New trend: Clients using MT and paying for "proofreading"
Thread poster: Hannele Marttila

Hannele Marttila  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:54
Member (2011)
Finnish to English
+ ...
Jun 17

The advent of MT has changed the industry, for translators and agencies alike. Clients are increasingly running MT for their translations and then contacting an agency for a cheap proofread. The problem is that MT is still in its infancy, maybe one day it will perform much better but it is still very poor, especially with some language pairs like Finnish to English.
I keep getting job offers for about 3 cents a word for proofread which is obviously an MT post edit, containing a lot of tran
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The advent of MT has changed the industry, for translators and agencies alike. Clients are increasingly running MT for their translations and then contacting an agency for a cheap proofread. The problem is that MT is still in its infancy, maybe one day it will perform much better but it is still very poor, especially with some language pairs like Finnish to English.
I keep getting job offers for about 3 cents a word for proofread which is obviously an MT post edit, containing a lot of translations like "Loans between breeding butter" for "Credit batch run errors". So, for a two hour job I would be paid 24, the equivalent of a salary of a supermarket teller.

This is bad news for both translators and agencies. The problem is that there are translators who will do this and agencies that accept this. We can all understand why, but it is the thin end of the wedge.

Any views, experiences, ideas?
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Jinping ZHANG
 

KateKaminski
Local time: 04:54
German to English
Why would a professional translator agree to such low rates? Jun 17

Professional translators have spent years gaining and developing their skills. They know all about the translation market and what their work is worth.

So why would they suddenly start accepting low-paid work?

Poor rates have always been around, and it's easy to find someone to do the work. But the quality of the end product will probably be poor. At the end of the day, it depends what the customer wants. They can hire a skilled and experienced translator for professio
... See more
Professional translators have spent years gaining and developing their skills. They know all about the translation market and what their work is worth.

So why would they suddenly start accepting low-paid work?

Poor rates have always been around, and it's easy to find someone to do the work. But the quality of the end product will probably be poor. At the end of the day, it depends what the customer wants. They can hire a skilled and experienced translator for professional results, or request a basic translation which may contain errors if they want a budget option.
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Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:54
English to German
+ ...
Just say no Jun 17

Make it clear that you will not work on machine-generated texts. Or charge an hourly rate.

[Edited at 2019-06-17 11:51 GMT]


Fiona Gonçalves
ibz
Yvonne Gallagher
finnword1
 

Jinping ZHANG
France
Local time: 05:54
French to Chinese
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


The reality is bad... Jun 17

Hello, I was just contacted by an agency a few days ago for a MT post editing project. The client asked for an estimate rate for 36 hours or 18k. I replied for 30 euros taxe free per hour,but the client didn't confirm it.

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:54
Member (2018)
French to English
. Jun 17

I've had two clients try this on me. They both claimed they'd had the file translated by a bilingual member of staff.
I simply made sure that my hourly rate reflected the time I would need to translate the files, and translated them from scratch, with just a glance at the MT from time to time to see if it had anything worth recycling. I delivered my file plus a file comparing mine and the MT, to show the extent of my "revision" and justify the amount of time I said it would take, and I al
... See more
I've had two clients try this on me. They both claimed they'd had the file translated by a bilingual member of staff.
I simply made sure that my hourly rate reflected the time I would need to translate the files, and translated them from scratch, with just a glance at the MT from time to time to see if it had anything worth recycling. I delivered my file plus a file comparing mine and the MT, to show the extent of my "revision" and justify the amount of time I said it would take, and I also asked whether the client was sure that their staff member was really bilingual ("you know, people will say they are bilingual, and mostly they are perfectly proficient at dealing the odd client who speaks English, but a six-month stint washing dishes in a London pub doesn't turn you into a translator").
They both decided that I would translate from scratch from then on.
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Mr.Q
Elena Aclasto
MollyRose
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:54
German to English
+ ...
How I handle it Jun 21

If I am given a poor quality translation to "proofread" - i.e. MT or suspected, or otherwise - I give my estimated fee (per hour) and also my fee for translating it from scratch. A poor quality translation will be more expensive to proofread, than to translate. I do, in fact, charge by the hour for proofreading / revision.

 


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New trend: Clients using MT and paying for "proofreading"

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