make it through ....Need Context!

Discussion in 'Comments and Suggestions' started by jorgecax, May 9, 2005.

  1. jorgecax New Member

    Perú -español

    cómo se podría traducir esta frase.
    muchas gracias

    Moderator's note: This thread began in the SP/EN translation forum. It quickly moved to another topic of general interest: The need for context.

    Thanks to all who have participated.
  2. Artrella Banned


    Hola Jorge! Podrías darnos un poco de contexto o la oración donde está esta frase? :)
  3. Neilito

    Neilito Senior Member

    Canary Is., Spain
    Estoy bastante seguro de como explicarlo sin contexto:
    to "make it through" normalmente quiere decir "perdurar, sobrevivir" o incluso "apañarse". Compara las expresiones (en diccionario WR) "come through" y "live through".
    Compara tambien (aunque no en diccionario WR) la expresion "make it", que quiere decir mas o menos lo mismo o tambien lograr un reto, prosperar, etc. La adicion de "through" lleva el sentido de tener que aguantar cierto tiempo una sitacion dificil. "Make it" quiere decir tener exito al final.
    No sé si conocen la cancion de Kris Kristofferson (versionado por Elvis Presley) "Help me make it through the night" - leer la letra te dará un buen ejemplo de su uso. Tambien hay una cancion blues "We're gonna make it". En mi opinion ambas expresiones son mas bien de ingles americano. "Live through" is mas britanico, aunque tambien tiene otras matices.

    Espero que te haya auydado :)
  4. Chaucer Senior Member

    US inglés/español
    Hay más contextos, por eso se exige que se dé el contexto en este caso. Y esa es la responsabilidad de Joreg.
  5. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con el Sr. Chaucer.

    Es realmente una bobada hacer una pregunta de esta manera.

    Contexto 1: If I turn sideways, I can make it through the fence. Pass through, squeeze through.

    Contexto 2: The patient will make it through the night if the medication works. Survive

    Contexto 3: Make it through the minefield.... succeed in navigating, presumably without injury

    Contexto 4: I will make it through college if I study hard. Complete/finish

    Podría dar más ejemplos. Hace falta contexto.

  6. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Just to vent a little bit more, having requested context a few dozen times in the past day....

    I will make it through the translation exercise, but the lack of context will make it very difficult to provide a useful answer, and whatever I offer may be misleading or simply incorrect. Make it through: Grind it out/work through/fulfill under duress/accomplish despite obstacles.
  7. cubaMania Senior Member

    I sympathize Chuchu. What we need is two boilerplate answers asking for context. One version would be gentle, aimed at the new user explaining that all questions need to contain context and enough information for an accurate translation and warning that without it 1. you may get inaccurate translations and 2. you are causing unnecessary work for those responding to you. The second version would be less gentle, for experienced users (based on number of posts.) Maybe that one should contain Chaucer's hilarious description of us all running around in circles trying to help someone, only to have them come back and say--oh, nevermind, I misspelled it or left out a word. We could just keep a copy of the boilerplate on our desktops, then just slap in there the appropriate version whenever anyone asks a naked, context-less question.
  8. asm Senior Member

    New England, USA
    Mexico, Spanish
    :) Yo diria, nada'mas para que Jorge regrese, que quiere decir

    "Hacerla", pero hacerla tiene varios significados, como hacerla de tos, o hacerla en el trabajo. Espero que sea suficiente para nuestro querido Jorge, que segun he visto solo ha puesto 6 "posts". Ojala que vengan otros muchos.
    Vamos Jorge, hay que hacerla!!!!!!! A darnos el contexto:)
  9. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Thanks CubaMania,

    You have been reading either the tired minds, or the private posts, of the mod team. We discussed this and came up with exactly the same solution a couple of weeks ago.

    I proposed gentle, coaxing messages for the new foreros. For the experienced ones, say those with over 100 posts, I went so far as to suggest that we slap the boilerplate answer into a post, and then lock the thread! My colleagues restrained me.:)

    I invite all forum members to write their own boilerplate messages, gentle and kind and instructive for the newcomers. For the senior members who insist on dumping a part of a sentence, with no background or context, you may be, shall we say, a bit more forceful.

    If enough of us work together, we may yet make it through this tedious chore.:D

    Thanks again for the good thoughts.

  10. Phryne

    Phryne Senior Member

    New York City
    I couldn't agree more, but, my lovely Cuchufleto... do we need 9 post, 768,565 characters, 2,567 calories spent on reading this person's mind and three hours of debate just to come up with the obvious? I imagine this happened thousands of times already! :rolleyes:

    Anyhow, who gets hurt if we just ask for context once, and DON"T reply anymore? :rolleyes: I think the answer is much easier.... and it's blowing in the wind :D

    duerman foreritos que están cansados.... se les nota!!! :D
  11. cubaMania Senior Member

    Hola Phryne,

    From my observations of the forum since February, I think it's a little more complicated. Here are a few issues to consider:
    1. There will be a constant stream of newcomers who ask naked context-less questions. That's a given and must be dealt with.
    2. Often when that happens somebody will take the time to compose a response asking for more information. Sometimes the response comes out gentle, sometimes it comes out funny, sometimes it comes out scary because, as noted, it can get more than a little annoying to keep asking and re-asking for context.
    3. Regardless of whether or not somebody has asked for more context (and whether they have done so in an appropriate and effective manner) the likelihood is still high that other forum participants will go right ahead and start posting a series of translations/guesses/speculations/impressions about the meaning of the naked word or phrase.
    4. Sometimes, inexplicably, somebody who has been reading and posting to the forum for weeks or months will post just such a naked context-less question. When that happens, it's easy to get reeeaaaaallllllyyy annoyed.

    OK, now, I think all of the above is given. All those things will continue happening. So the question becomes, how best to deal with it. I think this:
    1. We need a boilerplate response so that each and every request for context works well without insulting or scaring the new users, and also to minimize the amount of time and effort that is currently going into composing these posts.
    2. We need consistency, so that every naked question always gets the same response--the boilerplate.
    3. Since we know for certain that some participants will still try to post translations, we need to be sure to include in the boilerplate a warning that without context translations may be incorrect and incomplete and misleading and sometimes just wrong, so consider yourself warned.
    4. For the experienced posters who still do this annoying and inconsiderate thing--well, I don't know. But maybe if we are consistent in always pasting in the boilerplate, then the idea might penetrate even their thick skulls. Otherwise we can let Chaucer slap them around. :p (Just kidding, just KIDDING!)
  12. RussUS Senior Member

    California, USA
    English, United States
    As a newcomer to this specific forum, I am amazed at how some of you are letting yourselves get upset because some posters don't do things as you wish they would.

    You are acting as if you personally are harmed by somebody not posting context. A very simple solution is, if you don't like how the post was done, don't respond.
  13. cubaMania Senior Member

    You do have a point there, RussUS. Actually, that's the way I reacted when I first joined the forum. If there were no context, I simply would not bother to respond. It worked fine for me, but it did not constitute a contribution to the forum from which I am benefitting greatly.

    However, on the other side there is the fact that the forum rules require context:
    The Word Reference Forums Rules Summary (complete text is in FAQ rules )
    5. Always provide an example sentence to show the context.

    There is also the fact that the moderators appear heavily burdened by this problem. There is no doubt in my mind that without moderation the forum would descend into a great big old mess. They make it look easy, but in reality the fact that this forum is so extraordinarily useful, civil, and effective is not an accident of fate. It is the result of a tremendous amount of work by extremely skilled moderators. I think getting this matter of supplying context under control would benefit us all around.
  14. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Tsk, tsk, tsk mods . . . . Isn't this a little strayed from "Make it through"?

    I wish I had read this thread earlier, but it's on the wrong place . . . WOuld it be possible to transfer this great debate to the "comments and suggestions" forum?
  15. Artrella Banned


    :thumbsup: I agree Venuzinha... :thumbsup:
  16. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Russ: This is easy for you to say because
    #1: You are new, and are probably blind to ALL of the minor structural problems that occur in this forum
    #2: Because you are new, you probably don't spend much time trying to help people (via translations, aid with language confusions).

    As someone (like Cuba and Cuchu) who have spent much time in this forum in our pursuit to help those people with language questions, these suggestions makes OUR jobs easier, and stress-free (ok, not FREE of stress).

    If you had to reply to every translation (or, como se dice this and como se dice that) without context, you'd get pretty annoyed, too. And, yes, we all could, of course simply not reply. But, that wouldn't be very congruent with our attitudes about helping people, would it?
  17. el alabamiano Senior Member

    When this forum first began last July, I made some posts as a guest, then became a member soon after. Amazing and remarkable strides have been made since the forums' inception, and they have came about due to the efforts of many, ranging from the Administrator to the newest of members.

    The moderators, for example, spend a lot of time just moving posts to the correct forums, sending private messages to other forum members, pleading with them to cease from personal attacks, etc., deleting messages, editing posts that are inappropriate, devoting countless hours of personal time in meetings, trying to come up with ideas which will improve forum functions, working on special projects for the dictionaries and forums, and doing so strictly on a voluntary basis. That means without getting paid a dime for it.

    So, yeah... not posting context does cause personal harm, for all of us, as indiviudals who search dictionaries, search engines, etc., and too often draw a blank...time wasted simply because of a willingness to help someone who didn't bother to add context, which is almost always needed--always.

    So, hang around, contribute, get to know some other members. The truly amazing part is how much you'll be able to learn just by taking a little time to help someone else.
  18. asm Senior Member

    New England, USA
    Mexico, Spanish
    I define "helping others" in a different way; I try to see what their needs are, not only what my needs are. However, I understand some of your issues.
    I'd like to suggest the following (and polite) response to all those enquires that do not provide context:

    Dear (name, friend)_________, WR forum is working to help/assist you and other WR members, however, the information you provide in your question is not enough for us to help you because the context in which you need the translation is missing.
    Should you provide the context the participants in the forum will help you in a much precise and effective way.

    Please refer to the # x statetment in the rules XXXXXXXXXX



    Change the verbatim if you want (my English is not that good), but do not punish inexperience and naivety.

    You can also have only one set of rules (the same for all forums), I saw that there are two or three, and not all of them say the same.

    I agree with Phryne, we need to breath three times and relax. Besides, we cannot allow this minor problems upset this nice and helpful community.

    I see a big difference in the cultural level and the deepness of our questions, but if the forum is to survive (and to be helpful) we need the high quality and precise participation as well as the naive and the "no-so-high" and sometimes annoying questions.

    I appreciate all you do for this community, this is an opportunity to grow and learn, I hope we all take advantage of this learning experience.

    Muchas gracias por lo que hacen, es mas que sensacional!

  19. cubaMania Senior Member

    asm, I like it and would like to start using it--or something very close to it if you don't mind. I'm not a moderator, so I will change it just a little to make it sound less like an official communication (though I still think it would help if everyone responded with the same or almost the same boilerplate.)
    However, could you provide a Spanish version?
  20. asm Senior Member

    New England, USA
    Mexico, Spanish
    Estimado/a amigo/a:

    El foro WR trabaja para ayudarte a ti y a otros muchos miembros del foro, sin embargo la información que proporcionas en tu pregunta no es suficiente para que podamos ayudarte.
    Generalmente este tipo de traducciones necesitan tener un contexto para que sean efectivas, y tu pregunta no lo tiene.
    Si vuelves a formular tu pregunta con el contexto en el que la necesitas usar los miembros del foro podrán ayudarte mucho más rápido y de una forma más eficaz.

    Te informo que las reglas de uso del foro solicitan que proveas el contexto de tus necesidades para que te ayudemos mejor, tú mismo/a puedes leer dichas reglas en "liga/link"

    Agradezco tu interés por participar en el foro.



    If you want to "customize" the post to boys and girls, use "o" for him and "a" for her when I typed the / sign

  21. cubaMania Senior Member

    Thanks. I've copied this to my desktop and will use it when asking for context.
  22. garryknight Senior Member

    Kent, UK
    UK, English
    I agree with Venus. Most of this thread is in the wrong forum. As to the lack of context issue, I too have spent quite a bit of time in the past researching into something only to have the poster come back and confess to a spelling mistake.

    So I agree with Phryne: we could ask for context just once then refrain from replying again until such context is given. It wouldn't go against my concept of willingness to help since you simply can't help in this situation other than by requesting more context. Trying to go beyond this is like trying to force-feed a bulimic, and it just won't work.

    When I first joined the forum I didn't check the FAQ straight away, in fact it probably took a few weeks for me to get around to doing so. Perhaps there is some way to ensure that the FAQ is the first thing new members see after signing up. And maybe the first part of it that they see is a set of 'working rules' to be drawn up by the Mods [yes, I know the Mods have a lot of work but a) we can all help, and b) a little more work now might mean a whole lot less later on].
  23. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Hi Garry,

    We are moving in the direction you suggest. Although there is no way to be sure anyone reads them, the forum rules, including the request for context, and the requirement that people limit themselves to a single topic per thread (unlike our own behaviour in this thread:)) are part of the registration process. Perhaps they should also be emailed to every new member. That is no guarantee that they would be read, much less followed.

    I think that peer pressure from fellow foreros is more effective than a lecture from a mod, and we have a few examples of requests without context being ignored entirely. When any of us takes a wild guess, we do no favor to the one requesting the translation.

    We have an experiment of sorts in the Specialized Terminology forum, which requires....or at least tries to...a complete sentence and some background. The posts that have these generally get prompt and good attention. Those that are lacking often go unattended.

    Please have a look at the new thread form, and let us know if something like that might be helpful in the main language forums.

  24. garryknight Senior Member

    Kent, UK
    UK, English
    I've put a fair bit of thought into this and it appears that this probably occurs because new topics tend to be introduced gradually over the course of a few posts (at least, on occasion) and extracting the relevant parts, or at least, rephrasing them as a formal query, can involve a fair amount of work. As I've found out tonight when I put together a post that arose out of two WR threads and one Usenet thread.

    No, and then there's the danger that they'd be treated as "the small print" by the regulars as well as by the newcomers. By which I mean the newcomers will continue to ignore them and the regulars might use that fact to treat the newcomers in a less-than-helpful manner. [WHADDYA MEAN YA DIDN'T READ THE F****G E-MAIL!!!!!:mad:]

    No, that's what I meant by "trying to force-feed a bulimic". At best, they'd just vomit it up or refuse to eat it.

    Well, I like this bit:
    * The fields marked with an asterisk are required.
    Los campos señalados con un asterisco son obligatorios.

    But is this actually enforced by the software? Are these fields validated on submission and re-presented when necessary? If not, then one could argue that they're not obligatory. Unless you mean that they're obligatory as long as you actually want an answer to your query. Also, I can see people putting the wrong data into the wrong fields, leaving us to sort out the mess.

    In any case, it could prove valuable in the Vocabulario General forum but it would put too much constraint on the other forums that deal with vocabulary as, at the moment, they are used for grammar topics, too. I guess you could always separate them out, but it might be early days for that big a rehash.

  25. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    The software does force selection of source and target languages.
    It also requires that something go into the context field. Sadly, software has no control over the quality of what is written in that data entry field.
    That particular forum tends to attract serious people, so most, but not all, put something meaningful in the context field.

    If we were to use the form in SP Vocab., the source and origin languages would likely not be a requirement.

    We are kicking around the idea of making the 'additional comments' field
    a required background field to try to elicit even more context.
    If you browse through a dozen posts in ST, you will see that the professional translators tend to give quite a bit of background, as they understand that it will facilitate better help.

    Please continue to offer any and all ideas about how to make the process more useful for all of us.

    Thanks for you help.
  26. garryknight Senior Member

    Kent, UK
    UK, English
    OK, the brain's up and running now.
  27. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    Bonjour Cuchu,

    What is the specific reason for not having applied the "ST" format for all forums' new threads?
    The context problem occurs regularly in the French-English forum, too.
    I remember that I did not dare asking my first question before some "watching days" because I did not know exactly how to formulate it. A sort of "new thread form" would have been highly appreciated then, I would not have felt insulted or bothered by it.
  28. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Bonjour Agnes,

    The specific reason is simply that we know that we are not as smart as we would like to be, and that our best theoretical design may not work!
    When we opened the ST forum, we were determined to avoid the lack of context problems that plague all of the translation forums. So we created something that we thought would eliminate the problem. Our original specification said that the "thread starter" form would be used and modified, as needed, in the ST forum, and then used in other forums.

    Here is what we have learned so far:
    1. Forcing the user to indicate origin and target languages works most of the time. A few people get it backwards, but that doesn't hurt understanding, as the two language codes are evident.
    2. Most people, perhaps 70%, give a complete phrase or sentence. A substantial minority do not!!
    3. Professional translators and other serious users also give background information, which greatly facilitates the translation work.

    In sum, things are a lot better in ST than in the other forums. As a result, we will be creating a similar, but not identical, form for other language forums. We are also going to improve the ST form by making the background section obligatory, and change a few other details.

    These forums are still less than a year old. We have much to learn yet.
    Your ideas and participation in the improvements we all seek are very welcome.

    Un saludo,

    Ahhh, if only all foreros were so intelligent!:)

  29. Philippa

    Philippa Senior Member

    Britain - English
    Hola Cuchu-estadístico (statistician???)
    And how does that compare to in Vocabulario? Is it lots worse?
    Philippa :)
  30. garryknight Senior Member

    Kent, UK
    UK, English
    Surely one reason is that not all questions are on vocabulary. Maybe the fields could be designed to be used for grammar questions as well. But is "source language" and "target language" always relevant to a grammar question? And what about the "context" field? The poster might not yet know enough grammar to be able to generate context if they don't have any from another source.
  31. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    You are perfectly right, Cuchu and Garry: some of the fields to be filled in that "question form" are not relevant for every forum.
    Nevertheless, it is a good base on which to work because it helps to formulate the question and shows that the more detailed the question is, the more complete the answer will be! ;)
  32. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Current thinking, which changes with the position of the moon, and receipt of better ideas from you, is that the form for Vocabulary will not require source/origin and target/destination languages.
  33. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Ah, Philippa, if only I weren't so busy writing friendly little notes asking for context, I would have time to do the data collection and analysis!;)

    We have a few problems with lack of context in ST. We have a great many such problems in Vocab. "lots worse" seems to describe it with sufficient statistical precision. If you and all the other senior foreros would encourage people to provide context, that would help a lot.

    How can you do that?

    Post a reply like this: Context please!

    and don't say anything more.

    Don't reply to threads without any context. Guesswork wastes your time, and may give a misleading answer.

    Use some of the 'boilerplate' text suggested earlier in this thread.

    And if you are reponding to a query by a senior member who really ought to know better.........use your imagination! Be polite, but don't hesitate to be firm in demanding context.

    There. Now have I ducked your stats question?

    Un abrazo,
  34. asm Senior Member

    New England, USA
    Mexico, Spanish
    De nada, es un placer
  35. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    In addition to ASM's fine prose, you are welcome to copy and paste these, if you think they would be helpful:
  36. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Very often, the sample sentence is just not enough, and further explanations are needed. I suggest the words in red be removed from the rules.
  37. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    American English
    I still think this is a great idea. Can anyone give us an update as to its progress?
  38. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    I agree! Often technical terms are the most self-explanatory, and more explanations are needed in all contexts! Nice call.

    (Let's see if anyone agrees with us).
  39. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Hola Fenixpollo,

    The form for ST is on sabbatical. It's an external program that is hooked into the vB code for the forums. The recent upgrades to the forum software created some conflicts with the code for the form, so it is not in use at the moment. Mike
    will get that fixed as soon as he can, and then we will be experimenting with variations for other forums.

    We discussed this recently, and both Mike Kellogg and the moderators are still very much concerned with new threads that either ask for definitions without first looking in the dictionaries, and those that omit context. Mike has some nice ideas about embedding links to a number of FAQ topics in a Thread Starter form.

    I hope we will see something soon. In the meantime, feel free to do what was suggested a year ago: Nice, friendly request for context with newbies, and almost as nice, firm reminder for seniors who have "forgotten" to give context.

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