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Close to 45 medical questions in 3 days?? Stricter Kudoz limits please!
Thread poster: Nesrin

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:25
English to Arabic
+ ...
May 3, 2010

I know a similar topic is still active on the subject here http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/159340-kudoz_abuse.html , but I note that Per, the original poster of the thread, was unhappy about someone posting 4 medical questions...

Meanwhile, in one of my language pairs, a colleague has posted 15 medical questions two days ago, another 15 medical qs yesterday, and - being still early in the morning - has so far posted 6, but I'm guessing by the end of the day they will be 15.

The previous discussion I referred to centred mostly on what constitutes a specialist and who has the right to claim to be one. Which is why I'm starting a new thread.

I'm sure this was discussed many many times before as well, but since it's still possible to post 45 questions in 3 days and continue to claim to be a specialised translator, I call for reducing the Kudoz limits for paying members. A paid membership should not be a gateway for self-proclaimed specialists to abuse the profession!!

If I am working on a LARGE translation and I encounter difficulties with 15 terms, that's perfectly acceptable, but I should never have to ask them within a 24-hour period!!

I'm thinking 5 questions per day for paying members and 2 for non-paying members is perfectly fair..

(edited for typos)

[Edited at 2010-05-03 10:28 GMT]


 

Kipale78
Italy
Local time: 09:25
English to Italian
+ ...
I totally agree May 3, 2010

I am new here, but I was shocked to se see a couple of translators (who have been on this site for years) in my language pairs ask the most embarassing questions, revealing that their English is way below a good level. I wonder: everybody here complains and brags about being "professional translators" who deserve to be respected, and that non-professional translators should be ashamed of themselves. All right. But there are people here who work as translators and don't understand simple expressions in their source language!

Also, it appears clear to me that these Kudoz points are practically useless, but still, some of the people I have in mind do not even close their threads choosing a response. Can at least this be limited?

Sorry for the rant, but really, there is a limit!


 

Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:25
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Same old story May 3, 2010

Whose fault is it, the translator who claims to be "specialized in field" even though obviously he/she's not, or the Agency/Client who assign the job without checking adequately the expertise (or, more probably, to slice an extra couple of cents from the budget)?

IMHO: 50/50.
G

PS: I agree with your proposal.


 

Ioanna Orfanoudaki  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:25
French to Greek
+ ...
Totally agree May 3, 2010

Posting a question on Kudoz normally means that the answer cannot be found elsewhere, in the obvious places, that is (dictionaries, google, etc)...
This requires an EFFORT from the asker before reaching out for help on Kudoz and unfortunately, it's not always the case. That fact alone shows lack of professionalism and of respect towards colleagues who are willing to help those REALLY in need, but who also have work of their own and families to attend to.
Putting a limit to the number of questions per day is definitely a great proposal - have you added it to the "Ideas" forum?


 

Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:25
Member (2006)
English to French
Whose fault is it? May 3, 2010

As a reminder:

Is there a limit on the number of questions that I can ask?
Yes. Your daily limit (measured over a sliding 24-hr period) depends on your membership level. If you are not registered with ProZ.com, you can ask one (1) question per day. If you are registered but not member, you can ask five (5). If you are member, you can ask fifteen (15). There are also weekly limits of 20 questions for registered non-members and 60 questions for members. If you have ten (10) questions that have received valid answers and have been open for more than a week, you will not be allowed to ask further questions. Please grade and close these questions to continue asking.
http://www.proz.com/faq/2812#2812


Gianni Pastore wrote:

Whose fault is it, the translator who claims to be "specialized in field" even though obviously he/she's not, or the Agency/Client who assign the job without checking adequately the expertise (or, more probably, to slice an extra couple of cents from the budget)?



Or, people who keep answering these questions?


 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:25
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The system's to blame May 3, 2010

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:
Or, people who keep answering these questions?


I wouldn't blame the answerers, as they're not expected to keep track of how many questions a random asker has asked today.

I wouldn't even blame the asker... they found a system that allows them to be pampered, and they're making perfectly legal use of it!


 

Kipale78
Italy
Local time: 09:25
English to Italian
+ ...
A 'report' or 'junk' button, perhaps? May 3, 2010

"Or, people who keep answering these questions? "

I stopped answering those people too. Still, there should be a button saying "learn your source language first". I don't want to be mean, but one thing is a technical question, or a "how can i better transpose this concept in this poem" question, another is asking a - sorry - dumb question. Shouldn't there be a moderator saying: "question not pertinent"? Can one report this? These "what does "as such" mean" kind of question just create a mass of junk. In my opinion.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:25
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Do not change the system just because someone (or a few people) abused it May 3, 2010

If I am working on a LARGE translation and I encounter difficulties with 15 terms, that's perfectly acceptable, but I should never have to ask them within a 24-hour period!!


Never?
Except, if you waited until the last part of your project, thinking that maybe those terms would be explained later in the text, or you would find a hint that would help you complete your own research, and you would not need to ask them on KudoZ after all.
Or, you were working off-line for a few days, and couldn't ask them right away?
Never, ever, ever?

I am not saying that the situation you described is not abuse (maybe it is, I don't know), but the weekly limit of 60 should end this roll of questions at the 4th day anyway.
There are tons of people using the KudoZ system in a perfectly legit way, so I don't think the system should be blamed and changed just because of a few "rotten apples".

Katalin


 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:25
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Who's fault is it May 3, 2010

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:
Or, people who keep answering these questions?


I agree if all the REAL SPECIALISTS keep helping the abusers of the system for some points, no wonder translation rates are going down and translations become crap.

YES we need to look at ourselves and ask the very question : Who is to blame, the system or ourselves - we might be able to change the system, but we can start making changes ourselves TODAY.

Abusers are not your friends, they are probably not even proper translators, they are out to make a quick buck at the cost of professional translators and the translation profession as a whole.
Would you help a "Friend"who breaks into your house and steals your money by providing free advise on how to steal more money ?

I've addressed these abusers before and the reply was something like : "I'd rather have work I know nothing about than no work at all..."

----
Ed


 

Andrei Yefimov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 10:25
English to Russian
+ ...
agree but with reservations May 3, 2010

I agree that the number of asked questions should be limited, but I think the principle has to apply to those individuals who always ask but never answer, or at least prevent them from asking more questions.

I disagree that 5 questions per day would be a fair limit. If, say, you embark on a project with a tight deadline, you might want to split the workload among trusted colleagues who may not necessarily be proz members but still are good translators. So, why you should be deprived of the right to ask 15 questions, assuming you regularly offer your help to colleagues? 15 questions per 15K words seems fair to me.

However I agree it is irritating to observe people posting questions all day long with some being so obvious. Another thing that irritates me is that such individuals do not even try to show some courtesy towards potential answers, posting questions on a copy-paste basis. It would be no surprise if such askers will then tell stories about how easy it is to translate: buy membership, offer low rates, go Kudoz, throw your translation in peaces to be teared apart by a crowd of point-eager translators.


 

Kipale78
Italy
Local time: 09:25
English to Italian
+ ...
Giving and taking: no balance? May 3, 2010

I guess to summon up my point, I would like to stress the fact that in this "kudoz" system there is no balance between taking (getting help) and giving (answering other people). Maybe such a system would work better than the "time-limit" system. Just a proposal.

 

Milos Prudek  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:25
English to Czech
+ ...
On the other hand May 3, 2010


If I am working on a LARGE translation and I encounter difficulties with 15 terms, that's perfectly acceptable, but I should never have to ask them within a 24-hour period!!


Nesrin, I understand your argument. Recently someone fielded 10 questions in an hour in my field. Some responders joked about it, but no-one got mad. I may know why they did not get mad.

First of all, KudoZ questions are recorded in the translator's history. Anyone contemplating to hire a translator can check if the translator has more questions than answers.

Secondly, the asker gives KudoZ points to his competitors, and thus the asker enables his competitors to overtake him in the Translator Directory. And best offers come from clients who find you through the Translator Directory.

Think it through.


 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:25
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
I agree with Katalin May 3, 2010

The system is useful to members - why spoil it for everyone just because here are a few people who abuse it. I believe that 15 question limit is fine, if any threshold were to be lowered - in my opinion it would be weekly. Still - if it were up to me - I would just leave it as it is.

S


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:25
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
I've stopped letting things like May 3, 2010

that get under my skin. Yes, it's annoying, but my clients are happy with my work and keep coming back, and that's what I care about most. In my top language pair there are some who seem to abuse the system, and some of the same people keep providing answers. If the answerers are so fixated on getting points that they don't care that the chronic askers appear to be a) lazy and/or b) incompetent, why should I let it bother me? When I first joined ProZ, that type of exploitation bothered me, too, and I complained about it. The ProZ administrators didn't see eye-to-eye with me, so I just learned to live with it, and it's been much easier on my blood pressure. For example, the English-English section seemed to have a couple of people - who may or may not have been professional translators - reading English novels for fun and asking a zillion questions which could easily be answered by an online source. I just shrug and skip those now.

I understand you, but for me 'laissez-faire' works best. I'm sure you'll figure out what works for you best, too. Eventually time will separate the wheat from the chaff, I have found.

Re current policy: The number of questions permitted now is fine with me. I remember when it was set up that way and the reasons for it, which made and still make sense. In addition, it can happen - even to experienced translators - that a text in your specialized field also contains rather arcane words from a field you are not so familiar with, so it's better to be generous than too skimpy on the allowable number of questions. I've been a paying member for quite a few years, and I appreciate the peace of mind that if I ever make the mistake of accepting a text in haste that contains some unfamiliar and difficult terminology, that there is recourse.


 

Sabine Schlottky  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:25
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Come on, give it a break... May 3, 2010

No need for any "change of system" in my opinion. Who are we to judge this person's abilities or the circumstances under which the assigment was accepted? Nobody is a born specialist and we all have learned from somebody at some stage in our careers.

And after all, why don't you just ignore these questions if you think this is such a big problem?


 
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