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What are glossary-building questions?
Thread poster: Astrid Elke Witte

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:15
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Oct 18, 2008

I know that this relatively new option exists, and I have also ascertained that practically nobody has used it yet (a very small handful of questions in total, in all language pairs and subjects together). It might be helpful if we could have a little bit more explanation about this idea, and some information about this option that would encourage people to start using it. In principle, it seems like a good idea, but nobody will use it if it is not explained or promoted somewhere.

Astrid


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Krzysztof Łesyk  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:15
Japanese to English
+ ...
Good idea? Oct 19, 2008

I don't want to sound too grouchy, but I'm not sure if glossary building questions really are a good idea. Frankly, I see no point to them whatsoever.

Why? Well, for one simple reason, really. In my opinion (and do correct me if I'm wrong) those questions ask for the terms that no one needs. I was under an impressions that the point of KudoZ glossaries is that they contain terms that are so difficult/uncommon/complicated that one can't find them anywhere on their own and has to ask other professional translators for help. Thus, if a particular term wasn't asked for in KudoZ, doesn't it mean no one (yet) needs help with it?

I have only seen these questions in Japanese - English pair, but I have to say most of them are trivial and the answers can be found in any decent bilingual dictionary or in less than 15 minutes of research - one of those glossary building terms was "eggplant" for crying out loud!

With so many unclear, incorrect and plain weird entries in the glossary (search for "see explanation" in any pair including English to see what I mean), I really have to wonder - do we need to add even more hay to the stack we're searching for the needles that are good, helpful entries? (forgive me for waxing poetic, I'm still in the middle of my morning coffee and the caffeine hasn't kicked in yet). Do we want to turn the glossaries into just another, bigger version of bilingual dictionaries that just contain EVERYTHING? I don't know, and since as a non-native speaker I'm prohibited from not only adding my answers, but even from commenting on the entries already added (I won't even start the discussion on whether you REALLY need to be a native speaker to research a single word or term), I don't care too much - I just don't see the point in stuffing the glossaries with terms not requested by anyone - well researched and beautifully explained terms, yes, but ones that are not really needed nonetheless...


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 02:15
SITE STAFF
Project in beta state Oct 20, 2008

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

I know that this relatively new option exists, and I have also ascertained that practically nobody has used it yet (a very small handful of questions in total, in all language pairs and subjects together). It might be helpful if we could have a little bit more explanation about this idea, and some information about this option that would encourage people to start using it. In principle, it seems like a good idea, but nobody will use it if it is not explained or promoted somewhere.

Astrid


Hi Astrid,

Glossary building questions are part of a new approach to KudoZ, with focus on glossary and quality. The feature is currently in beta state, running only on five language pairs.

A site-wide announcement could be expect soon.

Regards,
Enrique


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:15
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the explanation, Enrique Oct 20, 2008

I guess, then, that my language pairs are not included yet. I will look out for the announcement one day.

Best regards,

Astrid


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:15
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
As I understand them... Oct 21, 2008

The option is not available in my pairs yet, but as I understand it, the questions are about 'complementary' terms that fit in series with a term that has been asked for, but are not in the glossary for various reasons. Adding them would make the glossary more consistent and systematic, less of a random collection of odds and ends.

And what is easy for one person is nearly impossible to find for others. I think we have to accept that the days are behind us when KudoZ really only included questions when the answers were literally impossible to find elsewhere.

I have a good, but very irritating business dictionary like that. I frequently look for terms that are difficult for me - and they are not there, because they are too 'ordinary' for the experts. I have written additions from KudoZ and other sources, or the 'normal' dictionary, in the margins of nearly every page!

There are many reasons why suitable terms are not yet included in the KOG, but could usefully be added:

They may not have come up in the particular text the asker was working on.

The asker just might happen to know them from personal expertise, and not ask, although others might need them later.
It might be possible to find them if you have enough dictionaries, but we don't all have all the dictionaries.

They might come up as reference to distinguish a term from a near-synonym, but not as main entries. It would be useful to make separate entries, possibly with cross references to highlight the distinction(s).

(e.g. metal sheet and metal plate, which I had to check up on recently.)

*****
Not long ago, I posted a question about Danish smørrebrod: some types have imaginative names like 'the Vet's bedtime snack' or 'shooting star' or 'sunset over Gudhjem' (which is a fishing town). I had agreed with the client what to call those on the menu that day, but his English names might or might not be accepted as standard.

My problem was 'Parisian steak' as some people call it, which is not strictly steak and certainly not Parisian! I did not ask about the others, partly for lack of time.

We could build up a wonderful glossary like that just on food, explaining what classic dishes are REALLY called, and suggesting acceptable one-liners for menus that would, where suitable, give an idea of the ingredients.

As children in England we loved 'toad in the hole' or 'bangers & bullets' and favourite puddings included frogspawn (sago pudding!) and 'Thames mud and barges'.

The difference between traces of nuts and nutcases came up not long ago in the Danish forum....

Bon appetit!

******
On a more serious level, a project like one my husband has been working on with colleagues, differentiating between various types of screws, nuts, bolts, axles and splines for a factory manual... would be really relevant. Others would not need to do all the same work again. But unfortunately there is not much KudoZ activity in the Danish to Latvian pair

I'm looking forward to seeing glossary building in my pairs. The trouble is, we will never have time to do any work ...



[Edited at 2008-10-21 08:25]


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:15
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Project in beta state? Oct 24, 2008

...and nobody is asking for feedback?
I have not come across an explanation of the basic principals behind it either, let alone the details. We don't even know what form this glossary is supposed to manifest itself.

As a - so far - silent observer of the glossary building effort, I have to agree with Krzysztof.

Half of the questions are not needed; even a pocket dictionary would give you the one and only answer.
Yeah, we even had questions like "lanolin". Guess what the answer is!

On the other hand - and it may sound peculiar, - some of the questions contain expressions not used in the same way in the target language, and the answer is contrived, difficult to find suitable examples of, therefore, quite frankly, not many people want to bother with them. It doesn't mean that the actual meaning is difficult, or it would be difficult to translate these expressions when we come across them in a normal text. They are simply awkward as "stand alone" phrases.

The other aspect is "you are not eligible!"
That really makes me feel like: why bother at all!
What makes one eligibile or not, as tha case may be, to answer a question like pallet, or lanolin, or ecotourism?

It is like telling my grandmother: you are not eligible to cook for the family, because you were a piano teacher, and you did not declare in your resume that you are specialising in cooking. But my neighbour's 16-year-old daughter is eligible, because the only expertise she gained in school was home economics, which includes cooking, so her CV proudly declares her speciality: cooking.

OK, my example may not be the best, but that's how it looks like. When "pallet" comes up, I am not eligible to answer, although for several years I translated the daily correspondence of a company where the main subject was obtaining, discarding, storing, stacking, exchanging, piling up, filling up, wrapping, forklifting, loading, transporting, numbering, counting (and whatever else you can think of): PALLETS.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:15
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Link to the announcement in the local forum Oct 25, 2008

juvera wrote:

...and nobody is asking for feedback?
I have not come across an explanation of the basic principals behind it either, let alone the details. We don't even know what form this glossary is supposed to manifest itself.



Here is the link to the original announcement of the beta phase in the Hungarian forum:

http://www.proz.com/forum/hungarian/115108-„szszedetpt”_krdsek:_j_tpus_kudoz_krdsek.html


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:15
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Thanks Katalin, Oct 25, 2008

I missed it.
The idea may have some merits, but in practice it doesn't seem to work very well.


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