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Should I not answer KudoZ questions outside my pairs--even if I am sure?
Thread poster: Monika Martens

Monika Martens
Local time: 20:40
Italian to Albanian
+ ...
Aug 18, 2002

Whose answer I know, even that certain language is not my specialty (I only happen to talk the language and know that simple answer...)?

It looks to me that doing this causes strong reactions, and I don\'t understand why...By reading the terms and conditions of ProZ I understand that this is the place where translators communicate with each other, help each other, gain experience, etc...

Knowing that the best way to improve your language skills is to use the language, that\'s exactly what I do, when I see a question whose answer I know, I answer to this question, even if I don\'t translate in that language... It is the responsibility of the professionals in that language to improve my answer by agreeing or not with it and give another answer, and the duty of the asker to choose the best answer...

Seeing it from this point of view, I don\'t understand why some translators react so bitter when they see this thing, instead of simply write a better answer...

Am I doing something wrong or is it about time to get more flexible and tolerant?

Greetings Monika





_________________



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swisstell
Italy
Local time: 20:40
German to English
+ ...
Jealousy, Nationalism, Regionalism is difficult to eradicate Aug 18, 2002

and I have experienced it, just like you do, ever so often. Still, if you feel that you can make a contribution, do not get discouraged. Once in a while you will experience the satisfaction of having been able to help. Some other times you may have caused others to put on their thinking cap. As to those who always have a sneer but hardly ever their own and better answer, just ignore them. They are not appreciated by anyone, really.

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Antonella Andreella  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:40
German to Italian
+ ...
Hi Monika Aug 18, 2002

I agree with you, some people just cannot avoid \'disagreeing\' with others before giving thier own proposal/solution... perhaps I know whom you\'re referring to...



Don\'t care about them (her?), I\'d rather go on answering and the asker will then choose the most adequate/appropriate answer. That\'s the way I see it.



Cheers



Antonella





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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:40
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Go ahead Aug 18, 2002

I don\'t see why people should react unless the answer\'s wrong (disagree); but everybody (direct, inverse, or simply having knowledge in that particular field) can be of help!



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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:40
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Discussed previously Aug 18, 2002

There have been previous discussions of this question, the last, as far as I know, being at the following URL:

http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&eid_c=8364&topic=2975&forum=13&18

in which I took the same point of view as you do, others expressed various opinions, and the outcome was that things were left as they were, i.e. that answering outside working language pairs is acceptable.


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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:40
English to Chinese
+ ...
Just do it! Aug 18, 2002

I agree with you three: Just go ahead! We are here to help each other. As long as we are confident of our answer, just post it!

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John Kinory
Local time: 19:40
English to Hebrew
+ ...
You should not Aug 18, 2002

You don\'t answer Kudoz questions in order to improve your own language skills, but to answer a genuine question. The asker is not doing this as an intellectual exercise: they have a real query. You may seriously mislead them by answering in a language not your own. Since Agrees and Disagrees, according to your proposal, can come from people equally unqualified in that language (which sadly, happens a lot), the asker - who, after all, posed the question precisely because he or she is unsure of the answer!) - may well choose the wrong one. Which, again, happens a great deal. Is that a desirable state of affairs?


[addsig]


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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 20:40
German to Romanian
+ ...
it's probably envy or meanness Aug 18, 2002

don\'t pay them any attention, they\'re not worth it. KudoZ is about helping. If you can help, why not do it?

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Lydia Molea  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:40
English to German
+ ...
Reply ... Aug 18, 2002

to the question if you know the answer. Maybe it helps if you explain why you know it. I agree with Elvira ... it\'s all about helping each other.

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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 21:40
Member (2010)
English to Russian
+ ...
Dear Monika, you're welcome but... Aug 18, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-08-18 12:36, Monikam wrote:

Should I or should I not answer a question...whose answer I know, even that certain language is not my specialty (I only happen to talk the language and know that simple answer...)?

It looks to me that doing this causes strong reactions, and I don\'t understand why... It is the responsibility of the professionals in that language to improve my answer by agreeing or not with it and give another answer, and the duty of the asker to choose the best answer...

Seeing it from this point of view, I don\'t understand why some translators react so bitter when they see this thing, instead of simply write a better answer...

Am I doing something wrong or is it about time to get more flexible and tolerant?





Well, let\'s consider a concrete example. I don\'t know exactly what question you mean but here is one of the questions from En>Ru pair you gave your answer to. I will put it here along with peer graders\' opinions:



KUDOZ: EASY: good morning



Monika Martens: Dobroe ytro



I have been living in Russia for two years, but I couldn\'t learn how to write in Russian letters sorry





Other pros opinions of this response:



agree Nikolai Muraviev: S dobrym utrom

agree rokot

neutral YelenaM: Then it should be Dobroye Utro

agree Kerstin Mouhannaya

agree Vera_F: È îïÿòü-òàêè íå ìîãó íå ñîãëàñèòüñÿ

agree Marina Hayes: êàê ïèñàòü ðóññêèìè áóêâàìè - ñì. îòâåò âûøå.

disagree Marusya: then how does this make you an En>Ru pro?

agree Milana_R: oo-tro



Anyone who knows Russian can see from your answer that you know the meaning but can neither write nor transcribe correctly Russian words. Thus for the Asker who knows nothing in Russian (I can see it from his question) the value of your answer is next to zero or even misleading. Nevertheless you got 6 \"agree\" grades out of 8. I think it\'s more than \"flexible and tolerant\". Believe me, if that were I or any other regular translator from ENRU community who gave such an answer he or she would be simply crushed by our colleagues. So you can consider the result of your attempt as a great success and warm welcome to our community.



Generally speaking as long as there\'re professional peer-graders there\'s nothing wrong when people try themselves in language pairs not quite familiar to them but in that case they should be ready for strong criticism.



Dear Monika, hope to see you again in our ENRU KudoZ òóñîâêå.



All the best,

Nikita



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-08-19 03:13 ]

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Svetlana Touloub  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:40
Dutch to Russian
+ ...
Absolutly agree Aug 18, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-08-18 16:08, lmolea wrote:

to the question if you know the answer. Maybe it helps if you explain why you know it. I agree with Elvira ... it\'s all about helping each other.



I never answer the questons I\'m not sure, but I read them wel. If I can help - I do it, if I hesitate - I\'m trying to show this in my answer. Sometimes you look not for the answer but for some kind of confirmation of your own thoughts....

Sorry for the fouts - I use Engish not often last time

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:40
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Personally, Aug 18, 2002

as an asker, I welcome solutions from native speakers of the target language (for things I don\'t know or may have forgotten), native speakers of the source language (for things I need native readings on, nuancing, etc.) and most specially from someone who speaks a third language where there is a fixed equivalent of what I\'m looking for that he or she can express in my target. Evidently, I can\'t enumerate all the possibilities of why a solution may be helpful, but handling as many combinations as I do I can assure you EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS.

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António Ribeiro  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:40
English to Portuguese
+ ...
NO Aug 18, 2002

My answer to your question is: NO. You should not answer questions outside your working pairs, for which you should be proficient and qualified.



As it is stated in the home page, ProZ is a \"Global community of language professionals\", not a hobbyist internet site.



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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:40
English to German
+ ...
I only did it once Aug 19, 2002

I once answered a KudoZ question that wasn\'t in one of my pairs even though I speak both languages fluently. I got a \"disagree\" and rightly so because in both languages I lack the feel for the language I have in my mother tongue and I didn\'t think long enough about the term. It doesn\'t help and might even confuse the person who posted the question. I am dismayed by all the answers posted in German without any respect for spelling and grammar, often by people who according to their profiles translate into that language. I wish members kept ProZ a site for professionals and only listed language pairs and fields of expertise in there profiles that they really feel confident about.

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 20:40
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Go for it Monika! Aug 19, 2002

As the number one \'sinner\' I must stress a few facts:



1. All askers are not innocent beginners, perfectly unable to evaluate answers. Most of them are pros, having got stuck for some reason or other, not having dictionaries or sources at hand or above all: not having time to do research.



2. If you have a reliable source (I have quite a few) and enough linguistic knowledge to be able to evaluate the materieal in them, you are often in a much better position to answer the question than any so-called native speaker, who takes the answer out of his/her brain. This is of course especially true when it comes to technical, scientific or other expertise fields and of course fairly irrelevant when it comes to puns, colloquialisms and other country/culture linked expressions.



3. Unlike in the early days of KudoZ, today there are so many answerers that very few \'bad\' answers go unchallenged. If you are wrong, you\'ll be shown to be wrong.



4. An asker is a person in need. Not to try to help him/her I feel almost like an offense IF you feel you just might have something to contribute and IF you are the first to arrive. If there are several answers when you arrive, look them through, evaluate them, agree, disagree, stay neutral, shut up OR make a superior suggestion.

The perennial critics who refrain from answering because they are not 100% sure that they have a 100% correct answer or worse: criticizing without offering a suggestion of their own (talking about leaving an asker confused!) you can leave where they should be: On their pedestals



5. Finally: Being within one\'s working pairs is by no means a guarantee that the answer is \'safe\'. I have many cases where that is amply proven. Even members of the \'Holy Communion of True Natives\' have often made worse suggestions than us common non-natives.



It\'s all as simple as that IMNSHO.



Mats Wiman

(67% earned outside my working pairs)

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-08-19 05:00 ]


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