Talk:English actress Elizabeth Taylor dies at age 79

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Review of revision 1200848 [Failed][edit]

Review of revision 1201011 [Failed][edit]

Review of revision 1201113 [Failed][edit]

Review of revision 1201162 [Passed][edit]

Are the Spanish sources really necessary?[edit]

Is the Spanish sources absolutely essential? I am not completely competent in the language. I do not trust Google translate to do a good enough job to fact-check from the article. It would be much, much better to not have foreign language sources for stuff like this; they are an enormous barrier to a competent review. And English language sources on the subject are so very available. Is this a translated article? I don't think that is a good idea in the case of this subject. What is the purpose of using a translated article for an article so easily written from English sources? I don't get it! Regards, Mattisse (talk) 06:33, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

It is a translated news article from Spanish. I took the time to review it (Spanish is my native language, should not be a problem to me), and asked Nascar to publish it. Disregarding there are "enough English-language sources" the article was written by a Spanish contributor, who did his best to translate it to English. His work was based on these sources, randomly choosing other ones "in English language" is inappropriate in this case IMO. Diego Grez return fire 22:20, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, the purpose of the sources is not purely for the reviewer but also for the reader of the article. If most readers of the article can be expected to read in English, then the sources should be in English too unless there is not an alternative. In this case there were hundreds of alternatives. Also, asking Nascar to publish it (your article really) seems a bit slippery to me, since I don't think he reads Spanish well and therefore was not completing the reviewers job himself. He was relying on your evaluation. Regards, Mattisse (talk) 23:36, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
This isn't my article :) And, to be honest, there is no problem by having Spanish sources, since the actual article is in English, and that's what matters. Diego Grez return fire 23:38, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
No, what matters is that the reader can consult the sources also, if they want more information or clarification. I know I do, and I don't think I am alone. As soon as I saw the sources were in Spanish, I didn't bother to read the article. Mattisse (talk) 23:41, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
As far as the content is reviewable by the reviewer, it is okay. That's a stupid explanation, let me say, if the sources are in Chinese, you won't care to read an article either? I'm sorry if this sounds rude, though, it's isn't meant to be. --Diego Grez return fire 23:43, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I would read a Chinese article sourced only to those in Chinese if that was the only way I could get the information. In this case, I went on the web and read some wonderful articles in English. After all, the subject is an English actress and I don't think Spanish sources are the most relevant to the interests of English reader. (And I can read some Spanish.) If the article is not yours, whose is it? Why not just write your own article from English sources? Mattisse (talk) 23:52, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Here's my understanding of policy on this matter: English sources are much preferred both from the point of view of a reviewer and as a reader. Use of English sources should take precedence over non-English sources. When no English sources are available (as happens occasionally), it is permissible to use non-English sources. Here's the reasoning behind that:
Reader: The reader may want to read further the subject of the article, or they may want to check up on us. Either way, that's easier with English sources than non-English sources. (Note that we prefer to direct them to internal Wikinews stories when possible, and after that to other WMF sites (like Wikipedia or Wiktionary). External sources are the last place we want our readers to go, after they have exhausted all that we and our sister sites have to offer.)
Reviewer: Reviewers want to review perfect articles. That makes the reviewer's job easier. The easier their job is, the longer it takes each individual reviewer to "burn out", and the faster any given article will get reviewed. Every little thing that makes the review harder to do slows the process, and burns through the available time and effort that each reviewer has to offer.
Example: it takes me 15 minutes or so to factcheck, copycheck, format, and categorize (etc) an article written by someone like C628. One of Deigo's Spanish-sourced articles usually takes me closer to an hour and a half. That's a big block of time to devote to reviewing a single article. In many cases it takes longer to review a non-English sourced article than it does to write it. Part of it is just doing the basic fact/copycheck, but almost as big a time sink is trying to fix odd translations that don't quite sit well with native English speakers, or trying to figure out what the cultural translation of a quote would be.
A surprising percentage of the things that we say are culturally based. The classic example from Star Trek: TNG is saying "Romeo and Juliet" to an alien and a human. The words themselves are meaningless (they're just proper nouns (and an article if you're going to be nitpicky about it. Eeesh! You people. :P)), but the cultural meaning is significant. To the alien it means nothing, to the human it conjures up a vague feeling of romanticism, or maybe young love (although I'd contend that the play was actually about the failure of the families of the titular characters to properly deal with the infatuation, rather than being a story that has anything to do with love, or even with the impropriety of the main character's actions). The same lack of cultural knowledge that prevents an alien from understanding the words "Romeo and Juliet" followed by a wink and a nudge, also prevents people who speak different languages from understanding each other's cultural phrases. Back to reviewing, it's not Deigo's fault that his articles are hard to review; weirdness and timesickage are just in the nature of translating. Gopher65talk 01:19, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Aren' there rules about translations? I know on other sites a translation should be checked by second translator. Deigo is not free from cultural bias. Yet he asks reviewer who is not fluent in Spanish to review the article. In other words, there is no oversight of this articles, no checking of sources. It is one man's version of a translated article. I think there needs to be a policy addressing this. Mattisse (talk) 09:22, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
There are no hard and fast rules for translations, as far as I know. It is not something frequently encountered on this project, which may explain why there's not much precedent. Tempodivalse [talk] 21:49, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
That is a problem with the project. Gopher65 (above) eloquently describes the problems of foreign language translations, e.g. they are a "time sink" for reviewers and contribute to burn out, they are a disservice to both readers and reviewers etc. This particular article from Spanish sources resulted in an inferior article that was boring, uninformative and contained little of the flavor of Elizabeth Taylor. Aren't wikinews supposed to be interesting? And at least somewhat comprehensive? Or is there no hard and fast rule for anything about an article, except things like the headline should contain a verb? I am beginning to see why wikinews has major problems. It has no journalistic standards that produce superior content. Mattisse (talk) 22:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
There actually was another article on this topic written including only English sources, but as I recall it was marked as a duplicate and nominated for deletion (?) because this one was created first. I agree that foreign sources should not be used if there are good, or better, English equivalents. With no offence to the initial author, the initial translation was poor at best, and even after copyedits it's not a remarkable article. Wikinews is supposed to provide interesting and informative news, yes, but it doesn't always work that way. The main guide for writing is WN:SG, which includes obscure stuff nobody is likely to need and doesn't cover some important topics like the one we are discussing now. Tempodivalse [talk] 22:31, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I noticed that other article. So there is some kind of rule that an inferior article, because it was created first, gets priority? No journalistic judgment involved in evaluation of the merits of the respective articles? I was forced to "merge" an article I wrote into another on a different topic because the headlines were similar, resulting in an idiotic article that was "published" but changed subjects in the middle where I did a cut/paste of my article content as directed by the reviewer. Is there no journalistic consciousness in charge of this ship? The Elizabeth Taylor article is a failure for wikinews if wikinews expects to become the major news provider ala Wikipedia. But with the under-18 year olds as captains, no hope I expect. There seems to be a phobia of any "standards". Mattisse (talk) 23:00, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately WikiNews is a place of contradictions. I feel lot of editors value quantity over quality. (To be fair, I do to a certain extent, considering our small userbase, but there still needs to be some quality.) Until a very short while ago, we were subsisting on less than two articles per day, so there appears to have been a shift in focus from quality to just getting news out on the front page so we have something to show. (I remember, back when I joined two and a half years ago, there seemed to be an effort to do things to a higher quality standard, even if it took more time.) We aren't always this apathetic though, some days are better than others. (I remember being surprised there was no article at all on Wikinews about the Moscow bombings last year. At least we covered this event ...) Tempodivalse [talk] 23:33, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

What is meant by describing a personality as "untimely"?[edit]

Widely known for her personality, described as "sexy, glamorous, untimely, and fragile," the actress was always surrounded by her fans and the media. I can see how a personality could be described as sexy, glamorous, and fragile, but "untimely"? What is meant by that in this context? Inopportune? Premature? And how does that relate to her "always surrounded by her fans and the media"? Seems like the two clauses are unrelated. Could this be made clearer? Thanks, Mattisse (talk) 00:52, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I always assumed untimely meant not of natural causes when referring to someone's death. I'm not sure it's appropriate here. Tempodivalse [talk] 00:59, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  1. Early, premature (second word sense), I presume. In some respects Ms Taylor was 'ahead of her time' in her social values. - Amgine | t 01:02, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think "untimely" means "ahead of her time"; that would be a most unusual definition of the word not supported by dictionaries. Mattisse (talk) 01:05, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
How lucky! most of my dictionaries are packed. I believe quite a number of them have the sense "early, premature" adjectively. But whether or not 'most', it certainly is a sense at the reference you linked to. - Amgine | t 01:08, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
But how does "early, premature" make sense in the quote we are discussing, which characterizes her personality and not her social values? Widely known for her personality, described as "sexy, glamorous, early, and fragile," or Widely known for her personality, described as "sexy, glamorous, premature, and fragile,"? Pehaps this is a translation problem? What is the source of this quote, I wonder. Mattisse (talk) 13:45, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Looking at the source of the quote (from the French wikinews [1] and looking at alternative definitions of "intempestiva", alternatively "unexpected" or "surprising" may work better, although not ideal. Perhaps this is on of those culturally based misunderstandings that Gopher65 mentions above as a problem with translations. Mattisse (talk) 14:28, 30 March 2011 (UTC)