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Posting Answers AND Giving "Disagrees"
Thread poster: Taylor Kirk

Taylor Kirk  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:31
Portuguese to English
+ ...
May 5, 2008

Hello all,

I have noticed a number of users that will post their own answer to a Kudoz question, and then give disagrees to the other answers, or in the reverse order. This seems to me not only to be tacky and desperate since entering an answer is an implicit "disagree", but a way to skew perceptions of answers with a disagree right off the bat.

I have seen situations where a user or moderator politely reminds the offender that it is an unwritten rule not to do this, but some definitely abuse it. I suggest that Proz allow a user to either enter an answer or post "disagrees" to other answers, not both. The vast majority of people on this site are not rude enough or desperate for Kudoz to do both, but the ones who are shouldn't be allowed to take advantage of that fact.

Cheers,

Taylor Kirk

PS: I specifically wanted to point out an entry that was made maybe a week ago, either for a PT>EN or EN>PT question, where someone made four or five disagrees in addition to his own answer. A moderator made a note to him in the same post. I can't remember any of the the details, but if anyone knows what I'm talking about let me know!

[Edited at 2008-05-05 20:01]


UPDATE: I'm obviously outnumbered here! I think you're right in the end, that the benefit of having fellow translators flag a wildly incorrect answer for a colleague outweighs the problem of people throwing around disagrees everywhere. I do think it's true that other translators will ignore someone like that. Just a NOTE! That's not an "unwritten rule" made by me! A moderator actually said that during a question/answer session. It was in the one mentioned above, either PT/EN or EN/PT. I can't find it but if anyone remembers just say so. Thanks everyone for your views!

[Edited at 2008-05-06 01:07]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:31
English to German
+ ...
Calling a spade a spade May 5, 2008

Hi Taylor,
I recall situations where I have disagreed with answers provided, and also posted an own answer. Frankly, I don't see what else should be done if an answer provided is, in my opinion - wrong.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:31
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Some quick objections May 5, 2008

Yes, this can be abused. I've seen it happen. But it is not always in violation of any rules whatsoever.

taylorreigne wrote:
...since entering an answer is an implicit "disagree"...


Not necessarily. I often agree with someone and post my answer as well, or do it in reverse order. Others in my pairs do as well.

taylorreigne wrote:
...a way to skew perceptions of answers with a disagree right off the bat.


Some answerers are qualified to do this and in fact doing so may be in the best interest of the asker, especially if the asker is not qualified at all.

An added note on Ralf's post: I would only change "wrong in my opinion" to "objectively wrong." I.e. something that cannot possibly in any situation be a correct understanding/rendering. That's what I meant by "if an answerer is qualified (enough)."

[Edited at 2008-05-05 18:54]


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Taylor Kirk  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:31
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It can be comical sometimes May 5, 2008

But what if the disagree and answer poster is wrong? I understand that you may have wanted to correct a wrong answer, but what if you happened to be wrong yourself? I have seen this happen several times. Despite the entry and disagree, the other answer receives many agrees and ends up winning the points. I browse around in "to English" Kudoz questions, and I see lots of non-English speakers adamantly insist their answer is correct, by disagreeing and entering an answer, and their own answer is obviously incorrect! It's kind of funny, really.

[Edited at 2008-05-05 19:01]


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:31
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Heh May 5, 2008

taylorreigne wrote:
you may have wanted to correct a wrong answer, but what if you happened to be wrong yourself


Yes, so you've made a fool of yourself, and everyone will appreciate that next time

It gets worse when the consensus lands on the side of the wrong answer - whether that person gained it by disagrees, any other tricks, or simply through the ignorance of those involved.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:31
English to German
+ ...
Indeed May 5, 2008

...on both sides, that is.


But what if the disagree and answer poster is wrong? I understand that you may have wanted to correct a wrong answer, but what if you happened to be wrong yourself?

In which case one should (and usually will) receive disagrees yourself.

Best regards,
Ralf


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Unwritten rule? May 5, 2008

Other users criticize disagreers for not suggesting their own answer. What was that "unwritten rule" again?

You mention that entering an answer is an implicit "disagree,", but I don't find this to be invariably the case. I might suggest an answer when I don't think that any of the existing answers are wrong, but I still think my suggestion is better. In this case, I would not put a "disagree" on any of the existing answers. In a different situation, where I think the existing answer(s) is/are completely wrong, I believe it is important to be able to indicate this, as a service to the asker. I also contribute my own suggested answer if able to do so.

There is a cultural difference about the perception of disagrees, which has been extensively discussed in the forums in the past. By some cultures, a disagree is perceived as a rude, offensive gesture to the answerer, and by others it is considered a helpful indication to the asker that the term is not correct.

I think you can tell from the tone of my comments what my "disagree culture" is. I am as far from desperate as is possible, and I don't disagree to be rude or to grab points, but to help a colleague who might be at risk of accepting an incorrect translation for a term or phrase. For those who differ, I entreat you to understand my point of view even if you don't come to embrace it.

[Edited at 2008-05-05 20:38]


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:31
German to English
+ ...
Pros and Cons May 5, 2008

While I largely agree with you, and only in very, very rare cases have I given an answer and disagreed with someone else's (others can do and will do that quite ably in my language combination) on the same terminology question, sometimes an answer is just so off the mark that it is a travesty, and then I disagree. Also in cases of habitual wrong answerers who are completely out of their league and not native speakers (even though on occasion claiming to be such), I will disagree AND answer to discourage further, unhelpful contributions in future, but - as mentioned above - that is rare.

However, I think ProZ tries not to be over-regulatory, and believe that these issues tend to regulate themselves after a while. Peer pressure is a very potent regulating force, and Kudoz can be a very important tool in building - or ruining - your reputation, depending on how you use it. Most people realize that quickly enough, and quality in answers and fairness to colleagues are recognized and rewarded in the long term.

So in essence I am saying that you ought to act according to your own principles, but try to be tolerant of others, and don't expect them to be the same as you. This place has taught me a lot about tolerance, believe me, especially through KudoZ. And that is always a good thing.

Edited to add: By rewarded I mean that I am in the happy position of not having to go after jobs on the boards anymore, or very seldom, but they tend to come to me unsolicited now, through colleagues.

[Edited at 2008-05-05 19:29]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 07:31
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
In smaller communities May 5, 2008

unwritten rule is to give not Disagrees, but Neutrals

Uldis


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Taylor Kirk  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:31
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ok... May 5, 2008

I understand your opinions, it could go either way depending on the answer. Does it make a difference is someone tends to do this on most of their posts? (Asking your opnion). I still don't think I would both disagree and enter my own answer; some of these posts seem to get a little catty and I'm very non-confrontational...

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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
There are answers you cannot but disagree with... May 5, 2008

It happened to me to give a disagree to an answer, even though I didn't know - nor find - a better one. The answerer then, less or more pricked, asked me why I didn't post my own answer. So maybe some answerers "expect" the disagreer to give an alternative answer? I could'nt find any rule, though....
Other times, instead, I disagreed and then, researching, maybe the next day, I found a better solution and proposed it.
As I said, I didn't find any rules here, and anyway my only concern is always to prevent people from choosing answers that in my opinion are definitely wrong.
If I had known a better answer when giving my disagree, certainly I would have posted it right away without making peer comments to other answers, as I usually do. So I think each case must be seen under its special point of view.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not as clear-cut as all that May 5, 2008

taylorreigne wrote:
This seems to me not only to be tacky and desperate since entering an answer is an implicit "disagree",


Not at all. Sometimes I post an answer and also "agree" with someone else's. Either I consider my option slightly better or I'm just offering another option.

These days, the only time I'd post an answer and also specifically mark someone else's answer with a "disagree" is if the wrong answer requires some sort of comment. (E.g., "This would be right if the source text were in British English, but the poster says it's American.")

As for "unwritten rules," they're a lot like the old joke about verbal contracts: unwritten rules are not worth the paper they're written on.

[Edited at 2008-05-05 22:44]


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:31
French to English
+ ...
Absolutely wrong May 5, 2008

The only time I post disagrees is if the answers are categorically wrong, i.e. usually posted by non-native speakers and something that just isn't said in English. I can't think of any examples off-hand, but I certainly wouldn't rule out posting an answer at the same time. As other people have said, it's as much to warn the asker that there is a problem with the answer. I would rather post neutrals rather than a stark disagree, but there are occasions when nothing else will do!

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
in agreement with CC May 6, 2008



[Edited at 2008-05-06 00:59]


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Ulrike Kraemer
Germany
Local time: 06:31
English to German
+ ...
Fully agree with all that has been said May 6, 2008

I remember that on some occasions I did post disagrees AND an own suggestion to one and the same question. There used to be one answerer in my language pairs a while ago whose mother tongue was neither German nor English, and who kept posting answers that were so blatantly wrong that disagreeing with them was almost a "must". In my opinion, it's not a matter of doing either that OR the other, and it's also not a matter of grabbing KudoZ points. It's about helping peers and discouraging answerers that are way out of their depth with either the field or the language a question is posted in.

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