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Ideas to encourage further (proper) use of the KudoZ disagree feature
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 03:58
SITE FOUNDER
Aug 11, 2006

Ideas presented for KudoZ, to encourage further (proper) use of the disagree feature to improve the quality of KudoZ discourse:

* Making disagrees blue (or colorless) (Nik-On/Off, langnet)

* Listing examples of clearly personal comments of the type that are not permitted. (Kim)

* Show the names of those who have hidden answers and their reasons given". (Cilian)

Thoughts?

.......................................

History: cbolton's "disagree drive" thread had to be locked due to rules violations. I am reposting to get feedback on a few concrete proposals that arose in that discussion that I feel are worthy of consideration.

I would ask any participants in this new thread to post your thoughts on these proposals with just one or two posts.

Thanks in advance!


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 09:58
English to German
+ ...
Publish all Aug 11, 2006

Hello Henry,
Kudoz was / is and would remain a translator´s game, it is only about the reaction time and the right term ( as far as I understand) I would suggest, just to leave Kudoz as game as it was so far, without any further politics. Many participants may brag about this, but this is a game in every respect. Best Brandis


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:58
Member
English to Turkish
My feedback Aug 11, 2006

* Making disagrees blue (or colorless) (Nik-On/Off, langnet)

Disagree This has been tried (the 'disagree' was purple for some time) and reverted. Personally, I don't see any value at this: if the color red has a psychological effect, we are supposed to be professional adults engaging in a high-level intellectual pursuit as terminological discussion, something above and beyond the immediate psychological reaction, that is. We are neither kids, nor laboratory animals. And we are not here to create a rose-colored unreal world as in the movie The Village where the color red is banned exactly for the same reason: too much passion. I am for elaborating on more down-to-earth suggestions instead, and I do like the color red.

* Listing examples of clearly personal comments of the type that are not permitted. (Kim)

Neutral Do you mean under the Kudoz rules, just like the one in our forum rules? Might work, but please this time don't make it Jenny!

* Show the names of those who have hidden answers and their reasons given". (Cilian)

Agree An alternative might be making it impossible to hide an answer after a certain time, just like the new 24-hour rule in the forums. This way, you should have enough time to hide your answer if you unwillingly posted duplicate answers, posted an outright wrong answer due to haste or misunderstanding of the question (sunny side: next time you won't make a hasty answer without understanding first!), or posted exactly the same answer as the one posted 30 seconds ago without seeing it. But it shouldn't be possible to hide an answer just because you got disagrees... However, I think that in Kudoz it should be a couple of hours, not 24.




Two general comments I'd like to make: firstly, in my opinion, when it comes to disagreeing, or rather, openly expressing disagreement, there is a cultural element at play here, and we cannot change this by way of new Kudoz rules. Even if we considered this cultural difference a problem calling for solution -and I do not- there would be no immediate solution to this under any forum discussion, either.

Secondly, as the member of a small Kudoz SC where things are rather smooth, where people respect rules and unwanted behavior can be easily contained and correction fastly encouraged, I am slowly getting tired of having everything changed and changed and then changed again in Kudoz. I appreciate the effort and eloquency invested in related forum discussions, but perhaps it would be much better if the posters began their postings describing the "xxx problem in the xxx SC" instead of "the Kudoz problem." Perhaps, this way it will turn out that all we need is increase the number of moderators in big pairs...

[Edited at 2006-08-11 16:27]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 03:58
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Özden Aug 11, 2006

Özden Arıkan wrote:
...perhaps it would be much better if the posters began their postings describing the "xxx problem in the xxx SC" instead of "the Kudoz problem." Perhaps, this way it will turn out that all we need is increase the number of moderators in big pairs...

That may be. Still, I think there are things we can improve and we should keep our minds open.

Thanks for posting your reactions to the proposals!


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María Teresa Taylor Oliver  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 03:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
My opinion... Aug 11, 2006

Özden Arıkan wrote:

Disagree This has been tried (the 'disagree' was purple for some time) and reverted. Personally, I don't see any value at this: if the color red has a psychological effect, we are supposed to be professional adults engaging in a high-level intellectual pursuit as terminological discussion, something above and beyond the immediate psychological reaction, that is. We are neither kids, nor laboratory animals.


I agree. I think it's not so much the color of a disagree or the disagree per se, but rather the manner in which it is given and the reason behind it. I have received disagrees, of course, and they usually don't bother me (and we must admit it, we're human and we don't tend to take criticism lightly), as long as it's backed by a valid linguistic reason and in a polite tone. This is the same criteria I use for giving disagrees, which I sometimes feel I need to give.

After all, why can't we be polite? Wasn't it Voltaire who said "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

The way I see it, disagrees are necessary, not only for the obvious reason of helping the asker avoid a completely wrong answer, but also, to improve the quality of the glossaries.


Listing examples of clearly personal comments of the type that are not permitted. (Kim)


I don't get it. Maybe I should read the locked topic... *scratches head*


Agree An alternative might be making it impossible to hide an answer after a certain time, just like the new 24-hour rule in the forums. This way, you should have enough time to hide your answer if you unwillingly posted duplicate answers, posted an outright wrong answer due to haste or misunderstanding of the question (sunny side: next time you won't make a hasty answer without understanding first!), or posted exactly the same answer as the one posted 30 seconds ago without seeing it. But it shouldn't be possible to hide an answer just because you got disagrees... However, I think that in Kudoz it should be a couple of hours, not 24.


I don't completely agree, as I don't see a reason for making visible the names of those who have hidden answers and their reasons... What for? I don't get it. I have hidden questions myself in the past, after realizing that I had misinterpreted the question (regardless of the fact that I had agrees or disagrees). And as I understand it, the idea is not to confuse the asker, right?





[Edited at 2006-08-11 17:32]


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Eva T
English to Albanian
+ ...
One disagree and two agrees :) :) Aug 11, 2006

Henry wrote:

Ideas presented for KudoZ, to encourage further (proper) use of the disagree feature to improve the quality of KudoZ discourse:

* Making disagrees blue (or colorless) (Nik-On/Off, langnet)


Disagree: I don't think it matters the color you write it with. I think it is the reason why you disagree that makes people upset.

* Listing examples of clearly personal comments of the type that are not permitted. (Kim)


Agree. That is fine with me.

* Show the names of those who have hidden answers and their reasons given". (Cilian)


Definitely Agree. This might slow down some quick answers. If they still want to hide the answers, fine, but at least we can all see who they are


Eva


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:58
German to English
Personal vs. linguistic comments Aug 11, 2006

María Teresa Taylor Oliver wrote:


Listing examples of clearly personal comments of the type that are not permitted. (Kim)


I don't get it. Maybe I should read the locked topic... *scratches head*



Hi, María Teresa - I hope this will clarify things.

Amy Williams wrote:

I added a disagree the other day to a machine translation answer (answerer openly stated it was a machine translation) on the Italian to English site and it was removed by a moderator for being too personal. I'm not quite sure how "unbelievable!" is personal, but anyway, I went ahead and changed my comment to a rather more robotic "this is an incorrect rendering of the phrase", to which I then received the pleasant reply "I HAVE UNDERSTOOD,teacher! AMEN!!!". I did indeed believe (and still believe) that the translation given was "unbelievable". It wasn't especially helpful to anyone and was in a highly specialist field, too. At least the answerer in question admitted their mistake, but surely answers like this should be discouraged? I'm all for keeping the tone professional, but there's just too much sitting on what is now a severely sagging fence. IMO moderator support is vital in this.



You've raised an excellent point, Amy. When does a peer comment cross the line from the linguistic to the personal? We need to deal with this. I happen to agree with the moderator you mentioned that "unbelievable!" on its own wouldn't qualify as a linguistic comment. A good linguistic comment would have to point out what was wrong with the translation, but I understand the sentiment you wanted to convey. Some rubbish answers are so awfully bad that they take your breath away and don't really deserve much of an analysis because it is so obvious to any translator in the language pair that the answer is absurd.

We can easily draw up a list of clearly personal peer comments, such as "you're a moron". As soon as we get into name calling and stinging sarcasm we've crossed the line (in these forums as well as in KudoZ). But conscientious professional translators are rightfully offended by some of the garbage they see in KudoZ and need a way to express their justifiable outrage without getting into trouble.

In one of the other threads related to this topic a moderator wrote: "According to rule http://www.proz.com/siterules/kudoz_answ/3.5#3.5 peer comments must be purely linguistic and include no personal comments. Therefore there should be no comments in addition to the peer's linguistic reasoning in the particular situation."

I think some guidelines are called for and in this thread http://www.proz.com/topic/51612 Klaus Herrmann offered some interesting ideas:

Klaus Herrmann wrote:

Kim Metzger wrote:
Maybe we could formulate responses that are purely linguistic and that won't be regarded as personal as guidelines for peer comments.


Here's some:
• Not used by target audience: The suggested translation may be understood but is not used by target audience.
• Out of context: The suggested translation may be found in a dico, but is not applicable in the given context.
• Technically wrong: The suggested translation may be found in a dico but is technically wrong
• Non-native - The suggested translation exists but no native speaker has used the suggested translation in this way before.
• Does not exist: The suggested translation does not exist in the target language.
• Unrelated to question: There is no connection between Q&A (think twice before checking this one!)

Modifiers:
+ Sorry.
+ Google doesn't prove a thing
+ is not a compelling reason
+ German uses umlauts and hyphens.

The options above are some of the typical objections one could have. The modifiers are a joke (sort of).



[Edited at 2006-08-11 21:55]


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 05:58
SITE STAFF
I think it is possible to be professional and kind Aug 11, 2006


* Listing examples of clearly personal comments of the type that are not permitted. (Kim)


Disagree. I think we all are capable of telling a linguistic from a personal comment. A list of comments "of the type that are not permitted" would include for instance assorted insults and derogative comments, it could be against the forum rules to publish them

Kim Metzger wrote:
Some rubbish answers are so awfully bad that they take your breath away and don't really deserve much of an analysis because it is so obvious to any translator in the language pair that the answer is absurd.

But conscientious professional translators are rightfully offended by some of the garbage they see in KudoZ and need a way to express their justifiable outrage without getting into trouble.


I would like to read a KudoZ-related thread without terms such as “rubbish” and “garbage”. I believe this kind of language damages the objectivity of the discussion. I also think that you can be very professional and yet be able to produce a linguistic peer comment to an answer you consider bad without retorting to personal remarks.

Regards,
Enrique Cavalitto


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:58
German to English
Personal comments Aug 11, 2006

Enrique wrote:


* Listing examples of clearly personal comments of the type that are not permitted. (Kim)


Disagree. I think we all are capable of telling a linguistic from a personal comment. A list of comments "of the type that are not permitted" would include for instance assorted insults and derogative comments, it could be against the forum rules to publish them



You're disagreeing with the wording Henry chose, not with my wording, Enrique. I didn't propose to list examples of clearly personal comments. I wrote:



We can easily draw up a list of clearly personal peer comments, such as "you're a moron". As soon as we get into name calling and stinging sarcasm we've crossed the line (in these forums as well as in KudoZ).






[Edited at 2006-08-11 19:13]

[Edited at 2006-08-11 19:14]


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 05:58
SITE STAFF
I talk about issues, not persons Aug 11, 2006

Kim Metzger wrote:

Enrique wrote:


* Listing examples of clearly personal comments of the type that are not permitted. (Kim)


Disagree. I think we all are capable of telling a linguistic from a personal comment. A list of comments "of the type that are not permitted" would include for instance assorted insults and derogative comments, it could be against the forum rules to publish them



You're disagreeing with the wording Henry chose, not with my wording, Enrique. I didn't propose to list examples of clearly personal comments. See above.



I am disagreeing with the option that was presented in this thread. I talk about issues, not about persons.


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:58
Instead of the list of not permitted personal comments, what about... Aug 11, 2006

Henry wrote:

Ideas presented for KudoZ, to encourage further (proper) use of the disagree feature to improve the quality of KudoZ discourse:

Listing examples of clearly personal comments of the type that are not permitted. (Kim)

[...]
[/quote]

... * A list of professional reasons for which the disagree is given, from where the person who disagrees can choose from? Of course, the last option would be "Other", and there would be a space for the person to fill out, in case s/he wants to make a specific linguistic comment not listed in the options above.

[Edited at 2006-08-11 20:28]


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claudia bagnardi  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
My two cents Aug 11, 2006

Color:
No problem with the color as long as the grounds for disagreement are included.

Examples of unsuitable comments:
Do we really need them?

Giving the names and reasons for hidden answers:
IMHO I don't see the point. I guess peer disagreement is enough to deter askers from choosing the wrong answer. (I'm only focused on the glossary entries).

KudoZ is a great feature. Thanks Henry.

Claudia


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 05:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Setting a good example - and 'punishing' the 'delinquents' Aug 11, 2006

In most communities, rules are enforced far more effectively by example than by the rules themselves. Don't they say: "Regulations are for the guidance of sergeants - and the strictest obeyance of recruits."?

My recipie for better use of Disagree has 3 ingredients:

1 Experienced users - people such as those who are contributing to the forum debate on this theme - should *always use disagree when it is appropriate*, and use it in the intended manner (i.e. give proper linguistic/terminological justification for the disagree and steer clear of personal remarks). And if they get snide remarks from the answerer, politely link them to the relevant Kudoz rule and/or get the moderator involved.

2 It has suggested in another thread that it would help, too, if the 'Neutral' option were done away with. I would tend to agree - but venture to suggest a variant on this idea:

There are already some features that are unavailable to out-and-out newcomers - one that comes to mind is 'Ask the asker', for which X number of points must first be accumulated.

My proposal is that until such newcomers have gained a similar amount of experience of 'how Kudoz works' they should be offered only 'Agree' and 'Neutral'. When they have earned their 'beginners' points, they would then get 'Agree' and 'Disagree' only, like experienced users.

Where experienced users are found to be abusing the 'Disagree' option, and the moderator's attention is drawn to the matter as mentioned in point 1 above, then the moderator should be able to deduct 100 Kudoz points each time. And if the user's points fall below the 'beginners' points threshold, then they should see only 'Agree' and 'Neutral', like real beginners.

3 It has also been suggested that a list could be made of 'unacceptable disagree comments'. It would be far more helpful, IMHO, if the 'Disagree' zone included a drop-down list of the ten (or so) most common *valid reasons for disagreeing*. For example:

- wrong language
- wrong language variant (eg: en-US when asker specifically wanted en-GB)
- incorrect in this context
- wrong/inappropriate register
- not idiomatic
- question apparently mis-understood
- etc. etc.

The disagreeer should also have to enter an free-form explanation, as now, expanding on the selected reason. Standard comments can be analysed statistically and so might also be useful to staff as a means of determining why people give wrong answers, and give some clues on how the interface could be adapted to foster good answers to well-presented questions.

MediaMatrix

PS I see that while I've been scribbling this, Rosa Maria has also suggested a list of valid reasons for disagreeing. That makes two of us - how many more?


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:58
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Talking for GE>DU, EN>DU and FR>DU Aug 11, 2006

Dear Henry,

Talking for GE>DU, EN>DU and FR>DU, the current system is as perfect as it ever will be. Disagrees are rare, and only to raise a red flag: don't use this translation, full stop.

We do use neutrals more often, but normally only after agrees. This implicitly means we're neutral about or disagree with any answer that receives no agrees.

Most of us add a comment to our agrees, neutrals and disagrees and we've even found a way to comment on comments. We'll add a // or /// to our original remark and reply to any comments.

This, and the colour schemes, work fine in my part of the community.

Hiding means hiding. If I know I can't truly hide a blunder, I'll never use that function again.

Regards,
Gerard


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