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Taking advantage of our colleagues\' KudoZ?!?
Thread poster: Birgit Yandle

Birgit Yandle  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 11:55
English to German
+ ...
Jun 28, 2002

Hi,

This topic might have come up before - if it has, sorry about the repetition. Anyway, I have just activated the option to receive E-mails for KudoZ questions and am (like everybody else in my language combination, no doubt) being absolutely flooded with questions by the same person, who is obviously stumbling through a translation that is several numbers to big for his/her boots. Is it just my petty self, or am I right in feeling slightly miffed that somebody out there might have snatched a job that I could have done better, and now I am supposed to help do the translation? Sorry, but I don\'t think so.

Is there anybody else who has had similar experiences/feelings, and is there anything that can be done about it?

Birgit


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Adriana Caraccio Morgan, Dip Trans IOL  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:55
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Couldn't agree more! Jun 28, 2002

Well, I think the whole thing that causes this is the points system.



I don\'t usually answer - usually too busy to do so, but sometimes, if the question is within my area of work AND the asker seems to be serious (well, even for the question itself you can pretty much judge...), then I might answer, if time allows.



The others, those that send a lot of questions in a row, go directly to the bin.



Regards,

Adriana

Brazil


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:55
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
KudoZ Jun 28, 2002

If you\'re referring to the questions posted by TIN, then the matter has been resolved. The translator in question had a large 50-page document. She lives in a country where Internet services are sporadic and unreliable so she collected all her questions (about 20 I think) and posted them all at once. One question per page as she says.



Some members were too hasty in their judgment and, instead of privately asking the translator in question of the motivation behind the spate of questions, posted imprudent remarks on the KudoZ page. Instead of privately asking first, some members chose to pre-judge, questioning their colleague\'s right to ask questions and, again for the nth time, cried wolf.



There was no wolf, as it always turns out, but merely a female camel (the alleged culprit lives in Bahrain).



No reference to Birgit\'s message in particular, but this issue has been pounded to bits. I urge members to contact their moderators first before grumbling. And please do not use the KudoZ page for anything except answers and questions.



Remember folks, our goal is intellectual advancement and mutual assistance.



Dear Birgit, I am not addressing this message to you but to everyone so please do not misconstrue anything that I write here.



If you don\'t wish to be bombarded by e-mail notifications of posted KudoZ, please reconfigure your settings (through your profile page) and turn off the e-mail notification feature for KudoZ. You can then check the site directly if you wish to answer some questions.



Your contribution is appreciated.

Marcus

...co-mod for De>En...





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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:55
English to German
+ ...
Fully agree with Marcus Jun 28, 2002

You summarised it perfectly.



There\'s something in Adriana\'s comment I don\'t get:

Quote:


Well, I think the whole thing that causes this is the points system.



...? If the \"points system\" had an effect here, why would people complain about too many questions?



Remember, getting stuck on a tricky text can happen to all of us - for those who disagree, let\'s just take a closer look at some ISDA definitions on credit derivatives, credit events, cross default, etc. - we\'ll see.



What we need to distinguish is a genuine need for assistance as opposed to a situation where a whole paragraph is being posted, sentence by sentence (which clearly wasn\'t the case here).



I posted a \"mod\'s note\" to some of the question, but I\'ll mention it again here: if you suspect someone to abuse the system, please contact the moderator(s) for the language pair involved (there\'s a link at the bottom of each question). If you don\'t get a reaction (after all, even mods go to sleep sometimes...), contact ProZ.



Thanks, Ralf

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Excessive? Jun 28, 2002

I agree with Marcus and I think that one can give someone the benefit of the doubt and/or simply chose not to answer. Other than that, to draw conclusions on incomplete information is rather unfair.



This posting called to mind, in fact, a big thank you posted very recently by a Proz member in this forum for help with medical work. I could sympathise totally with him (he explained why he had required so much help).



I find I often end up in a situation where I have been landed with a job that I would have refused if I had received more complete information, and where I rely on ProZ to help me out of a sticky situation (naturally I try to avoid this kind of headache, it\'s just not worth it, either for oneslef or for the client). Just as an example, a few of my colleagues and I, a couple of months ago, were on standby for legal-medical and medical texts of a general nature. We were even sent a sample, which was a walkover by any standards. What we finally got were complex, semi-legible medical reports, poorly transcribed from handwritten records, full of errors and obscure abbreviations etc. Apparently even our agency had expected something completely different. ProZ was an enormous help, and I will be ETERNALLY grateful to the people who consistently and uncomplainingly helped us. They remain on a kind of fictitious \'favours owed\' list for me...



So as I say, please don\'t judge too quickly, and if it seems that someone may be abusing, just choose not to answer.



Another point could be to check how much someone has actually contributed. Recently someone criticised me openly for having posted \'a lot\' of questions, and some of my colleagues were quick to point out that I had in fact answered more questions in total than I had posted. In my first two years I answered far, far more questions that I posted; things have changed in recent months becuase I\'ve been really busy, but I do have my eye on the overall balance (nearly zero in my favour by now, actaually!). That may be tangential to the question of someone apparently posting tons of questions at once, but it\'s certainly a factor to be taken into consideration.







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Beth Kantus  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:55
German to English
my two cents Jun 28, 2002

This topic\'s been done to death, I know, and I agree completely with Marcus and Ralf, but I can\'t help adding a couple of my own thoughts on this, for what it\'s worth.



I, too, believe everyone has the right to ask questions and shouldn\'t be put on the carpet and required to justify themselves. If it really looks like a case of \"abuse,\" then the moderators should be alerted so they can handle the situation.



I also agree that if members don\'t want to be bombarded with e-mails they can change their settings. However, that does overlook one problem with these floods; namely, if one member is translating a difficult text and posts a couple of terms he/she is stuck on, only to be followed by a deluge of postings coming in all at once, that first translator\'s couple of questions can easily get lost in the shuffle. IMHO an overload tends not only to annoy but also simply to overwhelm and thus discourage potential helpers. From that vantage point, these massive postings do seem disadvantageous to other members. I\'ve always accepted this as just the way the cookie crumbles b/c I have felt that any attempt to impose limitations would disadvantage even more members and would not be in keeping with the Proz spirit of helping each other.



Another curious thing I noticed is that just a few days ago we had a similar situation where someone posted about the same number of questions in another field within a short space of time, and no one so much as let out a peep. Is there some system at work here (among the main complainants) in which some members get to do this and others get attacked immediately?

Well, there it is. Best regards to all.





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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:55
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
TIN's mistake... Jun 28, 2002

I read your \"mod\'s note\", and I think you ought to repeat the advice you gave to TIN, because it great advice:



Use the first question to give a short explanation, or just to state there will be more questions coming up. I\'ve seen such statements making a difference. In all cases I remember, the asker obtained answers, not one single complaint, and a lot of sympathy.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-06-29 08:42 ]


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Anaviva  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Bravo Marcus! Jun 28, 2002

I totally agree with Marcus and other colleagues that share his opinion. We are all totally at liberty to answer any questions posted and are free to configure the settings to receive KudoZ mails or not.



Although this was not the case here, I also believe that almost all of us at some time or another will have found ourselves out of our depths or pushed for time with a translation and that this is not a justification for reprimanding or resenting a colleague for \"having snatched a job\" that we feel we could have done any better. We all have to start somewhere and very few of us were born translators.



Despite the occasional lack of tolerance on this site, ProZ has always seemed to me to be a wonderfully supportive place for those of us in a profession which is sometimes solitary. I sincerely hope it stays that way.


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John Kinory
Local time: 02:55
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Not true Jun 29, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-06-28 16:30, marcushm wrote:



There was no wolf, as it always turns out, but merely a female camel (the alleged culprit lives in Bahrain).



Marcus

...co-mod for De>En...







Leaving to one side the sexist and racist comment (so what\'s new?); no, it does NOT always turn out that there was no wolf. There have been plenty of documented cases of people posting entire jobs, term by term. Pretending otherwise does not make it so (for those of us who do not choose to live in fairyland).
[addsig]

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:55
English to German
+ ...
Re: TIN's mistake Jun 29, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-06-28 19:04, Klaus Herrmann wrote:

I read your \"mod\'s note\", and I think you ought to repeat the advice you gave to TIN, because it great advice:



Use the first question to give a short explanation, or just to state there will be more questions coming up. I\'ve seen such statements making a difference. In all cases I remember, the asker obtain answers, not one single complaint, and a lot of sympathy.





Quite right, Klaus - which is why I also pointed it out to TIN in a private message. If you look at the questions graded afterwards, she took it on board immediately and added an apology.

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Heather Ferlicchia  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:55
German to English
One thing strikes me... Jun 29, 2002

... in cases where there really has been genuine abuse, is that sometimes the people who complain nevertheless provide answers to the questions. This just doesn\'t appear to me to be consistent. As has already been said above, no-one is forced to answer KudoZ questions (I have yet to hear that there\'s an international underground movement of ProZ \"Mafiosi\" conducting campaigns of terror to force people to make their contribution! ), so why decry the abuser and simultaneously provide him/her with support?

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:55
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
20 questions for 50 pages isn't bad... Jun 29, 2002

And I was in the exact same boat as Ailish on that medical job she mentioned. Still, I have to admit I get a \"proofer\'s syndrome\" when I have to edit a text that I know I could\'ve translated better (and there is no worse proofer than one who feels like this; he/she could practically destroy a translator). So please be fair, if you think the competition should simply sink or swim, just let him!

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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:55
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
The Theory of Relativity Jun 30, 2002

Dear Colleagues,



I fully agree with Ralf, Marcus and Cecilia. Normally, if we know the asker, we tend to believe the text is long and difficult, what we tend not to do, if we don\'t know the asker. Perhaps askers could write immediately in the body of the first question that they are dealing with a long difficult text, collected all questions and are asking them all at once, as some colleagues do. Honestly, I am not in favour of too many questions, but I distinguish different cases I approach with a different mood. John is even right when he says sonme colleagues have tried to have the whole text translated via KudoZ, but I believe it has happened and happens very seldom.

Almost all language pairs have moderators, so contact them. If there is still no moderator for that language pair, you can always contact a moderator for another language pair.





Have a nice day,



Giuliana
[addsig]


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Martin Perazzo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
I agree with Siulach, Cecilia, Marcus... Jul 1, 2002

As one of the translators who took part in that mammoth medical job a couple of months ago, I don\'t envy Siulach or Cecilia for the massive proofing job they had to do with such short turnaround times. The translators for the project were also under a great deal of pressure, and many KudoZ questions were posted in relation to the project from both translators and proofreaders. I don\'t post very many KudoZ questions, but after hours of fruitless searching of obscure acronyms and medical terms in multiple sites, I too had to use this resource.

And the project was one of those rare occasions where the feedback and cooperation were top-notch... just imagine what it would have been like with no help whatsoever by the end-customer or the agency. I sometimes think back to what jobs like this were like

before the advent of the Internet and the appearance of sites like ProZ.com, and I count my blessings.

Like most things in life, this site and its features can be misused, or even abused by people without scruples, and there\'s room for improvement on a number of fronts. But all in all I think most of us use it properly and are grateful for its existence.



FWIW,



Martin


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:55
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I didn't proof that one, Martin, I translated Jul 2, 2002

and altogether taken we went well over the 500-question horizon (couldn\'t scroll down anymore, which became a bum since \"Proz-Medical-500\" was being used as a d-base by everyone in multi-tasking mode). Now, what was really funny: the proofers were asking ME (same city, cheaper phone). And asking me to consult THEIR doubts. But the experience was GREAT, albeit harrowing - I mean, since I went off the conference beat, I haven\'t felt more surrounded and supported and truly into teamwork. As a result I have a list of 6 doctors and 10 paramedics out there I owe and I will bend over backwards if they ever need a parrot squawking BTW, I thought knew everyone on the team already - pleased to have worked with you!



What I was referring to was the \"blue-pencil syndrome\". I had this once when I was an editor, and it attacks you time and time again when you\'ve done simultaneous, you\'ve been sent a bad text, and are asked to proof it under an incredible time pressure. All the professorial milk of human kindness dries up in me (criticism as a constructive principle) and all I can think of is, look, pay me half my going rate and I\'ll do it all over in 30 minutes and call it quits!

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-07-02 01:02 ]


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