What do you think of this job? Sneaky way to get a reduced rate?
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:07
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 11, 2011

Is this just a sneaky way to get edited MT output? Seems like a complete waste of time to me to have to find and document errors rather than just translating. I have tried MT and I can give you my evaluation in 30 seconds, not 8 hours: usability for patent searches = somewhat, but not completely reliable / usability for anything else = completely unreliable. Done.

What some people fail to realize is that even though the output may sound good, statistical MT actually CAN and DOES frequently translate things completely wrong (sometimes the complete OPPOSITE of the real meaning). This is something that translators are slowly beginning to realize as MT gets integrated into CAT tools. The average consumer is used to "machine translation reads poor = not good / machine translation sounds good = correct" and this is simply not the case. When the translation is grammatical and plausible, it does not even enter their mind that it is completely wrong and that the text could mean something completely different.

In this case, my hourly rate would be the same or more as my rate for translating the document from scratch or using my own MT version. There may or may not be any time savings for me, but there is no cost savings for the client. When will developers understand that the software's translation of the "easy parts" does not justify a rate reduction for the "difficult parts". You cannot force a reduction in translation cost by reducing the number of words to be translated within a text because then we will have to charge MORE per-word for translating what the computer cannot. The per-word rate is just a convenient system used for billing. All words do not cost the same to translate, but there is usually a balance within a text. If you leave the translator with only the "difficult" text and terms, the cost for translating the remaining "words" will go UP.

I WISH DEVELOPERS WOULD CONCENTRATE THEIR EFFORTS ON DESIGNING SYSTEMS TO INCREASE THE PRODUCTIVITY OF THE TRANSLATION PROCESS (which would result in time and possibly cost savings) RATHER THAN ATTEMPTS TO REDUCE COST THROUGH AUTOMATION.

-----------------

Hello,

We found your details on Proz, as we are currently looking for persons who would be interested in assisting us on an evaluation project.
XXXX is specialized in language technology. For a client of us that specializes in patent translations, we are responsible for the evaluation of translations coming from machine translation from French into English.
The evaluation will consist of the following parts:
• usability evaluation: estimated time needed for evaluation: 2 hours
• quality evaluation (adequacy): estimated time: 6 hours
• quality evaluation (error classification): estimated time: 8 hours
• ranking evaluation: estimated time: 8 hours
The evaluations will be done by giving scores on translated sentences, but we will give you more information on how to proceed when we start the assignment.

What is your hourly rate?


[Edited at 2011-03-11 18:31 GMT]


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:07
German to Serbian
+ ...
Time estimation. Mar 11, 2011

Oh no, not another one; it makes me facepalm each time.

If they are so accurate in estimating time for the task completion, they are better off doing it themselves. Obviously, they are fully competent being able to estimate the time accurately.

Btw, what is "client of us"? Sounds very funny.icon_biggrin.gif Machine translation would do it better. lol



[Edited at 2011-03-11 16:29 GMT]


 

Maria Sometti  Identity Verified
Italy
Member (2010)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
oops Mar 11, 2011

Lingua 5B wrote:

Oh no, not another one; it makes me facepalm each time.

If they are so accurate in estimating time for the task completion, they are better off doing it themselves. Obviously, they are fully competent being able to estimate the time accurately.

Btw, what is "client of us"? Sounds very funny.icon_biggrin.gif Machine translation would do it better. lol



[Edited at 2011-03-11 16:29 GMT]


That's just what I wanted to write)
People are trying to save whenever they can. It's a pity though, 'coz it shows a lack of respect...


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 02:07
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
My last medical EN-TH job Mar 11, 2011

My last medical job contained reviewing of 7 files and new translating of 5 files, total of about 28,000 EN words. On first glance, the 7 files were translated well due to many medical jargons in source text. I did alignment of files to check carefully each segment. It was very surprising: 90% of translation was done with MT and I spent 3 times the translation hours to retranslate the 7 files. My big lesson: not to admire jobs to review too quickly since MT is popular these days!

Soonthon Lupkitaro


 

Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:07
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
?? Mar 11, 2011

I'm not sure why you suspect they want to get the MT translation edited as all the tasks involved are about evaluating the translation usability/quality without changing the actual translation. Also why the accusation of "rate reduction"?

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
In this case, my hourly rate would be the same or more as my rate for translating the document from scratch or using my own MT version. There may or may not be any time savings for me, but there is no cost savings for the client.

The client is not after saving costs or obtaining a perfect translation, but an objective evaluation of the translation results.

I'm actually quite impressed at the amount of hours assigned for each tasks as generally agencies/clients tend to vastly underestimate those times (granted, they don't say how many words are involved, but still).

To me it looks like their client wants to do a serious, detailed evaluation of MT for their patent translations and is willing to pay good money for it (24 hrs of work). The "ranking" part seems to suggest that they want to evaluate various MT systems. Nothing more, nothing less.

It's up to you to decide whether you'd like to accept this job or not. I'm not sure, though, whether you can be objective enough. MT has lots of problems and will not be able to globally replace human translators for a long time, if ever, but it definitely can be useful in certain environments, particularly if the client is using some kind of customizable software.

The ideal person for a job like this is somebody with MT experience, familiar with the causes of typical MT translation errors, able to provide feedback on how to write better MT-translatable source text, etc. The experience is particularly important for the evaluation of the severity of errors/comparison of systems. One error can have severe effects of the translation quality but might be easily addressed in the user dictionary; another error might appear rather insignificant, but could imply some underlying weakness in the translation system.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:07
French to German
+ ...
Indeed... Mar 11, 2011

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:

I'm not sure why you suspect they want to get the MT translation edited as all the tasks involved are about evaluating the translation usability/quality without changing the actual translation. Also why the accusation of "rate reduction"?

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
In this case, my hourly rate would be the same or more as my rate for translating the document from scratch or using my own MT version. There may or may not be any time savings for me, but there is no cost savings for the client.

The client is not after saving costs or obtaining a perfect translation, but an objective evaluation of the translation results.

I'm actually quite impressed at the amount of hours assigned for each tasks as generally agencies/clients tend to vastly underestimate those times (granted, they don't say how many words are involved, but still).

To me it looks like their client wants to do a serious, detailed evaluation of MT for their patent translations and is willing to pay good money for it (24 hrs of work). The "ranking" part seems to suggest that they want to evaluate various MT systems. Nothing more, nothing less.

(.../...)


It indeed seems to me that this potential client wants a overall assessment of their (?) MT system first and foremost.

As per the time assigned to each task, well - one can do it in full and stop when the quota is done...

[Edited at 2011-03-11 19:24 GMT]


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:07
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Patents and machine translation - the why and the who Mar 11, 2011

I can't help it: this comes to mind immediately:

http://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2010/20101130.html

[Edited at 2011-03-11 19:40 GMT]


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:07
French to German
+ ...
One reason why... Mar 11, 2011

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

I can't help it: this comes to mind immediately:

http://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2010/20101130.html

[Edited at 2011-03-11 19:40 GMT]


One reason why one should not balk when the discounts imposed by some agencies will cut off 50% or more of the translator's fee.


 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:07
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
MT Translation Mar 11, 2011

But what is the purpose of this endeavor if not to ultimately determine how/where to manipulate the source text in a futile attempt to obtain better MT output and eliminate (or reduce) the need for human translation?

Unless this company is attempting to prove that the MT translation of patents is not a viable process and, in terms of reliability and accuracy, it would be better to have the computer spew out random words onto the page.

Although this may not happen with regard to patents, what will happen when the first human being dies or is injured because someone published or relied upon MT data?

MT is usable by translators and persons who already know both languages. It is not a replacement of translation for monolingual speakers.

Related articles:
http://patenttranslator.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/is-machine-translation-a-threat-to-human-translators/

http://patenttranslator.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/a-short-test-of-the-google-translate-function-on-a-pct-patent-application-published-in-japanese-on-the-wipo-website/


[Edited at 2011-03-11 19:58 GMT]


 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:07
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What is that supposed to mean? Mar 11, 2011

I hope you are not trying to say that we should accept discounts because we have no choice. As for me, I DO have a choice - rather than granting discounts, I can choose a different profession.

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

One reason why one should not balk when the discounts imposed by some agencies will cut off 50% or more of the translator's fee.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:07
French to German
+ ...
Black humour Mar 11, 2011

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I hope you are not trying to say that we should accept discounts because we have no choice. As for me, I DO have a choice - rather than granting discounts, I can choose a different profession.

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

One reason why one should not balk when the discounts imposed by some agencies will cut off 50% or more of the translator's fee.


This was only a feeble attempt to make some black humour.


 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:07
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Black humor Mar 11, 2011

Ok. For a minute there, I thought I was seeing things...

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I hope you are not trying to say that we should accept discounts because we have no choice. As for me, I DO have a choice - rather than granting discounts, I can choose a different profession.

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

One reason why one should not balk when the discounts imposed by some agencies will cut off 50% or more of the translator's fee.


This was only a feeble attempt to make some black humour.


 


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