Agencies encouraging machine translation
Thread poster: Charlotte S.

Charlotte S.
France
Local time: 22:28
Mar 13

Hello,

I was looking at the website of a translation agency I just heard about, and I was quite surprised to read that they openly promote machine translation. They roughly say "choose us for important translations that will impact your image, otherwise use machine translation".

Personnally I think it's quite disrespectful (and even dangerous) to encourage clients to use machine translation, and I'm not sure what they're trying to achieve. I'm curious to know how you ot
... See more
Hello,

I was looking at the website of a translation agency I just heard about, and I was quite surprised to read that they openly promote machine translation. They roughly say "choose us for important translations that will impact your image, otherwise use machine translation".

Personnally I think it's quite disrespectful (and even dangerous) to encourage clients to use machine translation, and I'm not sure what they're trying to achieve. I'm curious to know how you other translators feel about that. And would you work with such an agency?
Collapse


neilmac
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:28
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes and no. Mar 14

Charlotte Scavarda wrote:

Personnally I think it's quite disrespectful (and even dangerous) to encourage clients to use machine translation


I agree.

would you work with such an agency?


No. Not least because their business is on the way to failure.

[Edited at 2019-03-14 11:55 GMT]


neilmac
 

QUOI  Identity Verified

Chinese to English
+ ...
Otherwise Mar 14

Personally I think you should look up "otherwise" in the dictionary.

Charlotte Scavarda wrote:

Personnally I think it's quite disrespectful (and even dangerous) to encourage clients to use machine translation"


Jan Truper
Matthias Brombach
Kevin Fulton
Daryo
IrinaN
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 05:28
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Try this Mar 14

Eat at our place if you want tasty and nutritious food, otherwise eat turd.

Jessica Noyes
Kevin Fulton
Daryo
neilmac
 

Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:28
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
Pragmatism? Mar 14

It would be interesting to see the exact wording, but I wonder whether what they're trying to do - if clumsily - is to acknowledge that these days most people may use machine translation to understand the general meaning of a document, or for day-to-day communication, whilst saying that when the message is important, only a "real" translation will do.

Colleen Roach, PhD
Josephine Cassar
Christine Andersen
Vera Schoen
 

Michael J.H. Davies  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:28
Member (2009)
English to Danish
+ ...
Machine translation Mar 14

In my view, machine translation has its place as a useful initial step in the translation process only if followed by post-editing.

It cannot itself be relied on to produce a result that is a true representation of the source text nor, of course, can it be expected to produce a result that reads correctly. So, unless the person or company wanting the translation of a text just wants to have a general idea of its content, then the advice given by that agency is totally misleading.... See more
In my view, machine translation has its place as a useful initial step in the translation process only if followed by post-editing.

It cannot itself be relied on to produce a result that is a true representation of the source text nor, of course, can it be expected to produce a result that reads correctly. So, unless the person or company wanting the translation of a text just wants to have a general idea of its content, then the advice given by that agency is totally misleading.

Would you care to share the URL of the agency concerned?
Collapse


Jorge Payan
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
"Good enough" Mar 14

 Charlotte, while in the era of 'alternative facts and surrogates' one should hold own goals and terms firmly, I see no disrespect here: many companies use MT to preview--get the general idea quickly, so they could select and prioritize the required pieces for human translation. There's nothing wrong with the approach.

 While modern MT sometimes does work better than most wannabe translators, the problem comes when clients/agencies deliberately use sheer MT or post-edit MT
... See more
 Charlotte, while in the era of 'alternative facts and surrogates' one should hold own goals and terms firmly, I see no disrespect here: many companies use MT to preview--get the general idea quickly, so they could select and prioritize the required pieces for human translation. There's nothing wrong with the approach.

 While modern MT sometimes does work better than most wannabe translators, the problem comes when clients/agencies deliberately use sheer MT or post-edit MT for important tasks too, pretending it's an "acceptable" translation.
Collapse


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:28
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Just as 2 colleagues have already implied above Mar 14

The general tone here is to discourage machine translation. The company was saying that a document considered by a potential client as important should never be machine-translated. In fact, every document that requires translation should be considered as an important one.

The company disapproves of machine translation in a rhetorically strong way.

[Edited at 2019-03-14 13:22 GMT]


Colleen Roach, PhD
Kevin Fulton
Wilsonn Perez Reyes
 

Charlotte S.
France
Local time: 22:28
TOPIC STARTER
Clarifying Mar 14

Michael J.H. Davies wrote:

In my view, machine translation has its place as a useful initial step in the translation process only if followed by post-editing.

It cannot itself be relied on to produce a result that is a true representation of the source text nor, of course, can it be expected to produce a result that reads correctly. So, unless the person or company wanting the translation of a text just wants to have a general idea of its content, then the advice given by that agency is totally misleading.

Would you care to share the URL of the agency concerned?


I don't feel comfortable sharing the name of the agency, but to rephrase it more accurately, they start with the question "is your translation important?" before advertising their services, and then finish it off with "if your translation is not important, or the message you want to share is simple, then machine translation will do the work".

As you have all said, it's possible that the agency is not encouraging clients to use machine translation. However they do say machine translation is efficient for a simple message. I would never trust a machine to translate something if it's not for my personal use, not even a "simple message", but that's just my opinion.


IanDhu
 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:28
Serbian to English
+ ...
I can't see any "encouraging" .... on the contrary Mar 14

Charlotte S. wrote:

Hello,

I was looking at the website of a translation agency I just heard about, and I was quite surprised to read that they openly promote machine translation. They roughly say "choose us for important translations that will impact your image, otherwise use machine translation".

Personally I think it's quite disrespectful (and even dangerous) to encourage clients to use machine translation, and I'm not sure what they're trying to achieve. I'm curious to know how you other translators feel about that. And would you work with such an agency?


"choose us for important translations that will impact your image, otherwise use machine translation".

I can't see ANY "encouragement" to use Machine Translation - on the contrary. Have you missed the "otherwise" bit?

What I can see is "IF your translation is not important to you and you don't care if you are going to ruin your image on some foreign market THEN use Machine Translation" - unless I'm missing something the implication is that MT is crap to be avoided.

And it's even not some convoluted turn of phrase that would require very attentive reading to get the meaning right ....

@Michael J.H. Davies
I couldn't agree more with this agency's "advice", which interpreted correctly is:

"avoid MT like the plague if you care about the quality of the translation and the image your are going to present to foreign markets"

[Edited at 2019-03-15 00:03 GMT]


Vera Schoen
Kevin Fulton
 

Wilsonn Perez Reyes  Identity Verified
El Salvador
Local time: 15:28
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Otherwise Mar 15

otherwise use machine translation = or use machine translation at your own risk

Daryo
Kevin Fulton
 

Charlotte S.
France
Local time: 22:28
TOPIC STARTER
Otherwise... Mar 15

Wilsonn Perez Reyes wrote:

otherwise use machine translation = or use machine translation at your own risk


Ok, it seems my use of "otherwise" wasn't appropriate (this just proves why you should always translate into your native language...). The text wasn't in English so they didn't use this exact wording. As I said in my previous post, a more accurate translation of what they wrote would be "if your translation is not important, or the message you want to share is simple, then machine translation will do the work", which I guess says a lot more than what I originally wrote.

I agree with other colleagues who have said that using machine translation to understand the general meaning of a text is acceptable. Apparently that's what the agency meant, and that is perfectly fine. But the way they said it doesn't feel quite right to me: how can we know if a message is simple enough to be translated by a machine? Does a translation need to be very important to be correctly translated?

Maybe I'm overanalysing things. Maybe they were just trying to be honest. But if they truly wanted to praise human translation over machine translation, they could have found a less clumsy way to do it.


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Agencies encouraging machine translation

Advanced search






PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search