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A translator reached out to me by email with some KudoZ questions, and I offered my help
Thread poster: Luximar Arenas Petty

Luximar Arenas Petty  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 22, 2015

I am still amazed at how Kudoz always causes such a stir. I had abandoned Kudoz for a while, but this year I decided to give it a try again. I was just starting to help with some terms when I was contacted by a dear translator colleague (whom I’ll call simply “Translator” for obvious reasons) to help him/her out with some terms, because the Translator had reached the limit of questions he/she could ask in a day and a deadline was haunting him/her. I found that a bit weird, because I recalled when I myself had been in a similar situation but didn't panic like that. But I sympathized with him/her. My surprise began to grow as I continued receiving more emails asking for help from Translator and promising that when he/she was allowed to post these terms in Kudoz I could go ahead and answer these questions and Translator would give the four points to me.

Translator also sent links to me to research better the terms needed for his/her translation. When that happened, I answered politely that I didn't have any more time to continue helping him/her and that Translator could give the four points to whoever responded to the question in Kudoz. And Translator did it. But not only that, the questions that I answered before the emails began Translator decided that the best answer be chosen by the community.

What do you think about this—to say the least—an awkward situation? If a fellow translator accepted a job with a tight deadline, he/she should deal with it and not try to put pressure on others who have nothing to do with it. Asking the community is a useful tool, but abuse of this help is bad. And on top of all that, the person decided not to recognize the help received on a fair basis but to let the community decide.

I say live and learn!


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Morano El-Kholy  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 14:56
Member (2011)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Of course, an awkward situation.... Jan 22, 2015

Dear Luximar...

Don't blame yourself and do not regret helping him You are a kind and decent person.

Things like this always happen! I think that he is eventually a big loser..

Life is always teaching us via its hard ways!

Best regards.


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:56
Member
Italian to English
Sour grapes Jan 22, 2015

It sounds to me like the person took offence when your help dried up and opted for community grading as a sort of punishment, as it were.

Professional? I think you've answered that for yourself. If I were you I would put Translator's address into my spam filter and hope never to hear from them again. For future reference, I guess helping out with one or two queries is fine, if you're feeling generous, but more than that and you need to insist they play by the rules. And accept jobs in the future that they're actually capable of completing.


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:56
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Yes Jan 22, 2015

Luximar Arenas Petty wrote:
If a fellow translator accepted a job with a tight deadline, he/she should deal with it and not try to put pressure on others who have nothing to do with it. Asking the community is a useful tool, but abuse of this help is bad. And on top of all that, the person decided not to recognize the help received on a fair basis but to let the community decide.


Also, if a translator needs to ask more than 15 questions in a day, well... you have understood.

[Edited at 2015-01-22 20:48 GMT]


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Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:56
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
Got it in one! Jan 22, 2015

Luximar Arenas Petty wrote:

I say live and learn!


And thanks for passing your learning on to the rest of us!


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
My thoughts Jan 22, 2015

The apparent lack of (mastering the) ability to research, think, understand the source and/or target language now shown in far too many Kudoz questions (with regard to my own language pairs) has made me wonder:
Does the pro in pro translator stand for professional or professed?


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Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:56
French to English
+ ...
Hmm Jan 22, 2015

I'm not convinced of the value of the "the best answer to be chosen by the community" option; the person may have been under a lot of pressure, but may also have been miffed/annoyed by your reply, which, if it is the case, sounds rather churlish and/or arrogant.
And I'm amazed that the translator expected you to do the research on their behalf.


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Luximar Arenas Petty  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you... Jan 23, 2015

Morano El-Kholy wrote:

Dear Luximar...

Don't blame yourself and do not regret helping him You are a kind and decent person.

Things like this always happen! I think that he is eventually a big loser..

Life is always teaching us via its hard ways!

Best regards.


...Morano, for your kind words.


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Luximar Arenas Petty  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I’ve thought about it Jan 23, 2015

Fiona Peterson wrote:

It sounds to me like the person took offence when your help dried up and opted for community grading as a sort of punishment, as it were.

Professional? I think you've answered that for yourself. If I were you I would put Translator's address into my spam filter and hope never to hear from them again. For future reference, I guess helping out with one or two queries is fine, if you're feeling generous, but more than that and you need to insist they play by the rules. And accept jobs in the future that they're actually capable of completing.


That’s sort of a punishment, but I think that in the long run it’s the Translator who loses. However, I see no need to put Translator's address into the Spam folder. I am pretty sure that he/she won’t contact me again.

Time to turn the page.


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Luximar Arenas Petty  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That’s a good question Jan 23, 2015

writeaway wrote:

The apparent lack of (mastering the) ability to research, think, understand the source and/or target language now shown in far too many Kudoz questions (with regard to my own language pairs) has made me wonder:
Does the pro in pro translator stand for professional or professed?


A good one.


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Luximar Arenas Petty  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I know. Jan 23, 2015

Rachel Fell wrote:

And I'm amazed that the translator expected you to do the research on their behalf.


It’s shocking.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Paywall Jan 23, 2015

AFAIK, if you pay a membership fee you can ask as many kudoz questions as you like - that's the main reason I pay my subscription, which is up for renewal shortly.

However, I don't think any translators should work so far out of their comfort zone that they need to pester colleagues the way you describe. I wonder if this person was translating into their native tongue? It certainly sounds like they had bitten off more than they could chew.


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
perpertumobile polaris magnus mayoris ad personam mutatis causa Jan 23, 2015

The client asks you: are you available to translate 1k words by tomorrow morning 9:00 CET?. It's a legal text, nothing out of the ordinary. You answer: yes I am, feel free to send me the text.

You receive the text. It is a patent translation for a new machine invented by polar elfs. It is called "perpertumobile polaris magnus mayoris ad personam mutatis causa". It consists of 710 parts and 230 assembly kits. The names of those parts and kits are totally unknown to you (in either language).

Few minutes later PO follows. You pick up the phone, call the PM and sing off key: "Tradirmi egli non può! Tradirmi egli non può"! After all, so far you have only translated contracts, judgments, business correspondence, minutes, business codes and similar.The PM (Scarpia) gets the message and decides to assign the job to Claus Santos who happens to be a bilingual chief engineer working at the plant where the machine was developed. And suddenly life becomes tiny bit easier.



[Edited at 2015-01-23 09:42 GMT]


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:56
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Some "pros" Jan 23, 2015

Luximar Arenas Petty wrote:

My surprise began to grow as I continued receiving more emails asking for help from Translator and promising that when he/she was allowed to post these terms in Kudoz I could go ahead and answer these questions and Translator would give the four points to me.


Oh, I understand quite a few things now! In some pairs, posting a Kudoz answer is always a risky business... So that might be the cause for it. It's amazing how rude some "pros" can be when someone posts an answer that collide with theirs (even marking it with a "3").


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Sandra& Kenneth  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 14:56
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
If you feel abused ... you should. Jan 23, 2015

The daily quota for Kudoz questions is very generous. Anyone who needs more terms should not have taken a job she/he cannot research independently in the first place. Look at it as deliberate and preplanned abuse or your willingness to help a colleague in distress, of which the respective damsel/dude was perfectly aware.
In a similar recent case, when trying to suggest the wealth of online resources to save herself the embarrassment of asking basic questions in professional forums, this "professed professional" gave me the following stunning answer: "why should I look for answers in [online resources] when I can get them by asking?".
Live and learn. I did.
Best,
Sandra


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