Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
questions asked - 600, questions answered - 0
Thread poster: Bernhard Sulzer

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:57
English to German
+ ...
Sep 30, 2010

I am not sure if you are aware that as a contributor to KudoZ, be it by providing answers (that might never get picked = not getting any points) or as a commenter, you might just be a fool supporting quite a lot of people who do nothing else on KudoZ than ask hundreds of questions and who receive thousands of answers, many of them quite long and elaborate.

I say 'fool" because they could possibly just be laughing about you providing all these answers and doing all this research while they just lean back, wait a bit, and get several answers per question, often quite good. They'll pat you on the back and tell you something like "ooh, you're such a good researcher." They might not care for your kind of endeavor here in KudoZ, they're just glad to have all this great free help. In the back of their mind, they're thinking: "keep 'em coming, good chap."

Take a look at the asker's info: how many questions has she/he asked and how many answers has she/he provided?
You will quite often find a big discrepancy between the two:

example:

questions asked: 627
questions answered: 0 (= NONE)

So, there you are, researching away in your "idle" time and feeling good about helping and maybe getting points and maybe having fun and expressing your community spirit and so forth, and then you look at their stats and start thinking:

mmh, 600 questions asked and none answered, I wonder why?
Who are they? Fellow translators? Could it be that they are just too busy?
Certainly not too busy to ask. But too busy to contribute anything?

If you do belong to this group of translators, please let me know.
I want to find out so I can make up my mind if it is indeed worthwhile for me to answer your questions. (Actually, I have now already formed an opinion but maybe you can help change it).
For me, this has more to do with a form of appreciation that I get out of KudoZ than anything else.


And while we're at it, let's find out what you, the frequent answerer, think about these fellow translators.

Thank you,

Bernhard

[Edited at 2010-09-30 23:58 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's fun anyway... Sep 30, 2010

I enjoy answering questions just to see what I can do. It is also apparent that the type of askers you describe are not and may never be credible translators. Despite whatever help they can get here, it takes a lot more than they have to produce a good translation. We are not doing their translations for them. Because what they are attempting is more than they can handle, I would not think many of them are sitting back laughing at how gullible we are. Rather, they are stuggling with a task that is too much for them and sooner or later they will give up unless they decide to make a real effort to become competent.

One good thing is that answers provided go into the glossary and may help others as well.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Who is the fool? Oct 1, 2010

Is it those who respond to such questions, and thereby gain increased exposure through improved directory position (and who apparently don't have sufficient paid work to occupy their time in any case)? Or those who ask the questions, and on the basis of their constant inquiries, patch together what likely is (despite the help) not a very good translation, and who, moreover, take a very long time to do so for (most probably) a very low rate?

Taking into account the combination of the length of time and the low rates involved in such a translation process, many such people may in effect be working for no more than $5.00/hour.

Add to this the fact that such askers are often non-native speakers with a very shaky command of the target language who have no real commitment (or realistic posibility) of transforming themselves into truly professional translators, and you have what amounts to a "Kudoz-Junkie" who works for peanuts and has little hope of breaking out of his or her pattern of dependency.

In the end, I concede your point. I would only add that it is arguable that those who lose out most in such an exchange are the askers, and not the responders.

[Edited at 2010-10-01 01:10 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 07:57
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
My advantages Oct 1, 2010

I confess that I am a frequent answerer, not a good asker. Roles of Kudoz to me is a community to exchange wisdom [yes, I sometimes needed to read bad-feeling Kudoz questions, answers and comments.] That is it: the community we cannot screen out the dishonest. In relative sense, I gain a lot out of Kudoz and my irritation is also increasing. I am no longer lonely in my silent working hours. A normal way of life until I can participate in designing of the ideal system, isn't it?

Soonthon Lupkitaro


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:57
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
that foolish feeling Oct 1, 2010

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

I say 'fool" because they could possibly just be laughing about you providing all these answers and doing all this research while they just lean back, wait a bit, and get several answers per question, often quite good.....
And while we're at it, let's find out what you, the frequent answerer, think about these fellow translators.


I understand your frustration, Bernhard. Your own answers certainly reflect your commitment, expertise, and helpfulness. And this makes me wonder:

What if those frequent askers never suggest an answer for fear of losing face? Because their answer might not be “right on target”, was not suggested fast enough, does not include enough references, or... might be considered "foolish" by their peers? After all, those frequent askers must think – after having profited countless times from helpful colleagues – that they won’t stand a chance of earning even one measly KudoZ point or that their suggestions won't be of any help, so what may seem like arrogance may just be... insecurity in disguise?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
@Johanna Oct 1, 2010

What logically suggests itself is that the "Kudoz junkies" that Bernhard is referring too (and who typically ask loads and loads of basic questions) simply are unable to suggest decent answers. After all, if they were rich repositories of linguistic wisdom, they would not be posting the kinds of terms that they do....

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:57
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A simple solution... Oct 1, 2010

...I have been applying for some years now: every time I find someone with that attitude, I flag the person son that I don't have to see the questions.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:57
German to English
+ ...
A few askers are not translators Oct 1, 2010

Particularly in the English/English KudoZ section, there have been a few isolated people asking the same type of questions, mostly literature-related. These show similar KudoZ results, like 1078 asked, 0 answered (made up figure to illustrate the point). I'm convinced these are not translators at all, but simply people reading English novels who are too lazy to do the research themselves. I find it extremely annoying, and even more annoying there are certain ProZ members who keep answering their questions, thereby perpetuating the abuse. When I reported this to ProZ staff a few years ago, I was blown off, so I've learned to ignore those askers in the meantime - it's better for my blood pressure.

As for those askers who are actually translators obviously out of their depth, and there are a larger number of those than the English literature readers, I agree that most will eventually fall by the wayside because they are poor translators, or because they can only land jobs that pay pittances.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dr. Andrew Frankland  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:57
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Me too Oct 1, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

...I have been applying for some years now: every time I find someone with that attitude, I flag the person so that I don't have to see the questions.


I I currently have 22 people on my "filtered" list with two or three candidates in danger of joining them. The worst "offender" has asked 2807 questions and answered 18, with only one of those since 2006. He's been on the site since 2005 so it looks like he's getting along quite nicely with our help, despite Henry's theory that these people aren't likely to prosper.

One way of avoiding this would be to have to spend kudoZ points every time you want to ask a question. As we all know, kudoZ are awarded when your answer is chosen by the asker, so if, for example, you have 50 kudoZ, you would be allowed to ask 50 (or 100, or...) questions. In this scenario, no answers chosen=no kudoZ=no questions. This spend will obviously have to be virtual so that the directory position is not affected, perhaps by converting kudoZ into QudoZ when they are awarded. New users could be given a handful of QudoZ (but not kudoZ) to help them get started, and site members a few more when they renew their membership.

Just a thought.

Andy


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 02:57
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
What is the definition of abuse? Oct 1, 2010

Nowhere does it state in site rules that askers MUST answer roughly the same number of questions as they ask.

One good, thoughtful answer that solves a difficult problem can help dozens of people who find it later in the glossaries.
That weighs up some of the unbalance, surely.

Others contribute to the site in other ways, e.g. by contributing to the forums. Here there is no measure of how much useful content each contributes, and absolutely no way of measuring how much each reader benefits.

My own KudoZ pattern is very asymmetrical. I ask more questions than I answer in Swedish and Norwegian, and THANKS to colleagues who bale me out, even when they are at a trivial, non-expert level, typos and the like. They are still difficult questions to me!

I answer far more than I ask in Danish to English, because that is where I specialise.
Nobody forces me to do it. Like Tomás, I block or ignore certain askers. I sometimes take up the lack of context issue by giving three guesses, just to illustrate the problem.

Above all, I enjoy KudoZ and try to keep the friendly exchange alive.

As I see it, there are two possibilities: Drop KudoZ because it annoys you and you do not benefit from it enough.

Or make every effort to show people what a brilliant system it CAN be at its best. If there are never any good examples to follow, then new users will never learn how to use it properly.

Happy translating, and happy KudoZing - or please go and spend time on something you enjoy more!



Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
French to English
Not these people Oct 1, 2010

Christine Andersen wrote:
Others contribute to the site in other ways, e.g. by contributing to the forums. Here there is no measure of how much useful content each contributes, and absolutely no way of measuring how much each reader benefits.


In my pair, I think I can be reasonably confident in stating that those with a massive imbalance - hundreds/thousands asked vs none/single digits answered have never once been seen on the forums. One hates to generalise, but the sort of personailty type that sees nothing wrong with milking a system for all it's worth with utter impunity is unlikely to start contributing anything worth hearing anyway.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:57
German to English
+ ...
@Charlie and Christine Oct 1, 2010

Charlie's right. The people I and the other critics are referring to are the ones that contribute nothing at all, are generally not paying members and only using - or "milking'", as Charlie puts it so well - the site for whatever they can get out of it for free. These are probably not serious translators interested in learning from or helping others with their knowledge and experience. I would say they are relatively easy to spot once you spend some time on KudoZ or ProZ in general, and start to recognize certain patterns.

If you don't care one way or the other, that's fine, too, of course. Everyone is entitled to her/his own opinion, but I would NOT go so far as to tell people what to do if it does bother them. I only say what I do for myself, without feeling a need to put it in boldface.
Others are free to take it or leave it - as they please.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:57
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Everyone benefits from both questions and answers Oct 1, 2010

IMHO we all benefit from questions and answers alike. After all they are recorded in the database and available to everyone for years. We cannot have answers without questions so both are necessary to create this amazing repository of translators' knowledge called ProZ

Best Regards
Stanislaw


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
French to English
Quantity versus quality Oct 1, 2010

Stanislaw Czech wrote:

IMHO we all benefit from questions and answers alike. After all they are recorded in the database and available to everyone for years.

That is a point of view. Sadly, it is also my observation that those posting a constant stream of questions (see my pair over the last couple of days, or a notorious apparent medical practitioner asker who only ever seemed to have problems at the weekend a couple of years ago) are often actually pretty rubbish translators of the kind who struggle to hold a dictionary the right way up. In other words, in my snobbish opinion, the database would be better without the kind of tosh they pollute it with.

[Edited at 2010-10-01 18:02 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sarah Jane Webb  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
Italian to English
+ ...
Quantity vs quality Oct 1, 2010

Charlie Bavington wrote:

...Sadly, it is also my observation that those posting a constant stream of questions ... are often actually pretty rubbish translators of the kind who struggle to hold a dictionary the right way up. In other words, in my snobbish opinion, the database would be better without the kind of tosh they pollute it with.


I'll second that!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

questions asked - 600, questions answered - 0

Advanced search






CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search