KudoZ fields: too narrow?
Thread poster: Tony M

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:11
Member
French to English
+ ...
Apr 25, 2005

I appreciate the drive to target questions better, and have myself been irritated in the past by receiving questions about fields I know nothing about, simply because the categories were too broad.

But now I am experiencing the opposite problem: despite having opted to rceeive notifications about a wide range of fields, I still find I am missing quite a few questions where I could have had some (useful?) input.

One of the problems is that Askers often choose the wrong field (IMO) --- and also, that there are no cross-fields --- for example, a question came up this morning in FR > EN 'Technical: telecoms' that was in many ways more to do with 'Business/finance'.

If I use the write-in field to explain, the problem is that the question may already have been filtered out; for example, if Asker had put 'Telecom' as the main field, and then written in 'administration/billing', non-Tech/Eng anwserers who might have been able to help still wouldn't have received the question; and vice-versa, if it had been posted in 'Business/Fin.' with a note 'Telecoms.'

It seems difficult, if not impossible, to cover all eventualities, but I do think some trimming of the existing fields might be useful.

I also note that inexperienced ProZians seem to have difficulty getting to grips with the 'fields' system, maybe someone could come up with a tutorial on the subject?


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:11
Member (2002)
English to Italian
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Agree: not an efficient system Apr 25, 2005

I agree entirely with Dusty. One should also consider that when asking for Kudoz help the translator is usually under strong pressure. Deadline is close and all efforts should be devoted to the assignment.

That is certainly not a good moment to spend half an hour searching trough Kudoz fieds!

As a Kudoz answerer, I also find it complicate to set up my kudoz mail preferences. It was probably easier to organize properly my e-mail folders. (However I have to admit that I am only casual answerer.)


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gad
United States
Local time: 19:11
Member
French to English
I agree Apr 25, 2005

The problem with these fields is that sometimes terms, or documents, as we all know, seem to fall into one category when they may actually be instead or also in another category. I am sure that I have been guilty of that myself, not intentionally, of course, but because I have had trouble deciding on which category so I try to choose the one which seems closest. That being said, I am not certain of the solution, then. Many times I choose "Other", but I don't believe that solves the problem, either, as some good answerers might not receive those notifications. I think this is a good topic to bring up in a thread here and hope that we get some more good feedback to come up with a collaborative solution to this, Dusty.:)

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
KudoZ and fields Apr 25, 2005

Dusty wrote:
One of the problems is that Askers often choose the wrong field (IMO) --- and also, that there are no cross-fields --- for example, a question came up this morning in FR > EN 'Technical: telecoms' that was in many ways more to do with 'Business/finance'.


gad wrote:
The problem with these fields is that sometimes terms, or documents, as we all know, seem to fall into one category when they may actually be instead or also in another category.


I don't filter KudoZ on fields, and I don't plan to at any time in the future. To sum up: (1) Wrong field chosen by asker; (2) Terms that are difficult to classify in any useful way.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:11
Member
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Forum activity level plays a part? Apr 25, 2005

GoodWords wrote:
I don't filter KudoZ on fields, and I don't plan to at any time in the future. To sum up: (1) Wrong field chosen by asker; (2) Terms that are difficult to classify in any useful way.


Good idea, but I tried doing that, and I was just SO inundated with KudoZ mails, I couldn't cope; maybe your forum is less busy than the FR > EN one? The activity level in the forum must of course be a big factor...

It is a problem for Askers, that's for sure, and I'm certain we've all fallen foul of it; at the same time, some people do seem to apply slightly less common sense than they might, I don't know if it is a problem understanding the field names, or in deciding about their own document (surely not?)

Bring back the old, broader categories, I say, unless someone can think of a better solution?!


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
No subscription Apr 26, 2005

Dusty wrote:

(in reference to my previous comment):
I don't filter KudoZ on fields, and I don't plan to at any time in the future. To sum up: (1) Wrong field chosen by asker; (2) Terms that are difficult to classify in any useful way.


Good idea, but I tried doing that, and I was just SO inundated with KudoZ mails, I couldn't cope; maybe your forum is less busy than the FR > EN one? The activity level in the forum must of course be a big factor...


No, I'm in SpanishEnglish, also one of the busiest pairs. Rather than subscribing to receive e-mail notifications, I access KudoZ queries on the website, dropping in from time to time for a mini-break from translating. With respect to the topic of this thread, I choose to view queries in all categories. A quick glance down the index page of KudoZ queries (ignoring the stated subjct) is enough to spot the ones of interest.


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Robert Donahue  Identity Verified
Russian to English
+ ...
I don't bother with the filtering myself... Apr 26, 2005

However, I'm in the Ru->En pair and it's not nearly as active as the French or Spanish. I think that if I filtered I'd start feeling like the Culligan man pretty quick. : )

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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:11
Member
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I see... Apr 26, 2005

GoodWords wrote:
I access KudoZ queries on the website, dropping in from time to time for a mini-break from translating. With respect to the topic of this thread, I choose to view queries in all categories. A quick glance down the index page of KudoZ queries (ignoring the stated subjct) is enough to spot the ones of interest.


Yes, of course, now that I have broadband at last I can do that too, but before, it was too costly and time-consuming on pay-as-you-go!

Culligan-man, Robert? Surely not THAT crusty already ?

BTW, I didn't even know it was called filtering

[Edited at 2005-04-26 07:16]


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RHELLER
United States
Local time: 17:11
French to English
+ ...
how can askers best utilize the fields system? Apr 26, 2005

Dusty said:
"I also note that inexperienced ProZians seem to have difficulty getting to grips with the 'fields' system, maybe someone could come up with a tutorial on the subject?"

My request to askers is to think before checking the subject box. If the question is about budgets/Human Resources/billing, even if the overall translation job is on telecommunications, the finance field should be checked IMO.

Translations often have crossover terminology. Another example might be packaging terms within a job on computers. If the terms in question deal with boxes, cardboard, styrofoam, labelling, then no expertise in computers is required. Maybe I am wrong - I'm sure my peers will let me know


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:11
Member
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Think first... Apr 26, 2005

Rita Heller wrote:
My request to askers is to think before checking the subject box.


Yes, I couldn't agree more! We've all come across this; indeed, it is just this cross-over situation that causes me the most headaches, when I take on a job that falls within my fields, but contains terms from other, less familiar ones.

Maybe all of us are sometimes guilty of not reading the question (or the field, or the language pair...) thoroughly enough; today I looked at a question that had been edited back and forth FR > EN / EN > FR I don't know how many times, simply because people were too hasty jumping to the wrong conclusion!

I know it's the same for context; it's amazing how often we forget that other people won't have the same background knowledge about the snippet of text as ourselves!

So maybe the lesson for all of us, novice and experienced alike, is to think a bit more carefully before clicking!


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gad
United States
Local time: 19:11
Member
French to English
So how am I doing? Apr 28, 2005

Dusty and Rita, you have both answered questions I have posted - perhaps you might let me know how guilty I am of this? If it's bad, you can just email me, lol.;)

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ntext  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:11
Member
German to English
+ ...
Agree w/ Rita Apr 28, 2005

Rita Heller wrote:

My request to askers is to think before checking the subject box. If the question is about budgets/Human Resources/billing, even if the overall translation job is on telecommunications, the finance field should be checked IMO.

Translations often have crossover terminology. Another example might be packaging terms within a job on computers. If the terms in question deal with boxes, cardboard, styrofoam, labelling, then no expertise in computers is required.


When in doubt, the decisive factor for choosing the field should be the term itself, not the topic of the overall text.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:11
Member
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Fine! Apr 30, 2005

gad wrote:

Dusty and Rita, you have both answered questions I have posted - perhaps you might let me know how guilty I am of this?


Sadly, it's hard to look back at past questions and sort them by Asker [could this feature be a useful addition?].

But from recollection, I think your choice of fields has usually been pretty accurate, and thoughtful, and you usually seem to appreciate the sort of context that will be helpful in answering; only on a very few occasions, I seem to recall, did you leave out key information that was in your own head, but not in ours

It's very simple, really: if I see someone consistently asking badly-expressed questions, I just don't bother to answer any more questions from them; I'm not on a points quest here, so I don't give a monkey's, but I'll always try and help those I think are worth it, and of course, those who often help me too!

And as for those people who give scant context, and then have the cheek to berate Answerers who are trying to be helpful for giving answers that do not fit their context --- well, people like that are soon struck off my list, and it's a shame a few more of us don't club together and boycott the most regular culprits, perhaps that would teach them a little about KudoZ etiquette --- and plain common courtesy!

Remember, if you don't get the right answer, it's probably because you asked the wrong question!

[Edited at 2005-04-30 08:20]


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gad
United States
Local time: 19:11
Member
French to English
Thanks, Dusty! May 3, 2005

I have appreciated all your help and I like your style in answering questions. I think this was a good topic for you to bring up and of course I want to make sure I'm asking the "right" questions.

Merci encore.:)


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