Language variant on Kudoz questions
Thread poster: Jennifer Byers

Jennifer Byers  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:20
Portuguese to English
Aug 6, 2012

Might it be helpful to include a "language variant" box in the fields for Kudoz questions? e.g. asker could write EN/UK or PT/BR. This would be helpful to answerers in numerous fields, and ultimately to the asker, who would have more certainty that the right term was being offered.

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:20
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
In theory it would Aug 6, 2012

While in theory it is a good idea, the fact for 90% of askers is that you can hardly make them enter anything apart from their question term (well, they add half a dozen words more if they can) and the sentence where it appears. The new field would never be used. Proof of that is that language variants are very rarely indeed specified in the description of questions.

There have been numerous discussions about how to improve Kudoz, but clearly adding fields does not add to the solution. The solution should be a penalty for misprepared questions that create confusion, questions lacking proof that the asker made any kind of effort to solve the problem independently, or questions that show no respect for the rest of Proz.com users. Such askers should be penalised and their right to make questions should be cut gradually to keep bad askers out of the system. Kudoz moderators are a must, but Kudoz is too precious a toy for Proz.com to put limits to it and improve its quality.

[Edited at 2012-08-06 07:04 GMT]


 

urbom
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:20
German to English
+ ...
ask the Asker (or provide regional information yourself) Aug 6, 2012

You could post a question to the Asker in the Discussion field. They might respond and specify which regional variant they're after.

Alternatively, you could add regional information to an answer you provide if you're aware that your answer is valid for just one variety of the target language. That way, your answer could be useful to others searching in the Kudoz archive in the future -- even if it's not the right variant for the Asker in this case.

[Edited at 2012-08-06 08:39 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hear hear Aug 6, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

While in theory it is a good idea, the fact for 90% of askers is that you can hardly make them enter anything apart from their question term (well, they add half a dozen words more if they can) and the sentence where it appears. The new field would never be used. Proof of that is that language variants are very rarely indeed specified in the description of questions.

There have been numerous discussions about how to improve Kudoz, but clearly adding fields does not add to the solution. The solution should be a penalty for misprepared questions that create confusion, questions lacking proof that the asker made any kind of effort to solve the problem independently, or questions that show no respect for the rest of Proz.com users. Such askers should be penalised and their right to make questions should be cut gradually to keep bad askers out of the system. Kudoz moderators are a must, but Kudoz is too precious a toy for Proz.com to put limits to it and improve its quality.

[Edited at 2012-08-06 07:04 GMT]


I totally agree - it would never or rarely get used. I think most people tend to forget that that there are several variants possible in our pair. My colleagues and I tend to only use "Spanish" to refer to European Spanish (Castilian), and we call the several other variants... differently. The two main English variants I work in are UK and USA and often the only way to tell which variant is indicated is by looking at the asker's time zone or profile.


 

Jennifer Byers  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:20
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
No hope then... Aug 6, 2012

I hear and half agree with what's been said so far, it just seems that everyone is content to take a complacent stance on this rather than try to improve things, which seems a shame.

@urbom - agree completely that as either the asker or answerer one could take the trouble to specify language variants, but I still think the onus should be on the asker, and having a little field for language variant or even including it in the text where it says "Have you provided enough context" might jog the asker's consciousness and eventually it might become almost a habit! It would certainly do no harm!

@Tomás - also agree that people can be incredibly lazy about the content of the questions they pose, and also about the number! Sometimes I wonder how people can even accept jobs where they end up posting 8-10 questions at a time, and have made no apparent effort to find an answer themselves.

Anyway, if this forum succeeds in "jogging the consciousness" of even just a handful of us, it will have been worth it. As of now, although only 3 people have replied, the forum has had 194 views. Slowly does it....!


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:20
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
195/4 and heartily agree with the proposal. Aug 6, 2012

And you never know.
Giving people the option might help one or two serious users of KudoZ.

The reason many of us use it at all is because there are still professionals who can frame a question, and on other occasions give a helpful answer.

While I like the way this site is open to beginners - I can creep in with my stupid questions and hide in the crowd - the real advantage of it is that you can see how things should be done too.

There is no point in dumbing down.


 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:20
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
You could have specified that before! Aug 6, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Proof of that is that language variants are very rarely indeed specified in the description of questions.


Instead the asker often offers this essential piece of information when closing the question. "I needed the term used in UK English".


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:20
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
We used to have it Aug 6, 2012

It was implemented in 2005, see this thread:

http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/35829-comprehensive_kudoz_update_released.html

Then, it was taken away sometime during the past 2-3 years, I think. I cannot find the discussion thread about it, but I do remember it.

EDIT:
I found it!

http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/113005-disappearance_of_language_variant_line_from_kudoz_answer_page.html

What we have now is a list on the KudoZ asking form, with suggestions on what to include in the context box:

Help translators help you: providing context for the term for which you are seeking help is a valuable tool for potential answerers. The more context you can provide for your term, the better help you will tend to receive. Consider including such information as:

type of document/situation in which the term appears
country and dialect
target audience/country
specific context (the source sentence or paragraph where the term occurs)
any reference URLs, translations you are considering, etc.

See a more detailed description of context to include here.

Also, make sure no sensitive or confidential information is included in this form.



[Edited at 2012-08-06 21:49 GMT]


 

Jennifer Byers  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:20
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Useful background! Aug 6, 2012

That was useful background info Katalin, thanks. Sounds like the "powers that be" opted for that small line in the context box, rather than leaving it as a separate box - even I hadn't noticed it - how embarrassing!!!

Oh well, the view count on this post is at 283 and rising... Awareness is the first step to any kind of change, so if we can change enough people's habits by making them aware of the need to remember to specify language variant wherever possible, it will be a (small) step forward.

One hopes this is site is governed somewhat democratically, so I might try posting in the new forum facility where you can make suggestions and vote. Couldn't make it work yesterday which is why I ended up here, but will have another go!


 


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