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Translation agencies posting queries - is this fair?
Thread poster: xxxmmachado
xxxmmachado
English to Portuguese
Apr 18, 2002

Hello,



I have just noticed that sometimes translation agencies having only a sentence or two needing urgent translation, ask translators to help on translating this at \"Ask a Pro\". Do you agree with this practice? How can this be avoided? Maybe the \"Ask a Pro\" area should be available only to specific language pair translators and therefore closed to other people.



What do you think about this? Have you noticed this same situation before?



Regards,

MMachado


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Li-chuan Yen  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:14
English to Chinese
To answer or not to answer? Apr 19, 2002

I do this kind of urgent jobs for agencies that have built long-term relationship with me. Usually I get paid, but it can also be sort of courtesy.

However, if the agency knows Kudoz and tries to get \"free\" service, we can\'t avoid it. The ultimate question is \"how do you know\". How do you know you get used and disposed of? How do you know if they charge the client and don\'t pay you? You can of course choose not to answer the question posted, if you have any doubt.

Anyway, Kudoz is a great way to get help. I really appreciate the answers from the other translators. It\'s also rewarding when your answer gets selected. Therefore I think it\'s very difficult to judge on \"fair practice\". Take it easy.



Li-chuan


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Paulo Celestino Guimaraes  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:14
Member (2001)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It is a shame Apr 19, 2002

I am totally against this kind of practise. Even if it\'s not only a sentence but just one word or two. I think, the agencies should count for this not on KudoZ but on their own translator, free-lancer or not.

Personally, I choose not to answer if I think the question posted is from an agency.

Although I think this should be avoided immediately, I\'m not sure on how this could be made.

Perhaps some solution should come mostly from translators themselves.

I welcome your idea that \"Ask a Pro\" area should be available only to specific language pair translators and therefore closed to other people.



Best Regards,



Paulo



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Eivind Lilleskjaeret  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:14
Member (2004)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
It is indeed unfair. Apr 19, 2002

Agencies ought to pay for services, just as they probably get paid by their clients.

Anyhow, with the uncertainties regarding the correctness of answers in KudoZ, I do not think a serious agency would resort to this to save a few bob. It could be a particularly cheap way of shooting yourself in the foot.

As for restricted access to Ask a pro; there is nothing that stops an agency (representative) from registering him-/herself in any language pair. You could demand proof of certification, but then again, lots of agency Project Managers are certified translators.

On the whole, I do not want to sound negative, but it is hard to implement the same rules and regulations on the Internet as in the \"other world\" we grew up in. Just the simple question of identity is a considerable stumbling block.

One possibility, though, would be that in order to ask KudoZ questions, you have to \"earn\" it by amassing a specific number of KudoZ points in that language combination yourself. But that may not be fair to newbies on the site. I agree with Li-chuan that KudoZ is a useful tool which has its strengths and weaknesses, and which should be used with care and intelligence. If an agency chooses to put forward a KudoZ question instead of contacting and paying a tried & trusted pro, the odds are short that this agency will in fact shoot itself in the foot one day.


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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 00:14
German to Romanian
+ ...
It' s totally our fault, not theirs Apr 19, 2002

I think that if we want to blame somebody, we should start with ourselves. Restricting anyone from ProZ for any reasons whatsoever would not be fair.

What we could do instead, would be to stop the abusive behaviour by not answering abusive questions.

I know that this has been discussed before and the conclusion was that there will always be some guys who don\'t care about fair or unfair as long as they get the KudoZ points.

If the professionals would stop answering abusive questions, the only answers would come from unreliable amateurs who only strive for the points.

As I said, we should first educate ourselves (the professional translators). If the answers are unusable, I am sure that the abusers will not bother to come back again or if they are unfit, they will eventually end up with disastruous translations.

I hope nobody gets me wrong. I do not intend to hurt anybody\'s feelings.


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:14
French to English
Perhaps they're translators as well... Apr 19, 2002

Don\'t forget that some agency owners are translators themselves, so they might actually be asking for help on a text they\'re translating.



Just a thought,



Erika



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Rick Henry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:14
Italian to English
+ ...
This wouldn't work... Apr 19, 2002

Somebody can correct me if I\'m wrong, but last I heard, there were MANY different entry points into the proZ site (links from other sites). Not only that, but you don\'t need to log in to ask a question... take a look at the number of anonymous questions that are posted every day (at least in my language pairs).



R.

==

Quote:


On 2002-04-19 07:20, fidotext wrote:

One possibility, though, would be that in order to ask KudoZ questions, you have to \"earn\" it by amassing a specific number of KudoZ points in that language combination yourself. But that may not be fair to newbies on the site.



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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 20:14
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is not really the money... Apr 19, 2002

... after all, nobody is going to get any richer by translating single phrases. It is really the feeling of being taken for a ride, not to mention that this is incredibly unprofessional.



One really wonders what kind of agency would indulge in this kind of practice. I don\'t see why they should prefer to ask a translator that they don\'t know from Adam and, as Eivind says, may be completely unreliable, instead of asking the (presumably) trusted translators they have in their databases. Like Li Chuan, I have been asked such questions by agencies or direct clients I work with in the past, and on some occasions I have also answered such queries on a courtesy basis.



I cannot think of a solution for this, really, other than not answering. I don\'t think it will be possible to implement any kind of \"banning\" system without being unfair to someone.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-19 15:49 ]


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Serge L
Local time: 00:14
French to Dutch
+ ...
another job we've done for free? Apr 20, 2002

It all started in an innocent way, yesterday: http://www.proz.com/kudoz/185763

(fibra solubile d\'acacia It > Germ), and the rest kept on coming: translation of the same words > English, French, Dutch... It ended up with Turkish, Hungarian etc.



If you look at the asker\'s profile, it seems to be an Italian agency with dozens of language pairs and this sentence: \"As of November 2001, our team of professional native-language translators numbers 1,051 and is growing.\" It seems very unlikely that none of them would able to translate these 4 words...



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John Kinory
Local time: 23:14
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Agree with Eli Apr 20, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-19 11:12, eli wrote:

I think that if we want to blame somebody, we should start with ourselves. Restricting anyone from ProZ for any reasons whatsoever would not be fair.

What we could do instead, would be to stop the abusive behaviour by not answering abusive questions.

I know that this has been discussed before and the conclusion was that there will always be some guys who don\'t care about fair or unfair as long as they get the KudoZ points.

If the professionals would stop answering abusive questions, the only answers would come from unreliable amateurs who only strive for the points.

As I said, we should first educate ourselves (the professional translators). If the answers are unusable, I am sure that the abusers will not bother to come back again or if they are unfit, they will eventually end up with disastruous translations.

I hope nobody gets me wrong. I do not intend to hurt anybody\'s feelings.





Absolutely!



Erika makes the point that some of them are also translators. If so, I have examples where they are \'translators\', taking on jobs they are completely unqualified to carry out. On April 16 and 17, an agency posted a long series of basic (!) electric engineering questions in the Fr>En SC; the sort of Qs that revealed them to be miles beyond their depth. The result was even more hilarious (if you find this sort of thing funny): answers came in from people who don\'t know an electric coil from a spool or a metal current conductor from an omnibus conductor (I kid you not); also from people who cannot string together a correct English sentence. Naturally, some totally incorrect answers were chosen. I can only hope that the client rejected the end-result with disgust, and will never use them again.
[addsig]

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kbamert  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:14
French to German
+ ...
I agree with Paulo, Eli and Rick May 9, 2002

I noticed recently as well an agency owner posting questions, his caracteristics:



- not giving enough context

- awarding Kudo\'s to only one wrong answer given (within minutes)

- asking more questions than answering (1:10 or more)

- not giving further context if asked to (ignoring the request)

- writing on his website that he is working with highly qualified professionals

- registered on proz.com as an individual freelancer

- not registered as an agency on proz.com





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