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KudoZ questions from sample translations: is it considered ok?
Thread poster: Lars Helbig

Lars Helbig
Germany
Local time: 18:11
English to German
+ ...
Feb 6, 2004

Hi I am new here and I don't quite know all the rules yet. I posting here, because I found the text from a KudoZ (easy) Question in the sample to be translated in an official application.

Is this considered cheating? Surely the sample translation you provide to a prospective employer should reflect your own abilities.

I don't want to offend anyone, if it is considered OK, to ask for a second opinion on a sample translation.

The question and application in question:
http://www.proz.com/kudoz/630694
http://www.un.org/Depts/OHRM/examin/4-gt-p11.doc


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:11
SITE FOUNDER
The consensus has been that askers should indicate that it comes from a test Feb 6, 2004

Hello, Lars. Welcome.

The issue you raise has come up in the past. Opinions have varied, but the best compromise seems to be that the asker should indicate when a question is coming from a test, and those who object may refrain from assisting.

Last week, we added this requirement to the new rules:
http://www.proz.com/kudozrules?rid=1

Many askers may not have yet read this rule. So we intend to add a checkbox in the asking form so that askers will know the expectation.


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:11
German to English
+ ...
Moderators & Kudoz Etiquette rule 1.6 Feb 6, 2004

Hi Lars. I am not sure but suspect this may violate kudoz Etiquette:

1.6 - "If a question is taken from a translation test, this must be made clear. "

(from http://www.proz.com/?sp=about/kudoz, click on Kudoz Etiquette)

In such cases it's good to inform a Moderator. You can call the Moderator's attention to the question at the bottom of every kudoz question:
Moderators in this pair
Johanna Timm, PhD [Call to this question]
Steffen Walter [Call to this question]

I let Johanna know. I'm sure she'll respond soon. I let her know about your posting here in the forums too.

Kind regards
Michele


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Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:11
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Question of personal conscience Feb 6, 2004

Sorry if my response comes a little late, it's only 8.20 in the morning here...

Henry has already pointed to the general consensus in this matter, i.e. that the asker should indicate if his/her question comes from a test translation, and then it would be up to the answerer to decide if he should answer or not.

I personally would not mind assisting someone with a term or phrase that comes from a test translation - ProZ.com is a resource and I think you should be allowed to use whatever resources you'd normally use. And just like for a 'real' job, it shows good judgement to ask the experts when you don't know a term instead of trusting your own, maybe vague, knowledge.
I would draw the line when it becomes obvious that the asker a) does not have a clue of the subject matter b) does not demonstrate some effort (by offering his own versions of a sentence, for instance).

I guess in the end this is an ethical question, or a question of your personal conscience,if you will.
For the asker: Am I really qualified to do this job?
For the anwerer: Am I justified to assume good faith?

cheers,
johanna



[Edited at 2004-02-06 23:48]


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Tobi
Local time: 18:11
English to German
+ ...
Why not? Feb 6, 2004

LarsH wrote:

Is this considered cheating? Surely the sample translation you provide to a prospective employer should reflect your own abilities.


Exactly that is the point. It shall reflect your own abilities. But part of your abilities is to be able to tap all the available resources to get an optimum result. Nobody of us is able to do a good job solely with his own knowledge. Thats why we have Kudoz. You can fill the gaps in your knowledge or verify your knowledge with this. This proceeding is absolutely OK and you can use it for sample translations because you use the same resources for an actual job as well. Last week I assisted a fellow translator with a tricky phrase of a sample translation I did before. Why not? It is all a matter of give and take. I do not feel bad even if I help a competitor for the same job. Solidarity amongst us should stand above the competition. I want to get a job assignment because of my performance and not because I obstruct my competitor or I offer ridiculous rates. Maybe the client realises that my competitor uses my effort. Maybe I am stupid and that is the reason because I am low on jobs. But I do not feel bad therefore.
However, the rule to indicate a question for a sample translation is good and should show the honesty of the asker.


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chica nueva
Local time: 04:11
Chinese to English
Use the service, that's what it's there for... Feb 6, 2004

I personally would not mind assisting someone with a term or phrase that conmes from a test translation - ProZ.com is a resource and I think you should be allowed to use whatever resources you'd normally use. And just like for a 'real' job, it shows good judgement to ask the experts when you don't know a term instead of trusting your own, maybe vague, knowledge.
I would draw the line when it becomes obvious that the asker a) does not have a clue of the subject matter b) does not demonstrate some effort (by offering his own versions of a sentence, for instance).

I guess in the end this is an ethical question, or a question of your personal conscience,if you will.
For the asker: Am I really qualified to do this job?
For the anwerer: Am I justified to assume good faith?

cheers,
johanna

[/quote]

I agree with you. I am new to professional translation (Chinese to English). I got peers' help for a sample translation recently. It was great. I did tell the agency I had used Proz, and I did mention it to the peers later in my thanks.I didn't even think there might be a problem...

It was a magazine article,on current business developments in Chinese telecoms,and it was my first chance to actually use Proz on a job. The feedback on standard translations of company names, and the links to related sites were just great, and demonstrated what Kudoz can actually do.

I learnt quite a lot as well (improved my internet search skills, and sorted out the company nomenclature). If you are part of a supportive community who pretty much understand where you are coming from, I am sure it is fine. I do a certain amount of background reading on China in English, but not enough at present to keep me up with everything that is happening. The more work there is, the more skilled I will get...


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:11
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Why would anyone want to? Feb 6, 2004

It takes a long time and a lot of experience before you are able to develop the ability to scan a text and determine whether or not you will be able to translate it successfully. If you cannot understand the sample text well enough to translate it using your own resources (your brain, dictionaries, internet, etc.) than chances are that the text in question will also be beyond your level of expertise/understanding and you will most likely do a poor job. Even though you can get help with the individual words and phrases on Proz.com and elsewhere, you will not have the necessary background/experience/knowledge to comprehend the “meaning” of the text and be able to translate it successfully. In addition to ruining your reputation as a reputable translator, you must also consider that this particular job may not be profitable to you in the sense that you will have to spend an exorbitant amount of time doing research, etc. rather than investing your time in translating a text with which you feel more comfortable. Thirdly, why would you want to put yourself through the stress of agreeing to complete a translation project that is only going to be a headache to you and ultimately to the person who edits your work?

If people want to post part of a translation test as a Kudoz question – let them, but I think that it is highly indicative of the type of translator they are and the quality of work they will provide on this particular job. A sample is meant to be a representative portion of a translation assignment and used as a guide not only for the outsourcer to choose the appropriate person for the job, but also for the translator to determine whether or not they feel comfortable accepting the project. We all run into difficult terms from time to time because no one is perfect and no one knows everything, but having someone else help you complete a sample (which for all intents and purposes is a test), knowing that you will most likely require additional help from your colleagues to complete the job, seems a little unethical and underhanded to me.


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Lars Helbig
Germany
Local time: 18:11
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well, I guess I overreacted then. Feb 7, 2004

It never occurred to me, that the ability to ask the KudoZ community for help could be considered part of the job skills, you demonstrate with a sample translation. The rule about indicating that you are asking for help with a sample translation makes a lot of sense, if you look at it like that.

Thanks to everybody who responded.


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