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Courtesy in Kudoz - Am I nuts or what?
Thread poster: Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 11, 2008

Hello dear colleagues. I promise the goal of this posting is not to discuss the deterioration (or lack of deterioration) of Kudoz. It's about the level of courtesy, actually.

Unfortunately I too frequently (some 30% of questions is a rough estimate) see questions in Kudoz (I am only active in some pairs into Spanish) in which the asker merely pastes the sentence that contains the term asked, as the sole description of the matter. No instances of "please", no "thank you", no "hello". (The goal of this posting is NOT to discuss issues other than courtesy, which have been discussed to exhaustion in the past).

When I ask some people day after day for a tiny bit of courtesy at the moment of asking, and after asking many times, they often say that they are showing courtesy: they always say thank you at the moment of assigning the points. But, is this really enough? Isn't it a bit late to show some courtesy?

Am I completely nuts for hoping that our dear colleagues treat us with the same respect they treat shop attendants or checkout clerks? Am I completely nuts for assuming that every question should show some sign of respect to your colleagues, most specially because they are going to "save your ass"?

What is the experience in your language pairs?

Cheers!


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:21
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Don't need it Sep 11, 2008

Some people may appreciate the courteous approach whereas others don't need it. I am quite happy when Kudoz questions are to the point and provide the necessary context without any "extra fluff". To me, it seems quite sufficient when the asker says "many thanks" or "thank you very much" when accepting an answer and that is what I do myself.

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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:21
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
My point of view Sep 11, 2008

I usually say "thanx" and "please" but I don't consider as a rough action if people don't write those words. Usually, translators are very busy to be SO polite.

I don't think there's a need to be so extremely formal and ceremonious.



[Edited at 2008-09-11 16:13]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Saying "hello", "please" or "thank you" is extremely ceremonious? Sep 11, 2008

Yaotl Altan wrote:
I usually say "thanx" and "please" but I don't consider as a rough action if people don't write those words. Usually, translators are very busy to be SO polite.

I don't think there's a need to be so extremely formal and ceremonious.


Wow. It really strikes me that saying "thank you in advance" or "please" (that's the only thing I hope for) is "extremely formal and ceremonious"...


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The Misha
Local time: 15:21
Russian to English
+ ...
Just don't answer them Sep 11, 2008

I have tried to raise the same question before and on occasion even contacted some of the perpetrators to explain why I refuse to answer questions posted in such an unceremonious manner. It got me nowhere, and I even got cited by a moderator for supposedly violating a multitude of rules. I simply gave up and stopped answering those questions and substantially reduced the time I spend on this site altogether. If nothing else, you can always vote with your feet.

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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
¿Spanish thing? Sep 11, 2008

Maybe it's a Spanish thing. I'm an English person living in Spain and I would say that in general people aren't very polite.

I think some please or thank you would be nice.


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Cultural differences Sep 11, 2008

You aren't nuts, you are acting according to your culture, where lack of these courtesies is rude.

There exist other cultures that feel differently about this; Tina expressed one of these points of view. To a culture that doesn't require these courteous words in an environment such as KudoZ, including them can seem insincere and disrespectful of other people's time and effort (because they are seen as unnessary).

You don't have to change your cultural point of view, but only to understand that we don't all see these things the same way, and when we each behave according to what is polite in our own culture, we don't do it in order to purposely offend those of a different point of view.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Are speakers of Spanish in the same culture? Sep 11, 2008

GoodWords wrote:
You aren't nuts, you are acting according to your culture, where lack of these courtesies is rude.


Thanks Goodwords. This does make a lot of sense.

However, as I only contribute in pairs into Spanish, this problem often takes place with people from my own country, or from other Spanish-speaking countries which I value and love as part of my own culture, for that matter. So this situation is still hard to understand...


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is nice Sep 11, 2008

It is nice that some askers take the time to thank us all for our contributions, even if not chosen. They should be commended. I just got one a little while ago.

There are others who treat requests for clarification or context by totally ignoring them, and still others who do not even bother to close the question. Much less any thanks for those who help.

Extra courtesy is nice, and it is even nicer when questions are asked in a truly professional manner. That to me is the ultimate courtesy.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The ultimate courtesy... yes! Sep 11, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:
Extra courtesy is nice, and it is even nicer when questions are asked in a truly professional manner. That to me is the ultimate courtesy.


I coult not agree more! Yes! It's such a pleasure to see a well-prepared question! Askers who do it receive my full effort and attention. I do my very best and don't save any effort in helping in those cases.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:21
French to English
Don't want to make the topic drift Sep 11, 2008

If I saw:
" Hi folks,

xxxxxxxxx block of copy/pasted text xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

many thanks in advance" etc.

I'd be inclined to wonder what the point was.

The courtesy issue you raise is often indicative of an unhelpful attitude generally from Askers who don't bother to tell you what specifically is bothering them about the term/phrase they are stuck on, what options they have considered and rejected and why, and so on.

Once an Asker has bothered to explain all that (which I believe they should), then for many people it would then come quite naturally (and often does, for those that DO explain it) to wrap it all up with a quick "thanks for your time" or whatever.
And, in my humble view, bothering to explain to me the precise nature of your problem is as big a courtesy as I wish to be paid. If the Asker wants to say please and thank you, then great, but if they don't, I can live without it if I'm asked a decent question.

Conversely, you can be as polite as country curate, but if you're not giving me context, your question is still rubbish.

In summary, I place being asked full, proper, well-reasoned questions by people who are showing their appreciation by the effort they put into the question, over any number of pleases and thank yous with a copy/paste and SFA in the way of explanation.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Also very true! Sep 11, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:
Conversely, you can be as polite as country curate, but if you're not giving me context, your question is still rubbish.
In summary, I place being asked full, proper, well-reasoned questions by people who are showing their appreciation by the effort they put into the question, over any number of pleases and thank yous with a copy/paste and SFA in the way of explanation.


Yes, Henry also mentioned the same thing, and I quite agree. It's very true. A well-prepared question is so pleasant to see that courtesy is not really a must anymore.


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:21
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
No you're not nuts.. Sep 11, 2008

Hello Tomás

No, you are quite right to raise this issue; there are no excuses for not being courteous (and that doesn't mean I always am, though I try to be...). We are subject to "bad moods" and "lack of time" just like everybody else, but this is never an excuse for lack of courtesy.

The "tone" of any message, whether it be verbal or written, is improved with a bit of courtesy.

Just take a few more seconds everybody before you hit the "send" key..and that includes me.

Kind Regards
Liz Askew


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
We'll be watching! Sep 11, 2008

liz askew wrote:
Just take a few more seconds everybody before you hit the "send" key..and that includes me.


Ok Liz! We will be watching your questions! Thanks a lot for your contribution.


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Take it as read Sep 11, 2008

I choose to take it as read that everyone is addressing me with a "please and thank you" tone (rather like the Spanish way of asking you to pass the sugar - no "por favor" but the tone conveys it), unless someone is being downright rude. As Liz says, we all have our bad moments, plus a tendency to be working against the clock. And as Henry and Charlie say, the real courtesy is in providing sufficient info to make others' efforts be time well spent.

I have enough s**t flying around in other elements of my life, so I don't need to look for any more here! But I do make an effort to be explicitly courteous whenever possible because I know how much it lifts my spirits when it comes my way. But please forgive when I forget my manners...

But a word of thanks etc is never going to be superfluous.

Thanks for setting the thread up!


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