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Glossary-building KudoZ (GBK): a new kind of KudoZ question
Thread poster: Enrique Cavalitto

Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 16:11
SITE STAFF
Nov 21, 2008

Glossary-building KudoZ questions are a new form of KudoZ interaction that is being made available together with the current "help" type question.

Traditional mode of interaction: KudoZ term help-type questions

KudoZ is a term help network. A person in need of translation assistance posts a term or phrase, and in response, others suggest translations. The asker selects the most helpful response (and awards points for it).

The main goal of the system is to provide those in need of translation assistance with timely help. The fact that an archive of previously posted terms with suggested translations has been built is a planned, yet peripheral, benefit.


New, additional mode of interaction: glossary-building KudoZ questions

Now, a new mode of KudoZ interaction has been introduced. Rather than facilitating "help", this new system will coordinate the efforts of willing members of the ProZ.com community in building an authoritative glossary of terms and their translations in many languages and fields.

In this new approach, terms are posted for translation selectively-- not by those in need of help but by, at first, site staff. In the future terms will be posted by members who are part of a "GBK (Glossary-building KudoZ) team".

In questions posted by a GBK team, community selection is used to find the most accurate translations from among those proposed. Points are awarded, as they are in traditional KudoZ questions.


Objective

The expected result of this new form of KudoZ question is a glossary of terms and translations that will serve as a larger and more authoritative reference than the archive of existing "help" questions.

An added benefit will be increased opportunities for KudoZ participation, along with the benefits of networking, professional differentiation and learning. This may be especially noticeable in language pairs or fields in which activity is presently low.


Description

"Glossary-building KudoZ concepts" will be selected from current KudoZ or WikiWords entries, or from other sources, and will be edited by the GBK team to make sure they have the proper terms, definitions and examples of use. This will be done initially in English, but other languages will be added later.

"GBK concepts" will be created for most detailed fields of expertise and will be posted for translation in a set of languages, with a separate KudoZ question for each language pair.

Participation in GBK (both answering and peer grading) is initially limited to members of the community who (1) have the detailed field(s) of expertise among their "specialty" fields, (2) have the given language pair among their working pairs, and (3) are native in either the source or target language.

For each question there is a 72-hour submission period where interested and qualified participants can post translations, which include the term, a definition and at least one example of use in the target language. They will also be able to make peer comments on other participants' answers.

At the end of the submission phase, the system attempts to identify the most accurate translation by selecting the answer with the highest number of peer agrees (agrees minus disagrees, net must be 2 or higher). If this cannot be done, the question will remain open until at least one answer receives the net agrees needed for its selection.

The question selected as the most accurate is awarded 4 KudoZ PRO points, and the term is posted in the GBK glossary.

The glossary and term search will allow linking of terms and concepts among target languages.


Steps taken so far

The alpha phase with a pilot team

The first implementation of the GBK interface was made in collaboration with a pilot team of volunteers who provided valuable feedback during the alpha phase of the project. My special thanks for this great collaboration go to Miguel García Uriburu, Smartranslators, Ana Brause, Marocas, Karina Pelech, slothm, Juan R. Migoya, Rebecca Jowers, Marina Soldati, Yaotl Altan and Fabricio Castillo.


The beta phase in five language pairs

The beta phase was started in the English to Japanese pair, and some time later it was extended to cover English to Chinese, English to Hungarian, English to Romanian and English to Turkish. Approximately 140 GBK questions have been created in each of these 5 language pairs and the feedback and usage patterns of the participants was fundamental in bringing the GBK interface to its current version.

Special thanks for feedback in the beta phase go to Katalin Horvath McClure, Selcuk Akyuz, Eva Blanar , Mihai Badea, Attila Piróth, Özden Arıkan, Denyce Seow, Donglai Lou, Çağdaş Karataş, Nizamettin Yigit and M. Ali Bayraktar.


The path ahead

The GBK will be extended beyond the original five language pairs.

Frequently asked questions will be published to explain the new feature and its use.

Questions will be added in new language pairs. A gradual deployment in language pairs will help find possible problems as this system grows and builds momentum.

All members of the community are kindly invited to participate by answering, and/or helping to select the most accurate translation by peer commenting on existing answers.

Questions will still be created by site staff, but this will be gradually shifted to specialists in different fields of expertise. This could mean coping with less-than-perfect questions while the GBK system is handed over to the specialists.

There are also plans to continue adding new community-powered features to the GBK glossary, once the basic GBK system is fully operative.

As usual, your feedback is much welcome.

Thanks to our members, for making all new developments possible.

Regards,

Enrique


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 16:11
SITE STAFF
TOPIC STARTER
Survey results for the beta phase of the glossary-building KudoZ system Nov 21, 2008

By Nov 12, 77 users had responded to a survey presented to the sub-communities of the five language pairs participating in the beta phase. 55.8% of them had participated in the GBK program and 58.4% said they would definitely participate in the program (another 24.7% said they would probably participate).

Most participants found value in the idea of a community-led project that uses KudoZ to build a shared glossary (in addition to helping each other with difficult terms), and 67.5% of them agreed that Glossary-building KudoZ (GBK) was an appropriate tool to achieve this objective (5.2% disagreed and 27.3% were not sure).

Asked if KudoZ points should be awarded for GBK questions, 71.4% agreed, 5.2% disagreed and 23.4% were not sure.

53.2% agreed with the current restrictions (fields of expertise, working pairs and native language) on who can participate in GBK questions (26.0% disagreed and 20.8% were not sure).

The instructions for participation displayed in the GBK questions were found clear by 81.8%, not clear enough by 16.9% and confusing by 1.3%. Nobody found them excessive.

Regarding the selection of the "best" translation, 68.8% felt that it should be left to the community of answerers (13.0% disagreed and 18.2% were not sure). The peer comment system was considered an appropriate way of doing this by 64.9% (6.5% disagreed and 28.6% were not sure).

The new GBK term search and GBK glossaries were judged as very good by 16.9% and good by 61.0%. Another 10.4% found them average and 11.7% found them poor.

The main concerns expressed by the survey participants were regarding:


  • the questions posted so far, as some of them were considered easy and not challenging enough
  • the restrictions that prevent participation and in some cases leave open questions
  • the fact that some answers with errors make it to the glossary


In response to the concern about limits, and after evaluating statistical data, the system was modified to allow participants with the field(s) of expertise declared as "working" to help select the best answer by peer commenting.

Enrique


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:11
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Sorry, could you please try to explain it again Nov 22, 2008

Sorry, but after reading your posts several times, I still do not understand what this project is about. Please try to explain again:

  • What is the aim of this exercise? Are you planning to build specialist dictionaries?
  • How is it going to work, as far as I understand it at the moment, the „system“ decides about the correct translation?
  • What kind of information is entered?
  • Who selects the questions, or in other words how does Proz staff know what is a good question in the field of 3D MRT reconstruction?
  • What is a GBK concept? The last time Proz used the term „concept“ it related to WikiWords.
  • What happened to WikiWords? What went wrong? How does your current approach differ from WikiWords?
  • Why is it necessary to come up every few years with a new "concept" for a glossary?
  • Why did Proz again decide against the idea of just improving the KOG?

I remember that many members, no-longer-members and non members expressed their willingness to participate if Proz decided to initiate a KOG cleaning and QA exercise.

If you don’t remember the ideas brought forward how to handle this task, feel free to contact me.

Siegfried


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 16:11
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Answers about the new GBK questions Nov 23, 2008

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

  • What is the aim of this exercise? Are you planning to build specialist dictionaries?


  • The primary purpose of this new question type is to enable the ProZ.com community to together find the best translation of a given term into a given language, and to incorporate the term and its translation into an authoritative glossary which will be made available openly under the Creative Commons "by" license ("CC-by").

    A secondary purpose of the new format is to provide opportunities for KudoZ participation (along with the associated benefits of networking, learning and professional differentiation), in pairs and fields in which few questions are currently asked.


  • How is it going to work, as far as I understand it at the moment, the „system“ decides about the correct translation?


  • The best translation is chosen by the community by means of peer grading.


  • What kind of information is entered?


  • The term, a definition, the fields of expertise and between one and three examples of use.


  • Who selects the questions, or in other words how does Proz staff know what is a good question in the field of 3D MRT reconstruction?


  • The terms are currently selected by staff but this will be done by a team of specialists as soon as possible.


  • What is a GBK concept? The last time Proz used the term „concept“ it related to WikiWords.


  • A concept is a term and its associated definition.

    Regarding your other questions about Wikiwords and the improvement of the glossary derived from the "help" KudoZ questions, please note that these are different projects. I kindly ask you to focus this thread on the new feature. Other issues can be discussed in dedicated threads.

    The FAQs dedicated to the new GBK questions will be published very soon and they will help clarify this issues further.

    Regards,
    Enrique


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    Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
    Germany
    Local time: 21:11
    Member (2004)
    English to German
    + ...
    Thanks for your confirmation Nov 23, 2008

    Thank you for confirming my opinion regarding this project.

    Siegfried


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    Tony M  Identity Verified
    France
    Local time: 21:11
    Member
    French to English
    + ...
    Don't understand the need for this Nov 23, 2008

    I really can't see in what way this will bring any benefits over and above the existing KudoZ system; if certain language pairs are under-used, this might well be an indication of supply-and-demand. Surely it would be enough to promote use of KudoZ amongst members in those pairs, and perhaps create a working party to post additional questions based on general experience rather than specific current translation projects.

    This whole manœuvre seems to me like saying "we recognize that the current KudoZ system is rotten to the core, and the archives polluted beyond redemption, so we're going to start over with a clean slate"

    I also find it highly ironic that, after all the acrimonious discussions about the relative importance of native-speaker knowledge, and the undue lengths that have been gone to to protect the sensitivities of non-native speakers who have contributed to KudoZ, that we are now being told that participation is going to be restricted to persons who are native in either the source or target languages — something that we used to have on good old 'regular' KudoZ, inasmuch as it was almost self-policing and we had strong mods.

    I can well imagine that those (for the most part non-native speakers) who lobbied for the KudoZ system to be de-nativized will be up in arms as soon as they get wind of this new system!

    Also, can we have any assurance that the GBK glossary will be seamlessy searchable alongside the existing KOG? If not, it seems to me sheer folly to be creating two parallel but unconnected systems...


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    Enrique Cavalitto
    Local time: 16:11
    SITE STAFF
    TOPIC STARTER
    A new approach to community-based glossary building Nov 24, 2008

    Tony M wrote:

    I really can't see in what way this will bring any benefits over and above the existing KudoZ system; if certain language pairs are under-used, this might well be an indication of supply-and-demand. Surely it would be enough to promote use of KudoZ amongst members in those pairs, and perhaps create a working party to post additional questions based on general experience rather than specific current translation projects.


    The GBK program is being made available together with the current "help" type question. It is a new approach to community-based glossary building, and the survey among the sub-communities that participated in the beta stage was positive.

    This will be a new opportunity to learn and to add value for our community. I can imagine that lessons learned in GBK may help improve other programs in ProZ.com.

    Enrique


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    Enrique Cavalitto
    Local time: 16:11
    SITE STAFF
    TOPIC STARTER
    GBK update and some suggestions Nov 25, 2008

    Dear members,

    The KudoZ FAQs had slight editions to accommodate for the GBK program, and new FAQs were created for Glossary Building questions at http://www.proz.com/faq/GBK

    Also, the first GBK questions have been pulled in the pairs:

    • English to Spanish
    • English to French
    • English to Portuguese
    • English to Polish
    • English to Swedish


    So far I am impressed by the way the community managed to handle a completely new different interface.

    Please allow me to share some suggestions and lessons learned during the beta phase:

    • Don't rush. GBK should not be a race. Running to provide a mediocre answer in 2 minutes should not be a good strategy, as the best answer will not be selected until 72 hours have elapsed.

    • Even if the term was proposed, offer your own answer if you feel that you can assemble a better answer in terms of translation, definition and examples.

    • When answering, don't forget to provide links to your sources.

    • Read and follow the instructions provided in the question's page

    • Contribute by peer-grading answers to help select the best glossary entry. Consider not only the term but also the definition and examples provided.

    • Even if you are not allowed answer, you can still provide useful suggestions by means of the discussion feature.

    • Have a look at your profile and consider updating your "specialty" fields of expertise. This may not only affect your GBK experience but also your job opportunities.


    I hope you will enjoy this new tool to network, learn from each other, create useful content together and have fun!

    Regards,
    Enrique


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    Reino Havbrandt
    Sweden
    Local time: 21:11
    Finnish to Swedish
    + ...
    The idea is not good Nov 26, 2008

    KudoZ is translators helping translators. It is not a good idea to have "glossary building" questions.
    It just enters a lot of extra material to weed out, to find the real questions.I actually answered one of those questions, it took half an hour to fill in all peculiar fields. And I will never do that again.

    And I am not aginst glossary building as an idea; I have actually been doing that for 15 years now, and built a 4-language database in Multiterm, and last week decided to publish my results on the net.
    See http://www.havbrandt.se/RHtermgloss.pdf
    It would be a great mistake to change KudoZ into something that has no chance to work. I think the last Wiki effort died of natural causes, and so will this effort also do. Hope it will not suffer long before it dies.

    We already have Wikipedia.
    We already have KudoZ.

    If any more resources are to be developed, they should be developed as a separate effort (so I do not have to participate/see the results)


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    Enrique Cavalitto
    Local time: 16:11
    SITE STAFF
    TOPIC STARTER
    The "help" version of KudoZ has not changed at all Nov 26, 2008

    Reino Havbrandt wrote:

    It would be a great mistake to change KudoZ into something that has no chance to work.


    The "help" version of KudoZ has not changed at all.

    Glossary-building KudoZ is an independent feature, and people who participated in the beta stage had a generally positive impression.

    Regards,
    Enrique


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    gad
    United States
    Local time: 15:11
    Member
    French to English
    Until now, KudoZ has been a term help network? Nov 26, 2008

    Enrique wrote:

    Until now, KudoZ has been a term help network. A person in need of translation assistance posts a term or phrase, and in response, others suggest translations. The asker selects the most helpful response (and awards points for it).

    The main goal of the system has been to provide those in need of translation assistance with timely help. The fact that an archive of previously posted terms with suggested translations has been built is a planned, yet peripheral, benefit.



    Really? This was NEVER my understanding, and my desire to add to the KudoZ glossary has always been a big part of my decision to post a particular question. This really surprizes me that you have said here that KudoZ has until now been for the purpose of helping the asker...if that is so, then there have been quite a few answers, comments, agrees/disagrees, etc. that certainly have not reflected any intention to help the asker, but rather to build a glossary. I never saw the two purposes as exclusive of one another...I'm also basing this on information given to me in the past by at least one moderator.

    I diagree with the idea then of questions that are solely "glossary-building", since they ALL are glossary-building, and I don't see how until now it has been mainly about helping askers. IMO, KudoZ has always been mainly about glossary building. Having this as a separate category then makes it seem that other questions not in this category don't have anything to do with glossary-building, when that is just not the case.


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    Enrique Cavalitto
    Local time: 16:11
    SITE STAFF
    TOPIC STARTER
    Both programs will be run in parallel Nov 26, 2008

    gad wrote:

    Really? This was NEVER my understanding, and my desire to add to the KudoZ glossary has always been a big part of my decision to post a particular question. This really surprizes me that you have said here that KudoZ has until now been for the purpose of helping the asker...if that is so, then there have been quite a few answers, comments, agrees/disagrees, etc. that certainly have not reflected any intention to help the asker, but rather to build a glossary. I never saw the two purposes as exclusive of one another...I'm also basing this on information given to me in the past by at least one moderator.


    Hi Gad,

    Of course helping the asker and building a glossary are not exclusive at all, and both are desirable results of the KudoZ activity. What I meant above was that in case of conflict between these two objectives, the priority for the traditional KudoZ has always been (and still is) that of helping the asker.


    I diagree with the idea then of questions that are solely "glossary-building", since they ALL are glossary-building, and I don't see how until now it has been mainly about helping askers. IMO, KudoZ has always been mainly about glossary building. Having this as a separate category then makes it seem that other questions not in this category don't have anything to do with glossary-building, when that is just not the case.


    Both the "help" and the GBK questions will contribute to their corresponding glossaries. Both will be different, and lessons learned in one could be applied to the other. Both programs will be run in parallel.

    Regards,
    Enrique


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    Mirra_
    Italy
    Local time: 21:11
    English to Italian
    + ...
    KudoZ provide translations embedded in their context Nov 26, 2008

    Hello Gad (and all the others criticizing this project),

    I do not dare to explain it better and more in detail that Enrique already did
    BUT
    as a Kudoz frequent answerer I would like to speak about my humble experience:

    KudoZ are designed to give answers the precisely fit the context of that peculiar text they come from. Also, the answers can be arbitrarily chosen by the Asker, despite the peer agreement, despite any logic reasoning, and despite any evidence stating these answers are wrong. Me, and I am very fond of words and languages, I often have suffered for the lack rationality behind some of these choices... But this is the KudoZ rule, and you can disregard it, or, accept it but you cannot change it.
    In any case, the KudoZ glossary so far compiled can not be considered really reliable since there is a too big bias due to the partiality (and sometimes to the "naivité" of some of the Askers).

    Instead, as far as I understood this project, the GBK is thought and constructed to yeld *the definitions* (I would say the 'absolute definitions' but it would sound too enthusiastic and idealistic) of selectioned and currently used specific words. The answer spaces are made to push the Answerers to give the better up-to-date (the links MUST be working links, a very good specification) evidence/explanation of the translation they offer. I think that, if the community responds and shares ideas with the aim of building a 'certified' bulk of definitions, the GBK can be very useful for everyone.

    Thanks to ProZ for this very good idea!

    [Edited at 2008-11-27 12:47 GMT]


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    Mårten Sandberg  Identity Verified
    Local time: 21:11
    English to Swedish
    + ...
    Kudoz inflation? Nov 26, 2008

    I would like to draw your attention to the risk of a sort of Kudoz point "inflation" if these questions are too extensive in number.

    If they are issued (too) routinely, the obvious consequence is that the more difficult Kudoz questions (by peers), awarded the same number of points, will remain unanswered if there are an extensive number of GBK questions, and these latter are also not necessarily difficult. Obviously - whether it is "noble" or not to hunt for points - peers will first reach for the low hanging fruits, and possibly abstain from trying to reach the more inaccessible "rewards".

    In the end, and if this practice become too extensive, I fear that although this might make glossary creation successful, it will be detrimental to the original Kudoz spirit of peers helping each other out.


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    Enrique Cavalitto
    Local time: 16:11
    SITE STAFF
    TOPIC STARTER
    Mi vision is different Nov 26, 2008

    Mårten Sandberg wrote:

    If they are issued (too) routinely, the obvious consequence is that the more difficult Kudoz questions (by peers), awarded the same number of points, will remain unanswered if there are an extensive number of GBK questions, and these latter are also not necessarily difficult. Obviously - whether it is "noble" or not to hunt for points - peers will first reach for the low hanging fruits, and possibly abstain from trying to reach the more inaccessible "rewards".



    The participation in GBK is restricted by considerations of language pair, native language and field of expertise, so they are not likely to act as a big demand on the answering population at large.

    In fact my particular vision is the opposite. I expect GBK to bring new answerers to KudoZ, and the statistics of the beta period tend to confirm this expectation.

    Besides, I can't imagine our community being less helpful because there are other questions available (again, just my personal perception).

    Regards,
    Enrique


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