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Askers restricting questions to platinum answerers - why?
Thread poster: xxxIanW
xxxIanW
Local time: 15:35
German to English
+ ...
Sep 12, 2005

Dear all,

Could anyone tell me why it is now possible to ask questions in such a way that non-natives and non-platinum members are by-passed?

I can understand why someone might want to exclude non-natives occasionally, although in my experience native-speaker input is often vital for unravelling the problem. However, what on earth is to be achieved by restricting questions so that only platinum members can answer them? Platinum member is not necessarily an indication of quality, so what else is there to be gained by it?

Yours,

Confused in Cologne


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 15:35
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Seconded Sep 12, 2005

Ian Winick wrote:

Dear all,

Could anyone tell me why it is now possible to ask questions in such a way that non-natives and non-platinum members are by-passed?

I can understand why someone might want to exclude non-natives occasionally, although in my experience native-speaker input is often vital for unravelling the problem. However, what on earth is to be achieved by restricting questions so that only platinum members can answer them? Platinum member is not necessarily an indication of quality, so what else is there to be gained by it?

Yours,

Confused in Cologne


"although in my experience native-speaker input is often vital for unravelling the problem"

Over the past 4 years I've lost count of the number of times I've seen "non-native" answerers simply not "getting the message" of the original (very often making erroneous comments such as "this is not English" - "this English phrase sounds wrong") when in fact it's a simple lack of knowledge on their part.

I specifically remember one occasion when the phrase "The powers that be" was classed by several non-native speakers as "weird" "strange" "simply wrong" etc.....

This is supported by the fact that I have more points in Eng-Span. than in Span-Eng.
Not because my Spanish is better than my English and certainly not better than a native Spanish speaker's. It's due to the simple fact that I understand (or can guess) the meaning in the first place.

As far as only considering Platinum member contributions is concerned, I can only agree with Ian.

Bemused in Barcelona


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Cecilia Calonico  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 10:35
English to Spanish
We gain nothing... Sep 12, 2005

Ian Winick wrote:

However, what on earth is to be achieved by restricting questions so that only platinum members can answer them? Platinum member is not necessarily an indication of quality, so what else is there to be gained by it?


Confused in Cologne


We gain about as much as white-only golf clubs. All people are doing is leaving others out based on... well, nothing at all! The fact that someone might choose not to be a platinum member doesn't mean they're not qualified translators. It doesn't even mean they can't afford it, it could simply mean they are not interested!
Honestly, sometimes we go a little overboard with the whining and excluding, and all we accomplished is that perfectly good translators are less and less interested in participating in Kudoz and other great things this site has to offer.
We come up with more and more restrictions and ways of "limiting" those we interact with and what we're forgeting is that the whole point of this site is not to fight over our petty differences but to learn from each other and help one another.
In the words of Martin Luther King, "We must learn to live together as brothers or we shall perish together as fools," this a community for translators to learn and grow. Excluding people based on membership status is as narrow-minded as any other discriminatory act you could think of; and in the end, when less and less good people want to participate, we all loose.
Thanks for posting this forum Ian, I've been wanting to get this off my chest for a while, being as I myself stopped answering Kudoz questions because of these new changes.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
agree! Sep 12, 2005

andycw wrote:

Ian Winick wrote:

Dear all,

Could anyone tell me why it is now possible to ask questions in such a way that non-natives and non-platinum members are by-passed?

I can understand why someone might want to exclude non-natives occasionally, although in my experience native-speaker input is often vital for unravelling the problem. However, what on earth is to be achieved by restricting questions so that only platinum members can answer them? Platinum member is not necessarily an indication of quality, so what else is there to be gained by it?

Yours,

Confused in Cologne


"although in my experience native-speaker input is often vital for unravelling the problem"

Over the past 4 years I've lost count of the number of times I've seen "non-native" answerers simply not "getting the message" of the original (very often making erroneous comments such as "this is not English" - "this English phrase sounds wrong") when in fact it's a simple lack of knowledge on their part.

I specifically remember one occasion when the phrase "The powers that be" was classed by several non-native speakers as "weird" "strange" "simply wrong" etc.....

This is supported by the fact that I have more points in Eng-Span. than in Span-Eng.
Not because my Spanish is better than my English and certainly not better than a native Spanish speaker's. It's due to the simple fact that I understand (or can guess) the meaning in the first place.

As far as only considering Platinum member contributions is concerned, I can only agree with Ian.

Bemused in Barcelona


Agree re. Platinum, and absolutely about the help given by non-natives, decoding is often the major problem in translating, not encoding (at least fro natives, generally speaking). And with technical language, a non-native contribution can be equally as/more valid as/than a native one.

This morning there were 7 agrees for what I am pretty certain is a wrong answer for 'CWT'. Two definitive natives - both born in Ireland (one me) - think it's hundred weight (no agrees other than mine for my compatriot), others (possibly both native and non-native, but haven't checked), thinks it's 'cubic weight', and apart from the definitively native input, logically weight is NOT a unit of measurement....ah well....

Baffled in Berga

[Edited at 2005-09-12 12:59]


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Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 15:35
German to Polish
+ ...
I see no point in such restrictions Sep 12, 2005

Thank you Ian for bringing this up.

Being a platinum member doesn't stop me wondering what would be the point of restricting questions and jobs to platinum members only.

Anyone know of a plausible justification?

curious in Warsaw

ok, I give in: Wondering in Warsaw

[Edited at 2005-09-12 13:07]


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Michael Pauls
Germany
Local time: 15:35
English to German
Excellent question ... Sep 12, 2005

As a non-paying member of this community I never really thought about this new feature. And as a non-native speaker of English who every now and then tries to chip in the odd one or five more or less educated remarks to questions in the language pair DE->EN I am certainly looking forward to reading the first attempt to answer this.

Befuddled in Berlin.
mp


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 09:35
SITE FOUNDER
The asker is the customer in a KudoZ exchange. Sep 12, 2005

One of the fundamental design decisions of KudoZ is that the asker is, in a sense, a customer. The idea is that when one of us has a need, we may post a question, and colleagues who participate in the network will attempt to assist us to our satisfaction (knowing they will be entitled to the same service from us when they have a need). This has created an environment in which those who choose to participate in the KudoZ network are in service to each other, and this is a very important aspect of our workplace. This philosophy also explains why it is the asker, rather than the answerers, who is given the right (and responsibility) of selecting a "most helpful" answer, and thereby closing the question.

That glossaries of value to all are aggregated through asker-answerer interaction is an intentional side-effect of KudoZ. (Bear in mind that in principle, control over the glossaries belongs to all members; asker control extends only as far as closing as question. This will become more evident as new features for members of the community to add to and edit glossary entries are enhanced.)

Given these design decision, and the fact that some among our members have been calling for limiting KudoZ to native speakers, those working in the field, paying members or other groups, it is natural for us to enable them, at least when it is their turn as "customers" (i.e. when they ask), to direct their questions to whichever groups of answerers they choose. After all, if a member wants help specifically from members in Portugal, for example, would it not be ridiculous for us to respond by saying, "no, it is not for you to determine who you ask for help."? Is it not also inconsiderate, for us as a site, to invite people from Brazil to assist on such a question, knowing that their contributions are (at least in the asker's opinion) unlikely to meet the need?

In short, once a question is closed, all members can address the terms in the glossary. But while the matter is in control of the asker, it is appropriate to honor the asker/customer's wishes, and to respect the time of answerers.

I would be interested in feedback from those who disagree, after you've considered the basic asker-as-customer decision. If you still disagree with allowing askers to direct their requests for help to certain groups of members as they choose, do you disagree also with the idea of asker-as-customer?

'Splaining in Syracuse


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Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:35
Latvian to English
+ ...
Agree with all of the above Sep 12, 2005

I too see no justifiable reason for excluding non-paying members from answering Kudoz questions. This is the one feature of the site that should be open to everyone.

Ruminating in Riga.


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:35
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Please clarify further, Henry Sep 12, 2005

Henry, I don't doubt for a second your asker-as-customer idea but you got me puzzled here. I seem to vaguely remember that somewhere in the loooong thread about the new KudoZ design, you said that the platinum-only and other restrictions would no longer exclude potential answerers who did not belong to the subset the question had been directed to.

In other words, I was of the opinion that these qualifiers to be ticked by the asker were indicative only.

Could you please confirm/explain?

MTIA,

Steffen


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:35
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Not just a customer service Sep 12, 2005

Responding to Henry’s invitation for feedback, my view is that KudoZ is not just a Service provider / Customer interface. It also has to be considered as forum for translators to exchange views on terminology, prompted by whatever questions are posted (and hence as an educational resource), as a means for building a comprehensive glossary resource and as an opportunity for freelancers to demonstrate their expertise to potential clients.
If I am a Rolls Royce dealer, I do not feel obliged to find a customer a second-hand Daihatsu!
However, I also know that some experienced translators have abandoned KudoZ through frustration at the simplistic or uninformed answers from people with a variety of different motives for taking part.
May I suggest that the facility to specify the type of answerer should be limited to Platinum members with a minimum number of KudoZ points.

Compromising in Cambridge


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 15:35
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Yes, the asker is the customer and the customer is king. Sep 12, 2005

I agree fully what Henry just said.

Along that logic I have always maintained that this customer should be allowed to ask as many questions as s/he sees fit and not be told "You are asking too many questions!".
If someone thinks so s/he should be mature enough to say (to himself/herself) "This question does not interest me but I would risk my life to defend the asker's right to ask".

As you know I have always fought those restrictions but the right for the asker to choose, is only logical and fair.

Mats

[Edited at 2005-09-12 15:38]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 09:35
SITE FOUNDER
Anyone may still answer any question - but the asker can specify preferences Sep 12, 2005

Steffen Walter wrote:

Henry, I don't doubt for a second your asker-as-customer idea but you got me puzzled here. I seem to vaguely remember that somewhere in the loooong thread about the new KudoZ design, you said that the platinum-only and other restrictions would no longer exclude potential answerers who did not belong to the subset the question had been directed to.

In other words, I was of the opinion that these qualifiers to be ticked by the asker were indicative only.


You are right. I should not have said "limit the question to"--I mean "direct the question to". No one is barred from answering any question. However, email notifications are sent according to asker preferences.


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Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:35
Latvian to English
+ ...
Thankyou Henry Sep 12, 2005

Thanks for the clarification.

Relieved in Riga.


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 15:35
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Thanks Henry Sep 12, 2005

"You are right. I should not have said "limit the question to"--I mean "direct the question to". No one is barred from answering any question. However, email notifications are sent according to asker preferences."

Feeling Better in Barcelona

Andy


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Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:35
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Customers pay for services rendered. Sep 12, 2005

Customers PAY for SERVICES rendered.

"KudoZ is a structured network used by TRANSLATORS to COLLABORATE on terms."

Am I missing something here?

Because as a regular answerer I haven't received any payment yet.

Sormane Gomes

[Edited at 2005-09-12 15:59]


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