Reworking Tags System

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Russian asset
<a href="/nl/translator/schnurrbrat" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1414669">Schnurrbrat</a>
Lid geworden op: 07.03.2019
Pending moderation

hello.

Background: Tags were around for at least two years, and although the majority of main contributors/editors never use them, many users put them to good use. There was always a discord on tags’ use and their exact definition (since the existing ones are a bit ambiguous) and there is absolutely no control of their implementation. Particularly three tags (E-quirhythmic, P-oetic and S-ingable) are often misunderstood and a cause of discussions. Suggestions were made in the past to change the definition (and hence the use) of some of these tags or to introduce new ones (L-iteral for example). Tags are, nevertheless, important. For example, one of the LT’s doubles divides all translations in two groups – ordinary and Equirhythmic. If more users will use them correctly, we will have more traffic. Incorrect use may give guests a sour taste of their first visit.

 I have two suggestions in mind, both will be not easy to implement code-wise, but it is something for tech wizards to consider, and for us to discuss.

Suggestion #1: to allow users to tag works of others, as simple as that.
For example, If you see that some translation has deviations from the original, tag it as P-oetic, guests and users will know it is not accurate, not literal. Authors may or may not tag their translations, it’s not that important, as long as many users will tag translations they read. Since there is a large number of existing translations with tags, I would go further and remove/flush all tags altogether. It’s a bit radical step for sure, but it might be necessary/useful, since we have numerous users who tag ALL of their translations with E,P,R,M,S or even C,E,P,R,M,S, which is nonsense in the first place. Let others tell you what they think of your translations by tagging them. This will eliminate the need of mods to control tags (in case LT will get one day serious about them). As a result we will have a translation that, for example, will have a E-tag (marked by 6 users) and a S-tag (marked by 2 users). Such a feature is common on many sites.
Ideally, I would love to see Up and Down votes next to these tags, for example S-tag ^ v, allowing users to disagree with a proposed tag (6 users fount it singable, 2 disagree on that, as a result S-tag has a displayed value of 4). If any tag receives a negative sum, it is not displayed and so on. I think it will be pretty useful.

Suggestion #2. Similar to tagging translations please give us an ability to tag comments. A number of users enjoy the social aspect of LT, and this will make LT more user-friendly. How about such tags as “helpful”, “funny”, “toxic”, and “off-topic” for comments? It will make someone feel indeed “helpful” or will help to label toxic discussions and/or users. Same logic/mechanism applies with Up and Down votes for these tags as well: 1,491 people found Schnurrbrat's suggestion helpful, 1 funny.

Thanks for reading.

Editor
<a href="/nl/translator/sandring" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1263066">sandring</a>
Lid geworden op: 18.10.2015

Hi, Schnurrbrat

Thank you for taking this topic up again. I have an alternative suggestion.

All these tags are pretty confusing for new translators. They start asking unnecessary questions and quite often get frustrated. Now LT tagging speaks of a poetic site rather than of a translation one. And all these squabbles over metered/not metered, E/not E, which is ridiculous. And, of course, E,P,R,M,S /C,E,P,R,M,S whatever that may mean. So a common reader might deem that translating for LT requires some poetic qualifications rather than translation skills. And that might warn visitors against joining the LT community.

Why don't we implement a much simpler and more understandable scheme? (-) No tag for a normal translation. (P) for a poetic translation i.e. a translation made into a poem whichever form it may take. (S) for a singable translation.

Besides, such an approach would make it possible to add one more tag. Call it Fantasy/Adaptation or any other. This tag may come in handy when a translator writes their own poetic work inspired by the original lyrics including a parody. Right now editors and mods try to talk the submitter into removing such works into their own page because they can't technically be called translations. A new tag will save us a lot of worries.

Anyway, a simpler tagging scheme will look more appealing to newcomers and unregistered readers, I guess. After all, LT is a translation-friendly community, now it looks like a troublesome poetic workshop. Regular smile

Super Member
<a href="/nl/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
Lid geworden op: 01.07.2018

I always thought that some combinations should be forbidden by the software. For ex, E + S doesn't make sense, IMHO ("singable" being just a cheaper version of "equirhythmic"). On the other hand, if a translation is rhythmed and rhymed, it is almost necessarily "poetic", because it is impossible to give a rhythmed and rhymed equivalent of the source text and to stick to the words at the same time.

But the notions of : rhymed, rhythmed, commented, close or not to the original text make sense to me. Of course you cannot force the translators to use them properly, especially if the software allows nonsense.

Editor in search of Anningan & Malina
<a href="/nl/translator/anerneq" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1112972">Anerneq</a>
Lid geworden op: 10.05.2012

I struggle to understand the reason behind all this.
What you're saying is that the tagging system is not working efficiently and you're suggesting an improvement. Your idea is to let other people vote on the classification for a translation, but I don't see how this would benefit the translators, the users, the guests or the website as a whole. You said not many actually use tags, so why would these people immediately decide to judge which tag would be appropriate for a specific translation? If they don't use tags is because 1) they don't understand them or 2) they don't think they are useful. If the majority is not interested in tags, why would they be interested in categorising other people's translations? Tag voting would end up being put in place by a minority with no direct consequences (neither negative nor positive) to anyone. It doesn't improve LT in any way and I don't understand what the purpose would be.

Your second suggestion goes beyond the scope of LT. This is not a social media platform. If you want to thank a user because they help you, a simple "thank you" as a reply is enough. If a comment is toxic, Mods will take care of it. If it's off-topic, just ignore it (although some people here do use the comment section as a chatroom for some reason). Besides many people already use the "Like" button with all these meanings. I think the way things are now is ok.

I think Sandring's suggestion is reasonable. Having the most essential tags would solve all the problems the current tag system causes, while pleasing at the same time those who use and want a tag system. I wouldn't suggest having the "adaptation/fantasy/howeveryouwanttocallit" tag, though. That would allow people to just post whatever and I don't see how this would help anyone. Even with the current system I see some people writing their own version of the lyrics and calling them a "translation", such tag would only promote and amplify the phenomenon to an annoying extent. I think we should rather keep the "commented" tag, which is probably the only one that is actually useful.

Senior Member
<a href="/nl/translator/ogingero" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1352420">OgingerO</a>
Lid geworden op: 08.09.2017

disagree with the comment tag - completely. You could put it like/dislike... but anything else - eh. People are not very nice. No need to further encourage or create a toxic environment like Twitter. I do agree with your first suggestions, but don't think anything more than up and down votes are wholly necessary. I think just simplifying the tags and making them more useable would be better all around. I had to point out to more than one person, yes they could look for singable translations and add their own. It just wasn't that obvious.

Russian asset
<a href="/nl/translator/schnurrbrat" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1414669">Schnurrbrat</a>
Lid geworden op: 07.03.2019

Thank you all for your feedback.

I will try to answer your concerns, and I'm glad that I got replies from members who never use tags, or use just one and from these, who use most of them. I personally use all of them and 99% of my translations are tagged. Also, about 90% of translations I read daily are tagged too. Nearly ALL members that I know and communicate with do use tags on all of their translations too. So, tags are used on this site, no questions about that. And I hope that the percentage of members who use them will only increase with time.

I don't want to discuss individual tags in this thread, but rather a system in general. If I will use your experience with tags (or lack of it) as an example, I do apologize in advance, there's no personal attack motive there.

It would be indeed very simple to leave just one tag, that someone finds useful, let it be S; removing all tags completely will simplify it even further. However, it's just a personal view/suggestion which likely will not go well with heavy tag users as myself. Especially, if there are constant calls, debates and multiple forum threads asking for more tags (Adaptation/Parody, Literal) or modification of existing ones(E is by far the most discussed).  And my second concern, what if some (or all) of these S-tagged translations are not singable us they claimed? How many discussions and opinions are out there on this topic alone?

There is no control of tags' implementation though. None. What it leads us to? Only community-based regulation, debates, etc. If I mark my English translations as French, it will be taken down. If I persist on claiming my French expertise, I will be banned in no time, right? Why do we allow users for years to mark their work with all possible tags?  I saw a situation when a new user registered on LT looking for E-translations. I tried to help him and made a search. First ten tagged results were not even close to being one. That's how LT looks to new users. Mods/Eds have their hands full and it is plain silly to burden them with checking all these tags. Instead, It could be done with a single click by members of various opinions, eventually leading to a collective, averaged decision on the translation.

Regarding that LT is a pure translation site of literal translations. Maybe it was some time back, I don't know, it is clearly changing now. I see new users discovering LT  and migrating from Stihi.RU (lit. Poems.RU) and other translation-sharing platforms. To me, the percentage of users who are interested in singable/poetic translations is only increasing. I think LT should welcome all users, including poets, and not hold to the standards of its first years.

Regarding LT as not being a social platform. Can't disagree more. We have groups, friends, news feed, notifications, etc. Majority of comments (probably as much as 80%) that I read are not related to improving or correcting existing translations, but rather a part of a friendly chat. I'm NOT against  users having their fun on LT, but sometimes these discussions heat up and then mods have to deal with two-three pages of highly colloquial language that they are not familiar with in the first place. Whom to blame then? How many times did it happen? (with some nasty consequences I don't want to discuss here). Would it be much easier for mods to receive an auto-generated notification that some comment was tagged "toxic" by 5-10+ users? Or better yet, such a comment becomes hidden when it reaches a certain threshold of toxicity.

Editor Soldier of Love
<a href="/nl/translator/flopsi" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1331196">Flopsi</a>
Lid geworden op: 12.03.2017

I observed this discussion and was really surprised how almost everybody turned your suggestion down. Personally I don't use those tags. I don't know what they are supposed to be for. Okay, I don't do any rhyming or singable translations. I don't care and know nothing about equirhythmic or metered translations. I sometimes label my translations poetic because they have some extra words to emphasise the meaning but rarely do so. And yes, I have commented translations, but why should I tag the translation if it's plain to see that this translation is commented?

Super Member
<a href="/nl/translator/geborgenheit" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1468741">Geborgenheit</a>
Lid geworden op: 01.09.2020

Hey, just wanted to chime in and say that I personally think that there should be an Adaptation tag. In my humble opinion, the "singing" tag isn't always enough simply because there are times where you can do a more direct translation and still make it singable. I have done adaptations of songs into my languages and I would like to be able to just use the Adaptation tag without always having to add the word "Adaptation" in brackets beside the title.

Don't know if it is a silly idea or not and perhaps I am in the minority.

Russian asset
<a href="/nl/translator/schnurrbrat" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1414669">Schnurrbrat</a>
Lid geworden op: 07.03.2019

Yes, half of tags are related to translations done as poetry (and could be considered a measure of translation's proximity to the original form). Imagine a page with 30+ English translations, with several new ones being added every year. At the current pace we will have songs with 100+ translations in the same language. Would you like to read all of them if you are looking for a translation that matches the original rhythmic and(or) rhyming form? Especially if you don't know the source language. Star-rating is irrelevant in this regard.

Tags are not mandatory, and I'm not calling to make them so. You, Flopsi, post most of your translations without tags and, at the same time, you strive to make most of them literal. But there are many users who also don't use tags and who post translations that deviate greatly from the original (for whatever reason). To a guest who doesn't know the original language both translations are equal. So how would I know what this song is truly about, whom should I trust if I'm new on this site? A five-star rating might be helpful, but it's not always present. And I, personally, reserve my stars usually for translations that are done in poetry, and not for literal ones.

Although I tag most of my translations as P to warn readers that there are poetic deviations (thanks to the newly added script), but some users prefer not to use this tag on purpose since it blemishes their work. There is a certain self-glorification culture present when it comes to tagging your own work. We are trying to present our work in a way superior to what it truly is. My suggestion is aimed at that too.

I agree that the Commented tag could be dropped. Many users learned to use footnotes, that makes pretty much any translation with footnotes commented, but in the past we had translations were annotations were included directly in the text of the translation itself, I guess that's the reason why it was introduced in the first place. 

EDIT: adaptation/parody tag was proposed trice already.

Super Member
<a href="/nl/translator/geborgenheit" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1468741">Geborgenheit</a>
Lid geworden op: 01.09.2020

Ok thanks.

Super Member
<a href="/nl/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
Lid geworden op: 01.07.2018

I think that usually, tags are made to be used, that is, to be able to find a list of texts with such or such tag (and then it's easier to check whether the tags seem justified or not, and even perhaps to argue with the translator who didn't use the right tag) ). But if there is no such opportunity yet (as I think I understood), the interest is less evident. Nevertheless I use them, and I hope that I use them right (sometimes, after thinking, I change some).

I usually prefer translation with rhythm and rhymes, even if they are a little far away from the original (insofar the spirit is preserved), but I understand that some prefer to stick to the words, and in some cases it's not even useful to try to match rhythm and rhymes. Some comments are very useful too, I think, even if sometimes they seem to aim at filling a book out of a simple song...

Senior Member
<a href="/nl/translator/waran4ik" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1474555">Waran4ik</a>
Lid geworden op: 22.10.2020

I have already suggested a simple solution earlier. Anyone who puts the tag E or S must confirm this either by notes or by singing. Without this, these tags are profanation. LT should add an appropriate field to the translations so that everyone can insert either notes, or video, or audio. Plus, LT should add the ability to evaluate with a mandatory comment whether the text is actually sung in accordance with the music and has some deviations, or whether it is a recitative to the music that has nothing to do with either E or S. Yes, for some it will be difficult to meet the criteria for setting these tags. But the bar is also raised high. Therefore, the quality must be confirmed. However, these initiatives were never supported at the LT, everything remained as before. People continue to put these tags as they please. These tags do not guarantee that the translation is being sung. These tags are only misleading. Most of them at least.

Super Member
<a href="/nl/translator/vevvev" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1405697">vevvev</a>
Lid geworden op: 14.12.2018

This site was not created for professional translations. Anyone who wants professional accuracy, correctness, harmony can go to the resources of professional translations. Here people just relax and have fun. Leave, please, these endless attempts to introduce censorship here.

Ironic Iron ֍ The Black Sun
<a href="/nl/translator/st-sol" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1315904">St. Sol</a>
Lid geworden op: 20.11.2016

The original 2-level tag system was developed to classify translations by certain formal attributes and to help users finding S, R, M, and E translations. Due to implementation issues, the site developers reduced the system to a single level, distorted the tag meanings, and shortened tag names (tag P was supposed to mean a "poetic license" was used in a translation, but it was reduced to simply "poetic" resulting in the ongoing confusion among users). The system became confusing but it still remained useful if users only took their time to understand the tag meanings and use them properly. Currently that is not the case. Later, some editors (и недавно присоединившиеся к ним хамы) started arguing that E concept is nonexistent, and S tag is the only one needed. The only plausible explanation for such a denial of the obvious is that these particular characters are unable to produce E translations and want to reduce everybody to their level. If their position wins, then users won't be able to differentiate between singability quality of translations and the whole classication system will be useless. And the last but not the least point: poetic adaptations, fantasies on the topic, and other contributions grossly distorting/misinterpreting the meaning of the source are not translations, and they should not be allowed on the site dedicated to translations, imho.