Make Glossary search compulsory
Thread poster: Andy Watkinson

Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 03:59
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Oct 11, 2004

Compulsory search in order to ask questions?

Despite having seen how the KudoZ system has evolved and been improved over the past couple of years, colleagues continue to complain about certain aspects:

e.g.

a) The difference between “Easy” and “Pro” level questions, i.e. Should they carry they same “weight” in the form of points? – the obvious answer is No.
But who decides what’s “Easy” and what isn’t? etc…..
b) In particular, Askers entering questions which have been asked umpteen times before and for which there may be up to 30 answers (covering virtually every instance of usage) already in the Glossaries.

I think a) is almost impossible to solve.
b) Solving this should be easy.

As things stand, askers are merely advised to exhaust all other possibilities before “resorting” to asking a question, but many, out of laziness in most cases I suspect, find it easier to post a question.
It’s clearly impossible for ProZ to ascertain whether these askers have first referred to basic paper/online dictionaries, Google, or common sense before asking a question but ProZ CAN “force” them to refer to the glossaries …

Of late, when I spot a question which is already in the glossaries, I copy the URL of the glossary entry, place a confidence rating of 1 and politely say that the answer was staring you in the “glossaries” (“con perdón”)

Possible solution:
Why not turn the KudoZ question page into an automatic “Glossary Search” page?
i.e. Askers enter the necessary information exactly as they would in order to ask a question but, prior to the question being posted, they would be referred to the existing glossary entries for the word, expression, etc…….and have to “decline” all the answers provided.
This should be compulsory.

Answerers could then take for granted that the asker has seen all the previous answers for that particular question and the asker would then have to explain why they’re not satisfied with what they’ve found.
For which there can, of course, be a host of perfectly valid reasons, but at the very least, the asker would have to explain why their context is different to those already covered.

This would (or at least, should) vastly reduce the number of questions along the lines of “My name is Carlos”, “I love you”, “Do you like apples?” et al……… much to the annoyance and regret of those answerers whose sole purpose is to amass a vast number of KudoZ points by answering the same daft questions half a dozen times a day.

I could probably have five times my present number of KudoZ points by answering all these questions and I’m hardly alone in that.
But I, like many others, prefer to answer questions which I find interesting or challenging in some way.

And (which you should never start a sentence with, let alone a paragraph, the same as a preposition isn’t something you should finish a sentence with), now we’re on the subject of interesting questions, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, .....sorry,……"style"?

I’m sure that, were we to ask a hundred translators to explain in the simplest terms possible the difference between “knowing the words in two languages” and “translating”, all would invariably answer with something which could be described, vaguely, as “style” …..i.e. how to “put the words together proper”.

I very rarely see any questions on style. 95% is purely lexical.

But that’s probably another discussion.

Cheers,
Andy

Only just noticed that Ricardo brought exactly the same topic up last month:


Ricardo Martinez de la Torre
Chile
Platinum

English>Spanish
Spanish>English
Why not automate it? Sep 15

Since we live in a computerized world (This site is proof of it). Why can´t the site simply search the glossaries BEFORE posting the question and offer the answers available to the asker? I don't know how hard it would be to program that in to the site, but it would save a lot of time.

Just a thought...


[Edited at 2004-10-11 14:14]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 03:59
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
It's not "just a thought", dear colleague Oct 11, 2004

It is a basic very good idea (automatic glossary referral) some of us have suggested for four years.

I hope your postning will be the final nudge in the right direction.

Best regards

Mats J C Wiman
Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe
http://www.MatsWiman.com
http://www.Deutsch-Schwedisch.com
http://www.proz.com/pro/1749
(Proz.com moderator, deu>swe, Swedish)
Träsk 201
SE-872 97 Skog
Schweden/Sweden/Suède/Suecia
Tel:+46-612-54112 Fax:+46-612-54181 Mobile:+46-70-5769797


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 03:59
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Mats Oct 11, 2004

"Just a thought" was, actually, Ricardo's expression.

I wasn't aware of the topic having been raised earlier (4 years!) but I think the idea is basically a sound one and could be beneficial to all involved.

Cheers,
Andy


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Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:59
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Great Idea Oct 11, 2004

I wholeheartedly agree.

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Ingrid Lovric
Local time: 03:59
English to Croatian
+ ...
Thank you for pointing out this problem again Oct 12, 2004

Just a couple of weeks ago the Croatian forum addressed the same issue, and I suggested the glossary entry should be compulsory. In the last 5-6 years that I am a proZ.com member I have seen the "I love you" question a zillion times. I don't mind answering to it again and again, but what's the point? KudoZ is a free service and translators take out their time to help other colleagues or just about anybody that needs help, but that doesn't mean they should be exploited with questions that just a quick look at a dictionary or proZ glossary would solve in a second. A question that appeared a couple of days ago (and already exists in the glossary!) was asked today again. Comment of a colleague translator that answered to it was that he hopes he won't be awarded point for the third time for the same question.

Anyway, I hope something will be done about that!

Best regards to everyone,

Ingrid


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 03:59
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Ingrid Oct 12, 2004

Thanks for your contribution.

I don't see that it should be at all difficult to implement an automatic search before someone is allowed to post a question.
In fact, it's the only thing that ProZ does have control over.

And I can't see who would lose out by introducing a feature like this. Except, perhaps, the "KudoZ hunters" who would cease to collect a lot of potential points.

If it's sufficiently frequent as to merit being discussed in the Croatian forum, you can imagine how often it occurs in language pairs which see a lot more "traffic", such as mine: Spanish-English.

It would/should eliminate a vast number of questions and free up time for dealing with more interesting and, dare I say it, "real" questions.

As Mats as pointed out above that this is hardly an original idea and has been discussed before, maybe someone could enlighten me on the reasons for not introducing it earlier?

Cheers,
Andy


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Jussara Simoes  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:59
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Why do you answer "I love you questions"? Oct 13, 2004

Ingrid Lovric wrote:

I don't mind answering to it again and again, but what's the point?
Anyway, I hope something will be done about that!
Best regards to everyone,
Ingrid


Ingrid,

I DO mind answering to questions like "I love you", "bye bye", etc., especially when they are labeled "PRO".

I will not answer, and I suspect that many of those easy questions are some kind of scam, where the asker and the answerer are friends, and they keep awarding each other those kudoz points. I am not here for that because I am a professional, and I have work to do, I don't have time to wast hunting kudoz.

A few messages above, a colleague asked how to evaluate an easy question. Well, one of the ways to do that is finding the word in a pocket and cheap bilingual dictionary. If you can find the word or phrase in that kind of dictionary, it's too easy to be labeled pro.

XXXXXXX
JPS


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Jussara Simoes  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:59
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Spanish and Portuguese too, Andy Oct 13, 2004

andycw wrote:
And I can't see who would lose out by introducing a feature like this. Except, perhaps, the "KudoZ hunters" who would cease to collect a lot of potential points.


That's the point, Andy: the KudoZ hunters. They keep answering those easy questions. On another thread, someone said that Kudoz are a benchmark. I don't think so. I myself won't answer to those idiot questions, but the KudoZ hunters will, so what kind of benchmark is this? KudoZ hunters have thousands of KudoZ and the honest hardworking translators get no kudoZ because they feel insulted with those "how do you say bye-bye" questions.


If it's sufficiently frequent as to merit being discussed in the Croatian forum, you can imagine how often it occurs in language pairs which see a lot more "traffic", such as mine: Spanish-English.


And Portuguese too. The situation is the same. It's a shame.


It would/should eliminate a vast number of questions and free up time for dealing with more interesting and, dare I say it, "real" questions.


I couldn't agree more.


As Mats as pointed out above that this is hardly an original idea and has been discussed before, maybe someone could enlighten me on the reasons for not introducing it earlier?


Maybe ProZ is only about getting money from the Platinum members? Maybe ProZ is not about professionalism?

I'm really tired of this lack of professionalism. I spent a good 4 years far from ProZ. I came back a few months ago because a friend told me things were getting better, but I see it's not changed at all. All I can think about is that only the cheapos and the unprofessional thrive here.


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