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My suggestion is to set a limit of questions a ProZ.com member may ask without contributing
Thread poster: cquest

cquest  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:51
English to Polish
+ ...
Aug 27, 2009

I have been registered here for a couple of years now and although I still value this site very much I also have a feeling that the Term Search tool has been abused more than it used to be.
There are users who ask a lot of questions about how to translate this or that and never answer others' questions. Not a big deal perhaps, but when the terms they post are of intermediate or even elementary level of English it makes me puzzled. Is ProZ a place for professionals or for anybody who finds it easier to ask a question than take a dictionary off a shelf?

OK, I understand there are colleagues who like answering simple questions to have their KudoZ wallets filled up but let's be reasonable.

So, my suggestion is to set a limit of questions a ProZ member may ask without contributing. That would get people involved.
After all, this is not a free translation tool for everyone, is it?



[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-08-27 12:06 GMT]


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xxxLionel_M
Local time: 15:51
English to French
+ ...
How do you control these people ? Aug 27, 2009

You probably know that you can enter ProZ without being registered or you can register 10 times with 10 different nicks no ?
So, I'm afraid it would be difficult to control these users.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:51
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Forget about it Aug 27, 2009

cquest wrote:
So, my suggestion is to set a limit of questions a ProZ member may ask without contributing. That would get people involved.
After all, this is not a free translation tool for everyone, is it?

Sorry for being so blunt, but forget about it. It will not happen. Over a decade I have seen about three dozens suggestions in this sense and have made my own suggestions too... with no success. Nothing has changed.

Proz will never -ever- control the number of questions you may post. They heavily rely on traffic for their advertising income and their relative weight among translation portals (quite normal I reckon, just like portals in any other industry), and limiting Kudoz questions would mean harming their income. There is no way they are going to do that...


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:51
German to English
+ ...
There is a limit. Aug 27, 2009

As far as I know, there is already a limit in place, but not based on how many questions are answered (see the FAQ under http://www.proz.com/faq/2812#2812 ).



[Edited at 2009-08-27 10:29 GMT]


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Cristina Cajoto  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:51
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
I understand your feelings Aug 27, 2009

I admit that I am not a very active participant in this section of the site, but I understand it can be frustrating to see lots of questions from the same translator for the same topic on the very same day. It seems that they are sending their translation in pieces to be translated by someone else. Maybe they are not qualified for this translation if they have so many questions about it. But, as Tomás said, I am afraid the only solution would be to try and address only "real" doubts from "real translators".

Regards,

Cristina.


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:51
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
some other suggestions here: Aug 27, 2009

http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/141301-kudoz_abuse_or_rotten_apples.html

if the forum is dominated by lazy translators, or cheap ones, it might just kill itself...

===
Ed


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cquest  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:51
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Aug 27, 2009

Thank you for joining in this discussion, even though (as I suspected but weren't able to find anything on the forums) it has been a recurrent topic.

@Lionel - if there is a limit for the number of questions one can ask (as Derek pointed out), there must be a way to reduce this mess. Same goes for people who ask about the same term for the hundredth time and then say - ooops I forgot to check in the glossaries. With some limits on that ProZ would be a much nicer and more useful place, though perhaps not for the lazy bums

I will read the thread linked by Edward later and come back tomorrow with comments.


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xxxLionel_M
Local time: 15:51
English to French
+ ...
Asking question Aug 27, 2009

When one asks a question, the system controls previous kudows and if your question has been already asked, it gives you the answers already proposed and asks you to confirm (or to cancel) your question.
Then it depends on asker .....

[Edited at 2009-08-27 10:55 GMT]


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Marina Aleyeva  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 16:51
English to Russian
+ ...
I like the idea very much Aug 27, 2009

I like your idea very much, cquest. It would definitely reverse KudoZ to what it was originally designed for - i.e. colleagues helping each other. As far as I know, there is no system in place right now specifically targeting the issue of mutual VS one-way help. As far as I see it, with clear and distinct limits applying to members as well as non-members, the potential for abuse would be much lower, even for those creators of multiple profiles.

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RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Some points to keep in mind on KudoZ Aug 27, 2009

Hi All,

In light of this discussion it may be worth reminding or clarifying a few points:

As you probably already know, KudoZ is a community-based terminology network. There are two broad areas: "help" KudoZ and "glossary-building" KudoZ (GBK). Both share many elements in common but have different objectives. This thread seems to be about "help" KudoZ exclusively. For information on GBK, go here.

1- When asking a "help" KudoZ question, the asker in need of term help is offered free assistance in translating terms. In this type of KudoZ, the emphasis is on, helping the asker.

2- The degree of difficulty of the "help" questions is addressed by the PRO/ non-PRO classification.

PRO questions are those that are asked by OR that are suitable for professional translators.

Non-PRO questions are those that are asked by people who are not professional translators, and that can be answered by any bilingual person without the aid of a dictionary

3- Although KudoZ participation is an open activity, participation is governed by General rules, Rules for asking and Rules for answering and making peer comments.

4- There is a limit on the number of question a given participant may ask per day. The daily limit (measured over a sliding 24-hr period) depends on membership level. Someone not registered with ProZ.com can ask one (1) question per day. Someone registered but not member can ask five (5) questions. Members can ask fifteen (15) questions. There are also weekly limits of 20 questions for registered non-members and 60 questions for members. Also if someone has ten (10) questions that have received valid answers and have been open for more than a week, he/she will not be allowed to ask further questions. He/she should grade and close these questions to continue asking.

5- There are not currently any plans to restrict the use of KudoZ. However, the option is provided to setting your preferences in such a way that you only receive notifications of type of questions of your interest. To do so you simply have to set your KudoZ dashboard and widen or narrow the criteria. For example you can limit the questions to:
- All users
- Registered users only
- ProZ.com members
- Glossary-building questions
- and you can also ignore questions from non-translators

6- Limiting asking based on whether or not an asker has asked, or answered a certain number of questions first, would not fit with the emphasis on helping those who need term help. Being community-based, it is encouraged that those who receive help also provide help when they can (and they do).

Romina


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:51
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It´s a ticklish point... Aug 27, 2009

But there are a few things to remember:

1. Some people who ask a lot of questions in one language pair may answer in a different pair.

This is logical, if they know one language far better than another.
I generally answer more questions than I ask in Danish to English, but I ask more in Swedish to English, and at one time I was very grateful for help with Dutch terms in connection with a series of proofing jobs on English texts written by a speaker of Dutch, although I do not work in Dutch.

2. Some people contribute to the site in other ways, e.g. by helping out with CAT tool problems in the forums. They do not get points or Browniz for it, but they do a great job.

3. Apart from that, this site is open to everyone, and we have all been beginners once. That means we do have to be patient with the beginners and wannabes, or else go to sites where only fully qualified professionals are allowed to participate.
But over time, beginners learn and start to contribute, even though they ask more than they answer at first.

4. Once given, KudoZ answers remain in the glossary for anyone to use, and potentially everyone can get more out of the site than they contribute. So help is not rationed. You do not get less because others get more.

Apart from all that, it would be very difficult to administer, as others have mentioned.

Happy translating!




[Edited at 2009-08-27 19:22 GMT]


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Marina Aleyeva  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 16:51
English to Russian
+ ...
Theory vs practice: It does not work this way Aug 27, 2009

RominaZ wrote:
1- When asking a "help" KudoZ question, the asker in need of term help is offered free assistance in translating terms. In this type of KudoZ, the emphasis is on, helping the asker.


In theory yes, but not in practice. What we have in reality is both askers seeking "help" and answerers seeking KudoZ points which in turn are closely linked to one's placement in the ProZ.com directory. There are two interested parties to abuse, not one. This is what makes abuse possible and work. Those askers who ask several dozens of questions per week are well aware of that. It is exactly the KudoZ point system the way it is now - with two interested parties - that makes abuse both so popular and difficult to deal with. For this reason,


- and you can also ignore questions from non-translators

...the option is provided to setting your preferences in such a way that you only receive notifications of type of questions of your interest.


ignoring/filtering questions is of no help. There will always be those eager to answer as many questions as possible to improve/secure their directory placement.


2- The degree of difficulty of the "help" questions is addressed by the PRO/ non-PRO classification.


In theory yes, but in practice, how many questions are asked as non-pro? Again, askers know just too well that non-pro questions attract less participation since they are not counted in the directory rating. And receiving less interest means the asker cannot go on and on asking their questions. They know they will not receive the response they seek. So they ask pro. Plus, who would want to admit they are asking simple questions anyway? Also, while the community can vote to change between pro and non-pro, it is the asker who decides whether a question should be asked as pro/non-pro in the first place. And I haven't seen many cases of pro to non-pro vote. For one thing, it is in no one's interest (and may harm the asker's ego).


PRO questions are those that are asked by OR that are suitable for professional translators. Non-PRO questions are those that are asked by people who are not professional translators, and that can be answered by any bilingual person without the aid of a dictionary


That's sheer theory. See above.


4- There is a limit on the number of question a given participant may ask per day. The daily limit (measured over a sliding 24-hr period) depends on membership level.


If these limits worked to prevent abuse, this topic would not have appeared.


6- Limiting asking based on whether or not an asker has asked, or answered a certain number of questions first, would not fit with the emphasis on helping those who need term help.


Sorry but this is just one more theory (or shall I say myth?). In practice, those who require real help never ask bundles of questions. Before going here for help, they do the homework a translator is supposed to do. And those who do ask bundles of questions are not seeking help. What they seek is having others do some work for them. And others readily do - they are awarded higher directory placement for that. That would be a perfectly innocent goods-money-goods scheme IF it weren't those askers' translations we all proofread, read, use or are affected by in some way or other.

[Edited at 2009-08-27 20:30 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-08-27 20:34 GMT]


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:51
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Too many less than competent answerers already Aug 27, 2009

Do we really want to force translators who need to ask many questions to display their lack of competence by answering questions?



[Edited at 2009-08-27 21:33 GMT]


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Marina Aleyeva  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 16:51
English to Russian
+ ...
I think some of them will be put off Aug 27, 2009

Michele Fauble wrote:

Do we really want to force translators who need to ask many questions to display their lack of competence by answering questions?



[Edited at 2009-08-27 21:33 GMT]


I don't think many of the keen askers will actually indulge in answering questions. I think at least some of them only use the system as long as it is free and readily available.


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:51
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Compulsory term search before question is submitted Aug 28, 2009

Hi,

I am afraid that it would not be possible to implement Cquest's idea - for instance those people could start giving silly answers just to achieve proper question/answer ratio.

However many companies make it compulsory before submitting a Support Ticket to search their FAQ or knowledgbase. We could use the same procedure here. What if during the process of asking a question it would be necessary to run a search for the term which is in the field question. It could be one of the stages of asking a question.

Only once such a search has been made it would be possible to submit a question (doesn't matter if the search brought any results or no - as results may be unsatisfactory). I think that it would work as a filter and would reduce amount of multiple question regarding the same term.

Best Regards
Stanislaw


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