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Confused newcomer
Thread poster: Andy Watkinson

Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 18:38
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Mar 6, 2002




As a newcomer to proZ I should like simply to say hello to everyone and comment on a few aspects which have, on occasions, surprised me.

Firstly, I find the kudoZ section a brilliant idea. Although I’ve used it sparingly (about 3 times) just to know it exists is a godsend, as many others here have pointed out already.

One thing that strikes me, though, is that many answerers appear not to have read the context of the question (of course, I may be repeating here something which you’ve all discussed a thousand times –I’ve read forums on all sorts of strange behavior: kudoZ “cheating”, backslapping, clique-formation, the importance or otherwise of kudoZ points, hatemail, etc…….but not on the simple fact that some people seem to ignore the context/asker’s observations entirely). To me, this seems as strange in a translator as do the spelling / grammar mistakes in both Spanish and English…something I would have thought instinctively avoided in a professional whose livelihood (and possibly life) revolves around words and their correct usage (“¿en casa del herrero, cuchillo de palo?”, with apologies to non-Spanish speakers).

Secondly, there seems to be an obsession with empty profiles – many members are constantly recommending they all be summarily deleted (or perhaps after a short grace period). Why? From the discussions I’ve read, it seems materially impossible to keep troublesome people out, unless we all turn up at a given point on the globe on a given date wearing name tags and bring our respective diplomas, and certificates, and degrees, etc….No-No.

I thought (and this is probably where I’ve got it wrong) that the whole idea of the kudoZ system was professional, i.e. prove one’s knowledge and skills in x areas/languages in order to win jobs and professional “standing”. But what occurs when someone, like myself, who has no interest in obtaining more work, but does have a great interest in translation per se, and who tries to help when able and responds accordingly (politely) when helped, does not fill in a profile?

I should have thought the criterion for membership does not lie in how much a person

reveals about him/herself. Not that I’m bothered. Name Andy Watkinson (hello to any Liverpudlians), degree in Hispanic Studies, not two translation certificates to rub together, getting on for 28 years’ experience, currently in-house at major mgmt and technology consultancy, (which explains lack of interest in finding extra work), as if anyone’s really interested ….or makes anyone a “better” member.

No, I should have thought that the only valid “test” is that person’s contributions, his or her desire to help out other people who at 3.00 am are still on page 79/120 of “…and no clause hereof shall be interpreted or construed in a manner liable to….etc, etc…”.. and are at their wit’s end…

It seems obvious that there are even a FEW members (people whom many of you appear to know but are only referred to in “code”) whose profiles “verily overflow”, but who are quite capable of giving answers without reading the question first, who can’t spell and who are often rather rude – though not all three at the same time, I should hope….

I don’t get the obsession with the empty profiles. Enlightenment, please….






[addsig]


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 12:38
German to English
+ ...
Re: empty profiles Mar 7, 2002

One member correctly pointed out today that empty profiles don\'t really help askers of KudoZ questions to form an opinion of the answers received.



Think about it: you post a question and receive an answer, but when you check the profile of the answerer, you only find an empty profile (quite often, even the country is left out). So, does he/she have the right experience/qualifications to give me an answer? Well, with an empty profile, you\'ll never know.



I believe all we\'re asking for is some basic information; after all, we\'d like to know who we\'re dealing with (instead of constantly seeing \"no information on file\", I\'d rather read something trivial such as \"I love cats\" or \"I always like to nibble on a piece of pizza when I am translating\").



Even if you are not out to land any jobs here, it would still be considered simple courtesy to add a bit of flesh to your profile. That\'s all (or at least tell us which country you\'re in).



That\'s not too much to ask for, is it?


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 18:38
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Empty profiles Mar 7, 2002

One member correctly pointed out today that empty profiles don\'t really help askers of KudoZ questions to form an opinion of the answers received.



Think about it: you post a question and receive an answer, but when you check the profile of the answerer, you only find an empty profile (quite often, even the country is left out). So, does he/she have the right experience/qualifications to give me an answer? Well, with an empty profile, you\'ll never know.



I believe all we\'re asking for is some basic information; after all, we\'d like to know who we\'re dealing with (instead of constantly seeing \"no information on file\", I\'d rather read something trivial such as \"I love cats\" or \"I always like to nibble on a piece of pizza when I am translating\").



Even if you are not out to land any jobs here, it would still be considered simple courtesy to add a bit of flesh to your profile. That\'s all (or at least tell us which country you\'re in).



That\'s not too much to ask for, is it?



============================================

Dear AbacusTrans,



As regards the usefulness of profiles for choosing answers, I\'m sure that in certain cases you are right. However, I\'ve seen some excruciating mistakes of comprehension, grammar and basic spelling and looked at the answerer\'s profile only to find that they purport to be God\'s gift to translating! Hardly very reliable, although I take your point.



FYI I\'ve been working as a freelance translator in Barcelona (Spain) for the past 25 years. I\'ve translated for numerous agencies and direct clients on wide range of subjects (though I will not touch Medicine, Pharmacy or similar with the proverbial barge pole because I\'m not qualified.) I translate into English and often into Spanish (yes, I know - considered a mortal sin; but I\'ve spent more time studying, writing, reading, thinking and dreaming in Spanish than in English).

And I do love cats (and curries, not pizza).

Saludos,

Andy


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xxxJon Zuber
Spanish to English
+ ...
The thing about empty profiles. Mar 8, 2002

Andy, I believe it\'s because when one observes abuse (and sometimes simple cluelessness) in KudoZ and checks out the person responsible, the profile is so often empty. However, as Henry recently pointed out, there are other reasons for maintaining an empty profile, and he\'s not about to take them out.

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John Kinory
Local time: 17:38
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Hi Andy, from sunny Oxford Mar 9, 2002

No, Andy, I would have thought that translating into Spanish (or Catalan) when you\'ve lived in Barcelona for 25 years is not considered a sin.

However, I do share your frustration at excruciatingly wrong answers given by members with blank profiles and by those (some of them well-known here) with a cornucopia of degrees and what-have-you in their profiles.

Today I had to disagree with a complex phrase \'translated\' into Hebrew by some who is \'currently studying the language\' - Simplified Reader 1.a, by the looks of it.

Sorry about some of the convoluted sentences hereinbefore and/or above: I am on page 15 of 29 of an insurance job (and guess what: the client had sworn they would be sending me 18 pages, tops! [LOL]).

Your fellow cat, pizza and curry lover,



John
[addsig]


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Andrea Bullrich  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:38
Member
English to Spanish
It takes just days to figure out who's who Mar 9, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-03-07 11:05, andycw wrote:

One member correctly pointed out today that empty profiles don\'t really help askers of KudoZ questions to form an opinion of the answers received.



============================================

Dear AbacusTrans,



As regards the usefulness of profiles for choosing answers, I\'m sure that in certain cases you are right. However, I\'ve seen some excruciating mistakes of comprehension, grammar and basic spelling and looked at the answerer\'s profile only to find that they purport to be God\'s gift to translating! Hardly very reliable, although I take your point.





As the \"member who correcly pointed out\" this problem with empty profiles (Werner, I\'m here! ), I want to add something else. Andy, you\'re right, there are all types of mistakes from members with dazzling profiles. And it doesn\'t even matter whether their claims are true or they have cut&pasted someone else\'s résumé. The thing is, it only takes a few days, a month at most, to realize who\'s who and whose answers are worth even considering and whose are not. So it probably works both ways: an empty profile doesn\'t help if you want to check the reliability of an answer, but when you see truly good answers repeatedly and then look at the profile again, you know that person has really earned those degrees, worked for those great companies, whatever.



Cheers,



Andrea

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Andrea Bullrich  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:38
Member
English to Spanish
Yet another problem with empty profiles Mar 9, 2002

As it happens, I\'ve just received a disagree to an answer I had given. I did not recognize the nickname, so I clicked on it, only to find an empty profile. My first reaction, admittedly, was \"who ARE you?\" The fact is, the question is one of those \"open\" ones, where there isn\'t a single correct answer but it\'s rather a matter of trying to give the best possible rendering into your language. Now, if I get a disagree from somebody I know and respect, or who at least has a decent profile, I think it over, because of course I may be wrong. But in this case I don\'t even know whether it\'s worth the while.



FWIW



Andrea


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 18:38
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Remarks above Mar 11, 2002




I agree with a lot, if not most, of what you\'ve all kindly written. Especially the point that Andrea makes, to the effect that after a few entries/answers or what have you, anyone can see if the person writing is serious or hasn\'t a clue.

I suppose that sums up what I was trying to say in the first place.



Thanks,

Andy




[addsig]


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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 14:38
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
About empty or full profiles Mar 12, 2002

I never check someone\'s profile to see if their answers are good or not. I prefer to check the references or explanations they give. That, if the value of their suggestions is not immediately apparent.



I do check the profile when I find an answer that is particularly ridiculous. And guess what, more often than not, the person in question has such a huuuuuuuge profile, with looooooooots of remarkable claims.



I agree then, about the consistent correctness (or lack of it) of someone\'s answers being more valuable to judge their capacity than the longest profile.



And I don\'t get it about one\'s love of cats or pizza being relevant to translation. Maybe my sense of humor is just not working today.


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 18:38
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Curries Mar 12, 2002


Hi Silvina:



Your mention of only checking the profile when an answer is patently ridiculous rings a bell - I\'ve also done that - though I was not the asker, simply an astonished bystander.



As regards the curries, they form an essential part of any British translator\'s resources..... as do dogs and cats. If you really want to see a forum which has nothing to do with translating, you might want to visit \"Big Bertha\" (!) - where you\'ll learn all about WWII weaponry.



Y arriba ese sentido de humor, que esto dura dos días.

Saludos,

Andy


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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 14:38
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Funny profiles Mar 13, 2002

OK, so I\'ll add to my profile: Love cats, I have six (Should I add their names, too?); Adore pizza but wouldn\'t dream of eating it while I\'m working (the little crumbs have a way of falling between the keyboard keys) (Then I would have to buy myself a little vacuum cleaner, like that guy in Gattaca).



About Big Bertha, as they say in Die Zauberflöte, that is a very long story. Don\'t worry; you get used to it after a while. Right now, this forum has become one of those translation-unrelated forums, but well, no sólo de pan vive el hombre, hombre!


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schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:38
Italian to German
+ ...
no e-mail -> OUT! no profile -> well… Mar 25, 2002

Dear Andy, seeing that you ARE ready to reveal something about yourself - what\'s so horrible about losing one minute for pasting your sentence about having lived in Barcelona for 25 years into your profile? IMO it\'s just the minimum of politeness when somebody joins a group. Your contributions here show that you are polite and that your indication of translating into both directions is justified, but all those who didn\'t happen to read this forum IMO are entitled to feel suspicious when they visit your profile, induced by one of your answers in the coming years.

Happy Easter from sunny Italy

Martin


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 18:38
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Emptiness Apr 2, 2002


Martin:

Either I\'ve given a rather poor explanation or you\'ve missed the point.

It\'s not that I find filling in profiles \"horrible\" - but pointless.

In the very short time I\'ve visited proZ, I\'ve seen (as pointed out above), \"professionals\" whose CV\'s could break a camel\'s back - but they can\'t differentiate between \"its\" and \"it\'s\" and don\'t seem to bother to read the questions - maybe that\'s not important to some people - it should be. Can I really believe they\'ve studied/translated everything they claim to?

As far as politeness is concerned, perhaps you might want to gently chide the above \"camel-abusers\" first..... I am not aware of having offended anyone, and if I ever should, please feel free to have me summarily \"cyberbanned\".



Saludos,

Andy


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schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:38
Italian to German
+ ...
what a profile can and cannot do Apr 15, 2002

Hi Andy,

I don\'t think any profile can guarantee that a translator is perfect. But if somebody needs a translator, instead of just having a hundred names to choose from and no other info, I think it may be somewhat helpful to know that a translator spent several years in a country or translated books or whatever. And it\'s nice for us ProZ mates to be able to know something about the other ProZ mates: in this way we feel more closely together. That\'s what I meant!

Martin


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