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Suggestion: make KudoZ answers anonymous to non-moderators
Thread poster: Luiza Kipper

Luiza Kipper  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
Member
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Mar 10, 2015

I am starting to suspect that certain users are biased in that they tend to always agree with whoever agrees with them, regardless of the quality of the answer.

Now, I understand that this is expected to happen in a competitive system that is so open about who is posting the answers - but I do think this is very damaging to the quality of the glossaries.

I am avoiding to give thanks when users agree with my answer. I realize that they are not agreeing with ME, but rather with the answer I provided. Some users write things like "Thanks, friend!" when someone agrees with them and I think this is highly indicative of biased behavior, not politeness.

A simple solution to avoid bias, which is extremely damaging to the reliability of the KudoZ glossaries, would be to make KudoZ answers anonymous, at least before the best answer is chosen.

It's not about WHO answered, it's about THE ANSWER alone.

Thanks for the space to manifest my opinion.


 

Agneta Pallinder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:07
Member (2014)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Pity to lose the friendly interactions on KudoZ Mar 10, 2015

I would really miss the recognition factor of the names on KudoZ. My language pair is Swedish and English, so a relatively small group perhaps, and a friendly and fair atmosphere. I've certainly got the impression that people genuinely try to help each other when they have got stuck. And in a solitary occupation like translation - moreover living like I do in a very isolated rural location - my KudoZ acquaintances are a welcome addition.

 

Carlos A R de Souza  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I must... Mar 10, 2015

Agneta Pallinder wrote:

I would really miss the recognition factor of the names on KudoZ. My language pair is Swedish and English, so a relatively small group perhaps, and a friendly and fair atmosphere. I've certainly got the impression that people genuinely try to help each other when they have got stuck. And in a solitary occupation like translation - moreover living like I do in a very isolated rural location - my KudoZ acquaintances are a welcome addition.


I must agree with Luiza. I think the Kudoz function should be about choosing the most accurate words, not socialization.


 

Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 06:07
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Confidence is important Mar 10, 2015

The KudoZ asker is expected to select the most helpful answer, and the confidence earned by answerers recognized as trusted contributors is important when answers are evaluated. Most KudoZ transactions are honest and professional.
Regards,
Enrique


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Might help Mar 10, 2015

Kudoz over the past couple of years seems to have degenerated into a bit of a nagfest in my pair. Apart from an understandable exasperation at the frequent lack of context provided by askers, I think it may be due to a sort of feeling of resentment about intrusion in the profession by less qualified translators, newbies or non-natives. I can understand this, but I'm not sure if I condone it.

Some of our colleagues seem to be rather too quick to judge queries as non-pro too, but I've already made my opinions on that clear elsewhere.


 

Norskpro
Sweden
Local time: 10:07
Member
English to Norwegian
+ ...
I agree Mar 10, 2015

that the Kudoz function should be about the best terms, but still it is nice to have an idea of who is behind the term. I think Luiza may have a point though. With regard to giving thanks when someone agrees with my answer I agree with Luiza. I do not say thank you, as I feel the people who agree have their opinions regardless of what I may think. It is not about me and anybody's agreement with me, it is about the suggested term. I find it quite odd that people say "thank you" when someone agrees with them, as if the agreeing person is doing them a favor.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:07
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I beg to differ Mar 10, 2015

I pay great attention to who has answered as well as what the answer is. When I ask questions, I am seriously interested in the best term to use in my text. In principle I don't care who suggested it, but in fact I check whether it is a trusted colleague or not.

Some answerers do not work in my language pairs, but sometimes they know the answer anyway. Or instead they may fall for a 'false friend' or not understand the context properly. I need to know who they are to check their suggestions.

From the answerer's point of view, being anonymous would be a disaster.
KudoZ is one of the few ways translators can stand out from the crowd. Potential outsourcers watch KudoZ and can see how they handle a difficult question. Several very good clients have found me that way, and I am not the only one.

If answers were anonymous, I suspect a lot of contributors would stop at once. Maybe I would, maybe not, because I enjoy KudoZ for its own sake, but I also enjoy the glimpses of the people behind it.

The discussions might reveal who people were. They are a valuable part of KudoZ and I like to know whose advice I am listening to before I follow it!
Anyone wanting to cheat could easily arrange a code, so I am afraid it would not even solve the problem you describe.


 

Luiza Kipper  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
Member
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My point is Mar 10, 2015

I strongly disagree that seeing who is posting the answer helps. The proof that it doesn't matter who posts is that a lot of times many experienced and qualified translators post answers that are incorrect. And people like me, with zero degree, have won best answer over people with more years of translation. I don't want to say that formal education doesn't matter, just that it is not everything. I reinforce my opinion that it does not matter WHO, only WHAT.

 

Kitty Maerz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:07
English to German
+ ...
Something to consider Mar 10, 2015

I see the "thank you" a bit different. I don't think it is intended as a thanks for agreeing with an answer as such (as others have pointed out either you agree or you don't) but for taking the trouble to consider the matter and weigh in with one's opinion.

While I do see the possible problems with having names associated with Kudoz answers I also see some advantages. Sometimes it may be difficult to decide which of several answers is most appropriate. In the absence of a large number of posters agreeing/disagreeing with an answer having some background about the person suggesting the answer (experience level, education, etc.) can be helpful.

Let's say a translator is looking for a term in the field of automotive and there are two distinct answers proposed. It can be quite difficult to decide which answer is the better choice (else a dictionary might suffice). It is likely that the answer from someone who has worked for a major car manufacturer and has now specialized in translating for that field is better suited than an answer from someone googling the term and finding some reference.


 

Andrea Jarmuschewski  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:07
Member (2007)
French to German
+ ...
Why not! Mar 10, 2015

Luiza Kipper wrote:

A simple solution to avoid bias, which is extremely damaging to the reliability of the KudoZ glossaries, would be to make KudoZ answers anonymous, at least before the best answer is chosen.



That's actually a very good idea, I think! Up to the asker to check if the suggested solution is indeed accurate in the given context.


 

Luiza Kipper  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
Member
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes Mar 10, 2015

Andrea Jarmuschewski wrote:

Luiza Kipper wrote:

A simple solution to avoid bias, which is extremely damaging to the reliability of the KudoZ glossaries, would be to make KudoZ answers anonymous, at least before the best answer is chosen.



That's actually a very good idea, I think! Up to the asker to check if the suggested solution is indeed accurate in the given context.


Yes. Why not?

The answerer is responsible for providing enough references. It's his/her duty to do that in order to win the KudoZ points. If the answerer hasn't provided enough references, they are not completely deserving of the KudoZ points when doubt arises. The asker has no obligation to award the best answer when there is doubt and lack of references. If the asker is unsure, awarding someone with best answer just because they have years of translation or a degree in something is irresponsible. We always see mistranslations given by experienced translators in KudoZ.


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 17:07
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
I doubt anyone checks the answerer's degree - but they might remember those who give good answers Mar 10, 2015

Luiza Kipper wrote:

The answerer is responsible for providing enough references. It's his/her duty to do that in order to win the KudoZ points. If the answerer hasn't provided enough references, they are not completely deserving of the KudoZ points when doubt arises. The asker has no obligation to award the best answer when there is doubt and lack of references. If the asker is unsure, awarding someone with best answer just because they have years of translation or a degree in something is irresponsible. We always see mistranslations given by experienced translators in KudoZ.

Over time you remember the ones whose answers can be trusted, and the ones who are consistently turd. It works both ways, you see.


 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:07
English to German
+ ...
No Mar 10, 2015

I want to see who is asking the questions, simple because I stopped providing answers to questions that are asked by people who in my are way outside of their specialty/competence. I have no intention in helping them. On the other side, if a respected colleague asks a question, I am prepared to help and spend my time to research a good answer. Time is money and I am not Mother Teresa.

I want to see who answered, because I put a lot of value on the background and experience of the person who answers.

As an outsource I also want to see who asks which questions and who provides which answers. It helps me to select the translators I want to contact for certain jobs. Asking questions is not a bad thing, if you are asking relevant questions it is also a sign that you are a good translator.

And last but not least - Kudoz is NOT about WINNING points.


[Edited at 2015-03-10 20:12 GMT]


 

Luiza Kipper  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
Member
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hummm... Mar 10, 2015

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

I want to see who is asking the questions, simple because I stopped providing answers to questions that are asked by people who in my are way outside of their specialty/competence. I have no intention in helping them. On the other side, if a respected colleague asks a question, I am prepared to help and spend my time to research a good answer. Time is money and I am not Mother Teresa.

I want to see who answered, because I put a lot of value on the background and experience of the person who answers.

As an outsource I also want to see who asks which questions and who provides which answers. It helps me to select the translators I want to contact for certain jobs. Asking questions is not a bad thing, if you are asking relevant questions it is also a sign that you are a good translator.

And last but not least - Kudoz is NOT about WINNING points.


[Edited at 2015-03-10 20:12 GMT]


If KudoZ is not about winning points nor about being "Mother Theresa", then what is it about? Licking your colleagues boots? hehe


 

Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:07
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Extrinsic value of identifying KudoZ participants Mar 10, 2015

We would all be diminished if we didn't know who was participating in KudoZ: I get to know my fellow translators through their KudoZ participation. And have recommended some of them on occasion to clients of mine who needed someone who was expert in a particular field. (And I've had a few jobs myself from my KudoZ acquaintances!)

 
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