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Job changing from translator to MT post-editor
Thread poster: eccotraduttrice

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:32
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Just to get back on-topic...... Oct 9, 2018

It seems irrelevant for others to say that they like post-editing MT, have great ways of doing it, etc. since that wasn't the question.

I think eccotraduttrice has already said that she's tried doing it, knows all about it, and hates it. So starting from that as a premise, what suggestions are there?

[Edited at 2018-10-09 16:02 GMT]


Jose Mota
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 11:32
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
like this Oct 9, 2018

jyuan_us wrote:



In what way does PEMT prevent you from being involved in "the creative and research process of translating"? I think you will still need to be creative and do a lot of research when you post-edit an MT piece. [/quote]

The basic skeleton of the translation is already set down. All you are doing is fixing up something that exists, not creating something new. If you want to write a translation in your own style, you will have to rewrite the MT translation, which defeats the entire purpose of the translation. The MT has already come up with all the terms, so you don't really have to go searching for terms anymore. All you are doing is making Frankenstein's monster look more human


Kay Denney
Christine Andersen
 

eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 11:32
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
raises are good Oct 9, 2018

jyuan_us wrote:

eccotraduttrice wrote:

The idea is that my productivity will be increased so much that they will be able to give me quite a substantial raise in the near future.


I simply didn't get the logic.


Sure, I like a raise, but not at any cost. Would you do absolutely anything for money?


 

eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 11:32
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
MT training Oct 9, 2018

Jeff Allen wrote:

I have participated in MT post-editing on many different systems and have watched each of the large translation agencies get involved in it. At the last one I worked at, they gave an MT program to a senior translator and asked the person to test it for a week. No training (and I wasn't allowed to help the person either). That colleague spent over half a week and didn't accomplish much. I spent 4 hours of train commuting time analyzing bilingual content, creating a customized dictionary, and at the end, I was able to sent all similar pages of content through the system with my custom dictionary and it got very high results. Consumer electronics, data sheets, so this was full of technical content. The key was training the system and then have trained users work with it.

One of the biggest mistakes that the large language service providers are doing is not training the MT system in the way on domain relevant content and terminology lists. This is the only way to be able to get the accuracy high enough. If the company is using a statistical MT system, but not overriding it with terminology training, then it will not be benefical for post-editing that is designed for published translations.




They are training it - we're in early days right now. I think I will be expected to help train it, and then I suppose it will be better and then...will it be less painful to work with it?


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:32
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Hum... Oct 9, 2018

Jennifer Forbes wrote:

I think Samuel's suggestion of taking on some freelance translation work before quitting your present - unsatisfactory - job is a good one.
Although your present job probably wouldn't allow you to do freelance work during working hours at the office, I can't see how your employers would know what you're doing at home during the evening and at weekends and I doubt they'd be entitled to prevent you - but perhaps it depends on what your employment contract says.
Either way, I suggest first explaining your unhappiness with the MT situation and, if that produces no improvement, quietly start looking for another job.
Best wishes, anyway.


I think no job will allow you to do freelance work during working hours at the office, and no employment contract will have any term to regulate what you should do outside your working hours.


 

eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 11:32
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well.... Oct 9, 2018

jyuan_us wrote:

I don't think PEMT and translation are mutually exclusive processes. They have a lot in common. They should not be considered as totally incompatible with each other.

I look at the issue in a neutral way, although I don't take PEMT jobs myself.


You're not neutral, you're claiming knowledge and offering an opinion (a rather harsh one) about something you say you don't even participate in. The opinions of people who do not have experience in a subject are not very valuable.


 

eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 11:32
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
non-compete Oct 9, 2018

jyuan_us wrote:


I think no job will allow you to do freelance work during working hours at the office, and no employment contract will have any term to regulate what you should do outside your working hours.


Yes they do, it is called a non-competition clause.


 

eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 11:32
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Oct 9, 2018

Thanks for all your responses! I told my supervisor my feelings, and suggested we have a discussion about where this could go in the future, and if it is something iI don't want to do, will there still be room for me to work as a real translator at my company? If not, I hope that they might be able to direct me to some other role in the company, as I prefer to be employed rather than freelance (benefits are important, especially in the US). If not, then eventually it may be time to revive my fre... See more
Thanks for all your responses! I told my supervisor my feelings, and suggested we have a discussion about where this could go in the future, and if it is something iI don't want to do, will there still be room for me to work as a real translator at my company? If not, I hope that they might be able to direct me to some other role in the company, as I prefer to be employed rather than freelance (benefits are important, especially in the US). If not, then eventually it may be time to revive my freelance contacts...luckily I left all my clients on good terms.Collapse


Rebecca Davis
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:32
Member (2018)
French to English
non-compete clauses Oct 9, 2018

Jennifer Forbes wrote:

I think Samuel's suggestion of taking on some freelance translation work before quitting your present - unsatisfactory - job is a good one.
Although your present job probably wouldn't allow you to do freelance work during working hours at the office, I can't see how your employers would know what you're doing at home during the evening and at weekends and I doubt they'd be entitled to prevent you - but perhaps it depends on what your employment contract says.
Either way, I suggest first explaining your unhappiness with the MT situation and, if that produces no improvement, quietly start looking for another job.
Best wishes, anyway.


Employers can and do put non-compete clauses in work contracts. According to mine, I was not allowed to translate for anyone but my company, or contact any of their clients other than in my capacity as an employee. It would all be too easy for a translator to call a client and offer to do the job in their spare time, charging less than the agency of course.


jyuan_us wrote:
In what way does PEMT prevent you from being involved in "the creative and research process of translating"? I think you will still need to be creative and do a lot of research when you post-edit an MT piece.

Do you not see the difference between assessing a machine's creative flair and demonstrating your own? having to research randomly chosen terms before deciding that it's no good and you'll have to research the term yourself?

I did PEMT once, when a PM "forgot" to mention that it wasn't a human translator I was proofreading. It was totally soul-destroying; you have to first assess each sentence, pick it apart and groan at the nuances that have been overlooked and the poor choice of wording and the clumsy effect of a million different translations scrunched into something that looks like it makes sense but actually is always a bit off. When proofreading a human, you get to know their foibles and you know they tend to make certain mistakes. You know to look out for false friends. With a machine, there's no predicting the mistakes, and something can sound fine... then suddenly you realise it's not a false friend or even a true enemy but some slimy inbetweeny gibberish.


Mirko Mainardi
Susan Madden
Kaspars Melkis
eccotraduttrice
Susannalangs
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:32
Member
English to Italian
Non compete Oct 10, 2018

jyuan_us wrote:

Jennifer Forbes wrote:

Although your present job probably wouldn't allow you to do freelance work during working hours at the office, I can't see how your employers would know what you're doing at home during the evening and at weekends and I doubt they'd be entitled to prevent you - but perhaps it depends on what your employment contract says.


I think no job will allow you to do freelance work during working hours at the office, and no employment contract will have any term to regulate what you should do outside your working hours.


As Kay was saying, unfortunately non-compete clauses do exist, so much so that they also extend to freelance work and may refer to when you're working for someone and for a period of time after you've stopped working for them.

Last clause I've read (and refused, again...) said (among several other things) I couldn't work for the agency's clients through other agencies, calling it a "conflict of interest", even though in my experience agencies don't always exactly go out of their way to inform you about who the end-client is or isn't... and even though working for different agencies/clients IS what being a freelancer is all about...

Obviously, as Jennifer says, you can just ignore such clauses and do whatever you like, hoping nothing will ever happen (e.g. your name pops up in the review of one of your translations, during an email exchange, etc.), but personally I have a very hard time signing agreements that contain clauses I consider unfair, and I believe there are so many around because too many people just sign away basically anything...

Guess the OP should check her contact and, if there actually is a similar clause, take this chance to renegotiate it (or negotiate it out). As a long time employee, I'm sure she would be in a good position to do that.


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:32
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
About the “Non-compete” term Oct 10, 2018

I think I will never contact my employer's client for my own benefit even if it is not written on my employment contract. I consider doing so as intruding someone's territory and I'm too scared to do so.

 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:32
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
It is all about money Oct 10, 2018

eccotraduttrice wrote:

jyuan_us wrote:

I don't think PEMT and translation are mutually exclusive processes. They have a lot in common. They should not be considered as totally incompatible with each other.

I look at the issue in a neutral way, although I don't take PEMT jobs myself.


You're not neutral, you're claiming knowledge and offering an opinion (a rather harsh one) about something you say you don't even participate in. The opinions of people who do not have experience in a subject are not very valuable.


If I would be paid at my regular translation rate, I'd be more than happy to take PEMT projects but I've not had any client willing to do so.

[Edited at 2018-10-10 09:36 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:32
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Replying to my own post Oct 10, 2018

jyuan_us wrote:

Jennifer Forbes wrote:

I think Samuel's suggestion of taking on some freelance translation work before quitting your present - unsatisfactory - job is a good one.
Although your present job probably wouldn't allow you to do freelance work during working hours at the office, I can't see how your employers would know what you're doing at home during the evening and at weekends and I doubt they'd be entitled to prevent you - but perhaps it depends on what your employment contract says.
Either way, I suggest first explaining your unhappiness with the MT situation and, if that produces no improvement, quietly start looking for another job.
Best wishes, anyway.


I think no job will allow you to do freelance work during working hours at the office, and no employment contract will have any term to regulate what you should do outside your working hours.


When I mentioned "no employment contract will have any term to regulate what you should do outside your working hours", what came to my mind was that anyone can feel free to work as a freelancer in their spare time. The idea of stealing your employer's business was not even implied. To me, the idea of competing with your employer is just not a possibility, or is just out of the question.

[Edited at 2018-10-10 09:35 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:32
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I don't participate. Right, I don't have paid experience with MT Oct 10, 2018

eccotraduttrice wrote:

jyuan_us wrote:

I don't think PEMT and translation are mutually exclusive processes. They have a lot in common. They should not be considered as totally incompatible with each other.

I look at the issue in a neutral way, although I don't take PEMT jobs myself.


You're not neutral, you're claiming knowledge and offering an opinion (a rather harsh one) about something you say you don't even participate in. The opinions of people who do not have experience in a subject are not very valuable.


But this fact cannot be used to rule out that I have rich knowledge in it. I play with it very often. For example, when I answer Kudoz questions, I sometimes use MT to get an rough idea about a phrase first, and then I polish it. And my answers are mostly chosen as the most helpful.

[Edited at 2018-10-10 09:46 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:32
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Let us know Oct 10, 2018

To the OP, eccotraduttrice:

I would be interested to know how you resolve this problem. Please keep us informed !


 
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