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Post-editing of MT and MT: WHY do we have to put up with it?
Thread poster: Reea-Silvia Podeanu

Reea-Silvia Podeanu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 14:36
Member (2011)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well... Nov 7

IrinaN wrote:

I have not done any PMTE so far, I do not offer editing services at all but I have seen a few examples I wouldn't mind to edit with absolutely minimal efforts.

The other side of the problem is the same I spoke about before. Translators-turned-editors tend to rewrite no matter what. The fact that editing is not about rewriting would be breaking news for them. I have seen work of professional editors who did brilliant job saving seemingly hopeless cr*p three times faster and without crying rivers, than translators believing-to-be-editors while working on materials of much better quality.

Editing is a rare talent and a separate profession but everyone is an editor these days. A real disaster in my book. Nothing personal.


With respect, I suppose you have not been in the same room with those brilliant editors... so how do you know how much time that took them?

I do editing and i am not rewriting if it is human translation and if it is good. In such cases I just fix the eventual typos or things like that. If there is nothing to do I just say so. But as you said everyone is a translator these days. Sometimes the texts are simply awful and a shame for a professional.

Also, MT for Romanian is different. We have a very complicated grammar (if you can believe it, even a bit more complicated than German grammar) and most of the times it is almost impossible to render a text completely correct with MT, soooo... you have to rewrite.

And if I am not mistaking, I think you have missed the point of my previous posts. I am complaining about the AI... if I would not know this would affect us all on many levels, I could not care less about MT and editing it.

[Edited at 2019-11-07 19:19 GMT]


 

farolingo
Local time: 12:36
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Reply Nov 7

IrinaN wrote:

Translators-turned-editors tend to rewrite no matter what. The fact that editing is not about rewriting would be breaking news for them.


Not this translator. If the output is good, I will happily save myself the work and confirm the segments. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of the PE texts I have received in the past, much of the machine output is just unusable. It's wrong to brand people as Luddites for pushing back against this.


 

Reea-Silvia Podeanu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 14:36
Member (2011)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hail Luddites??? Nov 7

Really, IrinaN? I did not see the title until now. You know what... I could say: „I am rubber, you're glue... your words bounce off me and stick to you!”

But I do not feel at all like that hence I do not care.

Like Socrates.

There is a joke a dear friend of mine uses to say:

Socrates was once walking toward a square where he was supposed to held a conference. He was surounded by his disciples. Suddenly, a man started to cry out: „Socrat
... See more
Really, IrinaN? I did not see the title until now. You know what... I could say: „I am rubber, you're glue... your words bounce off me and stick to you!”

But I do not feel at all like that hence I do not care.

Like Socrates.

There is a joke a dear friend of mine uses to say:

Socrates was once walking toward a square where he was supposed to held a conference. He was surounded by his disciples. Suddenly, a man started to cry out: „Socrates, the fool... Socrates, the fool.” The disciples wanted to beat that man, but Socrates didn't let them. He continued walking like nothing happened, got to the square, and held the conference. After that, the disciples asked him why he didn't let them beat that man who was so offensive to Socrates. And Socrates replied: „Because he was talking about another Socrates!”

Also since you claim you have never done MTPE, how do you know how it is? How do you know we are luddites since you have never tried that? Seeing a few examples is different than working with this for some time (a few years I must say)... But i guess you are young (judging by the tone) and from my experience bravado is one of the perquisites of the youngs (i had that, too).

[Edited at 2019-11-07 21:23 GMT]
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farolingo
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:36
Member (2008)
Italian to English
We don't. Nov 7

Reea-Silvia Podeanu wrote:

WHY do we have to put up with post-editing of MT jobs...


We don't. I don't.


Katalin Szilárd
Ph_B
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

farolingo
Local time: 12:36
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Reply Nov 7

So I guess I must be a Luddite for wanting to rewrite this rather than *simply* tidy up the machine output:


*************************************************************************************************

MT output: The bolts from hidden inner cap screws up to an angle of 30°.

*************************************************************************************************

MT output: Through the ball-shaped output profile is a sway or
... See more
So I guess I must be a Luddite for wanting to rewrite this rather than *simply* tidy up the machine output:


*************************************************************************************************

MT output: The bolts from hidden inner cap screws up to an angle of 30°.

*************************************************************************************************

MT output: Through the ball-shaped output profile is a sway or swiveling the tool axis to the bolt axis, so that it can be screwed around the corner

*************************************************************************************************


And believe me, there are countless other examples of this gibberish.
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farolingo
Local time: 12:36
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Reply Nov 7

Tom wrote:



WHY do we have to put up with post-editing of MT jobs...


We don't. I don't.


Then lucky you Tom. Some people rely on agency work and if agencies demand their translators become post-editors there's not much that that translator can do. But the translators who are forced to accept these jobs at 50% of their translation rate can fight back by returning translations with 50% of their normal quality. (Although no doubt for some agencies that would still be regarded as a perfectly good translation.)

[Edited at 2019-11-07 22:11 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-11-08 09:07 GMT]


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:36
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Willful incomprehension Nov 7

farolingo wrote:
Then lucky you Tom.

It's not luck. It's working smart rather than just working hard, or trusting to fate. This idea that there's one market and one product is one of the most pernicious (and shallowest) ideas in the translation industry.

If you set up shop near McDonalds selling cheap burgers, you'll fail, and deserve to fail, because you've carelessly or stupidly attempted to compete with a giant on its own turf.

If you set up shop near McDonalds selling luxury dining, and the experience is good enough, you'll succeed even if it costs 5 or 10 times what a meal at McDonalds costs, because you've created something different.

Segmentation, differentiation, innovation. Tom has decades of experience and specialist knowledge to help him differentiate himself and navigate these markets. Those of us who don't already have a similar level of expertise in our areas of specialisation should be aiming to acquire it.

farolingo wrote:
So I guess I must be a Luddite

Look, these labels are meaningless. Based on the comments you've made, I'd say you can either do the things that make you feel good about yourself, and maybe starve, or do the things that make you money, and hopefully enable you to thrive. It's your choice. You want to be an artist in an ivory tower, fine. Me, I'll continue working as a businessman who searches out the clients who want what he can deliver, and profits thereby.

Dan


mughwI
Katalin Szilárd
Tom in London
Ph_B
Rachel Waddington
Michele Fauble
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

farolingo
Local time: 12:36
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Reply Nov 8

It's not luck. It's working smart rather than just working hard


How patronising.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:36
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Thanks Nov 8

Tom has decades of experience and specialist knowledge to help him differentiate himself and navigate these markets.

Dan


Thanks Dan !

[Edited at 2019-11-08 10:04 GMT]


 

farolingo
Local time: 12:36
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Another reply Nov 8

Dan Lucas wrote:

Segmentation, differentiation, innovation. Tom has decades of experience and specialist knowledge to help him differentiate himself and navigate these markets.


I'm sure I read something similar in a PowerPoint presentation that a client sent me once.


Dan Lucas wrote:
farolingo wrote:
So I guess I must be a Luddite

Look, these labels are meaningless [Dan doesn't actually address the point I made in that post]. Based on the comments you've made [which I'm not sure Dan has actually read], I'd say you can either do the things that make you feel good about yourself, and maybe starve, or do the things that make you money, and hopefully enable you to thrive. It's your choice. You want to be an artist in an ivory tower, fine. Me, I'll continue working as a businessman who searches out the clients who want what he can deliver, and profits thereby.

Dan


Actually, Dan, I do pretty well myself and am fortunate enough to have some regular direct clients. I only dipped my toe in the water here to see what others were saying about machine translation. It's disappointing to see that there's clearly quite a few people here who have no understanding of the impracticalities of this technology in the general bread-and-butter profession actually defending it.


 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 06:36
English to Russian
+ ...
To assume sometimes means... Nov 8

Reea-Silvia Podeanu wrote:

With respect, I suppose you have not been in the same room with those brilliant editors... so how do you know how much time that took them?



Reea-Silvia,

I never speak with full confidence of what I don't know from my own experience, translate what I don't understand, or edit, because this is not my profession. Surely, I was asked to make a few touches here and there, and obliged, but this is not editing in my understanding of the term.

Setting aside the fact that I can't fathom any correlation or logic behind being in the same room and knowing about the turnaround pace, I have - on two long in-house projects. First, as a trembling but not so hopeless rookie who was not rejected by the giants, and second, years later - as an experienced team member, when my voice was heard and opinions mattered. Never in my life I was working as a lonely hermit in the home corner office, trying to imagine faces of my clients and colleagues. I'm always a part of a team, even when I actually work from home, serving both as a translator and an interpreter. This old dog knows every twist and turn of our trade and every trick up the sleeve.

I remember that you are a passionate revolutionary:-). Well, I am not. I believe in Enlightenment, not in revolutionary blood. There is always another "freedom fighter" in the making.... I just do my job to the best of my abilities and brush off any unacceptable offers without worrying about my next light bill.

In fact, I'm sorry to this day that I missed on a couple of PMTEs - the pay that seemed to be ridiculous for the word count would have turned out to be very generous. As an insider, I had a chance to look at the text "post mortem". Yes, the machine gave me "coat" as in "fur coat" in "paint, coat and sealing" - great relaxation and a good laugh but I wouldn't have had to touch 200 words before and 100 after. Not to mention that I could have done it on my already paid time no one cares what I do on my breaks.

As far as killing MT altogether - that reminds me of someone who'd just gotten out of a bad marriage, naked and afraid, and now tells anyone who would listen to never, ever marry again!. No one blindfolds me before offering an assignment. Better don't try, here in Texas we can carry:-) (I do not but no one knows).


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:36
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Consider the beam in your own eye Nov 8

farolingo wrote:
It's not luck. It's working smart rather than just working hard

How patronising.

Physician, heal thyself. You dismiss a fellow translator's decisions by ascribing his actions to luck, and that's not patronising - even demeaning?

Quite apart from which, your comments are factually incorrect: there is plenty that one/you can do. You can study to improve your skills, market yourself to different clients, or even leave the industry for fresh fields and pastures new. All of these are likely to be more productive responses than the attitude of helplessness implied by "there's not much that [the] translator can do". You can be a victim, or an actor. Your choice.

Incidentally, I'm not defending MT. I'm defending competence, and the related twin concepts of specialisation and differentiation - which explain how people like Tom are able to reject MTPE - from those who would dismiss them as the product of mere chance.

Dan

[Edited at 2019-11-08 18:12 GMT]


 
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