Do something against users using machine translations
Thread poster: Sabine Akabayov, PhD

Sabine Akabayov, PhD
Local time: 17:44
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Oct 15, 2008

I think, there should be an option to report users using machine translations as an answer in KudoZ. After beeing reported by a certain number of translators these people should be banned from posting answers in the relevant language pair.
Lately, there is (at least) one user posting English/German answers which are total nonsense. His answers to disagree comments are the machine translation of these comments. This is really annoying and something should be done here.



Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:44
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Send a support request Oct 15, 2008

Or email the moderator of the forum. It must be possible to block someone who does this.


Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:44
German to English
Machine translations Oct 15, 2008

Hello, dear colleague.

I share your indignation. Every now and then language subcommunities get invaded by the most outrageous characters imaginable for a "translators' workplace". Seven years ago a guy displaying a photo of a 300-hundred pound gorilla wreaked havoc in the German to English pair for almost a year before a moderator finally put a stop to his game. We've had Turks, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Romanians, Russians etc. claiming English as their native language and expertise in German offering up horrendous nonsensical concoctions with unabashed confidence, and we are still suffering from an asker who, after 6 months of pleading from members, continues to steadfastly refuse to provide adequate context for her questions, resulting in garbage-in, garbage-out type glossary entries.

We'll always have bad askers who have accepted jobs they aren't qualified to do, can't bother to buy or use a dictionary or learn how to do basic online research, react with hostility or total silence when asked for context and routinely choose bad answers. And we'll always have answerers who couldn't care less what goes into the asker's translation or into the glossaries because they're only in it for the points. There's practically nothing we can do about bad askers because the rules prohibit any critique directed at askers. We can use the "disagree" to encourage some answerers to do better, but the really horrendous invaders like the machine translator you mention are a different kettle of fish. They're oblivious to criticism and just won't go away on their own.

There was a time when moderators still dared to do what was right in the most outrageous cases. They used their linguistic expertise to identify the extremely offensive participants and spare the community further embarrassment. But things have changed. Moderators have been told that they are not "linguistic authorities" and are thus not authorized to tell an asker that his proposed translations are unacceptable.

A support ticket is useless because staff members aren't translators. They will ask you to identify the rule that has been broken. I've sent in support requests to moderators in these cases and have been informed that there's nothing they can do. Just ignore them, they've said.

[Edited at 2008-10-15 23:49]


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The author Oct 16, 2008

sibsab wrote:
Lately, there is (at least) one user posting English/German answers which are total nonsense. His answers to disagree comments are the machine translation of these comments.

Maybe you just found the author of a machine translation program, or its database!icon_smile.gif


Ulrike Kraemer
Local time: 16:44
English to German
+ ...
Send a support ticket Oct 16, 2008

Jack is right. Send a support ticket and/or alert Steffen or Johanna to the user in question. People "contributing" machine translations shouldn't be tolerated at all.


Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:44
Member (2006)
English to French
Already contacted a moderator Oct 16, 2008

Hi Sibsab

I guess we are talking about the same person who has reported 2 working pairs in his profile but who, for a while, has been answering a huge amount of questions in a dozen of different pairs.

I have contacted a moderator and asked if I had the right to report such a person (whose name I did not mention). Answer : no, the only thing you can do is to put a Disagree if linguistically justified.


PS: But if several members do express their concern about the same person, maybe something will be done ?

[Edited at 2008-10-16 12:48]


Sabine Akabayov, PhD
Local time: 17:44
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Warning Oct 16, 2008

I did what Jack suggested and reported one of the answers to Steffen. He wrote me that they put an Admin warning in this persons account and that they are thinking a bout a way to deal with this kind of answers.Thanks for all your replies and Happy Kudozing (without any stupid answers;-)



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