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Questions tell a lot about Askers!
Thread poster: Nikita Kobrin

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 20:01
Member (2010)
English to Russian
+ ...
Nov 10, 2002

Quote from Tayfun Torunoglu: \"the best way to rank translators is not their answers but the quality of their questions.\"





I totally agree with Tayfun. When I see questions concerning polysemantic words (and most words are) or specific terms and not giving any context I can tell you quite a lot about Asker\'s level of \"professionalism\". And the way Askers post their questions is also very telltale.

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-20 23:24]


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Antonella Andreella  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:01
German to Italian
+ ...
Which is the purpose of this site? Nov 10, 2002

A screening of past and future virtues of experienced and less experienced translators?



...mumble, mumble



I\'m getting a bit confused...



Or am I missing something?





Antonella





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JCEC  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:01
Member
English to French
Danger thin ice ! Nov 10, 2002

Debating the competence of askers is threading on thin ice !



ProZ is a site for professional translators but true translation questions on the part of the less experienced are accepted. We have Friday night homework, love letters and even translation assignments...



I don\'t see anything wrong with this, and everyone is free to answer according to his or her inclination.



Personnally, I feel less inclined to be patient with improvised translators who ask 30 questions in a row to complete a job they should never have undertaken. But then, isn\'t this why we have moderators ?



We all learn from each other but some of us started earlier than others.



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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:01
English to German
+ ...
Different purposes for different users Nov 10, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-11-10 18:24, Andreella wrote:

A screening of past and future virtues of experienced and less experienced translators?



Not necessarily the future virtues, but certainly some of their present skills. The way someone asks about terminology for a certain field can reveal quite a lot about that person\'s experience in the field. IOW are questions asked in way that screams \"I\'m lost, help me out\" between the lines, or is it just a case of a missing technical term in a context that is well understood?

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T Crotogino
French to English
+ ...
A certain amount of laziness... Nov 10, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-11-10 22:08, Lemster wrote:

...are questions asked in way that screams \"I\'m lost, help me out\" between the lines, or is it just a case of a missing technical term in a context that is well understood?





True enough. But what I find truly baffling is the number of questions that could be answered by simply cracking open a dictionary, and I don\'t mean topic-specific dictionaries but rather any generalist dictionary. And given that we all seem to have Internet access, even more material is available...



I\'m not going to post a question until I\'m good and certain I\'ve exhausted the reference material I have available to me.

T Crotogino

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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 20:01
Member (2010)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ABC Nov 11, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-11-10 22:08, Lemster wrote:



The way someone asks about terminology for a certain field can reveal quite a lot about that person\'s experience in the field.







Yes, it\'s true but while speaking about the way someone asks questions I mean not only that person\'s experience in the field. A translator may be more or less experienced in this or that particular field. It\'s quite understandable. But I definitely CAN\'T understand \"translators\" asking questions without giving appropriate context and explanations. THERE IS NO TRANSLATION OUT OF CONTEXT. It\'s ABC of our job. Any translator MUST know it. If s/he doesn\'t, I can\'t call him a colleague. Nevertheless I quite often see such questions here on ProZ. They made me simply mad. Especially when asked not by \"guests\" but by registered ProZers.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
The Only Stupid Question Nov 11, 2002

The only stupid question is the one that is not asked. However, there certainly are quite a few questions that belie the asker\'s lack of research skills. Askers should try to find the answer on their own before asking their colleagues, and some obviously are omitting that step or do not know how to do it effectively. If we are here, then by definition we all have the Internet, the world\'s biggest dictionary, at our disposal. If I can find the answer there in five seconds, they can too.

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xxxxeni
English to Russian
+ ...
Supply meets demand :) Nov 11, 2002

However, have you noticed that NO question is left unanswered? So people (including myself) may find it amusing, educational, or just kind of recreation or even a game. Why not let us play?

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Terry Gilman  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:01
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
We're all standing on the shoulders of others Nov 11, 2002

Everyone of us is standing on the shoulders of others. Of course we all judge askers and answerers on the bits of information they provide; whether agencies can do this - well, some can.



When I see easy questions, I try to remember that I have to translate a lot of stuff \"outside my field\" because the consultants I work for sprinkle their work with examples ranging from automobiles to zoology. It might be one page or chart in a pack or text of 50 pages, but I might be having to translate it at midnight for the next day.



Sure, not professional, but it\'s reality.



Just my 2 cents.

Terry


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:01
English to German
+ ...
Sounds totally un acceptable for me Nov 11, 2002

Imagine I have been working on a text of, say 10,000-15,000 words (happens to be, you won\'t argue) and in the end, I have some 20-30 terms left open or just I am in doubt about my own translation and would like to have peers\' opinions. I personally prefer to work in a way that I collect all open questions for Proz at the end, after having used all other sources of information and close these gaps on the last day all at once. The colleagues who helped me in the past may have mentioned this. Now you suggest me to be limited to ask 5 questions per day. This would mean I have to tell the client he should wait another week before I will be able to deliver. You may agree yourself that this is impracticable.



Second: imagine I haven\'t been using the system for a certain period, doing my jobs without peers\' support, although I might have asked, as you suggest, up to 5 terms a day. I just didn\'t need it at that time. Now I would need more support and urgently, but I am this way punished for not having bothered the others with questions for, maybe, several weeks.



Third: what do I pay for when access is limited to 5 words per day?!



Askers should be free to ask anything at anytime the system is on service, you are free to reply or not.



Salem

Steffen





On 2002-11-11 11:29, 1964 wrote:

The limit may be 5 terms question/ a day and +1 Phrase. (Only daily limit, NOT a unused right transferred to next day basis)

Asker should refine his/her questions and arrive to 5 crucial question to ask, and should leave(or rely on his own researches) any project demanding far more expertise than his/her current level of expertise.

I like helping others especially new translators but that would be better for all.

[/quote]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-11 12:34 ]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:01
English to German
+ ...
Tayfun's suggestion was for non-members only Nov 11, 2002

Hi Steffen,

I agree that the system should be open to accommodate any number of term queries, provided that (i) these are terms, not phrases and (ii) not all terms in a sentence are asked in a row (i.e. the attempt to get a free translation \"through the back door\").



However, if you read Tayfun\'s suggestion closely...

Quote:
(Not to Proz ID\'s but internet entry points)
...you\'ll see that nothing should be changed for ProZ members. Now that\'s something I consider worthwhile exploring.


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Domenica Grangiotti  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:01
English to Italian
+ ...
Too many rules are certainly a hindrance Nov 11, 2002

Don\'t we already have too many rules and regulations already everywhere?

Moreover, no rule is good enough unless COMMON SENSE is used!

My very personal opinion.


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Antonella Andreella  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:01
German to Italian
+ ...
I guess the problem Nov 11, 2002

is..... an empty profile. Because, at least in en de fr > it and viceversa when you see questions posted in a row (I counted about 50 in one single morning) the asker usually has an empty profile.

Those approx 50 questions got quite good answers but the problem was that in the afternoon the lady tried to post all of them again.

Well, I then aswered to the first repeated question to point out that she was reposting the same questions. She wrote to me in private to explain that she lost the thread (she posted questions from another e-mail address and notifications were sent to a different e-mail, that\'s what she wrote) and so she was no longer capable of closing/reviewing them.

I then added a comment containing a link to the Pro Kudoz questions page to let her track back and close her previous questions.

Given the number of questions various answerers were involved and someone posted some remarks. But we were told that that was not the spirit of the site...



There always is something new to learn, you see?



By the way, I checked right now, and it seems that most questions were graded automatically, so the lady did not succeed in closing her questions, not even after I pasted the link.

And by the way... she has an empty profile.



My half cent





Antonella



PS: and yes no rule can replace common sense!









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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 01:01
English
+ ...
If there must be question per day ceilings... Nov 11, 2002

...I\'m an active non-payer, so I wouldn\'t like it.

...I\'m also an active answerer most days, so I\'d like to earn extra questions for my time and trouble -- more than someone can get with an empty profile.

...I too have exploded over how to say \"one two three\" in French.

...I too have asked questions with insufficient context.



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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:01
English to German
+ ...
No restriction to members Nov 11, 2002

I don\'t think there\'s any way you can fix any ceiling level that is \"right\" - as Steffen correctly pointed out, you would try to force an inflexible regime onto those looking for support.



Who can be exploited if answering is voluntary? How many times do you get someone asking 20+ questions in a row? What I would like to emphasise, however, is that the proper thing to do is to contact the moderator(s) (who have tools at their disposal to stop askers, whether or not these are site members) instead of starting to post comments (which the asker will either see too late or ignore...).


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