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The qualification/hybrid stage of the annual translation contest will be extended until September 26
Thread poster: Jared Tabor

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:59
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
This competition needs cleaning up or stopping Sep 6, 2014

Jared Tabor wrote:

Hi Michael,

Basically, in this instance, the level of entry rating is not what it should be in comparison to the number of entries. So the idea is to focus better on getting a level of entry rating that will more clearly determine finalists.

Jared


I have spent some time marking and rating a few of the entries in French to English. Unfortunately, the level of the entries I read was, to put it mildly, abysmal. Not one of the entries I marked appeared to have been written by a person with the basic skills to be a professional translator in this language pair. They all seemed to have been entered by non-native speakers of English. To give a flavour of it, several entrants didn't even know that in English, unlike in French, pronouns agree with the subject. So e.g. Ulric's room is his room, not her room. Some didn't seem to understand much French either. In one case, long passages were mistranslated because the competitor had clearly completely misunderstood the source text at a level one would not expect of a GCE "A" level candidate.

Unless some control is exercised, over both what language pairs people may enter and mark, this competition cannot be taken seriously and it should, obviously, be impossible for contestants to mark other contestants' entries in their own language pair(s). I agree with other people's comments that judging should be by an appointed (and carefully vetted) panel, not open to the sort of abuse that has been reported and not open to just anyone who may be suffering from a delusion that they know enough to mark entries in a particular language pair. To be fair, I did not see any evidence of abusive marking by others in the entries I marked. I did see a number of likes and dislikes that I considered to be unfounded or wrong, but had no reason to think they were the result of deliberate abuse of the system. Nearly all of the previous likes and dislikes were clearly from competent markers. Some didn't take the trouble to categorise their likes or dislikes; e.g. grammatical errors were shown as spelling errors.

I know that there are many ProZians who are capable of producing excellent entries, but perhaps they, like myself, would not want to enter a competition with such a lack of credibility. I will not bother marking any more entries this year and will not mark any next year unless steps are taken to improve the standard.

[Edited at 2014-09-06 18:10 GMT]


 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:59
Member (2012)
French to English
. Sep 6, 2014

B D Finch wrote:

Jared Tabor wrote:

Hi Michael,

Basically, in this instance, the level of entry rating is not what it should be in comparison to the number of entries. So the idea is to focus better on getting a level of entry rating that will more clearly determine finalists.

Jared


I have spent some time marking and rating a few of the entries in French to English. Unfortunately, the level of the entries I read was, to put it mildly, abysmal. Not one of the entries I marked appeared to have been written by a person with the basic skills to be a professional translator in this language pair. They all seemed to have been entered by non-native speakers of English. To give a flavour of it, several entrants didn't even know that in English, unlike in French, pronouns agree with the subject. So e.g. Ulric's room is his room, not her room. Some didn't seem to understand much French either. In one case, long passages were mistranslated because the competitor had clearly completely misunderstood the source text at a level one would not expect of a GCE "A" level candidate.

Unless some control is exercised, over both what language pairs people may enter and mark, this competition cannot be taken seriously and it should, obviously, be impossible for contestants to mark other contestants' entries in their own language pair(s). I agree with other people's comments that judging should be by an appointed (and carefully vetted) panel, not open to the sort of abuse that has been reported and not open to just anyone who may be suffering from a delusion that they know enough to mark entries in a particular language pair. To be fair, I did not see any evidence of abusive marking by others in the entries I marked. I did see a number of likes and dislikes that I considered to be unfounded or wrong, but had no reason to think they were the result of deliberate abuse of the system. Nearly all of the previous likes and dislikes were clearly from competent markers. Some didn't take the trouble to categorise their likes or dislikes; e.g. grammatical errors were shown as spelling errors.

I know that there are many ProZians who are capable of producing excellent entries, but perhaps they, like myself, would not want to enter a competition with such a lack of credibility. I will not bother marking any more entries this year and will not mark any next year unless steps are taken to improve the standard.

[Edited at 2014-09-06 18:10 GMT]


I look forward to reading your superior translation, which you would have submitted, once the contest is over.


 

Beatriz Ramírez de Haro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:59
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 6, 2014



[Edited at 2014-09-06 22:13 GMT]


 

Beatriz Ramírez de Haro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:59
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Couldn't agree more Sep 6, 2014

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:

After looking at the comments for the first time in ages, I am appalled by the nonsensical remarks by people who obviously have no understanding of the text.

I now regret participating in this contest. Unless there is a properly-appointed panel of judges, it is not a contest at all, in my opinion.

And I will not be rating other contestants' entries either.


My thoughts exactly. I would only add: "the nonsensical remarks by people who obviously have no understanding of the text nor enough command of the target language."


 

Alessandra Verde  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:59
Member (2008)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Fair play and competition Sep 30, 2014

Cecilia Civetta wrote:

Mario Freitas wrote:

I really hope the people in charge of evaluating the results will consider the undue "disagrees", posted by other competitors above all.


This happens every time! Participants tend to fill their competitors' entries with plenty of "disagrees".
So if you get any "disagrees" that don't make any sense, you can be sure they come from a competitor!
On the other hand, some seem to have had their translations done by Google Translate, at least in my language pairs (seriously!). Can't understand what their purpose could be!


I do agree with Mario and Cecilia.

Undue 'disagrees' show an unfair behaviour; and it is not a good professional attitude at all, I am afraid.

I really hope a solution will be found in the future


 

Leanne Cvetan
Germany
Local time: 02:59
German to English
I wish I'd've known about this... Oct 6, 2017

Just a little moan here... I seem to have completely missed this contest or I would have participated. Was there no email sent out with the information? Perhaps I need to check my settings...

 

Diana Di Battista  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:59
Italian to English
+ ...
Why is this contest 4 YEARS long? Perhaps consider paying judges to have an efficient contest Oct 10, 2017

I submitted my entry to this contest in 2014 and had forgotten about it until I recently received notification that it was still open!

To be honest, I believe having a contest period last 4 years is a bit ridiculous and does not demonstrate respect for the professionals who are expected to participate in it. Proz claims this extension of the time period is due to the fact that there are not enough peer votes on the entries. Perhaps to solve this problem Proz should consider having
... See more
I submitted my entry to this contest in 2014 and had forgotten about it until I recently received notification that it was still open!

To be honest, I believe having a contest period last 4 years is a bit ridiculous and does not demonstrate respect for the professionals who are expected to participate in it. Proz claims this extension of the time period is due to the fact that there are not enough peer votes on the entries. Perhaps to solve this problem Proz should consider having paid judges who are highly qualified professional translators. With all the corporate sponsorships Proz seems to have, I'm sure this can be accomplished.

Having paid judges would also eliminate the incentive of peer reviewers to down-vote their competitors' entries. An alternative would be to maintain the peer review aspect, but have the paid judges make the final decision.

I also agree with what other comments have suggested on this thread (back in 2014) - that there should be a minimum of translation experience necessary to be able to submit an entry to the contest, otherwise it is a waste of people's time reviewing clearly sub-standard translations. Perhaps a rule could be that in order to submit an entry, someone must have that language pair listed in their profile and must have been a Proz member for a certain period, for example, at least a year.

Until the time frame of the contest is addressed, it cannot be taken seriously as a worthwhile activity for professionals.
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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:59
Member (2012)
French to English
Don't remind me Oct 10, 2017

I really regretted entering this contest. Allowing contestants to comment on other entries is madness! Never again!

 

Beatriz Ramírez de Haro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:59
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never again! Oct 10, 2017

I took part in the 2008 edition in my two working pairs and that's exactly what I said when I realized that my entries were pulled to pieces by unqualified reviewers brandishing recently learned grammar rules. A pity, because the texts were well chosen, I reached the final stages and it was fun to compete, but I was expecting a serious jury.

In 2014 I responded to the call for reviewers, but I had to give up, as I spent most of my time disagreeing with ignorant and/or unfair disagr
... See more
I took part in the 2008 edition in my two working pairs and that's exactly what I said when I realized that my entries were pulled to pieces by unqualified reviewers brandishing recently learned grammar rules. A pity, because the texts were well chosen, I reached the final stages and it was fun to compete, but I was expecting a serious jury.

In 2014 I responded to the call for reviewers, but I had to give up, as I spent most of my time disagreeing with ignorant and/or unfair disagrees. That confirmed my first decision: never again without a serious jury.

[Edited at 2017-10-10 23:32 GMT]
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The contests are designed to be free Oct 11, 2017

Beatriz Ramírez de Haro wrote:
I realized that my entries were pulled to pieces by unqualified reviewers brandishing recently learned grammar rules. ... I was expecting a serious jury.


It's a pity that you were under the impression that ProZ.com was going to pay for professional juries to evaluate the 1000s of entries.

Would you have been willing to pay money towards remunerating the juries? How much would you have been willing to pay? The finances of exams given by translator associations typically break even, so you can assume the cost of taking such an exam as the price you'd have to pay to participate in a contest with a "serious jury".

The contests are "peer" reviewed, i.e. fellow-translators review each other's translations. I agree, however, that it would be nice if translators were able to defend their translations from translators such as the ones whose opinions you had to endure.

Diana Di Battista wrote:
Having paid judges would also eliminate the incentive of peer reviewers to down-vote their competitors' entries. An alternative would be to maintain the peer review aspect, but have the paid judges make the final decision.


Would you be willing to pay an entry fee of USD 450 for participation in the contest? That would get you a judging panel with three judges.

[Edited at 2017-10-11 12:06 GMT]


 
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