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Is it OK to answer KudoZ questions outside of your native languages?
Thread poster: Sofia K

Sofia K  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 03:20
English to Greek
+ ...
Jan 20, 2003

Hello

I am a new member and I was wondering if I can aswer Kudoz questions of language pairs that are not registered in my profile.For example,half an hour ago I viewed a Kudoz question English-Italian.I was positive about the answer, I even made a little research to verify it,but I did not answer because I am not a native speaker of english or Italian and it seemed to me that it would not be fair-play.What should I do next time?Should a non-native speaker of a particular language pair answer Kudoz questions, of course if he/she is absolutely certain that his answer will help?


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Professionalism means integrity Jan 20, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-01-20 15:23, sk wrote:

Should a non-native speaker of a particular language pair answer Kudoz questions, of course if he/she is absolutely certain that his answer will help?





If you have made sure you know what you are doing and you are doing it in good faith, my answer is yes. If your only motivation is to score points at random, then you should not mislead people. Many professional answers on this site come from non-native speakers and it is hoped that the peers\' (dis)agrees provide further clarification. Provided that, again, those (dis)agreeing know what they are doing and are not just chasing BrowniZ. Professionalism means integrity.

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Massimo Lencioni  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:20
English to Italian
+ ...
I would say don't do it Jan 20, 2003

If you know the answer to a question in a language pair that is outside your expertise, wouldn\'t it be likely that there will be translators within the required language pair that know the answer too?

I believe those questions should be left up to them. The asker will also be a lot more confident if he or she sees that the person answering the question \"knows what he or she is talking about\". And sometimes a question that may seem obvious to an outsider is more tricky than it looks.

The only exception I would make would be for language pairs for which very few people are active...

I, and various other people have proposed in the past that the system should not even allow users to access questions not in their own language pairs. One could object that it would only encourage people to register for more pairs than they actually have any expertise in, but to me that would not be a problem. If i see a profile page of a single person claiming to translate to and from dozens of languages al by him/herself, I will be sure to steer clear of them.



Katja


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Terminology research is very different from translation Jan 20, 2003

I think the ultimate value of the KudoZ Glossary consists not in the fact that so many native speakers give so many inaccurate and plainly wrong answers every day (which is easy to check), but in the fact that all the answers are subject to public scrutiny, discussion and fine-tuning, so, hopefully, the end result is as good as it can be under the circumstances. I see no point in imposing any geographical or ethnic restrictions in terminology research. Yes, you only should translate into your native/dominant language. That is very different from terminology research, which is what KudoZ is about most of the time.

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 02:20
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Yes BUT: Jan 20, 2003

As one of the major \'sinners\'

- http://www.proz.com/translator/1749 - in this field I feel obliged to say something:



As Jacek says:

\"If you know what you are doing.\"



One good rule:

Don\'t plunge into it. Visit the language pair first and see if you think you\'re up to it. If you feel you are, make your well chosen first try, i.e. a question where you are reasonably sure to give a GOOD answer.



AND:



See to it that you have good references, i.e. dictionaries, glossaries, Google results so that you have a good feeling, i.e. you can remove un certainty for the asker.

Thus you could slowly work yourself into becoming a valuable contributor.



Don\'t take chances - it irritates some \'besserwissers\', who will tell you that this is \'not idiomatic\' or \'not British\' or similar.



I have tried to abide by these guidelines and they have served me well.



Maybe my confessions:

http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&topic_id=7722&forum_id=48



could be of some help.



I will also shortly publish my \'10 Commandments\' on this forum.



Best regards



Mats J C Wiman

Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe

http://www.MatsWiman.com

http://www.Deutsch-Schwedisch.com

http://www.proz.com/translator/1749 Deu>swe Proz.com moderator

eMail: MatsWiman@swipnet.se

Träsk 201

SE-872 97 Skog

Tel : +46-612-54112

Fax : +46-612-54181

Mobile: +46-70-5769797







[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-20 18:17]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:20
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It also depends on the question Jan 20, 2003

I very often appreciate a native reading of the source and say so when I need it; in such a case I wouldn\'t care if the answerer is a native or not in the target. Then there are the \"stock phrases\" that are common to certain specializations, which you might know if you work in that specialization (Italian is not a working language of mine, for example, but I think I can give sufficiently comprehensive translations and historical explanations of most Italian art terms). There are also the questions or quotations that require more research than just literal translation (e.g., Latin; I don\'t know if anyone these days can claim to be a native Latin speaker or if children are born in the Vatican and can acquire it as a mother language).

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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 08:20
English
+ ...
Dear SK Jan 21, 2003

First off, welcome aboard. If you have the impression you have just been admitted to hermit crab heaven, you may be right. More seriously, views on your question will vary.



Personally, I see nothing wrong with cnotributing to other language pairs -- just rate your cnofidence level with an extra dose of humility. A wrong or whacky answer can trigger the right neuron in another colleague, or in the asker her/himself.



Others hold that the site should be a sober looking showcase that will impress Clients.



I dunno who\'s right -- follow your intuition and you may find a warmer welcome than you expect.


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Sofia K  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 03:20
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jan 21, 2003

I would like to thank you all for your comments.Yes,I agree,the Kudoz system is not about scoring points,it is about sharing one\'s knowledge and experience,becoming better and more professional and proving oneself.Personally, I feel encouraged to go on when I see that my colleagues agree with my answer or that my answer has been

chosen. I would do it even if there weren’t the kudoz points,because I see it as a reward for my many years of study,my research and my capabilities. I would like to point out that the example I mentioned in my posting a)concerned a pharmaceutical term, in fact a term originating from a greek word (greek is my mother tongue) b) I have a very good knowledge of both the language pairs concerned c)I could elaborate my answer . Despite all this, I decided not to answer the question because I thought that the native speakers would consider this inappropriate, unfair and they would feel like I was ‘intruding’ into their territory.And perhaps this is true.So,I have decided to ponder over the matter.

Thank you again



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Rachel Vanarsdall  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:20
Member (2004)
French to English
Jan 21, 2003



[Edited at 2005-10-02 17:56]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:20
English to German
+ ...
'Not idiomatic' may simply be wrong Jan 21, 2003

Quote:


Don\'t take chances - it irritates some \'besserwissers\', who will tell you that this is \'not idiomatic\' or \'not British\' or similar.



Sorry Mats, but I have to disagree here: term suggestions that are not idiomatic (regardless of whether we\'re talking about British English, German or whatever) often simply don\'t help the asker at all. Identifying such a problem has nothing to do with being a \'know-it-all\', but simply relates to the precision that\'s required to deliver a professional job.

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 02:20
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...
You misunderstand Jan 21, 2003

You\'re of course allowed to say \'not idiomatic\', it\'s only that then you should provide or point to what is.



Otherwise you do not help the asker.



BR



Mats J C Wiman

Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe

http://www.MatsWiman.com

http://www.Deutsch-Schwedisch.com

http://www.proz.com/translator/1749 Deu>swe Proz.com moderator

eMail: MatsWiman@swipnet.se

Träsk 201

SE-872 97 Skog

Tel : +46-612-54112

Fax : +46-612-54181

Mobile: +46-70-5769797

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-21 10:19]


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Massimo Lencioni  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:20
English to Italian
+ ...
Other language pairs Jan 21, 2003

Actually I wasn\'t so much referring to people answering in e.g. the DE-EN language pair, while their working pair is only EN-DE. What annoys me are the people answering questions in e.g. Turkish-Swahili while their expertise limits itself to e.g. DE-EN.

I would say: only answer questions in your working language pairs, and maybe the reverse of them (working languages EN-DE and EN-FR, answering in DE-EN and FR-EN would be fine by me).

If someone asks even a question in a language obscure to you, but that looks really simple, like how to say thank you or hello, I would say: try and resist the temptation to look it up somewhere on the web without even knowing how reliabile that source is.



Katja


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:20
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
From the asker point of view Jan 21, 2003

I never even look at questions in languages I do not know. However, when I think about this as an asker, my answer is certainly Yes: please let me know what you know (or you think you know...)



E.g.: It could be that a Turkish translator knows the meaning of an English technical term, which I need for a translation into Italian.



In this case, I would much appreciate his help, even if just given as a definition in English, or pointing to a drawing on the web... And, if he is the only one that knows that, let\'s say, \"Figvush\" is the word used for pipe by the English plumbers at a Norvegian plant in Java, he should not hesitate in contributing!


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:20
Italian to English
+ ...
increase in non-native activity recently on KudoZ Mar 25, 2003

I agree with the majority of comment above.



I believe that KudoZ is a valuable learning experience and that everyone has a right, whether native or not, to answer posted questions.



I am fully aware that sometimes the best answers come from those who are not native speakers/writers of the language concerned. At times a native ear is needed to untangle the phrase/word concerned before natives can render it in their own language.



Of late in my pairs (IT>EN, FR>EN) I have seen some pretty rough, blatantly machine-translated answers (which seem to correlate to \"total confidence\" on the confidence bar, funnily enough). But non-native answers are not the issue. IMO, the danger arises when a non-native posts an agree/neutral/disagree to another non-native. I\'m not talking mistaken terms/context, etc. - I\'m talking just plain grammatically incorrect.



So does it really matter?

Well - yes. Jacek and Mats have expressed their views on the importance of professionalism and integrity in answering. An agree to a grammatically incorrect question can send the wrong message to the asker (who may not always be well-versed in the language in question).



All I can say is - it\'s a free world, but it doesn\'t look hugely professional.



Have a good Monday all.



Best,

A









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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:20
Italian to English
+ ...
pants, it's Tuesday. Mar 25, 2003

Have a good Tuesday all.





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