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Obviously Wrong Answer
Thread poster: Amani Harrison

Amani Harrison
United States
Local time: 12:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 17, 2009

It is so disappointing when obviously incorrect or inelegant answers are chosen. I'm almost tempted to give up on Kudoz altogether. Can anyone offer advice to calm my nerves?

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Andrea Cigliola  Identity Verified
United States
English to Italian
+ ...
I hear ya! Nov 17, 2009

Unfortunatelly that's going to happen....I keep thinking that the people who gave the right answer (thus having a desirable trait) will eventually survive the process of evolution by having a selective advantage!

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:40
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hang in there, Amani! Nov 17, 2009

It's definitely a bummer, no doubt about it. When the chosen answer is truly obviously wrong (i.e., wrong in a way that even an average high school student would be capable of discerning), then it reflects even more poorly on the Asker than on the Answerer.

What you can do to preserve your sanity is to simply refuse to continue to answer posted queries from persons who show a pattern of misjudgment, rudeness, or any other cyber-conduct you find objectionable. This is what I do. You can even have their postings filtered out by the system if you like.

The other thing you can do is remark, in a dignified and professional way, on the inadequacy of such obviously wrong responses. This approach requires a bit more finesse, since the de facto functioning of Kudoz generally bars posting a "Disagree" for any but the most egregiously misguided offerings. But you can note, either in your own answer or in a posted "Neutral" comment, that an answer is "non-native English", that there is no support in terms of Google/Yahoo hits for a term supposedly regularly used in a field in such a way that it might be expected to generate thousands of hits, etc.

These are things that I do, especially when someone posts an answer that is obviously off base with a Confidence Level of 4 or 5 (or, worse yet, when such an Answer generates Agrees are accolades from the Asker as if it were manna from heaven).

So, hang in there. There are benefits to be derived from the experience that make it worthwhile, and coping strategies you can employ to manage your occasional irritation and distress.



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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's not so bad Nov 17, 2009

Most of the time the answers chosen are good ones. Stick with it you'll learn a lot. The system is not perfect, but it tends to work fairly well.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quite a normal situation! Nov 17, 2009

Think that Kudoz is just some kind of social network for translators. It is not serious terminology work at all, and should be considered much more like a form of entertainment. Once you have given your best judgement on a question, if a wrong reply is chosen just take a deep breath and move on.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:40
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
This is true Nov 17, 2009

Andrea Cigliola wrote:

Unfortunatelly that's going to happen....I keep thinking that the people who gave the right answer (thus having a desirable trait) will eventually survive the process of evolution by having a selective advantage!


Although I'm fairly new to ProZ, I have noticed this type of choice having been made a few times and also that objections have been posted which were later on removed. Therefore, I can only agree with Andrea.

To refrain from answering posted questions is, however, not what I would choose because our colleagues are counting on our support.

So just hang in there, Amani. Time and the clients will tell.


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Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:40
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Filter them out Nov 17, 2009

What is the point in answering questions of somebody who clearly doesn't know what is doing, despite several "agrees" given to the right answer?

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:40
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Agree Nov 17, 2009

Gianni Pastore wrote:

What is the point in answering questions of somebody who clearly doesn't know what is doing, despite several "agrees" given to the right answer?


There are in fact a lot of professionals and really helpful answers too, but this site is open to everyone, including beginners, wannabes and hopeless cases. We all have to begin somewhere, and luckily, serious beginners improve as they gather experience.

That is why I keep on taking part in KudoZ. At its best, it has helped me many times and it is fun. But whether you post questions or answer them, you can't win every time!


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:40
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Conclusion: Kudoz answers are ideas Nov 17, 2009

Yes, I suppose we've all seen answers selected that we knew to be incorrect. My own reactions are:

1. When seeing one of these, I resist the temptation to shout at the asker and/or answerer; I am usually content simply to feel superior to them!

2. I remember that if my own search for terminology finds a potential answer in Kudoz, it is only a suggestion, not guaranteed to be correct, and I must still use my own knowledge, judgement and research to decide whether to use it. At least it is a starting point.

Oliver


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:40
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
True and a mystery Nov 17, 2009

Christine Andersen wrote:

There are in fact a lot of professionals and really helpful answers too, but this site is open to everyone, including beginners, wannabes and hopeless cases. We all have to begin somewhere, and luckily, serious beginners improve as they gather experience.

That is why I keep on taking part in KudoZ. At its best, it has helped me many times and it is fun. But whether you post questions or answer them, you can't win every time!


Agree with Christine that you can't win everytime.

However, this question has been boggling me for quite some time, and is it just out of equality or fairness that if you answer all three or more questions from the same asker, you often get awarded for one answer, and rarely for two or more, which sometimes, you are not very confident that that chosen answer is correct, and the ones with a confidence level of 5 inside you are not selected. Is the asker being fair to other contributors so that s/he can award points to everyone?

Is there a 'gentlemen's agreement' behind grading Kudoz answers?



[Edited at 2009-11-17 11:38 GMT]


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Simon Harris  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
A Question of Attitude Nov 17, 2009

Like everything else, what you get out of KudoZ depends on how you approach it.

Having spent a rather lengthy period away from translation, I could well be classified as a 'wannabe' but I treat my recent involvement with ProZ as part of a learning process, which will help me go full-time in the New Year on a strong footing.

Speaking personally, I've got a lot out of answering KudoZ questions - I've learnt how to research and found info, glossaries, resources etc that I would never have come across had I not attempted to answer questions that were outside my expert fields. . . and if I happen to have helped someone else along the way, all well and good.

But to be perfectly honest, the question of 'being seen to be right' and earning points is only of minor concern. It amazes me that people seem to take it all so seriously.


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Arturo Delgado  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:40
English to Spanish
Don't give up! Nov 17, 2009

Do not give up yet, but when you see the blind relying on the blind, just step aside and keep on walking.

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George Hopkins
Local time: 18:40
Swedish to English
Exactly Nov 17, 2009

Arturo is right, don't give up, correctness will win in the end and perhaps Proz will survive despite people who have their own particular version of 'English as it is spoke' - you know, as the saying goes. Just keep wading ahead.

Although the blind helping the blind do need assistance.


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Amani Harrison
United States
Local time: 12:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your responses Nov 17, 2009

I've calmed down a bit from yesterday. The person who first made me aware of Proz and KudoZ warned me to take the answers with a grain of salt. And, I will try to keep that advice (and all of your advice) in mind more. I have certainly learned a lot from KudoZ and will continue to do so ... while keeping a cool head at the same time.

Thanks Arturo for your advice. That made me laugh a lot.


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Krzysztof Kajetanowicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:40
English to Polish
+ ...
Amani Nov 18, 2009

Do you seriously get upset over that? If it's such a problem that your effort has been wasted, maybe you don't have to put in so much effort. People will select ridiculous answers at times. It's all in the game!

Think of it as someone spoiling their translation with misguided choice of vocabulary.

Think that they will repent for their misdeeds.

Edit: this post has been edited at a highly amusing, yet professional and respectful request of a moderator.

[Edited at 2009-11-18 12:45 GMT]


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