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Poll: At what stage in a translation do you ask KudoZ questions?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:48
SITE STAFF
Jun 3, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "At what stage in a translation do you ask KudoZ questions?".

This poll was originally submitted by JaneTranslates

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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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:48
German to English
Good poll! Jun 3, 2006

Good question, Jane. When people ask questions as soon as they are stumped (which too many folks do) they won't be getting their money's worth, so to speak, because it is not until a translator has at least read through the entire document and struggled a bit to become familiar with the subject matter, etc. that they will know the right answer when they see it - so in many cases asking a question as soon as it comes up is a waste of time for everybody involved.

No matter how much context askers provide when submitting the question - and folks who don't like struggling rarely do provide adequate context because asking a KudoZ question properly is almost as much work as researching it on one's own) - only they have the entire text in front of them, and they can only make an intelligent decision about the proper translation after they have worked through the whole text.


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 06:48
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Well said, Kim Jun 4, 2006

Thanks, Kim, that's exactly what I think! I started to "reply with quote" and realized I would have to quote your entire posting.

Since you participate in so many forums, you probably know the origins of this poll. It was Claudia's forum on a KudoZ "open question" bug:

http://www.proz.com/topic/48816

As I wrote my comments, it occurred to me that--as you said--some who ask lots and lots of questions, often several terms from the same paragraph, may actually be cheating themselves. Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining about it, criticizing, or judging colleagues who ask lots of questions. Those questions are learning experiences for all of us--and somebody gets points, too! It's just that, well, you already said it, Kim! You can't even evaluate the answers you get if you haven't dug into the text, which includes lots of research, usually online.

Part of my comment on the forum cited above reads:

"I never send a support ticket [about the bug in question], because if I'm asking [KudoZ] questions, that means I'm in the final phase of a particular job and am pressed for time.

"Why 'final phase'? Because I often find that the puzzling terms/phrasings will be clarified later in the text, or I will run across them in the course of my routine research. So I wait, save them up, and only ask the ones that I didn't resolve on my own."


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 06:48
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Boy, did I sound snotty! Jun 4, 2006

I just re-read my last posting and I'm afraid I gave an impression I really didn't mean to give. I could edit it, but I'll leave it there for the sake of historical accuracy, and try to explain myself further.

Asking KudoZ questions as a last resort is what works *for me.* That doesn't mean I think it's the only right answer! I really am interested in hearing about my colleagues' methods, about how others use this marvellous tool that we have available.

Perhaps some like to ask questions early on to stimulate their thinking? Perhaps some don't like to wait because then there isn't much time for interaction with the answerers?

The ones I would really like to hear from are those who never ask KudoZ questions! Why not?

So, I'm sorry if I offended anyone, and even sorrier if I scared anybody off from discussing the poll. It's just that Kim's comments were so in tune with my own thoughts that I couldn't help myself.

Please, discuss away!


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Vanessa Rivera Rivier  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 06:48
Italian to English
+ ...
Good poll Jun 4, 2006

Hi Jane, How's everything?


I can only speak from my own experience when I say that I ask Kudoz question under 2 circumstances:

- I have an idea of the possible translation but I need confirmation that I can't get from the Internet.

- I have looked all over for a term and can't find it.


However, I have noticed that some colleagues overuse Kudoz because I often see paragraphs chopped up into questions, I think Kudoz have two reasons for being:

1) To help desperate translators in need (not do their work for them)

2) To allow other translators to showcase their expertise and hopefully benefit from it.


My two cents.


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Claudia Aguero  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 04:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Is there a way to prevent overusing KudoZ? Jun 4, 2006

This is a really good poll.

Even though I started to actively participate in ProZ in May, I have noticed that many people think this is a place where they can get work done, as Vanessa pointed out.

I remember a user who posted several questions that together were the full letter he was translationg.

In some cases, there are translators who don't even attempt to use ProZ resources or the Internet to find a translation.

It is also very frequent that people ask questions and don't even provide enough context or information so that thwy receive adequate feedback from the beginning.

As Vanessa also wrote KudoZ "allows other translators to showcase their expertise and hopefully benefit from it". Therefore, is there a way to prevent its overuse?

Probably, moderators cannot allow questions that

- have previously been answered at KudoZ,
- that are easily found inInternet, or
- that are posted with no information or context to help colleagues.

Last but not least, I don't want to give an impression that I don't like to help, since in many cases I have spent more than 3 hours looking for an appropriate answer. I don't regret that. It's just a matter of doing our part of the work.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree with Kim and Jane Jun 4, 2006

And by the way, no one sounds "snotty".

I agree with Kim and Jane.

I do think askers need to refine their own search skills on the Net and find answers themselves as much as possible. Many times it is at the tip of their fingers. Once they learn how to fish they will never go hungry.

I do think askers should be much more aware of the need for CONTEXT (my favorite word in all caps), because words do not live alone, they live in society, and CONTEXT is everything. For me at times it has involved the entire document which means that Jane's approach of waiting until you see the whole thing makes sense. And of course it even involves much more than that, and awareness is needed in those areas as well.

Whatever we can do to educate our colleagues in the above can help much more than merely answering Kudoz questions.

I am also one of those people who do not ask Kudoz questions that you wanted to hear from.


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:48
Partial member (2003)
Spanish to English
Clarification Jun 4, 2006

I voted final stage, last resort, but I'd like to clarify that. As Kim Metzger wrote:



...asking a KudoZ question properly is almost as much work as researching it on one's own)...


That's why it is a last resort, as far as I am concerned, because it takes up a lot of time. However, it is also why I do not leave the asking of questions to the final stage, when it might be too late to get the correct answer before I have to submit the job.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 05:48
English to Russian
+ ...
When do I turn to Kudoz Jun 4, 2006

I voted 'After researching a while' but it's not quite like that, could not find an exact option for my way of using Kudoz.

It just happens so that in the past few years I have rarely been working for new clients so the terminology part is not what I would normally seek in Kudoz. These questions take about 15% of ~150 asked over 4 years. I go to Kudoz in 1 of a 2 cases:

1. I'm gasping for my last breath being suffocated by the deadline and my brain is drying out so I don't even do a serious research, and I always admit it when asking a question - so far our R-E-R community haven't been blaming me:-). I don't ask too much questions altogether, answer a lot and honestly do not feel like an abuser on these occasions - I pay back tenfold.

2. Contextual or interesting in terms of better wording, calling for a brainstorm, with a room for creativity (NOT a slogan:-)), search for an idiom (or a better one), question, which I believe would be fun and challenge not from the dictionary standpoint. In other words, when I feel like chatting with remote friends:-)

Few of my questions were more like sharing the original's idiocy with the colleagues, like

In the event of Employee's death such Employee shall be entitled to his/her salary until the end of the month in which the death has occured.
When translated into Russian literary it has a tweak of zomby coming to demand his salary:-)


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 07:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends on the type of translation Jun 4, 2006

...I am working on.

If I am translating a press realease, I will probably come to KudoZ first. Most of the times, I get a lot of help in the KudoZ area.

If time is not clicking, KudoZ will be... another resource (as books, dictionaries, Internet, et alii.)

Au


[Edited at 2006-06-04 10:00]


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:48
English to Arabic
+ ...
What's "Final stage, last resort"? Jun 4, 2006

I agree it's a good poll, and I selected "Final stage, last resort".
What I meant was that asking Kudoz questions is the final stage of my search, the last resort (as opposed to only researching a little, or asking straight away).
But from the forum discussion here, it seems that "Final stage" refers to the last stage before submitting your translation.
I prefer not to leave asking Kudoz questions to right before submitting the translation, because 1) I may be pressed for time, and the right answer may only come after the translation is submitted, and 2) I may find that I suddenly have too many questions to ask, which may give the impression that I'm abusing the Kudoz system.


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:48
Partial member (2003)
Spanish to English
Final stage in translation Jun 4, 2006

Nesrin wrote:

I agree it's a good poll, and I selected "Final stage, last resort".
What I meant was that asking Kudoz questions is the final stage of my search, the last resort (as opposed to only researching a little, or asking straight away).
But from the forum discussion here, it seems that "Final stage" refers to the last stage before submitting your translation.


Given that the poll question states: At what stage in a translation do you ask KudoZ questions? I think it's reasonable to assume that "final stage, last resort" refers to the final stage of your translation and not the search. Therefore, there isn't actually an appropriate answer for people like Nesrin and myself.


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:48
English to Arabic
+ ...
You're right, Nikki Jun 4, 2006

So really my answer should be: "As soon as they come up, but after extensive research"

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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:48
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
brilliant Jun 4, 2006

Kim Metzger wrote:
... and folks who don't like struggling rarely do provide adequate context because asking a KudoZ question properly is almost as much work as researching it on one's own.



This is with no doubt one of the most brilliant observations I have read in a long time.

Best Regards to you all,

Tex


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
preventing overuse Jun 4, 2006

Claudia Aguero wrote:

This is a really good poll.

Even though I started to actively participate in ProZ in May, I have noticed that many people think this is a place where they can get work done, as Vanessa pointed out.

I remember a user who posted several questions that together were the full letter he was translationg.

In some cases, there are translators who don't even attempt to use ProZ resources or the Internet to find a translation.

It is also very frequent that people ask questions and don't even provide enough context or information so that thwy receive adequate feedback from the beginning.

As Vanessa also wrote KudoZ "allows other translators to showcase their expertise and hopefully benefit from it". Therefore, is there a way to prevent its overuse?

Probably, moderators cannot allow questions that

- have previously been answered at KudoZ,
- that are easily found inInternet, or
- that are posted with no information or context to help colleagues.

Last but not least, I don't want to give an impression that I don't like to help, since in many cases I have spent more than 3 hours looking for an appropriate answer. I don't regret that. It's just a matter of doing our part of the work.




Great poll:-)

The subject of use and abuse and overuse has been discussed many times, and the problem has been resolved to some extent...

However, the limits imposed could be supplemented by another measure that would in a more balanced way ensure that soem people do not squeeze the site for all its worth, asking fairly facile questions, rather than researching them.

There is a 'questions asked' counter and a 'questions answered' counter. But this info is hidden away - it is not displayed VISIBLY in a MEANINGFUL way. A percentage could be calculated based on this data and displayed visibly for each member that would show what percenatge of questions they ask compared to questions they answer.

In my case I have answered about 700 more questions than I have asked, but I have seen a person who has answered 1 question for every 200 asked! And it's not as if the questions are especially difficult...ProZers are being used (abused?) as a free and fast source of translation problem resolution.

Displaying this Qasked/Q answered information would 'tighten up' the site, people would be encouraged to contribute more, and also to go off and research more before posting questions.


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