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How to hide usage of machine translation in Trados Studio 2009.
Thread poster: europeanPRO

Lianne van de Ven  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:45
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Plugin review Jan 22, 2015

I like this AutoSuggest plugin a lot: an ideal combination of active translating and receiving suggestions, content as well as characters, from google. Works like an electric bike: the harder you peddle, the more power is generated from the motor and the faster you go. And no more AT scores.

However, the api has explicit privacy protection. I am not sure if that applies to the use of this plugin. Either way, at client request or for other privacy reasons, it should be turned off.


 

Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:45
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
A more transparent way of doing things Oct 31, 2015

I personally think that a good way to solve this issue would be as follows:

1) The segment is assigned the MT/AT status in the event a TM match is not found at the start.
2) Translator comes along and edits said segment.
3) The segment gets reassigned the status of PE or post-edited.
4) In the rare case that the MT offering is actually perfectly correct then the segment stays at MT/AT.

At least this way clients can see that the translator has done his
... See more
I personally think that a good way to solve this issue would be as follows:

1) The segment is assigned the MT/AT status in the event a TM match is not found at the start.
2) Translator comes along and edits said segment.
3) The segment gets reassigned the status of PE or post-edited.
4) In the rare case that the MT offering is actually perfectly correct then the segment stays at MT/AT.

At least this way clients can see that the translator has done his job and has made sure the final translation is indeed a human one. I think all the hype over breach of confidentiality with MT is a bit OTT. One only has to read google translate's policy with regard to this to appreciate that. I mean how is it any different to posting phrases, part sentences and entire sentences into Google to do your research? We all know that google saves these searches. Also if you use gmail, we also all know that google scans your email contents for advertising purposes, which presumably also means they can access the attachments too if they really wanted.

[Edited at 2015-10-31 09:55 GMT]
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SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
Member (1970)
English
Isn't this what happens now? Oct 31, 2015

Huw Watkins wrote:

I personally think that a good way to solve this issue would be as follows:

1) The segment is assigned the MT/AT status in the event a TM match is not found at the start.
2) Translator comes along and edits said segment.
3) The segment gets reassigned the status of PE or post-edited.
4) In the rare case that the MT offering is actually perfectly correct then the segment stays at MT/AT.



The only difference is that the edited MT gets an edited status instead of a PE status.

Regards

Paul
SDL Community Support


 

Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:45
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
No it isn't Nov 1, 2015

SDL Community wrote:

Huw Watkins wrote:

I personally think that a good way to solve this issue would be as follows:

1) The segment is assigned the MT/AT status in the event a TM match is not found at the start.
2) Translator comes along and edits said segment.
3) The segment gets reassigned the status of PE or post-edited.
4) In the rare case that the MT offering is actually perfectly correct then the segment stays at MT/AT.



The only difference is that the edited MT gets an edited status instead of a PE status.

Regards

Paul
SDL Community Support


If a document is pretranslated with a MT plugin such as language cloud or mymemory, or if the plugin is activated while you work segment to segment, the AT status remains after editing and confirming the segment as shown below.

Before:

 photo Before_zpskn2ndlh5.jpg

After:

After photo After_zps9rvt9rby.jpg

This is quite a good example as I had to use context to get the correct translation here (i.e. adding in the 'mm' for the size of the label and understanding that we are talking about tolerances for a given size of label) as it wasn't entirely obvious from the source segment alone. This kind of call is something that a machine will probably never be able to do - until AI evolves to that level I suppose.

However if I return this sdlxliff to an agency, they may think I have done absolutely nothing to the segment except click confirm seeing as the AT status is still there despite the changes to the segment. It can give the agency an unwarranted bad impression of your work. MT is useful for numerous reasons as we all know, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the translator is lazy or doesn't know his stuff. It is a productivity tool like anything else with CAT.

If the AT were to change to say PE, however, then the agency is given much more information, i.e. that a segment has been edited, how good the machine translation is - i.e. how many segments did not need editing etc etc. As things stand I sympathise with the original poster of this thread as I think agencies are given misleading info.

P.S. I am using Studio 2014 for this, so not sure if things have changed in 2015.

Do you think that my suggestion/some other solution is something that could be implemented easily Paul?


[Edited at 2015-11-01 10:08 GMT]


 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:45
German to English
+ ...
Clients who know nothing of translation but think they do Nov 1, 2015

SDL Community wrote:

...What I don't understand is how any client who owns Studio in the first place, as this is the only scenario where this discussion is an issue, could not understand anything about translation. Why would they even want to get the SDLXLIFF back and have to handle the files as part of a translation workflow if they knew nothing about translation. I'm sorry, but for me this is a ridiculous assertion.


I frequently encounter clients, especially end clients, who invest in Trados because they are told all about how it will save them money because they can "leverage" TMs, and they take some initial training to work out how to create and convert files and do very basic TM management, but beyond that they don't know and they don't seem to care to know more about translation or how the process works, both in terms of technical aspects and working methods of translators.

In my opinion, these are the most "dangerous" clients, because they think they know more about translation than they actually do. Try explaining to them that "AT" doesn't say anything about the quality of your work when they have already convinced themselves that it does.

A little bit of knowledge is sometimes more harmful than none at all, because at least in the latter case you know what you do not know.

Edited to add: another point to mention here is that there are even agencies out there who employ inexperienced project managers who don't have a clue about translation except the party line, that anything marked "AT" means the translator ran everything through a machine without checking it. Then they feel they can't trust the translator, so even trying to explain the situation just falls on deaf ears.

I would like to clarify for the record that I do not use any sort of APIs or machine translators and usually disable these functions in my CAT tools because they annoy me, but I can absolutely understand a situation where a client sees "AT" and won't listen to perfectly reasonable and innocent explanations for its existence in the file. And I can understand not wanting to advertise "AT" in your files in an effort to avoid needless friction and conflict with the client who thinks they know best when they might not.

[Edited at 2015-11-01 10:40 GMT]


 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
Member (1970)
English
It looks the same thing :-) Nov 1, 2015

Huw Watkins wrote:

If a document is pretranslated with a MT plugin such as language cloud or mymemory, or if the plugin is activated while you work segment to segment, the AT status remains after editing and confirming the segment as shown below.

Before:

 photo Before_zpskn2ndlh5.jpg

After:

After photo After_zps9rvt9rby.jpg

Do you think that my suggestion/some other solution is something that could be implemented easily Paul?


Hi Huw,

Note that the AT in the top one is blue and after it it's transparent. This is because it was edited. So what's the difference between blue and the transparent, and blue and then PE? Both say the same thing don't they?

I imagine changing this to PE could be implemented, but I doubt we would do it unless there was a very good reason to do so and I'm not sure your usecase is one. The current solution is consistent across all matching, so you can always see whether a match from the TM or an MT engine has been post edited because if the change in the icon.

Regards

Paul
SDL Community Support


 

Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:45
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
I see what you mean Nov 1, 2015

SDL Community wrote:

Huw Watkins wrote:

If a document is pretranslated with a MT plugin such as language cloud or mymemory, or if the plugin is activated while you work segment to segment, the AT status remains after editing and confirming the segment as shown below.

Before:

 photo Before_zpskn2ndlh5.jpg

After:

After photo After_zps9rvt9rby.jpg

Do you think that my suggestion/some other solution is something that could be implemented easily Paul?


Hi Huw,

Note that the AT in the top one is blue and after it it's transparent. This is because it was edited. So what's the difference between blue and the transparent, and blue and then PE? Both say the same thing don't they?

I imagine changing this to PE could be implemented, but I doubt we would do it unless there was a very good reason to do so and I'm not sure your usecase is one. The current solution is consistent across all matching, so you can always see whether a match from the TM or an MT engine has been post edited because if the change in the icon.

Regards

Paul
SDL Community Support


I never noticed the colour change before in years of using Studio. It really isn't very obvious. I think a change to PE or similar would be much clearer and much more self explanatory and it doesn't sound like much of an effort to implement either. For the record, I know for a fact that it confuses agencies too as once an agency I had worked for for years came back and asked me to double check all AT segments, even though they were all fine. I think their end client must have raised the concern in that particular case.

Regardless, I also see that you are not particularly interested in translator feedback, so obviously I won't push the issue further. I still love SDL Trados Studio as a CAT tool either way and have been using it since the Trados workbench version before the merger with SDL


[Edited at 2015-11-01 11:36 GMT]


 

Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:45
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Completely agree Nov 1, 2015

Angela Rimmer wrote:

SDL Community wrote:

...What I don't understand is how any client who owns Studio in the first place, as this is the only scenario where this discussion is an issue, could not understand anything about translation. Why would they even want to get the SDLXLIFF back and have to handle the files as part of a translation workflow if they knew nothing about translation. I'm sorry, but for me this is a ridiculous assertion.


I frequently encounter clients, especially end clients, who invest in Trados because they are told all about how it will save them money because they can "leverage" TMs, and they take some initial training to work out how to create and convert files and do very basic TM management, but beyond that they don't know and they don't seem to care to know more about translation or how the process works, both in terms of technical aspects and working methods of translators.

In my opinion, these are the most "dangerous" clients, because they think they know more about translation than they actually do. Try explaining to them that "AT" doesn't say anything about the quality of your work when they have already convinced themselves that it does.

A little bit of knowledge is sometimes more harmful than none at all, because at least in the latter case you know what you do not know.

Edited to add: another point to mention here is that there are even agencies out there who employ inexperienced project managers who don't have a clue about translation except the party line, that anything marked "AT" means the translator ran everything through a machine without checking it. Then they feel they can't trust the translator, so even trying to explain the situation just falls on deaf ears.

I would like to clarify for the record that I do not use any sort of APIs or machine translators and usually disable these functions in my CAT tools because they annoy me, but I can absolutely understand a situation where a client sees "AT" and won't listen to perfectly reasonable and innocent explanations for its existence in the file. And I can understand not wanting to advertise "AT" in your files in an effort to avoid needless friction and conflict with the client who thinks they know best when they might not.

[Edited at 2015-11-01 10:40 GMT]



I started to use the MT plugin when mymemory came out as I had exacerbated an arthritic condition in my left wrist following a childhood injury through a poor typing technique. I had been experimenting with Dragon Naturally Speaking in Studio, but had found it clumsy.

I found that the reduction in typing afforded by MT really helped matters, whilst still offering some exercise for my wrist. Since then I suppose I have just gotten used to it and now know how much I can trust the MT and what needs double checking. I don't think it should be treated as a taboo subject any more than say using a TM/TB given to you by a client to leverage a few extra hits on another project from another client down the line. It's all about productivity and I don't think it reflects on the quality of the translator, unless the translator genuinely is bad and uses MT in an attempt to cover this up.


[Edited at 2015-11-01 11:51 GMT]


 

Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 14:45
Member (2010)
English to Norwegian (Bokmal)
+ ...
It would be a way to tell the agency that MT has been use Nov 1, 2015

SDL Community wrote:
Hi Huw,

Note that the AT in the top one is blue and after it it's transparent. This is because it was edited. So what's the difference between blue and the transparent, and blue and then PE? Both say the same thing don't they?


Some agencies have a policy of not using MT because they are concerned with confidentiality, and if you have signed a confidentiality clause which bans the use of MT, you would be in breach of that confidentiality clause if you still use MT. Having a transparent AT icon would then tell the agency what you have done, which PE would not. So as this would not be in your interest, I can see that SDL as a translation agency would want to have that control.

I, therefore, suspect SDL does not want to remove this marker.

One way of circumvent this would be to add the translation to a TM, and run a pretranslate. But having most all at 100% matches may make the agency wonder. I personally use this when I get trouble with the project so that I have problems with the export, for instance because I have actually done the translation in a different CAT tool (my preference is Dejavu, by the way).


 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
Member (1970)
English
That's not really fair Nov 1, 2015

Huw Watkins wrote:
Regardless, I also see that you are not particularly interested in translator feedback, so obviously I won't push the issue further. I still love SDL Trados Studio as a CAT tool either way and have been using it since the Trados workbench version before the merger with SDL


Hi Huw,

We are very interested in Translator feedback, after all the tool is for translators as well as other types of users. My point was that we already have this capability and many people have used it and understood it since Studio 2009. So whilst you might prefer to see PE replace an edited AT status I'm not sure the effort to do this is worth it and I have no idea how much this idea you just came up with would apply to every other user of the product. The main thing people complain about, and we see it here as well is they don't want an AT mark at all, and the same reason they don't want this would apply to the PE mark as well I think. So the only thing we would really achieve here would be like having it pink instead of green. It's only aesthetic.

I suppose I could have said, great idea and we'll consider it. Maybe I should of, but I prefer a more transparent approach (excuse the pun). Besides, changing this because you prefer this means we would then have a different approach just for Machine Translation and this would lead to confusion for those users who do know and use the current method which is consistent for all post editing work (post editing is not just editing MT... doesn't editing a fuzzy count as post editing too?). So now we'd have to add an option for this so that everyone else could have it as it is, and you could have it as PE. But then I'm sure once we did this you can be sure another user would not want it pink, they would want it yellow.

Maybe the easiest solution for now, in case we have an overwhelming number of requests to do this is that you customise it yourself if it's just not obvious... it's easy enough to make it stick out in some way by editing the colour for interactive translation:



Regards

Paul
SDL Community Support


 

Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 14:45
Member (2010)
English to Norwegian (Bokmal)
+ ...
This would also be my preferred way of using MT Nov 1, 2015

SDL Community wrote:

You can also use MT through AutoSuggest.

The way it works is that rather than prepopulate the target with a complete result from the MT engine, you translate as normal and suggestion via AutoSuggest are provided from the MT engine based on what you are typing and the source content. This method does not put AT into the document and gives you more control over what you are doing. It can also be used in conjunction with other sources, so for a translator it's quite a good resource.

If your Client specifically says "don't use MT" then you should not use it and you charge accordingly. It's as simple as that. So even using MT AutoSuggest would break the confidence your Client placed in you when they gave you the work.

Regards
Paul


I also find this an excellent way of using MT, and as you say, no confusion as the AT icon won't appear. And I don't think t increases the translation time much compared to using T directly.


 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
Member (1970)
English
Not sure what to say here... Nov 1, 2015

Roy Oestensen wrote:

Some agencies have a policy of not using MT because they are concerned with confidentiality, and if you have signed a confidentiality clause which bans the use of MT, you would be in breach of that confidentiality clause if you still use MT. Having a transparent AT icon would then tell the agency what you have done, which PE would not. So as this would not be in your interest, I can see that SDL as a translation agency would want to have that control.

I, therefore, suspect SDL does not want to remove this marker.

One way of circumvent this would be to add the translation to a TM, and run a pretranslate. But having most all at 100% matches may make the agency wonder. I personally use this when I get trouble with the project so that I have problems with the export, for instance because I have actually done the translation in a different CAT tool (my preference is Dejavu, by the way).



If you know your client says please don't use it then why would you use it in the first place? There are many ways to circumvent this of course but perhaps if working with MT is the only way you can work today, and this is quite an interesting thought, then maybe the solution is don't do work for clients who ask you not to use it?

I think the solution to all these problems (also those in the post from Angel Rimmer earlier) is education and transparency. Post editing MT is not an effort that is automatically faster than post editing fuzzy matches. The time involved varies a lot because of the quality of the MT engine and the type of source material being translated. The way to tackle this is to establish fair payment for your effort and this means some sort of post-editing analysis. If you have a decent relationship with your client then it is in both of your interests to make sure this is fair for both of you. As soon as one party is being treated unfairly the relationship breaks down and you may as well have not done the work in the first place.

It surely can't be pleasant to work in an environment where you are always trying to hide what you've done from your customer.

Regards

Paul
SDL Community Support


 

Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 14:45
Member (2010)
English to Norwegian (Bokmal)
+ ...
Sorry ... two thoughts in one, I guess Nov 1, 2015

SDL Community wrote:

If you know your client says please don't use it then why would you use it in the first place? There are many ways to circumvent this of course but perhaps if working with MT is the only way you can work today, and this is quite an interesting thought, then maybe the solution is don't do work for clients who ask you not to use it?
Regards
Paul


Sorry, I could be misread to mean to suggest you should mislead the agency. I had two thought in my head here. One was really the answer to: why you may want to be careful with the use of MT in the first place. I cannot see that there should be any problems with using MT for bits and pieces that don't have any information that should create problems with the confidentiality, even if the agency doesn't want you to use MT. (A sentence like "Pull the thread through the loop" shouldn't have any information which creates a confidentiality issue, while the use of the company or mentioning a product name could do so.)

The other I had in mind, was: How can one avoid getting the AT icon in the first place, even if the use of MT is Ok (so as not to confuse your client, who is concerned with the quality of the translation when you use MT, and not necessarily confidentiality).


 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:45
German to English
+ ...
Jumping to conclusions Nov 1, 2015

SDL Community wrote:

I think the solution to all these problems (also those in the post from Angel Rimmer earlier) is education and transparency...If you have a decent relationship with your client then it is in both of your interests to make sure this is fair for both of you. As soon as one party is being treated unfairly the relationship breaks down and you may as well have not done the work in the first place.

It surely can't be pleasant to work in an environment where you are always trying to hide what you've done from your customer.


Wow, Paul. I have a lot of respect for you as person, but feel you're being judgmental and jumping to a lot of conclusions in this thread. It's not like translators are all just sneaking around, manipulating things and hiding things from their clients, and they're not "always" doing it. I truly believe this is a case of not wishing to inject confusion into the mix when the client really doesn't have a good grasp on what translation quality is and how it is achieved.

There are plenty of clients who think they know best and "education and transparency" from me is not going to fix that. If a client wants to know what my workflow looks like, I am more than happy to show them with full transparency how I come to pricing determinations, what software I use to work on the files, how long it takes, etc. But most of the time, they are busy and they don't really care as long as the translations are good and on time.

The biggest problems I have had in the past have been with clients who have "half-information" about CAT tools and how they work. They are told how much money they will save but not warned sufficiently that literally everything about the CAT tool model hinges on the quality of the TM. With more and more end clients managing their own TMs, I come across more and more TMs full of crap, but the client still expects discounts for these matches because SDL told them it was the accepted standard for the industry. Excuse me?! Where does SDL come off telling clients what discounts to expect, when I am the one responsible for setting my own rate? All of a sudden after the next round of SDL presentations, clients all think these new discounts are standard and that their translators are cheating them if they refuse to accept them.

I certainly wish SDL would work a little harder to "educate" these clients about what working with the software is actually like, and how important good-quality TMs are, and how a qualified person should be managing TMs and terminology.

The only person at SDL who seems to give at least one flying F-word about the translators is you, Paul, but I think you've got it wrong here, mate. I understand your ethical concerns but your rejection of other absolutely plausible reasons, accompanied by self-righteous lectures about maintaining good client relationships, leaves a sour taste in the mouth.


 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
Member (1970)
English
Jumping to conclusions Nov 2, 2015

Angela Rimmer wrote:

Wow, Paul. I have a lot of respect for you as person, but feel you're being judgmental and jumping to a lot of conclusions in this thread. It's not like translators are all just sneaking around, manipulating things and hiding things from their clients, and they're not "always" doing it. I truly believe this is a case of not wishing to inject confusion into the mix when the client really doesn't have a good grasp on what translation quality is and how it is achieved.

....

I understand your ethical concerns but your rejection of other absolutely plausible reasons, accompanied by self-righteous lectures about maintaining good client relationships, leaves a sour taste in the mouth.


Hello Angela,

Your post has occupied my mind quite a bit this evening. I know I'm a fairly blunt and black and white guy but I hadn't considered myself self-righteous until now. Maybe I am.

However, I thought about it a bit and decided to draft an article on this topic, including some simple ways to work with MT without the AT status. I avoided any workarounds that involve editing the sdlxliff but hope they'll be helpful for anyone else faced with the same dilemma.

http://multifarious.filkin.com/2015/11/02/mt-or-not-mt/

Regards

Paul
SDL Community Support


 
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