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Do you appreciate being corrected?
Thread poster: Mats Wiman

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Jan 23, 2010

This has also been posted on the Pronunciaton Forum:
http://www.proz.com/topic/155956 :

In my experience, humanity is divided in two halves on this subject:

Many disapprove when someone is correcting their wording or grammar.

Others appreciate being helped to improve their wording and grammar.

In both cases it will to a degree depend on the way it's done.

My quiery: To which group do you belong?

AND:

Which is the best way of correcting someone without offending him/her?


[Edited at 2010-01-23 11:03 GMT]


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
one half Jan 23, 2010

IMO many people can't understand that one corrects not 'them' but their mistakes. Also it really matters who and how does it, and why (against the one being corrected).

So, if I can I prefer correct it either 'just for myself' or so that other people won't feel hurt badly, may be just a little. Yet it's not always possible,especially if it's a bad mistake and very crucial for further process...

I let myself (and my collaborators) some ten mistakes a day, so I don't feel uncomfortable - I just count

[Edited at 2010-01-23 11:54 GMT]


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Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:52
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
It depends Jan 23, 2010

When someone corrects me poining out a valid rule I haven't been aware of, I appreciate that. When they point out obvious mistakes, I'm embarrassed but I accept that, of course. What I can't stand is when people's corrections are purely preferential, or even wrong - because most people think they speak and write correctly - and I have to waste my time proving my translation was correct.

I find it especially annoying when client reviewers "fix" my punctuation, because it is different than in the English source text, or even introduce spelling mistakes. Sadly, many people don't realize that the correct use of the target language is a basic translating skill, and they could really save a lot of everyone's time if they used a dictionary before complaining.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:52
Flemish to English
+ ...
Yes Jan 23, 2010

Yes, if an explanation what is wrong with regard to grammar, semantics, syntax, vocabulary, interpunction (or pronunciation-spoken language) and social register is added. One can only learn from one's mistakes.
Without a motivation: "look how bad you are" is not appreciated.


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Natalia Betiana Manfredi
Argentina
Local time: 06:52
English to Spanish
I appreciate it, and I hate it! Jan 23, 2010

I have always been a perfectionist... And as regards language, I try to do my best (in fact, I am currently taking a course on good writing and editing of texts, in my mother tongue: Spanish). And I appreciate being corrected (but deep inside...I hate it! Because I say Oh, my God, how didn't I realize before!! - you see, it has to do with one's pride). But I think you never stop learning, and it's good to be corrected, and I always try to correct others, if I can help them improve their way of expressing what they are trying to say. I think it's important to have the tools and valid rules to support the corrections made. If someone corrects me, I always ask for the rules... And as regards your question, about the way to correct someone without offending him/her, well... I think there's no absolute way of not offending people! You should be as kind as you can... and wear a smile, too! You don't get angry with someone who is smiling at you, do you?

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Silvia Calderón  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 06:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
It hurts, but it helps. Jan 23, 2010

Being a professional whose work depends on mastering languages, I sometimes feel caught off guard and become defensive when someone points out my mistakes. Not a very mature attitute, I know.
However, you learn from your mistakes more than anything, so in the end, I greatly appreciate being corrected.
And, correcting without offending?
I don't think there's a safe way to do that. But you can always try to be nice and understanding...
After all, we're only human!


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:52
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Depends Jan 23, 2010

DZiW wrote:
IMO many people can't understand that one corrects not 'them' but their mistakes. Also it really matters who and how does it, and why (against the one being corrected).


If the corrections are valid, I don't mind generally. However, I have experienced some individuals who use correction as a weapon to stop literally every sentence spoken or every one written and exercise control over the other person in order to avoid dealing with the real subject matter. That is rare but utterly unacceptable.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:52
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Basically, yes. Jan 24, 2010

But it's the tone of how the other person corrects you. If the other person corrects you in a polite way, it would be much easier for people to accept their mistakes. But if not, then, you'll start having animosity against that person. And I know some of the latter type of people, and I've come to the conclusion that they are a) arrogant, b) will find any kind of faults or arguments to correct (or rather attack you personally) but will NEVER approve of you or be impressed, c) have unnecessary good education which is in a limbo, such as a Master's degree in certain field which makes those people look down upon others, d) think they are perfect and superior than others, and e) many of them have been formerly teachers and believe that non-natives are inferior than natives not only linguistically but also in person.

[Edited at 2010-01-24 04:21 GMT]


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chaowarit
Thailand
Local time: 16:52
English to Thai
fix it Jan 24, 2010

whether I am aware of the mistake, I would apppreciate the one who corrected and let me know. At least I have learned something from the community.

[Edited at 2010-01-24 10:04 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
helping Jan 24, 2010

Mats Wiman wrote:

My quiery


Um.... should be "My query" No offence, I hope !

I learned Italian correctly because I was surrounded by kind, well-meaning Italian friends and colleagues who would instantly correct me any time I made a mistake. And 20 years later I still make mistakes, so I have come to rely on the help of others to keep me on the straight and narrow.

So long as the correcting is done affectionately and with a clear intention to help you along, I think it's an invaluable way to learn a language. And as we know, Italians all talk at the same time and interrupt one another whenever they feel like it. It isn't considered rude.

It must be tough for non-English speakers trying to learn English here in the UK, because the Brits would probably consider it rude to interrupt and correct someone when they're speaking. Which is probably why so many people's English is bad

[Edited at 2010-01-24 11:00 GMT]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:52
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Just for the records Jan 24, 2010

It must be tough for non-English speakers trying to learn English here in the UK, because the Brits would probably consider it rude to interrupt and correct someone when they're speaking. Which is probably why so many people's English is bad


Unless requested, also Italians consider it rude to interrupt and correct someone when they're speaking.

Angio

P.S Please feel free to correct my mistakes I will not be offended.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
hmm Jan 24, 2010

Angio Garbarino wrote:


It must be tough for non-English speakers trying to learn English here in the UK, because the Brits would probably consider it rude to interrupt and correct someone when they're speaking. Which is probably why so many people's English is bad


Unless requested, also Italians consider it rude to interrupt and correct someone when they're speaking.

Angio

P.S Please feel free to correct my mistakes I will not be offended.


Well, it must be MY Italian friends then. But I don't think so. I often watch Italian TV discussions where everyone is talking at the same time. Nobody takes any offence. In fact it makes for a lively discussion !

One correction: your statement "Please feel free to correct my mistakes I will not be offended" requires punctuation.


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Tom! Jan 24, 2010

Tom in London wrote:

Mats Wiman wrote:

My quiery


Um.... should be "My query" No offence, I hope !


Certainly no offence. On the contrary: A very fitting comment indeed (mixing up enquiry with 'query'

It also proves that moderators cannot be regarded as linguistic authorities

[Edited at 2010-01-24 12:03 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-01-24 12:08 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
My Swedish Jan 24, 2010

Don't worry Mats - I can assure you that your English is much, much better than my Swedish.

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
;-) Jan 24, 2010

Thanks! I'm honoured

I finally got the hyperlink 'enquiry' working

Mats

[Edited at 2010-01-24 12:10 GMT]


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