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Google Language Tool
Thread poster: Gonul Taban

Gonul Taban
Turkey
Local time: 20:15
Turkish to English
+ ...
Mar 30, 2007

Hi,

I just heard about the Google Language Tool from a non-English forum.

I wasn't too worried at first thinking that no machine translation (I consider the Google Language Tool as a machine translator) could be as accurate as a humanbeing. However, after hearing how powerful it is, it has started to worry me.

Is anybody well informed regarding the matter?

What do you think the future will be like for translators?

I'm assuming that if Google does achieve an almost perfect result with its Language Tool, we translators will most probably switch to being proofreaders / editors of text translated by the Google Language Tool.

I hope not!!!

I really like my job...

Anyway, looking forward to your opinion in relation to the matter.


Gonul


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:15
Member
English to Turkish
Moved the topic... Mar 30, 2007

... to Translation Theory and Practice.



BR,
Özden


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:15
English to German
+ ...
Just for fun Mar 30, 2007

I wrote my reply to you in German and had it "translated" by Google:

"I do not believe you need around the situation concerning orders to worry itself to make."


If machine translation is indeed as advanced as they say, why doesn't it read:

"I don't think that you should get worried about the job situation."

Hilarious, isn't it?


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jemo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:15
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
the future is bright: Mar 30, 2007

let's see:

Individuals can reduce their risk of developing cancer by practicing healthy eating habits, exercising, limiting sun exposure, avoiding tobacco, knowing their family history, and getting regular screenings from the doctor.

Translated in French by Google:

Les individus peuvent réduire leur risque de développer le cancer en pratiquant des habitudes saines de manger, s'exercer, limitation de l'exposition du soleil, éviter le tabac, savoir leurs antécédents familiaux, et obtenir les criblages réguliers du docteur.

back to English with Google:

The individuals can reduce their risk to develop cancer as a practitioner of the healthy practices to eat, be exerted, limitation of the exposure of the sun, to avoid the tobacco, to know their family antecedents, and to obtain the regular siftings of the doctor.

and in French again to clean it up:

DES pratiquant habitudes saines de manger, s'exercer, soleil de limitation de l'exposition du, éviter le tabac, familiaux d'antécédents de leurs de savoir, et les criblages réguliers du docteur d'en de réduire d'individus de Les de cancer peuvent de leur risque de développer le d'obtenir.

I forgot what it said in English. Back in the translating machine:

Practitioner healthy practices to eat, be exerted, sun of limitation of the exposure of, to avoid the tobacco, family antecedents of theirs of knowing, and the regular siftings of the doctor in to reduce individuals of of cancer can of their risk develop to obtain.


A lot of proofreading jobs are going to be created.


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Gonul Taban
Turkey
Local time: 20:15
Turkish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I think I can smile :) Mar 30, 2007

Thanks for both your responses (Nicole and Jemo).

Your responses have comforted me for now, but I guess such efforts will never end, and I think (hope) that it will take long years to develop such a system that will not require 'human interference'.


Regards,

Gonul


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:15
English to Dutch
+ ...
Your own text Mar 30, 2007

Your own text in German:

Hallo, Ich hörte gerade über das Google Sprachenwerkzeug von einem nicht-Englischen Forum. Ich wurde nicht auch anfangs denkend gesorgt, daß keine maschinelle übersetzung (ich halte das Google Sprachenwerkzeug für einen Maschine übersetzer), wie ein Humanbeing so genau sein könnte. Jedoch nach Hörfähigkeit, wie leistungsfähig es ist, hat sie begonnen, sich mich zu sorgen. Ist jemand betreffend die Angelegenheit gut informiert? Was denkst du die Zukunft bist wie für übersetzer? Ich nehme an, daß, wenn Google ein fast vollkommenes Resultat mit seinem Sprachenwerkzeug erzielt, wir übersetzer vermutlich zum Sein Korrektoren/die Herausgeber des Textes übersetzt durch das Google Sprachenwerkzeug schalten. Ich hoffe nicht!!! Ich mag wirklich meinen Job… Sowieso vorwärts schauend zu deiner Meinung in Beziehung zu der Angelegenheit. Gonul

Which, according to Google, is German for:

Hello, I heard straight over the Google language tool of an non-English forum. I was ensured not also at first thinking that no machine translation (I regard the Google language tool as to machine a translator), as a Humanbeing could be so exact. However after audition, how efficient it is, it began to worry itself me. Concerning someone is the affair well informed? What think do you the future are as for translators? I assume that, if Google obtains a nearly perfect result with its language tool we probably switch translators to its Korrektoren/the publishers of the text translated by the Google language tool. I do not hope!!! I like really mine job… Anyway forward looking to your opinion in relationship with the affair. Gonul

Well, it got your name right


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Beware of back translations Mar 30, 2007

Not that I'm concerned about MT in the very near future, but you cannot judge the quality of any MT system by looking at the back translation into the original source language. For a test, you might just try the same with human translators. Give them a longer sentence without any further context and any references and have them translate the sentence back and forth a couple of times...

There are a lot of absolutely bad MT systems out there, but also a couple that are really useful and powerful tools. Of course, they still make mistakes, sometimes really silly ones, but they are also capable of producing translations of rather complex sentences that are absolutely perfect - in a split second and very cheap. It's too bad the free online MT systems tend to be among the weaker ones and produce mostly rubbish (but how else could they sell the better programs for a lot of money?), so most people aren't even aware of the real abilities of MT.

Of course people like to make fun of MT because sometimes the translations are simply hilarious. But - quite frankly - I've seen a good number of even worse translations done by humans, full of mistakes a computer would never make! And I believe that it's much easier to train a good MT system to become even better for your specific purposes than to turn a bad human translator into a good one.



[Edited at 2007-03-30 23:05]


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Mario Cerutti  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:15
Italian to Japanese
+ ...
This is exactly the point Mar 31, 2007

jemo wrote:
A lot of proofreading jobs are going to be created.

How much would you like being a proofreader instead of a translator? The fact that a lot of proofreading jobs will be created, instead of TRANSLATION jobs, doesn't make me happy at all.

Mario Cerutti
http://www.aliseo.com/english/

[Edited at 2007-03-31 05:06]


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Language Aide Pvt. Ltd. - Translation & Interpreting Agency
India
Local time: 22:45
English to Hindi
+ ...
The tool does have impact Mar 31, 2007

I remember, around 4-5 years back, I used to go to a BPO company in a nearby city, in order to work as an on-site translator.

My job was very simple then. I was given names of several websites completely in non-English language and I was supposed to extract, from those websites, some simple details - the contact address & numbers, services being provided by that website, directors' or chairmen's names of the companies, etc., mentioned in those websites.

The job was simple, wasn't it?

However, they don't require any translator for this probably from a couple of years. Because the employees of their company have got to know, and using frequently, this Google Language Tool along with some other such tools, in order to get the above details, and also the gist of the almost entire website by their own.

It’s right that the technologies can not replace human beings completely, as far as translation and interpretation field is concerned, but it largely substitutes the human interference in many occasions, for example, as mentioned above.

For the exact and true translation we are here to help, but what about at various other occasions, where the gist will work?

Usha,

Language Aide - Translation & Interpreting Agency


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:15
Flemish to English
+ ...
Technology progresses Mar 31, 2007

At the current pace of technology the role of a translator will be reduced to rewriting M.T. by say 2015-2020.

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:15
German to English
+ ...
Google Language Tool Mar 31, 2007

bOOmerang wrote:

What do you think the future will be like for translators?


For translators whose work is not much better than the MT output, very bleak.

Marc


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 14:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oufffff! Mar 31, 2007

Williamson wrote:

At the current pace of technology the role of a translator will be reduced to rewriting M.T. by say 2015-2020.


That's long enough for me!

MediaMatrix


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:15
German to English
+ ...
Well put, Heike! Mar 31, 2007

I couldn't have said it better myself

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Daniel García
English to Spanish
+ ...
Are you sure? Apr 1, 2007

Williamson wrote:

At the current pace of technology the role of a translator will be reduced to rewriting M.T. by say 2015-2020.


Well, I don't know, Machine Translation + Editing is being used NOW successfully in some domains.

Automotion is the classical example where it is apparently more cost-efficient (without jeopardising quality) to have texts translated with MT and then edited than having it translated by a human and then edited...

I have edited both human translations and machine translation output and I can say that editing machine translation has at least two advantages over human translators:

1) The computer is usually consistent with its errors. When it gets something wrong, it will always get it wrong. Humans on the other hand tend to be less consistent with its errors...

2) A computer does not get angry when you tell it about its errors, does not try to justify them and does not try to defend them as if they were not errors!



Daniel


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:15
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Arabic - English not too bad?? Apr 9, 2007

According to this article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/29/google_translator/): the US Army prefers computer-based systems because they distrusted human translators.

The Arabic-English translations of these news sites look pretty darn good to me. There are grammatical errors, but most of the text is understandable (you can click on the links to read the stories):

CNN in Arabic:
http://arabic.cnn.com/

CNN translated to English:
http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://arabic.cnn.com/&langpair=ar|en&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=/language_tools

Al-Jazeera in Arabic:
http://www.aljazeera.net

Al-Jazeera translated to English:
http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://www.aljazeera.net&langpair=ar|en&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=/language_tools


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