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Q/A ratio
Thread poster: xxxLia Fail
xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sep 10, 2006

It makes my blood boil to see how a member of ProZ has contributed less than 1 answer for around 1200 questions...the exact percentage is around 0.014%.

My boil has boiled before, as I saw how this person's ratio deteriorated rapidly, but what really infuriates me today is a set of recent questions where it's blindingly obvious that this person hasn't lifted a finger to do any of their own research....right, just chuck the acronyms into ProZ and let others do the work.

To me this is blatant abuse...and the daily limit is rather a crude measure to reduce abuse...

The Q/A ratio, on the other hand, compares what people contribute to what they receive from the site. Surely this indicator should be applied in conjunction with the limit (with the limit eased for people who have a record for contributing more to the site, for example). It seems fairer. Although I think the current limits are perfectly adequate, they don't take into account contributions to the site or other personal or professional complexities (like having to do a very difficult text in a short timeframe, for example, or having one's back against the wall for personal reasons).


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
been a bit irked, myself ... Sep 10, 2006

Lia, I know how you feel! I used to think that I had a very "live-and-let-live" attitude about ProZers. But, in the past couple of weeks, I've seen people (perhaps newcomers?) who repeatedly post a single word, with no context, and then they don't even respond when people ask for an expanded explanation. I peeked at the ratio for one of these people, and he hadn't answered a single question but has asked over one hundred.

So, I think your idea of using the ratio is sound, but another solution is to simply shun abusers. I've been using the dashboard to turn off their questions.

Another gripe (while I'm griping): I wish that people who aren't fluent wouldn't attempt to answer questions unless they really have some important information to share. The other day someone answered one of mine in English that was both ungrammatical and unintelligible. Out of curiousity, I checked the answerer's profile and he lists himself as an into-English translator. How fair is that?!


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Italy
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
For ProZ it's ok... Sep 10, 2006

You can ask 60 questions a week (AFAIK the limit for paying members is 60 questions a week) 52 weeks a year and answer 0 questions yourself.

You don't even need to thank answerers, and why bother to give enough context? Just close regularly your questions (otherwise, you cannot ask any more) and that's it! You can actually have a completely empty profile, with more than 1000 questions and 0 answers....

As long as you pay, that's all right...

I know of some cases like that in my main language pair, too.

Nowhere in the ProZ rules - I think - is mentioned that you have to participate actively

BTW, you can know the q/a ratio moving the mouse over the name of the asker. and the number of questions/answers is shown.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 02:01
English to Russian
+ ...
Addendum Sep 10, 2006

Let me offer you a quick and dirty translation of the quote from the letter written by Vissarion Belinsky, the leading Russian literary critic of the 19th century, to Alexander Hertzen:

"The crooks will keep winning because they treat decent people like crooks while the decent people treat crooks like decent people".





[Edited at 2006-09-10 19:11]

[Edited at 2006-09-10 19:12]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
live and let live? Sep 10, 2006

Patricia Rosas wrote:

Lia, I know how you feel! I used to think that I had a very "live-and-let-live" attitude about ProZers. But, in the past couple of weeks, I've seen people (perhaps newcomers?) who repeatedly post a single word, with no context, and then they don't even respond when people ask for an expanded explanation. I peeked at the ratio for one of these people, and he hadn't answered a single question but has asked over one hundred.

So, I think your idea of using the ratio is sound, but another solution is to simply shun abusers. I've been using the dashboard to turn off their questions.

Another gripe (while I'm griping): I wish that people who aren't fluent wouldn't attempt to answer questions unless they really have some important information to share. The other day someone answered one of mine in English that was both ungrammatical and unintelligible. Out of curiousity, I checked the answerer's profile and he lists himself as an into-English translator. How fair is that?!


Hi Patricia

I generally have such an attitude, of living and letting live, but some abuse is more than a body can take!

The person I'm referring to - I couldn't help but notice - over time - how many Qs were asked, but today was the last straw, becuase it's VERY MUCH beginning to seem that this person has come to realise that all s/he has to do is lob a Q into the proZ arena for suckers to fall for and/or points grabbers to pounce on, thereby providing him/her with answers s/he can't clearly be bothered to research him/herself.

You can just feel sorry for someone who claims to be a translator into a language and clearly shows him/herself to be totally ignorant..:-)

As for my own particularly gripe....see reply to Irene:-)






[Edited at 2006-09-10 20:39]

[Edited at 2006-09-10 20:48]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
very true! Sep 10, 2006

IreneN wrote:

Let me offer you a quick and dirty translation of the quote from the letter written by Vissarion Belinsky, the leading Russian literary critic of the 19th century, to Alexander Hertzen:

"The crooks will keep winning because they treat decent people like crooks while the decent people treat crooks like decent people".





[Edited at 2006-09-10 19:11]

[Edited at 2006-09-10 19:12]


Irene

That definitely is the case of the person I have in mind:-)


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
unwritten rules Sep 10, 2006

Christel Zipfel wrote:

You can ask 60 questions a week (AFAIK the limit for paying members is 60 questions a week) 52 weeks a year and answer 0 questions yourself.

You don't even need to thank answerers, and why bother to give enough context? Just close regularly your questions (otherwise, you cannot ask any more) and that's it! You can actually have a completely empty profile, with more than 1000 questions and 0 answers....

As long as you pay, that's all right...

I know of some cases like that in my main language pair, too.

Nowhere in the ProZ rules - I think - is mentioned that you have to participate actively

BTW, you can know the q/a ratio moving the mouse over the name of the asker. and the number of questions/answers is shown.



Hi Christel

No, it's not in the rules...but there are unwritten rules that make society work better, and one of them is that it is noble to give, and ignoble to only take and never to give in return. Design out the possibilities for abuse and the site becomes more attractive and useful, not to mention more professional.

I know the Q/A ratio option, just I think it should be used to (even mildly) encourage people to contribute, and to discourage people who are calculating and ungenerous with their knowledge and time.


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:01
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
KudoZ rules Sep 10, 2006

Lia Fail wrote:

My boil has boiled before, as I saw how this person's ratio deteriorated rapidly, but what really infuriates me today is a set of recent questions where it's blindingly obvious that this person hasn't lifted a finger to do any of their own research....right, just chuck the acronyms into ProZ and let others do the work.


Unrelentingly pointing out to this kind of people that there are rules for asking might be a deterrent:
2.1 KudoZ shold be used for requesting terms help only after other resources have been exhausted. Resources available include the KudoZ archives (KudoZ > ProZ.com Term Search from the main menu), dictionaries, search engines, etc. ..
2.4 Sufficient context must be provided with each question...







[Edited at 2006-09-10 21:10]


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Aliseo Japan  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 16:01
Member
Italian to Japanese
+ ...
Slightly off-topic, but still frustrating Sep 11, 2006

Lia Fail wrote:
...but what really infuriates me today is a set of recent questions where it's blindingly obvious that this person hasn't lifted a finger to do any of their own research....right, just chuck the acronyms into ProZ and let others do the work.


If you give a look at the Italian forum as well, you will see some questions made in the recent days by a member to which a junior high-school student would be able to answer even without opening the simplest English-Italian dictionary.

Outsourcers can exclude non-members from the bidding system probably because they suppose that non-paying members aren't worth pursuing for professional works, while they wouldn't hesitate to pick up one of these blue-ribboned champions without suspecting that they have to rely on Proz.com even for very simple and common expressions.

Mario Cerutti

http://www.aliseo.com/english/

[Edited at 2006-09-11 02:44]

[Edited at 2006-09-11 07:51]


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Lesley Clayton
France
Local time: 09:01
French to English
+ ...
Q/A ratio and mouse Sep 11, 2006

Christel Zipfel wrote:

BTW, you can know the q/a ratio moving the mouse over the name of the asker. and the number of questions/answers is shown.



But how many people know about this function?

The Q/A ratio used to appear under the persons name and you could see it at a glance without having to do anything. I always used to look at the ratio in the old design but now I never even think to put my mouse on the asker's name to see it.

Lesley


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:01
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Filter people like that and forget them! Sep 11, 2006

Although I agree entirely with all of the above, life is too short to boil over with fury at things like that beyond righteous anger. The system can never automatically distinguish between abusers and people who really need a lot of help for whatever reason. If others can use the answer too, it's good to get it into KOG. Beginners often learn to contribute their share later.

I use the function on the KudoZ dashboard where you can flag or filter other KudoZ askers.

Only you and the system know who irritates you enough to be filtered out. No need for rational explanations.

I'm human, not a saint. ProZ user no. XXXXX makes me sick. I want to pretend that person does not exist. Goodbye, go and annoy someone else!

It's not something I do often, because there are very few people like that in my language pairs, but it is a brilliant safety valve when the need arises.

If lots of people all filter the same abusers, they might decide ProZ is useless and stop abusing it, but don't hold your breath while you wait for it.

Just my two penn'orth!


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xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 09:01
French to English
+ ...
(in)tolerance Sep 11, 2006

However tolerant one may be - and I don't claim to be particularly tolerant, there comes a point when tolerance is going beyond the call of duty. No names, no pack drill but there is one person in Portuguese-English, for example, who seems to have been cutting up an enormous text into bite-size morsels and delivering them to ProZ colleagues for translation for months (literally) by just keeping within the question limits each week/month/day. And bizarrely, there are still those who volunteer assistance. I got caught once but never again. The context alone gives the lie to those who may try to justify their action by suggesting it is a different job each time.
For me, this is the worst case I have seen, even though there a quite a few people out there who have been known to abuse the site rather than using it, when they take on more than they can chew - which they seem to do frequently (perhaps everything is more than they can chew and they need to consider a change of profession?)

A thought however that crosses my mind is that the site is a victim of its own success. Those who study translation at a proper school now seem to learn as much if not more about using the website and IT programs than about the language aspects. For the younger generations, using Internet, googling and even Prozing are part of the basic tools of the trade in their minds.
So is it that surprising in the end that they seem to think it their right to be helped by their "peers"? (though "peers" implies someone of equal standing.....)

The result is that the professionals are getting increasingly cheesed off by the presence of so many rank amateurs polluting the translation profession. Are you surprised?


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 09:01
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
It makes my blood boil too... Sep 11, 2006

and also when see free rider on a subway. When I see somebody jump the line. Or when the lady in front of me cleans the shelf... etc etc.

You don't want me to go on, do you?

Every realistic society is based on rules, and on those who stick to them. In the literature they're called the (great) reciprocators ("you gave me two KudoZ answers, I have two (or maybe even four) for you"). And then there's that freeloading breed... I'd say that a lot of them just don't know yet the rules: Reminds me of the time, when I tried to step into a mosque with my shoes on (the first and the only time - but thank God somebody hinted to me, what the rule is - guess there were too many shoes at the entrance for me to realize it on my own...).

Anyhow, it's the ratio of free loaders vs reciprocators that makes the systems stand or fold. So KudoZ is in absolutely no danger. except if our blood corporatively boils over - and I dont think this is likely to happen.


regards

Vito


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:01
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
I understand how you feel, but... Sep 11, 2006

Lia Fail wrote:

It makes my blood boil to see how a member of ProZ has contributed less than 1 answer for around 1200 questions...the exact percentage is around 0.014%.




Lia, I uderstand how you feel, but...

...are you really sure yuou would want to see the kind of "answers" this kind of person would likely contribute, if forced to?


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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:01
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
with Riccardo Sep 11, 2006

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

...are you really sure yuou would want to see the kind of "answers" this kind of person would likely contribute, if forced to?



Exactly! Still, there are so many more ways to contribute: adding links to the Glosspost, offering advice in forums, sharing resources and experiences, etc.

Ciao, D.


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