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Pairs in the qualification round need your votes!
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 06:27
SITE FOUNDER
Dec 6, 2008

Hi all,

Qualification round voting closes Monday. In many pairs, entries have been evaluated by 12 or more people. In others, however, more raters are needed in order for the results to be considered reliable.

I know that many of you have refrained from rating entries because you have submitted entries of your own. Please know that rating is acceptable, and that many contestants are doing so in a responsible manner.

That said, if you prefer not to vote in a pair in which you have participated, please consider evaluating -- and rating -- the "quality of writing" in entries that are written in your native language(s) (regardless of source). This input will help to ensure that the very best entries advance to the finals.

Thanks for your attention and your participation in making this round of the contest successful!

By the way, as small incentives:

* Anyone who rates entries will be included in the iPod drawing.
* You will get browniz for taking the time to rate.

To start rating the entries click here.

Regards,
Henry


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:27
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
This is very interesting... Dec 6, 2008

Henry D wrote:

if you prefer not to vote in a pair in which you have participated, please consider evaluating -- and rating -- the "quality of writing" in entries that are written in your native language(s) (regardless of source)


I didn't know we are allowed to vote the quality of writing only in our native language regardless of source.

Thank you Henry for this information.


Have a nice week end!

Angioletta

PS edited for typo

[Edited at 2008-12-07 08:30 GMT]


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Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 18:27
English to Chinese
+ ...
the contest Dec 7, 2008

I have to say it seems the organizers of the competition are incredibly interested in putting the competition through. It would be entirely another matter if the right entry wins or not. They can't help this by the present scheme of peer voting anyway.

One certified Pro member told me it takes tactic and the right kind of maneuvering to possibly have a chance of winning and that he never participated. I did not give any thought to his words at the time. It takes my entry being ruled out for me to somehow comprehend his words. I am by nature not an over confident or optimistic person, but …. To know my entry ruled out at this stage of the competition, it was a real blow or rather an illumination of sort.

I congratulate the choice of those forfeiting their right to vote. I doubt if the incentive had been offered earlier, they would have had a different choice. It was my first and will be my last time taking part in this joke of a contest.


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maryro
Argentina
Local time: 07:27
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Quality of translations Dec 7, 2008

I'm participating in the review of the translations into my mother tongue (Italian) for the English-Italian and Spanish-Italian pairs. I'm not participating myself in the contest, therefore I hope my comment will be taken as absolutely neutral. I am sorry but I must say that the quality of the texts is freightingly poor. I am sorry for the participants, and I know I will be probably hated, but I barely see professionality not to mention the basic rules and knowledge of the language. I went through quite a lot of texts and I found spelling mistakes, serious grammar mistakes, lots of huge mistranslations (terms and whole sentences). I hardly find a "best translation", maybe I could find a "less worst translation" (forgive the sentence, I know it sounds horrible and it's grammatically wrong, but I'm just trying to express the idea of something that might be less horrible amongst all the horror...). However, I do not dare writing in English, or translating into English, since it's not my mother tongue, at least...

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Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 18:27
Member (2002)
English to Chinese
+ ...
You are not alone Dec 7, 2008

Hi! Dumont,

Please don't feel so upset. You are not alone. Actually, I am the first one being ruled out in E-C sub-contest a few days ago . Since my schedule was pretty full in the past few days, I didn't jump out expressing my opinion about this disappointing result.

To be frank, I feel humiliated and embarrassed. Although I found time and submitted my entry on the last day before the deadline, and haven't got myself extra time to further improve every detail, I am confident that my job shall be among top 5 in terms of accuracy and have no problem entering the final round. (maybe, I am a bit over-confident.)

Since the score I got is only 1.6, I lost my candidateship five days before the qualification round closes. However, those entries containing far more mistakes are still there. Is it fair?

However, what we can do is not complaining or withdrawal completely but make suggestions to help Proz improve its contest mechanism. Don't forget this is the first annual contest held by Proz. We should give it more opportunities to improve and grow (Unlike what Proz has done to us:)).

Before making any suggestion, I would like to share the problems I saw here:

1. I believe the current mechanism may work well when there are only a few entries. However, when the number of entries reaches a certain limit, few people outside the contest will spare the time to look through these entries one by one. This is not only a very time-consuming job, but somewhat boring to check so many pieces of similar information. So who are actively participating in voting are those contestants. However, not every contestant participates in voting for various reasons. Then, someone may abuse this mechanism in their favor. There may also be some underground activities.

3. There is no guidance on what kind of translation should get 5 stars, and what kind of translation deserves 1 star. Giving a one star willfully shows no respect for peers’ work.

2. Voters who cannot understand the source text correctly may give credits to mistakes but bias against correct guys.

Here come my suggestions:
1. A standby board of 3 or 5 authoritative reviewers should be established to screen entries for the final round when the number of entries reaches a threshold. These reviewers must have verified credentials. The decision of the final round could also be the combination of both the board’s opinion and public voting.

2. A scale of grade should be provided for public reference. For example, in a translation of 400 words, 0 major mistakes should get 5 stars , 1 or 2 major mistakes should get 4 stars, 3 or 4 major mistakes should get 3 stars, and so on with regard to “accuracy”. And some descriptive statements should be provided to help people give stars with regard to style.

3. Just before voting starts, notes related to difficult points in source texts of major languages should be published in the source language to help voters make their right decision. During the voting, both voters and contestants can ask for clarification on some difficult points. Ideally, the notes come from authors or are confirmed by authors. If not possible, the standby board of reviewers should come up with a version by referring to some authoritative source.

The above are my immature suggestions, some of which may have been discussed before. I do hope Henry and your team can consider it again to make the contest better.

Have a nice weekend.
Best regards,
Donglai Lou


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 06:27
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
It takes courage to enter a contest Dec 7, 2008

"To know my entry ruled out at this stage of the competition, it was a real blow..."
"... I feel humiliated and embarrassed."

I am sorry to hear these feelings from two members.

For one thing, I will see to it that your entries are reviewed, to make sure that the process has been fair and that nothing has been amiss.

In addition, I will examine the process and the message being given by the new practice of "ruling out". Those who enter the contest have a right to be proud for taking part. It is a courageous thing, really, and if you are leaving with negative feelings, that alone is enough to see that something is not right.

(By the way, just because entry A is ruled out before entry B, does not mean that entry A is "worse" than entry B. Entries are shown in random order, and voters may reach one before the other.)

Anyway, again, I apologize for the bad feelings. Please take it with a grain of salt. As Donglai wrote, the point is to improve and grow. Having a translation contest judged by a large community of peers is a challenging exercise, and it is not perfect yet. And it may very well be that your entries deserve to still be in the mix.

This does not mean the whole thing is a lost cause. Some pairs are doing better with it than others... but there are clear indications that progress is being made across the board.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 06:27
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
I have reinstated three entries Dec 7, 2008

Hi folks,

After a review, I have decided (without the benefit of discussion with contest organizer Romina, who was not available for discussion) to reinstate three entries in the pairs English to Chinese and Chinese to English. These include yours, Donglai and Dumont, and one from another member.

Explanation: For certain reasons (which it would be inappropriate for me to explain while qualification round voting is underway), it was believed that your three entries had received the number of votes that would subject them to consideration for being ruled out. As it turns out, they had not.

I will see to it that the approach to ruling out is adapted so that other entries will not be taken out prematurely in the same way. We will also investigate other pairs for similar issues.

(I believe that the fact that your entries were temporarily not subject to rating will have little or no effect on the chances of your entries, or on others', since qualification is decided by average ratings, and furthermore, only a few voters visited those pairs during the period that your entries were not visible. Note that your entries would still be subject to being "ruled out", pending additional ratings.)

To be clear, in my review, I have not considered the quality of any entry, as that would be beyond the scope (not to mention capability) of site staff. All that contest organizers can do is look at votes and voting patterns, and adjust them based on observation and feedback.

If anyone else would like voting statistics related to their ruled-out entries looked at, please let us know in a support ticket.

Henry


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:27
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
I disagree, sorry Dec 7, 2008

Maryro wrotes
I hardly find a "best translation", maybe I could find a "less worst translation" (forgive the sentence, I know it sounds horrible and it's grammatically wrong, but I'm just trying to express the idea of something that might be less horrible amongst all the horror...).



I am native in Italian as well;

while I agree that some entries are full of mistakes, mistranslations etc. etc, I do not agree when you states that we have to choose something which is less horrible among all the horrors.

In fact (in my native language) I found several good translations.

I voted the best and gave my opinion.

Best regards

Angio

PS. I am always surprised to see that every initiative taken by proz is subjected to strong criticisms.

It must be improved, ok, but please do remember that it is Just for fun.

Edited for wrong quoting, sorry

[Edited at 2008-12-07 10:23 GMT]


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Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 18:27
English to Chinese
+ ...
secrecy of the contest Dec 7, 2008

Hi, donglai and Henry
My suggestions regarding the contest would be that in the absence of a selected panel of judges, both the entry owners and the process of judging the contest entries should be made open rather than by casting anonymous votes.

I, for one, do not care if an entry is given an unreasonable score with regard to the other entries by a certain rater, as long as that rater is not afraid to make known in the public eyes of his judgment, good or bad, which goes to show his ability as a translator.

I think the concern about possible favoritism due to the popularity or influence of some entry owners, if made known, is being overrated in the light of the above argument. It is a place we get to know each other, first and foremost our ability as translators, and secondly we get a chance to adjust our perspectives and opinions regarding ourselves in the light of public opinions and judgment. Secrecy in the matter does not help. If one does not have the confidence to show their name throughout in a competition, why they take part? Why don’t we propose a tailor-made separate competition in which they would be nameless? Well, I guess this is the one, so maybe we should propose a contest in which the names, at least the raters, are made public.





[修改时间: 2008-12-07 13:07 GMT]


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Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Likes/Dislikes and votes according to them Dec 7, 2008

I still can't understand the intention of those likes/dislikes.
Also there is not any measures for false/correct comments.
Somebody can easily put his/her false comment and the site shows them to everyone.
People do no have enough time to read all comments. Most of them looks at the numbers on the top. And provide rating according to those numbers.
To my opinion this is unfair: Nobody has right for providing his ignorant comment on somebody's entry.

My suggestion:

Please, in the future contests take measures on the visibility of the entries.
For example: make likes/dislikes visible only if the expression or sentence (or part of it) takes a specific amount of likes/dislikes(2 or3). In other words; When a user highlighted a text and put there his like/dislike tag, this will be visible only after specific amount of highlighting which will include at least one word from the previous tags. Shortly like repetition option in Trados.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:27
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A suggestion Dec 7, 2008

I was rather shy to vote, at first. Last time I did it on a previous contest, the texts were too much alike, I saw translations "discarded" (or whatever they are called) that were IMHO better than others that were still running for it.

So this time I went through them, one by one, and rated. This enabled to see what pitfalls were available and partially populated, i.e. where some contestants got trapped, while others didn't. After I had been through all of them, I went back to the first one, and thereon through the lot, for my likes and dislikes. Due to a language-specific issue - see http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/1675/ - I felt disqualified to enter any likes/dislikes in European Portuguese (aka PT-PT).

An interesting thing is that the text made it extremely easy to spot the PT-PT ones. Any translation that had on the first line "em Inglaterra" was definitely PT-PT, so I skipped it at that second stage. If it was "na" or "da" (Inglaterra), I felt secure it was my PT-BR all right.

To illustrate more clearly the sharp difference, one Portuguese (PT-PT) interpreter once saw at an agency a translation I had done, which had been duly proofread by an equally competent (or incompentent? ) Brazilian colleague, and said: "This is low-quality machine translation!". The PM, who doesn't speak any Portuguese, got cold feet, and asked us about it. We stood by our guns. So he got a fourth opinion, who said that it was first-class PT-BR translation... no matter how it appeared to be automatic translation to a speaker of the European variant. This is why I chose to keep out any likes/dislikes I could have on PT-PT entries, otherwise it wouldn't have been fair.


It becomes pretty easy to spot your likes and dislikes after having read them all, though it was definitely not so before that. And yes, I did change a couple of ratings on the second round. Just a couple, just one notch each, but I did.

I take the chance to compliment the Proz programming team, for having made a really brilliant system to handle all this. Netscape 7.2 doesn't work there, and Firefox is still somewhat unstable, but the system is very well devised, and works great!


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Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
In English to Turkish a ruled out entry has come back Dec 7, 2008

In English to Turkish pair an entry has come back.
What is the reason for its coming back?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 06:27
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Same reason Dec 7, 2008

M. Ali Bayraktar wrote:

In English to Turkish pair an entry has come back.
What is the reason for its coming back?

Same reason as above. After posting above, I found two more in two pairs.


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Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 18:27
English to Chinese
+ ...
One more note Dec 8, 2008

Perhaps I have made a fuss over it.
After the first review of all the c-e submissions which took only about an hour, I was elated, ecstatic even, : D and convinced that mine was the best, at the same time I didn't necessarily think my language skills was the best among the contestants, only that I had spend so much time polishing it that it was highly unlikely for any others who may have better skills to do so. I reckon it was on an average about one translated sentence taking 2 or 3 hours. Even then, my translation turned out to be still some distance away from perfection; some errors were easily spotted by one tagger whom I gratefully give my thanks and congratulations.

Again to be honest, even now, I still believe mine should be in the top two if not the best. But who knows, I could be wrong against the better judges of public opinion which I expect to follow at the close of the contest. I have significantly lowered my expectations. Whatever happens I would not bark the way I did. I will carefully observe and note public opinion and see what’s wrong with my own opinion and how it could possibly be the case.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 06:27
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, dumont Dec 8, 2008

Thanks for posting, dumont. It gives me additional insight into the experience of being a contestant.

By the way, the impression I get from your thoughtful post is that you either are a very good translator already, or are on your way to being one. Thanks for taking part.


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