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Poll: Do you determine if a KudoZ answer is right or wrong based on the number of Google hits?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:27
SITE STAFF
Oct 31, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you determine if a KudoZ answer is right or wrong based on the number of Google hits?".

This poll was originally submitted by texjax DDS PhD

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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Erich Ekoputra  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 18:27
Member (2007)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Limiting Number of Internet Links Nov 1, 2006

Google is a great tool to find info relevant to KudoZ questions. Yet, I found so many times that people just copy-n-paste google search results into their answers, sometimes containing 4-5 links.

I just like to make a call for limiting number of internet links quoted in KudoZ answers. I think 2 (two) most important links are enough.

Also, answerers have a moral obligation to read the page of the links, at least the most relevant paragraph. It then means that an answerer should quote sentences that are most relevant to the answer, NOT copy-and-paste what google thinks most relevant to the searched term.


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Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:27
English to Chinese
+ ...
Good tool still needs better use Nov 1, 2006

I'm with you Erich. Google is a great tool for searching information, but not a reference book with authority.

To best utilize this tool, the user has to search, evaluate, judge and choose.

Erich Ekoputra wrote:

Google is a great tool to find info relevant to KudoZ questions. Yet, I found so many times that people just copy-n-paste google search results into their answers, sometimes containing 4-5 links.

I just like to make a call for limiting number of internet links quoted in KudoZ answers. I think 2 (two) most important links are enough.

Also, answerers have a moral obligation to read the page of the links, at least the most relevant paragraph. It then means that an answerer should quote sentences that are most relevant to the answer, NOT copy-and-paste what google thinks most relevant to the searched term.


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:27
English to Arabic
+ ...
Smart Googling Nov 1, 2006

I use Google all the time and put great faith in it, whether to answer Kudoz questions or to work on my own translations.
But it is just a tool, and how useful it is depends on how well it is used.
These are the 3 questions I ask myself whenever I type in a search term:

1) HOW MANY hits do I get? If I get 265,000 for one term and 75 for another, I have a pretty good idea which one I'll probably go for.

2) WHO uses the term? If the first 20 hits are English versions of German or Latvian sites or whatever, then I have to think again. Search results from official or governmental UK/US/ Canadian/ Australian sites have more credibility.

3) Very importantly: IN WHICH CONTEXT is the term used? It may help to add some extra keywords in the search and of course to LOOK at the actual search results to determine whether or not the context is similar.

I admit I am one of those guilty of quoting 3 or 4 Google results in my Kudoz answers, but I like to think that I choose the results very carefully, and that the asker will be grateful to find that the answerer has provided relevant and credible evidence for the use of the suggested term


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:27
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
If you are trying to decide between two competing phrases,,, Nov 1, 2006

and there are significantly more hits for one than the other, then you can know that it's the more usual way of expressing the idea.

The exception would be if you are going into a particular regional dialect in which a special term is used.

In terminology theory, the more common term IS the preferred one. Then there are some caveats: for examp;e, a term that is descriptive, versus one with a personal name in it, is preferred.

Conversely, if there are no hits or very few hits, you can be sure that you are barking up the wrong tree -- at least in English. If a term is recognized at all, it's bound to elicit a number of hits. In my experience with KudoZ, it's extremely rare for a term that appears in dictionaries not to have a lot of hits.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
Google is a great help Nov 1, 2006

...but should always be used with caution. For example, an English word with a US spelling will always come up with more hits than the UK version, simply because there are more speakers of US English in the world.
The same happens with variants (for example, "diaper" gets 20,200,000 hits whereas "nappy" gets only 3,490,000). This does not mean that either form is more "correct" than the other. It does however prove a good indicator of usage frequency.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:27
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I use Alta Vista in practice Nov 1, 2006

-- but the principle is the same.

I find it easier to refine my search and select languages in Alta Vista, and it goes over to Google by itself if necessary.

But very often I find that I can get ten hits that are all useful - and bingo! Who has time to check through seventeen million anyway?

If I do get large numbers of hits, many of them may refer to the same related sites - and perhaps just give you hundreds of repetitions of the same mistake!

It does depend on the language however.

If I am looking for an expression in one of the Scandinavian languages, then frequency of use may be a good indicator. Stilll, I always try to check with hard-copy sources and the client or colleagues unless I am satisfied the site is reliable and the context matches mine.

If I'm looking for an expression in English... then I'm very critical indeed. The client's own website may only give three hits, but they can be trusted for the job in question!

Everybody uses English of some sort on the Net... and you get millions of hits for the most surprising things. Accepting them uncritically is a sure way to get into trouble!


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Cristina Golab  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Totally agree Nov 1, 2006

neilmac wrote:

...but should always be used with caution.


I personally do not rely too much on Google, and just use it as a last resource. Google will never replace specialized dictionaries or books. In Spanish, for instance, when you look for a particular word, it leads you to pages that have been translated, and you can't never know the reliability of those translations.


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Mara Ballarini  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 21:27
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
agree with all (everything / everyone) above.. Nov 1, 2006

Well, we're all thinking along the same line here... google, and some other searching sites, are really a great tool for translators I think, and we all know their advantages, I'm sure, when it's used caution and, above all, still putting some effort and your own thinking into it, to elaborate the results. When we look for things in English especially, we have to consider how many people speak it and write it all over the world now...in their 'own, revised' way... I sometimes spend even too long looking for satisfactory results on google, reading through many different hits... but when I'm satisfied, yes, I put lots of faith in it.
But on kudoz, we still see so many answerers just copying and pasting hits unfortunately, and it's a pity to see that... but it's great to hear that most try to make a smart use of it!!


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Mara Ballarini  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 21:27
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
agree with all above.. Nov 1, 2006

Well, we're all thinking along the same line here... google, and some other searching sites, are really a great tool for translators I think, and we all know their advantages, I'm sure, when it's used caution and, above all, still putting some effort and your own thinking into it, to elaborate the results. When we look for things in English especially, we have to consider how many people speak it and write it all over the world now...in their 'own, revised' way... I sometimes spend even too long looking for satisfactory results on google, reading through many different hits... but when I'm satisfied, yes, I put lots of faith in it.
But on kudoz, we still see so many answerers just copying and pasting hits unfortunately, and it's a pity to see that... but it's great to hear that most try to make a smart use of it!!


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Anastasia Novoselova
Local time: 12:27
English to Russian
+ ...
Search engines are invaluable, but Nov 1, 2006

Whatever is found on google needs to be checked for the origin and the context of use, KudoZ answers should contain *text* with links, rather than just links.

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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:27
German to English
How to win the KudoZ race Nov 1, 2006

Erich Ekoputra wrote:

Google is a great tool to find info relevant to KudoZ questions. Yet, I found so many times that people just copy-n-paste google search results into their answers, sometimes containing 4-5 links.

Also, answerers have a moral obligation to read the page of the links, at least the most relevant paragraph. It then means that an answerer should quote sentences that are most relevant to the answer, NOT copy-and-paste what google thinks most relevant to the searched term.


Bravo, Erich, you've hit the nail on the head. Among other things, it's about honesty (moral obligation). Why don't they read the page links and select appropriate passages to document their proposed translation? Because it takes too long and they're afraid someone else will submit an acceptable translation and they won't get the cigar.

We see a lot of this in Spanish, French and English monolingual. Answers come in rapidly and usually without much of a decent explanation or references because of the race to be the first to answer. It's disgraceful, actually. But it's a side effect of the points system and the latest trick employed by our point grabbers. To see the tricks employed several years ago, I'd recommend reading Nikki Graham's classic commentary on How to Win the KudoZ Race:

http://www.proz.com/topic/9867


[Edited at 2006-11-01 14:29]

[Edited at 2006-11-01 14:31]


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Paolo Pupillo  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:27
English to Italian
+ ...
Google yes but with Wikipedia Nov 1, 2006

I also use Google, but with great care.

As written above, it is important to choose USERS of the term. I generally choose sites in the native language of the document I'm translating.

I'm a translator of technical and mechanical issues, so I prefer infos from sites of Universities or big companies.

In this connection, one of the companies which I work for has allowed me to accept ANY technical answer given in Wikipedia, for it is assumed that all (or most part of) answers therein are given and reviewed by specialists.

Does this happen to any of you?


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Dr. Jason Faulkner  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:27
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
Perpetuating Errors Nov 1, 2006

One thing many posters don't notice is the source of their "references." Often the document they are quoting as a reference is, in fact, a translated document that was incorrect in the first place (see "ground rounds").

The sad thing is, it says so right in the Google hit.

Mucho ojo con el Google. There is no substitute for actually understanding the document you are translating.

-Saludos!


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I am losing faith to KudoZ Nov 1, 2006

Kim said:

Answers come in rapidly and usually without much of a decent explanation or references because of the race to be the first to answer.

Issue here is whether Google is a reliable source to determine the validity or usefulness of the answer.
Now however, with Kim's above comment there is an interesting twist, at least for me.
Yes, I rely on Google to determine most prevelent and/or accepted terminology in the particular subject area I am translating.
Nonetheless when it comes to KudoZ the race to win the point is always getting its way to accuracy and integrity of the spirit of KudoZ itself. In fact I am under the strong impression that the number of "agree"s strongly influence the selection of the asker.
Alas, so-called peers swarm to the first answer and in most case without serious examination of the goodness of the answer itself. I say this as I have seen "if-I-were-the-asker-I-would-have-chosen-this-instead"s way too oftern.

Now my question is more to this than Google:
How reliable peer comments?
Are they based on the peer's actual, substantial, working, and interests?
How solidly based are these comments on their actual knowledge?
Moreover, doesn't this leave anyone room to "disagree" just because he/she dislike the answerer and desiring to prevent getting the "cigar"?
Are number of Google quotes simply there to mystify peers and the asker, even oneself?

I know I am pretty cynical saying this. But, let's faith it, KudoZ's integrity is sometimes compromised by these aspects.
In my observations/experiences it appears these are getting in KudoZ way of things so much so that I am developing very little faith to KudoZ glossary (by the way just to be of fair side, probablly my own answers that went there well could be just the same).

That being my opinion, then lastly, here's my suggestion.
Having made my point and let's say that provided this opinion of mine has some validity when combined with Kim's interesting observation, I think there should be no public display of the KudoZ score awarded. Alternately made available only to potential outsourcers.


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