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Power Translator- Ever heard of it?
Thread poster: Andrea Cingolani

Andrea Cingolani
Italy
Local time: 06:17
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Sep 28, 2004

I would need information about this software. Is it a good CAT tool?
Is there anyone who uses it?


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:17
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I use it! Sep 28, 2004

Hi, I've been using Power Translator for several years, but to be honest, I don't use it much. Occasionally I'll run a document through it just to see if it comes up with some choices that are different from my dictionaries. My feeling is that it's like most translation programs - it oftens comes up with some way-off (and sometimes amusing!) interpretations!



Amy


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Valentina_D  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:17
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
... Sep 29, 2004

Hi Andrea,

Power Translator is not a CAT tool, but a software used to translate documents automatically. I have it, but so far I've used it once or twice as I don't find it particularly useful. As AmyD says, the results are often quite funny!

[Edited at 2004-09-29 13:19]

[Edited at 2004-09-29 13:20]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
URL Sep 30, 2004

There appears to be a review of it here:
http://www.pocket-lint.co.uk/fullreview.php?reviewId=466


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 02:17
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
I use it only as a dictionary Sep 30, 2004

I received it as a present, and I've never used it for machine translation (I've never even tried to see how it looks, because I hate machine translations), but it has several bilingual dictionaries (Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese towards and from English) that I find very useful because of their electronic format. Once it's installed you don't need the CD anymore (it's not the case of my monolingual French dictionary that must be in the CD player).

I'd buy it if it wasn't very expensive and if my needs of dictionaries weren't completely covered.
I forget to mention that the dictionaries are like pocket ones, sometimes I need the paper big ones.

Claudia


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:17
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
MT is a CAT tool Oct 9, 2004

Machine Translation software is just as much a Computer-Assisted/aided Translation (CAT) tool as is a Translation Memory (TM) tool.
This is clearly described in many articles and message threads available at my web site (http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs), especially in the message threads entitled "Misconceptions about MT" under the Lantra-L thread section.

TM products are in fact a derivative product of one type of MT approach (referred to as Example-based MT). This is all explained from a translator's approach at the website.

Power Translator was first a Globalink product, until Globalink was bought out by Lernout & Hauspie (L&H) in the mid-to-late 1990s. Then L&H had financial problems in 2000-2001 and I think the desktop MT product division was sold to Scansoft.


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


---------
tiny wrote:
Hi Andrea,

Power Translator is not a CAT tool, but a software used to translate documents automatically. [Edited at 2004-09-29 13:20]


[Edited at 2004-10-12 12:30]

[Edited at 2004-11-06 06:58]

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


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:17
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
Power Translator Oct 9, 2004

I have tested and used (as well as helped develop and implement) several commercial MT systems over the years.
My reviews of MT systems are available at:
http://www.geocities.com/langtecheval/

The 2 that I continue using today are the PROMT-based MT products (@promt and Reverso) and SYSTRAN Premium Professional.

See my reviews of them at the web site above. Independent reviews by many authors of most MT systems are listed at that site, with links to the online review articles.

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

-----------
Andrea Cingolani wrote:

I would need information about this software. Is it a good CAT tool?
Is there anyone who uses it?


[Edited at 2004-10-12 12:30]

[Edited at 2004-10-12 12:31]


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:17
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
Using MT software programs Oct 9, 2004

AmyD wrote:
Hi, I've been using Power Translator for several years, but to be honest, I don't use it much. Occasionally I'll run a document through it just to see if it comes up with some choices that are different from my dictionaries. My feeling is that it's like most translation programs - it oftens comes up with some way-off (and sometimes amusing!) interpretations!
Amy


Using MT software is just like any type of computer-based technology (or any tool at that). If you expect to just click/push a button and for it to work miracles, then the expectation does not match the intended purpose of the tool. I have explained the types of translation approaches and what translation tool modules correspond to the needs in my Inbound vs Outbound Translation conference presentations, and in the recent AMTA2004 Mastering MT tutorial.

Even Translation Memory (TM) tools are not productivity gain tools for translators out of the box. If all such tools could be used by clicking a button, there would be no need for such support groups. And yet there are 100-3,500 subscribers for each TM tool e-mail list today, which shows that any translation tool needs to have a good support group for it to be successful among end-users.

Tool mastery requires training + upfront time investment for the tool to become an efficient time gain productivity tool. Some tools take more time, and others take less, yet all major TM tools each today have 1-3 e-mail based discussion support groups.

The real issue is that there has never been any publicly available training on any MT software product. If you know of one, let me know because I've been looking for a decade.
I have been training translators, bilingual secretaries, and other translation text workers (often bilingual technical writers) on MT and TM systems since 1995 in large customer contexts. See my tutorial/training web page (http://www.geocities.com/jeffallentraining/).

My conclusion from training such word-workers in many types of contexts (government bureaus, large corporate translation depts, freelancers, bilingual secretaries, documentation departments, etc) is that those users who don't find the tools to be productive simply haven't taken the time to learn to master the tools. And because such training simply has never existed, or was often conducted by theoretical linguists rather than experienced translators, it was often never useful.

And forget about trying to use the feature-based user manuals for MT software to provide a task-workflow approach to use the tools for a translator's perspective.

My more recent tutorials and presentations in 2003 and 2004 to translation output products (yet novice users of MT software) have proven that true useful productivity depends simply on real mastery of the tools.
A tutorial given last week (http://www.amtaweb.org/AMTA2004/tutorial.html#mtoutput) is the overview presentation about how MT tools can really be useful from a translator's perspective.

Also read my MT User case study presented at AMTA2004 last week. This short paper will allow any translator to reconsider whether or not good MT software is useful.
Case study doc downloadable at:
http://www.geocities.com/mtpostediting/Jeff-Allen-AMTA2004-paper_v1.01.pdf

Hope that helps....

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



[Edited at 2004-10-12 12:31]

[Edited at 2004-12-29 13:28]


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CarolynB
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Too risky, too time-consuming Oct 12, 2004

I've tried out all the machine translation tools ever since they first appeared and find that they still are far slower than doing a translation from scratch, if you're a reasonably speedy translator. By the time I've read the translation, gone back to check it against the original, fixed the mistakes, cut-and-pasted chunks to get the syntax sounding English and then chacked it back against the original, I would rather do it from scratch myself - and also avoid the nightmare of letting some ghastly blooper slip through unnoticed because the telephone rang, I was tired, my attention wavered etc. But if you want a copy, send me an email - bjs Caro

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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:17
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
training on MT tools Oct 23, 2004

CarolynB wrote:
I've tried out all the machine translation tools ever since they first appeared and find that they still are far slower than doing a translation from scratch, if you're a reasonably speedy translator. By the time I've read the translation, gone back to check it against the original, fixed the mistakes, cut-and-pasted chunks to get the syntax sounding English and then chacked it back against the original, I would rather do it from scratch myself ....


You said you have "tried" out MT tools, but have you been trained on how to really make them productive for translation tasks. Just as with any software application, if no one has taken the time to show you how to think like the tool, and how to use it be be efficient within your own environment, then of course it will be slow. Ten years ago when I started implementing MT tools in translation depts, it was also slow for me and for the translators. But over the years, I have developed several types of MT systems, and have conducted in-depth testing and use of many commercial MT packages. The papers and tutorials mentioned above are the published results of recent implementations, with logged time.

The average translator produces approx 2400 words per day, according to a well-documented survey on translation speed: Translation speed vs. Content Management: link available at: http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/localization.htm
Some produce more, and some produce less, depending a myriad of factors.

Completing a 8500 word translation in 7 hours by just dictionary building, testing, and 30 minutes of postediting is much faster than the majority of translators. No burst typing speed. Not even done the same day. It was done 30 min here, 1-2 hours there.
I have also maintained 1000 words per hour of postediting with no dictionary building on other jobs.

The constraints are of course that it is English>French and French>Eng, and on only 2 of the many MT systems that exist. A separate study on English-Spanish and Spanish-English was conducted in 2003 based on this same implementation methodology and achieved very good results as well. It's the Master Thesis by Lorena Guerra that compares Machine Translation + Postediting to Human Translation. A link to that thesis is provided at my website.

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


[Edited at 2004-12-29 13:23]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 06:17
English to German
+ ...
does a very elaborate and roundabout translation Oct 27, 2004

Hi! may be it is good to use on a few sentences, as you would have perfect overview of what is happening to the content. It used to offer speech to text or sorry the otherway around, type of integration as well.MT is generally dangerous, as it repeates the same quality text throughout and one may be compelled to customize it to the given document. But may be one should limit it´s usage only to the terminology (singled out words) aspect. But here you have lot better resources on the net. Mind you there are very big differences between a CAT and an MT.
Brandis

[Edited at 2004-10-27 11:28]


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:17
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
does MT always repeat the same way of translating? Nov 6, 2004

Brandis wrote:
MT is generally dangerous, as it repeates the same quality text throughout and one may be compelled to customize it to the given document.


MT only repeats itself if you use an MT system /software application in "MT push-button information gisting" mode.

The key to using MT effectively and productively is knowing to use it, including configuring the dictionary with alternative translations (even stylistic variants) and use the corresponding feature in the software application. The MT software reviews listed at http://www.geocities.com/langtecheval which I have written (Language International April 2001 and Multilingual Computing issue 50) describe this feature, provide a screen shot of it in the software, etc.
I tried a new technique on stylistic variation in MT dictionaries about a year ago with one implementation and the users loved it. All they had to do was click on the desired variant and approve it. Basically a Decision Support System approach.

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


[Edited at 2004-12-29 13:22]

[Edited at 2004-12-29 18:31]


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