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Kudoz - Just a Q&A???
Thread poster: Denyce Seow

Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 04:57
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
Dec 27, 2003

Is Kudzo just a Question & Answer platform??

This is my 47.5th day on Kudoz and I am beginning to wonder if it is just a platform where someone asks a question and another person reply with just an answer and nothing more, nothing less??? Do people tolerate or accept discussions, analysis or even questions??

What prompted all these questions today is that I was made to believe that my answers have made the original questions COMPLICATED. Well, what happened was..... *ready for my grandmother's story???* :

1. Denyce read the new Kudoz question.
2. "Hmm... don't really make sense here."
3a. Denyce "challenged" the original text.
3b. Denyce "dissected" the original text. and analysed the punctuation marks and capital letters.
3c. Denyce asked for more context.

So, in the end, not only did I not provide a straightforward answer (as any asker would have preferred), I added more question marks indirectly.

Somehow, I agree to the fact that I might have "complicated" things a little but what I feel is that if there is a doubt about something, we should explore and clear the gray areas. This would make the translation perfect (or near-perfect). Of course, I shouldn't impose my personal philosophy on others, be it to force them to act the way I do, or to let my actions affect them.

Gosh, I am not coming straight to the point again, am I???? Very "complicated" post here, right??? Sigh... Denyce, Denyce....
(


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:57
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Definitely not Dec 27, 2003

The "answer" has to do with giving a reading of the question first, a process we tend to overlook when the question is straightforward enough.

However, since professional terms help is often about ambiguous readings, several options may exist on the level of understanding the source. This is why we stress context (not all askers will give this in a satisfactory manner, but where the context is fairly clear, reading options are narrowed).

The first time you answer a KudoZ question, you have an unlimited space in which to explain yourself and cite your sources (well, two clickable on-line sources and an unlimited number of paper sources).

If called upon to explain further, you have 255 characters under the option "add a note".

For further context (which you might be able to sense from the start, i.e., NOT as step 3.c.), there is the option of "ask the asker". This sends your message to the asker as a separate e-mail.

[Edited at 2003-12-27 23:47]


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:57
Member
English to Turkish
What Denyce has done today Dec 28, 2003

constitutes the most important aspect of Kudoz... IMO, at least.

Apart from collecting Kudoz and getting answers when I feel completely helpless with a term, the process, the interaction and discussion, that is, is what I enjoy most at Kudoz - though some nasty bad-loser attitudes and personal readings of the agree/disagree comments tend to spoil this process fairly often, I have to admit. Some questions provide an immense source to feed this process, such that the point -the history, connotations, different usages of a term, and so forth- can be discussed infinitely, everyone learning something new, developing some new perspective, accessing to some new source of information. In this regard, not only the discussion among answerers, but also the asker-answerer interaction is invaluable, I believe. For instance, as an asker, sometimes I find myself with still more questions to ask upon reading one or more answers. As an answerer, sometimes I add more notes upon new input by the asker and/or other answerers (and that feature has already been improved to remove the 255-word limitation, AFAIK). So, you really don't need to hesitate to "confuse" the asker, Denyce

But all this can be true in an ideal Kudoz world, of course. Apart from the unnecessary negativity and vitriol that develop in some Kudoz discussions as we are all familiar with by now, sometimes the asker may not provide enough context, may turn hard of hearing against the context requests of the (potential) answerers, may make totally uninformed choices, and worst of all may not spare even a "Thank you" - yes, that one is the worst, indeed


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chica nueva
Local time: 09:57
Chinese to English
Kudoz Etiquette Dec 28, 2003

There is a guide to Kudoz Etiquette on the Proz site...

eg "Postings are not to be personal in nature. All questions, answers, peer opinions and other postings should focus strictly on terminology.'

I guess there is a reason for this. Perhaps a Moderator could clarify.


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 04:57
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Kudiquette (Kudoz + Etiquette) Dec 28, 2003

I am not hinting that I have suffered "abuse". This is surely not what drove me to post this discussion.))

I am simply curious if this Q&A phenomenon is a kind of Kudoz "spirit". And pardon my frankness... but this phenomenon seems to command a bigger presence in my (Chinese-English) community and as in compared to the English community. Ho ho, sometimes you see a real good "fight" in the English community and with every suggestion given, it is a step forward.

p.s. I can't say much for the other communities because I only answer questions in these two groups.


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:57
English to Chinese
+ ...
Are you saying we should have Dec 28, 2003

more discussion, more back-and-forth, more airing of opinion, more debate? Yes, yes, yes, yes!

denyce wrote:

I am not hinting that I have suffered "abuse". This is surely not what drove me to post this discussion.))

I am simply curious if this Q&A phenomenon is a kind of Kudoz "spirit". And pardon my frankness... but this phenomenon seems to command a bigger presence in my (Chinese-English) community and as in compared to the English community. Ho ho, sometimes you see a real good "fight" in the English community and with every suggestion given, it is a step forward.

p.s. I can't say much for the other communities because I only answer questions in these two groups.


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 04:57
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Constructive!! Dec 28, 2003

Well, preferably more discussion, more back-and-forth, more airing of opinion, more debate and the keyword here is CONSTRUCTIVE!! I am not asking to see an elaborate discussion on Kudoz (we can reserve that for this forum) but what I meant is if we can provide more than just a one word/phrase answer, such as by giving more explanations or questioning the logic, etc., everyone can benefit. Right????

[quote]Yongmei Liu wrote:

more discussion, more back-and-forth, more airing of opinion, more debate? Yes, yes, yes, yes!


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chica nueva
Local time: 09:57
Chinese to English
KudoZ: dictionary answers/sinified answers Dec 29, 2003

1 I find I have been posting a lot of dictionary answers recently. But I wonder why I should. I think if I can use these dictionaries,others can too. I'm thinking of Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary and the Longman Active Study English-Chinese Dictionary.What is going on here? Don't people trust the dictionaries? Is this some kind of xenophobia? As a Chinese Second Language person,I certainly make a lot of use of Chinese dictionaries such as 现代汉语词典,新华字典,and 外研社"汉英词典".Kudoz is not a substitute for dictionaries is it?

This is from the KudoZ guide to askers:

"Before you ask a KudoZ question, please note the following rules:

- Only ask a question after searching dictionaries and the ProZ.com glossaries. (View now)"

2 There is also a certain amount of sinification of English literary texts taking place. (Are these two issues related?) Is this really necessary? What about the integrity of the original texts? Isn't it a little patronising to the readership to process it for them before they get it? And how acceptable is it to take liberties with the author's work...

3 Further to this, can we believe that the translating of novels we see is occurring legally with the permission of the authors? If it was, wouldn't the translators be going back to the authors for clarification? (As translators, do we care? When I raised this issue earlier in the general forum, there wasn't much reaction - in any case, I guess one aspect of KudoZ etiquette is that we do not ask the reason for a question being posted...)

4 Next, is KudoZ really the place for grammar questions from hobby language learners? Shouldn't they be buying a grammar textbook, a dictionary, getting a tutor, going to classes? Some of the sentences we are being called on to translate are simply artificial constructed textbook sentences. Where is the benefit in that?

5 Re spirited debates in the monoEnglish KudoZ. Personally I find some of it quite self-indulgent and tedious - I guess that is the way it seems if you are an outsider...Interesting for the participants perhaps, but not necessarily helpful to the asker, who might be on a tight deadline and just want the answer.

6 Re Chinese KudoZ,in my short involvement with Proz (3-4 months) I would have to say the dynamic changes as people come and go.For myself, I went all out for my 100 points at the start. Now I just make my contribution and don't worry about the points...

7 Finally, back to Kudoz, I think there is a certain form that is expected,but room for latitude. The Moderators generally set the tone. When I started, there was no discussion with the asker, and not a lot of debate. People just put forward their best suggestions, and it was sudden death. 我感到又亲切又专业.不错.

Well, Kevin, pull me up if I have strayed off the discussion thread. I also realise this discussion in English may be difficult for some to follow...


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:57
English to Chinese
+ ...
What do you mean by "sinification of English literary texts?" Dec 29, 2003

Any examples?

I have to admit I don't trust my English-Chinese dictionary very much, especially with new usages. The only general-purpose E-C dictionary I have is 新英汉词典 (上海译文1985) which is not much different from its first edition (1978). I am going back to China early next year, so I will buy all the essential ones.

As to translation of novels, the translation itself is always legal. The publishing of an unauthorized translation obviously is not, but really it is not something I want to be concerned with. However, I refuse to help members like panyuan, who has steadfastly refused to engage with us beyond the cold and impersonal Q&A.

lai'an wrote:

2 There is also a certain amount of sinification of English literary texts taking place. (Are these two issues related?) Is this really necessary? What about the integrity of the original texts? Isn't it a little patronising to the readership to process it for them before they get it? And how acceptable is it to take liberties with the author's work...

3 Further to this, can we believe that the translating of novels we see is occurring legally with the permission of the authors? If it was, wouldn't the translators be going back to the authors for clarification? (As translators, do we care? When I raised this issue earlier in the general forum, there wasn't much reaction - in any case, I guess one aspect of KudoZ etiquette is that we do not ask the reason for a question being posted...)



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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 04:57
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Dictionaries and blah blah.... Dec 29, 2003

Oh yes, Yongmei.... please remember to bring lots and lots of money when you come to China!!! There are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MANY good dictionaries (well, at least I think they are helpful to me!!) here and so cheap!! I bought a Microsoft E-C dictionary (THICK ONE) for RMB99!! And what is that?? US$10??? I go "dictionary shopping" at least twice a month and blast almost half of my pay just on dictionaries!! Well, I don't know how I will ship them back to Singapore but.................. I DON'T CARE!!!

In fact, I am thinking if anyone of you (outside China) would like to get hold of any dictionaries, I can be your "purchaser"!!

And Yongmei, when you come to China, I hope to meet up with you!! Wherever you are.... I will hunt you down!! *evil grin*

As for askers who simply do not log in or have no profile.. hmm... I am new here so I don't really know what's going on. Some people say, "Don't answer grammar questions" and some say, "Don't bother to answer XXX".... but if I see that it is a legitimate question and if I can help, I would usually answer. Of course, I agree with you that it is nicer to KNOW the person. A good example is clearwater... I've been answering so many of his E-C questions and recently he put up his picture and hey, NOW I KNOW WHO HE IS!! Nice, eh???

[quote]Yongmei Liu wrote:

I am going back to China early next year, so I will buy all the essential ones.

However, I refuse to help members like panyuan, who has steadfastly refused to engage with us beyond the cold and impersonal Q&A.


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
lai'an, I hope you can see where I stand. Dec 29, 2003

Dear Lai’an,

What a nice discussion! It looks like I am the only one stayed away from the Chinese Forum during the Christmas weekend. Thank you for the long message! I enjoyed very much reading it. I think your are fascinating! You learned the Chinese language as your second language and have been playing an active role in helping others. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your participation and for helping to improve the standards in the Chinese/English KudoZ services. Many things you mentioned in your message went beyond what Denyce was talking about in this folder. But everything you mentioned still relates to KudoZ. In this regard, you are not far off. As you may know, there is a KudoZ Forum designated for the KudoZ issues. Since your observations all relate to the Chinese and English KudoZ, I think this is a good place to talk about it. The problem is that you feel better now by letting them out of your chest, but I might not have the solutions for all the issues. What I can do is to share with you what I think, so at least you can see where I stand.

1. I think dictionaries are great reference tools, especially those compiled by reputable scholars and printed by well-known publishing houses. I have a full bookshelf of them. But, I noticed that they are still not fast enough to include the new terms. I also noticed that some askers posted the KudoZ question because he/she found the translation offered in dictionary does not fit well in the given sentence. In this case, to make a straight quote from a dictionary will not be considered very helpful to that particular translation.

2. As for a certain amount of sinicization of English literary texts taking place, this is where you can play an excellent role to intervene. You can do a much better job than me. I can promise you to be more careful when I make a translation suggestion in future. Your questions in this regard are all valid and passionate. I would be irritated too if I see any Chinese answer offered sounds too foreign.

3. As for the novel translation, I have never done one myself. I do not have enough knowledge in law to give any advice here. I think Yongmei made a good point in his message posted above. I suggest that you should post this topic in the “Literature/Poetry Forum”. I am sure it can draw lots of interests in discussion.

4. “Is KudoZ really the place for grammar questions from hobby language learners? ” I am aware of this situation myself. As a matter of fact, Terry L. Thatcher, the other Moderator, had a lengthy discussion with a translator involved. I thought it was turned to Henry for a ruling. But I have not yet heard of the final decision. Personally, I think grammar related questions should NOT be mixed with the translation related questions in KudoZ, which will saved as glossary at ProZ.com for translation purpose. Grammar discussion should be held in the Forum area.

5. “Re spirited debates in the mono English KudoZ. Personally I find some of it quite self-indulgent and tedious - I guess that is the way it seems if you are an outsider...Interesting for the participants perhaps, but not necessarily helpful to the asker, who might be on a tight deadline and just want the answer. ”
Agree with you. I do not see the reason for discussion or expansion in help notes if context is very clear and the answer is so obvious.

6. “…Chinese KudoZ, in my short involvement with Proz (3-4 months) I would have to say the dynamic changes as people come and go. For myself, I went all out for my 100 points at the start. Now I just make my contribution and don't worry about the points...”

I think 3-4 months are pretty short. I am here for two years now and I am still learning and getting familiar with all the features. I said it in the past that I found this place reminds me a Chinese Tea House, the patrons come and go. I am one of the few who stayed. I enjoy being here. KudoZ points are important, too. If you helped the translator, you deserve to have it.

7. “Finally, back to Kudoz, I think there is a certain form that is expected, but room for latitude. The Moderators generally set the tone. When I started, there was no discussion with the asker, and not a lot of debate. People just put forward their best suggestions, and it was sudden death. 我感到又亲切又专业.不错.” Mmm…true, but not totally true. The Chinese sector is relatively quieter. But we had debates and got very ugly at certain point. You just missed the whole show. If you have time or interest, you are welcome to read those messages in all those folders in the Chinese Forum.

Well, I hope I answered your questions, at least some of them. By the way, it is just fine to use English in the discussion. As I stated many times in the past, this is a bilingual place. Both Chinese and English can be used. Someone even challenged me about this in the past and wanted me to use Chinese only. Pal, it will not happen as long as I am here.


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:57
English to Chinese
+ ...
To answer or not - it is a personal decision Dec 29, 2003

I would not want to impose my judgment on anyone.

And, yeah, I would like to do some side traveling in China. Will tell you my plans later.

Yongmei

denyce wrote:

As for askers who simply do not log in or have no profile.. hmm... I am new here so I don't really know what's going on. Some people say, "Don't answer grammar questions" and some say, "Don't bother to answer XXX".... but if I see that it is a legitimate question and if I can help, I would usually answer. Of course, I agree with you that it is nicer to KNOW the person. A good example is clearwater... I've been answering so many of his E-C questions and recently he put up his picture and hey, NOW I KNOW WHO HE IS!! Nice, eh???


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Zhoudan  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:57
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
What about coming to my city, Yongmei and Denyce? Dec 30, 2003

I would like to meet you both!

Zhoudan
Yongmei Liu wrote:

I would not want to impose my judgment on anyone.

And, yeah, I would like to do some side traveling in China. Will tell you my plans later.

Yongmei

denyce wrote:

As for askers who simply do not log in or have no profile.. hmm... I am new here so I don't really know what's going on. Some people say, "Don't answer grammar questions" and some say, "Don't bother to answer XXX".... but if I see that it is a legitimate question and if I can help, I would usually answer. Of course, I agree with you that it is nicer to KNOW the person. A good example is clearwater... I've been answering so many of his E-C questions and recently he put up his picture and hey, NOW I KNOW WHO HE IS!! Nice, eh???


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:57
English to Chinese
+ ...
I will be honored... Dec 30, 2003

Will tell you guys my travel details later.

Zhoudan wrote:

I would like to meet you both!

Zhoudan
Yongmei Liu wrote:

I would not want to impose my judgment on anyone.

And, yeah, I would like to do some side traveling in China. Will tell you my plans later.

Yongmei

denyce wrote:

As for askers who simply do not log in or have no profile.. hmm... I am new here so I don't really know what's going on. Some people say, "Don't answer grammar questions" and some say, "Don't bother to answer XXX".... but if I see that it is a legitimate question and if I can help, I would usually answer. Of course, I agree with you that it is nicer to KNOW the person. A good example is clearwater... I've been answering so many of his E-C questions and recently he put up his picture and hey, NOW I KNOW WHO HE IS!! Nice, eh???


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 04:57
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Hangzhou Dec 30, 2003

Yes, yes, how about a POWWOW??? Yoooooooohoooooooooo!!! Wow, Yongmei, what charm you have!!

Zhoudan, you're in Hangzhou, right??? That's easy for me. Hehehe... I can stroooooooll there!


[quote]Zhoudan wrote:

I would like to meet you both!

Zhoudan


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