Chinese MT tools: Results
Thread poster: Luis José Quirindongo

Luis José Quirindongo  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 14:55
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 10, 2004

Hello to everyone. I'm posting this topic because some of you mentioned that you were interested in the accuracy of Eng>Chinese machine translations. After asking around and evaluating some of the MTs into Chinese, here's what I found. The MTs were evaluated by Eng>Chi translators, including Denyce (Thanks!)

In general, the only MT which produced suitable translations into Chinese was Transtar. The accuracy rate is about 80%. However, there are drawbacks. For Western users (like me the software generally requires a compatible Chinese enabling platform. Also, the dictionary included in the software aeems to be limited. But that can be fixed by adding user dictionaries for technical subjects (where the accuracy rate drops significantly due to holes in the dictionary). To do that, though, you have to buy a version that supports the user dictionaries feature. And since the site (www.transtar.com.cn) gives little information about each version, you'll have to e-mail them to find out more...

Other MTs considered were Systran, Intertran, Translate v.3 Chinese Pro, etc.
Systran in general has a low accuracy rate (the company claims 70% but it's about 60.) Lots of senseless translations. Chinese to English translations are at about 40% to 50%, so when I tried a few sample webpages with it I ended up with a "product that lets you happily overturn the heavens" and an antivirus package described as the "2002 poisonous tyrant" (original was "Virus Master 2002"). In general, Chi>Eng translations in MTs are about 5%-10% less accurate than Eng>Chi in the same MT so I could've expected that... Systran usually returns less "not found" words than Translate, but only because ir forces translations of words it doesn't really know with a "sounds like" search.


Translate salespeople claim that the product does about 65% from the start (this is the Pro version!) but "gets better with dictionaries". Couldn't draw a sample translation from this one bcause there's no demo version or online translation site, but i wouldn't have tried it anyway after hearing that.

InterTran has a Chinese dictionary with 100,000+ entries, but it supports Chinese only in word replacement. There are no grammar rules so translations are poor. An interactive mode is supported where you can choose the word you want to translate into, but I can't really call this an MT.

Other MTs showed similar results (50 to 70 percent)

Other packages, like Dr.Eye and others, are dictionary packages, not MTs. Unlike InterTran, Dr.Eye has phrases in its dictionary and provides updates to it. But it's not really an MT.

So in general, except for Transtar, the rates range between 55 and 70 percent. Needless to say, I plan to get Transtar... as soon as I figure out the installation part.


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
+ ...
Hi Luis, Thank you very much for your detailed info. :) Jan 10, 2004

I tried to install "transtar" but failed, because my OS is Win XP (French version). I am going to email them too and hope they will reply. It seems many Chinese sites don't care for responding.

Let me know if you figure out the installation, thanks.


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
+ ...
Disappointed by Transtar on-line translation Jan 10, 2004

I just tried their on-line translation and am disappointed by the translation. I copy the translated sample here and hope other translators will give their opinions.

The original text :

An Anglo-Franco-Chinese team of independent translators & interpreters

The translation :

一个英国免费中国组的独立的译者与翻译





[Edited at 2004-01-10 22:29]


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Kaxia
Poland
Local time: 19:55
Chinese to Polish
+ ...
hope Jan 10, 2004

Hello,
I hope that human-being as translator will be irreplaceable
I love my job!!!! Nevertheless, looking forward to any news about "machines" translators.
After reading Luis's post, I became a little bit anxious, but when you quoted the sentence, I felt a sudden relief. thanx Chance

chance wrote:

I just tried their on-line translation and am disappointed by the translation. I copy the translated sample here and hope other translators will give their opinions.

The original text :

An Anglo-Franco-Chinese team of independent translators & interpreters

The translation :

??????????????????





[Edited at 2004-01-10 22:29]


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Zhoudan  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:55
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Human translators are irreplaceable Jan 11, 2004

我很怀疑所谓的80%准确度。我有一个美国朋友在浙大读博士学位,他不懂中文,但必须读中文资料,在几个计算机博士生的帮助下,安装了自动翻译软件(据说是国内最好的),把资料扫描到电脑中,让软件自动翻译。他让我去做个 evaluation。我一看就笑了,什么胡言乱语呀!
既然 Denyce 也参加了 evaluation, 你能告诉我们,机器翻译真能达到80%的准确度吗?


chance wrote:

I just tried their on-line translation and am disappointed by the translation. I copy the translated sample here and hope other translators will give their opinions.

The original text :

An Anglo-Franco-Chinese team of independent translators & interpreters

The translation :

一个英国免费中国组的独立的译者与翻译





[Edited at 2004-01-10 22:29]


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Luis José Quirindongo  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 14:55
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Human translation will ALWAYS be irreplaceable! Jan 11, 2004

I don't think anybody needs to be threatened by a machine. It will never replace a human translator!
The reason my client is doing this is because there are a lot of translations and, at the moment, not enough budget for human translation of each. (Actually there is but they need the money to finance their other activities.)

Transtar does have a problem. The limited dictionary issue occurs because, apparently, the product is designed to work with colloquial-type corpora. Anything slightly formal or "wordy" and it bombs. It also seems to work best on larger corpora... I don't know if it's lack of context in smaller ones or what. The company doesn't say much about the product aside from its main features.
And since formal translations make up the greater part of the commercial translation business, you've got your work cut out for you
I'll need to import a lot of dictionaries to TRY to fix that... fortunately my importing macro is finished so I should get to that now.

Cheers,
Luis


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
+ ...
A very interesting article about MT : Jan 15, 2004

http://www.lisa.org/archive_domain/newsletters/2003/3.1/chandioux.html

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