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Best approach for using MT as intermezzo
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Nov 18, 2008

G'day everyone

This question is a bit theoretical. I'm not asking for opinions on whether MT is good or bad, or for examples of why MT can be dangerous -- as I believe any system that includes MT as one of the steps ought to include proper quality control procedures as well.

Suppose I can translate from English into Zulu. Suppose a client wants documents regularly translated from Spanish into Zulu, preferably by me or a company I represent. I don't speak Spanish, but... there are five free MT systems on the web that offer Spanish to English. What if I were to pre-translate the Spanish texts into English, and then translate those into Zulu (and obviously have post-translation quality control procedures etc)?

I'm not asking if this is a good or bad idea -- it is worse than most and better than some.

Instead, my question is what would you think the best approach be for using the above method, when it comes to determining what the source text really says. I can think of the following options:

1. Make a quick, literal Zulu translation of each MT translation, and then merge the five translations into a final translation.
2. First merge the five MT translations into a single English text, and then translate it into Zulu.
3. Assume one of the five MT texts as most authoritative, and translate it, while constantly referring to the other texts for variant readings.

No doubt, option #3 will be the fastest. Option #2 will be slower and option #1 is likely to be the slowest. It would seem to me that option #2 would be the safest (even if speed was irrelevant).

From a theoretical point of view, what would you think is the best way? In my next post I'll post five MT translations of a certain text, to show how this would work.

Thanks


[Edited at 2008-11-18 09:54 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Five free MT translations Nov 18, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
From a theoretical point of view, what would you think is the best way? In my next post I'll post five MT translations of a certain text, to show how this would work.


http://www.freetranslation.com/ (no limit on number of words for free)

The soccer bears a curse that at the same time is the salvation of players, among ??? and fans regretted by a rout. It is a matter of an activity in which does not suffice with winning, but one must win always, in each season, in each tournament, in each party. A writer, an architect, a musician can nap a little after has ??? done a great novel, a marvelous building, an unforgettable disk. They cannot do anything during a time or to do somewhat smaller. Among the first, that are the ones that more know, one must have passed them to be good by decree and even the end from their days thanks to worthy a single work written fifty years ago. In the soccer, by the with ???, they do not fit the rest neither the ???, of little serves to have an extraordinary historic winning list or to have conquered a title the previous year.

http://translation2.paralink.com/ (a limit on number of words for free)

The football supports a curse that simultaneously is the salvation of players, trainers and ??? apologetic for a defeat. It is a question of an activity in the one that is not enough to win, but it is necessary to win always, in every period, in every tournament, in every party. A writer, an architect, a musician can rest a little after having done a big novel, a wonderful building, an unforgettable disc. They cannot do anything during a time or make anything minor. Between the first ones, which are those that more I know, it them is that they have happened to be good for decree and up to the end of his days thanks to only one estimable written work fifty years behind. In the football, for the opposite, they fit neither the rest nor the ???, as little it serves to have an extraordinary historical ??? or to have conquered a title the previous year.

http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_txt (no limit on number of words for free)
http://www.systran.co.uk/ (no limit on number of words for free)

Soccer supports a curse that simultaneously is the salvation of players, trainers and fans ??? by a defeat. One is an activity in which is not enough with winning, but is necessary to always win, in every season, each match, each party. A writer, an architect, a musician can ??? a little after to have made a great novel, a wonderful building, an unforgettable disc. They can not do anything during a time or to make something smaller. Between first, that is those that I know more are, them have happened to be good through decree and until the their day end thanks to a single estimable work written fifty years back. In soccer, on the contrary, the rest nor the ??? do not fit, as little it serves to have extraordinary ??? historical or to have conquered a title the previous year.

http://www.reverso.net/text_translation.asp?lang=EN (a limit on number of words for free)

The football supports a curse that simultaneously is the salvation of players, trainers and fans felt remorseful about a defeat. It is a question of an activity in the one that is not enough to win, but it is necessary to win always, in every season, in every tilt, in every party(game). A writer, an architect, a musician can rest a bit after having done a great novel, a wonderful building, an unforgettable disc. They cannot make anything during a time or make anything minor. Between(among) the first ones, which are those that more I know, them there is that they have happened(passed) to be good for decree and up to the end(purpose) of his(her,your) days thanks to an alone estimable written work fifty years behind. In the football, for the opposite, they fit neither the rest nor the ??? , as little it(he,she) uses to have an extraordinary historical record or to have conquered a title(degree) the previous year.

http://translate.google.com/translate_t# (no limit on number of words for free)

Football carries a curse that is at once the salvation of players, coaches and ??? ??? by a defeat. This is an activity where it is not enough to win, but they must win always, in every season in every tournament, in every game. One writer, an architect, a musician can be a little nap after having made a great novel, a wonderful building, a disc unforgettable. They can not do anything for a while or do something minor. Among the former, who are most familiar with, some have become good by decree until the end of his life thanks to a single book written estimable Fifty years ago. In soccer, by contrast, do not fit the rest or the amusement of little use to have a special historic or honors have won a title the previous year.

And if you'd like to see some human translations, simply visit the previous ProZ.com translation contest's Spanish-English section.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 18:23
English to Hungarian
+ ...
3 Nov 18, 2008

I'd never think of doing 1, and it is very unlikely that I'd ever do 2. Once I managed to make out what the original says I might as well write it down in the target language, right?

Just rank the MT services 1 to 5, skim through the best two to get a sense of what the text says, then start work. Read sentence 1 in MT1, if unclear refer to MT2 and so on.

That is supposing I ever decided to work from MT input which is extremely unlikely.


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