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

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:42
English to Polish
+ ...
... Sep 10, 2014

Mostly just the inactivity.

 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:42
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Forum communication Sep 10, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote and I agree with what he says: Besides, I think many instances of poor English may be related not to lack of ability by the writer but to the fact that forum communication tends to be conversational, and very few people monitor their own conversations for grammar glitches. I did it in the beginning and I notice that 'real' natives also make some mistakes sometimes, but one must distinguish between a word used or written badly in a certain context, like the proverbially mentio... See more
Samuel Murray wrote and I agree with what he says: Besides, I think many instances of poor English may be related not to lack of ability by the writer but to the fact that forum communication tends to be conversational, and very few people monitor their own conversations for grammar glitches. I did it in the beginning and I notice that 'real' natives also make some mistakes sometimes, but one must distinguish between a word used or written badly in a certain context, like the proverbially mentioned 'loose' and 'lose' and a typo. One must also take into account the English variant maybe too.Collapse


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:42
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
TRADOS! Sep 10, 2014

"I cudn't be less botherd by poor speling ore grammer in English."

When a thread is about software, video, business practices, or anything not pertinent to a language per se, if my reply will shed any light on the issue, I'll occasionally use as necessary my lame IT/FR/ES to contribute (usually apologizing for my likely mistakes). Therefore I don't mind if people who
... See more
"I cudn't be less botherd by poor speling ore grammer in English."

When a thread is about software, video, business practices, or anything not pertinent to a language per se, if my reply will shed any light on the issue, I'll occasionally use as necessary my lame IT/FR/ES to contribute (usually apologizing for my likely mistakes). Therefore I don't mind if people who don't have English as a working language use it to reach out.

On the other hand, every day I see that 60~80% of all forum posts on Proz are about insolvable Trados problems. This is just one of the several reasons why I don't and won't have Trados. So it bothers me to wade through all these Trados threads to find some interesting posts.
Collapse


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:42
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes! Sep 10, 2014

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

..... every day I see that 60~80% of all forum posts on Proz are about insolvable Trados problems. This is just one of the several reasons why I don't and won't have Trados. So it bothers me to wade through all these Trados threads to find some interesting posts.



Quite! I have tried, and failed, to find a way of not seeing those threads, with the result that my window is always filled with the long list of Trados-related questions, particularly when a new version is released. So far as I'm concerned, the only purpose that this serves is to remind me that I never want to have anything to do with Trados; but I'd rather not know in the first place.

[Edited at 2014-09-10 13:14 GMT]


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:42
English to Polish
+ ...
... Sep 10, 2014

Josephine Cassar wrote:

Samuel Murray wrote and I agree with what he says: Besides, I think many instances of poor English may be related not to lack of ability by the writer but to the fact that forum communication tends to be conversational, and very few people monitor their own conversations for grammar glitches. I did it in the beginning and I notice that 'real' natives also make some mistakes sometimes, but one must distinguish between a word used or written badly in a certain context, like the proverbially mentioned 'loose' and 'lose' and a typo. One must also take into account the English variant maybe too.


'Loose' vs 'lose' is a typical native error, much as certain grammar afficionados will claim otherwise.

However, due to cognitive bias, a non-native speaker would probably eat the whole flak and then some in a situation in which a native speaker would get off lightly.

[Edited at 2014-09-10 13:20 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:42
Member (2008)
Italian to English
? Sep 10, 2014

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

'Loose' vs 'lose' is a typical native error, much as certain grammar afficionados will claim otherwise.


I think you mean

'Loose' vs 'lose' is a typical native error, ALTHOUGH certain grammar afficionados will claim otherwise.


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
My pet hate Sep 10, 2014

"A man called Attorney John Smith wants me to do a translation. He is offering me $1,000 for 200 words, and is willing to pay upfront. He seems genuine, though his English is not very good. Do you think this could be a scam?"

 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:42
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Language deterioration etc. Sep 10, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
Otherwise we should create a "Basic/Simplified English" forum language.


1. You seem to use the term "Simplified English" to mean "English of a lower standard" but in fact the term means "English of a higher yet simpler standard". If a person can't write properly in normal English, they certainly won't be able to write properly in structured, near-artificial Simplified English.


I meant it more in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. But seriously, if they could learn to spell and use 850 words correctly, it would be fantastic (Basic English):
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Basic_English_alphabetical_wordlist
Expand the list at your discretion by looking up the correct spelling in a dictionary

In earnest 2: I am not bothered by occasional mistakes/typos but by posters who repeatedly misspell the easiest words. It's almost as if the created their own version of English, Minenglish.

Samuel Murray wrote:
2. Your original question seems to indicate that you're talking about solveable problems. You can't solve the "problem" that people from all over the world communicate in a few major languages but don't have native speaker abilities in those languages. The only way to solve your problem would be to restrict the forum to those who have English as a target language and to have a moderator who bans users after making too many errors.

Or, create a subforum that has such rules, but I think very few people will use that forum, because most users are tolerant of non-perfect language in forums, and forums are only useful if they are frequented by a large number of users.



Solvable:
I am not asking for native-speaker abilities. But I remember my time in school when I learned English as a second language and needed to use it correctly!

Basic suggestions:

Use forums that are written in a language you are pretty good at.
If you need to use the English fora/forums, just take a second look at what you just posted. How difficult can that be? Fix it! (You're not using English for the first time, right?!)
If you are atrocious in English, first goooooooooooogle your problem. You might find some solutions. That goes for searching the Proz.com forums too before you start a new thread.
Don't need a subforum. Just some willingness to learn and some basic courtesy. I am sure lots of the worst mistakes can be solved easily by taking a second look. People need to care more about their words.
At least get the headline of your thread in order.

Just a thought (not too serious at this point):
Maybe some of the worst posts/threads could be voted down/reclassified as "non-pro," as in KudoZ - we might have to come up with a new name, maybe "non-pro-spelling," ...
At least outsiders from the internet would then realize that they're not just reading text written by language professionals for whom the use of English is indeed important, no matter what language they are experts in.

In any case, I am talking about people - among them some who state that they're translating from English into another language and who should be able to use English correctly, right?! - who are out of their depth or can't be bothered to care.

Maybe I am only bothered by it all because we are translators and correct words are our business. These are not just entries written by non-translators. But I see that not too many people are concerned. But deterioration of language happens everywhere these days. Well, I am talking about English in particular here. I don't think I want to contribute to it by being nonchalant about the use of English, especially in forums used by language experts. It's interesting how some people are quick to point out how universally used English is these days but that, at the same time, they don't seem to care much about its correct use in translator forums or see any reason why it should be used correctly here.

And again, please understand that I am talking about examples that would make a 5th grader laugh (it doesn't make them cringe yet) who learns English as a second language.

Samuel Murray wrote:
Besides, I think many instances of poor English may be related not to lack of ability by the writer but to the fact that forum communication tends to be conversational, and very few people monitor their own conversations for grammar glitches.



There is a difference between conversational use of English and repeated use of wrong phrasing, wrong meanings and wrong spellings. If you are capable of conversational English, you should also be able to follow basic rules of grammar and spelling.

[Edited at 2014-09-10 15:15 GMT]


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. Sep 10, 2014

Tom in London wrote:

Quite! I have tried, and failed, to find a way of not seeing those threads, with the result that my window is always filled with the long list of Trados-related questions, particularly when a new version is released.


I have this problem too. I've excluded them from the list of topics I want to see, but I still see them. Does anyone know how to hide them?


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:42
Russian to English
+ ...
The main purpose of language is communication, Sep 10, 2014

any other purposes being secondary. Many of the people who post do not even translate into English--they may just want to communicate, and I do not think they should be precluded just because their English may not be as good as some Oxford or Harvard professors'--most other people write in pretty much average English, anyhow, especially on the fora.

 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:42
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A little effort goes a long way Sep 10, 2014

LilianNekipelov wrote:

any other purposes being secondary. Many of the people who post do not even translate into English--they may just want to communicate, and I do not think they should be precluded just because their English may not be as good as some Oxford or Harvard professors'--most other people write in pretty much average English, anyhow, especially on the fora.


I am not suggesting anyone should be precluded from the forums. Neither can anyone be forced to participate (post or reply). I am simply saying that I would like to see decent English throughout the English forums. Being a non-native speaker or not translating into or from English shouldn't be excuses for communicating in bad English. Even worse if some participants who use incorrect English actually claim to translate from English according to their profile. I tried to argue that we should maintain a certain standard of the language. For the sake of the language. And just a little effort of checking one's writing goes a long way and makes all of us look more professional.


[Edited at 2014-09-10 21:43 GMT]


 

2G Trad  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:42
English to Italian
+ ...
Hide posts from selected users Sep 10, 2014

That's the function I would love in Proz fora.

Cheers
Gianni


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:42
German to English
Complaints about rates Sep 11, 2014

No matter what business you're in, someone will offer a comparable product at a lower price point. For some buyers price is more important than the quality of the product. This isn't going to change, so stop complaining about it, and offer the best possible product at a sustainable price.

 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:42
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Don't complain about low rates and don't quote or accept them Sep 11, 2014

Kevin Fulton wrote:

No matter what business you're in, someone will offer a comparable product at a lower price point. For some buyers price is more important than the quality of the product. This isn't going to change, so stop complaining about it, and offer the best possible product at a sustainable price.


Just want to add: many don't know that accepting jobs at low rates is detrimental to their career. In the long run, you can only sustain and then make this a career if you stick to adequate rates. And that means you should be the one determining your rates based on a thorough review of the original text and/or work involved.


Beginning of Quote:

http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Determining_your_rates_and_fees_as_a_translator
If you are a freelance translator, putting yourself in a position to do high quality work on an ongoing basis requires that you approach the job from an effective commercial standpoint. While the question "What rates should I charge?" is one that ultimately only you can answer, as a professional in the industry -- and an independent business owner -- you must be sure to address the question carefully. When you do, bear in mind the responsibility we all have to cooperate in creating an environment in which it is possible for translators who take the time to do high quality work, can be paid an amount that allows them to dedicate themselves to their work on an ongoing basis. ...

... there are many agencies who are coming back to the translator after having received the quote and asking for a slight reduction. "We have received your quote and would like to work with you but our job only pays 0,09 EUR per source word and your price of 0,12 EUR is too high". The best thing to do in this situation is run away as quickly as possible, or, better yet, try to insist on your original price. Perhaps this is the point where you bring out your big marketing guns and ammo that prove why you are worth what you are asking for. For example, "I am an expert in XYZ and I can provide a well researched and meaningful text."

Unfortunately, the reality is that more and more translators are acquiescing and agree too willingly to the lower rates just to get the work.

End of quote

As far as the argument about clients is concerned who are not interested in high quality; yes, there are people out there but it's not a good idea to accept such attitude and start providing poor quality. First, a professional translator will not stoop to doing that because it would be comparable to a university graduate starting to write like a much younger and/or less educated person (or someone who really doesn't have command of the languages he/she is translating in/from). I gladly leave that to others. It makes no sense to gain all that skill and experience and then force yourself not to care and provide #$5@.

But Kevin makes the point that there are people out there who stoop to providing high quality or at least comparable quality for less (often rock-bottom rates). Just know that you don't have to do that and shouldn't do that. Educate yourself about how to calculate adequate rates. That's what you need to charge in the long run, or you will forever work for low rates or (much more likely) run out of money fast. You might have to work additional jobs at first, but you can't live and have a successful career as a professional translator charging/accepting inadequate rates. You really have to seriously think about which rates and conditions will allow you to be successful. That goes for any job but applies especially when you were educated or educated yourself.

In the end, it is much more important to create quality work and most clients will agree to that point and they will understand that it takes adequate rates to allow the translator to provide such quality on an ongoing-basis.

Many clients who think all they need is a cheap translation might change their minds once they experience the consequences. The purpose of a translation usually requires that it is good. Be it in business, academic research, law, marketing, etc. There is plenty of work out there that needs to be done by people who know what they're doing for "quality" rates. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

[Edited at 2014-09-11 14:19 GMT]


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:42
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Solvable Sep 11, 2014

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

On the other hand, every day I see that 60~80% of all forum posts on Proz are about insolvable Trados problems. This is just one of the several reasons why I don't and won't have Trados.


At least 90% of messages about "insolvable" Trados problems are actually about non-problems or problems that have received a solution long ago. I have been using Trados since version 3 of the old tool, and since version 2009 of Studio. There are a few things I find frustrating with it (e.g., the choice to use a ribbon instead of sticking with a menu interface), and a few others I wish were better implemented (e.g. more intelligent fuzzy-matching algorithms).

On the whole I'd say that it doesn't suffer from problems more than any other well-seasoned piece of software (e.g., Microsoft Office). I find it a stable and useful tool.

... But I agree with you that there is way too many forum posts about Trados - I only wish that people searched older posts before starting a new thread: 80% of the post would then be unnecessary.


 
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