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Thanking those who "agree"
Thread poster: Gerard Michael Burns

Gerard Michael Burns
Paraguay
Local time: 07:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 22, 2005

Obviously there are both negatives and positives that arise from the somewhat competetive atmosphere of Kudoz, and certainly I'd say the positives prevail. But there is one practice which I think has a destructive effect on the search for right answers. That is the practice of Answerer's thanking (sometimes effusively)those who "agree" with their answers.
Doing this takes us away from the idea that it is the "Asker" who we are all, I hope, trying to help, and if I agree with someone's answer, I am not trying to help them, but the Asker.
The practice of Answerer's thanking those who "agree" sometimes makes Kudoz look like a high-school popularity contest, rather than a venue for finding the best answer to the query.
I apologize if this offends anyone, I'm sure those who do this have been unaware of the impression it creates.

Gerard "Michael" Burns


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:25
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
It's a personal choice Dec 22, 2005

There's nothing wrong with thanking others for taking their time to contribute (particularly in the form of peer comments). Nevertheless, no one is obligated to do it - it's a personal choice.

Also, this topic has been raised before. Perhaps by searching the forums you will find some valuable thoughts on the issue.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:25
German to English
Thanking those who "agree" Dec 22, 2005

Gerard Michael Burns wrote:

But there is one practice which I think has a destructive effect on the search for right answers. That is the practice of Answerer's thanking (sometimes effusively)those who "agree" with their answers.
Doing this takes us away from the idea that it is the "Asker" who we are all, I hope, trying to help, and if I agree with someone's answer, I am not trying to help them, but the Asker.
The practice of Answerer's thanking those who "agree" sometimes makes Kudoz look like a high-school popularity contest, rather than a venue for finding the best answer to the query.


I wholeheartedly share your concern, Michael, and I think you've summed up the problem nicely. It is in fact a problem because askers can be misled.

But here's another problem: whereas many colleagues do in fact appear to be getting things confused, i.e. placing the emphasis on the idea of winning a contest instead of primarily seeking to help the asker and getting the best possible translation into the KudoZ glossary, just as many participants who thank people when they've agreed have no such ulterior motives - they are simply being polite and friendly.

Kim


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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
A personal choice Dec 22, 2005

I have thought a lot about this and although I don't 'thank' for the agrees I believe it is a personal choice.

I like to think that as a translator I value my words, and when I use them they are not part of the landscape, but they have a meaning.

However, I don't mind anybody thanking me. I believe it is just friendly and maybe someday I will do it. Maybe if everybody stops thanking, because then it will not be part of the landscape.

[Edited at 2005-12-22 19:14]

[Edited at 2005-12-22 19:15]


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John Walsh  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:25
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Exactly Dec 22, 2005

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

There's nothing wrong with thanking others for taking their time to contribute (particularly in the form of peer comments). Nevertheless, no one is obligated to do it - it's a personal choice.


How about adding a "you're welcome" feature? Just kidding of course.
I appreciate it when busy translators take their time to agree with me. So I always thank them.


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Abdellatif Bouhid  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:25
English to French
+ ...
Community building Dec 22, 2005

The sense of belonging to a community is a strong motive and a source of joy. Expressing thanks and receiving them is one way to contribute to that feeling.

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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:25
German to English
+ ...
Agree Dec 22, 2005

Kim Metzger wrote:




But here's another problem: whereas many colleagues do in fact appear to be getting things confused, i.e. placing the emphasis on the idea of winning a contest instead of primarily seeking to help the asker and getting the best possible translation into the KudoZ glossary...

Kim [/quote]

'Thanks' Kim I agree fully. It should not be a turkey shoot and I personally think that issue is more important than that of whether to thank or not to.

Best
Chris


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pidzej  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:25
Polish to English
+ ...
Disagree Dec 22, 2005

John Walsh wrote:

I appreciate it when busy translators take their time to agree with me. So I always thank them.


Then I assume you do not thank those who disagree, despite the fact that while you can agree perfunctorily, losing hardly any time at all, you must put much more effort into disagreeing (even in the guise of a "neutral" comment): checking your dictionaries, the Web, KudoZ history, writing and substantiating your disagreement. So, if anybody deserves to be thanked for poring over your suggestion, it's the dissenters, no?
No, I do not think it's about being polite as much as about being sincerely grateful. Unless you thank the disagreers profusely, and the agreers just routinely, pro rata to each one's effort.
Besides, the purpose of peer comments has always been "to help the Asker decide", so the "agree" is not for you but for the asker, who is the only one to be thankful. But you can always say Hi in all the reply boxes and I will be terribly frustrated trying to find anything wrong with that.
PJ


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:25
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Thanking those who agree - again Dec 22, 2005

This topic has been discussed extensively before.

http://www.proz.com/topic/30065


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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:25
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Thanks for disagreeing Dec 22, 2005

Kim hit the nail on the head. The idea is to get a good translation for today and (even more important) for the future.

So, imo a disagree is more important than an agree any day, and I’ll definitely appreciate that and answer someone who disagrees. Because you can be wrong, and if no one tells you, then you might carry on being wrong forever, and even pass that wrong on to many others in the future.

Having people agree with you is nice, if someone clicks a button, ok. If someone takes the time to write a nice comment like “I think that’s brilliant” or “Great research” that’s worth a word of thanks.

But more than anything else, thanks to those who aren’t afraid to disagree and take the time to state their case, because no one is perfect, and we all have something to learn, and there are some wrong entries in the kudos list.
Feel free to disagree.

Jo


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xxxTadzio
English to Spanish
I Like Kudoz' Agree Box... Dec 22, 2005

I like the agree box because it is a very nice way to say hello and get acquainted with & by our colleagues. If Gerard does not want to thank anybody, don't do it pues, but at least say "Hi, there! How are you doing? How's the weather over there? Is it cold in Spain, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, or whatever...?" You'll always get a warmest response.
On the other hand, when colleagues disagree, they'll always explain why, and this is a finest way to learn new terms you can apply to your own translations. (I mean, this is what it's all about, ¿no?)
Kind regards,
Tadzio.


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gad
United States
Local time: 07:25
Member
French to English
Yes, this topic has been discussed extensively before Dec 23, 2005

Michele Fauble wrote:

This topic has been discussed extensively before.

http://www.proz.com/topic/30065




I was just going to post this link.


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gad
United States
Local time: 07:25
Member
French to English
It depends Dec 23, 2005

Jo Macdonald wrote:

So, imo a disagree is more important than an agree any day, and I’ll definitely appreciate that and answer someone who disagrees. Because you can be wrong, and if no one tells you, then you might carry on being wrong forever, and even pass that wrong on to many others in the future.

Jo



I see what you mean and while that is true in many instances, there are instances where the disagreer: is downright rude and engages in personal attacks, and/or is WRONG but insists that s/he is RIGHT, and/or it a chronic disagreer and/or all of the above.

I think for one thing, it takes a lot away from the whole idea of a "disagree" if you have someone who does it all the time (except to his/her "buddies" of course). I can think of individuals who fall into this category, and I don't consider their input to be the least bit constructive.

However, your point about CONSTRUCTIVE disagrees is a good one.:)

[Edited at 2005-12-23 02:06]


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
As Mikhail and Tadzio say, it is a personal choice Dec 23, 2005

I am with Mikhail in his view that thanking, or commenting on, "agrees" or "disagrees" is a personal choice. I also concur with John that it is polite to thank people who have taken the time to "agree", especially if they have added a comment. And I agree with Tadzio that the short exchanges offer an opportunity to get acquainted with peers.

I also think it rather simplistic to scorn all "agrees" as proceding from an immature high-school cheerleading mentality and to laud all "disagrees" as being the product of considered, probing thought. If I get an "agree" from someone who is evidently a skilled and accomplished translator, this means something to me and certainly does merit a "thank you". If I get a "disagree" with an accompanying comment that does not adequately explain the reason for disagreement, then I certainly won't set great store by it.

I will note in passing that one of the things I do find irritating is when a person habitually agrees with more than one answer to a single question. This defeats the main purpose of the system, which is, as Gerard points out, to help the asker decide which answer is most helpful.

On the other hand, I think it rather disingenuous to imply that competitiveness and showcasing one's skills is *not* part of the dynamic at play in a forum like Kudoz. Really now, if altruistic desire to help the asker were the only motivation behind participation, there would be very few persons answering questions, and many a hapless inquirer would be waiting days, if not weeks, for answers to arrive so that they could complete their translations.

[Edited at 2005-12-23 02:45]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
I always try to reciprocate Dec 23, 2005

Since the feature is there I always try to reciprocate because it provides a small opportunity to interact with colleagues and friends over great distances. On the other hand, the asker is still free to objectively evaluate all the answers, while those who agree can often provide a few more gems of their own.

I don't look at it as a popularity contest. It is a place where we help one another, and where people are thankful for the help. It is also a place where we can just look at the answers, agree or disagree (or neutral) and yet continue learning at the same time.

Over time our personalities become defined by these features, and they humanize the potentially anonymous and dehumanized world the Internet can be. In fact I believe this last factor is the one most important virtue of the response to the "agree", because it allows us to project an image that we may otherwise not have.


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