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Another slant on Pro/Non-Pro questions
Thread poster: Sheila Wilson

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:35
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Jan 3, 2010

Yes, I know, we're all sick and tired of the Pro/Non-Pro debate, but I was wondering whether anyone supported the idea of systematically classifying all questions without context as non-Pro.

Why? Because a professional translator would never accept to translate a word in complete isolation.

It can occasionally be done, but I'm pretty sure that all these instances are in any good dictionary, on the web in their millions and anyway they are well-known to all bilingual speakers - as such they would be classified as non-Pro anyway. It can't be done with any confidence for most of the isolated words that we get asked to give translations for, and when the field is given as "other" the possibilities are often enormous.

What's the point of asking experts (if we call ourselves that) to guess? And which guess is worth points? It's like blindfolding a surgeon, then giving him/her a prize for cutting the patient open in the right place - for one patient in a thousand!


 

xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 08:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Vote! Jan 3, 2010

It only takes three like-minded professionals to vote these context-less non-questions 'non pro' and the job's done.
And I suspect that's easier than programming the Kudoz system to automatically detect the complete absence of context.

MediaMatrix


 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:35
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Context is essential Jan 3, 2010

I agree with your assessment. However, in the broader scheme of things I don't understand what non-Pro questions are doing on a site called ProZ.com in the first place.

 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
French to English
+ ...
I'd suggest don't muddy the waters Jan 3, 2010

My personal opinion -- I think people should either use the Pro/Non-Pro classification for what it's intended for or just not use it at all.

If you want to tell the asker that you require more context, or whatever other coded message, then discussion entries provide a means of doing this -- I really don't see the need to use Pro/Non-Pro categorisation this.


 

xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 08:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not practicable in all language pairs Jan 3, 2010

Neil Coffey wrote:
If you want to tell the asker that you require more context, or whatever other coded message, then discussion entries provide a means of doing this ...


In some pairs - esp/eng for example - use of the discussion box to suggest a need for meaningful context - overtly or 'in code' - will merely trigger the squashing of such posts for being against the rules.

Just how the rules can be so different from one language to the next is beyond my comrehension, but that's the way it is.

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2010-01-03 23:59 GMT]


 

Ana Resende  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:35
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Context! Always! Jan 4, 2010

I agree with Steven and Sheila on the importance of context.

 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
French to English
+ ...
Wasn't aware of the rule against asking for context Jan 4, 2010

I must confess I wasn't aware of the rule against asking for more context in the discussion entry (and indeed in the language paris I deal with, that's frequently what it's used for).

If there is such a restriction, then I think there should be an allowed mechanism for asking for more context (though I still don't think that that mechanism should be the "Pro/Non-Pro" flag).


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:35
Agree, but let me add one thing Jan 4, 2010

Steven Capsuto wrote:

I agree with your assessment. However, in the broader scheme of things I don't understand what non-Pro questions are doing on a site called ProZ.com in the first place.


There are some questions where the asker is a non-logged in visitor or not a translator, where s/he wants to ask the trite example always cited on this site "How do you say I love you" in xx? which would 99% be voted by Prozians as non-pro questions.


 

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 14:35
German to English
+ ...
Fuss about nothing Jan 4, 2010

I would have thought that the easiest way of dealing with queries without context and obviously non-pro queries is just to ignore them - why should you bother trying to help out in such circumstances?

 

Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 14:35
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
An opening for another rule... ;-) Jan 4, 2010

Hello Sheila,

your reasoning is very logic, but it'd require another ruleicon_biggrin.gif and some more frustration to see even this rule not respected or applied.

I can't tell for all SCs, but in mine nearly all asked questions are marked as Pro (over Xmas an avalanche of those), even those terms or bits of sentence that bilinguals can translate in one breath or are to be found in plain dictionaries.

This makes two KudoZ rules, which are available, not read and not applied or respected (or ignored as.........)

I have started filtering those askers, which is a poor workaround, but failing what said above I was left no other way to deal with the issue.

There is no merit or skill in guessing, as much as there isn't any in answering dictionary questions, but many don't care at all. All they care for is the points and the ranking, a reasoning I can understand (once on top, who cares and reads where the ranking is coming fromicon_biggrin.gif), but can't go with.

Giuliana


 

Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:35
Member (2006)
English to French
context Jan 4, 2010

Sheila Wilson wrote:

What's the point of asking experts (if we call ourselves that) to guess? And which guess is worth points? It's like blindfolding a surgeon, then giving him/her a prize for cutting the patient open in the right place - for one patient in a thousand!




As long as answerers answer to these questions without waiting for context and as long as agreers carry on to agree with them, why should askers make the effort to provide context?

This is how I see it.

"Experts" argue over and over in the discussion box while they should maybe keep silent and leave these questions unanswered, to show askers that they will never get help if they don't give useful data.

Stéphanie


 

Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:35
Member (2006)
English to French
non-pro vs. pro Jan 4, 2010

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I'm pretty sure that all these instances are in any good dictionary, on the web in their millions and anyway they are well-known to all bilingual speakers - as such they would be classified as non-Pro anyway.



This is wrong. See the definition of "non-pro":

Non-PRO questions are those that can be answered by any bilingual person without the aid of a dictionary (my emphasis)
http://www.proz.com/faq/terminology_term_help/kudoz/asking.html#i_am_not_sure_whether_a_question_should_be_classified_as_non_pro_or_pro_what_is_the_difference_


[Edited at 2010-01-04 08:19 GMT]


 

Daniel Grau  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
The discussion area can be used for context requests Jan 4, 2010

@Neil:

Discussion area:This area is accessed with the "Post discussion" and should be used for additional exchanges of context information and for linguistic discussions on the question. (http://www.proz.com/faq/4876#4876 )

Regards,

Daniel


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:35
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
So we're free dictionaries? Jan 4, 2010

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:
Non-PRO questions are those that can be answered by any bilingual person without the aid of a dictionary (my emphasis)
http://www.proz.com/faq/terminolo


So we really are meant to provide a free dictionary lookup service for any Tom, Dick or Harry who wants it? When there are so many proper dictionary resources on the internet?

And yet we often do a rather poor job of it, giving a slanted view by omitting most of the possible definitions. Really, the asker would get more help from a dictionary. Surely it would be good professional advice to suggest they go the dictionary route instead, wouldn't it?


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:35
@Sheila Jan 4, 2010

So we're free dictionaries?

It's how you look at it. Regardless of the term or phrase being easily found on the Internet or in a dictionary, or whether there are no information at all anywhere, you provide the answer, and if your answer gets selected by the asker, you are awarded KudoZ point(s). I see this the same as an agency asking your for your service, you deliver it, and get paid for it. And the positive side is that your ranking changes in that particular language pair in a good way (i.e. more visibility to the outsourcers), a glossary entry is made for future references for other translators. I don't know if you really consider yourself as free dictionaries, but I take it this way. Not to be blunt, but if you really think you are abused by fellow translators as you being a free dictionary, just stop contributing to KudoZ. It's as simple as that. Or am I being too much an optimist?


 
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