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Regional Variations in KudoZ Suggestions (how to approach them)
Thread poster: Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes

Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:17
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Jan 28, 2006

I want to bring up an issue that has bothered me for a while. It is the fact that (at least in one of my language pairs) people disagree with suggestions simply based on the fact that that particular suggestion is not the term used in their region or country.

I know that sometimes the asker will determine what variation he or she wants and that has made me skip several questions because I am not going to pitch in on something I don't know. But most of the time, the asker does not state what his/her preference is, and I think every and any suggestion should be welcome. I can only imagine what happens with languages like Spanish, for example.

The other members could state that that particular suggestion would not work in some country or would mean something else under an “agree” or a “neutral.” I think that is commendable.

I don't want to get into many details or name names, but I was really annoyed today when I suggested a term quite commonly used in Brazil that was rejected by another member from Portugal saying that that particular term “doesn’t exist.” The asker in this particular case is from Brazil and I know she will laugh that one off, but I don't understand how someone can make such a strong statement.

If the asker is not familiar with those particularities, such irresponsible statements wouldn’t do him/her any good. It would only confuse him or her.

That's just my opinion, but I wonder how the other members feel about this.


[Edited at 2006-01-29 17:58]


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PB Trans

Local time: 11:17
French to English
+ ...
I agree Jan 29, 2006

I agree with your post, Sormane. Disagrees should only be used if the answer is wrong. Putting a "disagree" or even a "neutral" when the answer is correct in that country or region can offend the answerer and confuse the asker.

I also think that a "neutral" is inappropriate(if the asker did not specify the target audience). An "agree" with a note of explanation is all that is needed.

I've seen it happen quite a lot with French-language Kudoz... especially with variations between French from Canada and other countries. I had someone from France tell me that my answer for something as simple as "Happy Birthday" was wrong when it is perfectly acceptable and widely used in Quebec.

And it happens with English too... UK vs North America.

That brings me back to my pet peeve... people should really state their target audience.

[Edited at 2006-01-29 01:06]

[Edited at 2006-01-29 01:14]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:17
English to Spanish
+ ...
State origin and destination Jan 29, 2006

I think that askers could start by stating the origin of the source text and the destination of the translation. In offering an answer it ia also good to state one's regional or country "dialect" if there is any idea that there might be regional verisons. Of course there are cases when we fail to suspect the existence of regional variations.

In Spanish this question comes up often, but fortunately most people are respectful of our many regional variations. I know that the difference between European and Brazilian Portuguese has become rather significant, to the point that some have suggested that speakers of one variety of the language should not even translate for speakers of the other; they're just to far apart.

I feel fortunate to get agrees all the way from the Río Bravo (where I live) to the Río de la Plata and beyond, and across the sea to the Madre Patria, and to give agrees there as well. We are all united by language, and more important, we should feel united by our love of language regardless of our differences.


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Gabriela Frazao  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:17
Member (2002)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Let me say that... Jan 29, 2006

... as far as Portuguese/Brazilian language is concerned, I must say that there is lot of terminological and technical diferences.

Well, if your translations are to be for EU Portuguese, you can always refer that in your questions.

Cheers
Gabriela Frazao



Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes wrote:

I want to bring up an issue that has bothered me for a while. It is the fact that (at least in one of my language pairs) people disagree with suggestions simply based on the fact that that particular suggestion is not the term used in their region or country.

I know that sometimes the asker will determine what variation he or she wants and that has made me skip several questions because I am not going to pitch in on something I don't know. But most of the time, the asker does not state what his/her preference is, and I think every and any suggestion should be welcome. I can only imagine what happens with languages like Spanish, for example.

The other members could state that that particular suggestion would not work in some country or would mean something else under an “agree” or a “neutral.” I think that is commendable.

I don't want to get into many details or name names, but I was really annoyed today when I suggested a term quite commonly used in Brazil that was rejected by another member from Portugal saying that that particular term “doesn’t exist.” The asker in this particular case is from Brazil and I know she will laugh that one off, but I don't understand how someone can make such a strong statement.

If the asker is not familiar with those particularities, such irresponsible statements wouldn’t do him/her any good. It would only confuse him or her.

That's just my opinion, but I wonder how the other members feel about this.


[Edited at 2006-01-28 23:55]


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Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:17
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Precisely my point. Jan 29, 2006

Gabriela Frazao wrote:

... as far as Portuguese/Brazilian language is concerned, I must say that there is lot of terminological and technical diferences.



Precisely my point, and that should be respected.


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Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 10:17
German to English
+ ...
Make dialect setting obligatory Jan 29, 2006

I have seen too many Kudoz questions where an answer is given in UK (or US) English, another answerer comes along and makes a trivially different suggestion in the other variant (like changing one letter to amend the spelling), and nicks the points from the other person having done the hard work when the (dumb) asker says "oh, I picked the second answer because it was in UK/US which was the one I actually wanted". Well, nice if you said so at the start!

Some education of answerers and peers would be nice too - I have had negative comments from US English speakers saying "absolutely no-one says XXX", when XXX is actually a common term used in the UK and I have provided relevant references! It is unprofessional to consider that the dialect of English you use, be it UK, US or any other variant is the dialect of default.


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:17
German to English
+ ...
Hear, hear Jan 29, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:
We are all united by language, and more important, we should feel united by our love of language regardless of our differences.


I couldn't agree more.

BTW - I (personally) think a "neutral" would be just fine in a case where I have never heard of the word. How could I honestly agree (or disagree, for that matter), if I don't know?


[Edited at 2006-01-29 11:32]


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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
English-Portuguese pair Jan 30, 2006

Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes wrote:

I want to bring up an issue that has bothered me for a while. It is the fact that (at least in one of my language pairs) people disagree with suggestions simply based on the fact that that particular suggestion is not the term used in their region or country.


Hi Sormane,

Happy to know I am not the only one who has noticed this. I believe this is a minority operating in the English-Portuguese pair of KudoZ.

I am lucky to participate in the English-Spanish pair where this is uncommon. Each person gives his/her answer according to his origin and the asker is free (no coercion) to see where the person is from and choose the best answer. So, when you access the term search you find many valuable answers (from different countries) for each question with no rude or unnecessary comments.

I even had situations where my answer in PT-Brazil was questioned by a colleague from Portugal and then many other colleagues (from Portugal) agreed with my answer. This shows this is only a minority so you should ignore them and moderators should be watchful.

Best
Fred


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Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:17
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you. Jan 31, 2006

Thank you all very much for taking the time to post your comments.

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gad
United States
Local time: 06:17
Member
French to English
You are correct Feb 7, 2006

Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes wrote:

The other members could state that that particular suggestion would not work in some country or would mean something else under an “agree” or a “neutral.” I think that is commendable.

I don't want to get into many details or name names, but I was really annoyed today when I suggested a term quite commonly used in Brazil that was rejected by another member from Portugal saying that that particular term “doesn’t exist.” The asker in this particular case is from Brazil and I know she will laugh that one off, but I don't understand how someone can make such a strong statement.

If the asker is not familiar with those particularities, such irresponsible statements wouldn’t do him/her any good. It would only confuse him or her.

That's just my opinion, but I wonder how the other members feel about this.


I feel the same way. I think it's absolutely rude, and furthermore it totally detracts from the quality of KudoZ, for someone to arrogantly post "disagrees" to an answer that CAN BE correct. I've seen people do that who obviously practically sit on this site since they are all over the place at all times, yet they somehow never add anything constructive - like a good answer or an "agree", even - to the site. But, even those who normally do add to the site should use discretion before just piping in and making such claims about a perfectly good answer, that just may not happen to be the preferred answer in that case, as being incorrect, when in fact it is not. I think that irresponsible, rude, shows little or no respect for the site and those who use it, and probably it violates the KudoZ rules - or at least, it violates the SPIRIT of KudoZ, for sure.

And you are correct, what if a less experienced (asker) translator does not know the difference enough to laugh off such comments, and then that person will think that these perfectly good suggestions are not correct, when they in fact are? Then bad habits are created - and that is how these ignorant comments further detract from the translation industry as a whole, because it doesn't help the Asker, it hurts the Asker, and ultimately the client as well. So I think that people who make such comments honestly do not care about the translation industry, and translating in general as a profession that should be respected, that person only cares about him/herself.

That's how I see it.

[Edited at 2006-02-07 18:08]


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gad
United States
Local time: 06:17
Member
French to English
Not surprizing Feb 7, 2006

Pina Nunes wrote:

I've seen it happen quite a lot with French-language Kudoz... especially with variations between French from Canada and other countries.


This doesn't surprize me, since there are definitely those individuals in the French to English language pair who post totally inappropriate, rude, uneducated and unprofessional comments.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 12:17
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
agree completely-differences should be respected, not disagreed with Feb 8, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:

I think that askers could start by stating the origin of the source text and the destination of the translation. In offering an answer it ia also good to state one's regional or country "dialect" if there is any idea that there might be regional verisons. Of course there are cases when we fail to suspect the existence of regional variations.

In Spanish this question comes up often, but fortunately most people are respectful of our many regional variations. I know that the difference between European and Brazilian Portuguese has become rather significant, to the point that some have suggested that speakers of one variety of the language should not even translate for speakers of the other; they're just to far apart.

I feel fortunate to get agrees all the way from the Río Bravo (where I live) to the Río de la Plata and beyond, and across the sea to the Madre Patria, and to give agrees there as well. We are all united by language, and more important, we should feel united by our love of language regardless of our differences.



As translators, we should enjoy seeing and learning about the different variations in source and target languages. The key for avoiding misunderstandings and unnecessary disagrees is for Asker to make things clear from the start.


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