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Appropriate advertising on Proz.com
Thread poster: Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Apr 3, 2007

Is it really appropriate to advertise Babylon.com on Proz? Ok, the dictionary is fine, but why give space to a site which clearly does a disservice to our profession by stating 'Text Translations in 50 languages, all in a single click'? The text translation of this product is MT based. I quote: "Despite the fact, that no machine translation is 100% accurate or delivers results equal to human translation, this great new feature, based on the most advanced text translation technology, helps you understand texts in languages you are less familiar with."
I would not expect Proz.com to advertise a product which pushes the MT technology... honestly, I'm baffled.

Giovanni

[Edited at 2007-04-03 12:20]


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Melzie
Local time: 07:28
French to English
+ ...
agree Apr 3, 2007

The fact that they have all our "favourites dictionaries" available, really doesn't take then very far either!

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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 16:28
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Ditto Apr 3, 2007

I must admit I've thought exactly the same thing. Promoting machine translation on a site that's supposed to be our "workplace" screams hypocrisy.

The only thing that's stopped me from posting this very same thing previously was because I looked on their website and in their FAQ they do actually state something along the lines of MT possibly being ok for the odd word or phrase, but it will never compare to human translators doing the job.

Let's just hope that people visiting the site, looking for a translator and seeing the ad, know that already!


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 12:28
English to Indonesian
+ ...
just a tagline Apr 3, 2007

i love babylon. it's nice. it has lots of dictionaries, and you can even make one yourself. whats wrong with 'translate into...'? it's just a tagline. even if the machine took over the translation world, we could do something else. i know i would...

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Drew MacFadyen
Local time: 01:28
SITE STAFF
Advertising supports the site as a whole Apr 3, 2007

Thank you all for your input.

Regarding the Babylon ads. Advertising in general supports the entire community. It allows us to provide additional assets, support and tools. We can use those funds to develop projects like the Blue Board and other site features you have come to know and love.

We try our best to serve the entire communities best interest. Ads from translation industry partners, whether they be CAT Tools, project management, TM Tools, or Dictionary products, or Google delivered ads, all help fund the entrie site.

Regards,

Drew MacFadyen
Advertising Manager


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Can Altinbay  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:28
Japanese to English
+ ...
But surely you won't take advertising from *anybody* Apr 3, 2007

Drew MacFadyen wrote:

Thank you all for your input.

Regarding the Babylon ads. Advertising in general supports the entire community. It allows us to provide additional assets, support and tools. We can use those funds to develop projects like the Blue Board and other site features you have come to know and love.

We try our best to serve the entire communities best interest. Ads from translation industry partners, whether they be CAT Tools, project management, TM Tools, or Dictionary products, or Google delivered ads, all help fund the entrie site.

Regards,

Drew MacFadyen
Advertising Manager


Thank you for your input.

This does not address the issue that was raised. The thread is asking about the appropriateness of a particular ad.

Surely you are not saying you would accept advertising from just anyone who will give you money. I won't cite any specific examples, but you must have some standards, whether they are written or not. The thread argues that one of these standards should be that the advertised service not hurt our profession.

So if you could add to *that*, I know we would like to hear your thoughts.


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Drew MacFadyen
Local time: 01:28
SITE STAFF
Advertiser appropriatness Apr 3, 2007

Yes we do reject advertising from some companies that do not fit the overall site goals. Regarding Babylon and advertising MT products, I may not be the best person to handle that debate as I am not a translator, but rather an ad sales professional.

That said, the ads have clearly been clicked on by our community members, and Babylon has made sufficient sales to our community so one could infer that the product is therefore a good fit.

Babylon is basically offered as a dictionary service to translators on this site. MT is part of the product services offered by this company so that is reflected in their institutional tagline which is part of their corporate image and therefore present in all their adds, but the focus of the adds here is clearly on the dictionary services.

For those reasons, we permitted their ads to run on our site.

Regards,

Drew MacFadyen
Advertising Manager


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:28
Italian to English
Translation and writing Apr 3, 2007

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Is it really appropriate to advertise Babylon.com on Proz? Ok, the dictionary is fine, but why give space to a site which clearly does a disservice to our profession by stating 'Text Translations in 50 languages, all in a single click'? The text translation of this product is MT based. I quote: "Despite the fact, that no machine translation is 100% accurate or delivers results equal to human translation, this great new feature, based on the most advanced text translation technology, helps you understand texts in languages you are less familiar with."
I would not expect Proz.com to advertise a product which pushes the MT technology... honestly, I'm baffled.

Giovanni

[Edited at 2007-04-03 12:20]


Hi Giovanni,

From the point of view of ProZ, I find Drew's arguments more than sufficient to justify the presence of Babylon (or Systran or BabelFish any other MT program) on ProZ as a paying advertiser.

From my point of view - and yours, because you are a serious professional - I simply don't see anything to worry about.

By and large, clients who are initially tempted by MT inevitably come to us when the machine translation turns out to be a disappointment. This gives us a benchmark against which to justify our rather more ambitious pricing policies.

The better MT gets (and it is improving...), the more we flesh-and-blood translators have to define ourselves as what we really are: writers who can add value to the client's text, not just converters of content into another language.

FWIW

Giles


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
not worried... Apr 3, 2007

I'm not worried about MT, I just find it strange that Proz.com accept advertising from a company which promotes a techonology that could, in theory and on a long term, replace us all, making this very website obsolete.

Giovanni


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:28
Italian to English
Theory and practice Apr 4, 2007

Hi Giovanni,

The theory is defective, IMO.

Translation is a very complex process. If and when machines finally work out how it's done, they'll be far too intelligent to work for the rates we get offered

Giles


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Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:28
Partial member (2004)
Italian to English
Can they at least proofread the ad? Apr 4, 2007

After all, this is the "Translator's Workplace".

Jennifer


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
Theory and practice Apr 4, 2007

Giles Watson wrote:

Hi Giovanni,

The theory is defective, IMO.


Giles




well, it might be now, but you never know...

G


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:28
German to English
+ ...
Caveat emptor? Apr 5, 2007

Slightly off topic, but nevertheless interesting to see that the advertiser in question seems to have got their claims somewhat muddled.

On their ad, they variously refer to the "The Oxford Dictionary", and the "Oxford Concise Dictionary", while depicting the "Concise Oxford English Dictionary".

The ad claims: "Single click to the world's leading dictionary and thesaurus. Oxford on Babylon gives you access to the most comprehensive resource of the English language. The Oxford Dictionary provides more than 240,000 words..."

Turning to http://www.oup.com/uk/catalogue/?ci=9780198611868&view=ask , we are informed that "The 20 volume Oxford English Dictionary is an unrivalled guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words. The Dictionary traces the evolution of over 600,000 words from across the English-speaking world through 2.4 million quotations". And that refers to the 1989 edition.

As publisher of both the COED and the OED, perhaps the Oxford University Press should adjudicate here?


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