Best Correct Answer
I find it very strange that members are posting questions about words or phrases they are unsure about and then proceed to vote on the "Best Correct Answer". To me it is a paradox. If you were that unsure that you had to post the question, how on earth can you be proficient enough to vote on the best answer given, unless of couse that answer is given by a native speaker. Would all members please double check that that they are in fact voting for the best answer as their votes can be seen by beginners who are learning the language.
For me, it's not hard to fathom. Perhaps it would no longer be a paradox if you instead thought of it a "The most helpful answer" vs. "The most correct answer." It's easy to read an answer to a question one has posed and then say, "Yes, that's exactly what I needed. Thank you so much." That, I think, is what the vote signifies.
But Eddy, with all due respect, if we take your point of view there is no need for the forum. Then we should have only the moderators, (after they have passed proficiency tests by an accredited source and have been certified) on the lists be allowed to answer the questions. This forum, like any information one gets in any walk of life, is the best effort of the one who gives it. Then the onus falls on the one asking the question to proof it. However, there are many, many questions on this forum that do not require the skills of an expert translator (for example, this thread). Each member here brings to the table a distinct skill set and interest set, and even the most novice speaker in either language may come up with the "best answer" in certain situations. I can see where you are coming from, Eddie, but believe that you have to give a bit more credit to the intent and intelligence of those who offer answers in what is, after all, meant first and foremost to be a learning site. I hope no offense is taken, as none is meant...just an honest philosophical disagreement.
I think that all my answers should be automatically accepted without question, because I'm never wrong.
So let's get on with it, and Eddy please accept my answer already!
Well, maybe you can accept Heidita's answers too, because she's also never wrong.
(Although that's cheating because that's just by Law of the Forum, whereas I am truly infallible).
It is sort of like solving a crime or a mystery. Just because some of the evidence seems to "make sense" or it seems to fit in with what you are searching for does not necessarily mean that the crime/mystery is solved.
It would be like detectives who are baffled by a case accepting the first piece of evidence that seems to make sense and saying "case closed."
It is very important to check and double check the facts.
I believe that the "best correct answer" is not a way of pointing out who is 100% correct, but a way of selecting the most informed and well researched answer. Being best in show does not make you perfect, it just means out of everyone else, you were selected as the thing that fit most criteria of a certain judgement. It is hard for a beginner to know what the best answer is, but how many of them do you think take said answer, and present it to a teacher or other learning device and see the correctness there? It should be mentioned that this manner of highlighting a "best chosen answer" will allow quick reference for other beginners to find what the correct answer could be, and do more independant research on their own.
If it is incorrect (which I have noticed happens rarely) they will be corrected upon the first attempt at communicating it to an aforementioned learning device. And to be honest, telling other members that they are not proficient enough to know when they find a correct answer seems counter-productive, as everyone is here to learn and should not be judged on skill level alone. I'll be honest, there are times when I am translating something, and a beginner on here finds me the best answer because of the "different way" of looking at the same problem.
En otras palabras, let the "Best correct answer" remain untarnished. While yes, it can occasionaly be wrong, we benefit more from its existence than we do from its errors.
"In order to learn, we must do. In order to do, we must try. In order to try, we must guess. In order to guess, we must occasionaly be wrong." - Unknown
I think that maybe it should just be "Best Answer" or "Favorite Answer".
Well... I am a native Spanish speaker and I am also studying to become an English-Spanish-Japanese translator. It sounds that my answers should be more than educated not only because I am native speaker, but because of my studies. I do believe that learners should rely more on natives than on their learning peers, though.
But I do make mistakes; native English speakers have corrected me, and have given more accurate information than mine and sometimes my explanations are longer or more confusing. Also, there are people from all over: Spain, South America, Mexico... and those kinds of Spanish have their own dialects and phrases that might not apply to other kinds of Spanish. We would all be correct. We would all have a "best answer". Also, we need to keep in mind that context plays a great part in phrases and words and we can all have a best answer because we all see things from different points of view or context that others (whether native Spanish speakers or not) have the right to say that the other answer is not "a best" answer.
I believe that the answers voted should be the ones are approved by the majority or the ones that are found to be more useful (or the ones that the person who asked the questions needs or checks with his needs.)
Eddy! What are you talking about?
proceed to vote on the "Best Correct Answer"
I cannot find anyplace that says Correct answer. I cannot find anyplace that says Best answer. Forget about Best Correct Answer!
The only option I see is a green box that only says A C C E P T
Therein lies the problem. Someone asks a question and every answer they get has a little green box that only says Accept. No coaching, no instructions (but there are instructions for leaving comments -?) just the box. It doesn't say I have to like the answer, just accept. I don't even have to understand the answer, just accept.
I love that you would like to get that cleaned up. I am definitely in favor myself. But I'm not so sure that it is the fault of the newbie asking for help as much as perhaps the vagueness of the little green box.
Each member here brings to the table a distinct skill set and interest set, and even the most novice speaker in either language may come up with the "best answer" in certain situations. I can see where you are coming from, Eddie, but believe that you have to give a bit more credit to the intent and intelligence of those who offer answers in what is, after all, meant first and foremost to be a learning site. I hope no offense is taken, as none is meant...just an honest philosophical disagreement.
Listen, I will never take offense. What you say does have some merit, however, there is no "best answer". There is a "best correct answer" which is entirely different. We have had members vote a post as "best answer" and even though they have been told it is wrong by a native speaker, they have refused to accept the fact. It is this element that leads to beginners being lead astray so to speak. Of course I realise that everybody has to attempt to answer a question if they so wish, especially beginners. This is how they will learn. It is up to the more advanced linguists and hopefully native speakers to guide them in the right direction. I have been a member on this site for about 2.5 years. I consider my Spanish to be more than adequate. During this time I have never voted a post to be best answer because I cannot be 100% sure I am correct.
Something is either correct or incorrect; there is no in-between.
Perhaps for that very reason one should avoid (as I try to) saying "the correct translation is ..." and say, rather, a good/colloquial/literary translation would be ..."
Since almost (secretly I suspect all) languages offer several ways to express any given idea, one can expect several ways to translate an idea from one language to another. The virtue of a translation can be judged on the basis of various criteria (e.g. most faithful to the original syntax [when the focus is on understanding the mechanics of the original construction], "what people actually/probably say" (for most non-specialized purposes), the one that captures, not only the meaning but the feeling (for poetic and literary translations), etc.
One can certainly say of some response that it is incorrect but common sense/experience suggests that there can be multiple correct answers. As far as that goes, there are any number of ways to frame an incorrect response (although, usually, there is little interest in making distinctions among incorrect responses [except for didactic purposes]).
There is some overlap between this and the flagging issue.There are options in this program that give people the chance to use their independant thinking. Their thoughts may not overlap with the intent of the program option.Humans are a pretty unpredictable bunch especially when the site is open to such a wide variety of ages and cultures.Even if everyone operates from the best intention it may not duplicate the intention of the site as evidenced by the responses here.
I agree, until I learned the site I would look at the accepted answer as gospel on the questions.I know better now.It makes me wonder why this option is present at all as this issue will probably never be able to be laid to rest.
I first observe to see how more native/proficient Spanish speakers vote but when I am asking for help I usually have some idea of what the answer should look like and am proficient enough to be able recognize when an answer is using correct verbs and personal pronouns etc and can look up most things I am not sure about or ask again
It is usually the more complex colloquial phrases and idioms I get stuck on and have to ask about as well as the compound verb constructions or past subjunctive mood that I am still learning to use.
I can also usually recognize whan an offered answer is 'way off ' Thankfully I rarely get many of those responses lol
This problem has arisen as there are members who vote for the answer which suits them most, that is, often one that supports their first intent of translation.
I have on occasions asked the member to unaccept, and have had help for example by Quentin, who has been so good to point out some accepted incorrect answers. An accepted answer needs to be at least correct, most of the time, it is.
But when a native or very proficient speaker points out an incorrection, please unaccept the answer, as otherwise this will have to be deleted.
One should think this is so obvious that why should we address this topic. Well......
This is one of many examples.
Entonces en ese caso muy pocos son los capacitados para aceptar una respuesta. La mayoría de los miembros de este foro están estudiando el idioma... y aún los más avanzados cometen errores...
Claro que pueden equivocarse!! No es pecado equivocarse...
Part of the problem is that most of the people who ask questions do not really have an "open mind". We frequently get questions about ser/estar from people who have apparently (and unfortunately) been told that this is a permanent/temporary distinction. From what I've seen, they do not appreciate being told that what they were taught is nonsense and that the should go back to zero in their interpretation/understanding. They much prefer an "extension" of the bad rule that they once learned (yet another exception) to admitting that what they really need to do is re-think the problem.
Similar problems exist with such issues as "b" vs" "v". All of the Spanish speakers that I have met (with only one exception) make no distinction. The books/articles that I have read that deal with Spanish phonology, all agree also no distinction is made in Spanish. However, a distinction is made in English, French and Italian (not sure about Portuguese and Romanian) and because of the human tendency to "hear what one expects to hear", many of these people hear (imagine) a distinction. In fact, what they hear, is a sound that is not exactly what is used in their language and which they interpret on the basis of spelling (or cognates in their own language).
Thus, many people who ask questions, do so with certain preconceptions about what would be an "acceptable" answer (they secretly hope for answers that will agree with what they have already been taught [possibly with some small refinement]). To be told, instead that "everything that you been taught so far (about 'ser/estar' [or the 'b'/'v' distinction]) is cr*p is probably unwelcome news.
Nonetheless learning another language is mostly about differences (although similarities may also exist).