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What's with the Chinese grammar questions in KudoZ?
Thread poster: Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.

Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:04
Chinese to English
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Jun 25, 2003

Is anyone else thinking that the recent huge amount of questions about grammar by a single poster is a little, er, excessive? They are not questions asking for assistance with a term for a translation, but rather questions asking for linguistic research and/or grammatical explanations. Makes me think someone is writing a book with the collected answers....???

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Summit
English to Chinese
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my comment here, can be bias Jun 30, 2003

Terry L. Thatcher, Ph.D. wrote:

Is anyone else thinking that the recent huge amount of questions about grammar by a single poster is a little, er, excessive? They are not questions asking for assistance with a term for a translation, but rather questions asking for linguistic research and/or grammatical explanations. Makes me think someone is writing a book with the collected answers....???


Since Chinese (please not to be mistanken for over-sea Chinese other than in main-land China) have very limited resources (with biggest population, but sitll very poor human resouces). They have no choice but to get what ever instansts (instant noodles..etc). Pirating, and so on and so forth, it's a common phenomenon that i have observed so far.

Please bear in mind: i am not here to criticize communism (far beyond my ability), but they tend to think "what ever yours is theirs). (the concept of being a member of communist: we all share, if i don't have, what you have, them you must commit some crime).


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
+ ...
Disagree with Summit Jul 1, 2003

Hi Summit,

我认为你的看法有些片面、偏激。

应该知道国内近十年的飞跃是前所未有的。感谢因特网,信息和文化交流已不受国界限制。

当然,对语言的了解离不开对其文化背景的了解。在这一点上,在英语国家常住的英汉翻译对英文的理解会更深刻,而国内的翻译会对现行汉语掌握的更好。而且在这里能与母语为英语的专业人员交流,更是受益非浅。这也是我们为什么愿意和需要在这里交流的原因和PROZ受欢迎的原因之一。

至於连续提问语法问题,我没注意到。说实话,有时工作忙,不得不减少参预KUDOZ。但我注意到有些提问者反复将大段原文照搬让人翻译,有点过分。不过,有些初学翻译的人需要大家帮忙,也是可以理解的。总比不懂装懂,随便瞎翻,误人子弟要好得多。

如果有人为了写书,就有些问题在这里提出探讨,未尝不可。总比闭门造车要好。如果认为过分,不必参与答复就是了。

因特网的最大特点就是信息交流和共享,否则我们不会有今天的探讨。公平的共享只会有利于人类的发展。

[Edited at 2003-07-01 11:39]


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Georgia Kuo
Taiwan
Local time: 07:04
English to Chinese
Reasonable Doubt Jul 2, 2003

Terry L. Thatcher, Ph.D. wrote:

Is anyone else thinking that the recent huge amount of questions about grammar by a single poster is a little, er, excessive? They are not questions asking for assistance with a term for a translation, but rather questions asking for linguistic research and/or grammatical explanations. Makes me think someone is writing a book with the collected answers....???


顿Terry,

ぃǎ產!

瘤礛и程蛤Chance妓Γ⊿丁把籔Kudoz琌и絋猔種獺絚柑瞷KUDOZゑ瞯ゑ癬и硑Terry胔好ぃ礚笵瞶
и谋眔硂呼㏕礛倒產砛よ獽τ盡穨陆亩荷み荷硂遏堕ぃ筁狦и籔把籔倒ㄇぃ―よ獽ê碞ぃ眔
и矗ㄢ翴種ǎㄑ把σ:

1и辨產矗拜肈ぇ玡"砞猭"琩琩闽呼隔戈方┪琌р拜肈稱稱痷⊿快猭矗拜肈琵硂柑盡穨狟ね腊Γи把籔氮拜肈Τ種竡ゑ耕璶ぃ礛Τ拜肈龟琌び睱иΤㄇ耕""亩硈氮常е祇(琌狦琌セぃ来いゅ"ㄤ粂ē亩"矗拜и眖τ教陆亩筁祘и盽笿虏祏ㄢㄤ粂ē陆亩硂琌惠璶)

2狦琌秖拜肈ㄓ方и腢ぃ惠把籔Τ:
1) иぃ惠Θ"穨"禣ㄣ 2)狦赣矗拜拜肈Τê或""ê或碞ぃ続⊿Τ戈眖ㄆ陆亩硂и腊Ω单甡晋

羆τēぇи粄硂琌亩が呼產常莱赣盡穨篈把籔ぃ璶び瞯ㄤ龟и谋眔KUDOZセō琌贺笴栏Τ把籔杠痷琌"炳丁"
赣
度﹋ゝ抖磖е

Georgia


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Golden View  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:04
English to Chinese
+ ...
Not always... Jul 5, 2003

I think a professional translator may only post Kudoz questions when they are tough for him/her, wanting alternative suggestions from other pros should be major reason to post Kudoz questions.
Some terms are really tough and may have various meaning under different context, simple/short posting maynot get exact answer.

In China, we have many many available dictionary resources, also computer installed or online dictionaries. I don't think someone really need to collect answers from Kudoz to write a book, that's too tough to be imagined, for me.


Terry L. Thatcher, Ph.D. wrote:

Is anyone else thinking that the recent huge amount of questions about grammar by a single poster is a little, er, excessive? They are not questions asking for assistance with a term for a translation, but rather questions asking for linguistic research and/or grammatical explanations. Makes me think someone is writing a book with the collected answers....???


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Golden View  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:04
English to Chinese
+ ...
Internet spirit Jul 5, 2003

I especially agree the following quoted.

China really has huge changes recent years, suggest overseas Chinese to come back to China on regular basis, you may like something new or dis-like something else as usual, that's very natural, but don't believe nonsense about Chinese people can not browse CNN.com or The NewYork Times etc.; but on the other hand, why we have to care what they say?

Information sharing and exchange via the Internet have been changing our life quicker than ever and elsewhere.

Different opinion are just fine, I dis-agree some 'bias', I still respect the right you speak out, that's we called the Internet, shared and fair to anybody connected.


chance wrote:

Hi Summit,

我认为你的看法有些片面、偏激。

应该知道国内近十年的飞跃是前所未有的。感谢因特网,信息和文化交流已不受国界限制。

当然,对语言的了解离不开对其文化背景的了解。在这一点上,在英语国家常住的英汉翻译对英文的理解会更深刻,而国内的翻译会对现行汉语掌握的更好。而且在这里能与母语为英语的专业人员交流,更是受益非浅。这也是我们为什么愿意和需要在这里交流的原因和PROZ受欢迎的原因之一......

因特网的最大特点就是信息交流和共享,否则我们不会有今天的探讨。公平的共享只会有利于人类的发展。

[Edited at 2003-07-01 11:39]


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Xiaoping Fu  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:04
Chinese to English
+ ...
常情 Jul 5, 2003

我们经常遇到这样的情形:

走在街上,迎面遇到一个人,问:“去邮局怎么走?”(simple Kudoz question.)
“向前走两个街口右转,再走两个街口就是。”( Simple Kudoz answer. )
“谢谢!”( Kudoz point.)
按:人之常情,惠而不费。

走在街上,迎面遇到一个人,问:“去XX公园怎么走?”(Complete Kudoz question.)
“噢,挺远的。你要乘XX路公共汽车,到XX站下,再转地铁,到XX站下。出来地铁站向南走,然后....”
“唉,我记不住,也分不出东南西北。”
“这样吧,我给你画个图。”( Detailed explanation + references. )
“非常感谢。您真好!”( Kudoz point + appreciation comments )
按:助人为乐,世界真美好。

走在街上,迎面遇到一个人,问:“哪儿有好的旅馆?”(Question without context)
“这很难说,要看您的需要。”( Ask for more information.)
“条件要好,还要便宜。”(subtle question)
“我知道不远有家旅馆,条件不错,价格也实惠。向前走三个街口右转....”
“我最怕左转右转的,弄得人晕头转向。你能带我去吗?”( Ask for sentence translation. )
“您好象是第一次到本市。好吧,反正我这会儿有空。”( Willing to help people who is interesting in the beloved City -- the beautiful Chinese language.)
到了旅馆。那人说:“这间好象不怎么样。就没有别的了吗?”
“我不能领您去所有的旅馆,...”
“那算了,再见。”( Arbitrarily choose an answer and granted 1 point,or system granted points antomatically after two weeks.)
按:找便宜的人遇上了“傻冒”。

我相信,Kudoz 的常态是互助互惠,相与为乐。我们的这个园地才越来越好。偶尔遇上找便宜的,当一两回“傻冒”,也只好一笑了之。这种人毕竟是少数。世界本来就不完美,而况虚拟的网络世界乎?


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Y_Bill
Local time: 07:04
Chinese to English
+ ...
But that's not a summit view whatsoever... Jul 5, 2003

Summit wrote:

Since Chinese (please not to be mistanken for over-sea Chinese other than in main-land China) have very limited resources (with biggest population, but sitll very poor human resouces). They have no choice but to get what ever instansts (instant noodles..etc). Pirating, and so on and so forth, it's a common phenomenon that i have observed so far.

Please bear in mind: i am not here to criticize communism (far beyond my ability), but they tend to think "what ever yours is theirs). (the concept of being a member of communist: we all share, if i don't have, what you have, them you must commit some crime).


What I constantly find surprising is not some mainland Chinese being what they are, but that some overseas people can be what they are not supposed to be.

While few mainland Chinese retain a fundamentalist view about Society and Communism etc., it seems to me the former fanaticism and prejudice has found its way into some of the "overseas" people who are forever exposed to the "freedom" of speech and media.

China is such a big country, there are many Chinese, and it would be most unwise to generalize about this country and this people, espeically when this country is undergoing a profound social transformation.

It's really not a matter of defending any country, it's a matter of getting rid of those prejudices that are often based on individual instances or biased media or simply unfounded ideas or feelings.

By the way, the seemingly blissful liberal atmosphere in the west can be Heaven for the clever and Hell for the unwise, and any distorted opinion you may enjoy is helplessly respected on the basis of the Principle of Equality.

[Edited at 2003-07-05 13:49]


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Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:04
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Gosh, that wasn't really what I was asking... Jul 5, 2003

Although the discussion on the nature of Chinese society is interesting, I was really only asking about the GRAMMAR questions coming from a particular poster of late.

IMHO these are NOT kudoz questions. They do not deal with terminology, which is the aim of KudoZ: to help translators with problems and to compile a glossary.

I don't think it would be appropriate to fill the KudoZ database with questions from students of Spanish, English, or any language, wondering about how to conjugate verbs or similar things. The questions (about the nature of coverbs, and other things) are amply covered in standard reference works on the subject of Chinese grammar.

I have no problem with the poster ASKING those questions, but I feel that KudoZ is not the appropriate place to do so. I would prefer to see this kind of non-terminology question posted to the forum instead, where people have lots of room and space to reply.

I am the moderator for Chinese>English, and I could just squash them by virtue of that position, but I didn't want to act too unilaterally. That's the only reason I posted here. I wasn't trying to make any remarks or comments about the state or psychology of translators or anyone else in the Mainland or elsewhere. I hope nobody took the posting the wrong way (although the discussion is interesting.)

Terry


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Xiaoping Fu  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:04
Chinese to English
+ ...
傻! Jul 5, 2003

Y_Bill wrote:
By the way, the seemingly blissful liberal atmosphere in the west can be Heaven for the clever and Hell for the stupid, and any stupidity you may commit is helplessly respected on the basis of Equality.


不仅是在西方,全世界都一样。只是聪明法和傻法不一样。可是谁没犯过傻呢?糟糕的是,出洋的人,常会发现自己该聪明的时候傻,该傻的时候聪明,那么天堂就是地狱,地狱就是天堂。

[Edited at 2003-07-08 14:37]


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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:04
English to Chinese
+ ...
聪明! Jul 5, 2003

Xiaoping Fu wrote:

不仅是在西方,全世界都一样。只是聪明法和傻法不一样。可是谁没犯过傻呢?糟糕的是,出洋的人,常会发现自己该聪明的候傻,该傻的时候聪明,那么天堂就是地狱,地狱就是天堂。


有道理!该聪明时却犯傻,天堂也会变地狱!昨天看了周迅演的一部大片,片尾女主角的话仍萦绕耳际:“心跳的地方才是家(乡)!”转念又想:如果说心跳的地方也是心醉的地方的话,咱是不是可以考虑回家啦?!


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Xiaoping Fu  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:04
Chinese to English
+ ...
Rules and flexibility Jul 5, 2003

Terry L. Thatcher, Ph.D. wrote:

IMHO these are NOT kudoz questions. They do not deal with terminology, which is the aim of KudoZ: to help translators with problems and to compile a glossary.
...
I have no problem with the poster ASKING those questions, but I feel that KudoZ is not the appropriate place to do so. I would prefer to see this kind of non-terminology question posted to the forum instead, where people have lots of room and space to reply.


I agree with you basically.

I have answered some of those questions, because I don't want push the eager students away too fast, and I think they make more sense than the ones like "I love you".

But there got to be rules. I think we can make the rules a little flexible. When the asker comes up with such question for the first time, we can answer it and advice them to post such questions on the Forums. If such questions keep coming, the moderator should squash them.

People post such questions in Kudoz instead of the forums, probably because they want get more attentions there, and the "easy" thread sounds like "for beginners". For the beginners, it is hard to tell if the questions are too stupid to be there, although there are not much academic topics on our Chinese forum anyway. That's why I feel such askers are excusable.

IMHO the guy who spitted whole paragraph of highly technical text into pieces (not even complete sentences) and granted all the chosen answers 1 point is not excusable. I feel we were fooled and should never help this guy again. The guy posting professional questions anonymously should be ignored, because he/she doesn't want any responsibilities, and does not intend to help back and not even to respect the people helped. They are not students, they are making money by translating!


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Xiaoping Fu  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:04
Chinese to English
+ ...
心醉乎,心碎乎? Jul 5, 2003

BBW C.Tran,ATIO wrote:
如果说心跳的地方也是心醉的地方的话,咱是不是可以考虑回家啦?!



如果心跳的地方也是心碎的地方,怎么办?


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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:04
English to Chinese
+ ...
“东西南北,家乡最美!” Jul 5, 2003

记得Terry最近曾翻译过Yongmei的一道题:“东西南北,家乡最美!”, 它的英语原文是"East or west, home is best".

大约是在一年前,我曾将它摘录在另一个主题下:“英汉互译谚语集锦。”既然此谚语出自英文,而译者又将其译成如此精美的中文,我想“家乡”一词的寓意对于全人类都是不言而喻的:它令人神往,令人心醉,令人魂牵梦绕......不知不觉又想起几年前王姬为酒类产品做的电视广告:“孔府家酒,叫人想家”...... 区区八个字就将一大群海外游子说得鼻子一酸,潸然泪下......
广告片中的“千万里,我一定要回到我的家”恰与电视剧情吻合,在央视播出后,引起强烈反响,孔府家酒一夜成名天下知。

所以,无论是心醉还是心碎,家乡永远是最美的地方,而最美的地方就是我们心目中永远的天堂!











[Edited at 2003-07-05 17:57]


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:04
English to Chinese
+ ...
I thought Kevin Yang was the moderator, no? Jul 6, 2003

Terry L. Thatcher, Ph.D. wrote:

I am the moderator for Chinese>English ...

Terry


A problem with the forum is that every post requires moderator approval, and it slows things down! Is it possible to change that setting? Do we have a spam problem?

I think we should not limit Proz questions to terms and short phrases. What about monolingual questions, such as when someone needs help understanding a sentence or a paragraph? Or questions such as those I asked about how to decipher people's handwriting?

I think questions that call for straightforward answers are what the Proz section is for, and questions that require back and forth discussions or attract diverse opinions should go to the forum.

The asker does need to abide by the basic etiquette: narrow down your question - don't just leave a bunch of text and make people guess what you need help with; give ample context - I cannot stress this enough; refrain from posting anonymously; make a minimal effort to find the answer on your own first.

An example of improper querying is, a while ago, someone asked for the Chinese translation for "You will be awarded 10 points for answering 5 questions" or something to that effect, and sometime later, the same person asked for the Chinese translation for "You will be awarded 5 points for answering 2 questions" or something to that effect.


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