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My \'10 Commandments\' for KudoZ users
Thread poster: Mats Wiman

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 10:54
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Jan 20, 2003

After some heated discussions in the KudoZ arena in spring last year, I summed up what I (and many of my colleagues) had found reasonable behaviour at ProZ.com (focussed on the KudoZ activity.



I jokingly called them my \'10 commandments\' but there is no joking on my part.



1. In response to a KudoZ suggestion or forum proposal, criticize the content, not the one making the suggestion,



2. When criticizing - be specific, and correct the \'according-to-you\' error in the disagree box, or better still:



Make you own superior suggestion!



3. Do not make sweeping comments like \"Not idiomatic!\", or \"Never heard in 10 years of practice” without pointing out exactly what is so frightfully un-idiomatic, or better still: Make your own superior suggestion!



4. Do not try to scare off “non-natives” with contemptuous comments. Prove that you’re a native by providing the superior suggestion and why, based on what reference, it is the superior suggestion.



And keep in mind: Everybody is welcome to make suggestions. Yes the world would be safer if it consisted only of certified professionals but Proz.com is everyone’s university and we are all there to learn, help and develop.



5. Do not preach the sanctity of translating only into your ‘dominant’ language if you practice the contrary. It conveys an impression of being one-eyed and biased in your own favour – or downright inconsequent.



6. Do not make negative comments like “Wrong”, “Not idiomatic”,, “Bad”, “Biased”, “Typically non-native”,, “Shows only how bad Duden-Oxford is”, “Crap”, “Nonsense”, “This is not English”.



7. Do not speak condescendingly or contemptuously of translators that aren’t decorated with a number of certificates or accreditations. The only one knowing anything at first hand about the quality in the field in question is possibly the agency/client. There is no law saying that accreditation equals quality. Probability yes, but proof of the contrary is abundant.



Therefore, don’t tout them. Let your name only be what you display. Somebody interested to find out more, will be pleased to find them on your profile page.



8. Do no be over-zealous, when some members sometimes exceed the reasonable limits in the KudoZ arena. Do not use the word ‘abuse’, about people that haven’t been proven guilty of that (and the word abuse is often far too strong, let alone not having been defined).



Exceeding a limit, which by the way has not been defined (the only limits that have been discussed is how many ungraded questions one should be allowed to have) is not abuse.



For instance: Some translators accumulate their questions to the end of the translation. If it’s a big job, some questions are answered during work (we all know that) but quite a few might still be unclear or ambiguous.



Also: Two short sentences in one question does not constitute ‘abuse’ .



If a question is too voluminous, there are only two reasonable reactions: You tell the person: “This is a job. Please post it as one” or if you feel like it, translate it but add a comment like “This question exceeds the normal limit of a KudoZ question. Next time, please divide it into terms and sentences.” No harm is done to anyone by the latter approach.



Even if we were inundated with questions due to the fact that word got around that “you can get free translations done at ProZ.com” no harm will be done. It will only bring in food for the ‘mother of all glossaries’ and there is a solution waiting in the wings: Simpler questions already answered will – awaiting some programming - be automatically answered (“I love you” etc.). Besides, there is the ‘Easy’ option for those who are too elevated or too busy to answer easy questions. To avoid them completely, you can deactivate them in the ‘eMail preferences’ section of your profile page.



9. Do not speak condescendingly of people charging too low a price. There is no iron logic in high price-high quality. Probability yes, but certainty: far from it



10. Even if ProZ.com is a community for professionals, this does not mean that amateurs, students or even “ignorants” aren’t welcome. Contemptuous comments about all sorts of “non-professionals”, only poison the friendly atmosphere at ProZ.com.



Some ask themselves: “How can so-called ’professionals’ be so bickering, envious, contemptuous and – unprofessional?



To be a professional is to stand up for professional values but also to be helpful, condoning and generous.



If we master that conduct we will induce newcomers, amateurs and less experienced to become professionals, which will serve the translation industry well.



June 3, 2002



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 byn 2003-01-20 17:47]


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Bill Greendyk  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:54
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Excellent, Mats! Jan 20, 2003

As I already mentioned to you in private, I think your thoughts here are worth reading for every Kudoz-user. From someone who holds the record number of Kudoz points accumulated, I think we could all stand to learn a thing or two from you.



Just like last spring, there have been numerous cases of unmerited criticism lately, both in Kudoz and in the forums. Constructive criticism is a very good thing, but there seem to be less and less people who know how to give it, and much less receive it.



Thanks for what I consider something well worth reading,



Best,

Bill

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-20 18:09]


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 05:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
The 10 ComMatsments... Jan 20, 2003

I couldn´t agree more.



Thank you, Mats



Aurora


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Guillermo de la Puerta  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:54
German to Spanish
+ ...
Ungraded questions Jan 20, 2003

Hello Mats and William unconsciously I have been following many of the items pointed by Mats.

I agree with all the commandments.



By the way how many ungraded questions is one allowed to have?



Kind Regards wildlp


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:54
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
A lot Jan 20, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-01-20 19:15, willdlp wrote:

...

By the way how many ungraded questions is one allowed to have?



Kind Regards wildlp





Well, I´m not sure if there is any restriction on it.

In our quite small polish SC we have had someone with something about 90 ungraded questions. Some of them were quite new, but some even mor than two or three weeks old. It delivers not a very good picture of the asker.



Kind regards

Jerzy

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Robert INGLEDEW  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 05:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
YOU ARE RIGHT, ONLY GOD IS PERFECT... Jan 20, 2003

AND HE IS NOT IN THE TRANSLATION BUSINESS.



Robert Ingledew


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George Hopkins
Local time: 10:54
Swedish to English
British and/or US English Jan 20, 2003

Could you possibly give participants some advice as to whether questions and answers should preferably be in one or the other.

I suggest British English as first choice since it is the language taught in Swedish schools and that usually required by translation agencies in Sweden.

But then it might depend on the flag one is waving.

God save the Queen and the President.
[addsig]


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George Hopkins
Local time: 10:54
Swedish to English
Only God? Jan 20, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-01-20 19:32, Translations wrote:

AND HE IS NOT IN THE TRANSLATION BUSINESS.



Robert Ingledew



What about the God who has a son, he must be perfect too?
[addsig]

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Carolina Lopez Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wow, Mats Jan 20, 2003

You\'re always worth reading!!! I also think everybody at Proz should follow your ten suggestions.

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-20 19:43]


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María Alejandra Funes
Local time: 05:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
agree Jan 20, 2003

Excellent!!!



ALE


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Martina Keskintepe  Identity Verified
Malta
Local time: 10:54
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Very well put, Mats! Jan 20, 2003

I have only been a member of Proz for a little over a year now, but found out very quickly that the \"KudoZ\" spice up the site. And it is definitely challenging to research a term you are not familiar with!

One thing that really makes me angry though: you spend all this time researching and your answer has been approved by many collegues, but the asker does not find it necessary to grade your answer. This has happened to me quite a few times already and I have seen it happen to others.

But I guess there is nothing you can do about this, right?

Anyway, keep up the good work Mats.


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 10:54
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Ungraded questions is an evil thing Jan 20, 2003

but we are all brooding on a solution.

Somehow or other , it will be solved, so don\'t worry.

Some day rewards will fall upon all worthy contributors.



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



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Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 05:54
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely! Jan 21, 2003

Fortunately, there are many, many ProZers who follow the CoMatsments (Aurora, this coinage should be in the KudoZ Glossaries!!!).

As for the few who do not, they miss it!!!



Thank you for such excellent teaching, Mats!





Regards,

Andrea :^)



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schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:54
Italian to German
+ ...
Ungraded questions / "Not idiomatic" Jan 21, 2003

As for ungraded questions, they are supposed to be dealt with by the moderators, but they of course don\'t always have time to do that.

Maybe it could be introduced that somebody with 20 or more ungraded questions can\'t post any more questions?



\"Not idiomatic\" means: it may sound correct to non-native speakers, but it sounds wrong to native speakers. Often there is no explanation for this. It\'s still more polite than saying \"Wrong!\", and it can be a useful help for non-native speakers.


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Silvana Parascandolo  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:54
English to Italian
+ ...
100% Jan 21, 2003

I couldn\'t possibly agree more!

A friendly, gentle and peaceful environment makes people thrive.

Ciao


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