when to ask a KudoZ question
Thread poster: Chris Hopley

Chris Hopley  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:54
German to English
+ ...
Oct 11, 2005

Am I the only one who is fed up with the KudoZ question boards being used to vent opinions on whether a certain question should have been asked or not and other ancillary stuff?

Take a look at this: http://www.proz.com/kudoz/1156179
Absurd!!! There's more discussion about question procedure than about the translation itself. Are we translators or the glossary police?

In my opinion, anyone can ask any question - even when the term being asked is similar or related to one already in the glossary. Equally, everyone has the right to answer or to refrain from answering.

I also think that if you want to offer the Asker a few words of your worldly wisdom on what questions to ask, you should do this privately by e-mail. The 'Ask Asker' option is to get more information about the term or question so that you can provide a good or better translation. Or have I missed something.

Any thoughts?


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:54
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
delete Oct 11, 2005

Hi Chris,

You could site the ff rules:
1.1 - All features of the KudoZ system (asking, answering, peer comments and "asking the asker") are to be used for terms help only. Making announcements, using the forms for purposes different from their intended ones, or otherwise misusing the KudoZ platform is prohibited.

1.2 - Users may not discourage others, in any way, from using the KudoZ service to ask, answer or otherwise participate in the KudoZ terms help process.

And then delete all the offending remarks in the "Ask the Asker" box. That's what I would've done in this instance. The asker had a genuine need but was sidetracked since he had to defend his right to ask a questiom. Exactly why 1.1 and 1.2 were written.

Marcus


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:54
Dutch to English
+ ...
My humblest apologies......... Oct 11, 2005

Chris,

If you have a problem with anyone's particular use of the site in a given situation, then I may suggest, especially as a moderator you contact that person directly instead of venting your frustrations here.

Doing that with reference to a particular question boils down to the same thing. It's no better.

You're maybe sick and tired of it going on; likewise certain members are really sick and tired of people either being too lazy to do their own research (in light of their particular background) or even worse (and not suggesting it here)masquerading as something they are evidently not (whether that be engineers, doctors, lawyers, whatever).

The initial abuse starts there.

Would it be acceptable for a self-proclaimed electrical engineer to be asking what is direct/alternating current? A doctor to be asking what's a scalpel?

To the extent that it's necessary, I apologise and will in future try and refrain - but after actually slogging through law school, it's a bit much to swallow to see this type of nonsense, especially when the answer isn't ideal for the glossary either.

Had the question been asked by a non-legal graduate, it would have been a different kettle of fish altogether.

So yes, I overstepped the mark and need to put the linguist hat back on - consider my knuckles adequately rapped - thanks.

Debs









[Edited at 2005-10-11 11:20]

[Edited at 2005-10-11 11:32]


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:54
Dutch to English
+ ...
I'm with you on this one Oct 11, 2005

I do not like the glossary police either. I would much rather have an 'unbiased' and friendly place to ask my stupid questions. I did not join this website to be preached about my professional behaviour but to have an outlet when I am struggling with something which on another day may be obvious (to me).

People seem to forget that dictionaries cost money and not all translators have all the dictionaries available on the market. There are also situations when your dictionaries seem to be unavailable. This regularly happens to me with the VanDale Dutch to Dutch. After so many days, I have to find the CD and put it in to confirm I have a license. Very often, I've forgotten where I've put it.

I do think you should check the KOG but there are teething problems with it and it is not very user-friendly.

On a practical side, I hate wading through all the comments telling the asker that they should have approached their problem in a different way. This really wastes my time.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:54
Dutch to English
+ ...
Area of expertise and questions Oct 11, 2005

Deborah do Carmo wrote:


Would it be acceptable for a self-proclaimed electrical engineer to be asking what is direct/alternating current? A doctor to be asking what's a scalpel?



[Edited at 2005-10-11 11:20]

[Edited at 2005-10-11 11:22]


Yes, I believe it is acceptable. I regularly translate material related to cutting edge technology with a mathematical bias (I have a math degree). Because the fields are usually so new, I like confirmation. It is not that I do not understand the subject matter, but the words are usually not there. Having other translators with a mathematical background explain whatever it is makes perfect sense to me. It will probably make my brain make that final link. Just because a question seems simple and obvious, it does not necessarily follow that it is.


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Chris Hopley  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:54
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not personal Oct 11, 2005

Dear Debbie,

My comments were not directed to you or any other person in particular. The link was provided merely as a recent example of what I mean.

If the nature of a question causes you to doubt an asker's credentials, there is no need for public vilification. This is not Salem. My advice is simply to refrain from answering. Anyone who persists in posting genuinely facile questions will soon get the point, as silence can send a stronger message than a loud-hailer.

Kind regards,
Chris

[Edited at 2005-10-11 12:00]


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 07:54
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Exactly, Marcus Oct 11, 2005

Marcus Malabad wrote:

Hi Chris,

You could site the ff rules:
1.1 - All features of the KudoZ system (asking, answering, peer comments and "asking the asker") are to be used for terms help only. Making announcements, using the forms for purposes different from their intended ones, or otherwise misusing the KudoZ platform is prohibited.

1.2 - Users may not discourage others, in any way, from using the KudoZ service to ask, answer or otherwise participate in the KudoZ terms help process.

And then delete all the offending remarks in the "Ask the Asker" box. That's what I would've done in this instance. The asker had a genuine need but was sidetracked since he had to defend his right to ask a questiom. Exactly why 1.1 and 1.2 were written.

Marcus



This is indeed what should have been done. I wrote Chris, who was apparently not wearing his moderator hat when he posted, about this earlier.

On another note, I believe each and every question has a right to be asked, except for a few, i.e. abusive terms, identical questions in similar or identical contexts which have been asked before etc.
If you don't like a question, simply don't answer.

We came up with a set of KudoZ (and other) rules based on the input from ProZ.com membership, moderators and ProZ.com staff, and we should try to abide by them as much as possible, if we want this marketplace to remain/become a/the professional and friendly place to be when you need help with a certain term.

After all, well over +100,000 people are registered members and without those rules we'd be nowhere.

A reminder:
http://www.proz.com/index.php?sp=about/kudoz&show_mode=kudozrules


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:54
Dutch to English
+ ...
From Salem to Babel ...... Oct 11, 2005

Chris,

Even if personal, my shoulders are wide enough to take it, so no sweat there. I've admitted overstepping the mark and publicly apologised, so really no need to chastise further.

And no it's not Salem - you're quite right and it really shouldn't be - but may I then suggest moderating a bit more pro-actively in future on the sub-site and try to stop it degenerating into the Dunglish Babel free-for-all that it's become?

Marijke,

it depends whether you translate as a hobby or seriously as a profession - either you have the tools of the trade or you don't. If you're a "legal translator" without the standard works, then you're asking for trouble - rather like making a pizza without cheese and hoping no-one will notice at the end.

Furthermore there is nothing "cutting-edge" about the examples I mentioned - but to bring it up/down to the level of mathematics for you, writer's question in law amounted to a self-proclaimed mathematician asking someone to explain the Pythagorean theorem - that was the level of it - basic stuff.

Anyhow, would love to debate this further but have deadlines to meet, so drawing a line under it from this side, at least.

Have a good day
Debs








[Edited at 2005-10-11 14:26]

[Edited at 2005-10-11 14:27]


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:54
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Glad you made the point Oct 11, 2005

Dear Chris, you definitely put your finger on something I have noticed as a distinctive trend in Kudoz. I asked a question not that long ago and was amazed by the less-than-friendly exchanges and comments. This is not a pleasant experience for someone asking a Kudoz question in good faith; it was followed up by personal emails, apologies, and an attempt from me to try & move the points I awarded after realising I might have made a mistake and that I would have to hang my head in shame for ever more. Let's just say that I think twice now before posting a question.

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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:54
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Inderdaad, een beetje solidariteit... Oct 11, 2005

Goh, beginnen de dagen te korten en de nachten te lengen? Is er iets mis met het bioritme? Ik merk in het algemeen een meer 'op de man' spelende houding in de forums (voor Kudoz heb ik eigenlijk geen tijd, maar de forums zijn altijd leuk om te lezen) en als dan gewoon een vurige discussie op de man gespeeld wordt (een arme Franse vertaler wier/ns Engels niet om over naar huis te schrijven was) vind ik dat niks. Ik mag dan graag de bliksem afleiden.... (het was een discussie in het Kudoz forum en ging niet over Kudoz, maar over vertalen....). Hoe is jullie Nederlands touwens (grijns) aangezien dit wel het Dutch forum was, de laatste keer dat ik keek? Ach, we zijn toch maar veel te kort op deze wereld om ons toch op deze kleine schaal zo druk te maken? Groeten, filosoferend op de berg, Anjo

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