Machine translation - do you use it?
Thread poster: Sonja Tomaskovic
Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:55
English to German
+ ...
Nov 22, 2002

Hi,



yesterday I received a discount offer from systran. They offered me a newer version of their MT system, since I had already bought their Personal version one or two years ago.



I had bought this tool only to view sites in Spanish or French (which I do not speak sufficiently to understand). I never used it for professional translations.



Now I was wondering if anyone out there uses a MT professionally and if so, which one?



Can you translate faster when using MT or is it almost the same?

Do you use MT for all subjects, or only for certain translations? If so, which subjects work fine with MT and which not?



Any recommendation which MT tool is worth its money and which not?



Thanks for your help.



Regards,



Sonja

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-22 13:38 ]


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Anton Meier  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:55
English to German
Logos Nov 22, 2002

I have seen some results that were produced with a Logos engine which were fairly good.

This was probably a customized solution which required a lot of development to refine.



There are certainly no good out-of-the-box MT systems that can be used by professional translators.


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:55
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
See a similar thread Nov 22, 2002

http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&topic=98&forum=21&11



Gianfranco



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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:55
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 22, 2002

Hi Gianfranco,



thanks for cross-referencing to your earlier posting, which I have not found when I browsed through the forum.



It can be quite exhausting to get the information one desires, especially if some people just don\'t get the point.



However, there has been a quite useful posting about using MT in a team, which seems to be quite reasonable.



As for me, I really don\'t think an MT is the right thing, since there are - as far as I am informed - no MT on the market that come along with a medical dictionary. Even if they do, they are probably quite expensive.



I just browsed through this Systran offer again, and they offered me a 60 % discount on their Personal edition - which is, frankly, as good as a Google translation. ;(



However, they offered me 30 % on their Standard and/or Premium edition. Both have much more features, like MS Office Plug-ins, user dictionaries, etc. The Premium edition has a lot more features, most of them can be found in Trados or any other CAT tool as well.



Sorry, if this sounds as if I wanted to push Systran on this site. The background is that a friend of mine just recently suggested me to use Reverso (on their website) - I needed to translate a private (legal) document, and just thought I could give it a try.



I was amazed how fluent and idiomatic some parts have been translated by the machine. Of course, most of the sentences had to be reorganized and you could clearly see the original syntax within most of the translation.



So I thought I might ask the other Pros what their opinion/experience on MT was.

Maybe there\'s someone who can provide an insight into his/her experience.



Thanks.



Kind regards,



Sonja


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Terry Gilman  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:55
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
DaimlerChrysler + Systran Nov 22, 2002

You might find this interesting. I haven\'t had time to delve into it and it is a sort of infomercial, but FWIW





http://www.systransoft.com/Technology/DaimlerChrysler.html





Like you, I find MT useful for personal use for French (my sister married a Breton).



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JCEC  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:55
Member
English to French
MT is expensive and misleading ! Nov 22, 2002

I was asked a few years back to write an independant report on a trial of the Logos system by the Canadian government. There were so many hidden expenses, in particular to fine-tune the system, that the cost per word turned out to be in excess of 75 cents !



As a rule, the use of MT is not cost-efficient for professional translators. General MT systems make amazing mistakes in parsing sentences properly and the output quality is so poor that it takes more work to correct than to redo the entire translation.



There are exceptions. I\'m the owner and developper of the METEO (R) system which was used for 25 years by the Canadian government to translate all weather forecasts. I\'ve translated over 300 million words at an average cost of half a cent per word of raw machine output. The total cost of edited translation to the governement was below three cents per word in spite of the fact that the translation team editing the system output was grossly overstaffed.



SYSTRAN is one of the better-known systems but also the oldest one. It was originally written by Peter Toma a programmer who worked on the Georgetown System in 1958. SYSTRAN was used until the end of the cold war by the Foreign Technology Division of the US Air Force. All documents written in Russian which intelligence services could lay their hands on were processed with SYSTRAN and reviewed by military analysts The output was divided into three groups:



a) If the text was of no interest, like the user guide of a refrigerator, it was discarded.



b) If the text was of scientific interest, it was translated manually by civilian translators and distributed to American universities to make them aware of Russian research.



c) If the text was of military interest, it was manually translated by military translators and classified.



Once, during an AMTA Conference, I was told by one of the participants that he often used MT to translate letters to his Mexican correspondants. I asked him whether he got any replies. I could tell by his dumb-founded expression that something had suddenly clicked.



Please do not use MT for professional translation. You\'ll be wasting both time and money. Translation memories are stil your best bet. Provided you have repetitive texts. But that is entirely another story.



For those ProZ members who read French, there is a reasonably up-to-date paper on MT which was written for the Office de la langue française:



http://www.riofil.net/oqil/Tao/tradauto.htm



John


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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 20:55
English
+ ...
Dear JCEC Nov 22, 2002

Loved every parsable sentence of your sagacious advice.

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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:55
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
Machine Translation: yes used for professional translation work Oct 21, 2004

1. Can MT be used for professional translation?
Yes, I use several different commercially available MT PC-desktop software programs (not free online MT portals) for professional level translation.

Results of my translation work using such MT systems are published at:

http://www.geocities.com/mtpostediting/Allen-LI-article-Reverso.pdf

&

http://www.geocities.com/mtpostediting/Jeff-Allen-AMTA2004-paper_v1.01.pdf

&

http://www.multilingual.com/allen51.htm
which was sent through a commercial MT software package with Postediting to produce:

http://www.editionscle.com/bol/presse/article1/allen-mltc51-fr.htm
(6000 words postedited in 6 hours and sent to a second translation reviser who only made 11% textual changes to produce the final version).

2. Which MT system to use?

My reviews of these software programs are at:
PROMT XT (v6) 2003
http://www.multilingual.com/allenWassmer62.htm
SYSTRAN v4
http://www.multilingual.com/allen58.htm
Reverso 5 (PROMT v5)
http://www.multilingual.com/allen50.htm

I'm currently testing PROMT XT 2004 and SYSTRAN v5

Many other reviews of MT software at:
http://www.geocities.com/langtecheval/

3. Domains/fields

Domains that I have effectively created MT dictionaries and conducted MT + postediting for translation work:

* Telecommunications Wireless Networks software test acceptance plan
* Software application descriptions
* marketing brochures for software applications
* general computer science field
* automotive field
* construction heavy-machinery and engines
* general communication e-mails on various topics
* weekly project management meeting minutes (software field)
* response for bids/proposals (software)
* corporate project reports
* Company web site localization
* job announcements
* Legal issues (French law with regard to the Reduced Work week, Child Adoption texts)
* Theology (on the New Testament book of Revelation as a matter of fact)
* description of installation of music/sound systems within a newly constructed building
* software training course materials

There are probably a few others I can't remember off the top of my head, but the list above should suffice.

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

Sonja Tomaskovic wrote:

yesterday I received a discount offer from systran. They offered me a newer version of their MT system, since I had already bought their Personal version one or two years ago.



I had bought this tool only to view sites in Spanish or French (which I do not speak sufficiently to understand). I never used it for professional translations.



Now I was wondering if anyone out there uses a MT professionally and if so, which one?



Can you translate faster when using MT or is it almost the same?

Do you use MT for all subjects, or only for certain translations? If so, which subjects work fine with MT and which not?



Any recommendation which MT tool is worth its money and which not?


[Edited at 2004-12-29 13:24]


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:55
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
MT: how much time to refine Oct 22, 2004

Anton Meier wrote:
I have seen some results that were produced with a Logos engine which were fairly good.

This was probably a customized solution which required a lot of development to refine.



There are certainly no good out-of-the-box MT systems that can be used by professional translators.


Read my post that was just made under this same topic, with links to my implementation user case papers on this.

I use several commercial out-of-the-box MT software packages (Professional and Expert versions) for my professional translation work.

As for Logos, I was involved in testing it about 10 years ago to replace another system. I also tested Globalink Power Translator at the time. We decided to keep the MT system we had and build our own in-house Translation Memory system to also help.
I do know at least 1 company which uses a workflow process with outsourced translation agencies using the Logos MT system. They have indicated that they are productive with it, and yet I have stated that even their workflow is much less efficient than compared to several more recent MT translator-friendly desktop packages.

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


[Edited at 2004-12-29 13:24]


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.alberto  Identity Verified

Local time: 14:55
English to Italian
+ ...
Unavail links Aug 25, 2011

Hello Jeff,
your links to Multilingual are not avail any more.

Have you posted your articles on other web sites?

Kind Regards
Alberto S.


Jeff Allen wrote:

1. Can MT be used for professional translation?
Yes, I use several different commercially available MT PC-desktop software programs (not free online MT portals) for professional level translation.

Results of my translation work using such MT systems are published at:

http://www.geocities.com/mtpostediting/Allen-LI-article-Reverso.pdf

&

http://www.geocities.com/mtpostediting/Jeff-Allen-AMTA2004-paper_v1.01.pdf

&

http://www.multilingual.com/allen51.htm
which was sent through a commercial MT software package with Postediting to produce:

http://www.editionscle.com/bol/presse/article1/allen-mltc51-fr.htm
(6000 words postedited in 6 hours and sent to a second translation reviser who only made 11% textual changes to produce the final version).

2. Which MT system to use?

My reviews of these software programs are at:
PROMT XT (v6) 2003
http://www.multilingual.com/allenWassmer62.htm
SYSTRAN v4
http://www.multilingual.com/allen58.htm
Reverso 5 (PROMT v5)
http://www.multilingual.com/allen50.htm

I'm currently testing PROMT XT 2004 and SYSTRAN v5

Many other reviews of MT software at:
http://www.geocities.com/langtecheval/

3. Domains/fields

Domains that I have effectively created MT dictionaries and conducted MT + postediting for translation work:

* Telecommunications Wireless Networks software test acceptance plan
* Software application descriptions
* marketing brochures for software applications
* general computer science field
* automotive field
* construction heavy-machinery and engines
* general communication e-mails on various topics
* weekly project management meeting minutes (software field)
* response for bids/proposals (software)
* corporate project reports
* Company web site localization
* job announcements
* Legal issues (French law with regard to the Reduced Work week, Child Adoption texts)
* Theology (on the New Testament book of Revelation as a matter of fact)
* description of installation of music/sound systems within a newly constructed building
* software training course materials

There are probably a few others I can't remember off the top of my head, but the list above should suffice.

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

Sonja Tomaskovic wrote:

yesterday I received a discount offer from systran. They offered me a newer version of their MT system, since I had already bought their Personal version one or two years ago.



I had bought this tool only to view sites in Spanish or French (which I do not speak sufficiently to understand). I never used it for professional translations.



Now I was wondering if anyone out there uses a MT professionally and if so, which one?



Can you translate faster when using MT or is it almost the same?

Do you use MT for all subjects, or only for certain translations? If so, which subjects work fine with MT and which not?



Any recommendation which MT tool is worth its money and which not?


[Edited at 2004-12-29 13:24]


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Hardy Moreno  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends Aug 25, 2011

Hi,

I had been using an old version of Wordfast Classic for many years before switching to Wordfast Professional which I highly recommend. To me it has been worth it as my work as an in-house translator is very very repetitive. However, if your work is not very repetitive, it might be better not to use MT software.

Even if your work is not that repetitive, one advantage of using Wordfast is that while you're translating, the program does grammar and spell check as you go. Also, it is less likely that you will miss a sentence or a paragraph, as you translate line by line. To add another advantage, you have quick access to how you translated terms that might come up later in your translation.

Some programs can be quite costly. With no disrespect intended, if you don't translate enough to justify the cost, perhaps it's not for you.

At the risk of getting attacked by my colleagues for mentioning this next comment, Worfast Professional has a nice Machine Translation feature to it that sometimes is useful and, at least to me, helps speed up translations.

Cordially,
Hardy Moreno


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
machine translation Aug 25, 2011

Check out this sentence where Google translates UK as USA.

Link to translation


[Edited at 2011-08-25 21:45 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:55
French to German
+ ...
... Aug 26, 2011

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Check out this sentence where Google translates UK as USA.

Link to translation


[Edited at 2011-08-25 21:45 GMT]


This is exactly the type of sentence which never should be fed in any MT system, particularly not a free one, if only because 4 words (some 36%) in it are English and not German (Provider, Server, in, UK).

Furthermore the problem disappears when you replace "in UK" in the DE text with"im Vereinigten Königreich".

Not that I would support MT... but it is also a GIGO matter.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Machine Translation Aug 26, 2011

In other words, Google hates Denglish.


Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Check out this sentence where Google translates UK as USA.

Link to translation


[Edited at 2011-08-25 21:45 GMT]


This is exactly the type of sentence which never should be fed in any MT system, particularly not a free one, if only because 4 words (some 36%) in it are English and not German (Provider, Server, in, UK).

Furthermore the problem disappears when you replace "in UK" in the DE text with"im Vereinigten Königreich".

Not that I would support MT... but it is also a GIGO matter.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:55
French to German
+ ...
Possible... Aug 26, 2011

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

In other words, Google hates Denglish.


Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Check out this sentence where Google translates UK as USA.

Link to translation


[Edited at 2011-08-25 21:45 GMT]


This is exactly the type of sentence which never should be fed in any MT system, particularly not a free one, if only because 4 words (some 36%) in it are English and not German (Provider, Server, in, UK).

Furthermore the problem disappears when you replace "in UK" in the DE text with"im Vereinigten Königreich".

Not that I would support MT... but it is also a GIGO matter.


Possible... but we cannot exclude mismatches either (the "in UK" > "in the USA" thing remains a mystery as per logic, even without Denglish)


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