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The "Linguistics" kudoz category
Thread poster: Aradai Pardo Martínez

Aradai Pardo Martínez  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:45
Swedish to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 12, 2010

Hi!

Everyday I see kudoz questions in which the asker doesn't understand the meaning of a word or the syntax of a phrase, and he/she labels them, wrongly, as 'linguistics' because there isn't a better option. Wouldn't it be useful to have a "meaning" or a "syntactic construction" category for this kind of questions?

My point is: these questions are not about linguistics as a field of knowledge (such as religion or engineering) because terminologically, or semantically, they belong somewhere else, and the category ends up being a whatever-might-be-related-to-language-bin.

What do you all think about it?


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:45
English to Japanese
+ ...
There's nothing much to worry about Mar 12, 2010

If I understand correctly what you wrote, the answerers would change the category from say, linguistics -> religion or medical or whatever the asked term or phrase belongs to. Like you say, there are sometimes where the asker doesn't understand the meaning of a word or the syntax of a phrase, but most of the time, that would be corrected accordingly.

 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:45
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Answerers cannot change the category Mar 12, 2010

the answerers would change the category from say, linguistics -> religion or medical or whatever the asked term or phrase belongs to


Answerers cannot change the category.
As it is now, only KudoZ editors, Moderators and site staff can change the category of a question.


 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:45
Member (2002)
Hungarian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Answerers *are* allowed to change the category Mar 12, 2010

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:
Answerers cannot change the category.
As it is now, only KudoZ editors, Moderators and site staff can change the category of a question.


I beg to differ. I just tested it and I could have saved my changes (of course I didn't) to both the main field and the subcategory. And I am neither an editor/moderator nor a staff member.
Cheers,
Ildiko


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:45
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Accepted answer or just any answer? Mar 12, 2010

You make me curious.
Was the question you tested closed and your answer accepted already, or was it a question still open?
How did you attempt to make the change?
Do you see an "Edit" button in the row of buttons, such as "Answer", etc?
If yes, can you see the same "Edit" button for a question you have not answered?
If you open up a brand new question, with no answers yet, do you see a "Squash" button, too?
Katalin

[Edited at 2010-03-12 17:21 GMT]


 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:45
Member (2002)
Hungarian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Both open and closed questions Mar 12, 2010

"Was the question you tested closed and your answer accepted already, or was it a question still open?"

I tested both, and I can select from the drop-down lists in both cases.

"How did you attempt to make the change?
Do you see an "Edit" button in the row of buttons"

Yes. Right next to the 'Reverse pair' button.

"If yes, can you see the same "Edit" button for a question you have not answered?"

Yes I can.

"If you open up a brand new question, with no answers yet, do you see a "Squash" button, too?"

I'll have to get back to you on that one. Usually other answerers are wayyyy faster.. ; )

Ildiko'


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:45
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Ildiko, try this Mar 12, 2010

I posted a test question.
Do you see the Squash button (on the right)?

[I deleted the question after Ildiko tested it.]

[Edited at 2010-03-12 21:18 GMT]


 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:45
Member (2002)
Hungarian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
No 'Squash' button Mar 12, 2010

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

I posted a test question.
Do you see the Squash button (on the right)?


No, I don't. I only see these 3 (on the right):
Edit - Reverse pair - Vote Non-Pro

HTH.

[Edited at 2010-03-12 19:33 GMT]


 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Squash button only for mods and certain editors Mar 12, 2010

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

I posted a test question.
Do you see the Squash button (on the right)?

http://www.proz.com/kudoz/volap_to_zulu/computers_general/3744934-test_please_ignore.html



Perhaps you still have the squash button from your days as mod or you are considered an editor. Afaik, there is no squash button visible to us normal folk
icon_cool.gif

[Edited at 2010-03-12 19:39 GMT]


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:45
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
This is precisely why I asked, writeaway Mar 12, 2010

I asked whether Ildiko can see the Squash button because I was curios whether there is a system glitch - I am fully aware that only KudoZ editors (and Moderators) can see and use that button.
I can see it, as well as all other buttons, because I am a KudoZ editor.

The point of the exercise was to see in what circumstances does the "Edit" button show up, and to whom. For years, that button was not visible to (as you put it) "normal folks".
It seems, it is available now to a wider user base.
I could not find any announcement about changing this feature, and the FAQ still indicates changing the category and reversing the language pair of a question as a right reserved to KudoZ editors and moderators.


1.5 - KudoZ editors [Direct link]

5.1 - I see some users (not moderators) reclassifying, or removing, others' questions. How are these members selected?

Moderators may invite members/registered users who have at least 300 KudoZ PRO points to read the guidelines for editing and squashing, and take a short test. Those who pass have the right to edit in these ways.


See more here:

http://www.proz.com/faq/5647#5647

So, it is either that Ildiko is a KudoZ editor, but she is not aware of it, or the system was changed without announcement.

I am submitting a support request and ask staff to clarify here.
Katalin


 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:45
Member (2002)
Hungarian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
All-encompassing category Mar 12, 2010

Aradai Pardo M wrote:
My point is: these questions are not about linguistics as a field of knowledge (such as religion or engineering) because terminologically, or semantically, they belong somewhere else, and the category ends up being a whatever-might-be-related-to-language-bin.


Hello Aradai,
(Now that we have spent some time on the technical issues that were discovered thanks to your posting... ; )
I don't think the current system needs to be changed, since the sub-categories you mention (terminology, semantics), as well as many more, are all included within the broader, all-encompassing category of *linguistics*, don't you think? I personally don't see the need to add yet another category, but let's hear what others have to say.

Best regards,
Ildiko'


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:45
English to Japanese
+ ...
@Katalin Mar 13, 2010

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

the answerers would change the category from say, linguistics -> religion or medical or whatever the asked term or phrase belongs to


Answerers cannot change the category.
As it is now, only KudoZ editors, Moderators and site staff can change the category of a question.


Like ildiko, I have three buttons on the right in the order of Edit, Reverse Pair and Vote Non-pro, but I don't have the squash button. The three button always appear on ANY language pair (I just chose an English-Spanish question from the home page). And if I press Edit, I could change the question to any category in the drop down list. I believe this feature is available for users who've earned a certain amount of KudoZ points.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:45
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Back to the original topic - how about marking them as "Other"? Mar 13, 2010

I have asked staff to comment on the apparent discrepancy between what used to be the practice in terms of editing KudoZ questions, what is written in the FAQ and what the current system is doing. Hopefully we will get an explanation on that.

Back to the original topic:
I think the original poster was talking about monolingual questions* when the asker has trouble understanding the structure of the sentence (for example, "how does the part after the comma relate to the first part of the sentence", or "does this adjective refer to the first noun, the second, or both" or "is there anything missing from this sentence") or the underlying meaning ("does the writer really mean XYZ"). Many of these questions arise from bad writing in the source text, or lack of understanding subtle nuances.
(*I am assuming these are monolingual questions, because that's how they should be posted.)

The purpose of the classification is: #1. to send out notification to users that listed the category among their specialty/working/interest fields, and #2: to put the question/answer into the Glossary under the appropriate category for future searching purposes.
Now, having an incorrect classification does cause problem with #1, as the notification would go out to the wrong people. If the classification is changed (by whomever) after the question was posted, as far as I know, it does not trigger new notifications, so changing the category does not solve this problem. It does solve #2, but IMHO, having the correct category in the above described monolingual questions is not crucial, as they would not be the target of specific searches often (if at all).

That's why I think it is important to set the category right the first time. (Question to staff:A while ago there was another forum discussion pointing out the fact that askers themselves did not have the right to edit the category and language pair of their questions after they posted them. There was a promise to change that - has that happened yet?)

As to whether these questions should be classified as "Linguistics", I think I am with the original poster: in most cases, they probably should not be.
Linguistics is defined here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistics
"Linguistics" type of texts are written about topics in the field of "linguistics". If a question is classified in this category, the notification would go out to people with expertise in this field. However, the type of questions described above are NOT coming from texts written about a linguistic topic, and the askers do not need help from experts in linguistics, they can be helped by many other people (sometimes being native in the given language is a great help).
So, the question is, whether it is a good idea to create a new category for such questions (maybe "source text clarification")?

Let me bring up an example. A few years ago there was a KudoZ question about the term "gallbladder". The term itself could have been classified as medical, or biology, right? Yeah, but came up in a technical text about (you wouldn't guess) a refrigerator... Such text would be in the technical category... The asker was puzzled by the presence of this word in the description of the various parts of the fridge. (As it turned out, the source text was an incorrect translation from Chinese to English, where the translator picked the wrong translation for a kanji that also meant "inner lining", and the "gallbladder" was actually referring to the inner lining of the fridge cabinet.) So, what would be the correct category to pick, when asking such a question? Medical, technical, linguistics? Maybe none of them.

Perhaps marking both the Broad and Specific fields as "Other" would help and then type "Source text clarification" to the "Write-in field" would solve the problem?

Katalin

[Edited at 2010-03-13 21:41 GMT]


 

Aradai Pardo Martínez  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:45
Swedish to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
'Other' sounds good Mar 14, 2010

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:


As to whether these questions should be classified as "Linguistics", I think I am with the original poster: in most cases, they probably should not be.
Linguistics is defined here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistics
"Linguistics" type of texts are written about topics in the field of "linguistics". If a question is classified in this category, the notification would go out to people with expertise in this field. However, the type of questions described above are NOT coming from texts written about a linguistic topic, and the askers do not need help from experts in linguistics, they can be helped by many other people (sometimes being native in the given language is a great help).
So, the question is, whether it is a good idea to create a new category for such questions (maybe "source text clarification")?

Let me bring up an example. A few years ago there was a KudoZ question about the term "gallbladder". The term itself could have been classified as medical, or biology, right? Yeah, but came up in a technical text about (you wouldn't guess) a refrigerator... Such text would be in the technical category... The asker was puzzled by the presence of this word in the description of the various parts of the fridge. (As it turned out, the source text was an incorrect translation from Chinese to English, where the translator picked the wrong translation for a kanji that also meant "inner lining", and the "gallbladder" was actually referring to the inner lining of the fridge cabinet.) So, what would be the correct category to pick, when asking such a question? Medical, technical, linguistics? Maybe none of them.

Perhaps marking both the Broad and Specific fields as "Other" would help and then type "Source text clarification" to the "Write-in field" would solve the problem?

Katalin

[Edited at 2010-03-13 21:41 GMT]


This was exactly my point! There are a lot of questions of this kind (I'm making this one up now): "Medicine/Linguistics": "what does 'several' mean in this context"?

As you see, it isn't a question of either medical nor linguistic terminology and maybe it would be more efficient, both for asker and answerers, to label it into a different category.


 

Jared Tabor
Local time: 23:45
SITE STAFF
KudoZ editors vs. participants who have some edit options Mar 15, 2010

Hello all,

KudoZ participants who have 500 PRO points or more may have some KudoZ editor options, including the options to edit language pair and category.

KudoZ participants who have 300 PRO points or more may be invited to apply to become KudoZ editors. A major difference between a KudoZ editor and the someone who has earned 500 points or more and has editing options is the ability to squash questions (which have not received any answer yet).

I'll make sure the FAQs get updated to reflect this more clearly.

Katalin, you ask about an asker's option to edit category and pair on their own questions. This has not been forgotten, but it has not yet been implemented.

Best regards,

Jared


 
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