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New contest feature: "Composite best" translation
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:54
SITE FOUNDER
Nov 6, 2012

Hey all,

A new feature has been released in the current contest: the "'composite best' translation". This is the collection, displayed together, of the most highly rated translations of each Yogi Berra quote, in each of the contest's language pairs.

You can see them now, provided enough segment-based ratings have been received in a pair. To see them, go to your pair and look for the "Composite translation" tab.

We'd be interested to hear your reaction to the "'composite best' translation" in your pair(s).

Note the following:

- Once the contest is over, the names of the translator or translators who submitted each "winning" segment will be shown. For now, the number of entries in which the translation was included, and the ratings received, may be shown.

- Expect that there will be inconsistencies in formatting. (Some people include quotes and bullets, some don't, etc.)

Here is the contest page: http://www.proz.com/translation-contests/28

Here is the "composite best" in Spanish: http://www.proz.com/translation-contests/pair/1676/composite_translation


 

Rogier van Vlissingen
United States
Local time: 23:54
English to Dutch
+ ...
Composite best isn't what it should have been. Nov 7, 2012

To my mind the composite best almost was, except it wasn't.

OK, sorry, that was a faint attempt to play Yogi Berra.

I did not rate the complete translations, for just when I thought I found the best one, it missed one statement completely, so I would give some of them an "A" for effort, but found myself completely stumped to pick a winner. Rating the individual lines was easier, and I agreed with the composite best in all but one case.


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:54
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Rogier Nov 7, 2012

Rogier van Vlissingen wrote:

To my mind the composite best almost was, except it wasn't.

OK, sorry, that was a faint attempt to play Yogi Berra.

I did not rate the complete translations, for just when I thought I found the best one, it missed one statement completely, so I would give some of them an "A" for effort, but found myself completely stumped to pick a winner. Rating the individual lines was easier, and I agreed with the composite best in all but one case.

Thanks for the feedback!


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:54
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I see two problems Nov 7, 2012

1. (This is a minor one)
Normally, in any contest, no results are released when voting is still ongoing. I don't think I need to explain the logic, but it is basically to prevent influencing the voters.
Now the voting results for the segments are released by publishing each segment that collected so far the most votes. What was the reason that this could not wait until all the voting was over?

2. (This is the major one)
What are the plans for this feature?
I asked this in the other thread, but did not receive an answer, so here it is again:

Or are you planning on having future contests for translating texts that are made up of standalone segments, such as the Yogi Berra quotes?
Otherwise, I can't see how could you be serious about proposing that any continuous text, where the sentences must connect to each other, and the entire text must have a (God forbid!!!) good, natural flow, consistent style and terminology could be put together from segments translated by different people to create a "best translation"? It is like asking a bunch of kids which was their favorite animal head, the cat's the dog's, the goats, etc. Then, which one is their favorite body? The fish's body? The horse's? Which limbs do they prefer? Hooves, paws, wings, fins? How about the tail? Then put the favorite pieces together - what do you get? A monster.

Please, go back to any of the previous contest texts, and try that for the three top texts - mix the sentences. It doesn't work, the idea of a "composite translation" does not make sense.

I thought ProZ.com was aiming for promoting the highest standards in the profession, how can an idea like this even conceived in such a context?

I just hope that we, the participants of this mini contest are not assisting unknowingly in a crowdsourcing experiment.

Could you please clarify where this is going?
Thanks
Katalin


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:54
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
What do you think of the composites in your languages, Katalin? Nov 7, 2012

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

1. (This is a minor one)
Normally, in any contest, no results are released when voting is still ongoing. I don't think I need to explain the logic, but it is basically to prevent influencing the voters.
Now the voting results for the segments are released by publishing each segment that collected so far the most votes.

I take your point. Still, I don't think you will be able to determine who is winning by looking at the composite translation. The composite is built using segment-based ratings, which are different from the "first place" (etc) votes used to determine the winner(s) of the finals round.
... Could you please clarify where this is going?

Well, for one thing, as I wrote in the other thread, after the contest closes the name of the person who submitted each of the most-highly-rated segments will be shown. I thought that might be fun. (No?)
Or are you planning on having future contests for translating texts that are made up of standalone segments, such as the Yogi Berra quotes?

Maybe, not sure. If people liked this format, and find the "composite translation" feature interesting, we might try to run similar contests. (Feedback?) We would also try to turn on "composites" when appropriate (and not, when not).

Have you looked at the composite translations in your languages for the quotes? What did you think?


 

Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:54
French to German
+ ...
I see a BIG issue... and question Nov 7, 2012

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:
(.../...)

I thought ProZ.com was aiming for promoting the highest standards in the profession, how can an idea like this even conceived in such a context?

(.../...)


as per my quote of Katalin's post.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:54
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Please focus on the real question Nov 7, 2012

Henry,

What you are calling a "composite translation" is simply a list of the segments that got the most votes. These are standalone sentences, each a single unit on its own.
It is like you created 14 sub-contests, each for a single quote. I have no problem with such "best translation of a single quote" contest.

What I am talking about the possibility that you are thinking about extending this "feature" to other rounds of contests, where the source is a real text, not a list of quotes.

So far, the source texts for the contests were "regular", continuous texts, sometimes journalistic or literary pieces, and I thought that would be the norm for the future. Extending, applying this "composite translation" idea for such normal texts is what worries me, and that's why I am asking what is going on.

Katalin


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:54
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Great Nov 7, 2012

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:
What you are calling a "composite translation" is simply a list of the segments that got the most votes. These are standalone sentences, each a single unit on its own.
It is like you created 14 sub-contests, each for a single quote. I have no problem with such "best translation of a single quote" contest.

Good, because that's what this is. Maybe the feature is poorly named. (Can you provide an alternative?)

Again, I'd be interested in your opinion, and the opinions of others, for various pairs.


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:54
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
No chance, Laurent Nov 7, 2012

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:
I thought ProZ.com was aiming for promoting the highest standards in the profession, how can an idea like this even conceived in such a context?

as per my quote of Katalin's post.

Sorry, guys, but you won't catch me apologizing for having ideas...icon_smile.gif


 

tradu-grace  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:54
English to Italian
+ ...
Hi Henry, Nov 11, 2012

'Composite best' was a good idea to me.
However, I have to agree with Rogier posting 'cause I've found myself in the same situation.

Best,

Grace (tradugrace)


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 11:54
Chinese to English
Not sure what Katalin is worried about Nov 11, 2012

This seems like a fun idea to me.

Katalin, I'm not sure what you think will happen to these composite texts. Let's say that your worst fears come true: the next competition is a piece of continuous prose, and it is divided awkwardly into sentences or paragraphs. Then the segments with the most votes are pieced together into a "composite best", and it makes absolutely no sense.

What then?

Personally, I would find that really interesting! I would think it was a great opportunity to look at cohesion and coherence, and to think about how context determines translation choices. It could even be a fun research project to trace everything that went wrong with a text pieced together that way.

I would not expect Proz to publish the "composite best" as representative of the best efforts of Proz members. I would not expect them to claim that this "composite best" was a good or the best possible translation of the text. And I'm sure they won't.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:54
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Phil, I don't want assumptions Nov 11, 2012

Phil,
Your last paragraph is touching on one of the reasons I asked what the purpose is, and where this is going. How those "composite best" texts would be presented makes a big difference. Since I do not like to assume things, but prefer getting clear answers, I asked for an explanation.
That's all.
Katalin


 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:54
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Composite Best = Engine to improve crowd translations Nov 12, 2012

We are entering dangerous waters here.
Lots of people translate bit and pieces of text. Than you add a "Composite Best" voting process and voila, scale it up and you got a standard crowdsourcing translation process.

It this worth a patent? May be?


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:54
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
The elephant in the room Nov 12, 2012

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

We are entering dangerous waters here.
Lots of people translate bit and pieces of text. Than you add a "Composite Best" voting process and voila, scale it up and you got a standard crowdsourcing translation process.


As I said:

I just hope that we, the participants of this mini contest are not assisting unknowingly in a crowdsourcing experiment.


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:54
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Right, Phil Nov 14, 2012

Phil Hand wrote:

This seems like a fun idea to me.

Katalin, I'm not sure what you think will happen to these composite texts. Let's say that your worst fears come true: the next competition is a piece of continuous prose, and it is divided awkwardly into sentences or paragraphs. Then the segments with the most votes are pieced together into a "composite best", and it makes absolutely no sense.

What then?

Personally, I would find that really interesting! I would think it was a great opportunity to look at cohesion and coherence, and to think about how context determines translation choices. It could even be a fun research project to trace everything that went wrong with a text pieced together that way.

I would not expect Proz to publish the "composite best" as representative of the best efforts of Proz members. I would not expect them to claim that this "composite best" was a good or the best possible translation of the text. And I'm sure they won't.

Thanks, Phil. You're right.


 
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