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Confessions of a 'point grabber'
Thread poster: Mats Wiman

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:51
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Jan 15, 2003

I have devoted some time to KudoZ from summer 2000 till now (2003-01-15).
My wife has not always been appreciative of the time spent on it and some members have commented infavourably on ‘point grabbers’ in general.
Although I have not seen negative comments the last nine months I still feel there is room for comment from one who has some experience.
For me the KudoZ arena has been somewhat of a private university and a very rewarding experience.
The analysis of the words, the looking them up (dictionaries, glossaries), the checking of their frequency (Google & similar) and the peer responses and the decision of the asker is a very good linguistic experience.
In my case the cross-language associations between e.g. Latin-French-Spanish or Swedish-Danish-Norwegian-German-English has been cross-fertilizing and has developed my linguistic skills considerably.

What’s driving a true KudoZer?

Much has been speculated:

1. We are greedy ego-aggrandizing maniacs without self-confidence outside the KudoZ arena.
2. We are addicts without better things to do – i.e. we have no real translation jobs.
3. We are sick, passive individuals that are simply triggered by someone asking us a question.
4. We are participating in something condescendingly called ‘game’ by some people.

I contend that we are none of these things.
If one is at all curious and if one wants to learn it is almost impossible to withstand the challenge put on one’s table by a person in need. It is impossible because there is always that chain of thoughts:
“Of course the answer must be….! On reflection, one could also say…., or is it possible to use….?
Let’s check it! Hm, that’s funny! Let’s check what YYY says. Hm, that’s interesting! Let’s see what Google says! Hm, maybe XXX is right after all. I think I’ll call my friend at SKF. That’s it. I knew it was something special. etc. etc.”

One interesting facet of the KudoZ world is the discovery that the so-called ‘easy’ questions are very often not easy at all. ‘I love you’ might be easy but ‘I love you dearly’ or ‘I want you’ might be much trickier to express with all its various nuances. Even more casual expressions like ‘Did you enjoy yourself yesterday?’ could bring so many different correct answers that the asker becomes bewildered.
It might be much easier to translate ‘refractometer’.

As to “having all that time do spend on KudoZ”, I want to quote a KudoZ colleague:
“After 45 minutes of translating, I feel fed up and I want variation. A few KudoZ questions later I feel fit for fight again.” That’s exactly how I see it and most of the time, that’s how I have handled it.
If one is, like me, up at 4 in the morning one might have some extra time and extra calm to be allowed to answer a few extra questions.
If one, like me, works from home, it’s also possible to answer questions after the Saturday evening film or Sunday in your free time.
This is, if you like, one of the secrets of ‘grabbing points’.
Anyway: The joy of being confronted with all these intellectual challenges can still keep me awake.


“What is the value of KudoZ points?”

ProZ.com member 5293, Prof. Tagir Tagirov wrote:
”One might easily recall as I do those days (not too far from the coming Xmas, though) when KudoZ appeared. As in almost any process in the IT world, by participating in KudoZ you are creating your own traces and ... thus slightly changing the world! Your own world and those of others. I am sure that this invention was, is and will be one of the strongest and freshest things in translation - anybody may trace your answers from almost the origin!
Not saying all those ordinary words about "the best place where you may get highly professional help and assistance", I should note one additional feature: it is absolutely free and can be read and used by anybody joined the site!
I am sure that "clever" "jobgivers" certainly read KudoZ and trace eventual candidates (if they do not, then their intellectual level is not too high ). Usually, people claiming and making complaints in view of absence of work flows via ProZ either are rather poor translators, or did not understand all roles in this piece since had not read them , or simply do not correspond to the site's name - ProZ means "professionals".”

ttagir’s statement sums up very well what I have unconsciously felt for a long time:

I am killing three birds with one stone.
1. I help
2. I prove myself
3. I leave traces that might help someone to choose me as a translator

Further it’s maybe the best meeting place at ProZ.com. You get to know your colleagues step by step without imposing yourself on them or being imposed by them. Most of my ProZ.com friends I have first encountered in the KudoZ arena.
When it comes to nominating moderators, KudoZ quality and behaviour is often one important yardstick.
If you want to try a team effort one of the more common tools is to see how your prospect partner comes through in the KudoZ arena.

K O G

One satisfying experience with KudoZ is that we are together building maybe one of the most interesting glossaries in history: The KOG (KudoZ Open Glossary).
It will be a glossary containing a lot of very special words, terms and expressions, that could not be found anywhere else. The best of it all:
The majority of entries (I know: not all!) are of high quality, due to the checks and balances of the KudoZ system. There still remain a number of measures in order to weed out the bad entries, but those are becoming rarer with the increasing number of participants.
I do not know any better mechanism of building a glossary than the ProZ.com KudoZ system.

So:

I am quite proud to have been one of the more active members in the shaping and building of the KudoZ Open Glossary and I still rejoice at every new question.

Best regards

Mats J C Wiman
Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe
http://www.MatsWiman.com
http://www.Deutsch-Schwedisch.com
http://www.proz.com/pro/1749
Deu>swe Proz.com moderator
eMail: MatsWiman@tele2.se
Träsk 201
SE-872 97 Skog
Tel : +46-612-54112
Fax : +46-612-54181
Mobile: +46-70-5769797

[Edited at 2004-03-18 11:05]


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lcmolinari  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:51
Member
French to English
+ ...
Good on you Mats! Jan 15, 2003

I for one really, really appreciate people like you, who others may refer to as \"points grabbers.\" It is those people who usually respond to my term questions and who provide well-researched and informative answers.



Personally, it doesn\'t matter to me any individual\'s reason for answering Kudoz, to gain more points or otherwise. The more input, the better.



Keep it up!


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Antonella Andreella  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:51
German to Italian
+ ...
Well said Mats Jan 15, 2003

A great challenge!







Antonella


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Robert INGLEDEW  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 09:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
VERY INTERESTING, MATS Jan 15, 2003

I must confess I did not have time to go into the details of your forum, because I have urgent translation work. However, I cannot resist the temptation of getting the input from one of the most experienced and well-known members of Proz.



I have found out that it is practically impossible to be completely absent from Proz once you appreciate the taste of the Kudoz and of the Forums. Presently I use the Kudoz more for asking questions than for answering them.



Regards.



Roberto Ingledew


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José Antonio V.
Spain
Local time: 14:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree. Jan 15, 2003

+
[addsig]


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Raúl C. Waldman
Argentina
Local time: 09:51
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Bravo, Mats! Jan 15, 2003

Mats:



Your excellent and comprehensive posting summarizes very well the motivations of people who answer KudoZ questions.



I think it should be a definitive answer to negative comments.



The reasons you listed are so important and positive that any other motivation some people could have doesn\'t matter at all.



Raúl Waldman.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:51
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The K O G vs. the paper dictionary Jan 15, 2003

By now, I\'m sure a lot of colleagues will agree to the observation that a paper dictionary is sometimes an exercise in planned obsolescence. (I waited six years for the updated release of my last acquisition in technical dictionaries).



While it has its uses, I like having the alternative of the KOG, where I can sit and bitch to my heart\'s content about how my colleagues and I are going to name the mad scientist\'s new baby.





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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 14:51
French to English
Point grabbers are OK with me! Jan 16, 2003

To me, so-called point grabbers who provide well thought out and documented answers are great! Keep doing what you are doing! I would much prefer to see that then some of the terrible answers I have seen in the French to English group. That is the only point I slightly disagree with Mats on *(when he says poor quality in answers chosen is very rare)...some people seem to propose any old thing as an answer, and the scary part is that sometimes these answers are chosen!!
[addsig]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:51
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Error percentage could maybe be diminished Jan 16, 2003

Dear Sara,



Maybe you are right on the error score. The pairs I indulge in have made me make my statement.

Henry and moderators are working on suggestions for postgrading solutions.



In the majority of cases I still think my statement is correct.



Thanks for bringing it up!


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Nitza Ramos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
Well said... I agree Jan 16, 2003

Mats, couldn\'t have said it better! Thank you.

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Sami Khamou  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:51
Member (2002)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Well done Mat! You speak my mind! Jan 17, 2003

Well done Mat! You speak my mind!

I am a proud \"Kudozholic\" (is this a new term? If it is, we need a definition). I work at home and am up most of the days very early in the morning. I go to bed after midnight.. My wife works from 1:00 pm to ten pm and my children are happily married. I have all the time in the world to spend alternating between translation and Kudoz. Often I wished that the days were longer than 24 hours. I started Kudozing last September. Ever since my work has improved 100%. Not only by getting answers for my questions, but also by reading answers to questions posted by other translators. There\'s another benefit. Kudoz is a liberator for people who work on their own! It has liberated me from my self-imposed isolation. In the past, I used to get stuck with terms that did not exist in my library or would not lend themselves to translation easily. One such term would almost waste my entire day and keep me awake all night. Now, with a few strokes on the keyboard, I can get answers to the most complicated questions from all over the globe. Kudoz is the translator\'s paradise! I hope other professions would benefit from its experience.



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xxxOso
Spanish
+ ...
From another true KudoZer ¶:^) Jan 19, 2003

Thank you, Mats, for your brilliant analysis of the mind and heart of true KudoZers (a.k.a. global misfits to the naked eye



And now...Allow me to scream at the top of my lungs: K U D O Z R U L E, M A N!!!!



HugZ from,

Oso ¶:^)


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Antonio Posada
Local time: 07:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
KudoZ delivers on the promise of the Net Apr 24, 2003

Just as a break from the often lonely work of a translator; or as a source for a second or third opinion on a tricky word or phrase, KudoZ is, in my opinion ( a humble one, of course ) one of the few sites that delivers what boosters of the Internet always promised us. Yes, here we have a place where information flows freely, work gets done, and knowledge is rewarded. Were all communities like this: useful, open, rational, and polite. In a word: enlightened. As a final note, I was also thrilled to be awarded KudoZ points. No harm in that. Cheers to all!
[addsig]


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