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Kudoz questions - "is it fair?" - some people abuse the system
Thread poster: Mariadelpila (X)

Mariadelpila (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 11, 2009

Is it fair to post hundreds of questions and not to answer any? Is it fair to post chunks of machine translation for someone else to do the difficult/human work for you whilst you get paid for the result?

I believe, in my short time as a Proz.com member, that some people abuse the system and need to really improve their knowledge of the language the translate from. Am I alone? This is not to say that there aren't plenty of translators genuinely helping each other through Proz.com.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-06-11 22:12 GMT]

I am glad I am not the only one to have noticed these things. I am using Kudoz because I happen to have a lot of free time at the moment and it keeps my brain working. If I needed help with terms myself, I would no doubt find it very useful, but at the moment I just give my time to others. As someone pointed out, not promoting unfairness by not helping those who abuse the system would be the way forward.

[Edited at 2009-06-12 07:32 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-06-12 07:33 GMT]

I agree, Roy, nobody is forced to participate. I also enjoy seeing other people's ideas. The points system is a bit of a catch though, although I am not sure to which extent it promotes you...

[Edited at 2009-06-12 08:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-06-12 08:37 GMT]

Tomas, I completely understand you. However, I don't think it is right to have a go at a person in public...

[Edited at 2009-06-12 12:25 GMT]


 

madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
Here we go again Jun 11, 2009

I stopped answering Kudoz a long time ago for a number of reasons. Mainly, because I work in "small" language pairs and therefore had a chance "to get to know" all the usual askers, as well as all the usual answers.

In my language pairs there are three types of askers:
1. Those who deserve an answer
2. Those who are clearly out of their depth, either on the basis of language knowledge or speciality
3. Those with a very limited knowledge of Swedish

Category 3 (and sometimes category 2) usually asks questions such as "What does 'tyop' mean" when it's totally clear to anyone with basic knowledge of the language that it's a 'typo'.

Category 2 asks questions like "How do I translate 'annual report'", not exactly rocket science if you're translating one of those (they usually have "Finance" or something similar as a speciality).

Occasionally, very occasionally, I see "real" category 1 questions and feel tempted to break my rule of no longer answering Kudoz questions. Even then, I usually refrain from answering after checking the asker's answer/ask ratio - 1/100 doesn't give me much confidence their translation abilities.

Madeleine


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't promote unfairness Jun 12, 2009

My recommendation is that you don't promote unfairness by not answering questions from people who never answer any questions. Luckily, in Kudoz you can make your own decisions. Personally if the asker never answers questions and is unpolite (always forgets to say hello, thank in advance and of course explain the question) I skip the question altogether.

 

delveneto
United States
Local time: 06:30
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Kudoz is starting to irritate me Jun 12, 2009

I have been helping people for more than a decade now, explaining things that I know to people, learning from them too, not about translations, about matters that I like, so on. Then I found proZ. I registered a while ago but didn't care about kudoz. Then, some days ago, I started answering kudoz and I liked it, at first, because it was the first time that I was wasting my time for someone else but I had an opportunity to get something in return, the so-called kudoz points, and, who knows, if they are worth anything, maybe in the future get some recognition and from there some work and from there some money... so, I saw in the horizon a glimpse of making some money out of something that I was liked to do: helping people answering their questions.

Three days have passed, and because I had a lot of free time in these three days I answered a lot of questions, I devoted TONS of time to it and so far I (was told I) have 4 Kudoz points that don't even show up in my "account", and I don't know why.

Well, to make it short, in these three days I have seen a few unfair things about kudoz. I read an entire thread about Kudoz, I noticed how confusing it is, and to be honest, I'm already starting to get fed up with this thing. I'd rather answer questions and waste my time for nothing (but feel rewarded) than to do it for a "possibility of something" that can turn out to be unfair and may get to my nerves.

So, I'm watching, I'm learning, and I will eventually decide if I will keep spending my time with kudoz or if I'm better off answering questions in regular forums, as I always did (not related to languages, btw).


 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:30
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
'Twas ever thus Jun 12, 2009

The unfairness or otherwise of the Kudoz system is constantly being discussed here.
'Twas ever thus, alas.
All systems are open to abuse. There will always be some who act unfairly, take unfair advantage of the goodwill of others, and so on. If it were not thus, there would be no crime, no swindling, no need to monitor MPs' expense accounts, and so on. There will also always be others who wouldn't dream of doing such things, or who can't be bothered to.
Personally, I find the system helpful when I need help and enjoyable when I have the time and inclination to offer someone an answer.
Don't lose you hair over it. That's life ...
Best wishes,
Jenny


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You will say this many times!! Jun 12, 2009

delveneto wrote:
So, I'm watching, I'm learning, and I will eventually decide if I will keep spending my time with kudoz or if I'm better off answering questions in regular forums, as I always did (not related to languages, btw).


I am playing the seer now: you will say this sentence many times in the future. I have. Everyone has. And we are still in Kudoz!icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2009-06-12 07:41 GMT]


 

Roy OConnor (X)
Local time: 12:30
German to English
A mixed bag Jun 12, 2009

I´m fairly new to KudoZ and quite enjoy answering questions in my fields. The responses other people give also interest me as they often look at it from a different angle. Of course you can tell that some people are way out of their depth and that others, judging by the number of questions they put from what appears to be the same translation, are getting answerers to do their work for free. But that's human nature - nobody is forced to participate.

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Destroying the good mood Jun 12, 2009

We have this interesting situation in English-Spanish these days: someone who is translating what appears to be a novel and has made.... 750 questions since December 2008! Many of the questions would not be there is this person had been more realistic about her knowledge of English when she accepted the job, and very many of them can be easily resolved by opening the dictionary and reading through the meanings and idioms.

When this morning I openly said that the situation does not look good and that there was a clear excess of confidence and the risk of a bad final result even with all the answers received, I am accused of being unfair to this person and destroying the good mood in Kudoz. Of course making 750 questions and answering only 1 is not "destroying the good mood in Kudoz".icon_smile.gif


 

Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:30
Japanese to English
Destroying the good mood cont. Jun 12, 2009

Not exactly on topic, but I rather wanted to destroy the good mood in a forum discussion where a group of people who profess to translate into English were discussing something in characteristically poor English. I was tempted to ask them why they're translating into a language of which they're not master. It seems to me that sometimes a good mood in Proz often indicates a lack of the necessary rigour...

 

delveneto
United States
Local time: 06:30
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Enough Jun 12, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

delveneto wrote:
So, I'm watching, I'm learning, and I will eventually decide if I will keep spending my time with kudoz or if I'm better off answering questions in regular forums, as I always did (not related to languages, btw).


I am playing the seer now: you will say this sentence many times in the future. I have. Everyone has. And we are still in Kudoz!icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2009-06-12 07:41 GMT]


No, I will not. Actually, I am quitting the "kudoz thing" right now. I've had enough. I just had the news that one of my answers, that had 10 peer agreements lost the kudoz to another that had 2 because, although my answer is perfect, it is not ideal for Portugal. The fair thing would be to split the points but I read it is not allowed. In another news, someone else "built up" on my answer and has now more "peer agrees".

This is a waste of time. I'm out of kudoz. Three days was long enough for me to see it's just not worth answering. As I said, if there were no kudoz at all for the answerers, it would be better.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good luck! Jun 12, 2009

delveneto wrote:
This is a waste of time. I'm out of kudoz. Three days was long enough for me to see it's just not worth answering.


OK! Good luck and see you!


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 12:30
German to Serbian
+ ...
A question Jun 12, 2009

When a system is open to abuse, what does it tell about the system?

 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:30
French to German
+ ...
Free riders: Good Mood contd. Jun 12, 2009

Lingua 5B wrote:

When a system is open to abuse, what does it tell about the system?


Well, it tells *me* that you can find the variety known under the term "free rider" nearly everywhere, from the KudoZ at ProZ.com to e.g. the public health system in France (€ 20B in the red at the time being).

IOW: the system is efficient enough to attract, to support and even to spoil "free riders" - not a good omen, though.

Laurent K.

[Edited at 2009-06-12 13:16 GMT]


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 12:30
German to Serbian
+ ...
A reply Jun 12, 2009

ScottishWildCat wrote:

Lingua 5B wrote:

When a system is open to abuse, what does it tell about the system?


Well, it tells *me* that you can find the variety known under the term "free rider" nearly everywhere, from the KudoZ at ProZ.com to e.g. the public health system in France (€ 20B in the red at the time being).

IOW: the system is efficient enough to attract, to support and to take care of "free riders" - not a good omen, though.

Laurent K.

[Edited at 2009-06-12 13:09 GMT]


While I agree that no system is perfect, I also understand that systems must strive to become better, especially when there are consistent and frequent complaints about certain issues coming from the system users.

We should stop and think: Is it the systems abusers we are supposed to blame or the system itself? Where is the root of the problem?


 

Valery Kaminski  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 14:30
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
fair... a fair Jun 12, 2009

I have been disappointed by certain questions/answers quite a few times. My answers with over 10 agrees have lost to much less 'selected' (and, which is more important, worse) options. Some answerers'/askers'/commenters' behaviour stirred my darker side and drew me on to vent my irritation (which I have managed to surpress so far:)).

SO WHAT???


At the same time I got immense pleasure and satisfaction answering the questions and a lot of help when colleagues answered mine.

Kudoz is an 'open' system. All open systems are open to abuse. There is no way to keep them open otherwise.

I know some 'colleagues' abuse Kudoz. There are free riders in all spheres of life. But why should one get upset about it? The way they try to earn 'an easy buck' is pitiable. Try translating into/from a language you barely know and you'll agree.


 
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