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Is it worth answering?
Thread poster: viking modena

viking modena  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:25
Member (2012)
Swedish to Italian
+ ...
May 6, 2015

I have not yet had any chance to post a question, maybe because I have not needed it thanks to my experience, contact network and searching methods.

But I have helped colleagues and answered questions in the past. Sometimes really difficult matters, other times questions with "given answer", such as a "normal" abbreviation or things you can sort out if you simply open a printed dictionnary.
Some times I got points for it, most of the times not, because people either didn't close their questions or awarded points to somebody else for "similar" answers.
Therefore, I now always and only answer questions that nobody else yet has answered...

But is it worth answering? And, in particular, is it worth answering questions from a poster who markets him/herself as "I offer cheap, fast and accurate translations" and then posts some 10 questions a day and may ask what "eg." stands for?
If I were a customer and saw such a question, I would never give my jobs to him/her, because it's - at least - a proof of his/her superficial knowledge of the source language.

I also feel that answering to such questions is like "cutting the branch I sit on". So far, I've not seen so big "rewarding" for all the questions I've answered and points awarded.

Nice to see what you think of this.


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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:25
Danish to English
+ ...
No May 6, 2015

Once I get the impression that a Kudoz asker is not bothering to do their own research, I routinely filter such askers so that I don't even have to look at their questions.

I enjoy answering Kudoz questions from peers, especially non-Danish people who try to figure out the subtleties in my native language, but I have no time for people who just abuse the system and waste other translators' time. And that is regardless of whether they are newbies or experienced translators.


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's not about points May 6, 2015

Seek no reward; it's not about points.

Drop abusers; if someone posts 10 questions a day, walk away.

Help others.

The reality is that those who are busy doing work, unfortunately have no time to answer every single question asked. Do it occasionally and think less about it.

I know it sound unpopular, but probably we cannot change the world.


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viking modena  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:25
Member (2012)
Swedish to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
We can change the world! May 6, 2015

Thanks for both feedback.

I agree with you both. I do filter posters, the same way I do filter potential customers (= an agency seeking after new translators for the same combination every second month = either they do not pay or they pay too little).
If it could done automatically, it would be better and less time-consuming.

On the other hand, moral rewards are good, but do not feed yourself nor pay the bills.

And I don't want to accept everything passively. We can do our choices and walk away, but as we are paying members of a system that pushes you further up in searches (they say, at least) if you do a certain action, there ought to be some way to get rid of abuse, maybe simply by boycot.

You cannot stop the world from moving, but you can work so that it moves in the "right" direction or at least doesn't make too many wrong steps.

An example. 10 years ago, nobody would accept that 100% or CM matches were non paid. Now, most of the people do it for free or accept very low fee for it (else, our customers wouldn't complain all the time because we want to get paid for that). If we all had stood for our rights against such a development (simply by saying: if you don't want to pay for CM, do not send them for translation!), there wouldn't be such an argument.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Probably not May 6, 2015

Sadly, in my own ES-EN pair, there are currently so many non-native market-busting "translators" guilty of this kind of thing lately that I find I have to refrain from helping them out. It goes against my nature, because I am usually willing to help almost anyone, but as time goes on and the kudoz queries posted increasingly illustrate the galloping ignorance of the askers, I have become reluctant even to post an “agree” to colleagues who seem to have no qualms assisting them. In fact, I’ve just come from the kudoz section, where I had to bite my lip yet again.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree May 6, 2015

viking modena wrote:

I also feel that answering to such questions is like "cutting the branch I sit on". So far, I've not seen so big "rewarding" for all the questions I've answered and points awarded.

Nice to see what you think of this.


My concern is mainly with non-native interlopers, but there are also some native speakers whose level of knowledge of their own language seems disappointingly low. From now on, I intend to only offer help when I think the asker truly merits it, rather than acting as a sort of free dictionary or compendium of knowledge for lazy grifters.

In fact, I have recently found myself wishing for some sort of way to indicate my discomfort on this issue. Perhaps some sort of button to click to signify "Not Helping/Dodgy Asker"... or similar.


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mariealpilles  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:25
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
worth answering Kudoz? May 6, 2015

I agree with what you wrote. I tend to think that people are so desperate for work that they accept anything in any language - especially unprofessional people - and then instead of doing research (but then, can they with such low levels?) they post Kudoz questions? The questions are usually so easy to answer that I refuse to waste my time on people who Pocket money with other people's work, or very poorly translated work done by themselves in an amateurish way.

The client is also responsible of such situations; they want to pay peanuts, so they get what they are paying for. At the end of the day if quality is not an issue for the client, why should it be for us, professionals? It is a pity and just waiting for some catastrophe to take place with an order or something like that for them to realise....


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Do it for your own sake May 6, 2015

I don't answer as many questions as I used to, but I still do it when I can. I ask more, and I am truly grateful to the colleagues who help!

You will get yourself noticed with good answers and explanations, even if you don't win the points. You will have some 'credit in the bank' when you need to ask questions yourself.

I have been told off for calling KudoZ a game, but regard it as your practice, or your limbeirng up exercises. If you do well, then fine. If you can't find the answer either, then it shows a point where you might want to read up. Alternatively you might want to decide that particular subject area is 'beyond your scope' or 'outside your specialisation'.

KudoZ is a way of getting to know yourself and your profession where there is nothing to lose. It is not your problem - yet. When you are faced with the same problem in your own work, you can check the glossary, or you may be able to remember the answer.

When I still used hard-copy dictionaries, I sometimes added terms to them from Kudoz! Now I enter a few in Multiterm, with the name of the contributor as a note, and I always smile when I see them. I collect terms in my personal glossary, and not all of them are from KudoZ - I found some of them before I got as far as asking.

We still need people who take KudoZ seriously, and there is still plenty of wheat among the chaff. However, if you don't enjoy it, then it is probably not worth it. There are so many other ways of finding terminology now, far more than ten years ago when we were all avid point grabbers!


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:25
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Agreed, we need a "This user asks too many questions" button May 6, 2015

neilmac wrote:
In fact, I have recently found myself wishing for some sort of way to indicate my discomfort on this issue. Perhaps some sort of button to click to signify "Not Helping/Dodgy Asker"... or similar.

The number of questions asked by some people in my pair is well into four (4!) figures, yet they are in theory competitors to me. Asking a question every few months, or even one a month, would be acceptable. But dozens of questions per month? Not what KudoZ is for.

Does ProZ police this or show any interest in policing it? No. It would be simple to do so: impose a cap on the number of questions that can be asked in a month.

KudoZ should, in my opinion, be a last resort, not a first resort. If you regularly need to use KudoZ then you're tackling texts that are above your competence and don't deserve to have the project.

Regards
Dan


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:25
English
+ ...
Pretty much with Neil. May 6, 2015

I've recently lost interest in Kudoz all together. So many of the questions could be answered by simple googling or a dictionary, or should never really need to be asked at all by anyone conversant in the language they are asking about. I've come to feel I'm not really helping anyone in need, which I am quite ready to do, but just enabling someone who really should not be translating professionally or for money.


neilmac wrote:

It goes against my nature, because I am usually willing to help almost anyone, but as time goes on and the kudoz queries posted increasingly illustrate the galloping ignorance of the askers, I have become reluctant even to post an “agree” to colleagues who seem to have no qualms assisting them. In fact, I’ve just come from the kudoz section, where I had to bite my lip yet again.



....I ....offer help when I think the asker truly merits it, rather than acting as a sort of free dictionary or compendium of knowledge for lazy grifters.

In fact, I have recently found myself wishing for some sort of way to indicate my discomfort on this issue. Perhaps some sort of button to click to signify "Not Helping/Dodgy Asker"... or similar.


[Edited at 2015-05-06 10:32 GMT]


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:25
Member (2004)
English to Italian
I once suggested... May 6, 2015

to introduce a ranking for the serial askers... like there is one for the top answerers... somehow, my suggestion was never picked-up by the site...

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DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 10:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Also with Neil on this. May 6, 2015

There are far too many people who are not prepared to do minimal research and whose command of their source language seems very limited. Many of them have even less understanding of the subject area in which they are working and these can be high-consequence areas such as Medicine, Nuclear ...

Is there a moral responsibility to not help such people?


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
I am happy to help (if I can) when May 6, 2015

the question asked is by a pro translator who is clearly doing their own work into what is honestly their native language from a source language and field they actually know and have hit a difficult term they need help with. Sadly this sort of question and/or asker is now very rarely seen on Kudoz.
By helping lazy, incompetent and unprofessional members of the site, one is basically keep afloat those who would otherwise sink. And we are helping them take work from people who can really do the translation. Imo it's tantamount to shooting oneself in the foot.
Paying members of the site are entitled and most welcome to post up to 15 questions a day (more can be requested) and this allows people who aren't even remotely translators (in real life) to take on jobs that they then post a bit at a time until the entire translation has been provided.
I realise the chronic glory-seeking pointz chasers will never find any question too simple to answer, as long as it's tagged as "pro". But all this has turned Kudoz into a laughable shambles of its former self.
Also, let's not forget that to turn oneself into a pro translator, the only real requirement is to sign up on Proz. It's not even necessary to create a profile (honest or purely fictitious) or list any info whatsoever. It actually seems that the 100% empty profile page is even gaining in popularity. Fake name or real name, then a blank page. And then the march to Kudoz.....


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:25
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Your average: 8 answers per year with a 75% acceptance rate May 6, 2015

viking modena wrote:

So far, I've not seen so big "rewarding" for all the questions I've answered and points awarded.

Nice to see what you think of this.


Hi Viking,

according to your profile you answered 28 questions in 3 years and a half, which is not enough to realize the benefits of your contribution.

viking modena wrote:

Some times I got points for it, most of the times not, because people either didn't close their questions or awarded points to somebody else for "similar" answers.
Therefore, I now always and only answer questions that nobody else yet has answered...



In addition, you were awarded points for 21 out of 28 answers, which means that your answers were chosen 75% of the times.

In light of the above, I don't fully understand the reason for your complaints...

Ciao!


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:25
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Me too with Neil May 6, 2015

I sometimes have to curb my innate tendency to want to help people, and my fondness for quizzes of all kinds (from pub quiz nights to answering kudoz questions), by not answering **although I know the answer** and marking the question as "non-Pro".

[Edited at 2015-05-06 15:21 GMT]


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