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Disagree or simply...find a better answer?
Thread poster: trufflejus
trufflejus  Identity Verified
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Jan 9, 2006

I had been thinking about this when debating whether or not to disagree with an answer someone else posted. I was glad to see that someone else had the same doubt on an earlier post, although he was talking about agreeing while adding clarification. It begs the question of what is the real value of disagreeing or agreeing and adding clarification. I have my opinion but I am interested in hearing what all of you have to say.

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David Brown  Identity Verified
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Disagree Jan 9, 2006

I too have posted a query regarding disagree, but purely on the colour of the word. Disagree with a reason why can be extremely helpful, at times more so than an agree. Recently I saw a question in Kudoz where an answerer had 5 or 6 agrees to something which was almost certainly wrong, but I felt disagreeing with the other seemed too much like chiding.
I don't know the answer to this one.


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
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Previous discussion related to this topic Jan 9, 2006

http://www.proz.com/topic/37068

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trufflejus  Identity Verified
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TOPIC STARTER
Appreciated! Jan 9, 2006

GoodWords wrote:

http://www.proz.com/topic/37068[/quote]

Thanks! I did some further reading after I posted my topic and found this one. I was curious to see what your answer was! Well, maybe some new users will chime in here. I have some thoughts on your answer but let's let this run for a bit and then I will get back to you.

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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
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Find a better answer Jan 9, 2006

Hi Justin,

Imo disagree if you think there is the risk that a wrong term will find its way into the glossary. This obviously means you should take the time to explain why you think it’s wrong of course, in your humble opinion.

If there isn’t already a better answer and you’re going to disagree I think you should be qualified to give reasons for that, and provide what you think is a better answer too.
If someone else has already given a better answer, an agree with that is more or less the same as a disagree with the ones you think are less appropriate.

Giving what you believe to be a better answer is certainly more diplomatic and constructive than just disagreeing and giving no alternative answer. Put your head on the block for the benefit of everyone’s knowledge, and to give the others the chance to disagree with you too of course.

Some wrong answers will find themselves into the system anyway, and be chosen as right. After all everyone has their own opinion of right and wrong, but it’s not getting your answer chosen that’s so important, it’s providing what you think is the best possible answer for future reference, because if someone looks up a term and doesn’t like the chosen answer, they might like yours.
Kudos for that.


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trufflejus  Identity Verified
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interesting perspective Jan 9, 2006

Jo Macdonald wrote:



Some wrong answers will find themselves into the system anyway, and be chosen as right. After all everyone has their own opinion of right and wrong, but it’s not getting your answer chosen that’s so important, it’s providing what you think is the best possible answer for future reference, because if someone looks up a term and doesn’t like the chosen answer, they might like yours.
Kudos for that.



I like that last part. That's an aspect of it that I hadn't thought of.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
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"Disagree" should be used judiciously Jan 9, 2006

In my view, a "Disagree" should be reserved for instances where, in the qualified judgment of the responder, the answer offered is just plain wrong. Any doubts regarding an answer that don't meet this standard would merit a neutral.

I also agree that, in either case, it is preferable to offer an alternative choice, and I would add that I think it perfectly appropriate to make a case for why your proposed answer is better than other choices thus far offered.

Contrary to what David Brown said, I think that it is probably even more important to express doubt about an answer that you have grounds to believe is wrong when that answer carries a number of agrees, for it is in such a circumstance that it is more likely to be chosen by the asker, used in a translation, and perhaps even find its way into the glossary. And, what's more, the system is undermined when incorrect answers are frequently awarded points.

In conclusion, I would say that "Disagrees" need not be backed up with references, but they certainly ought to be justified by reasoning that could be readily understood by any reasonably informed person. Thus, "no native speaker would say it like that" could be a valid reason for a "Disagree", and would allow other translators to consider whether or not such is in fact the case.

[Edited at 2006-01-09 23:54]


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Andy Watkinson
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Hey Jo(e)!** Jan 10, 2006

"If there isn’t already a better answer and you’re going to disagree I think you should be qualified to give reasons for that, and provide what you think is a better answer too."

I agree with "I think you should be qualified to give reasons for that".
In fact, it's compulsory as far as I know to give a reason when disagreeing.

What I'm afraid I don't agree with is "and provide what you think is a better answer too."

On numerous occasions I see an answer which is patently wrong. It's not a question of style, register, even preferred wording; the answerer simply hasn't even understood the question, let alone come close to providing an acceptable answer.

At that time I don't have time / can't be bothered / to find "my own answer" - but I know full well that that particular answer is incorrect.

It's my "duty" to warn others that, in my opinion, the answer is unreliable, if not on occasions absolutely ludicrous.

Saludos,
Andy

** Couldn't resist it


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gad
United States
Local time: 11:16
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French to English
Well said, Jo Jan 10, 2006

Jo Macdonald wrote:

If there isn’t already a better answer and you’re going to disagree I think you should be qualified to give reasons for that, and provide what you think is a better answer too.
If someone else has already given a better answer, an agree with that is more or less the same as a disagree with the ones you think are less appropriate.

Giving what you believe to be a better answer is certainly more diplomatic and constructive than just disagreeing and giving no alternative answer. Put your head on the block for the benefit of everyone’s knowledge, and to give the others the chance to disagree with you too of course.



Yes, I do wonder when someone sees fit to come along and "disagree", yet does not propose his/her own answer. I also think it's more constructive for members to post many more "agrees" than "disagrees", and I don't understand why it would ever be the opposite, as that is absolutely not constructive.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 17:16
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A neutral or disagree can be very helpful when there are a lot of agrees to an incorrect answer Jan 10, 2006

Robert Forstag wrote:


Contrary to what David Brown said, I think that it is probably even more important to express doubt about an answer that you have grounds to believe is wrong when that answer carries a number of agrees, for it is in such a circumstance that it is more likely to be chosen by the asker, used in a translation, and perhaps even find its way into the glossary. And, what's more, the system is undermined when incorrect answers are frequently awarded points.



Imo, Robert has made an excellent point. Really incorrect (ie not 'matter of opinion') answers are chosen very often nowadays and make their way to the glossary. If the mistake isn't caught by a moderator, then it could go on to mislead others who are looking up the term. Neutrals or disagrees do provide feedback and may save someone from using that answer. I use the glossary a lot for German and French and am amazed at how often the right term is on the page but was not the one Asker chose.


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
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Why disagree without offering an alternative? Here's why. Jan 10, 2006

gad wrote:
Yes, I do wonder when someone sees fit to come along and "disagree", yet does not propose his/her own answer.


My second-language skills in my non-native language are stronger in a passive mode (understanding) than in an active mode (creating). Therefore, sometimes when a query term is in my native language, I readily recognize that an answerer has understood the term wrongly, but I am unable to compose a correct answer and must leave it to those whose composition skills in the target language (my second language) are better than mine.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
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"Disagree" or "Neutral" Jan 10, 2006

GoodWords makes a good point, although my own view is that, in the sort of case that she describes (in which one has a strong feeling, or even *knows*, that a proposed answer is incorrect, but is unable to offer an alternative) that a "Neutral", rather than a "Disagree" is appropriate. Again, I think "Disagree" should be reserved for instances when a concrete reason supporting it can be cited. The Kudoz rules themselves also *require* that some reason be provided along with a "Disagree".

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
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Response Jan 10, 2006

Robert Forstag wrote:

GoodWords makes a good point, although my own view is that, in the sort of case that she describes (in which one has a strong feeling, or even *knows*, that a proposed answer is incorrect, but is unable to offer an alternative) that a "Neutral", rather than a "Disagree" is appropriate. Again, I think "Disagree" should be reserved for instances when a concrete reason supporting it can be cited. The Kudoz rules themselves also *require* that some reason be provided along with a "Disagree".


I "disagree" with some of what you say I believe that a "disagree" response is appropriate when a suggested answer is unequivocably wrong. As you say, the system does not permit a "disagree" response without a supporting comment. I don't see that a solution that I can definitively classify as incorrect would be any less wrong just because my second-language skills are not sufficient to provide a better alternative.

A "neutral" answer, to me, doesn't mean "your answer is incorrect, but I don't have a better alternative," or "your answer is incorrect, but I don't want to hurt your feelings with a 'disagree'". I find "neutral" appropriate for cases when, for example, the meaning of the query term has been interpreted correctly, but the suggested solution is not completely adequate. For instance "this answer, while not strictly wrong, is not appropriate for the context" or "although this expression is correct in your country, it is not used in the country of the translated text", "literally correct, but native speakers say it a different way", "literal meaning correct, but not register", or any other number of cases.

[Edited at 2006-01-10 22:27]


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gad
United States
Local time: 11:16
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French to English
That makes sense for an individual question but Jan 11, 2006

GoodWords wrote:

My second-language skills in my non-native language are stronger in a passive mode (understanding) than in an active mode (creating). Therefore, sometimes when a query term is in my native language, I readily recognize that an answerer has understood the term wrongly, but I am unable to compose a correct answer and must leave it to those whose composition skills in the target language (my second language) are better than mine.


I understand that, but I was also referring to someone who chooses to "disagree" as a habit. If it's a chronic thing, and if that person REALLY is in the situation you mentioned, then I would also think that person can "agree" AT LEAST as often, if not more often. Does such a person think that MOST of the answers given on this site are SO wrong, that they merit the "disagree"? And if that is the case, then why would this person frequent the site?

While it is true that in SOME cases, a person might have good reason to "disagree" without posting an alternative answer, I think this practice is not really that constructive, particularly when it is SUCH a habit that it is chronic.

[Edited at 2006-01-11 02:38]


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RHELLER
United States
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French to English
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follow proz rules please Jan 14, 2006

Thank you, GoodWords for linking to previous discussion in which Walter Landesman cites the rules (see below).

To moderators: why aren't you enforcing these rules? IMO, it would be better to have less rules than have arbitrary enforcement.

"I also suggest you to read KudoZ rules carefully for more information. Just in case, I am posting below some excerpts. I hope you find them useful."

"4.2 If you answer KudoZ questions, be prepared for colleagues to comment both positively and negatively on your terminology. Do not take it personally5.1 - Agrees and disagrees should be based solely on linguistic evaluation of answers provided
5.3 - To disagree, one must enter linguistic justification. Personal comments are strictly prohibit."

Walter Landesman


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