some suggestions for improving the KudoZ system
Thread poster: Massimo Lencioni

Massimo Lencioni  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:17
English to Italian
+ ...
Jan 1, 2002

We have been a member of the ProZ community for a while now and have lately been quite active on the KudoZ front.

Our guess is that the following issues have already been discussed in the past, but we would like to make a few suggestions anyway.

We believe a lot of people are annoyed when seeing questions about commun-use phrases such as \'I love you\', \'happy new year\', etc., which can easily be found in the glossaries.

Even though the person asking a question is encouraged to check the glossaries for existing translations, apparently not everyone makes this effort.

Wouldn\'t it be possible to change the process of posting KudoZ questions to a 2-step procedure, forcing the user to look up their words in the glossary first, after which they can submit it for \'human intervention\' if no (useful) match is found?

We also believe the quality of the KudoZ system could be even higher if we find ways of discouraging people to respond to queries in language combination they have no expertise in. The way it works now, occasionally \'solutions\' to questions make no sense at all, but get chosen as the most useful answer and sometimes even end up in the glossary, because the person asking the question naturally relies on the quality of the answer provided.

We don\'t have a quick solution for this problem, but maybe a discussion about this will produce some good ideas.

A way of discouraging people to respond to queries in language combinations that are not theirs might be to block submission of their \'solutions\' if the query in question concerns a language combination that is not listed among their working languages.

Of course anyone can easily add avery possible language combination to their profile, but their profile would look a lot less serious and it would be at least some form of obstacle. We hope other users will come up with some good ideas to address these issues...

Katja de Vries

Massimo Lencioni


John Kinory (X)
Local time: 11:17
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Replies in non-working pairs Jan 1, 2002

Dear Katja and Massimo,

People replying in language-pairs they are not qualified to work in has been a major complaint of Werner, Richard and myself for some time now. The only result has been that we have been flamed for it, on- and off-site. Indeed, one person got so furious that she squashed an entire question in revenge - just because my answer was chosen (and chosen properly) and not hers, after I criticised her for answering into English.

Sadly, those people do not seem to mind that having the resulting Kudoz listed on their page - sometimes from 30 languages into 25, clearly a ludicrous exhibition of unprofessional behaviour - makes them look less serious to potential clients.



Lester  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:17
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Kudoz reflect the ASKER's competence Jan 2, 2002

Henry said in another forum that Kudoz are used by agencies/clients when selecting a professional as a mirror of that professional\'s competence. Fine concept, but reality tells me it is different.

When points are awarded to a wrong answer, the quality of the professional, as interpreted by the Kudoz system, is compromised. As a result, a professional is not being judged in the merits of his/her own knowledge and competence, but that of the ASKER.

As some of you, I also have contacted \"askers\" directly and pointed out the reasons why the selected answer was wrong. To date only one bothered to respond to me and apologized saying the customer had liked the WRONG answer better, so it stayed.

Yes, something needs to be done about the Kudoz system and its use.



Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO) (X)
Local time: 06:17
German to English
+ ...
KudoZ = meritocracy??? Jan 2, 2002

I agree with my colleagues: at this point, KudoZ has nothing to do with meritocracy. It is a race for points that no one cares about (especially not outsourcers). Too many ProZ members chase after points at all cost: they answer questions in language pairs or subject areas that they are not qualified for. And what is the point of having points in 300 language pairs????? Plus, points are often (mostly) awarded based on personal relationships, back-slapping, etc.

The only truly meritocratic element would be the \"asker\'s history\", which is still not working properly (it only shows your own history). But this would be the one aspect that outsourcers would really be interested in! It would also show up the inane questions posted by some, supposedly, \"highly-qualified and professional\" members who tend to drift into \"foreign\" language pairs and subject matters.

I fully agree with you, Giovanna, KudoZ needs to be reformed and fast! This must include a new approach to the working languages members list in their profiles: choose one dominant language; all language pairs must include such dominant language; KudoZ answers may only be given in such pairs.

Once implemented, you would see a steep decline in the points collected by the so-called \"KudoZ leaders\" (most of them forage their points from language pairs that are \"foreign\" to them - in more than one way).


Massimo Lencioni  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:17
English to Italian
+ ...
Why not first try out this? Jan 2, 2002

Before imposing a limit on the number and type of working languages by forcing users to choose a dominant language, I think it would be worth a try to see if it does any good preventing people to answers questions in other language combinations than the ones they have set up in their profile.

Myabe it will work, maybe it will not (my guess is it will at least work to some extent). And then we can take it from there...

Personally I don\'t like the idea of having to specify a dominant language because:

1. I would have to change my working languages (we are actually two translators working closely together, with each a different \'dominant\' language - you might say we should use two different, individual, profiles, but we prefer to work with just one, given the intensitiy of our collaboration and the fact that we work as a single legal firm.

2. It is not going to solve the problem, but it will only reduce its extent. \"KudoZ hunters\" with say English as their dominat language, will add every possible language combination that includes English, including English-Farsi, Bosnian-English, English-Arabic, Panjabi-English, etc. while in reality they only have expertise in maybe Spanish-English and French-English.

I believe the habit of some people to reply to questions in any language combination, no matter what level of expertise (or lanck thereof) may be not only makes them look less professional, but it also shows little respect for our profession as translators. If you are not fluent in both languages involved, please let someone else who is answer the question! Answering questions is not merely about scoring points, first and foremost it\'s about helping each other. And guesswork is not helping anyone.



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