An "unknown language" option
Thread poster: Robert Donahue

Robert Donahue  Identity Verified
Russian to English
+ ...
Aug 31, 2005

This isn't an everday occurence, but it's happened often enough to be noticable. I am specifically referring to when non-translators post questions asking for a translation of a line of text when they don't know what language it is. Or they will ask for the language to be identified. The default language currently so far as I know is English.

An example of this type of question is this; http://www.proz.com/kudoz/1127886

Would it be possible to provide and "Unknown/Unidentified Language" option? This would allow it to go out to a broader range of translators. That way if someone figures it out they can make the necessary edits to put it in the proper language pair.


 

Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:12
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
Hi Robert Aug 31, 2005

I see your point but, would it not encourage the use of Kudoz as a free online service? There are many sites out there that offer free translation and language guess, like the one you have linked to in your answer to the mentioned question.

And do you think that enough number of people would choose "unknown language" in their Kudoz settings to receive such queries? I, for one, wouldn't.


 

Robert Donahue  Identity Verified
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
We are already used that way to a certain extent... Aug 31, 2005

Xola wrote:

I see your point but, would it not encourage the use of Kudoz as a free online service? There are many sites out there that offer free translation and language guess, like the one you have linked to in your answer to the mentioned question.

And do you think that enough number of people would choose "unknown language" in their Kudoz settings to receive such queries? I, for one, wouldn't.


Which is fine. We wanted to keep the open feel and give and take of kudoz. I'm all for it. I'm sure you've seen cases where these types of questions have been posed before. I certainly have. The Asker in this particular questions speciffically states that they don't know the source language.

So following what you say, we could simply put a link to a language identifier. The problem there is that how do you pick one (or two or three)?

All that I'm saying is that we know these questions are going to come up. Why don't we come up with a way so that it's disseminated as widely as possible. How's this, let them ask the question but then put an "unknown language" button there for one of us to do it (or even a moderator). Just looking for a way to make things bettericon_smile.gif


 

Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 03:12
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
zzz Other zzz Aug 31, 2005

There is zzz Other zzz option at the end of the language list. Basically, it may be used for questions like these (like `Other->English) or when a language isn't included as a separate language in the list. The problem is that some askers just don't know the option exists. When I see a question like the one highlighted by Robert above, I often switch it into `Other->English' pair; after that someone who knows the language switches it into the proper pair -- and so on.

Do we need a special category or a mark `Unknown language'? I doubt it. Frankly, I just don't see how to implement it within the current kudoZ structure.icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2005-08-31 17:48]


 

Robert Donahue  Identity Verified
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I wasn't aware that it existed Aug 31, 2005

Kirill Semenov wrote:

There is zzz Other zzz option at the end of the language list. Basically, it may be used for questions like these (like `Other->English) or when a language isn't included as a separate language in the list. The problem is that some askers just don't know the option exists. When I see a question like the one highlighted by Robert above, I often switch it into `Other->English' pair; after that someone who knows the language switches it into the proper pair -- and so on.

Do we need a special category or a mark `Unknown language'? I doubt it. Frankly, I just don't see how to implement it within the current kudoZ structure.icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2005-08-31 17:48]


The only problem is who ever checks the "other"?


 

Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 03:12
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Language lists Aug 31, 2005

Robert Donahue wrote:
Kirill Semenov wrote:
There is zzz Other zzz option at the end of the language list.
The only problem is who ever checks the "other"?


Yes, and I have to admit that I'm not satisfied with the language lists used in proZ.

First, there are several lists in different subsystems, and they are often not identical.

Second, they are not `ergonomic'. Browsing through a detailed list of languages to select the pair you need is sometimes really annoying.

Third, I'm just not sure which way of representing languages in the list is better. Basically, I would prefer a tree-like structure, and the first thought which comes to mind is to classify languages by their geographical locations, like `European', `Asian', `American' or `African', for example. But we also have `lingua francas' like English, Spanish, French or Russian. So the approach also needs a special `World languages' section. At the same time, Medieval English is obviously `European'.icon_wink.gif

`Other/Unknown/Not listed languages' might be a separate section in the classification like this one, still a good classification is quite a problem...

Addition: Also, it would be great to keep some personalized settings like keeping working languages and the languages of interest at the top of the list for each member.

[Edited at 2005-08-31 19:53]


 

Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:12
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
zzzzzOtherzzzzz Aug 31, 2005

I was aware of this option, but it never occurred to me that it could serve the purpose Kirill described. Until about a year ago rare languages were not listed, and that option had been there to cover them (not because they were sleep inducing languages as a colleague very wittily asks in that topic I link to). Now the language list is much more comprehensive, and I think only those few who work with extremely rare languages still have that checked in their settings.

 

Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:12
English
+ ...
I have "Other" in my language pairs Sep 1, 2005

I have "other" listed as one of my language pairs and I do check and answer questions of this type. To me, "other" signifies either a source or target language that is not included in the present list(s) of languages that can be selected. A known / existing / identified language that isn't "on the list" in other words. On the other hand, "unknown language" would signify a case where the asker doesn't know what the language is, first the involved language pairs need to be determined or defined and then the question can be answered. I think this option is a great idea.

 

Tsogt Gombosuren  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:12
Member (2004)
English to Mongolian
+ ...
undetermined language Sep 2, 2005

One more option was added to the language bar.
I think proz.com staff accepted Robert's idea.
Did you check the bar?


 

Maria Diaconu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 03:12
English to Romanian
I saw the new option Sep 2, 2005

Tsogt Gombosuren wrote:

One more option was added to the language bar.
I think proz.com staff accepted Robert's idea.
Did you check the bar?


That could be useful, I saw the "undetermined" language option, but I think it should be only on the list of source languages, and not on the list of target languagesicon_wink.gif


 

Tsogt Gombosuren  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:12
Member (2004)
English to Mongolian
+ ...
Yes, "undetermined" option should appear only among the source languages. Sep 2, 2005

Maria Diaconu wrote:

That could be useful, I saw the "undetermined" language option, but I think it should be only on the list of source languages, and not on the list of target languagesicon_wink.gif


Yes, of course. I agree with you.

[Edited at 2005-09-02 13:43]


 


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