Could ALL contest entries be displayed (not just the finalists)?
Thread poster: Donald Scott Alexander
Donald Scott Alexander

Local time: 08:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 4, 2008

Does anyone think it would be a good idea to publish ALL the contest entries now - not just the finalists?

If a contestant included their name with their entry, they probably would be happy to have the entry published now - even it if got eliminated during the qualification round and didn't make it to the finals. (And "anonymous" entries can still be published as well.) This would give a clearer picture of the entire field of contestants.

This could be also be important if a contestant wants to include their (non-winning!) entry in their Portfolio on the proz.com site. The only way to really "prove" that the entry wasn't changed after-the-fact (by "fixing" it based on comparing with the other entries) would be to publish all the original entries.

It would be unfortunate to have some entries simply "disappear" now just because they didn't make it to the finals. There still could be valuable lessons to be learned by letting everyone see all the original entries, so that the hard work done by all the contestants will not be lost.


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:23
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
I don't see the point of it Jul 4, 2008

In my language pairs, I thought most of the translations were either pretty bad, or if overall good had significant errors or clumsy sections. Why make a point of publicizing those that didn't make it to the final round? You can always post your translation on your profile, and if someone wants to think you "fixed it up," so be it.

Susan


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:23
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
It may lead to the wrong conclusion Jul 4, 2008

I submitted entries for English and Spanish texts. They did not make it to the final round. I knew it. It took me only about half an hour each, which I did on purpose, as an exercise addressed to understand the mistakes in a job done in hasty and sort of spontaneously. I would never apply this process to any of my jobs, which may be the reason why I have never had a job returned. I do not want anyone reaching the wrong conclusion, therefore, I do not want my entries published.

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Donald Scott Alexander

Local time: 08:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Maybe the RU>EN and GERMAN>EN non-finalists were all "pretty bad"... but not all SP>EN and PT>EN Jul 4, 2008

SusanWelsh wrote:

In my language pairs, I thought most of the translations were either pretty bad, or if overall good had significant errors or clumsy sections.

Susan


I agree with Susan regarding her language pairs (Russian-to-English and German-to-English), which received excellent scrutiny during the qualification phase, eliminating weaker entries.

However, in other language pairs I work in (SP>EN, PT>EN) I think some stronger entries which were not "pretty bad" at all and which did not have any "significant errors" or "clumsy sections" got eliminated before the finals, perhaps because the qualification-phase scrutiny was different in these language pairs than it was in RU>EN and GERMAN>EN.


SusanWelsh wrote:

Why make a point of publicizing those that didn't make it to the final round? You can always post your translation on your profile, and if someone wants to think you "fixed it up," so be it.

Susan


I disagree with Susan here. I think publicizing the entries which didn't make it to the final round can be helpful, while simply discarding or 'disappearing' non-finalist entries can be harmful - for a variety of reasons.

Many contestants worked hard on their entries, and the contest system has been carefully designed to make sure that it is fair. There is no reason to let uncertainty, doubt and non-transparency creep into such a carefully designed system. There is no reason to now just say "so be it" if contestants who selected the option of having their entry published even if it didn't win now find that it isn't going to be published when it didn't win. This would be changing the rules after the fact.

Why should we force the contestant to post an unofficial version of their original entry, when the official version is already available and time-stamped on the proz.com servers? Why should we make clients wonder whether an entry was "fixed up" after the fact when it's just as easy to publish the official version (as requested by the contestant in the first place) so that clients can be 100% certain that they're seeing the official original entry in the translator's portfolio?

If all entries are published, this also makes it easier to see what the overall field of competitors was like (and how 'wide' it was), and provides further background to understand how and why the winner won.

If non-finalist entries simply disappear without a trace, this could discourage people from submitting entries in the contest. In my case, I would really like the opportunity to publish my official non-finalist SP>EN and PT>EN entries as submitted before the contest deadline, so that my clients can judge for themselves whether they are "pretty bad" or had "significant errors" or "clumsy sections". Right now these entries are completely invisible as if they never existed -- even though I selected the option to have my entries displayed even if I didn't win.

(And although I have final copies of these entries on my hard drive, there is still the chance that these copies might differ slightly from the official version submitted to the contest -- because I do remember making some last-minute changes on-line, and I can't always be sure I copied those last-minute changes from the browser back to the document on my hard drive. So this provides yet another reason for publishing all the entries as officially submitted: to make sure that the contestants themselves have an accurate, up-to-date copy of what they actually submitted, instead of having to rely on the copy on their hard drive, which may have gotten out-of-synch with the on-line version if they forgot to copy their last-minute on-line changes back from the browser to their local document.)

I did not spend all that time on those entries simply to have them disappear without a trace. Contestants need to be reassured that even if their entry doesn't win, it will still be officially recorded on the site if that's the option they selected.

As translators we all know how easy it is for minor errors, inconsistencies, typos and other discrepancies to occur, and we know that the only way to make sure things are accurate is to check and double-check everything against the original. If we are going to change the rules now and just say "so be it" if entries go unpublished after contestants selected the option to have them published, win or lose -- and if we force them to rely on possibly fixed-up or outdated local copies on their hard drives -- then we are definitely going to run into unnecessary trouble down the road.

To avoid errors and confusion, let's just publish the official original entries if that's the option which the contestant specifically selected.


Luisa Ramos wrote:

I submitted entries for English and Spanish texts. They did not make it to the final round. I knew it. It took me only about half an hour each, which I did on purpose, as an exercise addressed to understand the mistakes in a job done in hasty and sort of spontaneously. I would never apply this process to any of my jobs... I do not want anyone reaching the wrong conclusion, therefore, I do not want my entries published.

Luisa


Luisa is discussing a rather unusual sort of situation here -- involving entries which were submitted in the hopes of losing. If the contestant doesn't want those sort of entries published, there is already a mechanism in place where they can choose not to have their name published if their entry doesn't win. So if someone wants to submit entries which have mistakes in them "on purpose", then they can select the option where it says not to display your name if your entry loses.

But aside from that non-standard way of using the contest system (submitting losing entries "on purpose"), most other contestants took their time to submit what they hoped were winning entries, and if these contestants selected the option to have their entry and name displayed even if they didn't win, then their entry and name should be displayed, as promised.

This was the understanding during the contest - we were explicitly asked whether we wanted our name displayed even if we lost. So those of us who selected "yes" on this option should have our official entries displayed now even if we lost.


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:23
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Touché, Scott Jul 5, 2008

I only wanted to see (and take advantage of) the new "rating" system, which was not available in previous contests. I should have selected the non-publishing option.

Thank you for explaining your opinions and making me see some valid points of view.


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