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Clients checking use of online translation
Thread poster: Kevin Fulton

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:01
German to English
Sep 3, 2013

From time-to-time, NDAs with agencies forbid the use of online translation resources, such as machine translation plug-ins for CAT tools, Google Translate, etc. I have no problem agreeing to this, as I don't use online translation.*

But this does raise the question: is it possible to check whether the translator has used online translation? If so, how might this be done?


*Occasionally over the past few years I have run text from online magazines through Google Translate to measure the progress of this program. As a terminology resource, GT results are often surprisingly adequate. Rendering of syntax and idioms from German > English remains laughable.


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:01
English to Polish
+ ...
I suppose Sep 3, 2013

Well, you can paste some text into GT and see where that takes you. Otherwise I don't think there is a way.

Also, GT is quite usable in some situations if you know how to build sentences to avoid embarrassment. My GT-assisted French isn't the most horrible thing in the world, though I refuse to look at anything to do with machine Polish. I always go through English.

[Edited at 2013-09-03 16:32 GMT]


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:01
Member
English to French
Customers telling us how to work Sep 3, 2013

Weird with a freelance status, isn't it?

Customers should rather focus on selecting the right translator in order to get the right deliverables in due course. The way translators achieve this is none of their business. Or is it?

I have the feeling that some agencies think that translators are too dumb to have a reflexion of their own. However, those translators usually know more about the tools they use every day, their usefulness and limitations, than most PMs they deal with. After all, we are the professionals.

If MT plug-ins or GT are an aid for some, then why not? Going further, why not prohibit the use of Wikipedia? or search engines? Or the internet altogether? Sometimes, results are far from convincing, just like MT.

As regards the use of MT in EN>FR, it does show more often than not in the output, even in technical content, however well "post-edited" it may be. Because machines are not humans (or the other way around).
I don't think CAT tools would leave any "MT markers" in a bilingual text, but in this big-brother age with online translation workflows, I wouldn't be surprised that "they" could find out.

But then again, if you accept jobs paid 0.04/word for a commercial brochure, with CAT tool leverage shaved off by heavy discounts, you have have to find ways to offset the abysmal hourly rate with work accelerators...

Philippe


 

xxxowhisonant  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:01
German to English
+ ...
Using the Google Translate plug-in for Trados Sep 3, 2013

Will mark your segments with 'AT'. If you're handing off the XLIFF to the agency, it's visible to them as well.

I could be wrong, but my understanding of this issue is that it is less the aspect of 'translator saves work' and more that of 'translator posts client's copyrighted and under NDA source text online' that agencies must be concerned about.


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:01
Member (2008)
French to English
Internal file marker Sep 3, 2013

Kevin Fulton wrote:

But this does raise the question: is it possible to check whether the translator has used online translation? If so, how might this be done?



CAT tools that produce a bilingual file such as TTX, XLIFF, SDLXLIFF, etc., include a marker of the source of each translation unit, such as Machine Translated.


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:01
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
For NDA reasons Sep 3, 2013

owhisonant wrote:
I could be wrong, but my understanding of this issue is that it is less the aspect of 'translator saves work' and more that of 'translator posts client's copyrighted and under NDA source text online' that agencies must be concerned about.


That's how I understand the purpose of these clauses.


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:01
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Internal markers Sep 3, 2013

John Fossey wrote:

CAT tools that produce a bilingual file such as TTX, XLIFF, SDLXLIFF, etc., include a marker of the source of each translation unit, such as Machine Translated.


Thanks to Oliver and John for clarifying this. Since I don't use MT or GT plug-ins, I am totally ignorant of the process. I couldn't imaging a client doing random checks of segments and comparing the translations against Google.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:01
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not all AT markers are from Google Translate... Sep 3, 2013

... Because I get them, although I don't trust Google Translate in my pairs.

It has trouble with homonyms and its syntax is HORRIBLE.
Apart from the NDA question and several of my clients not being happy with it. I get on all right without MT plugins.

AT may be some internal code for when Studio guesses (as with the AutoSuggest function), but comes up with a whole segment.


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:01
English to Polish
+ ...
Happens all the time in all aspects of our job. Sep 3, 2013

Philippe Etienne wrote:

Weird with a freelance status, isn't it?


 

xxxowhisonant  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:01
German to English
+ ...
AT = Automated Translation Sep 3, 2013

Christine Andersen wrote:

... Because I get them, although I don't trust Google Translate in my pairs.

It has trouble with homonyms and its syntax is HORRIBLE.
Apart from the NDA question and several of my clients not being happy with it. I get on all right without MT plugins.

AT may be some internal code for when Studio guesses (as with the AutoSuggest function), but comes up with a whole segment.


The AT in Trados designates 'Automated Translation', which can come from one of three sources in Studio: SDL, Google or Language Weaver. For further details see

http://producthelp.sdl.com/SDL%20Trados%20Studio/client_en/Edit_View/Translating/Overview__Automated_Translation.htm


I tried using Google Translate once or twice, but with the amount of editing required even for simple text, it's just faster to translate myself.


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:01
Member
English to French
More on AT markers Sep 3, 2013

owhisonant wrote:
The AT in Trados designates 'Automated Translation', which can come from one of three sources in Studio: SDL, Google or Language Weaver. For further details see

http://producthelp.sdl.com/SDL%20Trados%20Studio/client_en/Edit_View/Translating/Overview__Automated_Translation.htm

The article also says: "The automated translation feature can also be used during pre-translation."
I have already seen this AT in files, and it didn't seem to be specifically linked to machine translation.

Philippe


 

xxxowhisonant  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:01
German to English
+ ...
Then what is AT linked to, specifically? Sep 3, 2013

Philippe Etienne wrote:

owhisonant wrote:
The AT in Trados designates 'Automated Translation', which can come from one of three sources in Studio: SDL, Google or Language Weaver. For further details see

http://producthelp.sdl.com/SDL%20Trados%20Studio/client_en/Edit_View/Translating/Overview__Automated_Translation.htm

The article also says: "The automated translation feature can also be used during pre-translation."
I have already seen this AT in files, and it didn't seem to be specifically linked to machine translation.

Philippe


According to Trados, and my own experience, segments are marked with AT only if a) one of the automated translation options has been selected under Project settings > Language Pairs > Translation Memory and Automated Translation, either for 'All Pairs' or for the current language pair, and b) a target segment is filled using the automated translation provider during translation, or pre-translation.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:01
English to Portuguese
+ ...
This doesn't work Sep 3, 2013

I tried http://www.translatordetector.com/ ... and it failed miserably.

I took one paragraph from this thread, has it translated EN > PT on Google Translate, and its answer was that it was NOT a machine translation.

Such a device should be relatively easy to build, shooting the source through GT, BabelFish, and Bing, and then comparing the output with the target provided.

Yet it gave a 0% match... Something is wrong here.


 

Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:01
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
detector or deceptor? Sep 3, 2013

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

I tried http://www.translatordetector.com/ ... and it failed miserably.

(...)


.. Something is wrong here.


yes.. starting from the disclaimericon_biggrin.gifDisclaimer: Translator-Detector is in Beta stage. You should always check your translation with a professional linguistic [sic!] before taking any business decisions.

p.s. apologies in advance for veering off-topic


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:01
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Difficult to uncover Sep 4, 2013

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

I tried http://www.translatordetector.com/ ... and it failed miserably.

I took one paragraph from this thread, has it translated EN > PT on Google Translate, and its answer was that it was NOT a machine translation.

Such a device should be relatively easy to build, shooting the source through GT, BabelFish, and Bing, and then comparing the output with the target provided.

Yet it gave a 0% match... Something is wrong here.


Even if it was 100% match, it would still need some factor to account the length of the text. A short snippet or a couple of words that were a complete match could mean nothing in terms of the likelihood that MT was used (assuming the translation is correct).

Without tags, and assuming that relatively assiduous post-editing was done, it's difficult to uncover underlying MT. In my experience as an editor, MT clues would probably include inexplicable terminological inconsistencies (as MT does not remember context), omitted negations (in some languages), translated names (e.g., Herr Stein>Mr. Stone) which the translator has forgotten to fix, and, in general, errors that sound reasonable enough as standalone text in the target language, but don't match actually the meaning of the source text.


 
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