New KudoZ feature: warning for answerers posting outside their language pairs/areas of expertise?
Thread poster: Ulrike Kraemer
Ulrike Kraemer
Germany
Local time: 10:56
English to German
+ ...
Jan 28, 2009

I just answered a KudoZ question that's not "among my fields of expertise" and got the following warning (or at least noticed it for the first time):


Warning:
The question you are about to answer is not among your fields of expertise.
You may contribute an answer to this question.

* If you would like to edit your fields of expertise, you may do so here.



Any comments?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-01-28 13:58 GMT]


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 05:56
SITE STAFF
Informative message for KudoZ answerers Jan 28, 2009

Hi LittleBalu,

The warning you saw was designed to better inform answerers when they answer outside either their language pairs, fields of expertise, or both. In some cases, especially with fields of expertise, answerers may actually specialize in the area but not have this declared in their profile or be unaware that the field is not among their declared areas of expertise. The warning is purely informative and in no way limits your ability to respond to the question.

Best regards,

Jared


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:56
Member (2006)
English to French
no, no comment Jan 28, 2009

It's the same with job quoting and Kudoz glossary building questions: you can edit your fields whenever you want to meet the criteria to quote/answer...

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Ulrike Kraemer
Germany
Local time: 10:56
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That was quick ... Jan 28, 2009

Hi Jared,

thanks for your quick response.

I'm curious:
Do peers who answer questions outside of their own language pairs or in language pairs that do not include their own native language get a similar warning?


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 10:56
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
I saw it now and then ... Jan 28, 2009


Do peers who answer questions outside of their own language pairs or in language pairs that do not include their own native language get a similar warning?


... but then understood it as a hint to avoid any chatter - which it is if I understand Jared correctly.

[Edited at 2009-01-28 14:41 GMT]


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Taija Hyvönen
Finland
Local time: 11:56
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
I just got this too... Jan 28, 2009

... and thought it was a little odd. I find it interesting to look into things I don't already know so much about and even if it is nuclear physics, you may be able to do some research and find one spesific word even if you can't give a lecture on the subject.

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 10:56
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Useful in various ways Jan 28, 2009

Yes, I noticed this yesterday too.

I think there are various benefits: reminding us as you say to include further areas of experts, gently suggesting that we may not be the right ones to answer the question, and even drawing attention to a question which has been posted under the wrong category. And, as you say, we can plough on anyway if we feel confident enough!


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 05:56
SITE STAFF
Thanks for the feedback Jan 28, 2009

Hello again,

LittleBalu, the message is shown if you are answering outside of your language pairs, yes, but not based on native language.

Again, the message's purpose is to draw an answerer's attention to the fact that they may not be displaying the correct language pair/field of expertise information on the site-- which can affect such things as how or where you appear in the directory, jobs, and how easily potential clients will be able to find you in general.

It seems the message is not as clear as it could be in this respect, is it? Let me see what can be done to clarify the message itself. Thanks everyone for your input here.

Best regards,

Jared


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Ulrike Kraemer
Germany
Local time: 10:56
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a lot, Jared Jan 28, 2009

Hi Jared,

Thanks for taking the time. The messages are clear enough, and I'm all for them, both when answering questions outside one's own fields of expertise and even more so when answering questions outside one's own language pairs (answering outside one's own native language should be included, IMHO, considering the answers that are sometimes posted by peers who are non-natives of both the source and the target language). I started this thread mainly because I was interested in others' opinions on this matter.

There's just one little thing about the message quoted in my first post that puts me off a bit, and that's the word "Warning". Warning spells danger, and it makes me think that I might get shot for venturing outside of my own territory. Maybe it could be replaced by "Attention" or "Important"?

Thanks for listening.

Best wishes,
Ulrike (aka LittleBalu)


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 05:56
SITE STAFF
Great point Jan 28, 2009

Nicely put. You're right, and since no one is going to get shot here, it does make sense to alter that portion of the message. Thanks!

Best regards,

Jared


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:56
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I like it Jan 29, 2009

Half of translation is understanding the source text, and often a native speaker of that language - or a foreigner living in the country - can explain a concept, which the asker kan then express as he/she thinks best in the context.

KudoZ is about terminology, and people who work in the reverse pair can very often come up with the best KudoZ answers, even where they would not or should not take on the translation of the whole text.

It would IMHO be a big mistake to restrict KudoZ to people who state on this site that they work in a specific language pair or field of expertise.

I for one work in a couple of language pairs that I do not advertise on the site, although I mention them in my profile. I removed them from the search text because I get too many offers of specialist jobs that are way over my head, and it wastes everybody's time when I have to turn them down. But I do sometimes know the terminology or Scandinavian background well enough to answer KudoZ questions.

The same goes for areas of expertise. I am sure there are others who can answer individual questions even if they do not show that they work as experts in the field. They may, for instance, be experts on one particular medical condition, and contribute excellent answers about it in KudoZ because they, or someone in the family, has that condition. But they would not want to take on whole translations about other medical issues.

There may even be occasions when the layman's point of view or use of terminology is actually what is wanted.

I think it is a good idea to give a gentle reminder that expertise is one thing and guessing wildly is another. Beginners are often not aware of how many real experts use this site, and want to help (and win points of course). We've all been there.

The reminder or warning might reduce the number of points-grabbers who overestimate their talents and guess at everything that comes up. I hope so!

Long live KudoZ, with as few actual restrictions as possible, because if you count up the questions that really are correctly posted and answered, it s a great help to everyone.



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