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Off topic: KudoZ frustration venting centre
Thread poster: Ulvija Tanovic
Ulvija Tanovic
Local time: 02:53
English to Bosnian
+ ...
Oct 30, 2003

The asker selected this answer as the most helpful.

Yea, well, the asker's an idiot...

I suppose it's all very democratic and everything (or, actually, is it?), but sometimes the askers just choose the worst answers...

So, I just thought I'd post this topic for all of you who might get the urge to vent some frustration with "askers", but only if everyone promises not to get offended... you know, sticks and stones,etc.

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:53
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
What's your alternative? Oct 31, 2003

Ulvija Tanovic wrote:
...I suppose it's all very democratic and everything (or, actually, is it?), but sometimes the askers just choose the worst answers...

Hi Ulvija,
this issue is as old as KudoZ (about 4 years) and it has been discussed in the forums and also amongst moderators.

Yes, indeed sometimes a bad answer is rewarded, but many possible alternatives have been analyzed and they came out as being worse than the current system or not very practical.

- if the choice were based on peer-grading the winner could not be the most helpful or many questions would be left ungraded
- there is no absolute and superior criteria or exact science to choose the 'best'
- a choice by a team or a committee would not be very practical

so I ask you, other than the current system (we offer some help and the beneficiary grades the most helpful answer for him/her), what would be your alternative solution?
What system would you implement to choose the best answer?

Instead of venting frustration, we could concentrate on finding a better system....


PS: oops, I didn't realize it was the off-topic forum, and I took the issue as very much ON-topic

[Edited at 2003-10-31 15:23]

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Local time: 02:53
French to English
+ ...
Simple solution Oct 31, 2003

There is a simple solution to this problem.

Don't answer questions and don't take Kudoz too seriously.

Yes it is frustrating that you don't receive the points when you believe your answer is correct amd the best on offer. It's happened to me many times and I used to get very mad and frustrated until I realised how unimportant it was. And you know what I did? I got out more, turned off the computer and laughed at myself for my utter stupidity. Now I feel a lot more relaxed and chilled out and I don't care which answer the asker chooses. It is after all their choice, whether or not they are completely inept and misguided. And is it REALLY so important to win points or to win a moral victory? In fact are we not all victims of this relentless competition urge brought on by rampant global capitalism...but that's another issue...
I actually like the Kudoz system with all its faults, it is still the best around, so I count to ten and remind myself that there is life beyond translation and winning points.


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United States
Local time: 18:53
French to English
+ ...
Making better choices Oct 31, 2003

Interesting discussion!

I have not invented a better system but I have a few suggestions:

A - for questioners

1) Give a whole paragraph if possible, in the original language.

2) Take the time to specify the product or field. "Other" or even "IT/Engineering" is way too vague.

B - for respondents

1) Never assume that words that sound alike have the same meaning.

2) Be careful when using dictionary definitions because words often have more than one meaning. We, as translators, should be careful about nuances.

C - for peer graders

Only give "agrees" when sure. This is the sincere way of helping the asker. I don't think this is supposed to be a popularity contest.

I have seen colleagues argue against a synonym of their own response - on the basis of meaning! This indicates that they really were not sure of their word in the first place!

In addition to the above, I also suggest:

1) a proz-backed tutorial on researching terms (excuses if this already exists)

2) increased usage of the English-English forum which can be very helpful in clarifying terminology within a specific context.

Even with its faults, kudoz has been a help to me in the past.

A great weekend to all!


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:53
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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No specifics Oct 31, 2003

Not sure if you are suggesting the venting of frustration about questions from specific askers, but if you are, I don't think it's a good idea. No-one likes being attacked with sticks, stones or words, and such a thread could get very nasty.

[Edited at 2003-10-31 16:45]

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Old thread Oct 31, 2003

Rita Heller wrote:

1) a proz-backed tutorial on researching terms (excuses if this already exists)

Not exactly a tutorial, but a tip-sharing session from way back:

Some of it could use updating, but it's still good on the whole.

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Almir Comor MITI  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 02:53
Member (2004)
English to Croatian
+ ...
been there Oct 31, 2003

Ulvija, I know exactly what you're referring to and couldn't agree more...
However, I'm not that worried if someone chooses a poor translation over my "brilliant" rendition
What does worry me is when out of four or five answers I get only one meaningful reply... People seem to first propose an answer and then read the explanation and context you provided with the term.

[Edited at 2003-10-31 18:39]

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Ulvija Tanovic
Local time: 02:53
English to Bosnian
+ ...
to clarify Nov 1, 2003

I wrote this in a hurry, so this is just to clarify a few things.

OK, from the top...

there's really no need to take this seriously at all. Perhaps I should have mentioned in the beginning how much I like and approve of the KudoZ system, which is why I did not propose changing it. However, I also believe that venting is rather healthy (to a reasonable degree, of course, but I'll get to that).


the "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" was more along the lines of what Endymion was saying, i.e. that we should not take our translations for KudoZ so personally. Also, I didn't want to say straight out to people: "sure you can vent, but if you really have to provide examples, please leave out personal specifics" because that sounds too controlling for venting. So, I thought I'd just point out that people may get offended.

you've definitely got the right attitude. I wasn't actually provoked into posting this topic because an answer of mine wasn't chosen. I was browsing through the glossary and saw an entry and thought, "I know there's a better translation for this" and when I looked at the original question, that better answer was one of the offered ones not chosen. In fact, I thik the absolutely worst answer was chosen. Still, despite these occasional glitches, KudoZ is still the best!

and last but not least...

I see a lot of that going around as well (people not bothering to read the context). It's understandable that we've all got hectic lives and what not, but still people should be more careful(not to mention considerate). There's also the problem of no context provided. Rita's suggestion of a paragraph of the source text is maybe a bit much, but I think you shouldn't post a Pro question without any context at all if you can possibly help it.

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Martina Keskintepe  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:53
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
anger venting Nov 1, 2003

I am glad I stumbled over this thread because I just have to get rid of this - wanted to already for a long time but did not know where to go - so here is goes:
When I joined Proz about 2 years ago I was very keen on answering as many questions as possible. Until I saw the logic some people used to grade their questions. One evening I received an e-mail from a person excusing himself for giving the points to a question to someone else because that person had been helping him along with the translation. Actually he liked my answer best but could not openly give me these points. I was really shocked when I read that. I mean Kudoz should not be politicised, should it?!
Well, after this experience I stopped answering most questions.
Uff, I'm glad I finally got this off my chest, this has really been bothering me!

Martina Keskintepe

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:53
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Could we divide the points between equally good answers? Nov 3, 2003

[quote]Melek wrote:

" One evening I received an e-mail from a person excusing himself for giving the points to a question to someone else ... Actually he liked my answer best but could not openly give me these points. "

You're absolutely right. I hope he entered your answer in the glossary...

But late one night I came across a peculiar expression. I knew what it meant, but it seemed ridiculous in the context. I'm not a native speaker - so I sent it out on Kudoz.

Three almost identical answers, one well explained, one shorter, one from a schoolboy who got it right, but did not explain much. He thought it was obvious.

They all told me I was right in the first place, and the first one told me why. In the clear light of day it did make sense.

Of course, he got 4 points. He was one of those people with thousands of Kudoz points, and from his other answers he deserves them.

But for a long time I wondered whether to give points to one of the other answerers as encouragement – they had a total of four each, and 'needed' them more than the first.

I wanted to give them one point each and two to the best-explained answer – that would have been fair in this situation, and then people with only a few points would have better chances of building up Kudoz instead of losing interest in a winner-takes-all system.

Besides, Kudoz is not a race. So askers, please, do wait a few hours and see how many suggestions you get, before you give four points to the first. The best should win, not just the fastest guess. Otherwise the quality of Kudoz answers will be very unreliable.

It takes time to check references and formulate helpful explanations.

If you want a well-explained, correct answer, then you must wait for it. The system should almost be set to block points being given within an hour of the question appearing!

But with all its faults, it's a good system. At least it is possible to see all the answers to questions - and select your own 'winner' if the asker has made the wrong choice.

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English to Finnish
Good suggestions, CRAndersen! Nov 3, 2003

You are absolutely right:
"Besides, KudoZ is not a race. So askers, please, do wait a few hours and see how many suggestions you get, before you give four points to the first. The best should win, not just the fastest guess."

- How many times have I logged in to see a KudoZ question soon after getting the e-mail notification, only to see that it has already been graded...(Sometimes, yes, in less than an hour, and after receiving only one answer!) It seems you have to be online "all the time", otherwise you stand no chance!

(That partly explains the low amount of points I myself have so far, too, but the main reason is I have only started to participate in the system not so long ago.)

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