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Disagrees in KudoZ and political correctness
Thread poster: AllegroTrans

AllegroTrans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:57
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Jul 14, 2007

Am I the only user of KudoZ to notice or am I just showing my age?
Has that bain of free expression, political correctness, started to take its toll?
Several times (not TOO many, I am not a Victor Meldrew clone) I have made "diasgree" comments - usually because in my opinion as a native English speaker a translation into my language was not correct grammatical English, or the translation was so off-beam that it was, to put it simply and succinctly, WRONG.
Well that of course was my opinion, and I am quite happy for others to disagree (which is presumably why KudoZ started a peer comments facility in the first place).
Having said that, on one or two occasions, I have been bombarded by the person I disagreed with by messages amounting to "how dare you?" and even, on two occasions, a tirade of stuff that seemed to be implying that I had personally insulted the answerer.
Now, I am man (person) enough (and old enough) not to take this kind of thing too seriously, but am I right here in thinking that others have experienced similar and that perhaps this is the reason for all the nice polite "neutrals" that are now seemingly the norm (and which when you read them quite often ought to be "diasagrees"?}
Why be "neutral" if you diasgree? Is it a capital offenc(s)e??
Has KudoZ been infected by the political corectness virus?
Surely if any of us feel the urge to comment on a suggested translation term, we should be subjecting things to rigorous and impartial examination, and, where necessary, DISAGREEING??
What dioes anyone else think?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-07-15 01:44]


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 05:57
Member (2007)
German to English
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Go ahead and disagree! Jul 15, 2007

As long as you don't include any rude comments along with your "disagree" opinion, I don't see why disagreeing would be a problem. Go ahead and do it, that's what the option is there for in the first place!

However, I would suggest taking wrong grammar with a grain of salt. If the question is purely a technical one, for instance, and the answerer says something like "gears of the engine" instead of "engine gears," I believe that a "disagree" would be out of line, since the answer will be appropriate as far as the question's objective is concerned. I believe that it would be more appropriate to add an "agree" or "neutral" comment with a correction in such cases, but this, of course, can only be determined on a case-by-case basis.

(It also helps if you add a comment explaining why you disagree. Not that I'm saying you don't already do that, but just in case...)


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 08:57
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
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I agree with Marcelo. Jul 15, 2007

Here's what I try to do:

The answer is basically right but has a misspelled word or a minor syntax error? I give an "Agree" with a correction.

The answer might be correct, but I see a different way of interpreting the context? I give a "Neutral" with a comment.

The answer is wrong, and I am submitting another answer? I explain my own answer in my own space but make no comment on the wrong answer.

The answer is wrong, and I am not submitting another answer (because I don't know, or because someone else already did)? I use "Disagree" with an explanation.

I try to word it gently, because that bright red disagree is a little shocking sometimes, but I assume we're all adults, professionals, and acting in good faith, to help the asker and each other.


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 09:57
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
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Just play within the rules Jul 15, 2007

We all have different feelings for what's right or wrong. Disagreement is usual among people who think and feel.
And in my experience dealing with KudoZ, I can assure you: many times I experienced a real guerilla war among agree-ers and disagree-ers. They changed their comments n times, disqualifying the "adversary".
This doesn't happen (or at least, shouldn't happen) in those pairs where there are moderators - but then there are always some pairs ("unnoticed, spontaneous, eventual pairs") where there is no moderator assigned... and such things do happen sometimes. Why the need to fall so deep?

At the bottom of every KudoZ question you can read:

Please respect the KudoZ rules: View KudoZ rules

So... let's start reading them!


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Patrice  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:57
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French to English
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"Dead wrong" vs. "I wouldn't put it that way" Jul 15, 2007

AllegroTrans, you and I often respond to the same questions...and I commend you for anwering with conviction! Thus far I have reserved my "disagree" comments for people who have entered pretty much nonsensical answers -- people who make suggestions that are so far out that I believe diminish the credibility of a professional translation forum. Sometimes I wonder if they're just trying to hone their English. What happens is that I end up not really trusting the answers when I am making use of the term. base.

You raise a very valid point and I only hope that people who receive disagrees review their responses (and their very reasons for responding).


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gad
United States
Local time: 08:57
Member
French to English
True, but also... Jul 15, 2007

Marcelo Silveyra wrote:

As long as you don't include any rude comments along with your "disagree" opinion, I don't see why disagreeing would be a problem. Go ahead and do it, that's what the option is there for in the first place!


I definitely agree with the above. I also would say that a person should post as many or more "agrees" and "neutrals". When one person posts endless "disagrees", that person's input tends to carry less weight. For example, for a person who "disagrees" say five times as much as s/he "agrees", does that person have ANY respect for his/her colleagues on the site? Or does such a person think that the majority of answerers have no clue how to translate the terminology posted?

As far as comments in response to a disagree, they should be linguistically based - but then again, so should the original comments posted by the disagree-er. I can also see someone replying with disgust at a user/member who is practically obsessed with disagreeing with that particular answerer. Disagrees really can be constructive, but only if linguistically based, used only when a translation is actually completely wrong, and not targeted personally in excess towards particular users.


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Anne Goff  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:57
French to English
+ ...
It's late, I don't know that I have a main point... Jul 15, 2007

I agree that many people (myself included) are hesitant to mark "disagree" on a KudoZ reply. I think we should be careful to only mark disagree when we are really sure that the answer is truly, linguistically, wrong. However, we should not hesitate for reasons of political correctness.

Not only should "disagree" votes be linguistically based and never rude or ad hominem, they should always be specific and tailored to the original KudoZ question.

eg:

If the question is "what does 'je deteste' mean?

And you feel that the given answer "i hate" is too strong in context, I don't feel that this deserves a disagree, merely a comment.

However, if the question was "I know what 'je deteste' means, but how strong is it in this context? What English translation would give the right register and strength?"

Then the answer "I hate" might deserve a disagree.

--------------------------------
It's late and I'm tired. I hope this makes sense. For the most part I agree with the previous posters.

I think related questions might make some good quick polls... I might just go suggest a poll.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 14:57
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Agree with Patricia and JaneTranslates-disagrees are for dead wrong. Jul 15, 2007

Even so, I sometimes 'neutral' those too. But not when 100% incorrect answers are posted with 100% (5) confidence level and/or the words "this is the usual expression". Then I see red.
Unfortunately, a number of the old Kudoz etiquette rules have disappeared. One of them was: "If you answer KudoZ questions, be prepared for colleagues to comment both positively and negatively on your terminology. Do not take it personally. " This rule helped calm ruffled feathers and did a lot to make Kudoz run smoothly without people getting offended at every turn. Nowadays, too many new Kudoz users get upset unneccesarily when they receive negative comments and disagrees are perceived as 'offensive'. No disagree is allowed without a solid, clear explanation. And a strong defence of an answer can end up showing that disagree itself is wrong.
I must object however to a more recent use of the disagree, mainly used by people who answer a Kudoz question and then hit other answers with a disagree (even when the answer isn't 100% wrong -or wrong at all- and a neutral would have been more than enough) in order to make their own answer look 'better'. In order to plant a doubt in the mind of an already confused asker. The good news is that not that many people are desperate enough to use this tactic.
Slightly off-topic, I think that people who answer a kudoz question should not be allowed to make ANY comments on other answers to the same question. And the rule to keep opinions, (suggested) answers, add-ons to answers given, etc. out of the ATA box should be enforced more strictly.


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:57
Italian to English
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Disagrees in KudoZ and political correctness Jul 15, 2007

gad wrote:
Disagrees really can be constructive, but only if linguistically based, used only when a translation is actually completely wrong, and not targeted personally in excess towards particular users.


Sadly, reverse "psychology"--slapping agrees on a series of incorrect answers to sway opinion away from potentially correct answers (which I have seen on many an occasion)--can be just as damaging.


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:57
Italian to English
+ ...
Disagrees in KudoZ and political correctness Jul 15, 2007

AllegroTrans wrote:
Surely if any of us feel the urge to comment on a suggested translation term, we should be subjecting things to rigorous and impartial examination, and, where necessary, DISAGREEING??
What dioes anyone else think?


Absolutely. See a previous forum topic on this (afraid I can't find the link right now).

There's no need to be disagree-happy. However, if the criticism is warranted and in the interest of finding "the best translation", why beat around the bush? That's what it's there for. (The disagree function, not the bush.)

Never mind disagrees, though--I posted two neutrals, yes, I repeat, neutrals in the past week and had all sorts of fun comments thrown at me, the best of which told me that I had never been camping, sorry--"on a camping", before so I wouldn't have a clue. They clearly haven't been stalking me very well.

Ah well. Don't take it too seriously, stay professional, do what you think is right and eventually something will filter through.

Happy Sundays everyone,
Amy


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Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
Member
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Justifying disagrees Jul 15, 2007

gad wrote:

As far as comments in response to a disagree, they should be linguistically based - but then again, so should the original comments posted by the disagree-er. I can also see someone replying with disgust at a user/member who is practically obsessed with disagreeing with that particular answerer. Disagrees really can be constructive, but only if linguistically based, used only when a translation is actually completely wrong, and not targeted personally in excess towards particular users.



Yes, I agree (!) with this. Sometimes I see "disagrees" from native speakers of the target language whose feeling about the incorrectness or illogicality of an answer I share fully, but whose comments don't really hit the linguistic nail on the head, as it were - along the lines of "this is just wrong", or "a native speaker would never say this". I think it's constructive for everyone concerned if we can give a well-explained reason where appropriate, e.g. "grammatically incorrect because...", "illogical interpretation because...", "unidiomatic collocation" etc. In a way, this can also help us as peergraders because it makes us adopt an analytical approach; yes, intuitions are valuable too, but sometimes two native speakers can have different intuitions about the same thing, or they can be unsure, so I think it's helpful if we make the effort to analyse our own native languages and give sound justification for our comments wherever possible.

[Edited at 2007-07-15 11:43]


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:57
Member (2007)
French to English
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Disagrees in Proz Jul 15, 2007

Well, I am one of those people who does disagree with contributions now and again.

To be frank, users have the option to disagree, so that means in the rules it is perfectly acceptable to do so. Of course, it is the way that it's done that may cause offence, particularly as the written word has a different tone to a face-to-face spoken one..so people can sometimes overreact to a disagree.

Anyway, I shall continue to disagree when I don't agree with a contribution but I shall always endeavour to back up my disagree with a very good reason/reference.

Democracy and debate should apply in any forum, but not rudeness or offence. I can be rather frank at times, without wishing to be offensive, but I have learned to try and tone down my "disagrees" now as occasionally it can get a person's back up.

I always approach the forum with the attitude that we are all here to get the best translation and terminology in order to promote the good name of our profession.


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AllegroTrans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:57
Member (2011)
French to English
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TOPIC STARTER
THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS! Jul 15, 2007

This all makes me wonder if we really need a "neutral" option. I know that things are not black and white in translating (as in many other aspects of life) but it does occur to me that if we are "neutral" we neither agree nor diasagree with a suggestion (sorry, this is rather obvious). What I am saying here is that perhaps entering "neutral" (where in reality we could just as easily agree, with a comment, or diasagree with a comment) is encouraging over-politeness (or even, dare I say, political correctness) and discouraging some of us from the rigorous approach which in my opinion is the whole purpose of the peer comments facility. I am NOT saying that politeness should be sacrificed, but do we really need a "neutral" option? Does it encourage slopiness?
Sorry if I write long sentences...I know it's a bad habit..."legal training" is my excuse!!


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:57
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I'm a bit on the fence about this... Jul 15, 2007

writeaway wrote:

Slightly off-topic, I think that people who answer a kudoz question should not be allowed to make ANY comments on other answers to the same question. And the rule to keep opinions, (suggested) answers, add-ons to answers given, etc. out of the ATA box should be enforced more strictly.


I have mixed feelings about this. If I post an answer that I'm sure is correct, and there are other answers that I'm sure are wrong, I feel funny about putting "disagree" or even "neutral" to those answers, because it gives the impression that I am too eager to get points for myself and it also seems a little arrogant. I find it is much less combative to write something in my own box suggesting why the other answers might not be correct, rather than pouncing on them in their own boxes with a "disagree" or a "neutral."

However, if there is a rule about this (I wasn't aware of it...yes, I should read the rules more carefully), then I guess I'll just have to go with the pouncing method. Does anybody see what I'm getting at here?

Amy


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 14:57
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Not a great idea-why should Kudoz peer comments just be black or white? Jul 15, 2007

AllegroTrans wrote:

This all makes me wonder if we really need a "neutral" option. I know that things are not black and white in translating (as in many other aspects of life) but it does occur to me that if we are "neutral" we neither agree nor diasagree with a suggestion (sorry, this is rather obvious). What I am saying here is that perhaps entering "neutral" (where in reality we could just as easily agree, with a comment, or diasagree with a comment) is encouraging over-politeness (or even, dare I say, political correctness) and discouraging some of us from the rigorous approach which in my opinion is the whole purpose of the peer comments facility. I am NOT saying that politeness should be sacrificed, but do we really need a "neutral" option? Does it encourage slopiness?
Sorry if I write long sentences...I know it's a bad habit..."legal training" is my excuse!!


Answers are often NOT 100% wrong-but one can express reservations, giving the answerer a chance to explain. A neutral is used for this. Removing the 'neutral' option would be a big mistake imho. I've often given neutrals and answerers have responded explaining the parts I questioned and I then changed my neutral to agree.
A disagree means "I am 100% certain that your answer is 100% wrong". So it has to be used carefully-not just handed out casually or to discredit an answer in the eyes of Asker or for some other non-linguistic reason. And before hitting someone with a disagree, it's important that one has one's facts 100% straight from genuine pro knowledge of the field and not just based on dico definitions. A disagree that is erroneous or unfair precludes any such dialogue since the person posting it is stating absolute certainty, making discussion usually pointless as those posting such 'freely given' disagrees are often unable to justify their reason(s). However an informed disagree is actually very helpful as part of the learning process.


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