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Poll: Should accept polls such as 'Are women better translators than men?'
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 17:50
Feb 3, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Should vet polls such as 'Are women better translators than men?'".

This poll was originally submitted by Henry

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see:

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-02-03 12:08]


Kurt Porter  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:50
Russian to English
+ ...
Poll: Should vet polls such as 'Are women better translators than men?' Feb 3, 2006

I was interested in seeing what my peers in the PROZ world thought. I didn't feel offended.


Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:50
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Feb 3, 2006

I really enjoyed reading yesterday's posts. I think it was an interesting poll.

[Edited at 2006-02-03 13:39]


Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:50
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes, accept them - I've got enough "Big Brothers" around, thanks very much .......... Feb 3, 2006

I voted yes, accept them - there's enough sanctioning around us already as there is.

If someone doesn't agree with a poll, there isn't a gun to their head to participate and they're free to state their issues on the relevant forum anyhow.

The poll in question led to healthy debate and if we as translators can't respect that colleagues from different cultures may see things differently, we're probably in the wrong profession.


[Edited at 2006-02-03 12:18]


Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:50
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Haven't they been vetted already? Feb 3, 2006

My impression is that member proposed polls have been vetted or otherwise screened already. At least I noticed that some of my proposals went through, while others never appeared.


PB Trans

Local time: 01:50
French to English
+ ...
Irrelevant questions... Feb 3, 2006

I'm sure many irrelevant questions are screened... this particular one shouldn't have been any different.

I agree that some countries/cultures are more PC than others. I live in two countries and I see the difference and I am able to adapt very well to both contexts. However, PC or not, this question was simply irrelevant.

The fact of the matter is, when one starts comparing people's skills by their gender, it can offend many people. Just as some people were not offended by the poll... there were many who were. I don't think it's in the best interest of Proz to alienate those members of the site.

[Edited at 2006-02-03 12:12]

[Edited at 2006-02-03 12:20]


Peter Bajorek  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:50
French to English
+ ...
Of course not Feb 3, 2006

Yesterday's poll caused such a sensation that the are still talking about it today in this poll.

Initial responses to the poll were very negative (and I suspect that this is why today's poll has come about), but more and more people added their comments, and the result was a healthy discussion.

My initial reaction to yesterday's poll was that it was slightly ridiculous and irrelevant, but the more comments people made, the more interesting it became. The most vital point of a discussion is that it enables us to look at a problem from a different angle, and we can then begin to revaluate our own position. If polls and forums were vetted so that people could only discuss 'safe' topics, about which there is little or no dispute, this would render the whole thing pointless.

Vetting should remove abusive/offensive material, but we all like a bit of controversy. I wonder when we will get the poll:
"Why bother with translation: shouldn't the whole world just speak English?"


Henry Dotterer
Local time: 20:50
I may have misused the term "vet" to mean "accept" Feb 3, 2006

I think I may have used the term "vet" in a different way than most of you have understood it. By "vet", I meant "accept" (and I am afraid that some may have taken it as such.)

To clarify, I have changed the wording of the poll to "should accept". This means I will have to clear the data and ask those of you who have already voted to vote again.


Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:50
Dutch to English
+ ...
Quite the contrary ....... Feb 3, 2006

[quote]Pina Nunes wrote:

However, PC or not, this question was simply irrelevant.


I beg to differ........

From the interest generated - and especially the input from those who were not just harping on about PC - one can scarcely argue that the question was irrelevant. In fact, quite the contrary. Highly topical and as far as specific fields are concerned, highly relevant.

But unless you put the question out there, how do you know?

And for what it's worth, I'd find it off-putting if people could decide on my behalf, in cases like this, what is relevant or offensive. I'd rather judge for myself then have it decided for me by people I deem (on this point at least) to be overly PC-sensitive.

Have a good weekend everyone

[Edited at 2006-02-03 12:45]


Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:50
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Feb 3, 2006

What's the problem about it?


Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:51
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Of course YES Feb 3, 2006

We all are grown-ups, we are free to vote our opinion, the way we desire, and by allowing all kinds of polls, we have the benefit of finding out how many of us think differently and/or the same. Where is the problem?icon_wink.gif


[Edited at 2006-02-03 13:38]


Fred Neild (X)  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Feb 3, 2006

But I trust in's good sense not to abuse. What I mean is that I wouldn't like to see a shower of this kind of polls on the site. Otherwise they will become plain boring and lose their main ingredient, controversy.icon_wink.gif



Antoinette Verburg  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:51
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes, accept them Feb 3, 2006

What I can’t understand is how any yes/no/don’t know/etc.-question can be considered offensive. A statement might be offensive, but why a question? If you consider a question purely as an invitation to give your opinion, there is nothing offensive about it. I think a question is only offensive if you read more into it than an invitation to give your opinion, or perhaps if there is no opportunity to answer it. Then the question is no longer a question, but it may become a hidden statement. In my opinion, statements and answers may be offensive, but a question in itself never is. Anyway, I enjoy reading everybody’s opinions about almost anything, whether relevant or irrelevant. If I find the subject relevant, it is interesting to learn about others’ opinions. If, on the other hand, I find the subject irrelevant, it can be fun and a great way of relaxation during a break. Anyway, it's up to me to decide what is relevant to me, and what is not.icon_wink.gif


Ines Garcia Botana  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes. Henry, why not? Feb 3, 2006

If a translator doesn't agree with a poll, they're free to state their points on the forum, but this does not mean that the poll must not be accepted!

A poll like this one can lead to a good debate within the limits based upon respectfulness. Much to my surprise I read some people stating disrespectful opinions. Something we do not deserve.

Reading it several times, I realized that colleagues from different countries, (cultures) may have seen these issues in a different way. If we can not have the highest regard for our colleagues' opinion, as Deborah says, we're probably in the wrong profession.

I did not understand, Henry, the poll as ridiculous or sexist, I understood it and took it as it is: Do women translate in a different way from men? Why make such a fuss?

What I do not understand about polls is that if in the field of the poll we ask a question to the Staff, that question can remain unanswered.

Thank you very much Henry for the Polls. We can see here who is who.

Have a nice weekend.
Greetings from Buenos Aires!

[Edited at 2006-02-03 14:08]


PB Trans

Local time: 01:51
French to English
+ ...
The problem is... Feb 3, 2006

Any poll that is worded as "Are/is XXX better than XXX?" is simply inappropriate. No one should be comparing anyone else's abilities, especially when it comes to gender (something people have no control over). A translator's ability should be based on education and/or experience, not gender. We are all masters of words. Surely the question could have been edited or worded differently in order to be more appropriate, such as "Do women approach translation differently than men?" (as Kirill pointed out in the other thread).

So what's next?

"Are Europeans better translators than North Americans?"
"Are Latin Americans better translators than Spaniards?"
"Are French Canadians better translators than the French?"

If those are the kind of topics you all want to discuss, I'll leave myself out of it.

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