What's your personal opinion about MT?
Thread poster: CafeTran Training (X)

CafeTran Training (X)
Netherlands
Local time: 12:29
Sep 17, 2017

I've changed the title of this posting, to make it inline with the responses.

I'll repost my original question and would be grateful if responses could be on topic.

[Edited at 2017-09-18 05:19 GMT]


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 12:29
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
A translator who is passionate about translation Sep 17, 2017

A translator who likes her/his profession and is passionate about translation doesn't want to have any kind of connections with machine translation. Only those translators/translation agencies use MT, who want to make money right now and don't care about the future. For example translation agencies, where managers/CEOs have nothing to do with translation, they just invested in it and want money as fast as possible and when they squeezed the last drops from translation business, they will invest ... See more
A translator who likes her/his profession and is passionate about translation doesn't want to have any kind of connections with machine translation. Only those translators/translation agencies use MT, who want to make money right now and don't care about the future. For example translation agencies, where managers/CEOs have nothing to do with translation, they just invested in it and want money as fast as possible and when they squeezed the last drops from translation business, they will invest into another kind of business, where they will do the same. Meanwhile they have nothing to do with that specific profession. Or translators who are desperate about making money or they don't realize that they cut the tree under themselves (they think: if I don't take MT-related jobs, other translators will do it either way). This is a very wrong path.
I try to keep myself away from MT as far as possible. I LOVE to translate.
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Florian Stauber
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:29
Member
English to Italian
Love & Passion Sep 17, 2017

Katalin Szilárd wrote:

A translator who likes her/his profession and is passionate about translation doesn't want to have any kind of connections with machine translation. Only those translators/translation agencies use MT, who want to make money right now and don't care about the future. For example translation agencies, where managers/CEOs have nothing to do with translation, they just invested in it and want money as fast as possible and when they squeezed the last drops from translation business, they will invest into another kind of business, where they will do the same. Meanwhile they have nothing to do with that specific profession. Or translators who are desperate about making money or they don't realize that they cut the tree under themselves (they think: if I don't take MT-related jobs, other translators will do it either way). This is a very wrong path.
I try to keep myself away from MT as far as possible. I LOVE to translate.


Incidentally, I believe that the usefulness of MT is inversely proportional to the love and passion you can actually put into translating something in a specific field.
E.g. Translating a novel vs. translating a technical manual.

As for shooting yourself in the foot by doing PEMT, I agree, although I do believe there also are several translators out there who use MT on an individual basis, for "normal" translation assignments.


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 12:29
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Love and passion what YOU feel and no matter what fields Sep 17, 2017

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Incidentally, I believe that the usefulness of MT is inversely proportional to the love and passion you can actually put into translating something in a specific field.
E.g. Translating a novel vs. translating a technical manual.


I don't know whether I understand you right: do you say that passion and love can be connected with translating a novel but not with translating a technical manual? If you meant that then I think you are wrong.
I'm sure that there are many technical translators (in medical, legal, business, engineering etc. fields) who feel passionate about when they are translating. I was not talking about the passion and love you can put into a text but the way how YOU feel when you 1) are using your logic to find the correct meaning of a sentence/phrase 2) when you create brand new words 3) when you need to do researches because you are translating a brand new stuff 4) when you read your translation and edit it to make it more perfect 5) and the feeling when not only you are but the client is also satisfied with your work.

I know that there are many colleagues who are using MT, so I was talking about my relationship with translation.

What the future brings? Who knows? But I think we are the only ones who can try to navigate its path since we are the ones who are translating.

[Edited at 2017-09-17 19:55 GMT]


 

CafeTran Training (X)
Netherlands
Local time: 12:29
TOPIC STARTER
Too general Sep 18, 2017

Katalin Szilárd wrote:

A translator who likes her/his profession and is passionate about translation doesn't want to have any kind of connections with machine translation.


One could easily turn this statement around: A translator who loves her/his profession, would make sure that she/he also takes notice of the suggestions that MT systems can offer. And then make a correct and elegant sentence with the presented terms and fragments, filling possible gaps in her/his knowledge.

I think that we all agree that the results of MT can only serve as inspiration for us professional translators. And that we should never give the MT system(s) any feedback on their attempts to translate, and thus refuse all (boring) PEMT tasks.

It's also clear that clients like LSPs can have a completely different view on the quality that MT systems offer. But that doesn't have to bother us. Just (again) refuse all PEMT tasks. Perhaps we should even get a Proz.com badge for this . "Brain-crafted translations only, PEMT nein danke!".

atomkraft-nein-danke_DLF61537

On the other hand: if you see MT systems as specialised terminological search engines that can use the context of a sentence to narrow down the search results on individual terms in a sentence, why not let them do the boring and mechanical searching?

Once all bricks are piled up, you can start building (your sentence).

Take the gems they occasionally find and try to not get distracted too much.


neilmac
Richard Purdom
Florian Stauber
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sweeping generalisation Sep 18, 2017

Katalin Szilárd wrote:

A translator who likes her/his profession and is passionate about translation doesn't want to have any kind of connections with machine translation.


Well, I must hate my job and lack any passion, because I've been using MT as part of my translator's arsenal since way back in the day when Systran was any good (turn of the century?). However, it is not a panacea, nor will it ever replace proper human translators. Having said that, I do understand the damage it has done to traditional translators in the sense that many people/agencies/clients now think that any Tom Dick and Harry can turn out a decent translation effortlessly. More fool them.





[Edited at 2017-09-18 18:24 GMT]


 

Oleg Vigodsky
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:29
English to Russian
My personal MT opinion Sep 21, 2017

Dear collegues.

I use MT since 1993. Always use PROMT (Rule based) tools with built-in and my dictionaries (I customize myself).
If:
- a source language is simple and correct,
- a terminology is properly developped,
- MT resources (dictionaries, DoNotTranslate and Rules) are well and timely customized,

then this is a perfect tool. Otherwise, this is a garbage (an MT output).

[Edited at 2017-09-21 14:41 GMT]


 

Albion Languages Kft.
Hungary
Local time: 12:29
Member (2003)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Survey Nov 23, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

Our linguistic team lead is currently conducting a research study on prevailing trends in the translation industry. The specific focus of the study is how freelancers see their jobs in the 21st century, how satisfied they are, and in what areas they would welcome changes or improvements. I would like to ask you to contribute to this research and share your opinions by answering a short survey. Answering the questions will take no more than 10 minutes.

T
... See more
Dear Colleagues,

Our linguistic team lead is currently conducting a research study on prevailing trends in the translation industry. The specific focus of the study is how freelancers see their jobs in the 21st century, how satisfied they are, and in what areas they would welcome changes or improvements. I would like to ask you to contribute to this research and share your opinions by answering a short survey. Answering the questions will take no more than 10 minutes.

The survey serves exclusively research purposes. The overall results will be presented in March 2019 at the Gala conference in Munich, as well as at Tekom’s Frühjahrstagung in Vienna. Responses to the survey are anonymous, and cannot be linked in any way to the respondents.

You can access the survey via the following link: https://kwiksurveys.com/s/cCgTqN2G

Thank you so much for your time, every contribution is much appreciated. In case you have any questions, feel free to contact Zsófia Gregor (zsofia.gregor@albionlanguages.com).
Looking forward to hearing your voices!
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Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:29
Member
English to French
+ ...
Suggestion Nov 23, 2018

Why don't you create a new topic for this announcement?

It will likely not get the attention it deserves buried in this old discussion.

ProZ must be the only forum in the Web where necroposting or writing off-topic is not frowned upon either explicitly or implicitly.

Oh wait, it is: https://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/4#4

Replies should not
... See more
Why don't you create a new topic for this announcement?

It will likely not get the attention it deserves buried in this old discussion.

ProZ must be the only forum in the Web where necroposting or writing off-topic is not frowned upon either explicitly or implicitly.

Oh wait, it is: https://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/4#4

Replies should not stray from the posted topic.
When responding to a topic, stick to the topic as introduced. To change the discussion, it is necessary to post a new topic.


[Edited at 2018-11-23 14:57 GMT]
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Robert Rietvelt
Jorge Payan
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:29
German to English
+ ...
Professional opinion Nov 24, 2018

I don't know what to make about the "personal" part - and actually the survey question that should not have been posted here highlighted this for me since so much about it was "personal" too (how do you feel, etc.). What matters is our professional view.

OK, so how does MT relate to me. "It" produces a translation, so my role as a translator doesn't seem to be in there. Most likely then, somebody will contact me wanting me to revise a translation created by MT. So they have se
... See more
I don't know what to make about the "personal" part - and actually the survey question that should not have been posted here highlighted this for me since so much about it was "personal" too (how do you feel, etc.). What matters is our professional view.

OK, so how does MT relate to me. "It" produces a translation, so my role as a translator doesn't seem to be in there. Most likely then, somebody will contact me wanting me to revise a translation created by MT. So they have sent me a translation to review. I treat it like any other translation. If a translation is poorly done, then it will take longer to fix than to translate from scratch. It may never be brought to the same quality. Since I charge by the hour, the client will be paying more, for an inferior product. Usually clients opt not to take that route. This is a professional assessment: no "feelings" involved, and it is not personal.

Would I use it in my own work? Maybe if it sped up the process and gave good results with few errors, and not requiring a lot of fiddling. The few times I've experimented out of curiosity, that has not been the case, so it's not really a consideration.

Finally, I'm aware of how it can and does get misused out there. For example, someone calling themselves an agency will produce MT at no cost to them, and then present it as something to be revised at the revision fee of say $.03 or $.02 a word, which means paying a fraction of the usual translation cost. It's unpleasant to think about. But if you charge by the hour, the attractiveness of this option disappears for such persons, and the practice (the misuse part) would disappear by itself. Personally I don't like to see this side of humanity.
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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:29
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Why I don't use MT, even for reference and ideas Nov 28, 2018

CafeTran Training (X) wrote:
A translator who loves her/his profession, would make sure that she/he also takes notice of the suggestions that MT systems can offer. And then make a correct and elegant sentence with the presented terms and fragments, filling possible gaps in her/his knowledge.

Why? I don't. I do often use Linguee for ideas and take into account a) that much of what it finds is Canadian and I translate FR-fr into EN-uk; b) that much of what it finds is really poorly translated (possibly using MT); c) that one should always make a judgment based upon both one's own linguistic knowledge and instinct and the source of what Linguee has found.

CafeTran Training (X) wrote:
I think that we all agree that the results of MT can only serve as inspiration for us professional translators. And that we should never give the MT system(s) any feedback on their attempts to translate, and thus refuse all (boring) PEMT tasks.

Well, no I don't agree. I think that the results of MT, far from serving "as inspiration" are more likely to be a waste of time.

CafeTran Training (X) wrote:
On the other hand: if you see MT systems as specialised terminological search engines that can use the context of a sentence to narrow down the search results on individual terms in a sentence, why not let them do the boring and mechanical searching?

I'd rather do my own context searches; that way I devise the search criteria and do the selection and I trust that more than any selection done by MT. I don't find [re]searching "boring and mechanical".


 

finnword1
United States
Local time: 06:29
English to Finnish
+ ...
a tool like any other tool Nov 28, 2018

I use it selectively when it's useful. It offers me suggestions just like my own TM.

 

Bo Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 19:29
Member (2014)
English to Chinese
+ ...
It is limited. Nov 29, 2018

MT may work well on plain language, as long as the source materials use standard expression, without anything illogical. However, most of the source materials do not belong to this category, particularly for marketing stuff with many metaphors, implications and insinuations. I avoid MTPE as much as possible.

 


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