PRO classification as applied to monolingual questions
Thread poster: Mikhail Kropotov

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:03
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Jun 2, 2005

I have spotted an issue I'd like to raise before those members of our community who contribute to the monolingual section(s) of Kudoz.

The current PRO VS non-PRO definition invokes the "easy for any bilingual" VS "requires a pro translator's help" contrast. Immediately we see an inconsistency or, rather, a lack of applicability of this principle to KudoZ *monolingual* sections such as English to English, Russian to Russian, etc.

Please keep in mind that like in all the other language combinations, the variety of questions in the monolingual "pair" is rather large. It includes requests for editing, proofreading, explanation of difficult terms, grammar help, and more. Questions are asked by natives as well as non-natives.

In view of this, let us please discuss the necessary and sufficient criteria for deciding which monolingual questions are PRO and which are non-PRO.

Thank you for your input!

Mike

P.S. Let me include the link to the latest version of the Rules: http://www.proz.com/howto/326

[Edited at 2005-06-02 19:01]


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 16:03
German to English
Pro classification as applied to monolingual questions Jun 2, 2005

Hi Mike, very good question. I once moderated English monolingual and have put some thought into how monolingual groups differ from the language pair groups but haven't given much thought to the Pro vs. Non-Pro issue. Here's one example:

http://www.proz.com/post/182962#182962

And here's another thread initiated by Ian Winick that is relevant to your topic:

http://www.proz.com/post/146849#146849

New definitions:

"PRO questions are those that are asked by OR that are suitable for professional translators.

Non-PRO questions are those that are asked by people who are not professional translators, and that can be answered by any bilingual person without the aid of a dictionary"

How does this apply to monolingual questions?

I think the definitions need to be revised for monolingual questions. One problem we have in monolingual is answerers not understanding or forgetting that it's not for translations but for questions about a particular language.

Here are some rough, first ideas on the topic.

1. The asker doesn't need a "bilingual person" but usually someone who knows the intricate details of a particular language.

2. In most cases, for a PRO level monolingual question, the asker is looking for an "educated native speaker" who has put some thought and study into his own language and will not say "this sounds wrong"; "this sounds funny" etc. but will be able to provide some linguistic, grammatical reasons for one option or another. The asker is often looking for someone who is familiar with style and usage guides. Native speaker is far more applicable than professional translator for monolingual questions – although I hasten to add that there are plenty of non-native speakers of languages who can provide excellent explanations.

Non-Pro - "bilingual person" doesn't apply. Any educated


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RHELLER
United States
Local time: 15:03
French to English
+ ...
another example Jun 3, 2005

http://www.proz.com/kudoz/1051476

Example of the different points of view in monolingual English.

Kaori might have thought that codes are written/typed/transmitted - she may have been seeking a more nuanced verb.

I posted Henry's updated kudoz policy
http://www.proz.com/topic/31563

Perhaps I am wrong - it can get confusing.

[Edited at 2005-06-03 16:26]


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xxxsergey
Local time: 22:03
Russian to English
+ ...
while at it, Jun 3, 2005

i, personally, would like to know - why is it that when i am
sure i haven't touched or clicked anything in that respect
my name nevertheless appears in this pro/non-pro thingy
saying that i have contributed to changing its status,
which is of no concern to me whatsoever as i have a
beginner's mind and everything is pro to me.
i find it uncomfortably disconcerting as it appears i have no control over it.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 17:03
SITE FOUNDER
Does it happen when you answer questions? Jun 3, 2005

sergey wrote:

i, personally, would like to know - why is it that when i am
sure i haven't touched or clicked anything in that respect
my name nevertheless appears in this pro/non-pro thingy
saying that i have contributed to changing its status,
which is of no concern to me whatsoever as i have a
beginner's mind and everything is pro to me.
i find it uncomfortably disconcerting as it appears i have no control over it.


Hi Sergey,

There is an option to vote PRO when you answer a question. COuld it be that?


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xxxsergey
Local time: 22:03
Russian to English
+ ...
yep, that's it - Jun 3, 2005

Henry wrote:
There is an option to vote PRO when you answer a question. COuld it be that?


- when i answer questions - don't touch anything ever, i am sure of it, and yet my name appears regardless; but now that you are saying i have this pro/non-pro option when answering i will be more vigilant next time.
thank you, Henry.

ps
i can't say it gave me sleepless nights


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 16:03
German to English
More thoughts on monolingual levels Jun 3, 2005

Once again, here are just some rough ideas, but maybe others will be able to do something with them.

For Pro level questions in the language pairs, we use the term "professional translator" when describing both asker and answerer. Since in EM we're not dealing directly with translations, the term "professional translator" should not be included in the definition of the levels at all for the monolingual groups. "Language professionals" would be a better term.

Who asks monolingual questions?

Pro: Native speakers who aren't sure about a point of grammar, style, term of art, punctuation, etc. in their own languages, or native speaker language professionals. Non-native language professionals needing help from experts in the target language.

What kinds of questions are asked?
1. Grammar
2. Idioms/slang
3. Usage/style
4. Spelling/punctuation
5. English, German, French, Spanish etc. as a foreign language (from beginners to advanced)
6. Terminology/vocabulary

Defining the kind of answer/answerer needed;
1. Native speaker or native speaker equivalency
2. Speaker of British, Irish, American, Canadian, Australian English, German, Swiss, Austrian German, Mexican, Spanish, Argentinean, Spanish, etc.
3. Linguist, writer, teacher
4. Any educated native speaker, student of the language– non-pro


I translate only from German to English. I spent 20 years in Germany, attended a German school there, taught in a German school, studied German at a US university and speak with near-native ability. If I came across a German term/phrase/sentence that didn't make sense to me and my German monolingual dictionaries didn't shed any light either, I would ask for help in German mono and would definitely want an answer from a language professional who was exceptionally comfortable with the nuances, grammar etc. of the German language or where to find a reliable explanation. I wouldn't dream of asking a non-pro question in English or German.

Maybe for the monolingual groups we need to concentrate on the level of help we need rather than who the asker is (translator, language learner, native speaker, etc.).

How about (I realize this is far from perfect):

Non-pro: Asker requires help from anyone who is a native speaker or has studied the language and could answer the question without consulting references.

Pro: Asker requires the linguistic expertise of a native or near-native language professional.



[Edited at 2005-06-03 20:44]

[Edited at 2005-06-03 20:49]


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