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Posting multiple answers
Thread poster: Fiona Grace Peterson

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:39
Member
Italian to English
Mar 17, 2015

I have noticed a growing trend where askers reply to KudoZ giving more than one answer. It does not make for clear glossary entries, makes it difficult to understand which answer the asker went for in the end (which may be helpful or not), and is generally symptomatic of a certain carelessness ("I can't really be bothered to take the extra step of deciding which of these answers is the most appropriate, so I'm just going to throw them all out there") and selfishness ("The more answers I put, the more likely it is at least one will be chosen!!!).

Let's be clear; it's not a problem that has me losing any sleep, before I am criticised of "taking KudoZ too seriously". But if there is a system in place, I think we owe it to ourselves and its users to make it as helpful and efficient as possible.

I would even go one step further and suggest that such "multiple answers" be removed by moderators.

Thoughts, as ever, are appreciated

Edited to add:
I do appreciate that it may be justified in certain circumstances, so a "blanket approach" may not be the way to go. So I would urge discretion, but i do think moderators should have the option of removing such answers, if they're a blatant abuse of the "one answer" philosophy behind the system.

I refer also to rule 3.3 of the KudoZ rules:
"In general, an answerer should submit no more than one answer per question. Occasional exceptions are allowed, but users are not permitted to make a habit of providing multiple answers to single "help" KudoZ questions."

[Edited at 2015-03-17 17:41 GMT]


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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:39
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Where do you draw the line? Mar 17, 2015

Sometimes, a better option is found in the course of discussion and contributions are updated.

Sometimes a comment provides the impetus for an alternative suggestion. If this was in an agree comment, the person providing the comment has already indicated that he merely intends to fine-tune the answer given. Otherwise he would have posted an answer himself.

Some questions are based on creative input, rather than a “precise translation”. Would not the limitation to one answer contradict the purpose of finding the best solution? Should a contributor with a wealth of ideas hold back to give other contributors a chance?

The best option should be entered into the glossary – but does that process differ depending on the number of answers provided by the chosen contributor?


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 23:39
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A guilty party responds! Mar 17, 2015

Yes, I'm one of those who put xxx/xxx/xxx, because I am trying to provide the poster with as many options as possible, either to choose from, or to work upon.

This is the case when we are looking for a satisfactory way to express something (clearly not when we are looking at technical matters).

And I am always nagging people to be careful when making glossary entries: I get the impression that often people don't take the trouble to edit an entry before filling it into the glossary.

And agree with Diana over comments of developing ideas through dialogue after posting.


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 00:39
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Zero or One Answer Mar 17, 2015

I admit that there have been rare instances I have provided two answers instead of just one. However, this was way long ago (at least several years or more). At that time, I was not very familiar with KudoZ. But now I provide either one answer or zero answers, period.

I believe it is very easy to reprogram KudoZ such that the maximum answers one can provide is just one. However, there is another scenario. Suppose I provided just one answer. After a couple of days or so, it just clicked, and I remembered a "better" answer. How do we deal with that?


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
One can always add comments, suggestions to the Mar 17, 2015

answer already posted.
Of course the answer then goes to the bottom of the page. Those more interested in Kudoz pointz than being helpful certainly won't want that to happen. So rather than hide an answer they suddenly decide isn't ok, they post a second, third... I find it annoying when they change their minds after seeing the actual context. This gives the impression that rushing in with an answer is more important than actually waiting to find out what it's all about.
I agree with you Fiona, but as you say, it's not something to lose sleep over. And Kudoz today simply is no longer what it was 10 years ago. It has to be taken with a bigger grain of salt than ever, imo.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
No limits Mar 17, 2015

I tend to take a broader view of the kudoz section. Normally, I try to offer as many suggestions as possible within each response, as what is correct or ideal in one context may be different in another. I also tend not to enter terms in the glossary unless I am pretty sure they are definitive - I've seen terms entered that were woefully inappropriate.

In general, as I see it the fewer limitations we have there in terms of discussing and comparing options, the better.


[Edited at 2015-03-17 18:39 GMT]


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:39
Member (2012)
French to English
From the asker's point of view Mar 17, 2015

I don't mind if someone gives me two suggestions "for the price of one" - the more the better, really.

Still, as with everything, you can't please everyone. There is always someone ready to suspect ulterior motives.


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DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 22:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Occasionally Mar 17, 2015

And even that's no guarantee that the Glossary entry doesn't end up as rubbish.

http://www.proz.com/kudoz/german_to_english/mathematics_statistics/5785394-halbschriftlich.html


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Kalyanasundar subramaniam
India
Local time: 03:09
Tamil to English
+ ...
multiple answes Mar 17, 2015

In a language like Tamil a word may h.ave different meanings in different c.ontexts. So multiple answers are likely

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 05:39
Chinese to English
I rather disagree with this Mar 18, 2015

There is often not one correct answer to any translation question, so it seems a bit harsh to insist on limiting answerers to one guess. Despite the points, I don't think of Kudoz as a competition, so I'm just trying to be as helpful as possible, and often that involves multiple possibilities.

Case in point: often people will post well-known phrases or sayings, asking for suggestions. Things like "two wrongs don't make a right". Obviously there isn't (generally) going to be a single answer. There will be many ways you can tackle the translation: more or less poetic, more or less literal, pragmatically equivalent, etc., etc. In my answers, I try to give a little explanation of what I'm trying to do with each version I offer, and the kind of context/translation it would work in.

And sometimes a poster doesn't or can't give enough context to make it clear what the term means. Sometimes the "correct" answer is that it's ambiguous, so two versions should be offered.

I have no truck with the glossary at all. Never used it, don't intend to. All of the original question pages are archived, and there's no way I'd trust a glossary entry without going back to look at the page to see what the context was and why the asker chose that term. I don't see the point of the reduced information that the glossary gives in our new, high-information world!


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Georgie Scott  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:39
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Agree with the answers above Mar 18, 2015

Maybe it's down to the fields I work in but whenever I look up a term I almost always end up looking at all the answers anyway.

Kudoz is far from being a dictionary, sometimes the "answers" are pretty sketchy - whether they contain one term or many.

Thinking about the last question I posted on Kudoz too (might be the only one) - a French word describing a quality of a wine - a limit on the number of terms provided would have been extremely counterproductive.

Even 'GMS' - a fairly specific term for a branch of retail referring to 'hypermarkets and supermarkets' benefited from multiple answers.

[Edited at 2015-03-18 07:52 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Too few details Mar 18, 2015

Phil Hand wrote:

I have no truck with the glossary at all. Never used it, don't intend to. All of the original question pages are archived, and there's no way I'd trust a glossary entry without going back to look at the page to see what the context was and why the asker chose that term. I don't see the point of the reduced information that the glossary gives in our new, high-information world!


Total agreement here. I get quite frustrated when I can't check back and see the kudoz discussion that accompanied the glossary terms entered.

PS: I currently have a query posted concerning a term which is variously translated as consignment note/delivery note/dispatch advice/shipping notice/waybill... etc, depending on where you look. In this case I am not really looking for one definitive answer, but to see how many options (and opinions) our colleagues can come up with, so that I can add them to my arsenal of synonyms for future reference.

[Edited at 2015-03-18 17:14 GMT]


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
I don't see the problem Mar 18, 2015

If you look up a word in a dictionary, it will often give several alternative translations. Surely the more the better, as long as they're correct? I often post as many as possible, partly because people have a habit of posting synonyms to others' answers.

[Edited at 2015-03-18 08:57 GMT]


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 23:39
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Alternatives stimulated by previous comments Mar 18, 2015

philgoddard wrote:

If you look up a word in a dictionary, it will often give several alternative translations. Surely the more the better, as long as they're correct? I often post as many as possible, partly because people have a habit of posting synonyms to others' answers.

[Edited at 2015-03-18 08:57 GMT]


Or adding alternatives in their "agrees" - meaning it's all the more important to read through the original Kudoz discussion and not just look at the Glossary.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:39
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
With the majority here Mar 18, 2015

In instances where more than one translation seems to me to work equally well, I will provide multiple options within the answer field. It might be appropriate for all of these to be included (separated by slashes) in the glossary entry. The asker has first dibs on that decision, and can make that call. If he/she does not, then I (i.e., if my response is chosen) can decide.

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