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Kudoz - should be for full sentences, too, and generally more serious
Thread poster: Astrid Elke Witte

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:28
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
May 26, 2001

Well, let\'s make a start on this topic. I, too, find the Kudoz system an invaluable source of help when I come across a term that I have no idea how to translate or that seems in some way ambiguous. There is always someone who knows the answer, and I know of no other way of finding out the information so fast - or conveniently: sit at home, keep on translating and wait for the answer to arrive! Usually the first one arrives quite quickly - sometimes within minutes, mostly at least within a couple of hours.



I also enjoy answering Kudoz questions. I do not so much like answering single queries, but I do enjoy helping someone systematically with a tough translation they are working on. They post about twenty related terms and I find it quite good fun to get involved in the topic and see what I can do to help them find their way through the translation.



I also like helping (probably less experienced) translators untangle long German sentences. It must be the teacher instinct within me, as I previously taught languages for around seven or eight years.



What I do not like is those people who write messages complaining that Kudoz help is only terms help and that people should not ask for help with whole sentences. Sometimes someone does need help with a whole sentence, for whatever reason, and I believe they should have it.



The other thing I do not like is members of the general public who post requests for translation of love letters, hashish recipes and similar interesting documents. While it is clear that the general public should have access to a translation service, I do wish they would only ask serious questions. If I see too many frivolous requests, I conclude that I am wasting online time and money, and do not look at Kudoz questions again for several days. If other people react the same way, the help will not be there one day for those people who need genuine help with a translation.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 26, 2001

First of all whole sentences:



That\'s where ProZ is REALLY useful, any dictionary will tell you the words, but sometimes it\'s the conjunction of words within the context that\'s really important.



Secondly, the non-natives:



I don\'t translate into Spanish or Portuguese, but I can often contribute in a way only a native English speaker can to the questions asked Eng-Sp, or Eng-Pt. In fact in my own opinion, background info from someone who knows the subject is almost more NB than the actual translation. That way I have info on the basis of which to make a search, which is better than just being handed a translation on a plate and assuming it\'s correct. How do you know something is correct unless you at least half understand it?



Admittedly there are a lot of answers that are pretty useless, and I think there should be a zero option, and also the option of sharing out points. nine times out of ten, one gets important clues from more than one contributor.









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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:28
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
May 27, 2001

I would just like to add, in response to the last contributor, Ailish, that I agree that it would be a good idea to be able to share out points in the case of having received genuine help from several answerers.



As for a zero option, in the case of no answers being of any use at all, the zero option at present is not to select an answer, but to leave the question permanently open. However, it would probably be more efficient if an asker had the option to close the question with a zero grade. This would confirm that the asker had not simply forgotten about the matter.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:28
French to English
May 27, 2001

Point-sharing. On the FR>EN community this thought has been expressed many times. X may give the sport-on term, but Y may have explained something of great use to the asker, in terms of source material or increasing his/her level of understanding.

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:28
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
May 27, 2001

In answer to CTrans about the copycats:



Yes, I have noticed that this problem is on the increase. When I answer Kudoz questions, I do not write the same answer underneath again, if someone has already given the correct answer. Instead, I give that person\'s answer a grade (usually 3 or 4). However, if that person has given the right answer, but in very poor (blatantly incorrect) English, for example, I feel the necessity to write the same answer underneath in correct English. This problem has now been eliminated, because a comment is required for a grade given of less than 4. I can therefore grade the answer and explain that the English used is wrong. The only improvement still needed here is that more space for the comment should be provided. At the moment, the comment box only provides space for about 40 or 50 characters and it can be difficult to make a useful comment so short.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:28
French to English
May 30, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-05-27 13:29, Anonymous wrote:

This is Jon Zuber...How about just allowing members to bump questions down and ceasing to award points for the Easy ones?





Hello Jon,



Not a bad idea. Perhaps the more unscrupulous point-grabbers might bump a question up to \"pro\" level in the hope of pocketing some easy points. (This might be an argument in favour of leaving both squashing AND bumping to the Moderators, which I am not altogether sure is a good idea!). How about half points?



You know, I still think that accurate well-researched answers are what help the asker find a solution, and the answerer to get noticed if that is what is being sought. The points are really secondary, aren\'t they, just for fun.



[ This Message was edited by: nikscot on 2001-05-30 08:37 ]

[ This Message was edited by: nikscot on 2001-05-30 09:06 ]

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:28
French to English
May 30, 2001

On the matter of points. For argument\'s sake, let\'s assume that 80%* of the points earned do provide evidence of genuine understanding, knowledge and pure language ability, whether Pro or Easy. I believe that Easy points have their part to play too. If Easy questions are those which any bi-lingual person would be able to answer, then are they not also evidence of ability, linguistic foundations to be built upon with a demonstration of flair and agility in a specialised technical field in the form of Pro questions. Perhaps it is the amalgam of these two which contributes to the making of the magical \"pro\" factor suggesting you are in the presence of a \"real\" translator? If so, then points for both are justified, with Easy ones being differentiated by a separate scale of points.



* An arbitrary figure but one which aims to take in account the points gained for translating \"I love you\" and those perhaps awarded by over-generous askers and/or questions which have been mis-posted.





[ This Message was edited by: nikscot on 2001-05-30 14:30 ]


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Dave Simons
Local time: 00:28
French to English
Jun 13, 2001

From my short experience on ProZ, it seems to me that in an alarming number of cases the asker accepts what is quite clearly an erroneous answer (this is not to say the asker has preferred a wrong answer to a right one -- although that too can happen). Now since the objective of \"terms help\" is presumably to help translators do the job properly, the service can be deemed to have failed in such cases.

What I\'d like to know is, if I post a \"posthumous\" comment to a question, pointing out such an error, does the asker receive my comment automatically or does he or she have to go looking for it? After all, it may not be too late to save the day, but speed is needed before the translator sends the document off!



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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 18:28
SITE FOUNDER
Jun 13, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-06-13 04:33, mrquiz wrote:

What I\'d like to know is, if I post a \"posthumous\" comment to a question, pointing out such an error, does the asker receive my comment automatically or does he or she have to go looking for it?





Yes, the asker receives immediate notification by email.

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:28
French to English
Jun 13, 2001

I have had experience of coming across a question to which an answer had already been chosen but to which I thought a simple comment was required. It could be the odd detail which makes all the difference, unbeknown to you!



On one or two occasions where I was convinced that a \"wrong\" answer had been chosen and that the client might be in trouble if he were to rely upon it, then I sent a message off via a comment/reply. I hesitate before doing so as I don\'t want to worry a fellow translator unnecessarily. There comes a moment in time when you have to decide, \"that\'s it, it\'s finished\" and you send the work off.



However, if a selected answer is way off mark and you know it is, you should be able to justify it with sufficient evidence from sources on the web. Provide these and make your suggestion, tactfully, but firmly. The asker may find it helpful.



Twice, to my knowledge, the \"comment\" I added was helpful. Once it was too late, but the translator said he would know next time ; once it was an important issue and the client was contacted, the error corrected. It is better to admit to an error and correct it, than to sit stewing on it hoping you are not going to have to contact you profesioanl indemnity isureres about a potential claim! Imagine if you were that translator... Your reputation will take more of a knock if you do nothing about a mistake.

On one occasion too, a fellow PROZ user mailed me to say that after having awarded the points, she had second thoughts and had not used the selected answer.


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Fevziye Gündoğdu
Local time: 01:28
Turkish to English
+ ...
Jun 14, 2001

I guess the profile of a translator would give more information to the client than the KudoZ points. So I don\'t think anyone needs to worry about easy questions.



As for wrong answers... Although I have discovered this site just recently, I have came accross to cases where wrong translations being accepted by the asker. I simply wrote to the asker explaining the term and why the other cannot be used. I just hoped she could receive my answer as I didn\'t get any respond. And at this point comes the easyKudoZ points. Those mistakes were in the easy section. The answerers had made those mistakes either because they were not natives or they didn\'t have an adequate bacground for their own language. Also there is the problem of \"word by word\" translation. I think easy questions may be distinctive, too.



Deniz Gündoðdu


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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 18:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Jun 14, 2001

Easy Questions: This topic does not seem to go away. The English>Italian community is very active and the percentage of easy, random user questions are very low. Then there are the students enrolled in translation courses who have been active lately (I tought some of them a two-week seminar--that\'s how I know them, they are now back in Italy) but their questions are sometimes more difficult than they appear.

There is somewhat of a misnomer at work here: our definition of easy question is that to which \"any bilingual speaker\" can give an answer. I would like to know how many of us are truly bilingual. It should rather read \"any person with some knowledge of the source language\" and this too is not quite accurate. Let\'s take the example of \"I love you\": as simple as it may seem, if you don\'t know English you run the risk of making a faux pas in Italian if you translate the love for a sister or a parent, for the love one feels for one\'s husband or sex partner.

Term help: I found that in most cases the right answer is chosen, and therefore my assessment of the role of Term Help is very positive. When the wrong answer is chosen for whatever reason, I stay away from making a public comment, or make a very sympathetic one, and send a private message to the asker.

I agree with the colleague who wrote that sometimes a good explanation of the meaning by someone who knows the source language well, is a true help.

All in all I think Kudoz and Term Help are working well and I am very glad to belong to this community.



Paola L M

EN>IT; FR>IT; EN>IT



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Didier Fourcot  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:28
Member (2004)
English to French
Jun 25, 2001

Regarding point sharing: most active proZ members have hundreds or thousands of KudoZ points, the maximum amount involved on any question is 4 points, so is it really worth building a complicated mechanism (sharing 3 points among 2 persons or 4 among 3 will be complicated as Kudo used to be integer numbers) for minimal change in final result, and probably an identical statistical result: if you give good answers to many questions, you will have your share of points anyway even if the asker does not always prefer your own version?



Regarding easy questions:

1) I and many people answer questions they like or find interesting, so nobody has any obligation to answser nor even to look at them, so why should you remove them? They may be a great way to have public at large know about the translation business, this is probably beneficial to all of us?

2) An easy question may need some discussions and research, I recently added a contribution to \"bicycle=vélo or bicyclette\", that I found interesting researching, probably even for \"I love you\" there are trends and subtleties that a native speaker may explain sensibly

3) If KudoZ are to get an idea of the profile of the person, ProZ displays all the questions answered in the profile, so prospective clients may easily see which questions are answered and how: if they can make the difference, competent translators will be chosen more often?



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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 18:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Jul 29, 2001

Well said, DFourcot! I agree with you utterly.

Paola L M



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Melanie Sellers
Local time: 00:28
English to German
+ ...
Aug 2, 2001

I am a little disturbed about the fact that some professionals on this site seem to think that writing the exact same answer for a Kudoz question sounds different when it comes from them. I have noticed, that some people with extremely high Kudoz will stop at nothing to give you bad grades or simply copy of of your answer...it is rediculous and it shows no professionalism whatsoever. I am not trying to offend anybody, but why would anybody be this petty?

Thanks for letting me vent.... ;0)

And only the people who have done so in the past should take this to heart....they know who they are and they know it was wrong!!!!!


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Kudoz - should be for full sentences, too, and generally more serious

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