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Poll: Do you participate in Wikiwords www.wikiwords.org/?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:28
SITE STAFF
Apr 25, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you participate in Wikiwords www.wikiwords.org/?".

This poll was originally submitted by Zeinab Asfour

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Ala Rabie  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 22:28
Japanese to Arabic
+ ...
Beta後 Apr 26, 2006

I went over the second day Wikiwords was launched, and found that there is a number of entries in the languages I am working in, so I decided to check them first to see how the system outputs data, etc.

The most shocking thing was that 90% of the entires were incorrect! Even those really simple words like 'Thank you'. I started looking for some way to correct such entries, when i saw Wikiwords' note that there is a possibility for every entry to be removed after the Beta testing period is up. So I found it better to stay away until this craziness is over.

A Wiki project is indeed a huge risk; non-qualified people are subject to participate by entering, editing, and/or even deleting entries. In other Wiki projects such as Wikipedia, there is a group of moderators-like who interfere to correct any of these activities in order to keep the encyclopedia a reliable source. However, in the case of Wikiwords, this would be unbelievably hard; the number of languages covered by the project, as well as the simplicity of entering entries into the database, all of these factors do clouden the future and the possibilities of Wikiwords--the personal glossaries in ProZ.com have a H-U-G-E number of trivial/incorrect entries to start with.

In short, I am willing to participate, but after things settles.

Best of wishes for Wikiwords.

~Ala
alamnesis.com



[Edited at 2006-04-26 03:34]


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:28
English to Swedish
+ ...
The Challenge Apr 26, 2006

Wikiwords suffers from one fatal flaw and many smaller problems.

The fatal flaw is that Wikiwords is not concept based. MediaMatrix has, with razor-sharp logic and in great details, explained on the Wikiwords Forum why Wikiwords is doomed to fail if the Adminstrators’ approach is not changed.

The Administrators of Wikiwords seem to be unable to understand the very constructive suggestions made by MediaMatrix and devote their time and energy to discussing and solving the smaller, non-fatal, problems. This is, in my opinion, as meaningful as discussing the optimal lipstick colour for an Ebola patient, and then applying the chosen colour.

The approach of the Administrators is presented on the About page on the Wikiwords site. You are encouraged to study that page very carefully. It deals with the English word dog and provides one, and only one, definition of the word, in spite of that the word has many different meanings. This single definition provided is also faulty. It reads:

- A carnivorous domesticated animal.

My cheetahs are carnivorous domesticated animals, my neighbour’s ferrets are carnivorous domesticated animals and so are my friend’s falcons.

The Administrators’ approach is very similar to the word-pair based approach used by Eurodicatom at the time when the EU had only 15 member states, and we all know what happened when the EU grew to 25 members. Imagine what will happen when one extends the scope of a multilingual dictionary to all languages (some 6000) and all words!

One must crawl before one walks, and walk before one runs.

I have therefore issued a Challenge to the Administrators:

Prove that your approach works by propagating all meanings of one single word, dog, through your system to a few hundred languages out of the 6000!

I am eagerly waiting for how the Administrators will respond to the Challenge.

Will they
accept the Challenge
or
sweep it under the carpet with platitudes
or
edit out the Challenge from ProZ.com and Wikiwords.org?

Sven.


[Edited at 2006-04-26 09:15]


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:28
German to English
+ ...
Curiosity Apr 26, 2006

I signed up for the beta page out of curiosity, and I will go to Henry's talk at the Berlin conference at the end of May for the same reason. I'm still not sure what the project actually aims to achieve. Is it a terminology translation site like KudoZ?

One of the benefits of looking terms up on KudoZ is that you can see the discussion which went on before a "winner" was selected, and you can see what context the discussion revolved around. Often I find that the discussion helps me more than just knowing the term that got the points (and I often choose a different term or phrase, based on the discussion). Will this discussion background be available on Wikiwords?

Sven's points about the inadequacy of the word pair approach and the arbitrariness of the definition of "dog" on the "About" page are important. The context sentences ostensibly aim to illustrate the use of the term. I wonder what deeper significance lies in the fact that English dogs sleep, but French dogs are loved. Makes me wonder what dogs do in Swahili, Japanese and Tagalog.

So although I am keeping my eyes open to see what becomes of the project, I still reserve judgement on whether the idea is actually worth anything.


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Zeinab Asfour  Identity Verified
Jordan
Local time: 23:28
English to Arabic
+ ...
Unjutified mistakes! Apr 26, 2006

The reason why I posted this poll was to see the type and quality of translators' participating in this project. When I entered Wikiwords project, I enthusiastically started to fill-in terms and their translation, then I had a look at some of the Arabic words and found out that someone had filled-in a word and left the translation empty. This looked so unprofessional on behalf of the translator and the website management.


I wish the quality of the translators who are planning on participating in this project improves, unless the management restricts the participation in way that only professional translators can participate!

Best of luck!


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:28
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Not until KOG are cleaned up... Apr 26, 2006

Looking at the total mess at KOG and assuming that KOG will be the initial basis for Wikiwords project, I think the project may become the same mess from the very beginning.

I would propose to tidy up KOG first, and then keep it clean constantly. Then it would be a good start for Wikiwords.

Participating in the ongoing ProZ localization gave me the following idea: maybe, we may create teams of "glossary janitors" - experienced people who know ProZ and KudoZ and who would clean up existing glossary entries and monitor new entries appearing. I do not even mean the meaning of the entries, I mean their form, first of all.

For example, in English from/to Russian KOG you may see entries both in Cyrillic and Latin letters, with a lot of typos and wrong encodings, etc., etc. The result is that I quitted to use Russian to English KOG search - it gives nothing but frustration.

I think moderators of the corresponding may recruit such volunteering helpers to work with glossaries. After that I would probably think of participating in Wikiwords project, but not until ProZ itself is tidied up.

[Edited at 2006-04-26 08:37]


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 22:28
French to Dutch
+ ...
I won(t participate Apr 26, 2006

I am always willing to help someone out if he or she has a problem, but publishing my own glossaries, the result of 20 years of work in a niche langage pair and sometimes in specialized areas, goes too far. Not only because publising 1 (one) glossary means already a lot of work and I can't guarantee the quality of it, but also because I don't want to give other people clues to my production methods which are part of my business.
I'm egoistic, maybe, but I'm also a professional translator who has to live from what I have done in the past years.
Maybe when I'll be retired.
I wish you good luck.

[Edited at 2006-04-26 10:15]


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:58
German to English
"Glossary janitors" - good idea! Apr 26, 2006

I like Kirill's idea of "glossary janitors" and also think that some kind of monitoring of the whole thing is very important.

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Marie-Céline GEORG  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:28
English to French
+ ...
I don't see the interest of wikiwords (yet) Apr 26, 2006

I don't think I will participate to this wikiwords. I've had a quick look at the site and, as stated by others, I wonder what the quality of the glossaries is.
When I'm looking for a word, I prefer the Kudoz search where I can see some context.
Who is Wikiword intended to? What does really it bring that I can't find on Proz?


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:28
German to English
+ ...
Problems of multilingual word equations Apr 26, 2006

Niraja Nanjundan wrote:
I like Kirill's idea of "glossary janitors" ...


If I understand the concept, it aims for multilingual word equations. Even with the addition of context, definition and example sentences (and possibly even images and soundbites), they will still be word equations.

So English dog, French chien, German Hund and the so-called "equivalent" in each language will all be linked together.
And as soon as you add related words (puppy, hound, critter, canine etc.) you force yourself to find new equivalents in all permutations of 6,000 or so languages (including languages that have dozens of words for a dog and languages that have none).

Unless I have totally misunderstood the concept, you will need more than language-pair "janitors" to sort out the resulting chaotic jumble of excessive and asymmetric data.


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:28
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
KOG glossaries Apr 26, 2006

Victor Dewsbery wrote:
Unless I have totally misunderstood the concept, you will need more than language-pair "janitors" to sort out the resulting chaotic jumble of excessive and asymmetric data.


Dear Victor, I meant teams of ProZians who might help moderators to put in order the KOG glossaries here, at ProZ, first.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 16:28
SITE FOUNDER
all terms, all languages Apr 26, 2006

Victor Dewsbery wrote:

I signed up for the beta page out of curiosity, and I will go to Henry's talk at the Berlin conference at the end of May for the same reason. I'm still not sure what the project actually aims to achieve. Is it a terminology translation site like KudoZ?


The goal is to create an open dictionary of all terms in all languages with definitions and example sentences.

One of the benefits of looking terms up on KudoZ is that you can see the discussion... Will this discussion background be available on Wikiwords?

Yes, this is important. It won't be question/answer based but there will be discussion. And names linked to profiles.

I look forward to discussing with you in Berlin!


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 16:28
SITE FOUNDER
No and no, Sven Apr 26, 2006

Sven Petersson wrote:

Wikiwords suffers from one fatal flaw and many smaller problems.

The fatal flaw is that Wikiwords is not concept based.

Wrong, Sven. As the first line of the Wikiwords "about" page says, "The Wikiwords schema is built around concepts."
The Administrators’ approach is very similar to the word-pair based approach used by Eurodicatom

Not at all. Wikiwords does not use word pairs. Please have a look at the schema again!


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 16:28
SITE FOUNDER
Thanks, Zeinab Apr 26, 2006

Zeinab Asfour wrote:

The reason why I posted this poll was to see the type and quality of translators' participating in this project. When I entered Wikiwords project, I enthusiastically started to fill-in terms and their translation, then I had a look at some of the Arabic words and found out that someone had filled-in a word and left the translation empty. This looked so unprofessional on behalf of the translator and the website management.

Thanks for posting the poll, Zeinab.

As you can see posted at Wikiwords.org: "Wikiwords has been available to the general public for one week. One warning: our focus now is on the mechanisms, and we are not concerning ourselves with content--or quality--yet. So contributions you make now are likely to get wiped at the end of the beta period."

Quality is indeed an enormous challenge. We do have a plan... and it does includes a type of "janitor" job, Kirill (aka clean-up crew). Nice thinking!

Overall interest in Wikiwords has been strong and many people are now testing. The plan is to continue focusing on the "mechanism" first, then to post first passes at the roles and quality control processes.

Use the subscription box at Wikiwords if you want to stay informed of progress.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:28
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Amen Apr 26, 2006

Victor Dewsbery wrote:

One of the benefits of looking terms up on KudoZ is that you can see the discussion which went on before a "winner" was selected, and you can see what context the discussion revolved around. Often I find that the discussion helps me more than just knowing the term that got the points (and I often choose a different term or phrase, based on the discussion).


I did a little testing in the time I could spare and came to the same conclusion. Often, the words we consult (and that end up on KOG) are words that are common enough but used in an unusual context. In that sense, KOG was not meant to serve as a basic dictionary (we DO encourage members not to ask questions until they have exhausted their resources), but as a database for very real and very specific problems in the field. Importing glossaries from it would present this complication.

Perhaps more a matter of personal criteria: I currently use the 'personal glossaries' function not as a word list (I'm still waiting for the possibility of creating multilingual - not just bilingual - word lists, to save typing effort), but to store recurring terms that occur in specific (particularly legal and official) contexts. For this purpose, the personal glossaries enable you to quote, cite authors, enter remarks, record sources, links, etc.. As a test, I exported a small glossary which contained one full-page entry (a bilingual EU text illustrating the translation of the term). The term and its translation (heading/subject line) came out in Wikiwords, but not the gloss, which was an entire caveat on that PARTICULAR use of the term.

I'm also hoping to hear plans about Wikiwords in Berlin.


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