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Need a resource: translation softwar Eng-Span
Thread poster: clleger
English to Spanish
Jul 16, 2008

My organization provides PT, OT, speech therapy and special education for families who have children from birth to three who have a developmental delay. The services are provided free of charge in the family's home. Our providers always arrange for an interpreter to be present whenever they visit a family. Translators prepare formal documents for the families. However, there are many times when informal notes and letters have to be given to the families at a time when an interpreter/translator is not avaiable.

My supervisor has asked me to research and recommend a good, automated translation tool that providers can use when they are out in the field on their own. Please share with me your opinion of automated translation software (not TRADOS or the like) along the lines of Systran.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Asking for cucumbers at a butcher's Jul 17, 2008

I understand your needs and understand that you want to ask us, but this request sounds like asking for cucumbers at the butcher's. We make a living out of translation, and I think it's pretty safe to say that most translators here would be happier to help you with the translations than to offer any advice on automatic translation.

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:23
Member (2003)
German to English
Very dangerous Jul 17, 2008

clleger wrote:
Please share with me your opinion of automated translation software (not TRADOS or the like) along the lines of Systran.

Not a good idea at all! I don't say this because of a "union mentality" or any such thing, but because I have never seen reliable results from this sort of tool. At the very best the results would require human editing, but you apparently don't have the expertise in-house for that. Particularly "informal" language can be a real disaster when put through machine translation.

You would generally be better off to use this site or others to build a larger list of potential service providers in different time zones and call them when you are in need. You will surely be able to find an available translator somewhere. Or if you can't be bothered maintaining the list, vetting the translators and doing the calling, find a reliable agency to do it for you.

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English to Spanish
I appreciate the points you've made, but.... Jul 17, 2008

The PTs and OTs are seeing these families, writing down their notes and then asking the parents to sign it. We're just not comfortable asking someone to sign off on a piece of paper when they only have a vague notion of what it contains.

I was afraid that the answer was exactly what you said...but I thought I'd ask since I'm not very familiar with what is or is not available.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I do appreciate it.

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