Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
"This has been discussed before" Issue
Thread poster: Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes

Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:37
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Dec 8, 2004

I know I am opening a can of worms here but I feel like I have to at least express my opinion about this. I have noticed lately a very sarcastic, impatient and sometimes downright rude attitude, including from moderators, towards members or visitors asking questions or topics which have been raised or discussed before. I understand that there is the bandwidth issue, and that nobody wants to talk about the same things over and over again, but we have to remember a few things:

- Not every member or visitor reads every posting there is. I certainly don’t have the time for it. So, there is a chance that the person doesn’t know that the topic has been discussed before, especially newcomers.

- Yes, we can do a search to find that out, but I’ve yet to see a search engine that it is a 100% reliable for that sort of thing.

- Also, and especially in the translation field, standards, practices and tools change rather quickly, so whatever was discussed two years ago might not be of any value for what is going on right now.

I do understand the need to tone it down and warn members or visitors of the problems that that might cause, but I feel that one has to be careful how and how often that is done. That sort of "this has been discussed several times" or "perhaps we may save time not speaking and telling the same things again and again” kind of response is unfriendly, and in my opinion, discourages people from posting.

My two cents.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
As if everything had been said... Dec 9, 2004

I'm glad you brought it up, Sormane. Past posts, unless they are strictly technical and well written, are very unpleasant to read.

Also, with the passage of time -- even a few months nowadays -- new information might be available. Or a participant in the discussion might have developped a new point of view after letting it rest for a while.

So, Moderators, please let past topics be discussed again.

Best,
Esther

[Edited at 2004-12-09 01:19]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:37
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
No can of worms at all Dec 9, 2004

Sormane Gomes wrote:

I know I am opening a can of worms here but I feel like I have to at least express my opinion about this. I have noticed lately a very sarcastic, impatient and sometimes downright rude attitude, including from moderators, towards members or visitors asking questions or topics which have been raised or discussed before. I understand that there is the bandwidth issue, and that nobody wants to talk about the same things over and over again


Hi Sormane, no problem with this topic, no can of worms at all.

The site has rules about what can or can not be discussed in forums, and "already discussed" is not included in them. As long as the rules and the site's scope are respected, feel free to discuss any topic here.

The worst that may happen if a topic is too known or ininteresting is that few or none will answer, nothing serious here.

Sometimes a colleague may sound harsh because he/she had a bad day, or because he/she is using a language he/she is not very familiar with... As a general rule I would suggest to assume good faith and look for the bright side of life.

Regards from rainy La Plata, Argentina
Enrique Cavalitto
two2tango


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
This has not been discussed before Dec 9, 2004

But if you search for "this has been discussed before" you'll find a lot of interesting questions - because they have been asked several times.

So this remark became a usefull "flag".

[Edited at 2004-12-09 13:34]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 22:37
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
more cents... Dec 9, 2004

Sormane Gomes wrote:

That sort of "this has been discussed several times" or "perhaps we may save time not speaking and telling the same things again and again” kind of response is unfriendly, and in my opinion, discourages people from posting.

My two cents.


Hi Sormane! No problem at all about raising this issue. I admit that I am one of the people that often posts a "this has been discussed before" note, but that's not because I want to be unfriendly. I add that note to make the asker aware that there is valuable material available in the proz archives. Even if new responses are added to the asker's post, some of that valuable legacy material and information could probably also be of use to the asker.

Kind regards,

Alison


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:37
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
More polite to give a reference to the previous discussion Dec 9, 2004

If I open a new topic and am aware that it has been discussed before, I try to find the URL for the previous discussion and give it to the person who posted.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
German to English
+ ...
Yet more cents... Dec 9, 2004

1. I think that there is a difference between "discussing" and "asking/replying". Sometimes, a post is simply a question for which a straight answer is sought, in which case suggesting a search is a good idea. Other issues are more complex, and newcomers shouldn't be discouraged from discussing them just because long-standing members have already done so.

2. If the same question is asked repeatedly, a forum thread is not necessarily the most practical form of answer. It would make much more sense to compile the information in a HowTo, which is 1) more visible, easier to find, and easier to reference to, and 2) can be updated and extended much more easily. This was one reason why I wrote the Linux for Translators HowTo - so as not to give the same answer over and over again. Writing a HowTo is quite a lot of work, but the bulk of it only has to be done once. If every translator were to write just one HowTo, a lot of bases would be covered.

3. Some questions, though valid in their own right, make me wonder about the asker's competence as a translator. A classic example is "How do I overwrite a PDF file?" This is a valid question, but anyone with Internet access (and therefore by definition including the asker of the question) should be able to find the answer within seconds. By asking this question (in its basic form) in the first place, the asker is demonstrating either laziness, or a lack of the very skills required for translation. I would be tempted to be even more sarcastic than some of the other posters...

4. By the same token, other questions are so basic or silly that they really don't deserve an answer. I am thinking of questions along the lines of "How do I get started in this translation lark?". I suspect that responders' sarcasm has as much to do with the inappropriateness of the question as with the fact that it has been asked before. ProZ.com is a workplace used by translators, interpreters, translation agencies and their clients to meet and do work; the fact that it is a good venue to get answers to practical questions doesn't mean that it should be abused as an online training course for translators. There are parallels here incidentally with the recurring abuse of KudoZ by the unqualified.

Marc


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:37
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
topic Dec 9, 2004

Hey people, hasn't this topic been discussed before? It's really annoying me.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:37
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
It looks rather clear to me Dec 9, 2004

- Questions or issues that fall within the rules and the scope of the site should not be discouraged, nor forbidden, nor answered with sarcasm.
- Those who find a question silly should skip it.
- Discussions should be about issues, and not get personal.
- Silly questions will most likely go unanswered.
- Posters who get no answers will eventually modify their approach or desist.

Q


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
German to English
+ ...
It looks rather clear to me Dec 9, 2004

Indeed. It boils down to whether ProZ.com should be a site for professionals, or for everyone. It can't be both.

Marc


Direct link Reply with quote
 

two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:37
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Now I got lost Dec 9, 2004

MarcPrior wrote:

Indeed. It boils down to whether ProZ.com should be a site for professionals, or for everyone. It can't be both.

Marc


Sorry Marc, but I can't follow you. ¿Why can't ProZ.com hold both the experienced and the beginner, or even the student?

¿Why can't you simply skip the questions or issues you find not worthy of your attention?

The older I get, the more I distrust the absolute either/or propositions.

Regards,
Enrique


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
German to English
+ ...
Now I got lost Dec 9, 2004

Enrique,

I realized after I'd posted my message that my comment was a very selfish one, and I should have qualified it.

Yes, ProZ.com can cater for the experienced, the beginner and even the student, and it's precisely the fact that it caters for the latter two groups that has made it so popular on the one hand, whilst attracting criticism from certain quarters of the profession on the other.

Sure, I can skip the questions or issues I don't find worthy of my attention. In actual fact, I usually do, and the reason isn't that they're not worthy of my attention, but the opposite: I have that very same function within my professional association, and to fulfil it here as well on any scale would be a conflict of interest.

What I am really saying is that treating all questions and their askers in the same way is not perhaps the best policy in the interests of the site as a whole. I am certainly not suggesting that inexperienced members should be banished from the site, or that sarcasm is acceptable (tempting though it sometimes is). My view is more that some members would benefit from being pointed in the general direction of their query and expected to do a little work themselves. Ignoring them is IMO the wrong approach, and in any case, there are simply too many helpful people here for that to happen - virtually all questions are answered.

You are absolutely right to distrust absolute either/or propositions; that was also the thinking behind my proposal that the same questions asked time and time again should not be answered again each time, nor simply ignored, but dealt with pragmatically - by the HowTo system. That system is a great aspect of ProZ.com and which is sadly negelcted IMO.

Marc


Direct link Reply with quote
 

two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:37
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks for your explanation Dec 9, 2004

Thanks Marc, I was sure I had not understood you properly, for I know you are a gentleman and a pro.
Regards,
Enrique


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 16:37
German to English
Support of Marc's "How-to" Dec 9, 2004

A compilation of links to frequently discussed topics or a series of skill-related FAQs would be helpful to newbies.

We need to encourage translators to improve their skills, and in that regard ProZ is a valuable resource.

Although I'm tired of some of the more commonly repeated inquiries, it must be remembered that many of our (would-be) colleagues live/work in relative isolation from other language professionals, and ProZ is the only place they know of where they can obtain the information they need. If they could be directed to a source on this site where they could find the information they're looking for, the number of sarcastic replies to seemingly "dumb" questions could be reduced.

Of course, this will not eliminate some of the blatant morons, but then again, nothing will.
Kevin


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Lucia Leszinsky[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

"This has been discussed before" Issue

Advanced search






Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs