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Disagreeing with a closed question
Thread poster: patyjs

patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 11:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sep 18, 2006

Being relatively new to Proz (July this year) I'm unsure how to proceed in the event that an asker chooses a reply which is incorrect. On more than one occasion I have replied to a question and later seen that the answer selected was from a non-native speaker, and which I know to be inaccurate.

While I understand that the majority of answers given are a matter of opinion or taste, there are some which obviously make such a difference to the meaning that chosing the correct one is imperative.

What is the correct procedure in this case? I have sent personal emails to the asker(s) pointing out the error (and hoping I don't sound pedantic or hung up about the points!) Should a moderator be contacted? Should the glossary entry be changed and by whom?

Surely answers from native speakers of the target language hold more weight?

I'd like to know what others have done in this case?


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erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:12
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
I dont think you can do anything. Sep 18, 2006

It happens a lot of times, but it is still a matter of taster of the asker which answer he or she chooses. Sometimes the answer chosen is really absurd. You can write your comment, but unfortunately nothing more. It would be nice if there were any possibility to act differently.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Personal E-Mail Sep 18, 2006

A time or two I have also sent personal emails to askers pointing out the error in the hope it hasn't yet gone out in their translation.

They have thanked me for it.


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Dr Sue Levy
Local time: 18:12
French to English
+ ...
what I do Sep 18, 2006

I specialise in medical translation, and sometimes I have seen glaring errors in medical texts (especially discharge or operation reports) that I believe it is important to point out and correct.

I disagree in the peer comment box.
I post the correct answer, even after the question is closed.
I make a note in the Ask the Asker box.
(The Asker will be informed that way.)
I inform the moderator if the glossary entry is wrong.

Sounds like overkill, but sometimes I get rather annoyed

You can also add a comment to the glossary entry, but this is not very visible.

I tend not to send personal emails although I have on a few occasions. Several times the Asker has thanked me and agreed I was right after all, but failed to change the glossary entry.

I've had non-native Askers select the wrong answer from non-native Answerers in preference to mine even though I had the most agrees.
In that case I throw in the towel and light a candle for the patient


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:12
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Be careful Sep 18, 2006

Sending askers emails about their choices in KudoZ is actually against the rules, I believe. However, disagreeing with an answer after the question has been closed is not AND I think the asker is sent a notification about the disagree. Providing your own answer is also allowed even if the question has been closed. I've done this loads of times and now only enter into contact with an asker about their question if they write to me first.

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Alfredo Tutino  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:12
English to Italian
+ ...
askers are supposed to give points to the most useful answer, Sep 18, 2006

not to the most correct.

This is what the rules say, and I think it is a subtle and wise choice of words...

An answer can be deemed useful for a variety of reasons - for instance because it clarifies the source text to the point of letting the asker find the solution by her/himself, or just because it is the starting point for a particular train of thoughts - even if it is not the most correct, and even, in fact, if it is plainly wrong.

Also, we should always rememeber that the asker is the only one who can know the whole contest...

Of course, in such cases, a wise asker will avoid making an incorrect glossary entry.

Still, it is true that awful answers can be selected sometimes...

That said, I have sometimes alerted an asker who chose a wrong answer myself, either by direct e-mail, or by adding a different answer even after the question was closed (nothing in the site prevents this), and sometimes with good results.

I don't really mind, but there is also a way to reopen questions and re-assign the points (by involving moderators), if so the asker wishes to do.

And I seem to remember that anybody can, at least, add a note to a glossary entry.

[Edited at 2006-09-19 02:56]


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De la Vera Cruz
Argentina
Local time: 13:12
English to Spanish
Agree Sep 18, 2006

Sue Levy wrote:


I disagree in the peer comment box.
I post the correct answer, even after the question is closed.
I make a note in the Ask the Asker box.
(The Asker will be informed that way.)
I inform the moderator if the glossary entry is wrong.



Disagreeing, even after a question is closed, might be a reference for people like me who check not only the answer chosen but also all the answers given.

If you know for sure the correct answer, go ahead and post it (can this be done? I mean, answering when a question is closed)

It is a good idea to make a note in the Ask the Asker box so that the answerer gets informed (I hadn't thought of that!).

And of course it's a good idea to inform the moderator as well.

Regards

Verónica


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Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 13:12
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hi patyjs Sep 19, 2006

Unfortunately this happens quite often. If I were you, I would contact the moderator assigned to the pair to which the question belongs.

Just for the sake of the KOGs (Kudoz Open Glossaries).


Best,
Andrea


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 18:12
German to English
Certainly not overkill... Sep 19, 2006

Sue Levy wrote:

I specialise in medical translation, and sometimes I have seen glaring errors in medical texts (especially discharge or operation reports) that I believe it is important to point out and correct.

I disagree in the peer comment box.
I post the correct answer, even after the question is closed.
I make a note in the Ask the Asker box.
(The Asker will be informed that way.)
I inform the moderator if the glossary entry is wrong.

Sounds like overkill, but sometimes I get rather annoyed

You can also add a comment to the glossary entry, but this is not very visible.

I tend not to send personal emails although I have on a few occasions. Several times the Asker has thanked me and agreed I was right after all, but failed to change the glossary entry.

I've had non-native Askers select the wrong answer from non-native Answerers in preference to mine even though I had the most agrees.
In that case I throw in the towel and light a candle for the patient


Sue, we need more participants like you. I always check the original question instead of relying on the KidoZ (C: glossary. I've also posted a disagree after the question was closed and a wrong question was chosen posting my reason in the agree field and Asker's comment field.

sylvie


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Dr. Andrew Frankland  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:12
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
A similar case... Sep 19, 2006

I came across a similar case recently where the asker had closed the question very quickly and had chosen an answer that was completely incorrect (it was the name of a chemical compound and the answer chosen simply did not exist). I contacted the asker through the Ask Asker button as I hadn't even answered the question myself and I also contacted the moderator. The asker came back to me with some Google hits to justify his/her choice and I then went to these pages and found that they were all typos. I then notified the asker of this, and explained why they were typos, and also alerted the moderator to this as well. In the end the moderator changed the answer and the asker thanked me for my patience. So, be patient, but it is possible to change answers, or get answers changed.

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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 18:12
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Dangerous assumption Sep 19, 2006

Hi patyjs,

I agree with everything which has been said above, but would just like to comment on what is a common misperception.

"Surely answers from native speakers of the target language hold more weight?"

The short answer to this is no. Before deciding on how to frame a sentence or phrase in the target language, we need to make sure we've understood the original. This, suprisingly often, is not the case.

If you care to look at my profile you will see that I am a native English speaker (although a degree in Hispanic Studies and 30 years living in Spain mean that I can just about get by in Spanish) and you will find that I actually have more KudoZ points into Spanish than into English.

Does this mean that my Spanish is better than a native speaker's? Obviously not. What it undoubtedly shows, however, is that I understand the original where many Spanish-speaking colleagues are baffled and provide answers which are way off the mark.

Just thought I'd mention it.

Cheers,
Andy


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 11:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks for all your help Sep 19, 2006

I hadn't realized that responses to closed questions were still sent to the asker. That makes much more sense and I'll do that in the future, along with a note to the moderator.....

Sue's comment about lighting a candle for the patient is exactly what prompted this post. I had one recently which literally meant life or death for the patient!

Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to reply.


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 11:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
you're right, Andy Sep 19, 2006

I agree absolutely,Andy. My mistake was writing 'target language' instead of 'problematic language' maybe. Many posts are not so much about how to say something as how to understand it. But the dilemma is the same I think.

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Branca Amado  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:12
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
good suggestions Sep 19, 2006

Sue Levy wrote:

I specialise in medical translation, and sometimes I have seen glaring errors in medical texts (especially discharge or operation reports) that I believe it is important to point out and correct.

I disagree in the peer comment box.
I post the correct answer, even after the question is closed.
I make a note in the Ask the Asker box.
(The Asker will be informed that way.)
I inform the moderator if the glossary entry is wrong.

Sounds like overkill, but sometimes I get rather annoyed

You can also add a comment to the glossary entry, but this is not very visible.

I tend not to send personal emails although I have on a few occasions. Several times the Asker has thanked me and agreed I was right after all, but failed to change the glossary entry.

I've had non-native Askers select the wrong answer from non-native Answerers in preference to mine even though I had the most agrees.
In that case I throw in the towel and light a candle for the patient


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Branca Amado  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:12
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
good suggestions Sep 19, 2006

Sue Levy wrote:

I specialise in medical translation, and sometimes I have seen glaring errors in medical texts (especially discharge or operation reports) that I believe it is important to point out and correct.

I disagree in the peer comment box.
I post the correct answer, even after the question is closed.
I make a note in the Ask the Asker box.
(The Asker will be informed that way.)
I inform the moderator if the glossary entry is wrong.

Sounds like overkill, but sometimes I get rather annoyed

You can also add a comment to the glossary entry, but this is not very visible.

I tend not to send personal emails although I have on a few occasions. Several times the Asker has thanked me and agreed I was right after all, but failed to change the glossary entry.

I've had non-native Askers select the wrong answer from non-native Answerers in preference to mine even though I had the most agrees.
In that case I throw in the towel and light a candle for the patient


I will disagree, post the correct answer and inform the moderator. The problem is that this doesn´t mean the glossary entry will change. So this means the problem continues for future translation doubts.


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