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Why answer Kudoz questions? Or why not?
Thread poster: Marinus Vesseur

Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:35
English to Dutch
+ ...
May 22, 2005

Dear colleagues!
In a German thread the question popped up whether it's worthwhile to answer certain Kudoz questions; one could possibly be damaging one's own business interests. In this connection I started wondering 'what is the motivation to participate in Kudoz?'
My observation is that in comparison with the amount of ProZ members there are not many who participate in answering (and some have stopped). If that is so, it would be good to know what the incentives of active 'Kudists' are and at the same time why certain members do not participate. This way one could motive non-participants to (renewed) participation with the right arguments or possbily suggest adaptations to the system that would invite more participation.
I'm curious about your reactions.


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Ines Garcia Botana  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:35
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
No participation May 22, 2005

I have also realised that most ProZ.com members do not participate here. I would like to know why some members do not participate. It caught my attention, too.

Any answer?

Inés

a question: moderators are not allowed to provide Kudoz answers?

[Edited at 2005-05-22 17:27]


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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 21:35
German to Romanian
+ ...
:) May 22, 2005

Ines Garcia Botana wrote:

a question: moderators are not allowed to provide Kudoz answers?

[Edited at 2005-05-22 17:27]


they have the same right to answer KudoZ questions as any other members. Maybe they just don't have anymore time to do it, being involved in other issues.


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Surtees
Spanish to English
+ ...
Quid pro quo May 22, 2005

My basic attitude to answering Kudoz questions is:

-I sometimes ask questions therefore I feel I should also make the effort to answer as and when I can.

- I answer questions when time constraints permit and I feel I really have something to contribute.

- I don't answer questions if I feel the asker is abusing the system (i.e. terms that can easily be found in any decent dictionary, serial askers, etc.)


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:35
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Outsourcers like to see evidence May 22, 2005

A point made strongly at the ProZ Oxford conference last year was that many outsourcers (translation agencies, companies etc) do not advertise their jobs on ProZ - but they do search the ProZ Directory of Freelance Translators and Interpreters. Some go further and look at KudoZ translation questions because sometimes they can get a better impression of a particular translator's capabilities, accuracy and even writing style. For them, all useful evidence when selecting a translator for a job.

Another reason for answering KudoZ questions is that other people are more likely to help you when you yourself have an urgent query.

In short, people who do not answer KudoZ questions are depriving themselves of these two important advantages. In some ways, I hope they read this answer, realise what they are missing, and join in - the more the merrier. But in other ways I hope they stick to their purblind ways; some of them might be potential competitors. In short, we have what is sometimes called "co-opetition".


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:35
Dutch to English
+ ...
Various reasons May 22, 2005

Ines Garcia Botana wrote:


a question: moderators are not allowed to provide Kudoz answers?

[Edited at 2005-05-22 17:27]


Moderators are allowed to answer KudoZ questions.

I have been answering a handful of questions the last months while previously I used to answer a couple a day. My main reason is that I object to answers that are not backed up with references but with just statements such as 'experience'. I also find that there is a lack of team spirit and working for the common good (i.e. the glossaries). I also object to the point system (without the competitive angle, the answers supplied would be better).

On a more general note, I don't like the way the site is going because of the emphasis on payment and more and more rules. I started participating 5 years ago and found the system then a much more open and friendlier system. Now it seems to have become one more of the many similar sites that tries to offer a (semi-)professional service.


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xxx------
German to Spanish
+ ...
Because I love languages May 22, 2005

I answer kudoz questions because:
- I can.
- I have fun answering.
- I love point grabbing.
- I like competition.
- It is positive for my translation skills.
- I don't like TV.
So basically my motivation is egoistical.
Helping other people makes me seem a generous person and that is also excellent for my ego.
Cheers
Janfri


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:35
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
To put it in simple words May 22, 2005

It is learning by doing for me.
Although I don't answer as much questions, as I did before.
It was allready told here, so I don't want to repat it too long - I don't answer questions, where I know the asker is a translator himself and should be able to find the answer alone.
The other reason are KudoZ - as Peter Linton said.

Regards
Jerzy


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xxxTadzio
English to Spanish
I completely agree with Surtees...! May 22, 2005

Surtees wrote:

My basic attitude to answering Kudoz questions is:
-I sometimes ask questions therefore I feel I should also make the effort to answer as and when I can.
- I answer questions when time constraints permit and I feel I really have something to contribute.
- I don't answer questions if I feel the asker is abusing the system (i.e. terms that can easily be found in any decent dictionary, serial askers, etc.)



RIGHT!! ¡Respuesta totalmente acertada! Whatever it is otherwise...!
Regards from Mexico.
Tadzio.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
as a former active participant .... May 22, 2005

I answer less now, becuase, not necessarily in this order:

1. I have less time
2. the site is more competitive - some people seem not to mind being on standby/interrupted to answer questions, and they get there in seconds
3. more in-fighting (as Marijke pointed out, it WAS nicer before)
4. very literal answers or wrong answers or answers with 'that's it' as 'supporting evidence' are often accepted, so you wonder why one should bother wasting one's time carefully researching an answer and heading off to look for evidence, also the 'agrees' often are in favour of wrong answers

[Edited at 2005-05-22 18:41]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
questions or answers May 22, 2005

[quote]Peter Linton wrote:

Outsourcers ... go further and look at KudoZ translation questions because sometimes they can get a better impression of a particular translator's capabilities, accuracy and even writing style. For them, all useful evidence when selecting a translator for a job.

quote]

Peter do you mean the questions people ASK or the ANSWERS they give?

I personally think 'questions' reveal as much about 'approach' as 'answers' do.

Imagine viewring a profile and seeing how someone always asked 'dictionary' questions. One could conclude lack of knowledge +/- lack of dictionaries +/- lack of WWW research resourcefulness +/- laziness!

On the other hand, observing how some people always give dictionary answers (which irritate me, becuase as I like to point out occasionally, I DO have the necessary tools of my trade), one could conclude that they will be very literal translators, rarely question much, don't investigate ambiguities, etc!

I don't see how an answer in Proz will be representative of writing skills. I write in a slightly dyslexic way when 'among friends' just as I don't speak formally with friends, but that doesn't mean I do the same when my living depends on it. As a translator, I'm a painstaking spell checker:-)

[Edited at 2005-05-22 18:41]


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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 21:35
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
do ut des... May 22, 2005

[quote]Ailish Maher wrote:

Peter Linton wrote:

Outsourcers ... go further and look at KudoZ translation questions because sometimes they can get a better impression of a particular translator's capabilities, accuracy and even writing style. For them, all useful evidence when selecting a translator for a job.

quote]

Peter do you mean the questions people ASK or the ANSWERS they give?

I personally think 'questions' reveal as much about 'approach' as 'answers' do.

Imagine viewring a profile and seeing how someone always asked 'dictionary' questions. One could conclude lack of knowledge +/- lack of dictionaries +/- lack of WWW research resourcefulness +/- laziness!

On the other hand, observing how some people always give dictionary answers (which irritate me, becuase as I like to point out occasionally, I DO have the necessary tools of my trade), one could conclude that they will be very literal translators, rarely question much, don't investigate ambiguities, etc!

I don't see how an answer in Proz will be representative of writing skills. I write in a slightly dyslexic way when 'among friends' just as I don't speak formally with friends, but that doesn't mean I do the same when my living depends on it. As a translator, I'm a painstaking spell checker:-)

[Edited at 2005-05-22 18:41]
...that's the question!


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giogi
Local time: 20:35
Well... May 22, 2005

I don't think it's possible any "objective" answer...Anybody does or does not answers for different and personal reasons. I can only give mine.
I answer when I'm not too busy, when questions are "real" questions (not just a sign o laziness), when a question can bring about a challenging opportunity for opinion exchanges and improvement for all the parties involved.
That's all!
Giovanna


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:35
Italian to English
I was surprised May 22, 2005

Following Peter's point about the Oxford Conference, it would have been easy to take Henry's impassioned arguments about the benefits of KudoZ as pure propaganda.
I have taken part in answering questions for the past two and a half years, largely for fun, partly as a process of self education, partly as a way of sharing an interest with fellow freelancers and partly for the challenge.
However, finding myself in the top ten points earners in my language pair and top (in some subjects) in my country of residence, I have been surprised just how accurate Henry was about the benefits for attracting new clients.
The glossary is also one of my most valued resources (though I wish it was easier to use).


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xxx------
German to Spanish
+ ...
True May 22, 2005

[quote]Peter Linton wrote:

A point made strongly at the ProZ Oxford conference last year was that many outsourcers (translation agencies, companies etc) do not advertise their jobs on ProZ - but they do search the ProZ Directory of Freelance Translators and Interpreters. Some go further and look at KudoZ translation questions because sometimes they can get a better impression of a particular translator's capabilities, accuracy and even writing style. For them, all useful evidence when selecting a translator for a job.




True. I knew proz when I was working for a quite important german translation agency. The agency had a database with about 3000 translators, many of them found at proz, although it received about 30 collaboration offers from freelance translators a day. But as it is so easy to lie in a cv and very many people actually do it, the Kudoz system seems to be a much more reliable and objective indicator.


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