Specify US or UK English when asking KudoZ
Thread poster: xxxPoveyTrans
xxxPoveyTrans

Local time: 22:03
German to English
Feb 11, 2008

With regards KudoZ questions from any language into English, or English to English queries, I wonder if it would be helpful for the asker to specify whether the target term should be US or UK (or Aus etc. for that matter). Obviously this option is available for the answerer but I often find myself asking the asker whether the source text is US or UK or the target term should be one or the other.

As a translator into English, it is issue which is naturally addressed with each and every translation I do. A native speaker of English with linguistic training is obviously very sensitive to this issue (I know somebody who translates from UK < > US almost full time!) but our colleagues whose first language is not English may not be in a position to know all the subtleties and may inadvertently select to use a KudoZ response which is inappropriate for the target 'dialect'.

It is obviously not a key function, rather a 'nice to have' for your list of potential change requests.

Any views?

Best regards

Simon

[Edited at 2008-02-11 16:12]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:03
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Good idea. Feb 11, 2008

There was a question in the All-English KudoZ the other day in which someone asked about "Poesy Ladders" as a title for a collection of poems. Fortunately the asker gave the word in German too, and someone recognized it. It turned out he meant ladders as in stockings (in UK English). In US English these are "runs", so answerers in the USA would not have understood what was wanted.

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Nicholas Ferreira  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Enough to specify in comments Feb 11, 2008

I think where there is a possibility of confusion or a need to be specific, it is enough for the asker to specify in his request that the answer being sought is for an audience with English UK or US, or Australia or Canada or India, etc. for that matter. For the sake of simplicity, I don't think it necessary or convenient to create an entirely separate language category for the 1% or 2% of terms that may differ slightly from region to region.

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Jared Tabor
Local time: 18:03
SITE STAFF
The asker does have the option of specifying this and other details, in the "Explanation" field Feb 11, 2008

Hello Simon and Jack,

Thanks for the suggestion. The asker does have the option of specifying this and other details, in the "Explanation" field at http://www.proz.com/?sp=k2 :


As much explanation as possible should be entered for the term. Consider including: type of document/situation, country and dialect, URLs, translations you are considering, etc.


More detailed guidelines and tutorials for asking and answering are being worked on, to help askers and answerers use the system more fully.

Best regards,

Jared


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:03
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I agree this would be a useful additional field Feb 11, 2008

I think Simon's suggestion is a very good idea.

It is true, that the dialect could be specified in the Explanation field.
However, selecting the dialect from a pull-down list is already possible when answering KudoZ questions, so I think it is a valid request to have the same feature available for the askers. This would be useful not only in the case of English, but in the case of other languages that have dialects.

The way I see it:
If there is a separate field, it reminds the asker to specify the dialect. Without this, the asker may not remember to do that. Specifying the dialect could prevent answerers asking extra questions, or providing answers that at the end are useless, because of the dialect needed in the first place.

If the target language is the one with the dialects, the asker may not be aware at all that the answer may be different for the different dialects (since he/she does not know the answer), so unless reminded right there, he/she may not think of specifying the target dialect in the Explanation field.

I know, I myself would welcome this feature.


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xxxPoveyTrans

Local time: 22:03
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Drop-down list box - or pull-down in US English! Feb 11, 2008

Dear Jarod

Yes, I can see how that area could be used to specify the dialect. I did have in mind a DDLB, as referred to by Katalin, which would force the asker to specify their preferred dialect.

I am intrigued now to know how this explanation area can be better used. My experience, though, is that people (myself included here!) somtimes don't specify all the background information which is required to offer a reasoned and viable answer.
By making this field mandatory, it will help the answerers know whether they are in a position to answer and whether they should consider potential regional variances when submitting an answer.

I don't agree entirely with Nicolas' view that only 1-2% of terms differ. Having worked for four years on a large IT project within the field of international insurance - UK, US, Europe - with a US sister company, my experience is that there can be significant differences in terminology for the same sector, to say nothing of stylistic differences (I mention this by way of example of the sort of technical terms which are posted on KudoZ).

I would not propose a separate language category as Nicolas seemed to think - rather a DDLB as referred to above!

If the aim of KudoZ is to enable the sharing of detailed knowledge about words, including their cultural as well as regional context, then IMO forcing the user to specify this would help users in submitting an answer.

On the other hand, I can imagine from a business analyst's perspective that this could be difficult. At what level should dialects be specified? Canadian, Australian, New Zealand...and across how many languages...?

By way of alternative solutions, you could include some overwritable text in the explanation box which invites the asker to include the background information Jared refers to above.

Best wishes

Simon

[Edited at 2008-02-11 19:46]


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Pierre Renault
Local time: 17:03
French to English
+ ...
Drop-down menus versus Pull-down menus Feb 11, 2008

They're not the same thing. Its not (or "should not be") a UK versus US thing.

A drop-down menu appears when the mouse is over it (anyone remember Ventura Publisher, the GEM versions, based on the very, very old Atari operating system?).

A pull-down menu requires the user to click the menu selector (i.e. the way Windows works today).

P


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:03
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not a separate language category Feb 11, 2008

Nicholas Ferreira wrote:

I think where there is a possibility of confusion or a need to be specific, it is enough for the asker to specify in his request that the answer being sought is for an audience with English UK or US, or Australia or Canada or India, etc. for that matter. For the sake of simplicity, I don't think it necessary or convenient to create an entirely separate language category for the 1% or 2% of terms that may differ slightly from region to region.


I agree with Nicholas. It would be very useful to mention it, possibly as a required field, but there is no need to make it a separate language category.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:03
French to English
+ ...
Good idea Feb 11, 2008

I had this problem the other day when asking a question from German into English for Ordnungslinien - two answers came up, both apparently perfectly valid in their own rights - give-way lines for UK English and yield lines for US English, which I, as a Brit, had certainly never heard of before. As a native speaker, I knew which language I wanted the translation in (UK) and therefore which answer was appropriate, BUT there are a lot of people out there who are translating into a non-native language and who maybe wouldn't have known. Certainly, if there was a box to tick for a particular variety of English or German (Austrian, Swiss, etc.), it would be very useful. I do usually try and specify in my explanation, but a tickable option would be better.

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Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:03
French to English
Answering KudoZ Feb 11, 2008


However, selecting the dialect from a pull-down list is already possible when answering KudoZ questions,


I've never really thought about it before, but what *is* the point of selecting the dialect when answering? I mean, this information doesn't show up anywhere afterwards ... or perhaps I'm missing something? I just looked back at some old KudoZ where I'm sure that I specified the dialect I was answering in, but nothing shows up to indicate this on the actual answer after it's been posted.


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xxxPoveyTrans

Local time: 22:03
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
US-UK DDLB Feb 11, 2008

Pierre Renault wrote:

They're not the same thing. Its not (or "should not be") a UK versus US thing.

A drop-down menu appears when the mouse is over it (anyone remember Ventura Publisher, the GEM versions, based on the very, very old Atari operating system?).

A pull-down menu requires the user to click the menu selector (i.e. the way Windows works today).

P



OK - this difference was seen in terms of US-UK where I used to work - all the more reason therefore to be specific in asking and answering questions in terms of dialect (for want of a better word).

Best wishes

Simon


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:03
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It would be very useful Feb 12, 2008

It would be a real help to answerers if they could choose not to receive notifications in one or the other 'dialect'.

The traffic is so heavy in the monolingual English category that I am surprised anyone has time to work as well as answering the questions. But THANKS to all those who do - I check through your answers regularly and learn a lot. There is always good humour and food for thought as well.

There were 24 questions in the Digest for yesterday - an exceptionally busy day, but every day is busy.

I'm sure lots of people who are interested in one particular variety would love to filter out the others. I would for one.

Australians and others might have a problem, but they had better state their own opinions on the matter.



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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:03
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Similar posting in the KudoZ forum Feb 13, 2008

http://www.proz.com/topic/96982

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