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Indication of peer's native language under "peer comments" in KudoZ
Thread poster: Todd Field

Todd Field  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:56
Member (2003)
Portuguese to English
Sep 28, 2005

At the risk of driving the poor site owners crazy with yet another KudoZ system suggestion, and assuming this not a technical nightmare... under "peer comments", how about including an indicator of whether a colleague is a native speaker of a given KudoZ question's target language?

I'm not suggesting favoritism toward the feedback of native speakers. Rather, I am suggesting a way to clearly differentiate between input from native speakers and input from non-native speakers. Such information can be very telling when an asker is trying to sort through responses.

Take my own language pair, PT>EN. Often times more literal/verbatim translations get a sequence of agrees from native Portuguese speakers, while more concept-based translations get a sequence of agrees from native English speakers. If the number of agrees are closely tied, it can be difficult to pinpoint the linguistic perspectives which motivated one peer group to unanimously agree with one answer and a second peer group to prefer another.

I believe a small, non-descript indicator that a peer offering feedback is a native speaker of a question's target language could instantly reveal a lot of useful information, ultimately making the KudoZ system even more effective.

Interested in hearing the opinions of other colleagues and/or the site moderators on this question... thanks in advance.

Todd

P.S. Just to clarify, I don't mean this as a policing measure. The idea is to enhance the academic/informational function of the KudoZ system.

[Edited at 2005-09-29 00:23]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
Any anti-Porglish device very welcome ...... Sep 28, 2005

100% behind this, particularly for the PT»EN site

I'm not quite as tactful as you Todd.....;-), so let's call a spade a spade - whilst there are plenty of non-native English translators who give really valued input on the PT»EN site (and no-one would dream of discouraging them from participating, I regard them as valued colleagues and in many cases friends), there is one at least who is convinced any neutral/disagree is some type of warped partisan native "plot" against him, even accusing native English speakers as a subgroup on the PT»EN site of being dishonest for voting for a native speaker. (who happens to be right a good 90-95% of the time and who just happens to rank above this individual - get the picture?)

I was accused this evening of being a SYSTEMATIC objector (hello??) to this person who is high up (but obviously frustratingly for him not top) in the rankings but whose contributions are regularly accepted by non-native speakers because:

a. he is retired and has the time to play KudoZ 24/7
b. he becomes unpleasant to anyone who dares to disagree with him, people don't and so he chalks up the points
c. askers are misled into thinking because he has so many points, he is a good translator - he doesn't even translate for a living in fact (and it shows)

Now whilst I have far better (and paying) things to do with my life than play KudoZ 24/7, my comments were linguistic and in reference to the SYSTEMATIC errors that he makes - 3 in a single phrase this evening to be exact. If no-one speaks up to him, his answers get chosen and they are often blatantly wrong or at least sub-standard.

How does that honestly assist an asker or the wider glossary for future users?

If this idea were introduced, it would certainly go a long way towards guiding askers particularly on the PT»EN site who happen to be mostly non-native speakers.

Good idea!




[Edited at 2005-09-28 21:25]

[Edited at 2005-09-28 21:26]


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gad
United States
Local time: 10:56
Member
French to English
Sep 28, 2005

[nevermind]

[Edited at 2005-09-29 01:16]


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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:56
Member (2000)
Greek to English
+ ...
agree Sep 28, 2005

Todd Field wrote:
under "peer comments", how about including an indicator of whether a colleague is a native speaker of a given KudoZ question's target language?

I'm not suggesting favoritism toward the feedback of native speakers. Rather, I am suggesting a way to clearly differentiate between input from native speakers and input from non-native speakers. Such information can be very telling when an asker is trying to sort through responses.


I think that this is not only a great idea, but also necessary if we want to have a reliable KudoZ system. We should have an indicator either for native language or credentials in that pair.

A couple of examples from my SCs: there are people who add agrees in languages pairs they don't even work in, just for the sake of obtaining Browniz (at least that's the only reason I can think of. If you don't work in FR-EN and you don't even speak French, why else would you add agrees to FR-EN answers every day?).

Also I just added a "neutral" peer comment to an answer provided by a supposedly native English speaker. 3 terms in the question, all 3 were translated badly. It was simply not good English, to put it mildly. Now, another member of that SC added an agree to that answer; that member is not a native EN speaker. How is this helpful? (imagine me shouting here) How is it helpful for our KudoZ Open Glossary, how is it helpful to the asker, and how is it helpful to the answerer himself who simply receives "confirmation" by another non-native speaker that his answer was correct?

I've complained enough In short, I'm 100% in favor of this suggestion.
Maria




[Edited at 2005-09-28 23:25]


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:56
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Native language indication of asker too please Sep 29, 2005

I'm totally in favour of Todd's suggestion and would also like to see the native language of the person asking the question. That way, when you are looking in the glossaries, if you see that a question was asked by a non-native speaker, that the answer selected was proposed by a non-native speaker and that the agrees it accumulated were added by non-native speakers, you may just think twice before using that term....

[Edited at 2005-09-29 08:10]


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Olivia MAHÉ  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:56
English to French
+ ...
What about alleged native speakers? Sep 29, 2005

There are also some alleged "bilingual translators" who (genuinely?) think or pretend to be native speakers and who propose wrong answers... that are generally chosen by the non-native asker, who relies precisely on his/her supposed major knowledge of both the source and target languages.
Not to mention the "real natives" who do not master their own language... or the misleading Platinum membership!
But all this doesn't concern professional translators, does it?


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 16:56
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Couldn't agree more Sep 29, 2005

o.mahé wrote:

There are also some alleged "bilingual translators" who (genuinely?) think or pretend to be native speakers and who propose wrong answers... that are generally chosen by the non-native asker, who relies precisely on his/her supposed major knowledge of both the source and target languages.
Not to mention the "real natives" who do not master their own language... or the misleading Platinum membership!
But all this doesn't concern professional translators, does it?


Some people seem to mix up the terms 'native speaker' and 'bilingual'.
There are quite a few people claiming 2 native languages and the doubts are there.
Many people were apparently born,raised and educated in one country and at some point in their lives moved abroad (been there, done that). However a certain number of these people have decided that by living xx months/years in the new country, they are now native speakers of that language as well.
Guess what-you're NOT. Fluent, probably, truly bilingual, perhaps-but a native speaker? No way.
Imho, there are too many incorrectly listed native speakers in the Proz profiles.
As for those with no declared native language-you are fooling no one. When you list several working language pairs and you think that people won't know which one is 'yours' by not declaring your actual native language, you are wrong. It's always clear from the way you write which one is your native language. So you might as well state it.


on o.mahé's last sentence: translation is a profession but it's open to all-but not all have the "equipment" necessary to do it. As for Plat membership-it has absolutely nothing to do with translation ability/skills. To try to sell it as as a sign of quality would be very misleading indeed.

[Edited at 2005-09-29 11:17]


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moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good idea Todd. Another: "input on source language" in target-term box Sep 29, 2005

Todd Field wrote:

At the risk of driving the poor site owners crazy with yet another KudoZ system suggestion, and assuming this not a technical nightmare... under "peer comments", how about including an indicator of whether a colleague is a native speaker of a given KudoZ question's target language?



Hi Todd,

I think this is an excellent idea, since all we can do at present is refer to each peer's profile page, which is time-consuming.

Your reasons are spot on too. I'm glad you mentioned them, since the understanding of the source language can be just as much of a problem as getting the target wording right. Each answer and it's peer agreements should be judged for their worth.

I'd also like to thank you because your suggestion has given me a further idea:

From now on, when relevant I'll try to make a point of just writing "input on source language" in the target-term box as an introduction to my feedback. Maybe this way any agrees (which I would expect to come from other source language speakers) received on the answer will be understood as agreements with my perception of the source and not as an agreement to a potentially feeble translation.

Regards,

Álvaro )


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Jane Lamb-Ruiz  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Excellent: Native Lang. of Asker, Answerers and Agreers/Disagreers Sep 29, 2005

Todd, your idea is excellent. And if questions by non-native language askers are answered by non-native language answerers agreed to by non-native proficient agreers, that will give us a "'quick look" way to decide to take an answer with a grain of salt.

One example of something that happened to me recently: A person who doesn't have English listed in their profile either as a source or target language sent me some rude comments about my English, which is my native language.

Because I am also a native speaker of Portuguese - though not a native Writer in Portuguese, this individual started telling me that my Spanish to English answers, were Portuñol, ie Spanish and Portuguese mixed together! Incredible....my Spanish is non native but I speak it fluently and certainly do not mix Spanish structure with Portuguese structure.

I think answerers that answer into a target language that is not one of their pairs should be asterisked.


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Olivia MAHÉ  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:56
English to French
+ ...
That's funny Sep 29, 2005

"I think answerers that answer into a target language that is not one of their pairs should be asterisked."

Interesting. Shall the asterisk be yellow?

And, by the way, are you also native or fluent in French? Because categorical "disagrees" should be justified too... preferably with a comment in the target language, to show how proficient you are!

Now, I think that the indicator would not solve the problem, because you can declare any language as your native one, nobody's going to check if it's true. And I'm afraid many members use the peer comments at random, simply to make themselves more visible...


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 10:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
A comment from an alleged bilingual Oct 1, 2005

Hello

Some years ago I wasn't a translator but I already was a bilingual. I was eager to have the ability to show the whole world that I was a bilingual translator, although as a translator I had many things to learn yet.
Proz.com isn't yet validating the second language but in the meantime I became a translator and was able to get clients who "use" me for any of my pairs. I have met many translators who are not bilingual who are not good translators too.
And I came to the conclusion that what we say (in our profile or anywhere) is not what matters. You know people by their acts, their answers, their attitude. No matter what they say.
I hadn't put my native icon in my profile because I didn't want two grey icons. I had to do so recently when suddenly I discovered that I was moderating a pair in which I wasn't allowed to answer some questions, when natives were required.

I want to explain with this introduction that I don't believe or trust any label, asterisk or star. What matters is not visible.

Maybe there are other solutions for the problems you encounter in the Pt-En pair?

Claudia


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Indication of peer's native language under "peer comments" in KudoZ

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