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SDL Certification on profile page a good idea?
Thread poster: Marinus Vesseur

Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:36
English to Dutch
+ ...
Jul 15, 2007

Recently there appears to increased cooperation between ProZ and companies like Lingotek and SDL (Trados), the latest coup being the possibility to enter SDL certification on the profile page.

Both Lingotek and SDL are companies that are developing products to streamline the translation process and will one day make the translation profession all but obsolete, because they will have produced machines that translate, first technical and IT-related documents, then financial and legal, medical, etc.

The development toward machine translated text is unstoppable, but the annoying paradox is that SDL and Lingotek are doing this with the money they make on selling services to translators and agencies, posing as our 'friends', only to be disposing of us when the time will have come.

In my opinion, if ProZ were an organisation that protected the interests of translators, it would not cooperate with such companies, at least not to such an extent. Regrettably ProZ is not a translators union, but it itself is a business, its first aim being financial gain. That is okay, but could that not be achieved without so completely making itself the henchman of 'the enemy'.

Maybe I am wrong and SDL is not in the long run going to replace me with a robot, but it sure looks that way, based on the nature of the work that was offered to my by SDL.

Please let me (us) know why you agree or disagree.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 20:36
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
SDL certificate - a Ponzi scheme Jul 15, 2007

SDL is ... in the long run going to replace me with a robot

As the Red Queen said: it takes all the running to stay at the same place. Or plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. If the intelligence of machines is catching up, then we better not be in the crowd getting caught. Calling off the race is no solution, investing in our knowledge, experience is. Thinking orthogonally definitely does not hurt.

I see the SDL certificate as a drivers license, provided by the producer of cars, who eventually may end producing public, no-drivers-needed transport systems. So crying over horses and buggies etc is romantic, but no help.

On the carriers of driver´s licenses and proud displays of its ownership here: I assume that's useful insofar it advertises indirectly the support and educational services i.e. attracts first-time users, who have to learn how to put the damn animal in front of their buggy. The agencies, however, could not mind less...

Regards

[EDIT]Amway / network marketing would be more accurate than Ponzi scheme

[Edited at 2007-07-15 05:49]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:36
Flemish to English
+ ...
Measure of translation skills? Jul 15, 2007

Integrate M.T and CAT. The result will be that the role of the translator will be reduced to rewriting what those tools churn out.
Since when is SDL Certified a replacement for the Master degree in Translation or the certificates by translator organisations. It is not a measure of linguistic quality, rather an indication that you know how to handle a specific tool very well.


[Edited at 2007-07-15 07:10]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:36
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
No one have ever said it is a measure for translation skills Jul 15, 2007

Williamson wrote:

Integrate M.T and CAT. The result will be that the role of the translator will be reduced to rewriting what those tools churn out.
Since when is SDL Certified a replacement for the Master degree in Translation or the certificates by translator organisations. It is not a measure of linguistic quality, rather an indication that you know how to handle a specific tool very well.


[Edited at 2007-07-15 07:10]

I really do not undderstand what is it all about? Does it read "Translators certification"? No! It reads clearly "SDL Trados nn Certification" - this means you have the "dvining licence" for you software, to use Vitos fmormulating here.
Do you have something against ISO9000? A lot of companies demand that, a lot of people mean with ISO9000 and next the quality is better. But all those ISO900x do not say anything about quality itself - this is only the certification for a certain quality management system. Having one does not necessarily mean your quality is really better.

The certification "issue" together and the possibilty, the said companies will then sometime deliver a fully automated translation system don't have anything in common in my opinion. If they are to bring such software, they will do - regardles of certification. Of course they will do that for the money they earn, and this money is partially comming from us, from translators. But as Vito said, this process cannot be stopped. So I see the means of certification in "beeing able to use the CAT tool I'm certified with to best possible extent" as a possibility to show my skills. Where a customer asks only for quality in translation such certification is useless. But when the customer asks for a quality translation done with a certain CAT-tool, such certification will surely be of an importance.
If you feel you don't need it, forget about it. But having it will certainly not damage your business.

Jerzy


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:36
Flemish to English
+ ...
Have Trados/Sdlx(-certification), will translate... Jul 15, 2007

No, such certification and a knowledge of a CAT-tool will not harm your business (depending on what kind of translator you are-translating an Economist-level text with the hulp of a CAT-tool would no be so practical).
Now SDLTrados2007 certified, next year early bird SDLTrados2008 and certification and so on.
And yes, the trend is that by 2020, the job of translator for some kind of texts will be obsolete. The slogan then will be, have SDL, will proofread.
---
Don't you think that nowadays translation skills and CAT-tool skills are being mixed up a bit too much?
I have a limited register of say Polish and I don't know the semantics, syntax and idiomatic expressions, but I do have a CAT-tool and will translate. (not interpret, because in that profession the only CAT-tool you have is your head).


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:36
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
You will never learn the usage of CAT tool to the extent you need ... Jul 15, 2007

if you will not use it for translation. This is my experience - the best CAT users are translators with a lot of translation experience. This is quite simple - when you start learning CAT and translation, you will have no experience in both. Without practising (ie translating) no experience will be gained and thus no certification is possible. I do not see the possibility of passing the SDL Certification Exam with just "knowing the tool" - you need practical experience and the demand level is set very high. You have to answer 35 out of 42 questions in 4 blocks, each of them withing 10 minutes.
So far this side.
But of course I agree with you, that this will not help you to translate into Polish, as it cannot help me to translate into English. Now I really do not believe you can get a serious job only based on the fact you have the CAT neeeded and are certified in it. Maybe I'm naive...

Jerzy


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