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Poll: In your opinion, what is the current trend in the quality of KudoZ *questions*?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:33
SITE STAFF
Jan 23, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In your opinion, what is the current trend in the quality of KudoZ *questions*?".

This poll was originally submitted by Bord du lac

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Malvina Bernard
Local time: 00:33
English to French
I replied declining but... Jan 23, 2006

I have to admit that I haven't used Kudoz for long enough to identify a trend. However I have noticed that a lot of the answers to the questions asked can be found in the most basic bilingual dictionaries. I remember someone asking for a translation for "happy" from French into English with no context whatsoever! And that's only one example. There are many more.

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 01:33
English to German
+ ...
I chose I don´t know Jan 23, 2006

because I haven´t been participating in Kudoz for many months and hence have no overview to judge. With over one million (??) questions of all types, it is hard to give any opinion I feel Brandis

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Dusica Cook  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 01:33
English to Bosnian
+ ...
nothing to do with this poll Jan 24, 2006

but i do not know where else to ask...

what does one need to do to have his/her question asked?! i think i sent 4 proposals so far and saw nothing of it! it was the same question, each time - once in the language used by the targeted participants of the poll and others in english... sometimes i put 'credit me for this' other times i put 'don't credit me'... still the same!

it is a question that interests me a lot and i am really wondering if there is anything else i need to do.

thanks... sorry for misuse of this poll discussion!


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:33
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It may depend on the language combination Jan 24, 2006

In my two language combinations (Portuguese-English, Spanish-English), I have usually found the questions to be quite thoughtful. These are active combinations with a lot of colleagues (especially English-Spanish), and I think there may be some peer pressure to not abuse the site.

The questions from non-translators are almost always labeled "non-PRO." If they're not, we can vote to downgrade them.


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Gabrielle Allemand-Mostefaï  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
English to French
+ ...
Quality is declining Jan 24, 2006

I refer to my posts commenting on yesterday's poll.

I have the strong feeling that in my main language pair and domains (EN>FR / legal, commercial) the quality of questions is declining.

From the questions asked, I can tell quite confidently that in some cases the askers do not master the field they are working in (thoug they present themselves as "specialized in the field) and lack the minimum understanding necessary to accomplish a professional translation.

The lack of quality of questions is also reflected, IMO, in the answers chosen, which are not always the best ones.

This does not apply to my other language pair (RU>FR, low traffic) nor to all the domains I work in, but it is unpleasant and obvious enough to be mentioned.

Gabrielle


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:33
Partial member (2003)
Spanish to English
Filtered or unfiltered? Jan 24, 2006

I voted declining. I have already filtered 24 people in the questions list, who, in my opinion, should not be translating into English. Their questions account for 20% of those asked yesterday/today in the Spanish-English all fields list (first 50). Obviously with the filtering and specific fields options, I see, on the whole, questions I might be interested in.

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
Italian to English
+ ...
I voted improving Jan 24, 2006

It's true that I too filter certain users, but in general I think the new rules limiting the number of questions have improved the overall quality.In fact the users I've filtered are all platinum, and hence entitled to ask 15 questions every single day... and as far as I know, they often do. (In contrast with Nikki, I don't have any qualms about their ability to translate into English, so much as their ability to translate out of Italian! If you really need your hand to be held through the most basic terms in a bog-standard contract or trial protocol time after time after time, then maybe you shouldn't be translating them in the first place.)

From the comments I see around in the various forums though, I think the trends vary so much from one language pair to another that it's impossible to generalise.


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
French to English
+ ...
improving from my little corner of the Proz world, but... Jan 24, 2006

... that doesn't say much about kudoz questions over all.
As Marie Helene wrote, I think it really varies from one language to the next, and even more specifically and than that. For example, I have filtered out non-pro questions, and set my dashboard to receive questions in only a few key areas I specialize in. That, combined with the new rule limiting the amount of questions that can be asked, and the fact that my language pair (FR-English) has a few active members who are great at explaining kudoz to new users and keeping some askers in line (explaining why more context is so essential, explaining the ways to go about finding such an answer using Google searches, etc.), means that I mainly receive interesting and thought-provoking questions.

Other Kudoz participants in my language pair may, quite rightly, see things differently depending on how they have filtered questions.

Marie-Helene Hayles wrote:

It's true that I too filter certain users, but in general I think the new rules limiting the number of questions have improved the overall quality.In fact the users I've filtered are all platinum, and hence entitled to ask 15 questions every single day... and as far as I know, they often do. (In contrast with Nikki, I don't have any qualms about their ability to translate into English, so much as their ability to translate out of Italian! If you really need your hand to be held through the most basic terms in a bog-standard contract or trial protocol time after time after time, then maybe you shouldn't be translating them in the first place.)

From the comments I see around in the various forums though, I think the trends vary so much from one language pair to another that it's impossible to generalise.


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Sandra C.
France
Local time: 01:33
English to French
+ ...
I don't know... Jan 24, 2006

...wether the quality has changed in any way, and I think it's too subjective a question to answer it correctly. What to judge it against? What are the standards of quality for translation?... Anyone??...
In any case, IMO it's too hard to tell: too many language pairs, too many questions asked/answers given.
What I DO know, though, is that no matter the kudoz answers given, people are trying to HELP! They really don't have to do this - spend their time on translating for other people - yet they do, and even if their answers aren't always the best (it's the responsibility of the asker to decide which to choose, no matter the number of peer comments; they have to do their own footwork/research), we should give everyone the credit they deserve for making the effort instead of chastising them for a supposedly lower level of quality…!! Let's be thankful people bother to anwer at all.

My two cents…

SORRY, I JUST REALIZED THAT THE POLL TALKED ABOUT THE QUESTIONS, NOT THE ANSWERS... MY BAD!

[Edited at 2006-01-24 18:26]


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xxxdf49f
France
Local time: 01:33
improved ... with caveats Jan 24, 2006

I voted for improved quality of questions, but naturally I can only speak for my pairs(Eng/Fr & Fr/Eng) (I don't screen any askers or fields, so I view everything).

This of course is a direct positive impact from the limitation on numbers. People who are authorized only 1 or 5 questions a day tend to ask the really tough (and therefore necessary) 1 or 5 and have no choice but to do their own thinking and research. I therefore find the new rule highly positive.

BUT and this is a very big but: if there had been such an option, I would have voted "declined quality of questions from PLATINUM members" (coincidentally in growing numbers since limits have been imposed...;)), who unfortunately do not have the same incentive to rely on their own resources and competence (or because of their lack of...), several of them having adopted the habit of posting their 15 questions everyday day after day until they finish the job, rather than do they own research (agree 100% with Gabrielle's comments above)- questions which on certain days are long full sentences one after the other and/or simple terms easily found in any basic dictionary - of course these less-than-competent askers have paid for the right to get their jobs done for free on Kudoz...

Someone on the "quality of answers" thread suggested compiling stats on the number of Platinum questions bumped down to Non-Pro (or attempts to do so, since not all of us have that privilege), and it would indeed be another good way to assess the overall quality of questions.

df


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gad
United States
Local time: 19:33
Member
French to English
Declining Feb 10, 2006

Not because of the quality of the questions, but because of the fact that there is way too much continued nastiness on KudoZ, and this detracts from the site in so many ways. New people get scared off, and many others have left KudoZ or just use it less because they are tired of even witnessing the nastiness. And when that many people feel excluded from or discouraged from using the KudoZ part of the site, that means the quality is declining. An unwelcoming atmosphere is NOT professional.

Nastiness should be curbed in some way. It should be considered a serious violation. It should be considered worse than someone who makes honest mistakes regarding terms or how to post questions, etc. There is absolutely no excuse for continued and repeated nastiness.

[ETA]: BTW, I have seen NO ONE who posts 15 questions every day.

[Edited at 2006-02-10 05:20]


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