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Uncertainties about the translation contests
Thread poster: Amy Duncan
Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:50
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Nov 15, 2008

I had considered entering the translation contest in my pair this year, but after looking at last year's results and some of the comments, I changed my mind. I was disturbed by the judges' choices, to be honest, especially by one particularly egregious error they overlooked in the winning entry. I know it's hard to pick a winner sometimes, but when the judges overlook obvious errors, then I'm led to believe that better judges are needed. I'd like to participate in the contests, but I really don't feel like subjecting myself to the kinds of criticisms I sometimes get from non-native speaking clients who think they know English better than I do. I'm not saying that the judges in my pair are non-native speakers, because I really don't know, but from what I've seen, I question their knowledge of both the source and the target language.

Just wondering if anyone else has had these thoughts, and any ideas about how the situation could be improved.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:50
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
This seems a legitimate concern Nov 15, 2008

Hi Amy,

I haven't paid much attention to the contests, but I assumed that the judges making the final decision regarding winners are vetted to assure that they are highly qualified within the pair they are judging. I would assume also that more than one judge is involved in this process, so that if an "egregious error"were to go unnoticed by one of them, then the other(s) could be expected to recognize and comment on it.

Perhaps more than anything else, a winning entry with obvious mistakes reflects poorly on this site, and measures should be taken to assure that this does not happen in the future.

Bob


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Who are the judges? Nov 15, 2008

Amy Duncan wrote:
I was disturbed by the judges' choices, to be honest, especially by one particularly egregious error they overlooked in the winning entry.


Unless I'm mistaken, "we" are the judges.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Who are the judges? II Nov 15, 2008

Robert Forstag wrote:
I assumed that the judges making the final decision regarding winners are vetted to assure that they are highly qualified within the pair they are judging.


Unless I'm mistaken, they are not vetted at all.


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:50
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Did I miss something? Nov 15, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:

Unless I'm mistaken, "we" are the judges.


I have never been asked to judge a contest entry, or is there something I'm missing here? I thought there was a selected panel of judges.


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:50
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Should be vetted, without a doubt. Nov 15, 2008

Robert Forstag wrote:

I haven't paid much attention to the contests, but I assumed that the judges making the final decision regarding winners are vetted to assure that they are highly qualified within the pair they are judging.


Yes, one would think so.

Perhaps more than anything else, a winning entry with obvious mistakes reflects poorly on this site, and measures should be taken to assure that this does not happen in the future.


Couldn't agree more, Bob.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Well, I could be mistaken, of course Nov 15, 2008

Amy Duncan wrote:
I thought there was a selected panel of judges.


Really? That's a rather interesting interpretation of questions 6 and 7 of the Contest FAQ. But English is not my native language, so perhaps I'm mistaken. (The funny accent is due to a tongue stuck in my cheek.)

http://www.proz.com/?sp=contests&sp_mode=faqs#contests_voting_process

In qualification round, members and/or users who have been registered on the site for at least 1 month and work in the same language pair they wish to vote in will have the option of rating either "Quality of writing", "Accuracy of translation", or both. Those that are native speakers of the target language but do not work in the pair will be able to judge "Quality of writing" only.

[In the final round, voting...] in each pair will be open only to those members and/or users who have been registered on the site for at least 1 month who are native in the target language and work in the same language pair they wish to vote.




[Edited at 2008-11-15 17:40 GMT]


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:50
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Contest judging Nov 15, 2008

My recollection of the last contest rules was that anyone who is a member and a native speaker in the target language can judge the entries, and that is how the winner is chosen. There was a big hullabaloo after the contest concerning every aspect of the process, so I have no idea whether anything is being changed this time around. I don't see anything on the site about how the judging and commenting will occur.

On the one hand, yes, there should be a standard of quality. But I also think people got a bit too worked up over a contest. I entered for fun, and will do so again this time. I don't really care if I win an i-pod or not.

Susan


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 10:50
A democratic vote decides the winner Nov 15, 2008

All translators working in the language pair are entitled to vote for their favorate entry. The one getting the most votes is the winner.

I, for example, as a native speaker of Chinese, can vote for the best Chinese to English translation, though I have no instinctive "feeling" for the English writing style. By the way, the winner of the last contest in Chinese to English translation is a native Chinese. I have no idea whether no native English translator has participated, or they have been voted out, probably by Chinese voters, because we outnumber native English speakers significantly in this language pair.

Who has the right to vote?


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:50
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the heads-up Nov 15, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:

Amy Duncan wrote:
I thought there was a selected panel of judges.


Really? That's a rather interesting interpretation of questions 6 and 7 of the Contest FAQ. But English is not my native language, so perhaps I'm mistaken. (The funny accent is due to a tongue stuck in my cheek.)

http://www.proz.com/?sp=contests&sp_mode=faqs#contests_voting_process


To be honest, I hadn't seen this. There's still tons of stuff on this site that I haven't seen, I confess. Thanks, Samuel.


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:50
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'll pass Nov 15, 2008

Well, now that I know that just about anybody can judge these contests, I won't be participating for sure! I don't think a contest on ProZ should be "just for fun," because, as Bob pointed out, it makes the whole site look bad if a winning entry is chosen that has obvious errors in it. I'm all for fun, but not with these contests. I think they should be serious business.

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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 10:50
Relativity Nov 15, 2008

Amy Duncan wrote:

Well, now that I know that just about anybody can judge these contests, I won't be participating for sure! I don't think a contest on ProZ should be "just for fun," because, as Bob pointed out, it makes the whole site look bad if a winning entry is chosen that has obvious errors in it. I'm all for fun, but not with these contests. I think they should be serious business.


The non-winners probably have more obvious errors!


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RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
How are contest winners determined Nov 17, 2008

Hi All,

As explained in the Contest FAQ contest winners are decided on the basis of voting by peers. http://www.proz.com/?sp=contests&sp_mode=faqs#contests.9

In the previous contest and based on the community's feedback there were new implementations introduced to the qualification round voting which marked an improvement. Here you can find more details http://www.proz.com/topic/105899

In this contest there won't be major changes but there will some further improvements in the system as announced here http://www.proz.com/post/986620#986620


It is very important that all active users and members of the site participate and take an active role (either as contestants, voters or both) in the contests. This is the key to having a better contest each time around.


See you all there.

Romina


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Henar Chico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree Nov 20, 2008

Susan Welsh wrote:

On the one hand, yes, there should be a standard of quality. But I also think people got a bit too worked up over a contest. I entered for fun, and will do so again this time. I don't really care if I win an i-pod or not.

Susan


Definitely too worked up!

Good luck on the contest Susan, if you win this would be the second time, right?

Henar Chico


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