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Machine Translation, how it’s reshaping the language industry
Thread poster: Philippe Locquet

Philippe Locquet  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:52
English to French
+ ...
Aug 26

Hi all,

I just attended the MT Summit in Dublin last week. Very, very interesting!
The topic of Machine Translation has been a sore spot for translators. But it’s not just a simple case of Machine competing with qualified humans for translation jobs. In fact, it’s far from being that simple, yet it is slowly reshaping the industry.

I would like that as many translators as possible understand what is happening, to get the clear, full picture. I want translator
... See more
Hi all,

I just attended the MT Summit in Dublin last week. Very, very interesting!
The topic of Machine Translation has been a sore spot for translators. But it’s not just a simple case of Machine competing with qualified humans for translation jobs. In fact, it’s far from being that simple, yet it is slowly reshaping the industry.

I would like that as many translators as possible understand what is happening, to get the clear, full picture. I want translators to have that valuable information so they know what is happening right now and what will come next.
That’s why I’m preparing a video that will explain in which ways and which sectors of the language industry MT is reshaping things.
The sooner we all understand this, the better we’ll adapt to slightly different tasks and keep drinking a nice coffee with a smile.

Below are some topics I will discuss.
Please, if you have a specific question, put it here I’ll try to cover it in the video if I can.
_Existing workflows with MT as a core process.
_Jobs where human translators will still be sorely needed
_Jobs where humans will be less required
_How LSPs should adapt
Here’s one spoiler: No, we will not be all out of a job soon 😉!

Hope You’ll all find this useful.

My bests
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Philippe Locquet  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:52
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Forgot... Aug 26

If any of you are curious and haven't been there yet, here's my Channel:
Fi2Pro
https://www.youtube.com/fi2pro


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:52
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Not a great idea Aug 26

Hi Philippe,

Are you sure the members of this website don't understand what's happening in this "industry"?
I was already unpleasantly surprised when people started discussing their rock-bottom rates over here. Now we'll start discussing how our jobs will change when agencies or direct clients will push an extra button while preparing their projects.
We don't have to be secretive about MT but I don't think you're furthering the profession by educating the people who are
... See more
Hi Philippe,

Are you sure the members of this website don't understand what's happening in this "industry"?
I was already unpleasantly surprised when people started discussing their rock-bottom rates over here. Now we'll start discussing how our jobs will change when agencies or direct clients will push an extra button while preparing their projects.
We don't have to be secretive about MT but I don't think you're furthering the profession by educating the people who are not in the know already.

Cheers,
Gerard

P.S. Animated GIFs should be forbidden in ProZ user profiles.
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Rachel Fell
Kaspars Melkis
ianwrhodes
 

Philippe Locquet  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:52
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
One for the Winter Aug 26

Hi Gerard
Gerard de Noord wrote:
I was already unpleasantly surprised when people started discussing their rock-bottom rates over here.

I suppose pricing issues is something that affects less long-established translators that deal directly with their end clients. Yet, adding LSPs and other ingredients in the mix changes things, but we’re going a bit off-topic here.
Gerard de Noord wrote:
Are you sure the members of this website don't understand what's happening in this "industry"?
(…) I don't think you're furthering the profession by educating the people who are not in the know already.

Thanks for that Gerard that brought me back fond memories of a chat I had with folks in a Portuguese village (I love sitting by the fire in the winter). This Portuguese man was reminiscing about a time when some splitters/fellers would go to someone’s house stay there three or four days splitting logs and even felling trees. All that by hand. This doesn’t happen anymore off-course.
I’m sure these folks were eager back then to learn how to handle a chainsaw, how to sharpen the chain that dulls very fast and all these details. Until folks started to use different home heating methods, they had tons of work if they learnt to use power tools.
Every method has advantages and issues. Whether we like it or not, things are changing for linguists, the better we know how things work and what they affect, the faster we’ll adapt and keep a satisfactory turnaround.
So, I’m compiling knowledge to that effect, because why not? To some folks, lot of it will be new and to some others a lot less, the comfort of the fast-forward button is for the latter in the videos. I think that’s a great teaching method (time consuming for those making them though).

My bests


Jorge Payan
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:52
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
My college lecturer thought computers would never be any use in libraries... Aug 27

I hope this tale is not entirely off topic. It looks back rather than forward, but it may add a little perspective on how far we have already come.

Way back in the dark ages, I trained as what was then called an Information Scientist. Basically, I was a librarian with focus on technical literature used by academics and technologists, schools and industry.
The information was kept in sheaves of paper known as
... See more
I hope this tale is not entirely off topic. It looks back rather than forward, but it may add a little perspective on how far we have already come.

Way back in the dark ages, I trained as what was then called an Information Scientist. Basically, I was a librarian with focus on technical literature used by academics and technologists, schools and industry.
The information was kept in sheaves of paper known as books, and had to be carted about in analogue form.
We librarians got to play with card indexes that gave us an idea of what books we were supposed to have in the library, and where along the miles of shelves you might find them.
In pre-Google days, that was how you got hold of information, recorded new facts, and kept them available for posterity.

So far no one had learnt to use memory chips. (We thought chips were chunks of fried potato to eat with fish and ketchup...)
Some universities had a computer, and a few industrialists were looking into ways they could use one too. Definitely in the singular...
They were good for calculations, but one of my lecturers seriously thought they were never going to be any use in libraries. We tried to program in COBOL, and it was so complicated, we almost thought the lecturer was right.

About twenty years later, I took my teenage son to a museum where a former university computer was on display. It filled a space as big as his bedroom with valves and I don't know what. It looked like an old IBM typewriter adapted as a keyboard, and reels of ticker-tape all over the place.
My son looked at it, then slipped his hand into his pocket and took out his most precious possession at the time, a calculator with a 64Mb memory. `This can do more than that thing could,´ he said proudly.

A couple of years later, he found my old slide-rule. I was never good at using it, but my engineer brother and his friends had special pockets for their slide-rules, which were a sort of finger extension, just as young people today have smartphones more or less permanently attached to their hands.
My son played with the slide rule for a while, then said ´Now I understand logs... They´re really quite smart, but I could not see how they were supposed to work!´ (I´m from a generation that used logs as firewood, but there you go.)
I offered to give him my five-figure logarithm tables from college days… but he was not interested, even though he was seriously studying to be a mathematician!

Today I can use Trados fairly happily, so I have taken quite an active part in the digital revolution.
I can really understand people who hate CATs, or prefer the kind with fur that purrs… I dislike most CATs other than my own.

However, I am getting to the point of technical saturation, and you will have to bear with us who were born way back in the last century. We can´t take much more!
Millenials will tell their grandchildren tales of the primitive early 21st-century world, powered by fossil fuel, and whatever other weird things we still do... They look at Star Trek the way we smile - and shudder - at Brave New World and 1984...
____________________

Actually, I have long ago stopped saying MT will never be any use to professional translators. (Please, I too prefer to think of our job as a profession). I still follow with interest on the sidelines when there are lectures and workshops on MT, but PEMT is a step too far for me. It is simply not what I signed up for.

Others will no doubt come in from a different angle, and I hope they will be able to work happily with MT. As you say, there will always be jobs for human translators too.
Best of luck in the great future!
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dkfmmuc
Philippe Locquet
Kay Denney
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:52
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Annoying... Aug 27

when people use platforms to promote their own stuff... it's called spamming... nothing personal...

Claudio Magalhaes
The Misha
Daryo
 

Philippe Locquet  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:52
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Some things change and some don't Aug 27

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

when people use platforms to promote their own stuff... it's called spamming... nothing personal...


Hi,

Folks that know my posts know that I have long been publishing free information on ProZ and elsewhere and trying to create informative threads.
Note that, for the theme being considered here, I would normally create a full webinar training and sell it on ProZ. In that situation, usually noone complains. But, if you've checked another thread I started here, you'll see that trainings are sold on ProZ at 0,99 EUR with 50% cut to the trainer. So, why not just give the information for free then. Criticism's good, it makes us progress. That, is, people that actually try to do something.
Hope this clarifies.

My bests


Jorge Payan
Jessica Noyes
Kay Denney
 

Philippe Locquet  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:52
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Simplifying Aug 27

Christine Andersen wrote:

It is simply not what I signed up for.



Thanks Christine! I loved how you tell the story and it's so true. I can relate to this since I give one-on-one trainings to seasoned translators that type as they breathe. They struggle with technology but have a quality level and speed that never cease to impress me. They have to use technology to a certain extent because there's no other way now.

On the MT side, many developments (some are already out and others not) tend to use this as a productivity tool in an effort to speed up the translation process. So in such a configuration, they want translators to have an easy job if they come after MT, so efforts are made for this to be simpler (not like PEMT). (I'm just mentioning it, not that folks should do it).

To be honest, I can't see a machine be more fluent than a good seasoned translator any time soon.

My bests


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:52
Member (2004)
English to Italian
No, it doesn't... Aug 27

Philippe Locquet wrote:


Folks that know my posts know that I have long been publishing free information on ProZ and elsewhere and trying to create informative threads.
Note that, for the theme being considered here, I would normally create a full webinar training and sell it on ProZ. In that situation, usually noone complains. But, if you've checked another thread I started here, you'll see that trainings are sold on ProZ at 0,99 EUR with 50% cut to the trainer. So, why not just give the information for free then. Criticism's good, it makes us progress. That, is, people that actually try to do something.
Hope this clarifies.

My bests



You are still trying to gain exposure for your personal benefit... regardless of what that benefit is... it's not just matter of immediate financial rewards... hope this clarifies my position too. And, again, nothing personal.


Kaspars Melkis
The Misha
Daryo
ianwrhodes
 

Philippe Locquet  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:52
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting Aug 27

Christine Andersen wrote:

PEMT is a step too far for me.



Just came across that simple video about PEMT, short and sweet:
https://youtu.be/Itl0x5FwRxM

My bests


 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:52
English to Latvian
+ ...
they are really annoying Aug 27

Gerard de Noord wrote:
P.S. Animated GIFs should be forbidden in ProZ user profiles.


Matthias Brombach
Daryo
 

Philippe Locquet  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:52
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Medical Aug 27

Kaspars Melkis wrote:

Gerard de Noord wrote:
P.S. Animated GIFs should be forbidden in ProZ user profiles.


If you suffer from Epilepsy and the animated GIF is causing you trouble, I can only apologize.
Now if you’re looking from something else, since you’re not a moderator nor ProZ.com staff, I think ProZ has a support request system.
Another option would be for you to take this topic to another thread if you feel that’s a burning issue.
Otherwise, this is plain off-topic and may be “annoying” to colleagues wanting to read about the topic of MT considered here without unwanted clutter. Organised information always makes a better read.

All the best.


Jorge Payan
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
GIF Jam is no more, but... Aug 28

Gerard de Noord wrote:
Animated GIFs should be forbidden in ProZ user profiles.


GIF Jam is no more, but Animation Policy still works (for me). GIF animations run once and once only.


Philippe Locquet
 

Philippe Locquet  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:52
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yet another new function Aug 28

Hi all,

I was just forwarded something yesterday evening. Now, Neural Networks can try to complete your typing.
If you're using messaging in LinkedIn, that's something you can already see with the three proposed answers each time. Slightly creepy.
On that principle, a writing website has been created where you can play with something similar: You can type your text and trigger the auto-complete whenever you like. It gives three suggestions you can select from.

... See more
Hi all,

I was just forwarded something yesterday evening. Now, Neural Networks can try to complete your typing.
If you're using messaging in LinkedIn, that's something you can already see with the three proposed answers each time. Slightly creepy.
On that principle, a writing website has been created where you can play with something similar: You can type your text and trigger the auto-complete whenever you like. It gives three suggestions you can select from.

At the moment it seems it writes better funny stuff rather than anything else, so it's good to play with at the coffee break I have tried English only, I'm don't think other languages are available at present.

Now that's just a demo, but when the technology improves it may be a feature that some decide to add to MS Word, Google docs etc. For translators, in a CAT tool, I don't know if that would be more confusing than helpful or speed up the typing process (I guess it would depend on the quality of the process).

Here's the link:
https://transformer.huggingface.co/

You can type directly below in the text area. Then click on "Trigger Autocomplete" or press Tab. You'll get the three suggestions.

My bests
Collapse


 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:52
English to Latvian
+ ...
autocompletion is a bad idea on desktop Aug 28

It has gained popularity on mobile phones because it is actually hard to type on them but not so on a computer.

The first thing I learned when I started using computers was touch-typing. With time it becomes automatic that your fingers work independently. It even freaks some people when you talk to them without stopping typing on a keyboard. I estimate that typing is about 5% of effort in my translation work. The further optimization would provide very minimal gains.

No
... See more
It has gained popularity on mobile phones because it is actually hard to type on them but not so on a computer.

The first thing I learned when I started using computers was touch-typing. With time it becomes automatic that your fingers work independently. It even freaks some people when you talk to them without stopping typing on a keyboard. I estimate that typing is about 5% of effort in my translation work. The further optimization would provide very minimal gains.

Now if I used predictive typing I would need to pay my whole attention to the text that I am typing instead of the source text or other things. Thus it would actually make me less productive.

What I miss, however, is easily customable abbreviation expansion. Let's say, I have to type a very long name very often. Instead, I could define an abbreviation #vln, type it and it would expand. There are systems that can do it (Word, Trados etc) but they are proprietary and complicated to update which breaks down system wide expectations and hard to use. It needs to be implemented on the OS level.

Philippe Locquet wrote:

Hi all,

I was just forwarded something yesterday evening. Now, Neural Networks can try to complete your typing.
If you're using messaging in LinkedIn, that's something you can already see with the three proposed answers each time. Slightly creepy.
On that principle, a writing website has been created where you can play with something similar: You can type your text and trigger the auto-complete whenever you like. It gives three suggestions you can select from.

At the moment it seems it writes better funny stuff rather than anything else, so it's good to play with at the coffee break I have tried English only, I'm don't think other languages are available at present.

Now that's just a demo, but when the technology improves it may be a feature that some decide to add to MS Word, Google docs etc. For translators, in a CAT tool, I don't know if that would be more confusing than helpful or speed up the typing process (I guess it would depend on the quality of the process).

Here's the link:
https://transformer.huggingface.co/

You can type directly below in the text area. Then click on "Trigger Autocomplete" or press Tab. You'll get the three suggestions.

My bests
Collapse


John Fossey
Kay Denney
Daryo
 
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