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a modest proposal regarding Non-Pro Kudoz questions
Thread poster: Ken Cox
Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:00
German to English
+ ...
May 24, 2007

As things are now, classifying a question as Non-Pro effectively penalizes answerers, since no points are awarded for the selected answer.

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to penalise the asker (at least for registered members), in order to discourage the practice of posting terms without first doing any research? IMO reducing the asker's daily quota of questions would be a suitable penalty (and as suggested, this need not be applied to non-members, many of whom are apparently not professional translators).


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 13:00
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
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MODERATOR
A very sensible suggestion! May 24, 2007

Answering a so-called non-pro question can often be just as qualifying as answering a pro-question.

Therefore your suggestion is brilliant IMHO.

Mats


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 14:00
Italian to Latvian
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KudoZ May 24, 2007

How can we determine that a person who asks a non-proz question has not done all the possible research beforehand? I really dont think that asking a non-proz automatically means the asker has not used all resources available to them to find the answer.

As regards the daily quota of KudoZ questions I think there already is such a thing - to my knowledge there already exists a definite number of questions one can ask daily (correct me if Im wrong).


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:00
Member (2005)
English to Russian
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Nope May 24, 2007

Hi Ken,

You make no sense. Answerers are free not to answer KudoZ questions... and that includes non-pro questions. Therefore, imposing extra limitations on askers of non-pro questions is not necessary.

Besides, non-pro questions can be marked as pro. Another reason not to do anything about the status quo.

Mike


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:00
Italian to English
+ ...
Points are awarded for non-pro questions! May 24, 2007

Your kudoz are divided into Pro- and non-Pro points.

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Why are there non-pro questions to begin with? May 24, 2007

The name ProZ presumably defines the web site's reason for being. If the question isn't of a professional caliber, what's it doing here in the first place?

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Nicholas Ferreira  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Status quo is fine May 24, 2007

I'm happy with the system as is. If you don't like answering non-Pro, then don't. Esp. if you don't master a language, it is very possible to do plenty of research and still not grasp a rather basic point of grammar or vocabulary... hence the need for Non-Pro questions.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto May 24, 2007

Steven Capsuto wrote:

The name ProZ presumably defines the web site's reason for being. If the question isn't of a professional caliber, what's it doing here in the first place?


I couldn't have said it better myself.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:00
German to English
Lazy askers May 24, 2007

Ken Cox wrote:

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to penalise the asker (at least for registered members), in order to discourage the practice of posting terms without first doing any research? IMO reducing the asker's daily quota of questions would be a suitable penalty (and as suggested, this need not be applied to non-members, many of whom are apparently not professional translators).


Hi, Ken - I'm all in favor of anything we can do to make the site more professional. Folks who call themselves translators but can't or don't want to do basic research themselves before asking questions should be put on notice that this is not how professional translators work.

I also think we should do something to discourage poorly prepared questions. If I had it my way, mods and members would be able to squash questions that are posed without decent context. Or we could send the question to non-pro.


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:00
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Put questions "on hold" May 24, 2007

Kim Metzger wrote:

If I had it my way, mods and members would be able to squash questions that are posed without decent context. Or we could send the question to non-pro.



Squashing might be a little too harsh, in my opinion. I would rather have an option to put the question "on hold", i.e. it is not possible to answer the flagged question (the reasons should be very specific, preferably selected from a list) until the asker reformulates the question according to the rules. I think that the educational value would be greater (more of an encouragement than a slap).


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 13:00
Partial member (2003)
French to English
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The probs all started when.......... May 24, 2007

.... .it was decided to have pro points ONLY count towards the sacred Kudoz rating. Before it didn't matter. Merry Christmas counted just as much as due diligence. Which was ridiculous, of course.
All hell broke loose once that change was introduced. People didn't want to be caught dead answering or asking a "worthless" non-pro question. Result-we now have dictionary terms and everyday terms listed as PRO and people resent it when the term is voted down where it belongs.
People should accept that there are questions and probs that really are pro and lots of others that simply aren't. As already said, it's up to you whether you answer or not. But trying to list non-pro questions as pro is counterproductive for all of us. A distinction must be made, for the sake of the professionalism of the site. The question is, do the powers want a professional translation site or just a 'translation site'.
Also agree with Kim and Ken-the Rule about looking for the term and only posting it AFTER extensive research should be enforced. Too many people simply post and let two-legged (re)search engines do the work for them. Too often terms are found straightaway in dicos, Iate, the www or even in the glossary, which is fairly good proof that the person never bothered looking before they posted.

[Edited at 2007-05-24 15:33]


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 08:00
SITE STAFF
The asker is the one who defines the parameters of the question May 24, 2007

A couple of points from the Sixteen (16) cornerstones of ProZ.com:


6. The person with the need sets the parameters. Whether it be KudoZ, the forums or the jobs system, the person who has the need is given options for setting parameters and directing the flow of an exchange. For example, KudoZ askers are given the option of making a question for-points or not, of directing the question to people who meet certain criteria, etc. The feeling is that this approach, which may be the one most likely to ensure that needs are met, is appropriate for our collaborative community and service industry.

10. ProZ.com is an open and welcoming community. The workplace has been structured in such a way as to invite and welcome the participation of language professionals or those with language needs, including those who are only occasional visitors or just passers-by.


KudoZ is about helping the asker, a person with language needs. The asker (the person in need) is the one who defines the parameters of the question. This is one of the reasons why rule http://www.proz.com/siterules/kudoz_answ/3.7#3.7 forbids comments or insinuations concerning his/her experience or profile, his/her decision to post a certain question, grade or close a question in a certain way, make a certain glossary entry, etc.

Regards,
Enrique


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
Non pro... completely subjective May 24, 2007

I understand the reason for the category, and I really don't care about the points.

But the way the system works right now, it makes no sense!!

There really is no clear guideline as to what makes a question pro or non-pro. The difference is completely subjective!!

If it is in the eye of the asker, I am giving them the benefit of the doubt that they have decided to ask because it seems like something really difficult... So of course they will classify it as Pro. And while the answerers have the option to vote the question Non-pro, there really is no point: they would get fewer points, and in the end the category makes no difference anywhere...

The result: most of the questions are classified as Pro anyhow... And a lot of these questions are terms or words you find in a bilingual dictionary (or in cases, are so common you don't even need a dictionary!)

Maybe the point of voting is to vent your frustration when the question is so evident that just opening a bilingual dictionary would solve the problem?



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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:00
German to English
Placing pro-level questions on hold May 24, 2007

Jabberwock wrote:

Squashing might be a little too harsh, in my opinion. I would rather have an option to put the question "on hold", i.e. it is not possible to answer the flagged question (the reasons should be very specific, preferably selected from a list) until the asker reformulates the question according to the rules. I think that the educational value would be greater (more of an encouragement than a slap).


Yes, a very reasonable and useful proposal, Jabberwock. Sounds like a feasible approach.

If it's a non-pro question, we can't expect the kind of standards that pros are accustomed to, so we'll just give the language learner the best help we can under the circumstances. Translators are a generous lot.

But if the question is posed as a pro-level question by someone who calls him or herself a translator and the asker has not done the basic work expected of pros, the question should be placed on hold - members would vote to place the question on hold until the asker has checked all the available sources first. We should also be able to vote to place the question on hold until adequate context has been provided.

PRO questions are those that are asked by OR that are suitable for professional translators.

Non-PRO questions are those that are asked by people who are not professional translators, and that can be answered by any bilingual person without the aid of a dictionary


[Edited at 2007-05-24 16:51]


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:00
German to English
Redefining our philosophy May 24, 2007

Enrique wrote:

KudoZ is about helping the asker, a person with language needs. The asker (the person in need) is the one who defines the parameters of the question. This is one of the reasons why rule http://www.proz.com/siterules/kudoz_answ/3.7#3.7 forbids comments or insinuations concerning his/her experience or profile, his/her decision to post a certain question, grade or close a question in a certain way, make a certain glossary entry, etc.


I know you are just reminding us of the rules and philosophy of the site, Enrique, but I'd say members are voicing their concerns about the direction ProZ.com is heading and would like to see some improvements in the direction of professional translation standards. If we haven't formulated our rules and philosophy in a way that emphasizes that the site is as a workplace for professional translators, then let's reexamine them. Let's get pro translators on board to help us remember what professional translation is all about.


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