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What bothers you about the forums? (Poor spelling?)
Thread poster: Bernhard Sulzer

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:15
English to German
+ ...
Sep 9, 2014

Many times, the spelling in the English forums is just atrocious. A spell-checker might come in handy.
What else is bothering you? Maybe things could be improved. Thank you for any suggestions.

(edited) spell-checker.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2018-06-13 17:34 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:15
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I imagine most of us have access to spell-checkers Sep 9, 2014

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
Many times, the spelling in the English forums is just atrocious. A spellchecker might come in handy.
What else is bothering you? Maybe things could be improved. Thank you for any suggestions.

I know that my Firefox spell-checker automatically checks my spelling in posts, where possible. Of course, I often have to change the language to stop it underlining just about every word. I'm not sure whether having something else available here would help. If people aren't bothered about checking their spelling then they probably won't use what's available. Still, I suppose it could be useful to a few posters so I'd support it.

I do agree that the forums are now hopelessly out of date. It's sad to see all the bells and whistles on free sites that discuss rubbish things (and often in highly controversial languageicon_frown.gif), when the forums here are still in the dark ages. A couple of things I've already mentioned elsewhere:

- full editing capability for bold, italics, lists, quotes... Having to type square bracket, slash, b, square bracket just to get bold turned off? Really, that's just ridiculous! And things like lists are just impossible on this site - life's too short!

- in addition to a "Post reply" button, there needs to be a "post reply and track" one, or maybe the current button needs to set tracking as the default. Why would anyone go to the bother of posting yet not want to receive notifications of further posts, which may directly address your point and need a follow-up? Maybe some want that, but surely most of us turn on tracking, which needs a separate cycle. A real pain on a smartphone.


 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Very long answers Sep 9, 2014

I get tired of reading extremely long answers, and I just don't read them. I am referring to EXTREMELY long ones, not just long ones, where one gets lost in lots of lists and arguments. I prefer down-to-earth and short replies to forum posts. With regards to Track, there is 'My posts' on the right-hand side where one can see where one posted a reply and track through these. I find it enough as I do not like getting all those emails which fill my email box for nothing. Personal opinion though; you might not agree with it.

[Edited at 2014-09-09 17:54 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:15
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Bernhard Sep 9, 2014

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
Many times, the spelling in the English forums is just atrocious. A spellchecker might come in handy.


These days, browsers have built-in spell-checkers. And even if the forum had a spell-checking function, I would not use it, because it adds an extra step before the message is posted (I think many others would avoid it as well).

What else is bothering you?


The fact that a thread is marked as unread even after I've read it, so I have to memorise the name of the last person who wrote in it, so that I would know that there are no new messages in it.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:15
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
If your English is pretty bad ... Sep 9, 2014

I should clarify - I didn't mean to ask Proz.com to add a spell-checker.
I meant to suggest that when people post here that they should make sure their English is at least spelled correctly. They should use a spell-checker - and they are already available in many varieties - before posting here. We're in the word business. I care about my words. Blatant and repeated errors by a person in our business in a translator forum look really bad. And it's very annoying and I won't be eager to reply.

[Edited at 2014-09-10 01:19 GMT]


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:15
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
clarification Sep 9, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
Many times, the spelling in the English forums is just atrocious. A spellchecker might come in handy.


These days, browsers have built-in spell-checkers. And even if the forum had a spell-checking function, I would not use it, because it adds an extra step before the message is posted (I think many others would avoid it as well).


I meant people should make sure they post in correct English (I'm not bothered by the occasional mistake). I don't care how they get it done. There are many spell-checkers available. But it's awful to read some of these posts or topic headlines. We're all about correct words.

[Edited at 2014-09-09 22:42 GMT]


 

NecdetB  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 00:15
German to Turkish
+ ...
Lack of basic editor Sep 9, 2014

This forum still lacks a simple, built-in editor for formatting text and expects its users do it manually by referring to BBcode". Proz-Forum is one of the few on the planet that don't provide their users with such a basic functionality. (Another one can be found here)

With these two examples, one could claim that the more serious a forum is and the more professional its users are, the less it cares about ease of use.

But here we have at least a built-in "quote" button - a big relief!

Gezegen


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:15
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I often feel sympathy for people here who aren't native English speakers Sep 9, 2014

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
I meant people should make sure they post in correct English (I'm not bothered by the occasional mistake). I don't care how they get it done. There are many spellcheckers available. But it's awful to read some of these posts or topic headlines. We're all about correct words.

Although some areas of the site have been localised into many languages, there's often no alternative to using English in the forums. I sometimes see posts in English written by translators who translate between two other languages, and of course the forums are full of posts written by those who translate from English. Bravo! OK, there may well be mistakes - I know there are in my French-language postsicon_redface.gif - but who am I to judge, just because by an accident of birth I learnt English from the cradle? I feel quite upset when I hear them criticised. Perhaps it's my background as a teacher but I'm happy to acknowledge effective communication, even if there are flaws. They/we aren't being paid to produce publication-quality texts for the site.

Mind you, I don't feel any sympathy at all for those whose English is poor and yet who still translate into the language - let me make that quite clear. If someone translates into English then I agree, their English contributions to the site should always be impeccable and any error that is easy to trap should be corrected (though I don't imagine any of us want to spend too long proofreading our posts).

@Samuel: Yes, I agree. Many, if not most, forums nowadays have a way of going straight to the "last unread post", wherever it is. And you should be able to tailor the list to exclude all those threads where you're already up to date. Also, you should be able to mark everything as read once you've been through the list of unread posts, on the basis that if you can't be bothered to read the latest post in a thread then you've probably lost interest in it.


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:15
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Lists Sep 9, 2014

Sheila Wilson wrote:

And things like lists are just impossible on this site



I agree that a much better editor would be very welcome, but lists aren't really that difficult (at least no more than bolding or inserting links).

  • Item 1
  • Item 2

And this is how it is done:

<ul>Example of bulleted list:
<li>Item 1
<li>Item 2
</ul>

  1. Item 1
  2. Item 2

And this is how it is done:

<ol>Example of numbered list:
<li>Item 1
<li>Item 2
</ol>

Now, the pain one has to go through in order to display in the forum the "<" and ">" characters, on the other hand...

[Edited at 2014-09-10 04:24 GMT]


 

2G Trad  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:15
Member (2000)
English to Italian
+ ...
Blaming forum users for their spelling mistakes Sep 9, 2014

That's one of the things that bother me in a forum.

Cheers
Gianni


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:15
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I don't share that sympathy - not for all Sep 9, 2014

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I often feel sympathy for people here who aren't native English speakers


Your sympathy is an invitation to those who couldn't care less about what their English looks and reads like. If someone wants to communicate in English in an English forum, he/she should make the effort to do it correctly. Why not use a spell-checker? What's wrong with that? It would certainly help. And I am sure others will appreciate that as well.

If a poster writes whole paragraphs in English, I expect it to be correct English. The fact that someone thinks there are only English speakers around who can answer a question (quickly) should not be an excuse for butchering the English language. To me it's more about professional appearance of the forums and part of that is a common courtesy of writing correct English. That for me is most important.

Otherwise we should create a "Basic/Simplified English" forum language.

Next thing you know they're going to start translating from or into English because they can communicate so well in these forums. And they make a joke of all of us who did learn the language and communicate on a professional level.
Making an effort to communicate as a translator should mean doing so in any language you choose to use and it's a courtesy to all of us who reply and it looks much better to those out there who read the forums.

Otherwise, I am sure the level with regard to spelling, grammar and comprehensibility of these forums will deteriorate even further. And with it the level of this site.


Sheila Wilson wrote:

Although some areas of the site have been localised into many languages, there's often no alternative to using English in the forums. I sometimes see posts in English written by translators who translate between two other languages, and of course the forums are full of posts written by those who translate from English. Bravo! OK, there may well be mistakes - I know there are in my French-language postsicon_redface.gif - but who am I to judge, just because by an accident of birth I learnt English from the cradle? I feel quite upset when I hear them criticised. Perhaps it's my background as a teacher but I'm happy to acknowledge effective communication, even if there are flaws. They/we aren't being paid to produce publication-quality texts for the site.


I am not so sure how effectively some of these contributors are really communicating when they are lost for or choose not to care about using correct words. I for one don't feel like communicating with them. But my point is that especially if I understand what they mean and what they're asking about, it seems to me they could have made the effort to write it much better.


But I wanted to add here that I don't go into the French forums and start communicating there - my French is not that good although ... well, I wouldn't.
And as far as the argument about the lack of localized content or the overwhelming need for information from English speakers is concerned - maybe they should ask in their own languages first and see what happens.


Sheila Wilson wrote:
Mind you, I don't feel any sympathy at all for those whose English is poor and yet who still translate into the language - let me make that quite clear. If someone translates into English then I agree, their English contributions to the site should always be impeccable and any error that is easy to trap should be corrected (though I don't imagine any of us want to spend too long proofreading our posts).


Agree. NB: I would expect that translators who claim to translate from English also should be able to spell and use English correctly.
And my comments really relate to those posters whose English is just bad.

[Edited at 2014-09-10 02:20 GMT]


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:15
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Pet peeve in the forums Sep 9, 2014

When the person who initiated the topic disappears with no reaction or acknowledgement of the answers. Very rude behavior, in my opinon, because people responding have usually gone out of their way to be helpful.

 

Miguel Carmona  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:15
English to Spanish
RE: Pet peeve in the forums Sep 10, 2014

Woodstock wrote:

When the person who initiated the topic disappears with no reaction or acknowledgement of the answers. Very rude behavior, in my opinon, because people responding have usually gone out of their way to be helpful.


I second this one. Very rude indeed.


 

Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 23:15
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Leeway Sep 10, 2014

Bernhard,

I think my first point would be to emphasise that not everyone is blessed with your evident flair for the language. Or that of Kath. M. or others whose admirable command of English is almost humbling.

What's worse, several non-native participants in the forums don't even advertise English as one of their working languages, when they're virtually "word perfect". How dare they?


My second would be that some leeway be afforded to those who make no claim to master English but simply want to intervene as best they can (not that this is incompatible with the need to perform basic spell checks and tidy up their texts accordingly - quite the opposite).


Agree. NB: I would expect that translators who claim to translate from English also should be able to spell English correctly.


But this is what nails it.

[Edited at 2014-09-10 03:29 GMT]


 

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:15
Member (2008)
English to French
I'd like a Like button Sep 10, 2014

Or 'thumbs up' or 'seconded', or something of the sort.

neilmac
 
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