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Can somebody please define what KudoZ is for?
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:48
English to French
+ ...
Jun 25, 2005

Hello all,

I would like to know what your definition of KudoZ is. What is the purpose of KudoZ?

I know it's all explained somewhere in the site and I've read it, along with the rules. But somehow I get the impression that some people don't, or even can't, read.

I would like to see some discussion on inappropriate use of KudoZ - for example, people using it only to cumulate points, people answering questions without reading them (I get a lot of those) and people using KudoZ to whine, disrespect, etc.

Finally, I want to know why people can't be respectful on KudoZ - is it just because we are not face-to-face and therefore can allow ourselves to be more harsh? I realize I am dealing with human beings but does everybody else? Or am I alone in thinking that others are entitled to as much respect as I am?

Here is a reference to fully understand this topic: http://www.proz.com/kudoz/1072277

Thanks! Looking forward to some nice arguing

[Edited at 2005-06-25 19:44]


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Buzzy
Local time: 07:48
French to English
Reaction based on the reference you supply Jun 25, 2005

Hello Viktoria

I think the purpose of KudoZ is clear to everyone: a way of giving and receiving help in translating terms. Of course, as the system is used by human beings, it doesn't always work perfectly, and there are plenty of discussions in the forums on the subject - and moderators to alert when abuse occurs. You've been around Proz long enough to know that, I'm sure.
But I just took a look at the question you gave as an example. I see there was a lot of discussion, which frankly I find unsurprising, given your position that "préservatif" should ideally not be translated as "condom". It didn't read to me as though colleagues asking questions were trying to play one-upmanship, but trying to clarify why you wanted to avoid the term. Everyone appears to have felt frustrated at the end of the discussion, which I suppose is inevitable when people feel they're not getting through to each other, but your comments in capitals at the end, and particularly in the "feedback" box about people wanting to show off rather than help, seem harsh not to say unjustifed - especially as the answer selected was in fact "(male and female) condoms".
Responsibility for using the system properly, and being respectful, lies with us ALL, answerers and askers - it works both ways. Your remark on whining and the question: "I realize I am dealing with human beings but does everybody else?", especially in the light of the reference quoted, could have been put more tactfully and don't in my experience apply to the vast majority of exchanges through KudoZ.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:48
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Don't you find that there were other options to deal with this? Jun 25, 2005

Hello,

I just don't understand why some of them had to go about this the way they did, especially since one of those people comments on my abilities as a translator. I consider that an attack, and I don't see why people should attack others, especially when they are asking for help. If I wanted to know what others think of my abilities as a translator, I would ask in the forum - and I would seem pretty ridiculous.

As for the comment in capitals, it was in capitals so that the message gets through (it was at the end of a long series of comments and replies). I wanted to make some people realize that being rude and criticizing instead of helping just makes my job more difficult, whereas I went there to make my job easier in the first place. It may sound harsh, but if you read all of the previous notes, you will see that I kept being nice for a while even if certain people in there were being a little too rude. I guess after a while you lose patience.

As for their losing patience, I don't see why they should. They can choose to not answer the question if they are annoyed by it. It's not like I was bugging them to give me an answer now, or else... But one person in particular said I was refusing the answers, whereas, as you saw, I did not refuse any answer. It's as if that person was saying "give me my KudoZ right away, or else...". It is the kind of behaviour which makes me angry, and a lot of people, I am sure, would get angry, too.

It does anything but help. Isn't KudoZ about helping?

Sincerely,

Viktoria

P.S.: I did not say that ideally, it should not be translated as "condom", I was only asking answerers to try and find something else, given that "préservatif" seemed a little broader than just "condom", according to certain dictionaries. I also chose the answer because there seems to be nothing better, according to most answerers some of which have much more experience with this subject than I do.

[Edited at 2005-06-26 02:43]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:48
French to English
Arguing Jun 26, 2005

ViktoriaG wrote:


Thanks! Looking forward to some nice arguing

[Edited at 2005-06-25 19:44]


Are you sure about that

I didn't think anyone was being rude. There may have been some expression of frustration, but I think that must be in part caused by the confusion of your including "condom" as if it were a French word in the source, and partly by the fact that your explanation of your uncertainties over what "preservatif" meant was spread over the course of several added notes, which made it difficult to follow.

Changing the subject slightly, out of respect for those that have answered your questions in the past, do you not think it might be an idea to pay them the courtesy of selecting answers and closing the questions? I notice that you have open questions dating back to February....


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Robert Donahue  Identity Verified
Russian to English
+ ...
Respect is a two way street Jun 26, 2005

I read the question in question. From what I gather as an independent, unbiased onlooker is that there was some issue with how the question was phrased Hey, it happens. This led to some confusion/frustration on the part of the answerers. So some not terribly polite remarks were made (all around I hasten to say). Kudoz is for helping people. I think that while some people on here will occasionally make comments online that they wouldn't have the guts to make face to face, the vast majority of answerers are respectful and only interested in helping out. I say you chalk this up as a wash. It's not worth being angry or frustrated and in the end you got the answer that you needed. See? No need to argue. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:48
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Arguing and open questions Jun 26, 2005

About arguing, I still don't think that the frustration displayed by some people in my question was expressed the right way. I have been in their shoes before, since not everybody knows how to ask KudoZ, but when I was in their situation, I simply chose not to add to the asker's frustration in not finding the answer to their question in spite of all their efforts - that is a position I have found myself in before, and you probably share my view on this.

What I particularly got mas about is the one comment where my credibility as a translator is questioned. I did answer the person - privately. I don't think she - or I - should be mean to anybody publicly. That is why I expressed my frustration at her comment by e-mail. My clients also see my KudoZ and what she said is not a good refernce for me. So, that's what got me mad, really, and some other comments only added to it.

About my older questions, I do not really have the time right now to close them all, having been extremely busy in the past two months - I love Platinum! - but the one in February, I don't know what to do about it. I think I should refuse the answer, but I don't want to do that, I would feel bad about it. Being mean is not my cup of tea, and I don't like to have to disappoint people. I would make a very bad boss

So that's it, it's mainly about that one comment. I don't think I have digested it yet... Maybe next time, I will close the question when I start seeing signs of frustration to avoid this kind of comments, I don't know...

Thanks!


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:48
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How to be frustrated without disrespecting people Jun 26, 2005

Robert,

I see your point, but as you will see in my last reply, it'S not the fact that there was frustration or that it was expressed that bothers me, it's the WAY it was expressed. When I'm frustrated, I say I'm frustrated and that I don't understand the question. When I'm very frustrated, I don't say anything, to avoid saying something too frustrated.

This time, I got WAAAAY too frustrated. I felt that I got a slap in the face - for nothing. That is the kind of behaviour I don't tolerate and I can't even force myself to tolerate even if I wanted to. Hit me if I deserve it, but don't hit me for nothing, and don't hit me in places where I don't deserve to be hit. That's why I lost it back then, and that's where my "disrespectful" comments come from.

So far, I did not have any problem like this and was not prepared to deal with it - I didn't expect to have to. As you say, I probably got that kind of comment because I wasn't face-to-face with the person. I am pretty sure she wouldn't have said that if I was in front of her.

Thanks!


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:48
French to English
Time Jun 26, 2005

ViktoriaG wrote:

About my older questions, I do not really have the time right now to close them all, having been extremely busy in the past two months - I love Platinum! - but the one in February, I don't know what to do about it. I think I should refuse the answer, but I don't want to do that, I would feel bad about it. Being mean is not my cup of tea, and I don't like to have to disappoint people. I would make a very bad boss



With all due respect, you have managed to find the time to post at considerable length here. Grading a handful of the older questions would have taken less time than writing this thread, I suspect.

Fair enough about the Feb. question, but you don't have to actually decline/refuse the answer. I imagine you found some term, somewhere. Simply close the question without grading, and use the option "answer found elsewhere". Neat, tidy, and, with luck, nobody gets offended


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:48
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I knew I would get this comment Jun 26, 2005

Deep down inside, I knew that this reply was coming to me....

Do you understand now why I think that my question on KudoZ didn't help in gaining time? It slowed me down, just as this thread does. How does that help me?

Maybe now you understand better why I said in my KudoZ question that in searching for help, I found exactly the opposite.

So that everybody is happy, I graded all my questions that were due. It just took a little more time... I guess this time you guys were right...

Viktoria


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 03:48
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Several comments Jun 26, 2005

Hi Viktoria

I deleted the comment that offended you. I would have preferred that the person who wrote it had edited it.

I think that you got all you could expect from your question. It's like saying I know that 1+1 = 2 but I want another answer, because 1+1+1 is also = 2. That's how it looks to me, so people tried to demonstrate that you were wrong: 1+1+1 is not = 2 and the only solution to 1+1 is 2.

Sometimes, when we firmly believe something, it's difficult to understand that others are saying that we're wrong because we're sure of being right. You should forget this for now and come back when you'll have finished your translation, to think about it.


Regards

Claudia


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RHELLER
United States
Local time: 23:48
French to English
+ ...
Being respectful in kudoz - stop insulting others first Jun 26, 2005

Dear Viktoria:

Kudoz is a system which works well when the asker fulfills his/her obligations:

1) formulates a clear question

2) gives sufficient context (in the source language)so that answerers can understand what type of text you are working on and what your specific issue is (especially if it is a term contained in all dictionaries); this does not mean giving responders orders as to which terms you will accept. You are asking - you need to have an open mind.

3) uses the asker box for clarification or to give thanks - it is not intended for arguing (which you may categorize as nice but is really just a waste of everyone's time)

4) takes the time to consider what each answerer brings without firing back angry comments

I totally agree with Buzzy. Who is doing the whining here? In fact, your topic is mislabeled altogether. Your title "what is kudoz for" is hypocritical. Attempts at cycnicism will surely not help your case. You asked and you were answered. You are simply not happy with the responses you received.

Charlie is right to underline your comment about nice arguing - what an attitude!


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:48
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I think there have been some misunderstandings Jun 26, 2005

Thank you to all who took the time to think about this. It is nice to see everybody's point of view on this. However, I think that some things were misunderstood.

As you all may have noticed, there was a lot of discussion in the KudoZ question. The answers and comments on answers have dates and times on them, but it isn't the case with the comments.

Some of my comments, as well as some comments by others, were added once the question was closed, and there is no way to tell at what point they were posted. This is why I think Rita is mistaken when she says that I have to "take the time to consider what each answerer brings without firing back angry comments". My comments that had an angry taste came AFTER the question was closed, this means after I took the time to consider the answers and after I chose the answer. Please note that I did not refuse answers and I did not choose to say that anybody was wrong about translating "préservatif" as "condom" - I actually used that word in my translation. I was basically looking for a confirmation on that, trying to see if there were any other ways to translate the term. If you would have seen how waffly the text I have to translate is, you would have understood why I needed a confirmation.

I admit to having posted angry comments, and it was the way I felt. The reason why is because anybody who thought my question was unclear should have said so instead of posting angry comments themselves (questioning my credibility as a translator). That is a total no-no. You don't go around saying this kind of thing in a place where the targeted person goes for contracts, especially not when you are not in a position to judge one's work, not having ever seen it. The person was clearly trying to say that, since I do not have a medical background, which she does, I should not accept work that has to do with anything medical. She said that not knowing that the text I am working on is about fundraising and that there is very little medical elements in it, which practically any translator can translate. I refer clients to my profile, but her comment is not what I want my clients to see. I did answer to her comment - by e-mail, so that neither I nor she have bad things in our respective profiles.

As I have said earlier, I think it is much more convenient to simply not say anything rather than say something mean, if one feels frustrated. After all, KudoZ is not a place to express opinions, unless they are opinions about terminology options.

I also feel that the part about "giving orders" is exaggerated, since I was polite until the question was closed, and I did not give any order to anyone. I asked to see if there was any other options besides "condom" which was very well understood by the person whose answer was "prophylactic". That one person clearly understood my question and tried honestly to help. The link he/she attached to his/her message was also very useful. If you look closely, you will find that I did not criticize anybody's answer, I criticized certain comments that I still feel did not belong there.

As to not using the asker box for arguing, all of my asker messages were answers to things that others posted in the asker box to begin with. Not only that, but when someone puts a message questioning your credibility as a translator in the asker box, you reply to it, because to some people, not replying to an accusation means that you agree with it. I certainly will defend myself when I get wrongly accused of something, just like you wouldn't sit for life if you didn't commit murder.

Finally, about the title of this topic, I think it was very well chosen, because what I am trying to say here is that KudoZ, as confirmed by others, is for helping and getting help - not for discrediting others' abilities, making angry comments, making fun of people, arguing about who is most competent, etc. That is the point I am trying to confirm here and that is what I want to check with others. Am I the only one who feels there were unnecessary comments in that KudoZ question? And why do I have to be attacked head on like that when I did not attack anyone, nor criticize them, nor argue with them? Especially when people say that I refused answers whereas I certainly did not.

As for this: "You asked and you were answered. You are simply not happy with the responses you received.", I am sorry but this is absolutely not true. I would rather say I asked and got criticized for it. And just where do I say that I am not happy with the answers? Why then did I choose one of them, which on top of that was what the vast majority proposed? What I am not happy with is the comments that had nothing to do with the question, certain of which were clearly attacks. If I would have attacked, criticized, etc., I would have shut my mouth, but I don't have to take this kind of attitude from someone who probably wouldn't dare say it to my face, especially when I did nothing to provoke that person.

I think that you are being a little too harsh, Rita. I can see that you got mad fast and didn't take the time to consider some things. I am not trying to say that you are mean, please, do not think that. But your reply is going in the same direction some of the angry comments went - do we need to continue what was started in KudoZ? I hope not. I am not here to fight or to be arrogant, and I hope that my posting here will not have that effect on those who read this. I want this here to be constructive, not destructive, that is why I honestly want to have other people's point of view, even if they may not agree with me. The last thing I am trying to do is to taunt anybody.

I realize that there are some things I said at the very end that were a little harsh - especially about whining - but that was my impulsive reaction to some of the unfair treatment I got for having asked a simple question. I lost control there, but I think I am not the only one who would have been angry. As I said earlier, next time, I will close the question faster to avoid this.

Claudia, thanks for having deleted the comment. It actually helps in calming down about this whole story.

About the nice mathematical metaphor, I was basically saying, I know that 1+1+1 does not equal 3, but there are dictionaries that say otherwise. Can you all please confirm that there are one too many ones, or provide proof that 1+1+1 actually can equal 3 and that I can apply that to my translation? It was more like that. Maybe people didn't get it, maybe I was too subtle.

I may not have been clear from the start, we all have different logic, people may have not fully understood my question and my comments. But couldn't they have said that instead of making angry comments? I've seen this kind of situation before, yet I only asked for more context, without commenting. Is that so hard for others to do?

[Edited at 2005-06-26 23:51]


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RHELLER
United States
Local time: 23:48
French to English
+ ...
those were general asker guidelines Jun 27, 2005

Dear Viktoria:

I am not angry. I am sorry that you are upset. I agree with you that no proz member should criticize the translating ability of another proz member. None of us are perfect.

I am simply trying to explain to you that the asker holds just as much responsibility, if not more, than the responders. The asker sets the stage and is in charge.

Giving orders like: "I prefer to avoid definition Y .....and would also like to avoid word X." Those are your words, not mine. You set yourself up by taking a pre-conceived stand on those 2 terms which are the 2 most common meanings/definitions of the term you posted. And the term you finally accepted includes X.

Re: question clarity
The language pair was changed no less than 4 times! How clear could the question have been?

Everyone was trying to help you. My suggestion for all future askers is to simply take in the answers, reflect, and pick the one which fits your context best. The kudoz format is not really set up for deep semantic discussion IMO.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:48
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I was not the only one responsible for clarity Jun 27, 2005


Rita Heller wrote:

Re: question clarity
The language pair was changed no less than 4 times! How clear could the question have been?


I know that and am still wondering why they kept changing the language pairs. It was obvious from the start that this was a French to English question. They also changed the Pro and Non-Pro settings a couple times.

I know that this is confusing, but I couldn't keep them from doing that. I don't think that I should be responsible for their actions, so, if people got mixed up because of this, I still don't think they should get angry at me.

I repeat, I did not give orders, I said I preferred answers other than those two, but everybody would agree that if there are no other than those two, they will have to do, right? Hence, my choice of answer. I did not criticize anybody about that.

I just don't understand why everybody got so worked up at that. Most of the time, that kind of mix-up makes me laugh and I steer clear of them, because I want to avoid any fights.

I also find that there was a little bit of abuse going on because everybody can edit most parts of a question. They kind of abused of that, and they didn't help themselves - nor myself. Do we have an issue there, I wonder? Hmmmm... Maybe another subject in the KudoZ forum?


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paula13  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 03:48
Member (2005)
Leaving baggage at the door Jul 4, 2005

As I have said earlier, I think it is much more convenient to simply not say anything rather than say something mean, if one feels frustrated. After all, KudoZ is not a place to express opinions, unless they are opinions about terminology options.

I haven't been around proz for that long yet, but I do sometimes feel certain people use Kudoz to aggravate. A while ago there was a question in my language pair that I have to admit was so easy I was surprised the person had to seek help, but still I just ignored it and moved on. I visited it later and someone had added a note saying something like: you don't need help translating you need an English teacher. I felt that comment was completely uncalled for.
I was once questioned for closing a Kudoz question too soon. This person was absolutely right, I had not read the rules first. Once I did, I apologized and added a note explaining that I was new to the site and unfamiliar with the rules. The person just kept whining about how I never gave him a chance to answer, so my question to that person (which I didn't post just to avoid further discussion) was: if you really want to help wouldn't you make your suggesion anyways, even if you're not going to get the points?
I understand why you got so frustrated and even though I might have reacted a little different I can see where your anger came from.
Sometimes we do seem to forget that we are dealing with people and people have feelings. There may not be a right or wrong answer for everything, but there sure is a more effective way of communicating and getting your message across, and as language professionals, aren't we to some extent "obligated" to use language effectively and bring down communication barriers? I mean, it's what we do for a living, isn't it?


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