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KudoZ 2.0... a few proposals
Thread poster: Fiona Grace Peterson

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:19
Member
Italian to English
Jan 26, 2013

Inspired by George Orwell and Margaret Atwood.

Introduction of an Obligatory KudoZ Training Course.
It would be mandatory for all site users, and without this certification, no-one could post a question.
Successful participants would have to swear to uphold its Commandments (I Will Always Provide Context, I Will Choose the Most Suitable Answer, I Will Always Thank My Collegues, I Will Make Friends With Google, I Will Not Post Eighty-One Non-PRO Questions on the Same Day)

Automatic cut-off on Reaching Post Limit
A bit like speed limiters on lorries

Context
No context? No answer. We could bring in a "points" system like they use with driving licences... repeatedly "offend" and you lose your ability to post or contribute to the site.

Refuse to thank your colleagues? Yellow card. Do it again? Red card. Three strikes and you're out.

The Wall of Shame
When your laziness or incompetency drives you to post one hundred and seven non-PRO questions in a fifty four minute period, you would be hustled to the Wall of Shame without hesitation. Colleagues at the end of their respective tethers could virtually pelt offenders with eggs, rotten fruit and stinking translations.


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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 16:19
English to German
+ ...
No Jan 26, 2013

You are going too far. We must live with the present situation. No context, no useful answer, but please no punishment. The problem seems to be (I often have the impression), that language schools teach translation word by word and not context by context (because this is not possible when you have no indea e.g. of electrical enginering).
Rolf (learned translation in practice not in a school)

[Bearbeitet am 2013-01-26 20:36 GMT]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 16:19
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
The KudoZ system is not absolute Jan 26, 2013

"I Will Choose the Most Suitable Answer" is not what was ever meant.
"I will choose the most helpful answer" is what was and is meant.
It is a help system, not a dictionary.

Mats
Old KudoZ hand


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:19
French to German
+ ...
Another no Jan 27, 2013

No context?

Well, I think there may be cases where supplying more context would be a breach of confidentiality. There may also be cases where the asker simply does not have too much context and asking for more context may not be possible over the weekend. Still, some input from colleagues may be helpful. I see it as some sort of brainstorming, and even if the asker finds that none of the answers is "correct" they may still be extremely helpful in finding a suitable solution. And I always though that this is what KudoZ is all about: helping colleagues.

But if you don't like this sort of questions there is a simple solution IMHO: just ignore them. Nobody forces you to provide an answer. Others may have a helpful idea, though, even if it is only guesswork without context.


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:19
German to English
+ ...
Slight cultural disconnect? Jan 27, 2013

I don't think Fiona's suggestions were meant to be taken at face value. She is making valid points in a humorous way and expressing frustration with the present system. When I bother to take the time to peruse Kudoz at all in my language pair these days, I get frustrated myself. One person is translating an entire American novel (classic) via Kudoz (ongoing for months), for example, which I don't believe is the purpose of KudoZ, but people are still answering. Many responses to other queries are mere guesses, which anyone can do without KudoZ, and several other persistent and annoying habits - as Fiona points out, have pretty much killed any interest I had in participating there.

In any event, Fiona's English sense of humor seems to have gotten slightly lost in translation...


Edited to add:
Perhaps a small detail would be useful: The novel I refer to is being "explained" (English-English, because of the archaic 19th C language), rather than actually "translated" in the strictest sense.

[Edited at 2013-01-27 09:24 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:19
Hebrew to English
Agree Jan 27, 2013

Woodstock wrote:
In any event, Fiona's English sense of humor seems to have gotten slightly lost in translation...


And I'm fully in favour of implementing Fiona's 'suggestions' post haste.

Actually, I'm not sure she goes far enough, I was thinking of suggesting public flogging for repeat offenders.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:19
Hebrew to English
Funny timing actually... Jan 27, 2013

It coincides with the reappearance on my language pair's KudoZ of an asker who asks the most simple of questions - I'm talking about the kind which a first year language student could answer with the crappest of dictionaries or a tiny bit of online research.

I also wish that people would take a bit more time to understand the CONCEPT of what it is they're asking about before looking for a translation....because this just leads to the situation of "the blind leading the blind", with dubious translations being offered up (and worse: being immortalised in the ProZ glossaries).


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:19
Member
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
KudoZ to Woodstock and Ty Kendall Jan 27, 2013

... for being the only ones who understood the tongue-in-cheek nature of my post.

*takes tongue out of cheek*

I will award the points to both of you, another thing that should be possible on KudoZ.

Happy translating everyone.




[Edited at 2013-01-27 08:53 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Kicking against the pricks Jan 27, 2013

While generally agreeing with Fiona's comments and gist of the replies so far, can I just add that the boot can sometimes be on the other foot. For example, I get rather miffed when my kudoz queries are tagged "non-pro" for seeming too easy. It’s happened a couple of times recently and I really don't appreciate being shot down in flames this way. Just because you happen to know something doesn't mean it's common knowledge to all and sundry, even among native speakers of your own language. In my own case, this kind of query is usually more to do with the ambiguity of the phrase in question or wanting some feedback from native speakers on what they perceive the meaning of something to be at first sight (I generally have a pretty good idea of what the answer is going to be anyway, and simply want to brainstorm a little, as I rarely have many people physically to hand). Nevertheless, some of our colleagues seem to have erected themselves as voluntary arbiters of what is and what is not worthy or professional, like some sort of linguistic bouncers at the door to our little temple of knowledge, telling innocent askers judged and found wanting to sling their hook.

To these and other self appointed "translation police", I dedicate my post header.


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:19
Member
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Blatant KudoZ abuse and disrespect of the professional translation process Jan 27, 2013

Neil, I sympathise with the situation you describe. My post was tongue in cheek and not meant to offend, simply to shed light on certain practices which denigrate the translation profession and process as a whole.

How about opening up the ProZ.com homepage and ALL the KudoZ queries save two or three are from the same asker? Who does not only do this in my language pair but in others too.
But not to worry. The drive to rack up points is so all-consuming that these questions will always be answered.

Or those who constantly fail to provide context, despite being asked to do so? And since there are answerers who reply anyway, those who request context (for the asker's benefit) are seen as the ones spoiling the party somehow.

I can hear the cries now. "Oh just ignore those posts!" "If you don't like them then don't answer." And that is what I do for the most part. It is just a pity that the quality elements of the site risk being submerged by excesses it was never meant to cater for.


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Alison Sparks  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:19
French to English
+ ...
Classic examples Jan 27, 2013

Several today at any rate!

I like your tongue in cheek post Fiona, perhaps we could go further and suggest negative KudoZ points for the askers of some questions? Or "tarring and feathering" before being added to the wall of shame?

Neil, I do agree with you that sometimes a bit of "brainstorming" is necessary for additional clarity, even if you do already know the meaning.

Woodstock, don't you just have a whale of a time reading the questions?


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:19
German to English
+ ...
@Alison Jan 28, 2013

Alison Sparks wrote:


Woodstock, don't you just have a whale of a time reading the questions?



Absolutely - but I checked yesterday, and that particular novel seems to have been completed...wonder what the next one will be? And if it is even a legitimate translation project or someone merely reading American classics "for fun"?

PS: No clever comeback right now, sadly. I haven't had my caffeine fix yet.


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Hide the questioners. Jan 28, 2013

I have a list of about ten people who are really serial offenders: huge numbers of questions and no answers, never post any context, lots of ridiculously easy questions, translating out of their mother tongue when they shouldn't be. I've hidden their questions, and it makes KudoZ a lot more tolerable.

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Patricia Honrubia
Spain
Local time: 16:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
explanations and references Jan 28, 2013

I normally take my time to explain or justify my answer, and, if possible I always include some references. Having said this, I have seen plenty of times that some people just say: good luck or my proposal, maybe that´s just fine, I am not criticizing that, but sometimes I have found myself looking through answers and people who add some accurate explanation or reference do not get any attention even if their answer is right and finally the asker chooses an answer that is plainly wrong. Shouldn´t explanations and references help the asker to decide on the best answer? To me, it is more helpful than just choosing the one I "think" is a better answer which is the feeling I get from some askers.

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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:19
German to English
+ ...
@Phil Jan 28, 2013

philgoddard wrote:

I have a list of about ten people who are really serial offenders: huge numbers of questions and no answers, never post any context, lots of ridiculously easy questions, translating out of their mother tongue when they shouldn't be. I've hidden their questions, and it makes KudoZ a lot more tolerable.


My problem tends to be more with the non-native know-it-alls who brook no disagreement, even when their answers are either a) guesses or b) just plain wrong. How does one hide those? Never tried using that function.


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