machine translating - websites
Thread poster: JackieMcC
JackieMcC
Local time: 01:05
French to English
Dec 30, 2003

I am looking for addresses of web sites where I can test automatic translation software. This is for an article I have been asked to write on the subject. I plan to run a couple of tricky sentences through for translation from Fr to Engl. My aim is, of course, to show that this type of software is unreliable and to conclude that nothing beats a professional human translator
Thanks in advance for any addresses you may know - and happy new year to all!
Jackie


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Terry Gilman  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:05
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Somewhere in the forum... Dec 30, 2003

I dimly recall that someone posted a good list of links to such sites a while back (late 2002, early 2003?). Unfortunately, I do not have time to search the forums this afternoon, but you might try both "machine translation" and "CAT" (also in Google, of course) + the proz Translation/CAT Tools forum, which is full of links.

Good luck.

[Edited at 2003-12-30 16:29]


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:05
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Try this one: Dec 30, 2003

http://intertran3.tranexp.com/

or http://www.worldlingo.com/products_services/worldlingo_translator.html

It gives really hillarous results

Magda

[Edited at 2003-12-30 16:32]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 02:05
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Some translation engines Dec 30, 2003

http://www.lai.com/lai/temain.html

http://world.altavista.com/
http://www.freetranslation.com/
http://www.tranexp.com:2000/
http://www.translate.ru/text.asp?lang=ru
http://w3.systranlinks.com/systran/cgi

And do not laugh at translation engines, of course they cannot substitute human translation, but sometimes they come in very handy- eg., if I receive an email from a client in Spanish, Portuguese, German or French- I can read a little in these languages, but running the text through the Babelfish helps, too

Uldis


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:05
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Your comments translated into Spanish by AltaVista Dec 31, 2003

Your Source:

I am looking for addresses of web sites where I can test automatic translation software. This is for an article I have been asked to write on the subject. I plan to run a couple of tricky sentences through for translation from Fr to Engl. My aim is, of course, to show that this type of software is unreliable and to conclude that nothing beats a professional human translator.

AltaVista's Target:


Babel Fish Translation Help

En Español:

Estoy buscando direcciones de los sitios de la tela en donde puedo probar software de la traducción automática. Esto está para un artículo que me han pedido escribir en el tema. Planeo funcionar un par de oraciones difíciles a través para la traducción del franco al inglés. Mi puntería es, por supuesto, demostrar que este tipo de software es no fiable y concluir que nada bate un traductor humano profesional.



Hey, not really that bad.


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JackieMcC
Local time: 01:05
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Dec 31, 2003

[quote]

And do not laugh at translation engines,
/quote]

Thanks Uldis, I will try the sites you have listed. I accept that machine translation can have its uses, for example for translating run of the mill commercial correspondance. What I want to show is that it is not suited for translating legal and financial documents ...
thanks again


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Try the Open Directory's listing Jan 13, 2004

JackieMcC:
I am looking for addresses of web sites where I can test automatic translation software. ... I plan to run a couple of tricky sentences through for translation from Fr to Engl.


A list of online machine translation tools can be found at the Open Directory, at http://dmoz.org/Science/Social_Sciences/Language_and_Linguistics/Translation/Tools.

I must add that your method for showing that machine translation is unreliable, can also be used to show that human translation is unreliable. If you ask 10 translators off the web to translate a sentence back and forth between English and any minor language, the results may well be similarly hilarious. This type of "proof" proves nothing, IMHO.


[Edited at 2004-01-13 07:35]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
MT may actually be better at financial than at run-of-the-mill commercial correspondence Jan 13, 2004

JackieMcC:
I accept that machine translation can have its uses, for example for translating run of the mill commercial correspondance. What I want to show is that it is not suited for translating legal and financial documents...


I disagree. Financial documents are far more consistent with regards to phrase use, and phrases commonly mean only one thing in any broad context. This makes the field suited for machine translation. Run-of-the-mill commercial correspondence, on the other hand, is usually authored by people who have little regard for terminological exactness and with a love for verbose vogue phraseology. This makes this field rather unsuited for any automated translation process and human translation (sometimes even human copywriting) is usually called for.


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JackieMcC
Local time: 01:05
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
results Jan 13, 2004

Dear Samuel,
thanks for your comments. I tested two systems, submitting one financial and one legal text (both very short)in French (not a "minor" language) and requesting a translation into English. The results were definitely not acceptable - terms were left in French and the translations were full of grammatical errors.
I don't really get your point about asking 10 translators chosen randomnly to translate a text. Sure, there are bad human translators out there. The purpose of my article was to test machine translation systems, comparing the results with translations by professional translators specialised in the financial & legal fields...


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Els Peleman  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 01:05
Member (2006)
French to Flemish
+ ...
Could you send me the article please? Jan 16, 2004

HI, i just read all the comments and i am very curious about your article cos my boss has asked me to inform me about machine translations. Me on the other hand sees more in CAT-tools but i am looking for as most arguments as possible. Could you please email me your article please?

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
MT will yield better results if machine is specific Jan 19, 2004

JackieMcC wrote:
I tested two systems, submitting one financial and one legal text in French and requesting a translation into English. The results were definitely not acceptable - terms were left in French and the translations were full of grammatical errors.


That the machine did not translate some words tells me that the text you tried was probably too specific for the engine. Obviously a general engine will not recognise certain jargon words and will not translate them. Sure, if you use a general text engine for a financial translation, your results will be poor. But my point is that financial terminology is often precise and not ambiguous, which makes it *more* suitable for MT than, say, general chatter.


The purpose of my article was to test machine translation systems, comparing the results with translations by professional translators specialised in the financial and legal fields.


Point taken. But, to be fair, make sure you use a machine built specifically for legal or financial translation. Have you heard of microcontexts? By limiting a machine's application to a very narrow range of subjects you can get much better translation results.

[Edited at 2004-01-19 06:42]


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:05
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
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general vs domain-specific Machine Translation dictionaries Dec 11, 2004

JackieMcC wrote:
I tested two systems, submitting one financial and one legal text (both very short)in French (not a "minor" language) and requesting a translation into English. The results were definitely not acceptable - terms were left in French and the translations were full of grammatical errors.
I don't really get your point about asking 10 translators chosen randomnly to translate a text. Sure, there are bad human translators out there.


Samuel Murray-Smit wrote:
That the machine did not translate some words tells me that the text you tried was probably too specific for the engine. Obviously a general engine will not recognise certain jargon words and will not translate them. Sure, if you use a general text engine for a financial translation, your results will be poor. But my point is that financial terminology is often precise and not ambiguous, which makes it *more* suitable for MT than, say, general chatter.


JackieMcC wrote:
The purpose of my article was to test machine translation systems, comparing the results with translations by professional translators specialised in the financial and legal fields.


Samuel Murray-Smit wrote:
Point taken. But, to be fair, make sure you use a machine built specifically for legal or financial translation. Have you heard of microcontexts? By limiting a machine's application to a very narrow range of subjects you can get much better translation results.


Domain-specific MT:
Yes, domain-specific terminology in MT systems will give much better results than the general dictionaries.
This has clearly been shown in my AMTA2004 case study paper, reference provided at:
http://www.proz.com/post/189704#189704

The different types of MT dictionaries and their order of priority in commercial MT systems have been presented in my recent MT tutorial entitled "Mastering Machine Translation Output" (http://www.amtaweb.org/AMTA2004/tutorial.html#mtoutput).

Yet, it is not necessary to use an MT system that already has financial or legal domain-specific dictionaries. You can create them yourself in (nearly) commercially available MT software. I have described terminology identification and dictionary building for MT in a new article to appear in the new "Guide to Translation" of MultiLingual Computing & Technology.
See the reference links to it at:
http://www.proz.com/post/189704#189704

Sampling of translations:
As for sampling 10 translators, it is not just an issue of good vs bad translation, but rather also that different people can translate "well" by using different terms, grammatical constructions and stylistic phrases which essentially say the same thing. Over the years I've seen much non-value added, red-pen syndrome editing by revisers/editors at the editing stage, just to rephrase the idea to another way of expressing the idea. This does not mean that editing is not necessary, but that editing can be subject to personal translation preference rather than objective editing criteria.

Multi-reference translations:
There is also the issue of translations of the same text being different due to varying audiences and needs for target text. I described the concept of "multi-reference translations" with the same source text from a translation perspective in the following article (available in English and French):

ALLEN, Jeff. 2002.
English version: The Bible as a Resource for Translation Software: A proposal for Machine Translation (MT) development using an untapped language resource database. In Multilingual Computing and Technology magazine. Number 51, Vol. 13, Issue 7. October/November 2002. Pp. 40-45.
http://www.multilingual.com/allen51.htm

Version française: La Bible comme Ressource pour les Logiciels de Traduction: Une proposition de développement des systèmes de traduction automatique (TA) en utilisant une ressource linguistique inexploitée.
http://www.editionscle.com/bol/presse/article1/allen-mltc51-fr.htm

Hope that helps and comments are welcome.

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/localization.htm
http://www.geocities.com/mtpostediting/


[Edited at 2004-12-29 13:19]


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:05
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
output quality of different MT systems Dec 11, 2004



Uldis Liepkalns wrote:
http://www.lai.com/lai/temain.html
http://world.altavista.com/
http://www.freetranslation.com/
http://www.tranexp.com:2000/
http://www.translate.ru/text.asp?lang=ru
http://w3.systranlinks.com/systran/cgi
And do not laugh at translation engines, of course they cannot substitute human translation, but sometimes they come in very handy- eg., if I receive an email from a client in Spanish, Portuguese, German or French- I can read a little in these languages, but running the text through the Babelfish helps, too


Please be very careful about judging all machine translation engines as giving the same results.

Read the following very short article "The Value of Internet Translation Portals" available at:
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/localization.htm

An in-depth survey report "Survey on multilingual issues, and the evolution of languages in speech and machine translation products" (link available at http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/localization.htm) provides some information about the ratio between number of language directions/pairs available from each MT provider and the quality of the translation output.

The Language Technology Software Review/Evaluation web site lists all known reviews concerning all types of translation software:
http://www.geocities.com/langtecheval

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/localization.htm
http://www.geocities.com/mtpostediting/


[Edited at 2004-12-29 13:18]

[Edited at 2004-12-29 13:20]

[Edited at 2005-02-20 20:35]


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lelik
English
Help needed for the open source word tables Dec 11, 2004

Dear all,

After many atempts to obtain good word lists which I could use to build dictionaries for my pet MT-based remote learning project, I gave up and together with a few other people started on-line Dictionary project www.lingster.net, where the community can build dictionaries and download latest lists in txt format, which people are then free to use for their own development. I'd like to invite you to see the results of the attempt, and your feedback and participation are cordially welcome. I know that a few subsribers to the MT lists were also wondering whether downloadable monolingual or bilingual wordlists are available anywhere at the time I was running my initial searches, so I very much hope this project can help.

Alternatively, it would be fantastic if you let me know where these word-lists might be found. It is much easier to use already existing tables than to re-create them from scratch.

Lelik
Lingster.net


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:05
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
word lists for MT dictionary development Dec 11, 2004

lelik wrote:
Alternatively, it would be fantastic if you let me know where these word-lists might be found. It is much easier to use already existing tables than to re-create them from scratch.


Check out the ELRA/ELDA language resources catalog at www.elda.org / www.elda.fr

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/
http://www.geocities.com/mtpostediting/


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