning people when it is clear that they are only looking to discredit others and they become a nuisance?

If there is a will, there is a way...
In my language pair we have had quite a heated discussion on the same subject recently. The moderators took an active part and the outcome was they all decided to apply the rules more strictly than before, at the same time giving a pre-warning both to the occasional and the notorious offenders. They've been as good as their word since and in my opinion things have improved indeed. An example to be followed, perhaps...


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RNAtranslator  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
Language variants? Aug 19, 2008

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
Also, please note once and for all that people in Quebec speak just as good French as people in France. In fact, please note that people in France are not the only ones who can pretend to speak French correctly - in many cases, they have things to envy Belgians, Swisses and francophone Africans for.


Are you sure this assertion makes sense? Please forgive me, I can't speak French and I have no idea about the differences, if any, betwen the French spoken in France and Quebec, but I would be surprised if you told me that in both sides you speak exactly the same French. This is just a wild guess:

It would not make any sense at all to say that the Spanish spoken in Spain is better or worse than the one spoken in Argentina, Mexico or Colombia; they are different variants of the same language. Even within Spain there are language variants (andaluz vs castellano). Neither of them is better or worse than the other. In Argentina, "frutilla" is a perfect word to say "strawberry", while in Spain we say "fresa". Both words are perfect as far as they are used in the right language variant, and wrong if used in the wrong one. It is quite possible an Argentinian make mistakes trying to speak or write the Spanish variant of the Spanish language, and the same for a Spaniard with the Argentinian variant.

Might be that the problem?

Anyway, please, at least don't stop posting here; I like your posts.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 16:47
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
It's not really about the KudoZ or even the askers Aug 19, 2008

I understand your frustration Viktoria, some KudoZ users show us repeatedly that they're just idiots. It's really easy to see when you read some of the question, answers and/or comments. I like Iza's suggestion, there should be a way to warn or flag users that display certain Kudoz patterns like the eye-for-an-eye behavior you just described. Furthermore, why not implement a 'Dispute the selected answer' feature. If the asker chooses the wrong answer or constantly selects the answers of one particular member, we all could dispute the answer so the right one is selected and entered in the glossaries.

I've also seen wrong answers with a whole bunch of agrees by people that seem know nothing about the source language. I personally think that ruling out answers by non-natives is a big mistake.

But the thing is that the KudoZ system isn't just about asking questions, it's also about knowing how to find the answers. I'm sure we've all seen entries in the glossary that are utterly wrong, whatever the reason. That's why the best thing is to go to the question page rather than blindly use the answer selected. Many of us actually do that and many more (I hope) read all the comments, including the constructive agrees, neutrals and disagrees. So even after a wrong answer is chosen, the question itself can still be useful for people that know how to use the KudoZ system.

ProZ's staff should take notice of all the comments in this post and in similar posts because this isn't the first time this issue is brought up.

[Edited at 2008-08-19 01:57]


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Xia29  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 22:47
English to French
+ ...
Don't give up Aug 19, 2008

Although I understand your frustration, especially when your answer is perfectly valid!

But then, Kudoz agree/disagree and most helpful answer selection are always subjective, aren't they? How can moderators really do anything about it?

Same with the Quebec/France French - I have never lived in Quebec and I wouldn't have a clue what would sound acceptable or familiar there... So sometimes it's all a matter of perspective (and not being aware of the other side). I think Swiss French speakers are a bit more relaxed about words borrowed from English. Personally I try to avoid Anglicisms, but they don't bother me excessively and I often use common ones (never got used to the word "courriel" for example, probably because it didn't exist the first time I opened an email account!).

Maybe we should all make a more restrained use of the "disagree" option unless necessary? And use the "neutral" button to leave a comment on one's preferences? Or accept that others may have a different opinion, or just don't know what they are talking about...


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't give up Aug 19, 2008

Just get even.

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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:47
English to French
+ ...
Aïe, aïe, aïe.. Aug 19, 2008

Chère Viktoria,

J'ai eu bien peur en lisant ton message, car j'ai reconnu qu'il s'agissait d'un Kudoz auquel j'ai participé ! Etais-je l'auteur du fameux "disagree" ? J'en mets de temps en temps... Ouf ! Vérification faite, ce n'était pas moi.
Je me sens coupable parce que ma réponse a été choisie, mais... pas tant que ça, parce qu'il y a de cela 32 ans, mon premier emploi d'informaticienne a été... dans un service d'assistance informatique du CNRS.
Moi aussi, je déteste "support", c'est un terme qui n'est apparu que plus tard, sous l'influence croissante des mauvaises traductions véhiculées par certaines entreprises (Microsoft en particulier). Je m'attendais à ce qu'il prenne le dessus... Pour "soutien", il ne me semble pas que ça s'emploie beaucoup en France dans ce contexte, car cela évoque plutôt le "soutien scolaire"... mais je veux bien croire que c'est le terme en vigueur au Canada.
La question des différences entre français canadien et français de France est complexe, j'avoue que je n'en avais aucune idée avant. J'essaie de mentionner mon pays d'origine chaque fois que j'ai un doute... je l'avais fait là.
Je crois que souvent les demandeurs sélectionnent la réponse en fonction du pays cible, et j'ai l'impression que c'est plus souvent la France que le Canada...
Je voudrais savoir s'il existe un dictionnaire des différences linguistiques franco-canadiennes ? Sinon, il faudrait y travailler.

Encore ceci :

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
However, I find it unproductive and frustrating to waste my time and energies trying to help people when others will just take advantage of that to bash away at their colleagues.


J'ai souvent la même réaction. Souvent des gens réclament de l'aide sur des points précis, je fais des recherches pour cela et fournis une réponse... pour finalement me rendre compte que la personne ne LIT PAS les explications et sélectionne n'importe quoi au nombre de points... J'ai osé protester un peu hier, j'ai reçu une réponse assez cinglante. A mon avis, il faut ignorer l'ensemble de ces réactions. J'essaie de repenser alors aux remerciements touchants que je reçois de temps en temps.
Courage, et j'espère qu'on se croisera encore dans Kudoz ou les forums...

[Edited at 2008-08-19 03:27]


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MargoZ  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't give up. Aug 19, 2008

This is the first time I've responded to this forum but your post caught my attention.

I understand your frustration too. I notice that several colleagues here pointed out that some responses are quite simply wrong. All the more reason to hang in there. Kudoz needs consistently context-appropriate, culturally relevant, quality answers and if you are a person who provides these, your answers will be recognized as such and hopefully less weight/attention will be paid to those other illogical replies!

I like guesses that are labeled as such. At least these people took the time to be of assistance and offer a point to research. I'm sure they never expect to get points on a guess, just to be part of the community. The agree/neutral/disagree are essential parts of the process as they allow answerers with more experience in a topic to weigh in as appropriate. A confident participant should have no problem in justifying their response or admitting an error - and I have seen this happen on many occasions.

What I do not understand (and where I might also agree with a flagging capability) are answerers who are rude, disrespectful and demeaning in their replies. What is the the purpose of that?

I recently had a respondent contact me to ask "how I could possibly use answer x" when their own answer was "pretty basic stuff if I thought about it." I guess I was in the same mood as Viktoria in the heat of the moment and replied that not only was their answer completely incorrect for the context (as proven by the client), but that Kudoz is a forum designed to provide expertise and assistance (not linguistic hubris). In that case, I would have much preferred to see a Disagree that others could have replied to than to receive a "dig on the the side" message.

I love this forum and I'm very appreciative of the expert and prompt assistance that people can expect here.


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Doron Greenspan MITI  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 23:47
Member (2005)
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Some analogies Aug 19, 2008

Viktoria, don't give up!

There are unpleasant (and possibly not so bright) people everywhere, and yet you don't quit doing charity work, you don't quit teaching, you don't quit volunteering - just because someone gave you a hard time. Also, in politics, when the good ones leave in desperation, this leaves the mediocre ones in, and who'd want that?

By quitting, you 'promote' those people who may now spread that bad attitude much more easily, and you 'hurt' those askers who may now not get the good answers. Also, you 'hurt' yourself, because you'll be sitting there fuming at a bad KudoZ answer, knowing that it's wrong, and that you could have done better answering that question.

Btw, I really resent the fact that people are answering you in French here. I don't speak French, and so I'm automatically excluded from part of this discussion. I may also be saying exactly the same things that someone has already said in French...
If Viktoria had posted her topic in a French forum, so be it, but this is an English forum.

Doron


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