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Politically correct answers
Thread poster: xxxblomguib
xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:52
English to Flemish
+ ...
Dec 12, 2009

Hello all,

I have been using proz for quite some years now, and have, from the beginning, always found it my "duty" to regularly check the Kudoz-questions, to see if I could give some advice and help a colleague out...after all, I every now and then need the same help and this part of the site wouldn´t work withouth people contributing.

However; lately I see this annoying trend (annoying to me) - at least in my language pairs - that there are a lot of instances where the askers don´t know what they are talking about (and I mean this figuratively, if the asker really knew what he or she was talking about, he or she wouldn´t need to ask a question, or am I wrong?), hasn´t checked dictionaries, online glossaries, etc....and asks TONS of questions....I usually keep answering until it really gets way too far...and then make a remark, either in the form of a discussion entry or in the form of an answer with some remarks added to it.

Unfortunately, another trend is that on the one hand a number of such askers simply assume that they have the right to ask 150 simple or silly questions a month, and also assume that I don´t have the right to make a remark about the fact that I am doing the work for them. On the other hand, it has also already happened that answers (with linguistic advice) and with such a remark calling them to order, were simply removed or hidden by moderators (?)because the contents was supposed to be of an "inappropraite or personal nature".....

I am beginning to get fed up with this; both with the behaviour of these (luckily few) askers, as with the behaviour of politically hyper-correct moderators, and have found myself thinking twice before going to the Kudoz-section to answer questions....I know for a fact that I am not alone in this....

I find this VERY worrying...if this continues, I fear that fewer and fewer people will make the effort of answering questions...besides that; I hate being politically correct...a problem can only be solved by pointing it out, not by sweeping it under the carpet...and we DO have a problem here!

I would be interested in finding out what others think.

Thank you.


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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:52
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Commentary on askers or answerers, and their postings or decisions to post, is not allowed. Dec 12, 2009

Commentary on askers or answerers, and their postings or decisions to post, is not allowed. Comments or insinuations concerning an answerer's or asker's experience or profile, his/her decision to post a certain question or answer, grade or close a question in a certain way, make a certain glossary entry, etc., are strictly prohibited (whether posted publicly, made directly to the person in question, or made to another site user).
http://www.proz.com/siterules/jobs_posting/1.5#1.5


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:52
English to German
+ ...
Not the only one Dec 12, 2009

Hi "blomguib",
and have found myself thinking twice before going to the Kudoz-section to answer questions....I know for a fact that I am not alone in this....

You are not.

I find this VERY worrying...

Sorry, I don't.

if this continues, I fear that fewer and fewer people will make the effort of answering questions...

Isn't this already happening?

I continue to use the KudoZ platform, but only for questions asked within my team.

Best regards,
Ralf


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xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:52
English to Flemish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That is not the point..... Dec 12, 2009

[quote]Yolanda Broad wrote:

Commentary on askers or answerers, and their postings or decisions to post, is not allowed. Comments or insinuations concerning an answerer's or asker's experience or profile, his/her decision to post a certain question or answer, grade or close a question in a certain way, make a certain glossary entry, etc., are strictly prohibited (whether posted publicly, made directly to the person in question, or made to another site user).
http://www.proz.com/siterules/jobs_posting/1.5#1.5


What if these comments merrit to be taken into consideration or at least merit to be talked about? What if people who are actually contributing, get fed up with it? Who will send in answers then?

You don´t seem to have read to the end of my story...that is where the actual question was to be found....or am I being personal here as well and this thread will be removed?


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xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:52
English to Flemish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Then I don´t need proz anymore.... Dec 12, 2009

Ralf Lemster wrote:


if this continues, I fear that fewer and fewer people will make the effort of answering questions...

Isn't this already happening?

I continue to use the KudoZ platform, but only for questions asked within my team.



I can mail friends and colleagues to ask for help....although it is admittedly a bit more cumbersome....isn´t this like sawing of the legs of the chair your sitting on?
Or am I missing something?


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Michael Barnett
Local time: 21:52
English
+ ...
Irritating... Dec 12, 2009

I know what you mean.

Last year I saw an answer to a medical translation presented with a +5 confidence level.
The incorrect translation essentially recommended a 50 mL intramuscular injection - the equivalent of 100 tetanus shots given in the same muscle at once!

My "disagree" contained the above information, perhaps with a note of sarcasm, but I included a smiley to take the edge off. Well, my disagree never saw the light of day, and I was admonished by the moderator.

Michael


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Rob Grayson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:52
French to English
Well done for posting Dec 12, 2009

I suspect it won't be long before the mods swoop in and hide your post, but before they do I just wanted to say I agree with every word you said. The "dumbing down" of kudoz has happened at a staggering pace this year.

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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:52
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
agree Dec 12, 2009

I agree with Blomguib and Rob.
regards, EWa


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:52
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I can understand it in part Dec 12, 2009

Have you ever been to forums where everyone is being abusive about everyone else and it degenerates into a most unpleasant slanging match? It's not a pretty sight, and we don't want that sort of thing here, do we?

So, there's that side of it. Then there's the other side - we have to be able to say: "Enough's enough! YOU are abusing the system - not me in saying this!"

To moderators and site staff: couldn't we just have a code we could use?

1 = this is a dumb question that anyone could answer with a dictionary or a Google search
2 = this is the nth dumb question tonight
3 = how on earth can I answer if you always refuse to give any context?
4 = why did you accept this assignment when you don't have a clue?
5 = why did you become a translator when you don't have a clue?
6 = what's the point in my answering when you pick answers at random?
7 = what's the point in my answering when you never award points/close questions?
...
It would make us answerers feel better; we might even continuing answering KudoZ questions; really, we all need to know what's what, even if it hurts.


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Paul Cohen  Identity Verified
Greenland
Local time: 23:52
German to English
+ ...
There's an elephant in the room but... Dec 12, 2009

blomguib wrote:

...a problem can only be solved by pointing it out, not by sweeping it under the carpet...and we DO have a problem here!



I agree that we have a problem here.

Perhaps it's unavoidable that a site this large needs draconian rules to protect askers and answerers. If the circle of KudoZ askers were limited to just a few dozen users, we wouldn't need such rules.

The natural consequence of those rules, however, is that we are not allowed to say the most natural things in the world in response to systematic abuses and abusers of the KudoZ system. We are banned from saying things like: "Have you considered giving the job to a colleague who is more qualified?" (hint, hint!)

This would be a means of giving askers important feedback, for example, letting them know that they are risking their reputation by regularly revealing how hopelessly out of their depth they are.

In a small group of translators, someone would say, "Time for a reality check!" But on ProZ we have no way of pulling the emergency brake when things get absurdly unprofessional, for example, when alleged native speakers of a language make statements that reveal that they are incapable of producing native-sounding prose. Coddling such people may be "politically correct" - but it's not necessarily professional.

I'm sure someone will say, "Paul, you can just ignore such questions. No one is forcing you to answer." And what happens if I and hundreds of other people ignore KudoZ entirely because of this issue?

I'd also like to add that I don't think the rules are being fairly implemented. If we are "strictly prohibited" from making comments on a person's decision to answer in a certain way, why is it that people are allowed to say "wonderful idea!" or "great answer" but not say "terrible idea!" or "appalling answer!"? Positive comments and effusive responses ("thanks, John!") are allowed. Are these eruptions of praise purely linguistic comments? No.

I would say that if we're not allowed to call a spade a spade, people should also be banned from patting each other on the back, talking about the weather in Patagonia, and expressing thanks for 'agrees', which is something that I've never understood anyway. Am I ungrateful because I don't say "thank you"? Why thank someone for agreeing with you? I've never understood the logic of that. Does that also have to do with this atmosphere of "political correctness"?

My attitude here may sound cynical to some, but what is really cynical is to blithely maintain that KudoZ is a forum for professional translators when in many ways it's on its way to becoming a circus.

There's an elephant in the room but people are apparently too busy congratulating each other on their mutual brilliance to take notice.

That's my two cents.

Paul



[Edited at 2009-12-12 20:18 GMT]


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xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:52
English to Flemish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
that´s the general idea Dec 12, 2009

Sheila Wilson wrote:

.... - we have to be able to say: "Enough's enough! YOU are abusing the system - not me in saying this!"

To moderators and site staff: couldn't we just have a code we could use?

1 = this is a dumb question that anyone could answer with a dictionary or a Google search
2 = this is the nth dumb question tonight
3 = how on earth can I answer if you always refuse to give any context?
4 = why did you accept this assignment when you don't have a clue?
5 = why did you become a translator when you don't have a clue?
6 = what's the point in my answering when you pick answers at random?
7 = what's the point in my answering when you never award points/close questions?
...
It would make us answerers feel better; we might even continuing answering KudoZ questions; really, we all need to know what's what, even if it hurts.


That is what I would actually like to have...some kind of system that would weed out the abuse....instead of being "nice" and "politically correct" all the time, because - let´s face it - nobody wants to do somebody else´s work....especially not if that somebody else is arrogant, demanding, and visibly (at least for those who DO understand what they are talking about) doesn´t have a clue what is going on....

A system, please, to get people in line (and foremost up to standard) instead of saying "the law is the law" (which of course is A LOT simpler and doesn´t require own judgement and insight)....stupid or ineffective laws must be changed. We all know what happens if they aren´t....


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xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:52
English to Flemish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
easy Dec 12, 2009

Yolanda Broad wrote:

Commentary on askers or answerers, and their postings or decisions to post, is not allowed. Comments or insinuations concerning an answerer's or asker's experience or profile, his/her decision to post a certain question or answer, grade or close a question in a certain way, make a certain glossary entry, etc., are strictly prohibited (whether posted publicly, made directly to the person in question, or made to another site user).
http://www.proz.com/siterules/jobs_posting/1.5#1.5





This is what I don´t like; no comment, no discussion, no nothing...simply repeating a rule....not even mentioning that it might perhaps, possibly, under certain circumstances, in certain cases be a good idea, or perhaps even not such a bad idea to start thinking about changing something....in order to keep a valid system alive instead of letting it go to waste!


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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:52
English to French
+ ...
Who cares? Dec 12, 2009

Sheila Wilson wrote:

4 = why did you accept this assignment when you don't have a clue?
5 = why did you become a translator when you don't have a clue?


Sheila, I have often the same reaction. But I know, because I fought hard with some of them, that a number of translation agencies ask the translators to commit to a job BEFORE they can actually see the job.
You can also see so many Proz jobs where there is no hint about the exact subject of the translation (for instance "technical"!!!), but dozens of quotes submitted anyway...

There is a dire need of ethics in this profession, and Proz certainly doesn't help. Proz's goal is to make money, that's all.
Blomguib, I do agree with you. There is a problem. But who cares?


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xxxblomguib  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:52
English to Flemish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree...but I have drunk some wine... Dec 12, 2009

bohy wrote:

There is a dire need of ethics in this profession, and Proz certainly doesn't help. Proz's goal is to make money, that's all.
Blomguib, I do agree with you. There is a problem. But who cares?


I agree about the ethics part....but I am very demanding...for myself, as well as for others...perhaps TOO demanding....and perhaps you´re right after all; who cares?.....perhaps I should just continue translating and dont´t give a rat´s ass about the rest...perhaps I should.....

Very disappointed!


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surfish  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 10:52
English to Chinese
+ ...
What's wrong with it, or with me? Dec 13, 2009

I am lucky no longer answering dumb questions as I have been banned from answering any question in Kudoz since 2 years ago, for which reason I have got no clue yet, though I asked the site staff without any anwser.

[Edited at 2009-12-13 02:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-12-13 02:47 GMT]


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