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How feasible is this plan? Somewhat anti-freelancer/self-destructive!
Thread poster: John Neilan
John Neilan
Germany
Local time: 23:58
German to English
Feb 1, 2006

Cheaper Translation Alternative

If you are running a small company and looking at translating texts, but also keen on keeping costs to a minimum, consider the following scenario.

You have a text that needs to be translated into English, you yourself or an employee in your company already has some English but written English can be a problem.

I suggest the following. Purchase a translation program, which is especially designed for websites but can handle normal texts aswell. These programs do not always offer the best results. This is where the human factor plays a role.

The program will translate your text. The result, however, may not exactly be what you had hoped for. The word order in the text or the meaning may be mixed up or lost.


Next step: Clear up incomprehensible parts of the text yourself, here's where your English/relative language knowledge, or that of one of your other employees, comes into fruition. Now, bear with me, hire a native speaker, at best a student (they are cheap, sometimes free if you offer them an internship) to review and clean-up your text. And that's it! Not convinced....

I judge that sending any length of text to a freelance translator will take at least twice as long as a trained employee who is familiar with the texts and the functionality of the translation program and whose task it is to merely check over the text for accuracy and grammar. You should, of course, make sure your student/apprentice has the proper credentials.

Just think how much money this method would save you and your company in the long-run. It makes sense.

Even if you decide against this method, consider machine-translating your text and proofreading it yourself for anything that simply isn't right. Then send it to a translation company for proofreading. Proofreading is after all cheaper than translating.

So that's it. Feasible? Good idea, bad idea? Already in practice?

All comments are welcome,

John Neilan


[Edited at 2006-02-01 15:33]


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 23:58
French to English
Did you write this? Feb 1, 2006

Or did you find it somewhere?

Thanks.

Sara


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Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:58
Member
French to English
Yeah right Feb 1, 2006

John Neilan wrote:

I suggest the following. Purchase a translation program, which is especially designed for websites but can handle normal texts aswell. These programs do not always offer the best results. This is where the human factor plays a role.

The program will translate your text. The result, however, may not exactly be what you had hoped for. The word order in the text or the meaning may be mixed up or lost.


Next step: Clear up incomprehensible parts of the text yourself, here's where your English/relative language knowledge, or that of one of your other employees, comes into fruition. Now, bear with me, hire a native speaker, at best a student (they are cheap, sometimes free if you offer them an internship) to review and clean-up your text. And that's it! Not convinced....



I'll tell you exactly how feasible it is -- I have received crap like this to revise and this is exactly what the client was trying to do -- save money by having a native fix the mess.

Let me tell you that it takes more than twice as long to fix this type of stuff than to translate from scratch.

Receiving stuff like this and work from unqualified translators made me raise my revision rate to $75 per hour (no negotiation) and I usually flat out refuse revision work now.

I have suggested others do the same and I am not alone in sticking to my policy on this!

Good luck and glad to have a firm policy in place,
Karin Adamczyk


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 00:58
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Its ok, if you value your own working time very low Feb 1, 2006

Hardly any serious entrepreneur has time to spare on translation, if he's no expert. Time is better spent attending one's own business. But amateurs often work like you described.
Regards
Heinrich


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:58
French to German
+ ...
Feb 1, 2006



[Edited at 2006-02-01 14:33]


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Maya Jurt  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 23:58
Member (2002)
French to German
+ ...
Result: Lots of Dollar signs! Feb 1, 2006

Peter Bouillon wrote:


He wrote it up to market his own online translator. It's an excerpt from his homepage, which he cited below his signature (as a link so that the search engines will pick up on it).

P.


Yes. And when you download the program for evaluation, you can try it out after having beeen told x times that you must buy it. Translation by giving an URL? Forget it, it does not work. A Webpage saved on your desktop? You are warned that you will only get 200 words with the evaluation version. OK. And what do you get:
Here it is:
*$1$* *$2$* *$3$* *$4$* *$5$* *$6$* *$7$* *$8$* *$9$* *$10$* *$11$* *$12$* *$13$* *$14$* *$15$* *$16$* *$17$* *$18$* *$19$*

It's supposed to be English. What I see is mainly dollar signs!!!!



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Kevin Kelly  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:58
Member (2005)
Russian to English
+ ...
My take on this.. Feb 1, 2006

It is unfeasible and a bad idea for anyone remotely interested in quality. Is it already in practice? Yes, -- by incompetent, lazy, and/or greedy agencies/outsourcers.

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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:58
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Is this a joke? Feb 1, 2006

Dear John,
TBH, I thought you were just being sarcastic on your first posting of this thread...

Monika


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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:58
English to German
+ ...
He's having us on... Feb 1, 2006

Don't fall for it.

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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:58
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
To John - please reply quickly Feb 1, 2006

Dear John,
As I said on my previous posting on this thread, I allowed this thread thinking that you were just being sarcastic. I guess I was wrong. Due to the No-Advertising Policy, I am kindly asking you to remove the link from your first post that points to the tool.

The thread will remain open with the condition that you remove that link and only for discussion of this idea and not of this automatic translation application.

Thank you for your cooperation,
Monika

p.s. Thank you John for your quick cooperation.

[Edited at 2006-02-01 15:34]


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John Neilan
Germany
Local time: 23:58
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
merely a feasibility question... Feb 1, 2006

I wrote the article as a page for my website (which also recommends a product, but said product was removed from the text I posted so as not to incur the wrath of those thinking I was merely in if for the money). Self-promotion was not in my plan. And sorry to those I may have been offended. I merely wanted to know if this method is actually used/ if it's actually feasible or not.

P.s: This is not the method I use to translate.

[Edited at 2006-02-01 15:41]


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
What are you aiming at? Feb 1, 2006

I first understood your posting as an ironic contribution, but soon realized that you're serious about this. Don't you find it's a strange behaviour using this forum for your marketing purposes? This kind of activities should be banned.

John Neilan wrote:

Cheaper Translation Alternative

If you are running a small company and looking at translating texts, but also keen on keeping costs to a minimum, consider the following scenario.



Sure, clients want to keep costs to a minimum, but of course quality shouldn't suffer. Many clients haven't understood that quality is connected to certain costs. You can't get good & cheap.


You have a text that needs to be translated into English, you yourself or an employee in your company already has some English but written English can be a problem.


So hand it over to the professionals! The translators! I can't understand that some (German) clients can still sleep well after they let their trainee with one semester at an American college translate that important contract.



I suggest the following. Purchase a translation program, which is especially designed for websites but can handle normal texts aswell. These programs do not always offer the best results. This is where the human factor plays a role.



Now it's getting interesting. By now you all know where you can obtain such a translation program, don't you?



The program will translate your text. The result, however, may not exactly be what you had hoped for. The word order in the text or the meaning may be mixed up or lost.



Let's face it: It's all a big mess!



Next step: Clear up incomprehensible parts of the text yourself, here's where your English/relative language knowledge, or that of one of your other employees, comes into fruition. Now, bear with me, hire a native speaker, at best a student (they are cheap, sometimes free if you offer them an internship) to review and clean-up your text. And that's it! Not convinced....



Remember that one-semester student? Client still sleeping well? What about liability? Translating experience?



I judge that sending any length of text to a freelance translator will take at least twice as long as a trained employee who is familiar with the texts and the functionality of the translation program and whose task it is to merely check over the text for accuracy and grammar. You should, of course, make sure your student/apprentice has the proper credentials.



This is very contradictory. How should a student/apprentice be able to have "proper credentials" if he/she isn't an experienced translator?



Just think how much money this method would save you and your company in the long-run. It makes sense.



Money saved at this single job, yes, but what about wrongly translated contracts? We're speaking about millions of euro or dollar or which currency you want. And also, you can't measure everything in monetary units. Chaotic texts, lost reputation on the market could be the result.



Even if you decide against this method, consider machine-translating your text and proofreading it yourself for anything that simply isn't right. Then send it to a translation company for proofreading. Proofreading is after all cheaper than translating.

So that's it. Feasible? Good idea, bad idea? Already in practice?



Not very feasible at all.

Erik

**********************************
Erik Hansson ( SFÖ )
Technical translator DE-SV
Hansson Übersetzungen GmbH
Am Birkenwäldchen 38
D-01900 Bretnig-Hauswalde, Germany
Phone +49 - 3 59 52 - 321 07
Fax +49 - 3 59 52 - 322 02
E-Mail info@hansson.de
Internet www.hansson.de
Internet www.technical-translators.net
ProZ profile http://www.proz.com/pro/21654
***********************************



[Edited at 2006-02-01 15:54]


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John Neilan
Germany
Local time: 23:58
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Feb 1, 2006

thanks everyone for your comments. I've pretty much got the idea.
John


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xxx@caduceus
United States
Local time: 15:58
English to German
+ ...
you can't be serious Feb 1, 2006

Have you ever been asked to translate such a text? If so, you know that just for the sake of your own sanity you wouldn't edit it but rather toss it and translate the whole thing from scratch.

And frankly I don't understand why you actually offer this as an alternative on your website while offering professional translation services at the same time. I mean, you're either a translator who strives for quality, or a vendor for machine translation software.

And when it comes to saving money with such an attempt, I don't think it does save money. After they've done it once, most (good) translators don't accept such work at editing rates.

Good luck!


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