Don't have a cow - Or, Should we be uptight about answering KudoZ questions?
Thread poster: Samuel Sebastian Holden Bramah

Samuel Sebastian Holden Bramah  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:48
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 17, 2014

Now then...

Why are people so self-conscious about posting answers to KudoZ?

My view of this part of the site is that it is a fun way to spend some time helping others... Like doing a Sudoku but at the same time giving someone a hand.

I think the whole point of the system is that we can help eachother out by brainstorming, especially with the more creative and literary translation questions.

Ok, a monkey wrench is always going to be a monkey wrench (or an adjustable spanner if you are of the UK inclination), but if we are asking (or answering) about how an expression or a figure of speech should be translated, or if we are in the middle of a dialog trying to make it sound natural, then why not just let it all hand out and throw whatever pops into your mind out there.

I just read "It's not right to post 'Formal' answers just for the sake of it", and of course, I agree that posting "PINK" when the question was "English to Spanish: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day"... But in this case the answerere was posting something quite great on the discussion, but was afraid to post it as an answer because he thought it sounded silly.

His answer now has 6 agrees... So... When is an answer too silly to post? I would say, as long as it is related, even vaguely, to the original question, we should just get out there and post it... As we will probably be contributing, either to the asker's work, or to someone else who comes along later and searches for the same term but in another context, or spark some other answerer's creativity into formulating an even better, or even wilder answer that just might end up being the new standard translation of that term.

LIGHTEN UP!!!

[Edited at 2014-03-18 16:04 GMT]


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:48
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Peer Comments Mar 17, 2014

Samuel Sebastian Holden Bramah wrote:

Now then...

Why are people so self-conscious about posting answers to KudoZ?

My view of this part of the site is that it is a fun way to spend some time helping others... Like doing a Sudoku but at the same time giving someone a hand.

I think the whole point of the system is that we can help eachother out by brainstorming, especially with the more creative and literary translation questions.

Ok, a monkey wrench is always going to be a monkey wrench, but if we are asking (or answering) about how an expression or a figure of speech should be translated, or if we are in the middle of a dialog trying to make it sound natural, then why not just let it all hand out and throw whatever pops into your mind out there.

I just read "It's not right to post 'Formal' answers just for the sake of it", and of course, I agree that posting "PINK" when the question was "English to Spanish: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day"... But in this case the answerere was posting something quite great on the discussion, but was afraid to post it as an answer because he thought it sounded silly.

His answer now has 6 agrees... So... When is an answer too silly to post? I would say, as long as it is related, even vaguely, to the original question, we should just get out there and post it... As we will probably be contributing, either to the asker's work, or to someone else who comes along later and searches for the same term but in another context, or spark some other answerer's creativity into formulating an even better, or even wilder answer that just might end up being the new standard translation of that term.

LIGHTEN UP!!!


Agree.

People are not only hesitant about posting answers, they are also hesitant about giving peer comments (agree/neutral/disagree) to an answer.


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Susie Rawson  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with you Samuel! Mar 17, 2014

I'm quite a Kudoz fan myself and have posted a few answers, even when I was not really certain to be right. Maybe what stops people from taking risks is that in your profile it shows how many times you've answered and how many points you've earned, so if someone who's checking your profile were to do the math they might think you're not such a good translator after all...
I see you're quite active in Kudoz too and I enjoy reading what you post. As a matter of fact, you answered some of my questions, and let me say they were of great help!


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:48
German to English
+ ...
It's also partly a cultural issue Mar 18, 2014

Some cultures are more insistent on perfection than others, i.e. in one language pair you might be jumped on with both feet for a minor mistake, whereas in another an error might just be laughed off and not taken seriously at all. Who likes to be jumped on and criticized harshly? Saving face is another very culture-specific phenomenon. In some cultures this is a much more delicate topic than in others. I won't go into more depth than that because this post could turn into a book, but is merely intended to point out that there are other considerations besides personalities involved that might not be obvious at first.

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Samuel Sebastian Holden Bramah  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:48
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
But the whole point... Mar 18, 2014

Woodstock wrote:

Some cultures are more insistent on perfection than others, i.e. in one language pair you might be jumped on with both feet for a minor mistake, whereas in another an error might just be laughed off and not taken seriously at all. Who likes to be jumped on and criticized harshly? Saving face is another very culture-specific phenomenon. In some cultures this is a much more delicate topic than in others. I won't go into more depth than that because this post could turn into a book, but is merely intended to point out that there are other considerations besides personalities involved that might not be obvious at first.


For me the whole point of the system is to help others, have some fun, learn (because we all learn) and enjoy playing around with language... Why bother participating in a discussion if you are not prepared to volunteer an answer?

Anyway, I will stop ranting and raving and get back to work...

Alas KudoZ is great for procrastinating as well as great for finding help.


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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:48
Member (2005)
French to English
Considerateness: putting oneself on the other person's shoes Mar 18, 2014

Samuel Sebastian Holden Bramah wrote:

For me the whole point of [ProZ.com, Kudoz] is to help others, have some fun, learn (because we all learn) and enjoy playing around with language... Why bother participating in a discussion if you are not prepared to volunteer an answer?

Anyway, I will stop ranting and raving and get back to work...

Alas KudoZ is great for procrastinating as well as great for finding help.


I wholeheartedly endorse Samuel's proposition. Learning should be fun.

One of the lessons I learnt from being revised by some top revisers in an international organisation was courtesy in discussion: my mentors took time and trouble in training me, and I feel that I must repay my debt by passing on what I know. I haven't been "flamed" very often on a forum, but it's very intimidating. Such behaviour is expressly ruled out under ProZ.com site rules. Not least because it inhibits debate, and injects a sour note into the collaborative spirit of sites such as ProZ.com. On another site, I sought to forestall some wrong-headed elitism by reminding a couple of contributors that translation is a community matter. Knowing how to voice disagreement courteously is an accomplished art but, in the general interest, is one of the interpersonal skills a mature translator must strive for.

With kind regards,

Adam Warren
(IanDhu - 441899)

[Edited at 2014-03-18 17:07 GMT]


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:48
German to English
+ ...
I didn't state that Proz should not be fun Mar 18, 2014

Samuel Sebastian Holden Bramah wrote:

For me the whole point of the system is to help others, have some fun, learn (because we all learn) and enjoy playing around with language... Why bother participating in a discussion if you are not prepared to volunteer an answer?

Alas KudoZ is great for procrastinating as well as great for finding help.


Of course, it should help others and be fun, it's an American site, after all, as I am. We are usually pretty good at "having fun", in general. However, what you or any other individual thinks Kudoz should be and how other people from other cultures view it may be quite different, that is ALL I am saying. You seem to be missing my point. I have studied and taught intercultural awareness, so I may be a bit more attuned to cultural differences than others who have not had that training. The main thing is not to expect people from other cultures to react to things the same way you do, and to respect the differences.


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Astrid_H  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:48
German to English
+ ...
A community should be learning and fun Mar 19, 2014

You only learn when you have others as role models and mentors. That's the point of communities of practice, of which proz.com is one. New members without or with little experience learn, and only this learning can turn them into experts eventually and they can help others.

I have to admit, as a newish member I felt hesitant at first to reply to KudoZ questions, but sometimes I just know the answer or have a strong idea about it, so why not post it. However, when I think it's just a glimpse of an idea, I prefer to post it as a discussion entry. Either way, I post it, provided I have the time to do so.

It must be said though that the site is one of representation towards prospective clients, so I understand when members are hesitant to post answers they aren't sure about.
Others may not post because they are of the opinion that someone who asks KudoZ questions, especially simple ones, has taken on a job they weren't suited for and thus took away business from them.

My view of KudoZ is that it's also a resource for the future, so certain standards should apply - no off topic, no personal comments or unselected answers. I don't like when askers simply go away with an answer and don't give feedback which one they chose in the end. Also, peer agreement is important, too, to eliminate doubts about the correct translation.

By the way, not only KudoZ is a good place to procrastinate, this forum is, too! Getting back to work now!


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:48
French to English
+ ...
Think of what is relevant to future searchers Mar 20, 2014

Samuel Sebastian Holden Bramah wrote:
But in this case the answerere was posting something quite great on the discussion, but was afraid to post it as an answer because he thought it sounded silly.


So I think one way to see things is like this: in part, the KudoZ database, in addition to helping the specific translator at that time, is intended to be a resource that other translators can search for at a later date.

From that point of view, just for the sake of being practical, I think it's right that there should be *some* level of filtering before you propose something as an "answer": either that you've ascertained that in this specific context, your suggestion could genuinely be used in the translation, or that if the context is less clear, that your suggestion could conceivably be used in some related context or other.

Or put another way, there may be a tangible advantage of not using the "answers" section of a KudoZ query to "let things pop out".

But I can appreciate that there could be some more "creative" translations where the line could be somewhat blurred between random musings that arguably belong in the discussion and a plausible concrete translation that belongs in the "formal" answers.

P.S. Yes, into the bargain, it should also be fun. If there are people using KudoZ as some kind of dark revenge on society, they should probably just go and get another career.

[Edited at 2014-03-20 01:54 GMT]


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Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 03:48
Japanese to English
+ ...
Yes Mar 20, 2014

Woodstock wrote:

The main thing is not to expect people from other cultures to react to things the same way you do, and to respect the differences.


As obvious as this sentence is, it is something that is so, so hard to remember sometimes.


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