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Kudoz quotas - some common sense-based self-restraint needed
Thread poster: Libero_Lang_Lab

Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:05
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
Feb 21, 2003

Folks

Sorry in advance if I am completely retreading old ground, but I still wanted to have my say.



Today there was a great case of KudoZ abuse on the Russian-English board. A non-member posted some 20 questions from a legal document - virtually all phrases - which clearly amounted to what was an entire translation job. By doing so it was clear that she wasn\'t really equipped to do the job herself.



It\'s one thing to ask a few questions - we all have problems that we need help with. But getting others to translate the entire text... for free??!!



A question for fellow translators:



Is it acceptable to post a whole job, line-by-line on KudoZ? Does it not suggest that the person doing the job is not actually able to do the job.... and that one of you might be getting paid to do this job? Yet instead you find yourself doing the job anyway, but for free. It could be construed as a vicious circle. With your help, the translator will submit a good translation, having charged not very much no doubt. The client will be very happy and will give them more work... the \'translator\' will then post more questions on KudoZ and get another job done for free. Just some food for thought...



Now, in my book, anyone answering these questions is not only shooting themselves in the foot - they could have got the job themselves after all, and got paid for it... they are also doing a huge disservice to their freelance colleagues. Think about it guys.



I realise that there are some who use ProZ just for the entertainment/social value - mainly perhaps those who have full-time jobs. But for freelancers it can, to varying extents, be an important part of their lifeblood. So this is not a matter to be taken lightly. Everyone should act responsibly and professionally, and think of who they are helping and who they are harming.



Ultimately it is probably down to self-restraint and common sense. But perhaps ProZ might consider a quota system for the number of questions askers can post in a given day. It could be staggered so that platinum members had a much bigger quota (or maybe no quota) while ordinary members had a smaller one, and non-members a smaller one still. Worth considering, I think.





[ This Message was edited by:on2003-02-21 15:10]


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Lucy Phillips  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
too right... Feb 21, 2003

I think it is fairly clear when consecutive parts of a text are being posted without any evidence that the questioner has attempted to come up with their own translation, and that\'s the point at which I wouldn\'t really bother answering the question. I\'ve no problem with answering the odd anonymous query, which I know other Kudoz members often complain about - they\'re clearly often posted by people who just want a bit of help with a letter or somesuch. But, you\'re right, Dan, it is frustrating to feel that you\'re simply doing someone else\'s job, particularly if you suspect it may be a job that you also bid for and now find were more qualified to do than the successful bidder!



There are plenty of active Kudoz answerers who also post lots of questions but these are phrased in such a way that it is clear that the person is looking for input and checking their ideas with other professionals - a perfectly valid use of this site, to my mind. We\'re here to help each other when possible, that\'s why the site is such a bonus for anyone working in the isolated world of freelance translating.



My own solution is generally to ignore such questions - we all know how long it can take to come up with the perfect translation for a tricky phrase but that\'s one of the challenges of translation!


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 21:05
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Choose the friendly ProZy way! Feb 21, 2003

Mail or answer the person in question that the bunch of questions really constitute a job and then paste the link

http://www.proz.com/?sp=wi

for him/her to find a translator.



If someone has started to answer - and answers well - live and let live!

No damage is done - the KOG only gets food.



BR



Mats J C Wiman

Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe

http://www.MatsWiman.com

http://www.Deutsch-Schwedisch.com

http://www.proz.com/translator/1749 Deu>swe Proz.com moderator

eMail: MatsWiman@swipnet.se

Träsk 201

SE-872 97 Skog

Tel : +46-612-54112

Fax : +46-612-54181

Mobile: +46-70-5769797



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Victor Potapov
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:05
English to Russian
+ ...
Hear, Hear! Feb 21, 2003

Cannot agree more with you, Dan. Saw this happening.



Made me cringe as this was un-bee-lee-vable.



Actually, a similar situation is happening in the Kudoz area as I write this. It is a text in physics now (Hall effect, magnetic field intensity etc. - you saw it...)



And the asker has the guts to title all his Kudoz questions the same: \"The whole phrase, please\" ! Something tells me this asker is unlikely to grade the answers and award KudoZ...



Even though I am a rare (like once a month) visitor to Kudoz area of the site, I saw this happening - literally five Kudoz quesitons per minute, all from the same or neighboring sentences... I wish my touch-typing was THAT fast!



I believe Dan\'s proposal - limit on number of kudos questions asked (variable for Platinum/regular members/non-members) is in everybody\'s best interests.



For completness\' sake, I would like to make another (probably just as ancient) suggestion: Askers of Kudos questions must grade answers, select the best answer thus awarding Kudoz points. Presently this is not done on a regular basis by all askers (and we all know that some are more guilty of that than others).



Maybe the programming gurus behind ProZ.com could upgrade this wonderful system to limit the number of OUTSTANDING KudoZ questions per asker (i.e. questions for which the \"best answer\" was not yet awarded)?



Just my 0.02 KudoZ\' worth...



Cheers,



Victor.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:05
English to German
+ ...
Did you contact the moderator? Feb 21, 2003

Dan,

I would agree that posting a whole paragraph or text, sentence by sentence, is not in line with the purpose of KudoZ (and sorry, Mats, if we\'re talking about sentences - as opposed to terms - the glossary simply won\'t get fed...).



As you correctly pointed out, we\'ve had quite a vast number of threads on this topic, with all sorts of suggestions: quotas, maximum number of questions, even ratios based on the membership level and/or the number of answers provided in a given timeframe.



Looking at this case (which I cannot check myself, due to linguistic insufficiency...), it seems obvious that the asker had not grasped the concept of KudoZ and was simply looking for a \"way out\". IMO the simplest solution is to contact the moderator for the language pair - if the person does not react to a friendly reminder, access can be blocked.


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
The problem with quotas Feb 21, 2003

The problem with restricting by means of quotas is that the number of questions isn\'t a measure of the density of queries.



User A is a translator doing a 10,000-text. She saves up her term queries and posts all 30 of them when she has finished her first rough draft.



User B is wants a free translation of a 500-word text, and posts it, sentence by sentence: 20 queries.



Now, user A posts 50% more queries than user B, but obviously is not abusing KudoZ as user B is.



The advice given by Mats addresses this problem, and I add my \"agree\" to his suggestion.


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Planogroup
Greece
Local time: 22:05
English to Greek
+ ...
Discuss about it or do something about it? Feb 21, 2003

This discussion can go on forever. For me, the real question is - what is the policy of Proz on this issue? If Proz welcomes any type & amount of questions asked and does not wish to draw a line, then there will always be people abusing the Kudoz system and members that will exercise their right to give an answer if they want to earn some points.



Personally, I think that there are times when we must set some rules to enhance the quality as well as the whole concept of this site and direct abusers elsewhere (plenty of translation sites out there, no?)



I would be interested to know if it is possible to inform a competent person for such abuses (is it the language combination moderator? - what if he does not respond?)



Marisa


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:05
English to German
+ ...
Contact the moderator(s) Feb 21, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-02-21 15:40, Planogroup wrote:

This discussion can go on forever. For me, the real question is - what is the policy of Proz on this issue? If Proz welcomes any type & amount of questions asked and does not wish to draw a line, then there will always be people abusing the Kudoz system and members that will exercise their right to give an answer if they want to earn some points.



Sorry, but there\'s a misconception in here - the immediate remedy against being abused (whatever you consider that to be) is simply not to answer. The ProZ.com policy is described in the KudoZ rules of etiquette on www.proz.com/inc/item/inc_item_kudoz_etiquette.php3.



Quote:
Personally, I think that there are times when we must set some rules to enhance the quality as well as the whole concept of this site and direct abusers elsewhere (plenty of translation sites out there, no?)



I agree as far as quality is concerned; various concepts are being discussed in this respect - constructive suggestions are always welcome, of course. Where I do not follow is the connection between restrictions for askers and quality.



Quote:
I would be interested to know if it is possible to inform a competent person for such abuses (is it the language combination moderator? - what if he does not respond?)


The moderator(s) for the pair concerned are indeed the right person(s) to contact; quite a number of major pairs are covered by two mods. You will find a link to the moderators\' list at the bottom of each KudoZ question, as well as under \"Support\" on the left-hand navigation bar.



Bear in mind that moderators are volunteers who also run their businesses - if you don\'t get an answer within a reasonable timeframe, try contacting the mod(s) for the reverse pair.



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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:05
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tolerance limits would probably vary Feb 21, 2003

from one subcommunity to another. In the Spanish SCs, for example, we start getting \"bloody murder\" mails at around 15 questions. So we advise people to be discreet, and that doesn\'t stop us from getting apologies like, sorry, my son used my ProZ account to post. (Note that the question was professional, not homework. But, \"yes, he\'s giving me a hand, he\'s quite a genius, isn\'t he?\" Tell that to the client, the kid was 12...) And we ask, will wonders never cease.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:05
English to German
+ ...
Again... Feb 21, 2003

Quote:


For completness\' sake, I would like to make another (probably just as ancient) suggestion: Askers of Kudos questions must grade answers, select the best answer thus awarding Kudoz points. Presently this is not done on a regular basis by all askers (and we all know that some are more guilty of that than others).



Maybe the programming gurus behind ProZ.com could upgrade this wonderful system to limit the number of OUTSTANDING KudoZ questions per asker (i.e. questions for which the \"best answer\" was not yet awarded)?



Could be done - but that would, of course, take time. Much easier remedy: simply contact the moderator - we can block a members\' right to post KudoZ questions (and have done so) where someone refuses to grade.

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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 21:05
English to French
+ ...
Stop the abuse Feb 21, 2003

Matts wrote:

\"Mail or answer the person in question that the bunch of questions really constitute a job and then paste the link

http://www.proz.com/?sp=wi

for him/her to find a translator.\"



We do that on the french/english and generally it is enough to stop the flow of questions.

If the asker sends another one, threaten with reporting to the moderator.



Lien


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David Knowles  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:05
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
Squash the questions Feb 21, 2003

Anyone with over 500 points can squash questions, and asking an excessive number is definitely a good reason. I don\'t think Dan needs to be shy about doing this.



The problem is a lot worse with non-members, and I think the suggestion of having a maximum number of questions outstanding is a good one. For non-members, five questions per day, with a maximum of five outstanding would be fine.



I\'m also a bit dubious about people really being able to produce a workable translation from the mixed bag of answers that they receive! It seems a guaranteed way of never getting a job again!



For members, particularly regular contributors, the problem is much less severe, and I\'m not sure we need strict limits. Some people do ask a collection of problems, but they may on other days be very helpful in answering questions.


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David Knowles  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:05
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
The asker's justification Feb 21, 2003

Here is the asker\'s reply to an answerer. It would have helped us all enormously to have received this first!



Thank you very much.

For Pros: Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, I couldn\\\'t bear in mind to use anybody as free source of translation. It is my thesis and the matter is we were obliged by our Professor to make the presentation in English - it is nonsense but the matter is! Your help is the only possibility for the lawyer whose job is to judge not to translate. But I live in Russia. I am sorry. And I am thankful to everyone who helped me. Masha.



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Mariflor Salas  Identity Verified
Venezuela
Local time: 15:05
English to Spanish
You (we) have the power to stop the abuse. Feb 21, 2003

How? Easy: Do not answer the questions posted by the \"abuser\". Ignore them. That will do it. At least in the English-Spanish pair, one sees examples of abuse every so often: jobs, entire love letters and \"conversations,\" Spanish homeworks and so on. The few times that me or someone else have made a comment about the abuse, someone (either the asker or one of the answerers) will say something as to the effect of \"live and let live.\"



That, no doubt, enables and encourages the abuse, which means wasted time for a lot of people (not to mention loss of revenue for those who should have gotten the same job that someone else is doing for free, thanks to the the \"kind people\" at Proz).


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:05
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
Regarding quotas Feb 21, 2003

Hi Dan,

I posted a forum about this following the same kind of problem in the Italian/English community. I\'ll simply provide the link as I think it speaks for itself.

I raised a number of hackles with my suggestion along the line of yours, and I sincerely hope that you have better luck thank I did.

On January 30, the day of the posting, I changed my e-mail settings so I no longer receive ANY questions and now I simply visit the site when I feel like it. Pretty drastic, particularly since I\'m a paying member, but I found it to be the best solution for me.

Here\'s the link:

www.proz.com/index.php3?sp=bb/viewtopic&topic_id=8108&forum_id=48&start=0


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