10 and no more than 10 (or so.....)
Thread poster: Andrea Re

Andrea Re  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:36
English to Italian
+ ...
Dec 1, 2005

Hi there,

as you might be aware amidst the KudoZ rules there is one that states that "Texts posted as KudoZ questions should be no longer than 10 words or so. Longer texts should be posted as jobs".
Needless to say I posted a question with 11 words (http://www.proz.com/kudoz/1192295) and Gaetano promptly rebuked me. A discussion ensued (well, it was more of a light banter, but "discussion" sounds more dramatic....).
For the not Italian readers I summarize the arguments that were made:

1) You may not post more than 10 words, but if you need to do it use "see below".
This doesn't make much sense since the reason for the rule is that you don't get your work done by others posting chunk by chunk. Besides, the "see below" thing messes up the KudoZ search engine (Don't get me started on that:)

2) If the rule exists it should be implemented using a counter that stops you from posting more than 10 words. "See belows" will be outlawed as well.
Well, if you want to have a rule, I suppose everybody should stick to it and this is as good a way of enforcing it as any.

3) "But I need to post a long phrase since it is a saying or a phrase that is not clear as a whole and doesn't have individual mysterious words".
Indeed!! What are you going to do with these people? In my case I asked for help because I had an expression in legalese that came as a whole and couldn't be split. Besides, I am sure plenty of people will find it beneficial if the phrase appears in the glossary.

Conclusion: rule o no rule????
I think the rule should be reworded saying that you may not ask for your work to be done in KudoZ by posting many phrases without difficult terms or ambiguous meanings. What defines "difficult" or "ambiguous"? Well I think that people know.... and the moderators can intervene if KudoZ is being abused.

Any thoughts?

Andrea

PS

"Texts posted as KudoZ questions should be no longer than 10 words or so....."

What does "or so" mean?
I'll ask in KudoZ, shall I?


[Modificato alle 2005-12-01 12:55]


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 11:36
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
KudoZ is term help... Dec 1, 2005

Hi Andrea,

The first statement is "KudoZ is term help" and this is the main point: terms, not sentences.

The second point is maximum ten words. Expanding on the first point "KudoZ is term help", these ten words shouldn't make up a complete sentence, i.e. subject verb object.

As a KudoZ moderator I let go a maximum of 10 words as per Rules, sentences or not. If an asker posts 10-word sentences repeatedly, I remind him/her of KudoZ Rules.

When the asker has comprehension problems and asks for some help, even on a sentence/paragraph a whole lot longer, I do not step in, if answerers offer him/her a) a summary or explanation in other words b) offer translation of a short part (max 10 words) or c) no translation at all, but only explanation in other words.

Giuliana


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Andrea Re  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:36
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
what about a saying Dec 1, 2005

Giuliana Buscaglione wrote:


The first statement is "KudoZ is term help" and this is the main point: terms, not sentences.

The second point is maximum ten words. Expanding on the first point "KudoZ is term help", these ten words shouldn't make up a complete sentence, i.e. subject verb object.

As a KudoZ moderator I let go a maximum of 10 words as per Rules, sentences or not. If an asker posts 10-word sentences repeatedly, I remind him/her of KudoZ Rules.




Hi Giuliana,

long time I don't see you:=)

What about sayings or, as in my case, a set-phrase or an idiom? They cannot be seen in isolation, but as a whole, especially when, in the target language, there is an authorized version (just like the Bible:), which is often the case in legalese.

Andrea


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 11:36
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
a phrase is not a sentence;-) Dec 1, 2005

Hi Andrea,



Sorry, I forgot to mention the phrases: idioms are excluded from that count, but I can't think of any being longer than 10 words...

I don't know which the KudoZ was, so I was and am only generalizing. If the 11-12 words are made of a lot of prepositions and they do not make up a full sentence, well, I admit that I haven't squashed in a couple of cases, but that was a "case-sensitive" decision

Otherwise I stick to K-Rules, I am afraid

Giuliana


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John Bowden  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:36
German to English
Agree with Andrea Dec 1, 2005

Andrea,

I know what you mean, and also think that the "no more than 10 words" rule makes no sense - very often, certainly in DE-EN and EN-EN, my languages, Askers want to know about the meaning/usage of a whole phrase, or want to ask if a particular phrase is obsolete, what register it is etc. Suppose, for example, someone had heard the English phrase "The Everton goalkeeper is about as much use as a chocolate teapot"- 12 words - there are unlikely to be any individual words which a non-native speaker would not understand (assuming they knew Everton is a football team) They would probably understand the individual words, "use", "chocolate", "teapot", "goalkeeper" etc., but might still be puzzled as to the meaning of the whole phrase (i.e. "he is no use at all"), and might want to know if the phrase is old-fashioned, if it is likely to be said by a particular age group, if it's dialect etc. I have seen cases like this where the Moderator has said "Please post as separate words" or "Please don't exceed the 10 word rule" - but language can't be reduced to such mechanistic, "bean-counting" approaches!


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Alfredo Tutino  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:36
English to Italian
+ ...
respect the rules - cum grano salis Dec 1, 2005

I'd say that the "or so" clause is there exactly for the exceptional cases Andrea refers to. I've seen seasoned, and usually very correct, Kudozers post whole sentences or long phrases - once in a blue moon; and some Kudoz questions that are not about just "terminology" - there is the odd request for a literary reference, for instance. I have no problem with that, and I think it should be accepted.

Of course, if somebody really abuses or exploits the system, or systematically breaks the rules, this is not acceptable and peers won't tolerate it; but the occasional exception, generally, can and should be tolerated. In fact, in the case Andrea refers to, Gaetano reminded him of the rules, but stopped there; I take it to mean that he too saw the case as a not too intolerable, if objectionable, just-for-this-once exception

In all public meeting-places, virtual or not, rules are important; but the quality of the interaction depends on (and defines) the quality of the interacting people themselves - that is to say, ourselves. And this is more important than rules, IMO


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:36
German to English
Terminology is about concepts, not words Dec 2, 2005

John, I have to agree with you there. But it's not just about sayings, it's also about "true" terms as well. This topic has only just been brought to my attention, so PMJI.

The point is that terminology is all about concepts and contexts, not about words. Like translation, it's "not about words, it's about what the words are about".

So length doesn't enter into it. Especially with language combinations like German and English, you frequently get LSP concepts that are in excess of 10 words. Just a couple of examples (from financial reporting):

"financial asset or financial liability at fair value through profit or loss"

That's a single concept, so a single term.

Here's a more extreme example:

"single-entity financial statements restated to comply with uniform group accounting policies and translated into the uniform group reporting currency".

In German, it's just "Handelsbilanz II" or "HB II", but the English term has (by my reckoning) 19 words (20 if you count the hyphenated words separately).

Of course, you could split up this single concept into smaller chunks, each of which would be a stand-alone concept in its own right:

single-entity financial statements
restated
uniform group accounting policies
translated
uniform group reporting currency

but if you were to enter those separately into KudoZ, you'd never get the equivalent of the entire single concept. In fact, you see this quite often: people split up longer concepts into single words, and it's only when they're pushed to provide the entire term that you can see where everything fits together.

Maybe people should be taught about terminology work first before they're allowed to enter terms into KudoZ

And maybe ProZ should ditch the unprofessional 10 word limit.


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:36
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
10-word limit not set in stone - apply common sense Dec 2, 2005

RobinB wrote:
And maybe ProZ should ditch the unprofessional 10 word limit.


Telling examples, Robin, to illustrate the fact that there are clear and justified exceptions to the 10-word rule. However, I wouldn't call this limit unprofessional since it is not set in stone (note the deliberate "or so"), and everyone involved in the KudoZ game should apply a healthy degree of common sense and tolerance. If you think a question containing more than ten words has been unduly squashed, please contact the moderator of the language pair concerned.

My 2c,
Steffen

[Edited at 2005-12-02 22:03]


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Andrea Re  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:36
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Anybody from the site? Dec 3, 2005

It would be interesting to hear from the site staff. Anybody reading this?

Andrea


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Oleg Prots  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 12:36
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Pardon my opinion, Dec 3, 2005

but I think the whole thread is about a problem that does not exist. There is a great difference between sentences and idioms, and we all understand that perfectly. The exceptions quoted in this thread (a couple of them are actually well stretched) are allowed in the KudoZ and I can hardly imagine a moderator having problems with any of those if they were posted.

In fact, I get the opinion that some members tend to regard moderators not as volunteers who safeguard their interests by filtering out system abuse, but as I-don't-know-how-to-name-this whose only purpose is squashing bona fide questions for their own perverted pleasure.
I assure you that we do apply common sense too, especially whenever we are in doubt as to whether a rule has or has not been violated.

Actually, I'd like to stress it once again: the rules and moderators are here solely to prevent abuse and misbehaviour for the benefit of all members.

Thank you all for your understanding.

Oleg


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:36
German to English
Common sense Dec 3, 2005

Steffen Walter wrote:
Telling examples, Robin, to illustrate the fact that there are clear and justified exceptions to the 10-word rule.


Hi Steffen,
Hope you've recovered from the Munich bash!

I think the whole point is that the "10-word rule" is entirely arbitrary and has no relevance whatsoever to professional terminology work - and as you know yourself, there is no such thing as a "length limit" in terminology.

I do appreciate the desire to avoid people putting entire sentences into KudoZ, but as a rule, sentences aren't terminological concepts in any case.

Perhaps the most sensible approach would be to define exactly what a terminological concept is and take it from there. I think that ISO 704 and ISO 1087-1 could be referred to for this purpose, as they provide more than adequate definitions.

I also think that this could inject a level of professionalism into the whole KudoZ thing that is frequently lacking at the moment, I'm afraid.

Robin


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:36
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Andrea, my little gnocco, you have 3 mods plus me now Dec 3, 2005

So I think "site staff" have come through as this is moderator terrain.
My position, as you will surely know from being a member of my SC, is that common sense reigns supreme and 10 words can be too much or too little in varying contexts. As can the "only one term" rule. If you have to compare two terms or more, obviously you need to post them.
I always read the post thoroughly before squashing and if I see a whole bunch of long posts, I start to squash without reading as I get the impression of a translation panhandler!
Greeting from sunny Abruzzo
Angela



Andrea Re wrote:

It would be interesting to hear from the site staff. Anybody reading this?

Andrea


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 05:36
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Absolutely not Dec 3, 2005

Andrea Re wrote:

1) You may not post more than 10 words, but if you need to do it use "see below".
This doesn't make much sense since the reason for the rule is that you don't get your work done by others posting chunk by chunk. Besides, the "see below" thing messes up the KudoZ search engine (Don't get me started on that:)



Please, please, please do not use "See below". I don't know who told you to do this, but it certainly couuld not have been a moderator for the very reason you yourself refer to.

A KOG full of "See below" would be useless to all.

Phrases should of course not be blindly truncated to 10 words - as some of the examples cited here show, that would make no sense.

Obviously the point of the rule is to prevent abuse by users looking to have entire paragraphs translated for free (yes, we've seen that happen). As the other Moderators have pointed out, common sense is key.

Nancy

See KudoZ Rule 2.6: 2.6 - Expressions such as 'see below', 'in this context', etc., must not be entered in the form boxes intended for the term in question, or its proposed translations. Entering such expressions interferes with the expected display of the KudoZ viewing page, alerts, digests and glossary entries.



[Edited at 2005-12-03 15:46]

[Edited at 2005-12-04 23:01]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 05:36
SITE FOUNDER
Agreement from site staff Dec 4, 2005

Andrea Re wrote:

It would be interesting to hear from the site staff. Anybody reading this?


Thanks, Andrea. I can only stand by what the moderators have written here.


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