Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10] >
Clients / large translation companies now talking about pooling linguistic data. Should we be there?
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:04
SITE FOUNDER
Jul 23, 2008

Hi all,

TAUS Data Association Incorporated by Group of 40 Founding Members

Amsterdam, June 30, 2008: Forty organizations active in buying and supplying translation services and technologies have jointly established a new industry association aimed at sharing parallel language data with the objective to stimulate innovation and automation of translation activities. The TAUS Data Association (TDA)...


For the whole thing, see: http://www.translationautomation.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=45:news_archive&id=173:press-release&Itemid=46

It strikes me that translators, and to some extent small companies, are not yet represented, even though we might benefit from, and also contribute to, efforts such as these.

Two questions:

1. Does this topic matter to your business? How?
2. Should ProZ.com join as a company, maybe with a designated attendee or two (translator and small company) from among our members?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:04
English to German
+ ...
Keep a close eye on developments, but keep it low-profile Jul 23, 2008

Well spotted, Henry.

It strikes me that translators, and to some extent small companies, are not yet represented.

Not surprising, as most will probably fail to see the distiction between process automatisation and machine translation.

Two questions:

1. Does this topic matter to your business? How?

Not really so far - I can see the technological rationale, but the solutions available so far are too expensive to turn them into a business case (for the size of my business).

2. Should we join, maybe with a designated representative or two (translator and small company) from the community?

Given the expected uproar amongst translators (there won't be a rational discussion, methinks), I would keep this low-profile, but it would be good to keep an eye on developments.

Best, Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:04
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Ralf! Jul 23, 2008

Ralf Lemster wrote:
Well spotted, Henry.

Thanks, but it is not hard to spot, actually. There is a lot of talk at industry events lately around the idea of sharing translation memory, and TAUS in particular. It is a hot topic.
It strikes me that translators, and to some extent small companies, are not yet represented.

Not surprising, as most will probably fail to see the distiction between process automatisation and machine translation.

It is an important distinction, of course, and it would not be surprising for some of our "usual suspects" to pop up and react in knee-jerk fashion. But if you think there are not plenty of people here that have a crystal clear understanding of this topic, I think that you are underestimating the community. (Hopefully those folks will take a moment to weigh in!)
1. Does this topic matter to your business? How?

Not really so far - I can see the technological rationale, but the solutions available so far are too expensive to turn them into a business case (for the size of my business).

Makes sense. Let me ask a different question, then. Forget about TAUS. Just considering the general prospect of end clients and large translation companies pooling a large amount of linguistic data, is there a chance that it would benefit your business to have access to that data? (I think you are finding TM technology useful today... would access to leverage-able data for it, pooled by clients and large players, have any value to you?)
2. Should we join, maybe with a designated representative or two (translator and small company) from the community?

Given the expected uproar amongst translators (there won't be a rational discussion, methinks), I would keep this low-profile, but it would be good to keep an eye on
developments.

I take your point, but still, I think we can have a rational discussion on it.

Let's try to keep this thread moderate, folks. If it does happen to get heated, maybe limit yourself to just one or two posts.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 21:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mandate and accountability Jul 23, 2008

Henry D wrote:

Two questions:
...
2. Should we join, maybe with a designated representative or two (translator and small company) from the community?


I respectfully suggest that before questionning whether this community should get involved in any such project it would be worth considering whether Proz.com (the company), its employees (Henry and Co.) and/or any of its members/users have - or can acquire - a mandate to represent this community (not to mention the corresponding requirement for accountability).

As a non-paying user of this site I am absolutely certain that no-one here is in a position to represent my views in any international forum. And I doubt that there is anything in the contract between Proz.com and its paying Members that could be construed as conferring representation upon anyone.

That said, I could envisage that a few of this place's larger corporate members, and perhaps even Proz.com itself, might wish to get involved in this kind of project - even if only to find out what's going to hit them (and probably all of us...) in the years ahead.

So, if there's anyone here who feels like sitting round a table with the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, Intel and 37 other $$$$$-spinners to chip in their 2 cents-worth of professional wisdom and experience then good luck to them! But it should be made clear that they will represent only themselves, not this 'community' - and less still 'this profession'.

MediaMatrix


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 04:04
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
I am confused Henry Jul 23, 2008

I use two-monitors on my table. Now the second one is empty except for the background picture - a picture of my son who is 18 months old.

I am 40, and work as a translator for about 20 years. In my professional life this is the first time that I feel hopeless, I should find out a way to change my profession.

In the press release mentioned above, Jaap van der Meer, Director of the TAUS Data Association says “There are simply not enough translators in the world to meet the rapidly growing demand for translations. This initiative helps all industry players to increase the level of translation automation and stimulate interoperability and innovation of business models.”

Confused!

Look at the discussions at ProZ.com, agencies asking for USD 0.03 per word! There are not enough translators but the prices are falling! Something should be wrong with the law of supply and demand.

Look at the founding members: ABBYY, Abu Ghazaleh Legal, Adobe, Applied Language Solutions, Autodesk, Celer Soluciones, Cisco Systems, CLS Communication, Cross Language, Dell, eBay, Elanex, EMC, Fruugo, Intel, Jonckers, JTS, Language Intelligence, Language Weaver, Linguistic Systems, Lionbridge, Logrus, Matrixware, McAfee, Microsoft, Milengo, Moravia, Oracle, Prolingua, PTC, SDL, Skrivanek, Sun Microsystems, Sybase iAnywhere, Tilde, VanceInfo Creative Software, Vistatec, Welocalize, Yahoo.

We simply don't have any chance against them.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marina Soldati  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 22:04
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly my thoughts when I read the press release Jul 23, 2008

Selcuk Akyuz wrote:

I use two-monitors on my table. Now the second one is empty except for the background picture - a picture of my son who is 18 months old.

I am 40, and work as a translator for about 20 years. In my professional life this is the first time that I feel hopeless, I should find out a way to change my profession.

In the press release mentioned above, Jaap van der Meer, Director of the TAUS Data Association says “There are simply not enough translators in the world to meet the rapidly growing demand for translations. This initiative helps all industry players to increase the level of translation automation and stimulate interoperability and innovation of business models.”

Confused!

Look at the discussions at ProZ.com, agencies asking for USD 0.03 per word! There are not enough translators but the prices are falling! Something should be wrong with the law of supply and demand.

Look at the founding members: ABBYY, Abu Ghazaleh Legal, Adobe, Applied Language Solutions, Autodesk, Celer Soluciones, Cisco Systems, CLS Communication, Cross Language, Dell, eBay, Elanex, EMC, Fruugo, Intel, Jonckers, JTS, Language Intelligence, Language Weaver, Linguistic Systems, Lionbridge, Logrus, Matrixware, McAfee, Microsoft, Milengo, Moravia, Oracle, Prolingua, PTC, SDL, Skrivanek, Sun Microsystems, Sybase iAnywhere, Tilde, VanceInfo Creative Software, Vistatec, Welocalize, Yahoo.

We simply don't have any chance against them.



Regards,
Marina


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:04
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
This is hot Jul 23, 2008

Thanks Henry,
for bringing this topic up.

In my opinion it is a hot topic for all translators, but especially for those using TM technology. We should keep a close eye on the developments. When I joined Proz, I was under the impression that Proz would sooner or later start a project in this area, but unfortunatly it never did up to now. Sure, Proz as a company does not have the same muscles/resources/money to handle such a project. But Proz had and still has one invaluable resource - thousands of enthusiastic members, who are specialists in this area.

And Proz could be and still might be able to become a pioneer, not in "crowdsourcing" (where others gain the profits) but something I would call "communitysourcing". We as a community could and should build something that would benefit us -the community.

I use my TM, which is a great tool.
I do share my knowledge with some and my TM with few people, and as a small group we do benefit from it.

Why not producing a larger platform on Proz where more people (not agencies) could benefit from the knowledge in the community?

I know, such a task will long and requires many discussions, but if we and Proz are going to wait until the big players present a working solution, we might both loose at the end.

I would be very interested in some serious discussions on this topic, perhaps during a local conference or a special powwow

Siegfried


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:04
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the insights, Siegfried Jul 23, 2008

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

Thanks Henry, for bringing this topic up.

In my opinion it is a hot topic for all translators, but especially for those using TM technology. We should keep a close eye on the developments. When I joined Proz, I was under the impression that Proz would sooner or later start a project in this area, but unfortunatly it never did up to now. Sure, Proz as a company does not have the same muscles/resources/money to handle such a project.

True. I am not sure whether or not it is because of money, muscles and resources (it might just be my personal ineffectiveness!), but you are right, for one reason or another we have not gotten to the point of bringing this sort of thing together among translators who might be interested.
But Proz had and still has one invaluable resource - thousands of enthusiastic members, who are specialists in this area.

Yes, this is the power of our community in all areas, not just this one.
And Proz could be and still might be able to become a pioneer, not in "crowdsourcing" (where others gain the profits) but something I would call "communitysourcing". We as a community could and should build something that would benefit us -the community.

An important distinction! Yes, this could go in one of two ways for those doing the actual translation work - in a positive direction, or in a negative direction. I think it is probably within our power, as a group, to at least influence the direction.
I use my TM, which is a great tool. I do share my knowledge with some and my TM with few people, and as a small group we do benefit from it.

Interesting. How does it work? What have you learned?
Why not producing a larger platform on Proz where more people (not agencies) could benefit from the knowledge in the community?

Do you have an image of what that would look like?
I know, such a task will long and requires many discussions, but if we and Proz are going to wait until the big players present a working solution, we might both loose at the end.

I would be very interested in some serious discussions on this topic, perhaps during a local conference or a special powwow

Sounds like a good idea. We are looking at adding it to the agenda for our upcoming series of conferences in Latin America (summer) and Europe (fall).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:04
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Speaking of the usual suspects... Jul 24, 2008

mediamatrix wrote:
... it would be worth considering whether Proz.com (the company), its employees (Henry and Co.) and/or any of its members/users have - or can acquire - a mandate to represent this community (not to mention the corresponding requirement for accountability).

As a non-paying user of this site I am absolutely certain that no-one here is in a position to represent my views in any international forum. And I doubt that there is anything in the contract between Proz.com and its paying Members that could be construed as conferring representation upon anyone.

... it should be made clear that they will represent only themselves, not this 'community' - and less still 'this profession'.

... hi, mediamatrix!

Actually, for once I don't disagree with you on a topic (not yet, anyway... knowing you, you'll have more to say!) But you are right, and my post was misleading. No one here, staff or otherwise, has or will have a mandate to speak for anyone else. I have edited my post to take out any suggestion to the contrary.

I am thinking of it more like this: given our mission as a company (to provide "tools and opportunities"), we are paid by our members (= our customers) to turn up "tools and opportunities" in various places. This might be one of them. From that standpoint, to "get involved in this kind of project - even if only to find out what's going to hit...", as you put it, may be part of our job.

I am not sure that everyone agrees, and that is why I ask here... I wonder if paying members feel that the associated investment of their membership money, and staff attention, would be justified. (Several thousand euros, plus some travel and possibly other costs for whoever goes, in this case.)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:04
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Don't throw in the towel just yet Jul 24, 2008

Selcuk Akyuz wrote:
We simply don't have any chance against them.
Marina Soldati wrote:
Exactly my thoughts when I read the press release

Well, I hope and think we aren't doomed. First, I am not sure this is an us-vs-them thing. Second, translation memory sharing of this sort has been discussed for at least 15 years, so I see it as much more of a progression, and in fact an opportunity, than a crisis.

Also, as a general observation, it would not hurt for us to have more confidence as an industry. Earning more begins with the confidence that what we provide is valuable. It is - and often more valuable than what we are charging, in my opinion.

Of course, if perfect machine translation becomes available tomorrow, I'll be looking for a new profession along with you. But as Ralf said, that is not what is being proposed here. The translation companies participating in this thing would themselves not like to see that. So it may be that as suppliers in the industry, our interests are not so dissimilar.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
The Misha
Local time: 21:04
Russian to English
+ ...
For all the practical purposes, this issue is immaterial Jul 24, 2008

Not to sound like a luddite, but I think this issue is perfectly immaterial for most of us. Ours is a hopelessly fragmented industry - what with multiple language pairs, countless subject areas and a myriad of independent service providers - which will remain fragmented for any foreseeable future. Sure, some subject areas and larger providers who specialize in them may benefit from this kind of standardization more than others. Personally, I specialize in legal and financial texts which are not particularly susceptible to automation or use of CAT tools. Even if Microsoft, Autodesk, et al. decide to call a pot a kettle from now on, it will have zero effect on my business practices and those of most of my clients.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:04
Member (2004)
German to English
So the purpose is eventually to put us out of a job, right? Jul 24, 2008

Henry D wrote:
1. Does this topic matter to your business? How?
2. Should ProZ.com join as a company, maybe with a designated attendee or two (translator and small company) from among our members?


If I understand it properly, the purpose is to create machine translation that is miles better than the current state of play.

So does it matter? Of course it does. It wasn't so long ago that I wasn't permanently connected to just about ever computer in the world. In fact I probably couldn't have started my business wihout the Internet - being online made everything a lot easier. Can you stand in the way of technological change? No. Is it a good thing? That's a different question altogether.

What benefit would I get for my business? I can only invisage it as an extension to the research I already do, including on this site to produce accurate translations. Look at online dictionaries, check kudoz questions, check TAUS. So you have all of the quality issues associated with it, let alone the technical ones - how do you actually provide that information online?

Should proz join it? Yes, I think so because little me needs to know in advance if automatic translation is taking over the world so I can find another career before my income drops to zero. Maybe our representatives can actually make a difference in how it is done...
Gillian


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paul Greer
United States
Local time: 18:04
English to Arabic
+ ...
OPPORTUNITIES! More jobs, less research through ungodly hours... Jul 24, 2008

Henry D wrote:

Also, as a general observation, it would not hurt for us to have more confidence as an industry. Earning more begins with the confidence that what we provide is valuable. It is - and often more valuable than what we are charging, in my opinion.

Of course, if perfect machine translation becomes available tomorrow, I'll be looking for a new profession along with you. But as Ralf said, that is not what is being proposed here. The translation companies participating in this thing would themselves not like to see that. So it may be that as suppliers in the industry, our interests are not so dissimilar.


I couldn't agree more. There is no doubt in my mind that the job description of "Translator" will change a bit as technology progresses. In the end, this industry is just starting to catch up on technology trends other industries went through 15 years ago.

A translation is a translation, and if it is supposed to be good work, it needs a human translator. Further, as mentioned before, I don't think fully automated translation won't be possible for another few generations of translators. First came SDL/TRADOS, and I vividly remember the flaming discussions claiming that "termbases would seduce translators to neglect the research of appropriateness of used terminology", turned out to be humbug of course.

Even backed by such mega-corporations the outcome will most likely be a MultiTerm goes from LAN to WAN. And I think everyone could see the benefits of a tool/avenue to improve the consistency of the work delivered by our industry as a whole.

Thus, I concur with Henry, the interests behind this development effort might not be that far away from our own.

Regards
Paul


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Clients / large translation companies now talking about pooling linguistic data. Should we be there?

Advanced search






Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums