Pro/Non-Pro Classification of KudoZ Questions
Thread poster: Ali Tuna

Ali Tuna  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:34
Turkish to English
+ ...
Nov 2, 2009

Hi,

I am a new member in English, English-Turkish, and Turkish-English language pairs. I have been trying to analyze some of the KudoZ questions over the last month. Even though it has been very helpful, I have not been able see the reasoning behind the non-Pro classification of KudoZ terms by translators/interpreters.

As far as I know, one should be quite skilled in a language pair to claim to be a translator of that language pair. So, he/she should already be able to find the answers to easy (non-Pro) questions on his/her own. However, I see a significant number of non-Pro questions posted by ProZ.com member translators. If it is an easy-to-translate term, why doesn't the asker answer it? Or, is there a different reason behind it?

I think ProZ.com members should not be allowed to submit non-Pro level KudoZ questions in their posted language pairs. Am I right, or am I overlooking something here? Please share your thoughts. Thank you in advance.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I could not agree more with you! Nov 2, 2009

There is really no logical explanation for this, but it does happen quite often...

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Enrique
Local time: 09:34
SITE STAFF
Some questions may be wrongly classified Nov 2, 2009

Non-pro KudoZ questions are defined as those that can be answered by any bilingual person without the aid of a dictionary.

When applying the above definitions, detach yourself from your own background/specialisation and think of a - hypothetical - randomly selected bilingual person. Is it likely that this person would be able to produce a good translation of the term or phrase in question (and in the particular context shown) from the top of his/her head? If not, it is a PRO question.

There is an article that discussed this in more detail.

It is possible that some questions posted as non-PRO should be really PRO.

By the way, questions posted by non-logged-in visitors are currently forced as non-PRO. This will be modified in the near future and these askers will be given the chance to classify their questions as PRO or non-PRO.

Regards,
Enrique


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:34
English to Japanese
+ ...
That's great news, Enrique Nov 2, 2009

Enrique wrote:

Non-pro KudoZ questions are defined as those that can be answered by any bilingual person without the aid of a dictionary.

When applying the above definitions, detach yourself from your own background/specialisation and think of a - hypothetical - randomly selected bilingual person. Is it likely that this person would be able to produce a good translation of the term or phrase in question (and in the particular context shown) from the top of his/her head? If not, it is a PRO question.

There is an article that discussed this in more detail.

It is possible that some questions posted as non-PRO should be really PRO.

By the way, questions posted by non-logged-in visitors are currently forced as non-PRO. This will be modified in the near future and these askers will be given the chance to classify their questions as PRO or non-PRO.

Regards,
Enrique



That's good to hear, since some of the non-logged in visitors DO ask tough questions, which would definitely be classified as Pro if they were asked by a member or a site user.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:34
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Why the two? Nov 2, 2009

All the discussions I have seen have been about PRO questions that should have been posted as non-PRO. Now, we get this:

Enrique wrote:
It is possible that some questions posted as non-PRO should be really PRO.


My thinking originally was that PRO answers went into the glossary (if someone chose to put them there) ie for use by others in the future; non-PRO didn't get kept as they were not thought to be of future interest - just someone having an ideas blackout etc.

Now I realise that there is no such distinction - so why do we have the two? Surely a better distinction (if, indeed, we need one) is (a) glossary-worthy and (b) not for the glossary.

A thought - how is a non-PROZ - presumably not a translator, otherwise why don't they join? - supposed to know whether their question is a PRO one or not?

And by the way, you use the term bilingual, perhaps suggesting that all professional translators are bilingual. It's a word I hear all the time and see on many, many CVs - often on the CVs of French business people who are in my intermediate-level English classes! I am fluent in French, but I'm not bilingual by a long way. I hope nevertheless that my questions, as a professional translator having researched the term, have a PRO feel to them.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:34
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Reclassifying questions from non-logged in visitors Nov 2, 2009

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

That's good to hear, since some of the non-logged in visitors DO ask tough questions, which would definitely be classified as Pro if they were asked by a member or a site user.


Such questions can be reclassified as Pro, if 3 users vote that way.
I think it is a good solution, as non-logged in visitors could be anybody, often people who have no idea whether their question meets the criteria for Pro category.

If they are translating regularly themselves, all they need to do is register on the site (simply as a user, paid membership is not a requirement), and then their questions would not be forced into non-Pro category.

Something to consider, by the way, Enrique, if you are thinking about allowing self-classification for non-logged in visitors... (In other words, are you sure it is a good idea?)

Katalin


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:34
German to English
Pro/non-pro classification Nov 2, 2009

simulacra wrote:
As far as I know, one should be quite skilled in a language pair to claim to be a translator of that language pair. So, he/she should already be able to find the answers to easy (non-Pro) questions on his/her own. However, I see a significant number of non-Pro questions posted by ProZ.com member translators. If it is an easy-to-translate term, why doesn't the asker answer it? Or, is there a different reason behind it?


Enrique wrote:
Non-pro KudoZ questions are defined as those that can be answered by any bilingual person without the aid of a dictionary.


For many years, pro translators have been telling the 'powers that be' that they believe the current definition of non-pro questions need to be revisited.

They see pro KudoZ as a kind of virtual workplace where they can help colleagues when they are stuck with challenging translation problems and at the same time grow professionally by learning from other pros.

They do not think terms that can be easily found in a dictionary or by spending a few minutes online doing some basic research should be classified as professional KudoZ questions.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:34
English to Japanese
+ ...
Yes, you're right, but not that easy Nov 2, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

That's good to hear, since some of the non-logged in visitors DO ask tough questions, which would definitely be classified as Pro if they were asked by a member or a site user.


Such questions can be reclassified as Pro, if 3 users vote that way.
I think it is a good solution, as non-logged in visitors could be anybody, often people who have no idea whether their question meets the criteria for Pro category.

If they are translating regularly themselves, all they need to do is register on the site (simply as a user, paid membership is not a requirement), and then their questions would not be forced into non-Pro category.

Something to consider, by the way, Enrique, if you are thinking about allowing self-classification for non-logged in visitors... (In other words, are you sure it is a good idea?)

Katalin


You are right about reclassifying to Pro or vice-versa if 3 users vote that way.
However, there are some language pairs which do not fall into what you wrote, i.e. there are very few translators/interpretors in certain language pairs, for example, Danish to Japanese, Norwegian to Japanese, Portuguese to Japanese, to name a few. And if questions in these language pairs are asked by a non-logged in visitor, they are automatically classified as Non-pro, regardless of how tough the question may seem. It is even hard to get peer comments in these language pairs. And some of them stay open for months or years.


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Enrique
Local time: 09:34
SITE STAFF
Questions from non-logged-in visitors Nov 2, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Something to consider, by the way, Enrique, if you are thinking about allowing self-classification for non-logged in visitors... (In other words, are you sure it is a good idea?)



Hi Katalin,

A significant set of non-PRO questions posted by non-logged-in visitors were manually evaluated, and more than two thirds of them were found to be PRO questions. Therefore it was concluded that it made sense to allow their posting as PRO questions.

Regards,
Enrique


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:34
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I'm sure it's a good idea! Nov 2, 2009

One or two of the non-logged in visitors were personal acquaintances of mine, who had already tried their own dictionaries and possibly translators they knew.

Some people do not need that kind of help often enough to justify creating an empty profile to clutter up the site, and they are fully capable of answering NON-PRO questions themselves. So when they do try KudoZ, the questions are quite difficult.

The statistics suggest that this scenario is not entirely unusual.
I welcome the change.



[Edited at 2009-11-02 15:56 GMT]


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Melissa McMahon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 23:34
Member (2006)
French to English
Pro/Non-Pro not always an asker decision Nov 2, 2009

The confusion behind the query might be to do with not realising that moderators can vote to reclassify a posted question.

I doubt that proz members who are professional translators ever classify their own questions as "easy" - as you say, if they think their own question is easy they should answer it themselves. But moderators may vote to reclassify a pro question as non-pro - and I doubt that in such cases the asker is ever particularly happy with that reclassification!

But the grounds for reclassification are not always that the term can be easily found but that no 'right or wrong' answer is possible - in my language pair for example questions that are more "literary" are often reclassified as non-pro on such grounds.

Hope that helps,
Melissa


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Enrique
Local time: 09:34
SITE STAFF
Questions can be voted, not forced into a different classification Nov 3, 2009

Melissa McMahon wrote:

The confusion behind the query might be to do with not realising that moderators can vote to reclassify a posted question.

I doubt that proz members who are professional translators ever classify their own questions as "easy" - as you say, if they think their own question is easy they should answer it themselves. But moderators may vote to reclassify a pro question as non-pro - and I doubt that in such cases the asker is ever particularly happy with that reclassification!

But the grounds for reclassification are not always that the term can be easily found but that no 'right or wrong' answer is possible - in my language pair for example questions that are more "literary" are often reclassified as non-pro on such grounds.


Hi Melissa,

Moderators and KudoZ editors can no longer reclassify questions.

Site users who have at least 20 KudoZ PRO points can vote to have a question reclassified, see details in the corresponding FAQ.

A question should be voted "non-PRO" if it could be answered by any bilingual person without the aid of a dictionary.

Regards,
Enrique


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Melissa McMahon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 23:34
Member (2006)
French to English
Thanks Enrique... Nov 3, 2009

... for that clarification. Much appreciated.

How recently has this policy come into effect? Because certainly the "literary" reasoning has been invoked in the last year.

I suppose part of the point remains the same: it is not always the asker who classifies the question. And sometimes people post "easy" terms where they have reason to doubt the dictionary meaning in a particular context and so seek a second opinion.

Melissa


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Enrique
Local time: 09:34
SITE STAFF
Recent implementation Nov 3, 2009

Melissa McMahon wrote:

How recently has this policy come into effect? Because certainly the "literary" reasoning has been invoked in the last year.


Hi Melissa,

In fact this was implemented only a few days ago, you may see the announcement here.

Regards,
Enrique


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