Poll: Are you generally more polite in person than online?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:10
SITE STAFF
Apr 21

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Are you generally more polite in person than online?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Apr 21

I’m a polite person, whether online or offline. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like social media, where rudeness has become normal because of the anonymity factor.

Natalia Pedrosa
Morano El-Kholy
Andrew Morris
Jennifer Forbes
Michael Harris
Yetta J Bogarde
Rania Hanini
 

TOMBE Franklin  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:10
Member (Apr 2019)
German to French
+ ...


Posted via
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Politeness is a must for me Apr 21

Discussion online is more fragile than in-person discussion. When sending a mail or a Post, I cannot predict the mood of my reader/ receiver. I should then lay emphasis on politeness and avoid ambiguity that can consequently lead to misinterpretion.

Morano El-Kholy
Natalia Pedrosa
Andrew Morris
Teresa Borges
Gibril Koroma
Thayenga
Michael Harris
 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
Keyboard warriors Apr 21

My answer: no I try to be equally polite in both contexts...

Of course keyboard warriors exist in every walk of life. A mere glance at the comments in the Guardian newspaper website shows there are swathes of people who get their daily kicks from verbal rough-and-tumble, whether they're discussing politics, people, the environment or the arts...

But I think there are two nuanced features of translator life which feed into the debate:

1) It seems to me the
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My answer: no I try to be equally polite in both contexts...

Of course keyboard warriors exist in every walk of life. A mere glance at the comments in the Guardian newspaper website shows there are swathes of people who get their daily kicks from verbal rough-and-tumble, whether they're discussing politics, people, the environment or the arts...

But I think there are two nuanced features of translator life which feed into the debate:

1) It seems to me the majority (I may be wrong) are more introverted than extroverted. And it may be a contentious leap from there to say that our social skills are possibly less honed.

But it's a leap I'll make...

Not all people. Not all the time. Duh, of course. But perhaps an observable phenomenon?

2) And THEN if you add in the fact that we as a profession have an ABOVE-average way with words and that language is our daily raw material, then the mix can be witty and fun, or it can be off-the-scale aggressive.

So I personally think we have our own very special kind of keyboard warriors in our little world.
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Rania Hanini
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:10
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
About the same Apr 21

I usually always try to be polite, may it be online or during a personal conversation. Though I do use other means (facial expressions, overall body language) during personal contact to, well, get my point across.

Vera Schoen
 

Gibril Koroma  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:10
French to English
+ ...


Posted via
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No Apr 21

No. I am always polite. Good for the soul and for business.

Andrew Morris
Teresa Borges
Els Govaerts
Kay Denney
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
mirror Apr 21

While I prefer talking to writing, in my everyday life (which includes online communication too), my attitude reasonably mirrors the other party.

However, having limited time and chars, I often try cutting the message short or use simpler words avoiding possible ambiguity--especially writing at the meeting, late at night, in a car or a plane, or dictating in a noisy environment, let alone infamous T9 and autosuggest/replacement. It does make the difference!

Occa
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While I prefer talking to writing, in my everyday life (which includes online communication too), my attitude reasonably mirrors the other party.

However, having limited time and chars, I often try cutting the message short or use simpler words avoiding possible ambiguity--especially writing at the meeting, late at night, in a car or a plane, or dictating in a noisy environment, let alone infamous T9 and autosuggest/replacement. It does make the difference!

Occasionally it may tend to complexify the things, if a refined addressee--or a foreigner--might feel being treated as child or somewhat retarded.

I prefer to meet people personally, yet even writing a few specific questions is enough to make sure and solve almost* any problem--or come to the conclusion. That's why they pay me $0.25-$0.50/word on my terms)
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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:10
Member (2006)
German to English
No Apr 21

I generally tend to always be polite.
There is always a way of turning words againt impolite persons, being online or if they are in front of you. And experience has shown that those that cannot deal with this generally get more angry, which can be quite amusing.


Rania Hanini
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Er... Apr 21

Most of my communication with clients is by e-mail rather than telephone, and occasionally I need my Spanish native speaking colleague to "soften" my tone, just in case I come across as rather brusque/snarky/patronising/aggressive…
In my native tongue, I usually try to be as polite as possible as the situation demands, and, to maintain a bit of balance, can be equally scathing or downright rude if I find myself engaging in what I saw described as "ding-dong dialogues" somewhere the other
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Most of my communication with clients is by e-mail rather than telephone, and occasionally I need my Spanish native speaking colleague to "soften" my tone, just in case I come across as rather brusque/snarky/patronising/aggressive…
In my native tongue, I usually try to be as polite as possible as the situation demands, and, to maintain a bit of balance, can be equally scathing or downright rude if I find myself engaging in what I saw described as "ding-dong dialogues" somewhere the other day...

[Edited at 2019-04-21 18:45 GMT]
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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:10
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not easy to admit Apr 22

Most people won't admit it, but we all are. It's so obvious, but so hard to admit in public.

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:10
Member (2018)
French to English
No Apr 22

A lot of people come across as rude online simply because they would normally, in person, accompany what they say with a smile and a "I don't mean to be rude but" saving clause, or they scale back when they see how someone reacts, whereas in writing they just put the bare bones of their thoughts.
There's a woman I have been working with in a volunteer capacity, a small, shy slip of a woman in real life, who wouldn't say boo to a goose. So even when she speaks forcefully, the full force do
... See more
A lot of people come across as rude online simply because they would normally, in person, accompany what they say with a smile and a "I don't mean to be rude but" saving clause, or they scale back when they see how someone reacts, whereas in writing they just put the bare bones of their thoughts.
There's a woman I have been working with in a volunteer capacity, a small, shy slip of a woman in real life, who wouldn't say boo to a goose. So even when she speaks forcefully, the full force doesn't get across. Without the filter of her appearance, online she comes across as very aggressive. To the point that another volunteer, who only knows her online, actually refuses to work with her.

I have learned to take the trouble to be extra polite online. It takes a little more time to acknowledge the other person and their feelings, and you have to imagine possible reactions to your message and take preventive action.

Recently I answered a PM's email querying my choice of words in a translation rather quickly and the PM wrote back to apologise, thinking I had taken her question as criticism. Now if I don't have time to write a message properly, I prefer a quick phone call, knowing that my tone of voice will convey enough to prevent people from getting the wrong end of the stick, and if I do say something out of line I can quickly adjust according to the reactions I'm getting.

[Edited at 2019-04-22 10:21 GMT]
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