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Indicate Asker's native language!
Thread poster: xxxFrancis Lee
xxxFrancis Lee
Local time: 21:24
German to English
+ ...
Dec 6, 2006

I've been wondering for quite some time why on every Kudoz question the native language of each Answerer is indicated but not that of the Asker. Surely the latter is far more important. In accordance with the general consensus in our profession, I am a firm believer in translating only into one's own native tongue (unless there is a clear deficit in natives, e.g. Kazahk).
Time and time again on the Ger-Eng site, I see non-natives posting questions who quite clearly should be sticking to Eng-Ger. Many of these people betray their lack of ability in their own comments. Many others, however, remain silent - generally posting comments in German.

I and many others would prefer not to assist these individuals. But due to ambiguous site names (e.g. "top translator" - and if there really is someone with that nickname, then I apologise), it is often not clear what their native tongue is.

Is there any reason not to flag them as "non-natives", i.e. with the same "Native language: xx" info below their name that we see with the Askers?

If people like myself have a policy of not helping non-natives, is there any argument against indicating their status?


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 17:24
SITE STAFF
I don't like the idea Dec 6, 2006

As stated in the site's 16 cornerstones, The person with the need sets the parameters. In the KudoZ case, is is the asker who is given options for setting parameters and directing the flow of an exchange.

Of course cooperation is by definition voluntary and optional, so potential answereres can visit the asker's profile to determine if he/she is up to their standards, but I don't imagine the site developing a feature aimed to limiting cooperation.

Regards,
Enrique


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xxxPRen  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:24
French to English
+ ...
I hear your pain Dec 6, 2006

Enrique wrote:

As stated in the site's 16 cornerstones, The person with the need sets the parameters. In the KudoZ case, is is the asker who is given options for setting parameters and directing the flow of an exchange.

Of course cooperation is by definition voluntary and optional, so potential answereres can visit the asker's profile to determine if he/she is up to their standards, but I don't imagine the site developing a feature aimed to limiting cooperation.

Regards,
Enrique


16 Cornerstones? That's a heck of a lot of corners - must be one funny looking building!!

Seriously, I tend to agree with Francis Lee, and I too dislike answering questions in this situation. It would be helpful to have the asker's native language indicated, but then again, so many people list more than one. I usually check the person's profile, and quickly read through it - that just about always solves the native language issue for me (English that is).

Paula


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MultiPro  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:24
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...
Yes, it would be very helpful. Dec 7, 2006

I concur with you Francis although I easily suspect the non-native askers who often word their questions in English for French-targeted translations or write poorly in French. On a related note, you can also see when a native's tentative work is not up to snuff, not up to par proving that s/he is completely overwhelmed by the task at hand. (RE: number of string questions/ whole sentences dumped over at an alarming pace in KudoZ workshop during the course of the "job".)

Best,

Francis Lee wrote:

I've been wondering for quite some time why on every Kudoz question the native language of each Answerer is indicated but not that of the Asker. Surely the latter is far more important. In accordance with the general consensus in our profession, I am a firm believer in translating only into one's own native tongue (unless there is a clear deficit in natives, e.g. Kazahk).
Time and time again on the Ger-Eng site, I see non-natives posting questions who quite clearly should be sticking to Eng-Ger. Many of these people betray their lack of ability in their own comments. Many others, however, remain silent - generally posting comments in German.

I and many others would prefer not to assist these individuals. But due to ambiguous site names (e.g. "top translator" - and if there really is someone with that nickname, then I apologise), it is often not clear what their native tongue is.

Is there any reason not to flag them as "non-natives", i.e. with the same "Native language: xx" info below their name that we see with the Askers?

If people like myself have a policy of not helping non-natives, is there any argument against indicating their status?


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 14:24
English to Russian
+ ...
Helpful? How? Dec 7, 2006

Just curious.

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MultiPro  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:24
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...
Just for ignoring them and for the KudoZ Quality Campaign. Dec 7, 2006

IreneN wrote:

Just curious.


Just for the KudoZ Quality Campaign and our sanity. Helpful in the sense that one would not waste his/her time elaborating sophisticated answers for someone who is not able to appreciate them. Helpful because that way, you just ignore the omnipotent "Asker" in charge of assessing and grading answers that escape his understanding, anyway.

Hope these arguments satisfy your curiosity.

P.S. By indicating upfront the Asker's native language, colleagues and answerers would know beforehand whom they are dealing with, i.e. a non-native of the target language, working in that target language. The farce would not go on, although this would not be the only form or time, our profession has been turned into a
F A R C E!


[Edited at 2006-12-07 05:18]


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 14:24
English to Russian
+ ...
No, colleague MultiPro, they do not Dec 7, 2006

1. What stops anyone from implementing a personal Go To Hell policy within current rules? Are you prohibited to ignore anything and anyone you wish? On the contrary, the site even provides filtering tool.

2. Are you saying that I should be shown the door should I dare to ask question requiring answer in English?

3. What makes you so sure that all I'm capable of in English is farce? Or that I accept jobs for which such statement will be true?

4. Are you labeling me second grade by definition? How exactly the esteemed community should deal with me? Remind me that my place is downstairs in the valet room? Guess what - my clients will find me even there.

I'm no longer curious. I'm pretty sick of this subject. I was, am and always shall be against any labels for askers and answerers alike. Each of them label themselves with as little as a few written words. Good enough for me.

Farce in translation profession is a direct function of non-professionals in every sense of the word, and not non-natives, overtaking the industry.

Finally, opinions and principles aside, how exactly this measure will stop needy askers and willing answerers? Unless, of course, this would be a truly prohibitive measure,

[Edited at 2006-12-07 06:26]

[Edited at 2006-12-07 06:30]

[Edited at 2006-12-07 06:45]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:24
English to German
+ ...
Lots of extra-services and website modifications requested Dec 7, 2006

By non-paying members.

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:24
Dutch to English
+ ...
Talk about hitting the nail on the head ! Dec 7, 2006

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Lots of extra-services and website modifications requested

By non-paying members.


.... some of whom I strongly suspect are non-paying for that very (and possibly some other cogent) reason(s).

There are a number of paying native speakers considering not to renew on this (and related) ground(s) too.

So maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to accommodate those that feel this way, after all. Would certainly be viewed (I stress by some) as a move towards levelling what is perceived (I stress again by some) as an uneven playing field and a site that only plays to the lowest common denominator.

If someone feels strongly about crossing the proverbial picket line and helping a non-native translator (for whatever reason) that's their prerogative.

After all, why should one party in the relationship be "labelled" and not the other?

PS : [and you know who you are] before someone whizzes in here on a high-speed train with theories (fallacies?) of the intrinsic value of such high-speed trains, Internet connections and the like for "native-level language skill acquisition" for the specific purpose of professional translating, we've heard it already, so let's try stick to the topic here


[Edited at 2006-12-07 09:55]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:24
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Look at the asker's profile - it's only a click away! Dec 7, 2006

I often do that. If the person looks serious, or the question might come up again, I am happy to help, even if it is quite elementary.

The answer will be in the KOG next time anyone else searches, perhaps with with useful peer comments. What is obvious to some people is not always so simple for others.

I also ask questions occasionally in language pairs that I don't work in - THANKS especially to the Dutch community for their help.

I would not dream of translating into Dutch, but when proof reading for a particular Dutch client I sometimes find a 'back translation' of a particular term or expression very useful.

There may be other reasons why people want to ask questions in pairs that they do not usually work in. In the middle of a text in my main pair comes a quote in, say, Spanish, which is way beyond my range. A native speaker of Spanish, Danish or English might come up with a good explanation, and then it's up to me to fit it to my context.

I enjoy chasing up answers to some questions about Danish, which is not everybody's second or third language, but turns up in the oddest places!

The stupidest questions are often the ones you did not ask, as I was once told, and luckily there is always someone who is not picky about my native language!

If you think particular people are abusing KudoZ, filter their mails and ignore them. We're all human and entitled to get irritated, but life's too short to let it show every time!

Happy translating and thanks for your help, folks!


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LittleBalu
Germany
Local time: 21:24
English to German
+ ...
Nobody forces you ... Dec 7, 2006

... into answering questions from people like me (native speaker of German and audacious enough to also translate from German into English) or from any other colleague whom you suspect not to be a native speaker of English.

Maybe you should read Henry's 16 cornerstones. I found them quite enlightening (in particular point 2).


Added: Irene is right. It's not a question of being non-native but of being non-professional.

[Edited at 2006-12-07 10:46]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 17:24
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
You need help for discriminating? Dec 7, 2006

Like Irene, I'm pretty sick with this subject.

First of all, I'd like to remind Francis Lee and Lawyer-Linguist Forum rule #5:
Speculating on others' opinions is not allowed.


I'm referring to:
"I and many others" would prefer not to assist these individuals

and
There are a number of paying native speakers considering not to renew on this (and related) ground(s) too.


Please, speak for yourself.

Secondly, as a bilingual person I had to prove that I'm able to translate into two languages with not only a native, but also an academic level. And what I needed from those who trusted me was only the chance to show what I was able to do. If I had been put a label, half of the doors would have been closed to me. If I understand correctly Francis' post (which I think I do), I do take his request like an attack against bilingual individuals. And that's why I'm so surprised to see MultiPro in this discussion, in favor of such labelling.

Let me see the problem:
You want a label which will facilitate you the trouble of going and see the profile. And if it is implemented, you will see what is in the profile, i.e. what the same individual declared. Are you sure that this will help?

I have never liked nor used the filters that have been created by Proz.com answering to requests from its members, because before saying "I'm not going to answer to your question" I always listen to the question.

I'm much more concerned by people who translate contents that are too difficult for them, and there are many natives in this case. Some are specialized. I simply ignore them.

Don't say that it's for Kudoz quality or glossary quality, the point here is not the question, nor the answer, but the asker, this is what I find very nusty.

Claudia


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 21:24
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Live and let live-but add a touch of honesty please Dec 7, 2006

Some sites are over 80% non-natives asking for help in order to get their docs to sound 'native'. And nearly the same % of those helping are also non-native. But after all, I assume the clients were aware that they were giving these jobs to non-natives for whatever reason, so it's really just a matter of being willing to help or not.
However, what I do object to very strongly is the latest trend, mostly visible on the Nl-En site, but not only there, to make false claims as to one's NATIVE language. (Please don't confuse this with bilingualism).
In this case, a person claims to be a native speaker of a given language (English has most favoured status here, but it is not the only language to suffer this), whereas in fact, it is NOT their native language at all, but one acquired through study and an amount of daily contact with that language.
In this case, the client is being clearly misled to believe that the doc is going to a 'native speaker of the target language', where in fact the person is nothing of the sort.
How far do people push this? Some have eliminated their real native language altogether, some claim to be living in the target language country when they are actually safe at home in their own country, etc. And new 'native' speakers pop up all the time-as though you can suddenly 'acquire' a native language after growing up, living, studying and working in the actual native country for over 20 years.
Make a wish and it will come true seems to be the adage. Or put it on your profile page and everyone will believe you..........
This really shouldn't be allowed. It's one thing to pad a profile with overstated experience, skills and expertise, but it's quite another to state that you are a native speaker (again this is NOT the same as being bilingual) of a language when in fact you are not.
And yes, why not state the Asker's (reported) native language?


[Edited at 2006-12-07 15:51]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:24
Dutch to English
+ ...
Speculation vs. Hearsay - two separate things Dec 7, 2006

Claudia Iglesias wrote:

First of all, I'd like to remind Francis Lee and Lawyer-Linguist Forum rule #5:

Speculating on others' opinions is not allowed.



I'm referring to:

"I and many others" would prefer not to assist these individuals


and


There are a number of paying native speakers considering not to renew on this (and related) ground(s) too.

Please, speak for yourself.



I am not one of the people contemplating it, so just how could I possibly?

But this is not speculation by any stretch of the imagination, I am merely pointing out, as those balancing the books - and therefore not you - might be interested in hearing that there are people disgruntled enough who have mentioned this to me and other colleagues. I am repeating what I have been told, it is not idle gossip or speculation.

The rules says no speculation, if you want to introduce a "hearsay" rule then the rule needs to be refined and made far clearer - your interpretation is far narrower than mine. That doesn't make mine incorrect.

What would you rather people do? Speak openly here, within the rules, or moan unproductively behind the scenes and eventually quit?

Whilst I have my own problems with the site, I still feel the pros (far) outweigh the cons and don't (as yet) think quitting it is the way to go. Sorry if I've disappointed you.

However, the discontent is growing - and that is not speculation either - and just as sick as you may be with the subject, so are many others with the reverse side of the coin. So, until it's addressed it isn't going to go away.

The discrimination (as you care to call it) lies - it may be argued - in the very fact that only one party to the KudoZ relationship is labelled.

And just for the record: I don't have blinkers on with regard to the native issue. I've seen evidence of (admittedly very few) non-native translators who can translate into their non-native language. The evidence I have seen is in highly specialised areas, not on Kudoz (regrettably).

Deborah


[Edited at 2006-12-07 13:59]


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
All "registered" members/users can contribute to Proz.com Dec 7, 2006

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Lots of extra-services and website modifications requested

By non-paying members.


Although I don't agree with Francis Lee's request, I would say that if non-paying members contribute to KudoZ answers/questions, forum participation in general, powwows, etc., they obviously should have the right to request site improvements or make suggestions. Of course, whether these requests are feasable (reasonable?) or not is another matter.

If Proz, based on its "open-door principle" (*cornerstone*), gets *valuable* input/contributions both from (paying) members and (non-paying) members, I would say it is a bit unfair to establish any real limitations to non-paying members, except those clearly established in the membership conditions.

Therefore, I (me, personally) am not sure if this open-door principle works in all cases.

Regards,

Ivette


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