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Why you should never use Google Translate or the API in Trados...
Thread poster: LegalTranslatr2

LegalTranslatr2  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:42
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No, my question has not changed Sep 30, 2015

This issue is whether or not it is wrong to use GT because of the terms for service and potential misuse AND the lack of client consent.

Regardless of the current version of the TOS (and I am not convinced they have changed), the potential for misuse remains.

I suppose that direct clients take a risk by choosing to work with people and not specifying that they cannot forward the document to another company. However, I have never seen an agency grant explicit permission
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This issue is whether or not it is wrong to use GT because of the terms for service and potential misuse AND the lack of client consent.

Regardless of the current version of the TOS (and I am not convinced they have changed), the potential for misuse remains.

I suppose that direct clients take a risk by choosing to work with people and not specifying that they cannot forward the document to another company. However, I have never seen an agency grant explicit permission to use MT. Perhaps I'm wrong.

In fact, I have been asked to sign many agreements not to use a MT system, but my experience may be different.

As it stands now, no one asks the question (perhaps because they know what the answer will be) and just prefer to remain in the nebulous zone of plausible deniability.

I would be very interested in hearing from agency owners who openly permit their translators to use online MT systems.

Samuel Murray wrote:
In some jurisdictions, you may lose your status as an independent contractor if you allow the client to deny you your independent right to decide how you will do the job.



True, I remember when it used to be a requirement for us to have a dedicated phone line and business cards because before the idea of working at home was well known, translators were getting themselves reclassified as company employees and suing for back benefits. Yet today, many already violate this right when they force us to use their own portals, require us to submit daily drafts, etc. etc. and no one thinks twice about it.

[Edited at 2015-09-30 13:18 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-09-30 13:27 GMT]
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Rosa Paredes
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Separate the issues, I'd say Sep 30, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
This issue is whether or not it is wrong to use GT because of the terms for service and potential misuse AND the lack of client consent.


It'll be easier to come to a good conclusion if you separate the issues, and then apply both when deciding on a case by case basis.

However, I have never seen an agency grant explicit permission to use MT.


I have never had an agency give me explicit permission to use Excel for the glossary, Firefox for the term research, Access for the termbase, etc. Nor have I had explicit permission to use my own proofreader (a separate person, in other words) to check the translation. These things are not explicitly stated because the client doesn't have an opinion about it (or it is not that important for the client) (or the client simply did not think about it to mention it, i.e. he assumes that the translator will "do the right thing", whatever he thinks the right thing is).

In fact, I have been asked to sign many agreements not to use a MT system, but my experience may be different.


Yes, I've had a few of those as well (not use MT, or not use GT, or not use an online MT, or not use an online MT that violates the rest of the NDA, etc).

As it stands now, no one asks the question ... and just prefer to remain in the nebulous zone of plausible deniability.


Yes, and there's nothing wrong with that. Remember the days when CAT tools were new, and clients didn't know what CAT tools were? I tried to explain to a few clients what it was that I'm using, but it only confused them and made them less certain about me, so I stopped. It is perfectly normal not to bother the client with the finer details of how you're going to do the job. The client wants an end-product that he's happy with.


Rosa Paredes
 

LegalTranslatr2  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:42
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I remember when... Sep 30, 2015

agencies refused to allow us to send documents via email due to security concerns..

Samuel Murray wrote:

Yes, and there's nothing wrong with that. Remember the days when CAT tools were new, and clients didn't know what CAT tools were? I tried to explain to a few clients what it was that I'm using, but it only confused them and made them less certain about me, so I stopped. It is perfectly normal not to bother the client with the finer details of how you're going to do the job. The client wants an end-product that he's happy with.



 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:42
Serbian to English
+ ...
Why should anyone worry about one hole when the whole thing Sep 30, 2015

... is leaking like a ripped sieve?

in plainspeak:
why worry about data leaking through the use of Google Translate when the whole internet is leaking data left, right and center?

Start from the assumption that ANYTHING you do on the Web is as "private" or "secure" as posting a notice on the doors of the local church or on the noticeboard of the local town hall - or sending it straight to a Committee of Nosy Parkers and you'll get it about right.

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

When you send your translation via email NSA and probably many other organisation will routinely intercept your traffic and so nobody can guarantee absolute secrecy anymore. If your technical text is of any interest to American industry they will get it for sure and free of charge.


And the NSA if very far from being the only one on the act ... starting with all sorts of organisations spying on your traffic to decide which "targeted" ads to ram down your throat - and these are the relatively benign ones!

You could of course always send all data (texts, emails, pictures, documents...) in a heavily encrypted form (requiring about the age of the universe to be decrypted by brute force) exclusively using secured channels that are linking properly secured computers at both ends ...

yes, all that IS technically feasible IF you have all along the chain people knowledgeable enough to do it properly. Somehow, this doesn't sound to me as a realistic expectation - I can't see profit-obsessed agencies employing proper computer security experts, nor all translators bothering with learning how to do it properly, nor end clients always employing secretarial staff that know how to avoid sending confidential information to all and sundry by pressing just one wrong button ... etc.

IOW, stop worrying about one minor hole when the whole Web is leaking worst than a ripped sieve, and given the technical level of the average user, it's not going to change any time soon.

Also stop moaning about "Google harvesting data" FYI that's the only way that Google can throw at you useful search results, [same as medical researchers need access to as much information possible to be able to get usable results that will help everyone.... but let's not digress] - all that sounds as much paranoid as walking on the high street and complaining that people can see you!

I would guess that what is feed to Google Translate is anyway a minor fraction of what they use as "raw material" for improving their MT engine - there are already zillions of translations available on-line (think all the multilingual sites like UN, EC ... and all their agencies, all the multinationals ... etc.) freely accessible to any search robot.

Short version: many other more important things to worry about.


Rosa Paredes
 

LegalTranslatr2  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:42
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What is your real name? Oct 1, 2015

If the internet is "leaking like a sieve" and you have no problem admitting to all your clients that you willingly and purposefully comprise the confidentiality of the data entrusted to you, then why hide behind a false identity.

Just because "everyone is doing it", that is no excuse.

FYI: I have received so much work as a result of this thread that I will have to go offline for a few weeks.

Daryo wrote:




[Edited at 2015-10-01 13:45 GMT]


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:42
Serbian to English
+ ...
There is a slight difference Oct 1, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

If the internet is "leaking like a sieve" and you have no problem admitting to all your clients that you willingly and purposefully comprise the confidentiality of the data entrusted to you, then why hide behind a false identity.

Just because "everyone is doing it", that is no excuse.

FYI: I have received so much work as a result of this thread that I will have to go offline for a few weeks.

Daryo wrote:




[Edited at 2015-10-01 13:45 GMT]


between being aware of how little you can do about preventing data leaks somewhere else along the chain of communication, and yourself not doing what you can do to prevent leaks within the limits of what is within your reach.

I can't see why you understood what I said differently.

To give an example and put things in perspective: if you are using an OS that states openly in its T&C that it will record anything you do and send it "back to base", worrying about using or not some online MT engine sounds to me like trying to close the stable door long after the horse has bolted...

As for this ridiculous argument along the lines of "if you have nothing to hide etc..." - I have no more time for that than you.


[Edited at 2015-10-01 16:12 GMT]


Rosa Paredes
 

Shouguang Cao
China
Local time: 04:42
English to Chinese
+ ...
the early days Oct 13, 2017

Another note: Emails just get more secure:-)

Emails were not encrypted when being transferred through the Internet. Emails in earlier days use plain SMTP and POP3.

LegalTransform wrote:

agencies refused to allow us to send documents via email due to security concerns..

Samuel Murray wrote:

Yes, and there's nothing wrong with that. Remember the days when CAT tools were new, and clients didn't know what CAT tools were? I tried to explain to a few clients what it was that I'm using, but it only confused them and made them less certain about me, so I stopped. It is perfectly normal not to bother the client with the finer details of how you're going to do the job. The client wants an end-product that he's happy with.



 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:42
English to Latvian
+ ...
quality as a process Oct 15, 2017

LegalTransform wrote:
However, I have never seen an agency grant explicit permission to use MT.


If I was in charge of a translation project, I wouldn't allow MT.

There is an idea that it doesn't matter how translation is done by a translator as long as the final text is of high quality. However, the evaluation of the translation quality is very difficult. Serious mistakes should be rare and to know their frequency, a careful review of large amounts of texts is required which then becomes practically another round of proofreading. This is not financially feasible and even if done, there is a tendency it become it less efficient with regards of percentage of mistakes found.

Let me illustrate this by an example: If a translator makes 1 serious mistake per 1000 words and a proofreader corrects 99% of them and the final reviewer catches 9 out of 10 mistakes missed by the proofreader, we have achieved the quality of 10^-6 (assuming proofreader does not introduce new mistakes

If you introduce MT which has much higher rate of mistakes, maybe 1 mistake per 100 words, and post-editing corrects 99% of them and final reviewer 90% of remaining mistakes, the final quality level is only 10^-5. Such ten-fold difference in quality is practically indistinguishable to a casual reader and yet in practice it will have 10 times more incidents due to translation mistakes.

In practice there are many other issues with MT. Its quality is even less predictable than that of a good professional translator so that it may not even produce any reliable quality estimates when using MT.

In some fields this may not matter. These fields will switch to MT if haven't already done. But in others like aviation or medicine where performance metrics are very important, the translation process will be controlled in more detail to ensure higher quality levels.


Rosa Paredes
 
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