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Where Do We Stand?
Thread poster: Francis Icaza

Francis Icaza
United States
Local time: 18:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 3, 2002

I do not fault the contributors, creators and askers individually for the state of affairs when it comes to some of the outrageous errors we have been seeing make their way into the glossaries.



The kudoz and browniz points may have something to do with it, to be sure. Speed in answering a question has its benefits but I have yet to identify any in the world of translations. No, the root of the problem rests with us, the community as a whole.



Here´s a case in point that is simple and general enough not to elicit debates on more specialised terminology:



http://www.proz.com/?sp=h_a&eid_c=21688&id=152954



The response accepted was incorrect and Carmencha, who provided the answer was most clear in explaning her contribution. The answer provided was qualified, which is the way it is supposed to be.



But we are breaking new ground here as we have before and will continue to do so in the fields of medicine, physics, IT, engineering, psychiatry etc., on this site, unless we realise the negative effects we are nuturing.



Before long this matter will become one of credibility for all involved. I have heard and commented with colleagues on the outrageous renditions posted and accepted in the fields I have just mentioned and know I don´t stand alone in this.



It wouldn´t be too much of a problem if these errors didn´t end up in a glossary that others consult (myself included) and from whence they/we draw terms that they/we proceed to include in translations for clients.



A simple error becomes a virus once it is posted in a glossary. It multiplies and infects medical reports, psychiatric evaluations, posologies, websites, user and owner manuals, etc., all over the world.



I submit that we have the responsibility to be a lot more thorough in our answers. I further submit that we should respond in the fields where we have the expertise and/or experience necessary and only contribute in other fields if we are absolutely sure that we have something to contribute that is the result of well founded knowledge, research and exposure as opposed to what is customary in our neighbourhoods and with the talking heads who eviscerate language at the top of every hour.



That we should explain our answers to the point where the asker has enough information so as to select the appropriate rendition that speaks to the subject, context, audience, usage and period, etc., of the material they are processing.



That I bring only complaints and nothing more? No. Try these for starters.



1. A board of members who review the glossaries and correct the glaring idiocies they find.



2. An entirely different system for glossary creation and management.



3. An enforced minimum of 2 or 3 references for each answer provided, that would allow the asker additional material for an informed decision.



4. Less attention to speedy answers and more to detailed explanations for our renditions. (MacDonald´s vs. My Kitchen)



5. All of the above



6. (Insert your idea here)



Be sure: This problem is not a piddling little quirk. It is not a joke. It is far more dangerous that it appears.



If we wish this site to be more than \"junk food\" for the people that visit here, we are the responsible parties. No one else.



We must endeavour to place our site in such a position that will allow it and us to become the pre-eminent source for language consultation online and off.



It is our responsibility to make this site the authoritative entity on matters linguistic and a daily reminder that human translation is superior to any of the alternatives available.



This will strenghthen our position that professional service by experienced linguists stands head and shoulders above the quick-fix rubbish available to date.



Otherwise, our resemblance to machine translation will continue to grow, identified as the royal family of lipservice, we can only expect to be seen and considered as professional and as experienced as the rubbish we sanction with our silence.



I welcome your views and thank you for your elegance.



Francis


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Partial member (2003)
Spanish to English
Thank you for your contribution, Francis Mar 4, 2002

Quote:


A simple error becomes a virus once it is posted in a glossary. It multiplies and infects medical reports, psychiatric evaluations, posologies, websites, user and owner manuals, etc., all over the world.



I submit that we have the responsibility to be a lot more thorough in our answers. I further submit that we should respond in the fields where we have the expertise and/or experience necessary and only contribute in other fields if we are absolutely sure that we have something to contribute that is the result of well founded knowledge, research and exposure as opposed to what is customary in our neighbourhoods and with the talking heads who eviscerate language at the top of every hour.



That we should explain our answers to the point where the asker has enough information so as to select the appropriate rendition that speaks to the subject, context, audience, usage and period, etc., of the material they are processing.



If we wish this site to be more than \"junk food\" for the people that visit here, we are the responsible parties. No one else.



We must endeavour to place our site in such a position that will allow it and us to become the pre-eminent source for language consultation online and off.



It is our responsibility to make this site the authoritative entity on matters linguistic and a daily reminder that human translation is superior to any of the alternatives available.



This will strenghthen our position that professional service by experienced linguists stands head and shoulders above the quick-fix rubbish available to date.



Otherwise, our resemblance to machine translation will continue to grow, identified as the royal family of lipservice, we can only expect to be seen and considered as professional and as experienced as the rubbish we sanction with our silence.





I agree with your feelings about quality entirely. However, when consulting the glossary, which I do quite often, I go through all the possibilities that are offered until I find the right one, and if I don\'t like anything, I keep looking, just as I do (and assume others do) with dicitonary entries... Admittedly, there are some howlers in the glossary. But surely if you\'re serious about your translation, you won\'t be fooled. When searching through the glossary, I also add many things that nobody else has bothered to do. Having read in other threads that some may not find this acceptable, I\'ll explain my reasons. It\'s simply less time consuming and more effective to search if you see the question and the answer chosen, rather than just the question, i.e. you have a better idea of whether it\'s worth looking at or not. It would also help if the glossary indicated how many replies there were and who the person whose answer was chosen is, rather than the name of the person who entered it in the glossary (who may not have had anything to do with the question at all). It would also help if you could still agree/disagree, etc. after the question has been closed. So if you\'re searching through the glossary and see a howler, or an extremely good answer that was not chosen, for example, you can add your comment so that those looking at it at a later date will have more info to go on.



Again, Francis, thanks very much for your comments.

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xxxJon Zuber
Spanish to English
+ ...
How about reposting this to Suggestions? Mar 4, 2002

I agree with a good deal of what you say, Francis, but I think this may not be the best place to say it.

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