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Do KudoZ questions need to be vetted for enough context?
Thread poster: liz askew

liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:28
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
May 1, 2009

Hello there

It is the age old problem!

Lately I have noticed that askers provide a distinct lack of context when posting queries, despite being asked for it on many occasions to help translators help the asker!!

I see it is actually beginning to annoy some translators that askers are not providing much context, if ANY.

Do queries need to be vetted for enough context, and if not enough is provided, should the query be returned to the asker? It is becoming very tiresome indeed to be repeatedly asking for more context and being ignored.

And please don't come back with the age old point about "sometimes there is no context to provide".

I expect now we will get a debate about who decides what makes up context, or what "context" actually is

Kind regards
Liz Askew

[Edited at 2009-05-01 08:08 GMT]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-05-01 10:38 GMT]


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:28
Member (2006)
English to French
Context May 1, 2009


And please don't come back with the age old point about "sometimes there is no context to provide".



Of course not, but some will come back with "don't bother to answer"!

What astonishes me is that some answerers prefer to give a wild answer instead of asking for context, just in case they would be right....

I remember an old topic where someone suggested to add a "context button" on which you could click if you think more context is needed, instead of writing a full request to the asker. But if I remember right the idea was rejected (too many buttons already)...

Stéphanie


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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:28
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Idea: Vote "Not enough context" May 1, 2009

What about a function similar to the existing "Vote Pro/Non-Pro" button? If a certain number of ProZ members click a button to say there is not enough context the question could be bounced back to the asker who would then have to provide more context or withdraw the question.

Just an idea. Maybe something like this could work?

It could, however, lead to endless arguments about what exactly is "enough" context.

[Edit: Alright, just saw Stéphanie's reply. Seems something like this had already been suggested and rejected in the past.]


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:28
Member (2006)
English to French
"Context button" May 1, 2009

Not that long ago (Sept.08):
http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/115271-provide_more_context_button_in_kudoz.html

And also (May 05):
http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/32141-feature_proposal:_vote_for_automatic_content_request.html


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:28
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The "don't bother" answer.. May 1, 2009

Hello there

I won't expect a miracle of any sort of solution to this irritating problem, that would be too much to expect.

There will always be people who would rather think negatively than positively.

But where does that leave us - "analysis paralysis"??

Not me:-)

Liz


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:28
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not enough context button = great idea [to me only perhaps] May 1, 2009

Your answer is a great one, but that would depend on the whole "community" reaching a consensus about context, what it means and how much is required.

Maybe I am asking for miracles?

Liz


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:28
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree! May 1, 2009

Thomas Pfann wrote:
What about a function similar to the existing "Vote Pro/Non-Pro" button? If a certain number of ProZ members click a button to say there is not enough context the question could be bounced back to the asker who would then have to provide more context or withdraw the question.


This is an old idea. We have discussed this a lot in the past, also with the feedback of Proz's staff, and no action was taken in this sense.

Instead, I encourage everyone to simply disregard questions that are lacking context, poorly explained (or unexplained as it happens in 90% of the cases), and unpolite. That way good askers will get the better answers and our time.

(Edited to remove my opinion about what Proz's staff think about this matter).

[Edited at 2009-05-01 14:27 GMT]


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:28
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
So it's "vote with your feet" or "fingers" in this case. May 1, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Thomas Pfann wrote:
What about a function similar to the existing "Vote Pro/Non-Pro" button? If a certain number of ProZ members click a button to say there is not enough context the question could be bounced back to the asker who would then have to provide more context or withdraw the question.


This is an old idea, but the many discussions we have had about this and the replies from Proz's staff are proof enough that Proz is not willing to make such a change.

Instead, I encourage everyone to simply disregard questions that are lacking context, poorly explained (or unexplained as it happens in 90% of the cases), and unpolite. That way good askers will get the better answers and our time.


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Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:28
Member
French to English
+ ...
Asker's lookout May 1, 2009

I'm afraid I'm firmly in the "don't bother" camp. As a rule, I ignore questions where context is lacking unless the asker has made the effort to provide some context but it doesn't fully resolve the issue. The way I see it, if the asker doesn't realise the importance of providing context, then they don't fully understand the translation process and are less deserving of help than people who do. Why should we spend time encouraging them to help us to help them? It's their lookout. The rules clearly state that sufficient context should be given.

I know of at least one translator who routinely requests more context from askers but then stubbornly refuses to provide it herself when asking questions despite having been asked to do so on numerous occasions in the past. Some people will simply never get the message, no matter how many times you try to educate them.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
me too... May 1, 2009

Why bother? Really. You can already ask for context. You ask and if the asker can't be bothered, neither can I! BTW, I don't really answer Kudoz anymore... I just get really really angry...

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:28
French to English
The Lord helps those who help themselves... May 1, 2009

or, more secularly, sod them.

I used to be in favour of a button, but now I content myself with despising the kind of half-wit who posts a 4 word question with nothing else. I never get offered 4 word jobs, and even if I did, I imagine there would be a client, working in a particular field/sector/industry, or something else to go on.

I wondered about some kind of minimum character count in the description field, but people could get round such as restriction quite easily.

At a time when moderators are fleeing the site in droves, I can't imagine that a manual vetting procedure will be given much consideration.

What also annoys me (and this is context-related, not thread drift) is those who make no mention of options under consideration or indeed those that have been rejected. If there was to be vetting of questions, I would reject those that gave no indication of the Askers thought processes, not matter how many paragraphs of context were provided.

Except, of course, that would require Askers to have actually given the question some thought. Which they rarely have. So, I repeat - sod them.


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polyglot45
English to French
+ ...
If only...(complete solidarity...) May 1, 2009

If askers don't give enough context, the obvious answer is, indeed, to treat them with the contempt they deserve.

If only everybody would agree to do just that !

No answers might just force some of the worst - and most regular - offenders to take a step back and realise why their enquiries are receiving no response, perhaps even mend their ways (one can always hope !)

The problem is that, while many people may have "voted with their fingers", there are always others who dive in the deep end and answer just the same. I've even done it myself in exasperation, to try and show how far wrong you can be, if you answer out of context.

There was a question only yesterday in a certain language pair, where we were several virtually begging for context (the phrase was interesting and translatable in several ways depending on CONTEXT). There were still those fools who rushed in where angels feared to tread. That negates the whole process of asking for more details.

Is it therefore surprising that standards here are dropping? When it is just the blind leading the lead, what can you expect?

The real question is how can you force people NOT to answer, when there is no real context to go on?

I leave that one to better brains than mine!


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:28
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sod them May 1, 2009

Yes, I am getting the idea now:-)

Cheers!
Liz

Charlie Bavington wrote:

or, more secularly, sod them.

I used to be in favour of a button, but now I content myself with despising the kind of half-wit who posts a 4 word question with nothing else. I never get offered 4 word jobs, and even if I did, I imagine there would be a client, working in a particular field/sector/industry, or something else to go on.

I wondered about some kind of minimum character count in the description field, but people could get round such as restriction quite easily.

At a time when moderators are fleeing the site in droves, I can't imagine that a manual vetting procedure will be given much consideration.

What also annoys me (and this is context-related, not thread drift) is those who make no mention of options under consideration or indeed those that have been rejected. If there was to be vetting of questions, I would reject those that gave no indication of the Askers thought processes, not matter how many paragraphs of context were provided.

Except, of course, that would require Askers to have actually given the question some thought. Which they rarely have. So, I repeat - sod them.



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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:28
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
De ja Vu May 1, 2009

Yes, this topic was already discussed several times, with several proposals, but no real solution. Site staff did not seem to agree that the problem exists, and some sort of solution/change was justified.

I do not want to repeat what I said in one of those threads, but since I am still on the same opinion, I just post the link here:

http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/109300-enhancement_of_the_kudoz_system_by_discouraging_questions_without_context_a_proposal-page6.html#896942


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 19:28
SITE FOUNDER
Please let members of this community -- including staff members -- speak for themselves May 1, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:
...Site staff did not seem to agree that the problem exists...

Of course lack of context is an issue.

As a rule, folks, we ask that forum posters refrain from characterizing others' positions for them. ( It is, literally, a rule - http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/5#5 ) This helps to keep discussions from becoming distracted.


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