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Who is not using MT today?
Thread poster: Gary Evans

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:01
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Come again??? Aug 14

Gary Evans wrote:

I asked who is not using MT to find out how many are actually using it without the knowledge of the client/agency.

I am sorry, but... what?


Jan Truper
Kaspars Melkis
 

Gary Evans  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:01
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
What's not clear about this question? Aug 15

I give up. Really.

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

Gary Evans wrote:

I asked who is not using MT to find out how many are actually using it without the knowledge of the client/agency.

I am sorry, but... what?


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Pro coma splice Aug 15

Gary, I believe the issue even with offline CAT/MT is (ab)using "aiding tools" makes most colleagues less creative, less demanding, and less translation-capable. Unlike interpreters working with people and "oldschoolers" using hardcopies, only a couple of such freelancers seem to care about (1) researching the topic, (2) doublechecking "90+% fuzzy matches", and (3) rewording for better in-text flow, let alone (4) briefly retelling, (5) retranslating from scratch, (6) self-checking, or (7) bac... See more
Gary, I believe the issue even with offline CAT/MT is (ab)using "aiding tools" makes most colleagues less creative, less demanding, and less translation-capable. Unlike interpreters working with people and "oldschoolers" using hardcopies, only a couple of such freelancers seem to care about (1) researching the topic, (2) doublechecking "90+% fuzzy matches", and (3) rewording for better in-text flow, let alone (4) briefly retelling, (5) retranslating from scratch, (6) self-checking, or (7) backtranslating the current text without crutches. Most such CAT/PEMT-operators translators are prone to skimming and doing nothing but "pure translation" only--unless paid in full for "extra services" (which are a natural part of the process). It's a business perversion coupled with a professional deformation.

 Frankly, I don't consider such as translators for they simply cannot use their own translation for other tasks, not to mention rather many cases when supposedly decent specialists couldn't do without a CAT/MT and some of them even considered a career change... because of a lost TM.
For what it's worth, the demand still meets its supply)
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Daryo
 

Milan Condak  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:01
English to Czech
Machine pretranslation Aug 15

Gary Evans wrote:
So my question is: who is not using MT and why?



The name of the forum is "Post-editing & Machine Translation".

Q: Who is not using MT today?
A: The post-editors.

Q: Who is not using MT and why?
A: They have nothing to "machine translate".

Milan


Tom Hoar
Ivana UK
 

Gary Evans  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:01
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Funny, but not really helpful Aug 15

Hi Milan,

You could try to answer the question. I just read the Wikipedia article on postediting. It's enlightening:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postediting

Seems MT with postediting is up to 40% faster than human translations. This clearly shows it can help in our work in many cases, but the industry seems to be slow in accepting this fact. Why?



Milan Condak wrote:

Gary Evans wrote:
So my question is: who is not using MT and why?



The name of the forum is "Post-editing & Machine Translation".

Q: Who is not using MT today?
A: The post-editors.

Q: Who is not using MT and why?
A: They have nothing to "machine translate".

Milan


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:01
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Asking something to find out the opposite? Aug 15

Gary Evans wrote:
What's not clear about this question?
I give up. Really.

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

Gary Evans wrote:

I asked who is not using MT to find out how many are actually using it without the knowledge of the client/agency.

I am sorry, but... what?


If you are asking who is NOT using it, how are you going to find out "how many are actually using it"? Are you assuming that people who don't explicitly reply in this thread are all using MT?
As to "using it without the knowledge of the client/agency" - again, do you expect people telling you this, here, in a public forum?

As you know, many clients/agencies specifically forbid the use of MT.

Your original question was not confusing, but the explanation/justification you provided (and I quoted) did not make sense to me.


Kaspars Melkis
Kay Denney
P.L.F.Persio
 

Gary Evans  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:01
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Maybe some more clairification is needed Aug 15

Hi Katalin,

I assume you now understand my question. Do you mean that no one here is prepared to admit using MT because this forum is public? How can I find out who is using it (or not) without asking people? Do you use MT?

Regards,
Gary

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

Gary Evans wrote:
What's not clear about this question?
I give up. Really.

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

Gary Evans wrote:

I asked who is not using MT to find out how many are actually using it without the knowledge of the client/agency.

I am sorry, but... what?


If you are asking who is NOT using it, how are you going to find out "how many are actually using it"? Are you assuming that people who don't explicitly reply in this thread are all using MT?
As to "using it without the knowledge of the client/agency" - again, do you expect people telling you this, here, in a public forum?

As you know, many clients/agencies specifically forbid the use of MT.

Your original question was not confusing, but the explanation/justification you provided (and I quoted) did not make sense to me.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:01
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I have tried MT and do not find it an advantage, quite the contrary Aug 15

Gary Evans wrote:

Hi Katalin,

I assume you now understand my question. Do you mean that no one here is prepared to admit using MT because this forum is public? How can I find out who is using it (or not) without asking people? Do you use MT?
…..

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:
…..


If you are asking who is NOT using it, how are you going to find out "how many are actually using it"? Are you assuming that people who don't explicitly reply in this thread are all using MT?
As to "using it without the knowledge of the client/agency" - again, do you expect people telling you this, here, in a public forum?

As you know, many clients/agencies specifically forbid the use of MT.

Your original question was not confusing, but the explanation/justification you provided (and I quoted) did not make sense to me.
[/quote]

I for one would not tell you if, having promised my clients I would not use MT, I used it anyway.
On the other hand, If I really believed it would be an advantage for a particular job, I would tell the client, explain why, and ask their permission to use it.

I have in fact explained to direct clients who were not familiar with CAT tools, that I use one, and what advantages it offers for them and me. Such as the one who paid well, but felt I was expensive. I gave him a reduction on a series of highly similar texts, and explained the CAT thing, and from then on gave him a job-by-job explanation of why some jobs cost more (per thousand words) than others. He liked my style - and the increasingly frequent reductions as I accumulated his texts in my TM - and was happy. So was I, until his project ended, and he no longer needed translations.

I use my CAT in ways it was not originally intended - I even use it to AVOID exact repetitions in marketing texts, for instance trade fairs, which really often are ´same procedure as last year - same procedure as EVERY year´.

I have tried MT, and believe me, there are plenty of agencies around who actually ask translators to use MT and will pay for post editing. Some are former good clients of mine, who used to pay quite well for translation. We have parted as friends, but it takes me far longer to work through a machine-translated text than just to translate it from scratch. I simply get a block after a while, and have to take a break. So I opt out of their projects, but the agencies seem to find others with the right mindset to cope with MT.

I have attended conferences and workshops on MT, and there is food for thought in the reports. Apart from these agencies, the EU has been working on MT, and there is a very interesting team of researchers at Aarhus University studying it. I can accept that it IS useful in some cases.
Just not for me, and the kinds of jobs I do.

One of my good agency clients is collaborating with Aarhus University on MT, but they are not satisfied with the results yet - and they really mean it, when they ask translators not to use MT. I would not dream of doing so behind their backs, and they would probably spot it anyway!


DZiW
Michele Fauble
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:01
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Your own question and explained purpose do not connect logically, that's all Aug 15

Gary Evans wrote:

Hi Katalin,

I assume you now understand my question. Do you mean that no one here is prepared to admit using MT because this forum is public? How can I find out who is using it (or not) without asking people? Do you use MT?

Regards,
Gary

You asked who is NOT using it. You did not ask "Do you use MT?"
Your original question requests response from people who are NOT using it. (Yet, you stated you are looking for people who are using it. This seemed a bit backwards to me.)
As to the "admit" thing, as Christine explained, if someone promises a client to not use MT, but secretly does use it, it is unlikely that the person would brag about it in public. Don't you agree?
So, if your goal is (and that is what you wrote) to find out who is using MT without the knowledge of their client, your approach does not seem logical to me.
Since you personally asked me, I will tell you that I do not use MT, and so far turned down all PEMT requests because in my language pairs the output of MT is simply useless. It requires so much editing that it is actually faster to translate from scratch, and clients who want PEMT are unwilling to pay regular translation rates for that.
I do use CAT tools, and they do help with productivity, so I am not one of those so called "dinosaurs" who reject all advancements of technology, but at this point MT is not up to par in my languages.

Naturally, you are basing your views on your own experience in your own language pair (German-English) which - I think - is a whole lot different in this sense than many other language pairs. But others have explained this already, so I see no point going into more details on this.


Kaspars Melkis
Tom Hoar
Sandra& Kenneth
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
PRE POST Aug 15

While I'm inclined to believe there should be "pure" translators, now not only middlemen beg to differ (not better!) using proprietary MT engines, but also they often require "using no MT", making the process far too overcomplicated because the translator must check every segment against several MT providers to avoid even correct 100% matches.

By the way, my direct clients neither care nor insist on using or avoiding CAT/MT for they just want to have the job done (1) properly, (2) t
... See more
While I'm inclined to believe there should be "pure" translators, now not only middlemen beg to differ (not better!) using proprietary MT engines, but also they often require "using no MT", making the process far too overcomplicated because the translator must check every segment against several MT providers to avoid even correct 100% matches.

By the way, my direct clients neither care nor insist on using or avoiding CAT/MT for they just want to have the job done (1) properly, (2) timely, and (3) as agreed--including the NDA.
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Jorge Payan
 

Gary Evans  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:01
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Do you understand what the word fallacy means? Aug 15

Hi Daryo,

"...but there is a number of true professionals whose output is in no need of any "editing".

May I just revise that fragment:

"...but there are a number of true professionals whose output doesn't need any "editing".

QED.

I'm sure you're good, but ISO 17100 (previously EN 15038) requires revision (postediting if you like) as part of the translation process.

You seem to think MT is only useful for agencies. It
... See more
Hi Daryo,

"...but there is a number of true professionals whose output is in no need of any "editing".

May I just revise that fragment:

"...but there are a number of true professionals whose output doesn't need any "editing".

QED.

I'm sure you're good, but ISO 17100 (previously EN 15038) requires revision (postediting if you like) as part of the translation process.

You seem to think MT is only useful for agencies. It isn't, but you seem to be convinced by your own fallacy. Not only does it prooduce frighteningly good results, I also use it for teaching English.

Regards,
Gary



Daryo wrote:

Gary Evans wrote:

Hi Fatih,

Of course MT output needs to be post edited. Same goes with human translations, but MT is getting better and is much faster than us humans. And we're only just getting started! Nobody is considering dumping CAT tools anytime soon. In fact, CAT tools with integrated MT engines are now quite normal and commonly used across the industry. It's just that some translators are not admitting to using MT. It'S so useful, you'd be mad not to make use of it IMO.

Expect MT to be doing the bulk of translations in the near future and plan for this, or you'll probably be looking for work elsewhere in the future.

...


An output that "of course needs to be post edited" in my rulebook IS NOT a "translation" - at best it could be charitably called an "attempted translation"

versus

"Same goes with human translations" NO IT DOES NOT - it might come as a surprise to you (/ or maybe you have forgotten it) but there is a number of true professionals whose output is in no need of any "editing".

Are you seriously trying to equate the two?

MT being in essence a FAKE description of what is more accurately "machine produced text" that tries to be a translation, I can't see how anyone could "admit" to using it. With a bit of stretching, you could call "MT" any use of glossaries or dictionaries, or reusing fragments of your own previous work.

The story of "Machine Translation" reminds me in some regards of the story of speed cameras - a technology initially created to help racing drivers improve their driving was perverted into a money making device for fleecing ordinary drivers.

What is today called "MT" will at some point in future be good enough to produce an output that can honestly be called a "translation" but the way that unfinished product still not ready for release is used today by agencies, it is just an excuse to exploit unsuspecting translators by making them do translations at the rates of supposed "editing".


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Tom Stevens
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:01
Chinese to English
+ ...
Who doesn't use MT indeed Aug 15

I think the OP meant their question as a rhetorical question - Doesn't everyone use MT?

Most people use MT without realising it. If you use an online dictionary, that technically is MT. Your computer sends the data to, say Word References's server, which then matches that with a suitable translated word. It's not sent by pigeons on a paper slip to an office with people to look up in a paper dictionary is it?

Also, I don't get translators or agencies who fear for confid
... See more
I think the OP meant their question as a rhetorical question - Doesn't everyone use MT?

Most people use MT without realising it. If you use an online dictionary, that technically is MT. Your computer sends the data to, say Word References's server, which then matches that with a suitable translated word. It's not sent by pigeons on a paper slip to an office with people to look up in a paper dictionary is it?

Also, I don't get translators or agencies who fear for confidentiality, yet send "confidential" documents by email!

If you use Gmail, your clients' confidential documents are sitting in a Google Data Centre near you right now (US, Chile, Ireland, Belgium, Finland etc). These data centres could be hacked (or your email account could be hacked too) at any time, and this information could be freely disseminated. Ironically, if a client is concerned about confidentiality and sends a document to your gmail address, they themselves are transferring the document to Google.

Bit of a storm in a teacup if you ask me.

If something is truly confidential, it does not go near any device connected to the internet.

MT can be very useful for suggestions and translating straightforward sentences. But just like knowing how to use a sewing machine doesn't mean you will make beautiful clothes, MT doesn't ensure good translations (but it can certainly be useful in getting there).
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Daryo
Tom Hoar
Sandra& Kenneth
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 10:01
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 15

For Traditional Chinese to Simplified conversion.

 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:01
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
You're the one providing the translation, not the MT Aug 16

Gary Evans wrote:

... IMO pretty soon, MT will be as good as any translator in many language combinations when it comes to technical/legal translations. Poetry is another thing altogether. But AI isn't going to stop improving anytime soon, so we have to move with the times.


Hello Gary,

You have a right to your opinion, but I can't agree. So, IMO MT will never be as good as a "professional" translator; it might be used by a person who mainly relies on MT and is an amateur translation provider trusting the assumed "accuracy" but isn't able at all to judge its quality or it's a person who doesn't care much what MT gives him/her and simply sells it. Then we should say ".MT will be as bad as any such translator."


Gary Evans wrote:
BTW. I've discovered a neat solution in one respect. I sometimes use MT to automatically translate whole documents in one go and then sit with the client as we proofread them together. The client pays an hourly rate and benefits from lower costs, plus they get English lessons at the same time. Quick and dirty you may think, but it works really well as it offers a different business model for me.


What are you trying to do here? Notwithstanding this strange setup where a client has the time and skill to work with you that way, why in the world would you charge less? It's still you, the human translator who judges the MT output and decides what's right or wrong, what is stylistically unacceptable, which sentence structures need to be fixed, which terms are completely wrong, etc. You are selling yourself cheap. providing an intellectual service that requires your "human" knowledge and skill" to make sure the translation is accurate. The machine is not going to do that for you. And that is essential, especially in the legal, medical and technical fields.

So, go ahead and use it (like many of us do), but what is the bigger question you want to ask/is implied here?
"Why aren't you using MT? Because you should! Or is it: why don't you follow what so many others do - namely, use MT and lower your fees?! All the agencies seem to want it.

Think about it. MT is a tool. That's it. 'Tisn't the tool that decides what's right, what's good style, what's unacceptable... I am repeating myself.

[Edited at 2019-08-16 00:51 GMT]


Tom Hoar
 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:01
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
Wikipedia and MT Aug 16

Gary Evans wrote:

I just read the Wikipedia article on postediting. It's enlightening:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postediting

Seems MT with postediting is up to 40% faster than human translations. This clearly shows it can help in our work in many cases, but the industry seems to be slow in accepting this fact. Why?


What Wikipedia actually says:


There is, however, no agreement about how much time can be saved through post-editing in practice (if any at all): While the industry reports on time savings around 40%, some academic studies suggest that time savings under realistic working conditions are more likely to be between 15–40%. Several professionals claim that it takes longer to make correction than to translate from scratch.


I recently completed a translation of a contract for which I had one of those MT plugins running on the side. If there was anything "frightening" about it, it was how frequently it got the meaning of a phrase completely back to front - for example, "the Party must not..." when the meaning was actually "the Party must only...".


 
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