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Entering 'See comment...' in answer box
Thread poster: Tony M

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:30
Member
French to English
+ ...
May 10, 2005

Well, I've looked and looked and can't seem to find a thread about this, so I've dared to add a new topic; if anyone can point me to an earlier thread, please let me know and I'll go away and post there.

I often find myself taken to task for breaking the KudoZ rules, because I often put things like 'See comment...' or 'See explanation...' in the KudoZ answer box, and I freely admit I am probably one of the worst offenders in this respect. But people in the community will know that my 'answers' often involve lengthy and detailed explanations, not necessarily easy to summarize simplisticly into a single term.

I don't honestly see where the problem lies, except in the fact that the 'rules' simply fail to follow the logic of the situation. WHY shouldn't one put 'See comment' etc. (lame though that is!) in the 'answer' box? I mean, no-one is going to be stupid enough to accept an answer and then leave that as a glossary entry -- are they? Surely the very fact that an answer HAS to be edited means that it will make people think more carefully about how they word a glossary entry. I really don't understand where the problem lies. Fair enough, if there IS a term one can extract from an answer, one should try to do so --- I couldn't agree more. But in my own case, I often answer early with an explanatory comment, and perhaps only later come back after a bit of research with a possible term; but of course it isn't possible to go back and edit ones original header. I occasionally cut-and-paste into a fresh answer (and hide the first), but can't do that if people have already commented. But in so many cases, there simply ISN'T a term --- and this is particularly the case where the request is for 'help with sentence'.

No, I'm sorry, call me an anarchist if you like, but I really don't understand what the problem is, and I'm not going to stick to a rule that appears to me frankly silly and unworkable; if I can't answer in a way that seems appropriate to the question, then I shall simply give up answering at all. I am NOT prepared to stick my neck out for being shot down in flames by some of the people who don't bother to read the body of an answer, just by "putting something in the box" that is a long way from telling the whole story.

Can anyone explain why it should be such a serious crime against language to enter a header that is appropriate to ones answer? At worst, I'd have thought it might tend simply to disadvantage me as an answerer, inasmuch as it might (and often does!) render me less likely to "get the points" -- as if I gave a stuff!

I really think there are a lot more serious crimes to worry about, like careless Askers wasting people's time with wrong language pairs / duplicated questions / wrong fields / context that has to be prized out of them like a winkle from a shell.

I'd like to see a lot more courtesy, respect and thoughtfulness from Askers before you start taking to task those poor answerers who are only trying to do their best to help...

Dusty

[Edited at 2005-05-10 08:13]


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 12:30
Member (2005)
English to Russian
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Agree again May 10, 2005

Lately, I find myself entering replies so simple that they start to make me look like a dimwit!

But anyway, I agree with the sentiment and the argument presented above. If that's what it amounts to, here it is.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:30
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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Agree - and why must there be a comment? May 10, 2005

I agree that there are cases in which "see comment" is appropriate and should not be banned. It is not a very effective rule in any case, as people get round it by putting the equivalent in some other language (certainly in the Russian-English pair anyway) and I have never seen any harm in this.

And conversely, why a rule that a comment must be made? Sometimes a request for one word or a short term only needs the equivalent word or term without explanation. Again, this is got around by just entering an asterisk, a hash mark or something else, and again, I see no harm in this.

[Edited at 2005-05-10 08:31]


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:30
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
see below ;-) May 10, 2005

Dusty wrote:
I mean, no-one is going to be stupid enough to accept an answer and then leave that as a glossary entry -- are they? Dusty


The answer, Dusty, is that many have and many will. Do a simple Kudoz search in any language pair and enter "see below", "see comment", etc. in any major language and you'll be inundated with a plethora of "see below" glossary entries. This rule was written to stop this from happening.

Question to you: why is it so difficult to write the answer in the answer field? Since most questions are within the 10-word limit, why would writing the corresponding answer in the answer field pose such a problem? Even if there were no 1:1 ratio between question and answer, I still see no difficulty in writing only the answer. Your long answers can remain in the body of the answer...

I don't think it's too much to ask.

M


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:30
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Simple answer: KudoZ is not a chat list May 10, 2005

Dear Dusty,

Even though one wants/needs a lengthy explananation one could always distill something out of a sentence of (as you know max.) 10 words.
Simply pick the central/most difficult word in the phrase and change it in the source language and then present your translation in th answer box. Thus your answer could go into the KOG (Kudoz Open Glossary) without having to be 'distilled' by someone else.
By this selection one often helps other answerers by providing the centerpiece of the linguistic problem at hand.

If it is only one word in the question there is no ground for using 'See below', See comment' etc.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:30
French to English
You anarchist May 10, 2005

Dusty wrote:

No, I'm sorry, call me an anarchist if you like, but I really don't understand what the problem is, and I'm not going to stick to a rule that appears to me frankly silly and unworkable; if I can't answer in a way that seems appropriate to the question, then I shall simply give up answering at all.

I'd like to see a lot more courtesy, respect and thoughtfulness from Askers before you start taking to task those poor answerers who are only trying to do their best to help...

Dusty

[Edited at 2005-05-10 08:13]


And I'm with you all the way, speaking as someone else who likes to explain what the various options are, rather than posting an answer and no justification/explanation.

If there's gonna be rules against anything, it ought to be against people putting "." or "**" or ":-)" in the explanation field.


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Agree with Mats May 10, 2005

Mats Wiman wrote:

Dear Dusty,

Even though one wants/needs a lengthy explananation one could always distill something out of a sentence of (as you know max.) 10 words.
Simply pick the central/most difficult word in the phrase and change it in the source language and then present your translation in th answer box. Thus your answer could go into the KOG (Kudoz Open Glossary) without having to be 'distilled' by someone else.
By this selection one often helps other answerers by providing the centerpiece of the linguistic problem at hand.

If it is only one word in the question there is no ground for using 'See below', See comment' etc.



Enter some kind of a real answer, and then explain away in the space provided for that. See below (or v.s. as they often use on the Italian site ) is pointless. Just like when Asker enter "see sentence".
Get to the point and then explain your thoughts about it. See below is just an announcement and doesn't belong in an answer box.


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xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 11:30
French to English
+ ...
on the fence May 10, 2005

I'm on the fence on this one - I agree "see below" is a cop out but I have used it myself. Why? Simply because I had previously given telescoped answers in the lead box for lack of space only to explain in detail in the bigger box and to be castigated by my "peers" in relation to the shorthand version of my explanation (doubtless because the people concerned either hadn't read the rest or were too dim-witted to understand what was going on). I came to the conclusion that I was perhaps creating confusion and therefore adopted the cop-out. If people won't react intelligently, what are we supposed to do?

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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 15:00
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Don't stop, Dusty! May 10, 2005

Don't get piqued and give up answering questions altogether. Your lengthy, descriptive answers make a jolly good read and are quite insightful into the world of words. Even though many askers might not have benefitted from your remarks (their bad luck) there are others like me who enjoy them and find them educative too.

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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:30
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Lack of answers makes searching difficult... May 10, 2005

The lack of a proper term in the field is quite annoying when the "See below" is accepted as the best answer. Then when someone searches for the source term, he or she gets a list of "see below"s instead of a list of answers. Even to get idea what was the answer the person doing the search has to open each answer.

To set the record straight, I also use that technique sometimes. But it is mostly for questions which are of a literary or lingustic nature, where there is no single "right" answer. However, whenever I feel that there is a corresponding term, I put it in the box.

Lack of examples and references is much worse, I agree. In the English-Polish pair it has gotten worse, lately. There are people who consistently give the answers (to expert terms!) with only "IMHO" for the comment; and the confidence is always four, no matter whether it is based on extensive research or just pure guessing. In such cases the Asker has no way to judge the quality of the answer and has to search for the references to the answer, which makes KudoZ much less helpful.


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 11:30
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
It's just not cricket May 10, 2005

Mats Wiman wrote:

Dear Dusty,

Even though one wants/needs a lengthy explananation Simply pick the central/most difficult word in the phrase and change it in the source language and then present your translation in th answer box. Thus your answer could go into the KOG (Kudoz Open Glossary) without having to be 'distilled' by someone else.
By this selection one often helps other answerers by providing the centerpiece of the linguistic problem at hand.

If it is only one word in the question there is no ground for using 'See below', See comment' etc.



I must admit to being very surprised at some of the reactions to Dusty's post.

OK Mats,

Can you sum up in three words the following three words?

"Silly mid off" ?

I doubt it.

Regards,
Andy


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:30
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
A couple of examples... May 10, 2005

Dusty wrote:
I don't honestly see where the problem lies, except in the fact that the 'rules' simply fail to follow the logic of the situation. WHY shouldn't one put 'See comment' etc. (lame though that is!) in the 'answer' box? I mean, no-one is going to be stupid enough to accept an answer and then leave that as a glossary entry -- are they?


Hi Dusty,
Oh, how wrong you are saying this... You can't even imagine how much work the moderators have to do correcting lots of stupid glossary entries! I keep some examples, and I can show them to you; the examples are from the EN>RU pair (which I moderate) but the right part of the glossary entry ("ñì.íèæå" - you should change the encoding to Win1251 to see it properly) is the exact Russian term for "see below":

Here is one example:
http://www.proz.com/kudoz/446412
Phrase: "It is therefore unless"
Translation: "See below"

And this one is even better:
http://www.proz.com/kudoz/446457
The asker needed a translation of the phrase "experience with international competitive tendering/bidding & bidding assistance" but he entered something like "I need a nice translation" into the question line. The asker entered "see below" into the answer line, and this answer was accepted. And what has been entered into the glossary?
Phrase: "I need a nice translation"
Translation: "see below".
A super-useful entry, isn't it?

And there are many many more examples of this kind

Of course, you are right: sometimes it is very difficult to formulate an answer; sometimes it is hard to give an exact equivalent, and long explanations are necessary. But in case there IS a possibility of giving an exact and concise answer in the answer line, we should avoid entering there all kinds of "see below", "==>", "***" etc.



[Edited at 2005-05-10 11:36]


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 15:00
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Make the title editable May 10, 2005

One solution to Dusty's problem would be to make the title of the answer editable by the answerer(and also the answer text. It beats me why the text of the answer cannot be edited by the answerer, we can do that for the forum entries, why not for the kudoz entries?). As Dusty has explained, his method of answering is to come up with a quick off-the-cuff remark and then to substantiate this later with more research and examples. Now when things are done this way, the title that one gives when taking the first shot may cease to remain appropriate by the time the answerer has finished, but as of now there is no way of changing the title.

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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 12:30
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
I'm with you, Dusty :) May 10, 2005

1) It's not answerers' fault that someone enters a total nonsense into glossaries. In most cases askers do this. So why punish innocent answerers who were trying to help?

2) More than a half of peers read no further than the headlines of answers given. You may provide a hundred of possible (and very good!) translations in the body of your answer, but if there is a little drawback in the heading -- no doubts, you'll still get neutrals or disagrees from some peers. Again, this is something about peers' responsibility. Often people (including askers) just do not read other answerers' explanations.

3) We have to see _who_ specifically entered this or that stupid entry into the glossaries. Right now, the information is not clearly visible. If a person regularly enters senseless glossaries entries like " - > - " (s)he must be punished -- but, again, not answerers.

4) Some kudoZ questions are about *terms* but others are about *explanations*. We can do nothing about it, both types of questions are related to the translation art -- so sometimes there is nothing better to write in the heading of your answer than `see explanation' or `see below'.

5) See 1)!


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:30
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
There must be misunderstandings around May 10, 2005

andycw wrote:
OK Mats,

Can you sum up in three words the following three words?

"Silly mid off" ?

I doubt it.

Regards,
Andy


Don't doubt. I can't. Of course not. No need. I would translate it and then I would write the necessary explanations in the explanation box.
This is the general idea as you can deduct from most answers and it also the rule set out from 1999 onwards.

Mats


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