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What constitutes "term help"?
Thread poster: Enrique Cavalitto

Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 10:45
SITE STAFF
Jul 31, 2007

Dear members,

To better clarify the scope of site rules, the following definition was added to the Frequently Asked Questions:


What constitutes "term help" as defined in rule http://www.proz.com/siterules/kudoz_general/1.1#1.1 ?

KudoZ questions can be used to ask for help on terms or idiomatic expressions.

A group of words (up to approximately 10) should be posted in a single question only when they constitute an unbreakable unit, such as an idiomatic expression (e.g. 'a jack of all trades and master of none') that may be several words long and where omitting any part would not formulate the question correctly.

Askers can also post sentences to ask for help in understanding a meaning, word order or a grammatical issue, but this should be done in the corresponding monolingual language pair. Monolingual KudoZ questions can be asked by selecting the same language for both source and target languages.



Kind regards,
Enrique


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 14:45
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
An observation Jul 31, 2007


A group of words (up to approximately 10) should be posted in a single question only when they constitute an unbreakable unit, such as an idiomatic expression (e.g. 'a jack of all trades and master of none') that may be several words long and where omitting any part would not formulate the question correctly.

Askers can also post sentences to ask for help in understanding a meaning, word order or a grammatical issue, but this should be done in the corresponding monolingual language pair. Monolingual KudoZ questions can be asked by selecting the same language for both source and target languages.


With all due respect, Henry, an observation:

The two paragraphs above can be extremely misleading, especially to a newcomer.

As a newcomer, I would be perfectly justified in thinking that if I need to get the overall gist of a sentence (”sentences to ask for help in understanding a meaning”) I can only do that in the monolingual KudoZ (“but this should be done in the corresponding monolingual language pair”).

So, when the monolingual answerers have helped me to understand it, I may still need to translate a shortish, two or three word expression that was probably the cause of my not understanding the whole sentence in the first place.

So then I have to post a second question in the bilingual pair to get help in translating that couple of words. Doesn’t sound particularly efficient.

The intention is obviously to limit translation help to the “approx. 10 words”.



If so, might I humbly suggest a re-write?



Askers should provide as much context as possible when posting questions.

The minimum* context to be provided should be a complete sentence. Preferably the entire paragraph, but when providing lengthy contexts make sure the term** you need help with is very clearly marked within the paragraph to make it easy for answerers to find.

* There will be texts, such as lists, bullet points, initials etc. when there is no immediate context as such. In these cases the asker should give as much information as possible about the document in question. If answerers ask you for more context (country, type of document etc…) please answer as fully and promptly as possible.

** The maximum number of words in a term to be translated is approx. 10 and only when they constitute an unbreakable unit, (e.g. 'a jack of all trades and master of none')


Andy.

[Edited at 2007-08-01 15:47]


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:45
German to English
+ ...
sounds reasonable Aug 1, 2007

And now we need a suggestion in the other direction, for people who are so intimidated by the single-word rule that they post only one word of an expression that is a semantic unit (and I'm not talking about idiomatic expressions) for which the proper translation of the posted word depends on the entire unit.

Also, does this mean that we (as good Prozians) should be systematically advising people who do post entire sentences that they should post them as monolingual?


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 10:45
SITE STAFF
TOPIC STARTER
What to do if a question is not in line with site rules Aug 1, 2007

Ken Cox wrote:

Also, does this mean that we (as good Prozians) should be systematically advising people who do post entire sentences that they should post them as monolingual?


Hi Ken,

Questions that are not in line with site rules can be squashed by KudoZ editors, moderators and staff. Users who do not belong to any of these categories should contact a moderator as indicated here.

The corresponding guidelines for squashing questions can be found in the article KudoZ - deciding when to squash a question.

Regards,
Enrique


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
This new rule poses a problem for me! Aug 2, 2007

Rather than requiring us to use the monolingual forum, would it be possible to simply have a second bilingual forum that would accommodate questions that have to do with structure?

Today, I dutifully posted to the monolingual Spanish Kudoz, and the answer I got was great (it came from a friend, to whom I could have written privately). However, this confirmed what I've seen before when I've tried to use that forum: almost no one responds or they respond a day or two later.

I'm not convinced that a native speaker can always decipher best what appears to a non-native speaker to be a cracked sentence. Other non-native speakers may understand the sentence's "perceived flaw" but if there is no flaw, which is usually the case, how will a native speaker be able to explain to the non-native speaker the reason for the latter's confusion?

Anyway, I'm not very happy about this change ...


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
how to get help with sentence structure???? Aug 4, 2007

Enrique,
I'm feeling extremely frustrated. I had a rather limited question relating to the structure of a sentence in Spanish. I posted it to the monolingual Spanish-Spanish KudoZ, and now the moderator has scolded me. She says that I'm not respecting KudoZ rule 1.4. (I did apologize immediately for not posting in my comments in Spanish--I was so exhausted, I wasn't thinking.)

MOST of my questions are related to sentence structure. I can look up single words and/or research short phrases, but the way the sentence is written can be very difficult to untangle. I work with a lot of social scientists and literary writers, and there is nothing straightforward about the way in which they express themselves.

Does ProZ not have a means by which we can ask our colleagues for help with this?

Thanks,
Patricia


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 10:45
SITE STAFF
TOPIC STARTER
Getting help with sentence structure Aug 7, 2007

Hi Patricia,

KudoZ monolingual is the proper way to get help with sentence structure. It should be monolingual because sentence structure is a single-language issue, and because a language-pair question would sound like an invitation to have the sentence translated (and it would be beyond term help).

Regarding your question I can see that the moderator posted a reminder of KudoZ rule 1.4 but this does not invalidate the use of KudoZ for this tipe of help. Even in case of this specific help, part of the sentence should be entered in the term field. Receiving KudoZ notifications with "help with sentence" is non-informative and one has to follow the link in order to find out whether (s)he can help or not.

Regards,
Enrique


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
a separate forum or KudoZ page? Aug 7, 2007

Enrique,
Thanks for clarifying that. All the same, I find it very difficult to post in Spanish, and I'm not at all convinced that a Spanish native speaker can help me with understanding how to take the Spanish original and transfer it into a sentence that will obey English language rules.

An example came up yesterday with two sentences. One was ridiculously long and the other had no verb. Neither poses problems for Spanish speakers. So, can I rely on a Spanish speaker to be sensitive to the issues relating to English stylistic rules?

Would it be possible to create a forum for discussing complex grammar issues, in which people could post in the language that they are most comfortable in?

Thank you,
Patricia


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