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Use of Internet Resources vs. Kudoz
Thread poster: Henry Hinds

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 3, 2015

So often I find translators (???) asking questions on Kudoz that they could answer themselves with minimal research in Google or other Net resources. I often wonder why they insist upon being spoon-fed? Don't the rest of you get sick and tired of askers like that? Those of us that answer... are we here to help or to be a crutch for people too lazy to pick up their fingers? Yes, they provide easy points (no lie, that's how I've gotten a lot of mine), but I've yet to claim as much as a free cup of coffee for the points. So what?

That's my opinion. What do the rest of you think?


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 10:57
Member (2013)
English to Russian
Oh yes Feb 3, 2015

Henry Hinds wrote:

So often I find translators (???) asking questions on Kudoz that they could answer themselves with minimal research in Google or other Net resources. I often wonder why they insist upon being spoon-fed? Don't the rest of you get sick and tired of askers like that? Those of us that answer... are we here to help or to be a crutch for people too lazy to pick up their fingers? Yes, they provide easy points (no lie, that's how I've gotten a lot of mine), but I've yet to claim as much as a free cup of coffee for the points. So what?

That's my opinion. What do the rest of you think?



This is exactly why I quit answering KudoZ questions. Grew disillusioned as to whom I actually helped.


 

The Misha
Local time: 00:57
Russian to English
+ ...
Me, I don't answer much anymore either Feb 4, 2015

Generally, those you'd be happy to help don't ask much, they can figure it all out by themselves. What bugs me even more is that quite a few of those that do ask never even bother saying please of thank you. What, their mothers never taught them any manners?

 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 11:27
English to Hindi
+ ...
Good linguistic resources unavailable on the internet for many languages Feb 4, 2015

While I sympathise with you on this, I will also point out that in many languages, including Hindi, my main working language, good and reliable internet resources such as dictionaries, glossaries, grammar resources, etc., are just not available. Anachronistic as it may sound, we still thumb our way a lot through paper dictionaries and resources. So at least in the case of Hindi, I am quite sympathetic with people who ask apparently simple questions that a quick reference to a dictionary might answer. They just might not be having that particular reference at hand. Many valuable references have a very short print run in India (a few thousand copies) and they soon go out of print. None of them are available in online versions.

But the situation could be different with European languages like your pair, and I will agree that laziness does account to a large extent for the flood of kudoz questions we see in these language pairs.

[Edited at 2015-02-04 02:14 GMT]


 

Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 06:57
English to German
Y E S Feb 4, 2015

Henry Hinds wrote:

So often I find translators (???) asking questions on Kudoz that they could answer themselves with minimal research in Google or other Net resources.


IMHO many of them are not able to do that, because they don't understand the source text. Often, the phrasing of the question suggests that they will not even understand the translation they produce, i. e. they replace single words in one language by single words in a different language and hope that this strategy will be result in readable sentence. I call such people "text mechanics"

But why do they set the "I stick to ProZ' professional guidelines" checkbox?icon_frown.gif

are we here to help or to be a crutch for people too lazy to pick up their fingers?


There is a third motive: An answerer may benefit from answering. He or she gets good reputation and/or a job or other. And he or she learns something by searching for a correct answer.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends Feb 4, 2015

I feel somewhat ambivalent about the situation. I tend to find it more irritating when the askers are obviously limited by the fact that they are translating into a language that is not their own - and this happens an awful lot in my ES-EN pair.

On the other hand, as a paying member, I think I should be able to post whatever translation-related queries I see fit, whether they seem "professional" enough or not to the cognoscenti. On a few occasions recently I have been miffed to find my queries being deemed non-pro by colleagues. Get off my case, guys!


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 13:57
Chinese to English
Must vary a lot from pair to pair Feb 4, 2015

In my pair, most Kudoz questions seem to be rock hard, and often very interesting challenges that a few of us can chew over. I haven't been getting so many points lately, but I think I've been enjoying it more.

I agree that if people are abusing the system, they should be ignored. Pick and choose, answer the questions that are fun only.


 

Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
French to English
+ ...
Well,... Feb 4, 2015

Henry Hinds wrote:

That's my opinion. What do the rest of you think?


I think your opinion is shared by many, Henry.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Member (2008)
Italian to English
YEs and Feb 4, 2015

Henry Hinds wrote:

So often I find translators (???) asking questions on Kudoz that they could answer themselves with minimal research in Google or other Net resources. I often wonder why they insist upon being spoon-fed? Don't the rest of you get sick and tired of askers like that? Those of us that answer... are we here to help or to be a crutch for people too lazy to pick up their fingers? Yes, they provide easy points (no lie, that's how I've gotten a lot of mine), but I've yet to claim as much as a free cup of coffee for the points. So what?

That's my opinion. What do the rest of you think?



Yes and what really annoys me is when in the end they choose the wrong, or least appropriate answer, and enter it in the glossary

icon_frown.gif

[Edited at 2015-02-04 15:42 GMT]


 

Luximar Arenas Petty  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Too Many Unprofessional or Lazy People Out There Feb 4, 2015

It's certainly happens a lot in the pair ES-EN and EN-ES. Check my recent post as well. It has been happening since I became a member or even before that. When someone finally recognizes that he or she is abusing the system then another person appears to start all over again.

It’s the easy way to do it. It’s quicker to ask someone else instead of doing your own research. There is also a repetition of questions that I don’t really know if the staff is taking into account to keep Kudoz glossaries well organized. I hope they are.

I assume this situation will continue until some measures are taken to enforce the professional guidelines.


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I agree with Henry...and Neil Feb 4, 2015

I of course agree with Henry that incompetent translator wannabes who serially abuse the Kudoz system are annoying. The whole subject has been discussed to death in these forums, so I really don't see the point in wasting more time on it. The system will not fundamentally change in the foreseeable future, so the best advice is to "use what you can, and leave the rest."

There is also the issue of the "serial enablers" who give the "serial abusers" their answers, as Henry rightly acknowledges. It is kind of hard to complain about behavior that you continually reinforce (I insert my own *mea culpa* here).

Yet I also agree with Neil when he writes:

neilmac wrote:

On the other hand, as a paying member, I think I should be able to post whatever translation-related queries I see fit, whether they seem "professional" enough or not to the cognoscenti. On a few occasions recently I have been miffed to find my queries being deemed non-pro by colleagues. Get off my case, guys!


I also do not appreciate when people wag their fingers at me because they think that I have posted a "dumb question." The fact is that sometimes terms arise in a translation that cannot be quickly researched. Sometimes the issue has to do with translating a document (or part of a document) that lies outside one's comfort zone (Happy is the translator who only deals with material in his or her comfort zone.). I do not feel the least bit guilty about posting a query in the hopes that it will generate a usable response, and thus spare me half an hour of research--or prevent me from being in a situation where I have to make my best guess ( especially when I am under a tight deadline).

What Neil's comment more generally speaks to is that there is an awful lot of posturing that goes on in Kudoz, and elsewhere on this site. There are people here that want to show what wonderful translators they are by putting others down with the kinds of comments Neil and I are referring to. In many cases, the contributions of such individuals do not bear close scrutiny. And even if someone who indulges in this kind of preening truly is an exemplar of the profession, such behavior is simply bad form and should not be accepted in the Kudoz forum. Just think of what it would be like if everyone behaved that way....

[Edited at 2015-02-04 18:05 GMT]


 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:57
Danish to English
+ ...
Filter the culprits? Feb 4, 2015

In my language combination (Danish/English), the vast majority of the questions seem very professional, so I may not be the best person to comment here.

However, from time to time, I have been sufficiently annoyed by someone asking daft questions, mainly because they clearly did not master Danish, and then I have simply used the little 'flag or filter' function to make sure I do not see any questions from those people again. Works a treat.

[Edited at 2015-02-04 18:18 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Man of Mystery Feb 4, 2015

In Italian/English, every weekend there's someone in the western US who asks tons of questions to do with the human anatomy and medicine. I could almost set my watch by him. He must have a complete vocabulary by now.

He's never here at any other time and he never asks questions about any other subject.

[Edited at 2015-02-04 18:35 GMT]


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Filtering helps... Feb 4, 2015

... but only up to a point. You can hide the serial abusers, but even then I find that in my language combinations at least 50% of the questions are asked either by people who can't be bothered to do their own research, or are working into a foreign language.

 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
French to English
+ ...
There's "spoon-fed" and there's "being practical" Feb 4, 2015

Henry Hinds wrote:
So often I find translators (???) asking questions on Kudoz that they could answer themselves with minimal research in Google or other Net resources. I often wonder why they insist upon being spoon-fed?


So wanting to be *spoon-fed* an answer that you could *quickly* find on Google with no specialist knowledge is something that is clearly an act of laziness if nothing else.

But at the other end of the spectrum, there could be a case where it might take you 30 minutes to research a term whereas somebody who happens to be familiar with it could share their experience in the space of 1 minute in exchange for some points that will boost their ranking. (You can argue about whether that's actually worth their time in the end in ProZ's current manifestation, but the *principle* is valid, I think.)

So even where you *could* find an answer with judicious Googling, I don't see anything wrong in principle with saving yourself some time in exchange for rewarding somebody else who has already done that work. But I do agree that in practice, there are instances of laziness and abuse.


 
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