Proz Kudoz: Totalitarian state?
Thread poster: Lori Dendy-Molz

Lori Dendy-Molz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:48
German to English
+ ...
Dec 1, 2003

I think Proz and Kudoz are two of the best developments for translators to emerge from the Internet. Kudoz have rescued me on several hair-pulling occasions. That said, as a newbie, I'm a little dispirited by the discourse I find in the German-to-English Kudoz section, and the withering remarks doled out to people who sincerely try to help others.

I'm well aware there is a cadre of highly qualified and experienced translators who have amassed mountains of Kudoz, with good reason, and they have my admiration and respect. I also realize translators who submit queries to Kudoz are under pressure and looking for the best answer as quickly as possible, and that this is serious business. I consider obsessing over how many Kudoz points one has to be demented, and that’s not my motivation here.

There are occasionally submissions from people who obviously don't have a grasp of the English language, and they should firmly be directed to the door. Most of us, however, are actually trying to be helpful. The snide remarks made by other translators who think their submissions are better (sometimes they are, of course) are bothersome. But when the person asking for help insults people who have just attempted to assist him/her because the asker feels those who submitted answers were not diligent enough in their effort, that really chaps my a**, to be frank.

I'm currently trying to restart my translating career in order to feed four mouths now that my husband is out of a job (hold the violins, please). My point is that we are all probably more or less in the same boat, trying to scratch out a living, and I jumped back into the Kudoz fray both for the mental exercise and in order to gain from the wisdom of others. Being a newbie, I may be overeager sometimes and not state my case clearly enough in others. I'm not at all offended by blunt criticism when I've missed the mark, as I surely will now and again, being a mere mortal and all. But I know blunt from rude.

The effect of it all is to make a newcomer feel as welcome as the proverbial turd in the bathtub. If that's really the case, I guess I could spend my time more usefully elsewhere.

Well, that's off my chest.
Lori Dendy-Molz, id werk


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Subhamay Ray  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:18
English to Bengali
+ ...
She deserves Kudoz for this post! Dec 1, 2003

Yes, I am with you.

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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:48
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Could you be more specific (off this thread)? Contact a moderator in such cases. Dec 1, 2003

Hi Lori,

Thank you very much for your remarks. Let me add that...

idwerk wrote:

I think Proz and Kudoz are two of the best developments for translators to emerge from the Internet. Kudoz have rescued me on several hair-pulling occasions. That said, as a newbie, I'm a little dispirited by the discourse I find in the German-to-English Kudoz section, and the withering remarks doled out to people who sincerely try to help others.

...

There are occasionally submissions from people who obviously don't have a grasp of the English language, and they should firmly be directed to the door. Most of us, however, are actually trying to be helpful. The snide remarks made by other translators who think their submissions are better (sometimes they are, of course) are bothersome. But when the person asking for help insults people who have just attempted to assist him/her because the asker feels those who submitted answers were not diligent enough in their effort, that really chaps my a**, to be frank.


... that it would be appropriate to be more specific about the insults you are so vaguely referring to. Have you contacted one of the De>En moderators (Alison Riddell-Kachur and Marcus Malabad) on such matters? They'd be able to look more closely at the matter at hand, and to act against rude behaviour when it occurs.


I'm currently trying to restart my translating career in order to feed four mouths now that my husband is out of a job (hold the violins, please). My point is that we are all probably more or less in the same boat, trying to scratch out a living, and I jumped back into the Kudoz fray both for the mental exercise and in order to gain from the wisdom of others. Being a newbie, I may be overeager sometimes and not state my case clearly enough in others. I'm not at all offended by blunt criticism when I've missed the mark, as I surely will now and again, being a mere mortal and all. But I know blunt from rude.

The effect of it all is to make a newcomer feel as welcome as the proverbial turd in the bathtub. If that's really the case, I guess I could spend my time more usefully elsewhere.


I sincerely hope that you won't turn away from KudoZ for the above reasons. As said, just contact a moderator who will lend support in case of rude remarks.

Best regards,

Steffen Walter
Co-moderator English>German


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:48
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
stopping the fracas Dec 1, 2003

Hi Lori,

Welcome to the game! The subject you broached has been a perennial issue at Proz.com. I will not go into the details of the history of the squabbles and resulting safeguards put into place to stop them, let me just remind you that it is the job of moderators to interfere when there is trouble brewing.

Please do not hesitate to contact me and Alison Ridell-Kachur (you will see links to our names and profiles under every De>En KudoZ) if you feel that the exchange is going beyond the bounds of professional language. We have many tools in place to prevent total war from happening.

You could also send me the links to questions where you think these snide remarks have been made. I (we moderators) do not see every question posted so it is simply impossible to follow every exchange, heated or cordial, happening on site.

Again, welcome on board and please keep on contributing. The value of KudoZ is only equal to the effort put in by members such as yourself.

regards,
Marcus Malabad
De>En co-mod


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Lori Dendy-Molz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:48
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Dec 1, 2003

My aim is not to punish or point out the miscreants, but merely to ask everyone to try to be civil and consider there are human beings behind Kudoz submissions. I think spirited debate over the appropriateness of answers helps everyone, but it would be nice to have a debate with some etiquette.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:48
English to German
+ ...
Be specific Dec 1, 2003

Hi Lori,
I fully support Steffen and Marcus in what they say - as one of the former DE>EN mods, allow me to add my views.

idwerk wrote:

My aim is not to punish or point out the miscreants, but merely to ask everyone to try to be civil and consider there are human beings behind Kudoz submissions. I think spirited debate over the appropriateness of answers helps everyone, but it would be nice to have a debate with some etiquette.

The vast majority of participants would not hesitate to agree with you here. That said, even some of those who'd agree will not always live up to this pledge in practice.

When Marcus asked you for specifics, he didn't mean that you should publicly accuse anyone - but you should not shy away from naming someone who offended you vis-à-vis a moderator. You see, all moderators are volunteers: although we spend a lot of time on-site, we all have a business to run, which means that we cannot see everything. Very often, I have found offence to be unintentional, but in the heat of the moment it's so easy to forget about how the recipient of a message might feel about it. Usually, a quiet word from someone who wasn't directly involved will go a long way to rectify a situation. Provided we know about it in the first place.

Best regards, Ralf


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 20:48
SITE FOUNDER
You can help Dec 1, 2003

We have designed KudoZ with the intention of discouraging cliquing, and focusing attention on words. I hope you will remember that newcomer or not, you are on an equal footing with everyone else.

Now that you have jumped in, you can help by always being welcoming of those newer to the game than yourself.


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:48
German to English
+ ...
Which rude comments? Dec 1, 2003

Hi Lori,

Great responses from Steffen and Marcus. I understand that it can be frustrating sometimes and it's nice to have a place like the forums to vent a little. I'm especially interested in your comments because I also participate in the DE-->EN kudoz.

That said, I have a couple of questions:

idwerk wrote:
...
Being a newbie, I may be overeager sometimes and not state my case clearly enough in others. I'm not at all offended by blunt criticism when I've missed the mark, as I surely will now and again, being a mere mortal and all. But I know blunt from rude.

The effect of it all is to make a newcomer feel as welcome as the proverbial turd in the bathtub. If that's really the case, I guess I could spend my time more usefully elsewhere.


I just searched kudoz for questions answered by idwerk, and found about 12, 5 of which were in the past year. Of those 5, I only see two where anyone disagreed with you, and those comments seem extremely polite to me. [Note: just also discovered questions you answered in "Science" and "Other"] Maybe I'm just searching wrong though? Do you mean you are put off by rude responses specifically to you (which I cannot seem to find but as I said I may be searching wrong), or a rude atmosphere in general?

I am curious, so feel free to email me privately.

Kind regards,
Michele

[Edited at 2003-12-01 15:18]


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Lori Dendy-Molz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:48
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Atmosphere in general Dec 1, 2003

Most of the comments that bothered me were not aimed at me, though the one that got me to write was aimed in my general direction. And the majority of people involved in Kudoz are cordial and friendly. I will continue to participate because the fun outweighs the unpleasantness. I just don't see any reason for unpleasantness.

I realize people who work with words all day can be passionate about them, and probably should be. I just think people sometimes need a reminder about playing nice and not throwing sand in the faces of others.


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ibsunny
Spanish to English
+ ...
I hear you. Dec 2, 2003

idwerk wrote:

I think Proz and Kudoz are two of the best developments for translators to emerge from the Internet. Kudoz have rescued me on several hair-pulling occasions. That said, as a newbie, I'm a little dispirited by the discourse I find in the German-to-English Kudoz section, and the withering remarks doled out to people who sincerely try to help others.

I'm well aware there is a cadre of highly qualified and experienced translators who have amassed mountains of Kudoz, with good reason, and they have my admiration and respect. I also realize translators who submit queries to Kudoz are under pressure and looking for the best answer as quickly as possible, and that this is serious business. I consider obsessing over how many Kudoz points one has to be demented, and that’s not my motivation here.

There are occasionally submissions from people who obviously don't have a grasp of the English language, and they should firmly be directed to the door. Most of us, however, are actually trying to be helpful. The snide remarks made by other translators who think their submissions are better (sometimes they are, of course) are bothersome. But when the person asking for help insults people who have just attempted to assist him/her because the asker feels those who submitted answers were not diligent enough in their effort, that really chaps my a**, to be frank.

I'm currently trying to restart my translating career in order to feed four mouths now that my husband is out of a job (hold the violins, please). My point is that we are all probably more or less in the same boat, trying to scratch out a living, and I jumped back into the Kudoz fray both for the mental exercise and in order to gain from the wisdom of others. Being a newbie, I may be overeager sometimes and not state my case clearly enough in others. I'm not at all offended by blunt criticism when I've missed the mark, as I surely will now and again, being a mere mortal and all. But I know blunt from rude.

The effect of it all is to make a newcomer feel as welcome as the proverbial turd in the bathtub. If that's really the case, I guess I could spend my time more usefully elsewhere.

Well, that's off my chest.
Lori Dendy-Molz, id werk


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Lori Dendy-Molz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:48
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ahem Dec 2, 2003

After a night's sleep, I think I overreacted. My basic argument is valid, I think, but I got ticked off and ran off at the keyboard. Anyway, next time I will try quiet diplomacy before I post to a forum, and I've imposed a mandatory 24-hour cooling off period on myself.

Thanks for everyone's supportive comments.
Lori


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