PEMT work
Thread poster: Tamara Zahran

Tamara Zahran  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:57
English to Arabic
Apr 4, 2012

Hi All,

I just received a request to do PEMT (Post-Editing Machine Translation) work. I really felt bad about this, but I thought I should discuss it, maye I have missed some developments in the translation business and PEMT is now an official type of it.
I have recently refused to proofread a file after discovering that it was machine-translated, and asked the agency to send me a translation done by a human being so I can proofread it.

Just wanted to share this and hear your thoughts on it.

Thank you all,
Tamara


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:57
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Survey among profesional translators Apr 4, 2012

Hi Tamara,

There are of course powerful stakeholders that will do their best to convince you that this is mainstream - that "the future is here".

Many professional translators do not share this view at all. Last September, I conducted a survey among professional translators to find out how they feel about machine translation: if and how they use it. PEMT as you describe is just one possible (albeit common) MT scenario - and arguably the worst.

You can find the summary here: http://www.pirothattila.com/PI_Survey.pdf .

Best,
Attila


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Clive Phillips  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:57
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
PEMT Apr 4, 2012

Hi Tamara,

I have done PEMT on a regular basis in the past, but as an in-house translator in a specialised subject area and with the added aim of improving the MT software performance to enhance product quality.

The easiest answer, of course, is not to do the job. You may be saving yourself a whole lot of trouble. Many would take this view.

There may be so many necessary corrections that it would be better to do a human translation ab initio. And the formatting may have suffered too.

Alternatively, it may be such a good machine translation that only a few tweaks are necessary. In my view and experience, this is unlikely for the language pair English to Arabic.

If the customer/agency allows it, it would be best to see the job before you decide whether to commit yourself. At that point you may decide to advise the customer that it would be in their best interest to ditch the machine translation and have a quality human translation done (by yourself!).

If you do decide nevertheless to do the PEMT job, make sure you charge a very good hourly rate.

Best wishes,
Clive


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:57
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Wrong link Apr 5, 2012

I'm sorry, the link I posted is that of a survey on working for publishers. Here is the pone on MT: http://www.pirothattila.com/APiroth_MT-Survey.pdf
Best,
Attila


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xxxLucyPatterso
English
Any sensible translator would be against this Apr 6, 2012

If - one day - someone creates the perfect machine translator, we will all be out of a job (or would work only as proofreaders/interpreters - my idea of hell!)

Fortunately, people have been attempting to make machine translation feasible for decades and results are still fairly dire. I am hoping things do not improve for the foreseeable future, or I will have to change career.

I think all translators should refuse such jobs as to accept one is to encourage the client to use machines more in the future. If we refuse to cooperate, they will be left with their ineffective translation programme and soon come looking for a professional to help them out.


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Rutger Cornets de Groot  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:57
English to Dutch
+ ...
Daily practice Feb 13, 2014

With the option in CAT Tools these days (e.g. SDL Trados Studio) to link to a MT provider, the way I translate is now pretty much a matter of PEMT. It saves typing, it often saves time looking up terminology, and it may even improve quality as it offers suggestions that I would not think of on my own.

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Michael J.H. Davies  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:57
Member (2009)
English to Danish
+ ...
Daily practice Mar 24, 2014

I share Rutger Cornet de Groot's view - and practice - as far as PEMT is concerned. I also make use of SDL TS's ability to integrate a MT provider and consider that this makes it possible to do translation work at a competitive price while still having an acceptable income per hour. However, I do not offer to do PEMT on a per word basis since the time taken to complete an assignment is heavily dependent upon the quality of the MT.

I charge for such work on an hourly basis (as I also do for proofreading of human translations, where there can also be variations in the quality of the translation, which mean that the time taken to apply corrections can vary considerably).


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