Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Kudoz strategies
Thread poster: Phil Hand

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 11:28
Chinese to English
Sep 1, 2014

Part 1: Rant and whine
I hate it when I give Kudoz answers that are clearly right and the asker picks another answer. I mean, sometimes my answer is only one of several right options, and that's fine. But often the other answers are laughably bad, and they still get picked. I am *desperate* to help improve general standards of translation in my pair. But it's hard when you give clear help and people won't accept it.

(I should say, though, that the Kudoz situation in my pair seems to have improved greatly over the last few years. It's not great, but it's much better than it used to be, with a number of really smart people contributing to the answers and discussions.)

Part 2: Solutions?
So has anyone noticed any patterns in what kinds of answers are likely to get you picked? Do links help? Or is it better to copy all the relevant information into the answer box? Is it dictionary links that carry the day? Bilingual dictionaries? Images? Is it agrees? I'm sure I could round up a posse of agreers (agreeers?) if necessary...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 08:58
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Have noticed this in my pair (English-Hindi), too... Sep 1, 2014

...and in my case the reason for the wrong-answers being picked is not due to any deficiency in the correct answers themselves, but due to extraneous reasons, some which are these:

- The asker's competency in Hindi is so poor that he is incapable of picking the correct answer even when it stares him/her in the face.

- The very purpose of asking was not to get a correct answer, but to garner kudoz points; often a pair of people team up, one asking and the other answering, and the asker just picks up his partner's answer irrespective how many agrees other answers have or however incorrect or ridiculous the picked-up answer is.

I can recall a ludicrous case in which a question was asked for a correct adjective to be used for Buddha, the apostle of non-violence, and the answer picked up was "Lion of Asia"! There were of course several better answers available, yet the asker picked up this one.

There was a lively discussion on his controversial choice in the discussion section of the question, but of course it made no impact on the asker, because clearly the asker-answer duo had already decided whose answer was going to be picked.

In such cases, rational strategies (such as giving well-researched, detailed answers with links, photos, references, etc.), hwon't work at all, and this is a fatal flaw in the kudoz system itself, which is near impossible to rectify.

As long as kudoz is used to rank translators, the incentive to cook the system will be great and we will get cynical efforts like this. The sad part is, it reduces the effectiveness of a well-meaning system.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
mag013
Local time: 14:28
Italian to English
+ ...
Happens Sep 1, 2014

with bioscience questions in English to Italian. I think it's a case of people being out of their depth in different domains but also, in many instances, choosing the answers of friends who they're more comfortable with.

In one memorable case, I had given a link to the exact translation but the other answer, without any evidence or links, was chosen despite the other answerer admitting my answer was the correct one!

[Edited at 2014-09-01 05:32 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Valery Shapovalenko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 05:28
English to Russian
+ ...
Competency lack. Sep 1, 2014

It's also the matter of domain competency lack, to say it gently. I remember this problem in times of paper dictionaries, even the illustrated ones. People just can't select the right answer, because they're simply profanes in the domain. I remember the case when a person selected synonyms which sounded 'better'...
It's inevitable, but keeps constant, because of newcomers, though curable with time passed.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:28
French to English
+ ...
Reasons can be complex Sep 1, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:
Part 2: Solutions?
So has anyone noticed any patterns in what kinds of answers are likely to get you picked? Do links help? Or is it better to copy all the relevant information into the answer box? Is it dictionary links that carry the day? Bilingual dictionaries? Images? Is it agrees? I'm sure I could round up a posse of agreers (agreeers?) if necessary...


I think you'll find that in some cases it's a complex combination of things. I'm sure that sometimes, just as in other walks of life, people can get lured by answers with a sense of "referenciness" irrespective of the actual worth of the references in question.

But, giving people the benefit of the doubt, I think part of the problem is that the system is a very blunt instrument. The poster is forced to choose *one* answer that "helped them the most". Sometimes it is really difficult to come down in favour of one single poster. And sometimes, quite legitimately, the post that provided the most help overall may not actually arrive at the "right" answer.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 03:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Improve general standards of translation = Augean stables. Sep 1, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:

I hate it when I give Kudoz answers that are clearly right and the asker picks another answer. I mean, sometimes my answer is only one of several right options, and that's fine. But often the other answers are laughably bad, and they still get picked. I am *desperate* to help improve general standards of translation in my pair. But it's hard when you give clear help and people won't accept it.



This has come up before see e.g.
https://www.google.ie/search?num=100&lr=&safe=images&as_qdr=all&q="the+wrong+answer"+site%3AProz.com

On sees cases where several correct answers to a question are given, but the single incorrect one is selected for no apparent reason other than cluelessness. Personally, I give an agree to all the right answers, a disagree to the selected one, and a note saying that this Glossary entry is incorrect. I then filter the asker and sometimes add a separate note to that effect (which typically gets deleted by site staff) but at least the asker is made aware that their actions have some infinitesimally small consequences.

There is a significant cohort of people on ProZ who are not only not professionals, but who are so bad as not even to be amateurs - these are beyond help, fortunately most of them don't last very long. Their standards can't be raised, just note their errors and wait for them to go away. Anything else is, pardon the French, pissing in the wind.

Some language pairs have obvious cliques and there is nothing to be done about that either - the asker is entitled to choose any answer they want.

It's possible to bring any of these matters to the Moderators but I suspect there isn't much they can do. Personally, I just filter and move on; my only concern is that there's some limit to the number of people who can be filtered


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:28
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
No problem at all: Sep 1, 2014

The more wrong answers go into the asker´s process, the higher the possibility he/she disappears from the market, mostly together with the cheap price he/she offers to gain the job (mainly technical / engineering subjects, because "it is just changing words"). And aren´t we all pested by the low prices like we can see in so many contributes in this forum?
And I strongly agree with the statement of our colleague from India: Often the asker (especially in my second language combination) seems to choose the answer from / or at least assigns the points to a person he/she seems to know / like.

[Bearbeitet am 2014-09-01 06:10 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No easy solution, IMO Sep 1, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:
has anyone noticed any patterns in what kinds of answers are likely to get you picked? Do links help? Or is it better to copy all the relevant information into the answer box? Is it dictionary links that carry the day? Bilingual dictionaries? Images? Is it agrees? I'm sure I could round up a posse of agreers (agreeers?) if necessary...

But I'm sure copying relevant passages from references into the body of the answer, along with the link, must be better than just posting the link. You have to follow a link to see whether it has any worth, whereas if the evidence is staring you in the face...

But I'm sure there are some cases where nothing will help.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I think in most cases the askers selected a wrong answer by ignorance Sep 1, 2014

Some less experienced linguists just don't understand the source text, no matter how hard you have explained it to them or how many people have explained it to them. They just selected the answers that "sounded" the best, or that were the most fluent. Actually the most fluent answers or the answers with explanations that "made best sense" could be totally wrong, or sometimes just in the direct opposite of what the author was trying to say.

Some other askers just like particular answerers so they tended to select their answers, which are sometimes incorrect.

If you want to participate, you have to bear with it. No one can do anything about it.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:28
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes--this is the problem that no one Sep 1, 2014

knows anymore what is right (in terms of language and translation), not just on Kudoz but many agencies as well, as they are desperately trying to do back translations--which is really not the best method to check translation, plus it is both time and money consuming--totally unnecessary, if you understand the source and the target language well.

Also, favoritism plays a role at times--on Kudoz, or some personal hostilities--not all the time, but at least sometimes. I personally have nothing to complain about--but I have seen it.

[Edited at 2014-09-01 07:58 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:28
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It happens, Sep 1, 2014

it’s frustrating and discouraging but I have learned over the years to be philosophical about it...

It’s, however, a pity that the glossary is marred by obvious errors!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:28
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
You did your best to help, Sep 1, 2014

if somebody is stupid, it's their problem, isn't it? Yes, pity about the glossary. But does anybody use it?
If you are worried about your points, I will just say that Kudoz is a tool to help people, not a competititon!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:28
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Keep giving the good explanations Sep 1, 2014

I know I am somewhat naive, but I console myself with the fact that the good answers and explanations are THERE, even if they do not always get the points they deserve.

Anyone who knows how KudoZ works - if they want a serious answer - will look at all the answers offered, not just the one selected.

People have suggested on numeorus occasions that ranking should be by the percentage of answers accepted out of answers given, so that people who give comparatively few, but spot-on answers would rank high. Unfortunately you cannot check other people's percentages, only your own. (Stats on your profile under KudoZ)

Point grabbers who shoot at everything that moves would have to give a large proportion of quality answers to achieve the same ratio of accepted answers, and it might also improve the general quality.

This still assumes that the majority of askers can select the right answers, and apart from that, it does not look as if there are going to be changes in the system.

It is heartening to know that things are moving in the right direction in some language pairs at least. Being visible works both ways - cooking the system and revealing one's ignorance strikes me as a strategy that would not fool serious clients and colleagues for long!

I notice people who add useful comments in the discussion field and well backed up answers, even if they are not leaders in the points tables, and I know who I would recommend to clients or collaborate with...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:28
Member (2012)
French to English
Comment on Christine's post Sep 1, 2014

With regard to changing the system so that ranking is determined by the percentage of answers accepted, I feel that this would be unfair to people who spend a good deal of time researching terms in order to help other translators.

Consider the situation whereby someone posts a suggestion, but with a low confidence level. Shortly afterwards, somebody else posts exactly the same suggestion, but with a higher confidence level, and whose answer is, therefore higher up the list of suggestions. This person receives the points.

Then there are many occasions when a person makes a suggestion that is correct, and is a good answer. Someone else comes along and tweaks it slightly; their answer is given preference and they receive the points. Surely it would be wrong to suggest that the other person who also made a good suggestion, should be penalised in the rankings, due to being unlucky that their good answer wasn't chosen.

This new system you advocate would also discourage people from making suggestions, which would surely result in fewer options for the asker to choose from. If I ask a question on kudoz, I want as many suggestions as possible. Even if I don't choose any of them, they may sometimes prompt me to come up with a different solution myself.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Valery Shapovalenko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 05:28
English to Russian
+ ...
The best answer selected! Sep 1, 2014

Matthias Brombach wrote:

The more wrong answers go into the asker´s process, the higher the possibility he/she disappears from the market, mostly together with the cheap price he/she offers to gain the job (mainly technical / engineering subjects, because "it is just changing words"). And aren´t we all pested by the low prices like we can see in so many contributes in this forum?
And I strongly agree with the statement of our colleague from India: Often the asker (especially in my second language combination) seems to choose the answer from / or at least assigns the points to a person he/she seems to know / like.

[Bearbeitet am 2014-09-01 06:10 GMT]


If I were the asker, sure...


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


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


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

Kudoz strategies

Advanced search






WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



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