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Your vision of the translation industry by 2025 and your immediate future as a freelance translator
Thread poster: Vladimir Pochinov

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
PEMT: worst case scenario Jan 24

Vladimir, I remembered your success story where you proudly offered a nice but unreasonable ≈88% "discount". It's no reproach for I really just can't understand such a weird business model where they happily give up 7/8 of the job. Although you couldn't explain why and ... See more
Vladimir, I remembered your success story where you proudly offered a nice but unreasonable ≈88% "discount". It's no reproach for I really just can't understand such a weird business model where they happily give up 7/8 of the job. Although you couldn't explain why and what for, if both you and your client are happy, there's no big issue--but enormously heavy dumping for the rest. However, that's fine with me too.

As for the fleeting trinket things you mentioned, they have very little to do with the translation future: more tricks would only exacerbate unfair trade practices, whereas my vision will produce a horde of qualified specialists who can do biz at least in their countries--even without translation.
Why, we both can be wrong and the telepathy may prevail)

Anyway, this nefarious season of "pure" translators comes to the end.



P.S. Almost sorry for the minor errs; a tablet speech recognition is no voice recognition and I still cannot edit a text from E-ink screens less than A4
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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:19
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Der Ubermensch und die Untermenschen Jan 24

DZiW wrote:

Anyway, this nefarious season of "pure" translators comes to the end.


... nefarious season of "pure" translators ... overdependent, bootlicking, and obtrusive people ... they’re but perfect admass candidates, a cultivated hit list ...

... they pay me $0.025+/word* for simple/short jobs (often in advance)


* Was it a Freudian slip?

... they pay me ... $0.35-$0.50/word for grants and contracts ...
...
I have a strict safety net and my usual onetime limit makes up to $100, yet if a person took a penny from me, he will get nothing until the debt is settled...


Do you mean you never translate more than 200 words at a time for those clients of yours paying you $0.50/word?


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
$.25+ sick "zashkhvar" Jan 25

Vladimir, you're talking: a very low entry barrier doesn't sift out lots of bottom-cheap wannabe CAT/PEMT-operators who (1) have no/not enough skills and theory background, (2) don't know how the business works or even how to negotiate favorable terms even in their native language, not to mention they (3) cannot use foreign language skills to improve their standing.

It's not a question of introvert vs extrovert characteristics, goals/demands, local/global
... See more
Vladimir, you're talking: a very low entry barrier doesn't sift out lots of bottom-cheap wannabe CAT/PEMT-operators who (1) have no/not enough skills and theory background, (2) don't know how the business works or even how to negotiate favorable terms even in their native language, not to mention they (3) cannot use foreign language skills to improve their standing.

It's not a question of introvert vs extrovert characteristics, goals/demands, local/global averages, or psychology/ physiology and upbringing peculiarities, just little to no knowledge, low skills and value, let alone void self-presentation and self-esteem. They are but rejects, untouchables--useless even in their native countries. As far as trust and respect is always mutual, no reputable businessman can deal or revere those who neither respect themselves nor try to gain a good name.

Such wannabes translators must be having a hard enough time getting some work and finding their place, but instead of improving themselves they are mass-hyped into 'translation'--doing nothing useful in other languages. Little wonder, now a translators/freelancer is often used as an euphemism for unqualified/jobless, especially if the flat rate is far bellow $0.01/word, earning less than an unskilled worker or McDonald's freshman...

Let's assume you're right, forget why you offer 88+% "discounts", and return to your initial statement: How come some online TMS/CRM, CATs, adaptive/neuro MT, speech recognition and other bizarre cuts in expenditure abbreviations might change the situation for better--filter highly qualified specialists, improve the relevant trade and biz skills, sanitize the market and streamline the workflow, getting the fair and deserved reward?

>How do the above drivers affect you, in a positive or negative way?
Can't complain, I'm over it and don't bother much--just curious.
>Do you find it easy to adapt your knowledge, skills, and practices accordingly?
Adapt to bottom-feeding slavery and degradation, ain't a funny leading question? No way, thank you.

What qualifications and skills does it takes to PEMT? Can PEMTers do without MT--are they really translators? Does PEMT increase the average rates or dumps it badly?

As for my 'change of epoch' vision, it takes awhile yet works like a charm.
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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:19
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@DZiW - Fake it till you make it - A good motto for a non-existent translator charging $0.50/word Jan 25

Your profile implies you do not exist... no verifiable information at all

Account type -------------- Other
Expertise -------------------- Detailed fields not specified.
KudoZ activity (PRO) -- Questions answered: 42, Questions asked: 11
Translation education - Master's degree - NTTSU, UA (unverified)
Years of translation experience: 6. Registered at ProZ.com: May 2005 --- (unverified)
ProZ.com Certified PRO certificate(s
... See more
Your profile implies you do not exist... no verifiable information at all

Account type -------------- Other
Expertise -------------------- Detailed fields not specified.
KudoZ activity (PRO) -- Questions answered: 42, Questions asked: 11
Translation education - Master's degree - NTTSU, UA (unverified)
Years of translation experience: 6. Registered at ProZ.com: May 2005 --- (unverified)
ProZ.com Certified PRO certificate(s) -- N/A
Credentials ----------- N/A
Memberships --------- N/A
Software -------------- N/A
CV/Resume ---------- even not upon request


Your welcoming statement on your profile page:

Dear Prospects,

I appreciate your concern, yet as far as now I mostly work as an interpreter with local direct clients, you'd rather find somebody else to help you with translation projects. Good luck.

No service requests via ProZ!


• You don't consider requests sent via ProZ -- Don't you know that some jobs are posted by very reliable and well-paying direct clients ($0.20-$0.25)?
• You don't ask for assistance -- Questions asked: 11 Good for you
• You don't help others -- Questions answered: 42 ----- since May 2005

The big question is: Why are you here? What have you been doing here since May 2005 other than reading your mantras and boasting of your (allegedly) unique trade and biz skills that make you ein Ubermensch?

DZiW wrote:
Once again: My vision is there should be only (1) specialists in real fields with (2) business awareness and (3) foreign language skills.
... Fortunately the business gradually but inevitably goes that way, cutting out unnecessary things and correcting the mistakes.


Are you sure you are not going to be one of those ... to be cut out? As they say, never say never

For some reason, one "golden oldie" came to my mind while I was reading your posts:


He's a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody






[Edited at 2020-01-25 10:47 GMT]
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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Theme-Rheme: Moribund inter-spongers system Jan 25

Vladimir, that's ok you're a part of the old agonizing PEMT-scrounge system and now you don't want to know the answers and that your fancy 'drivers' are for the needy and the naive only: for translators it doesn't change a thing for better, just flexing. No new tricks.

Also I see no use to refute your shocking findings or reflections. Moreover, a worthy businessperson should always be able to justify his decisions and accept other ideas without jumping to conclusions still
... See more
Vladimir, that's ok you're a part of the old agonizing PEMT-scrounge system and now you don't want to know the answers and that your fancy 'drivers' are for the needy and the naive only: for translators it doesn't change a thing for better, just flexing. No new tricks.

Also I see no use to refute your shocking findings or reflections. Moreover, a worthy businessperson should always be able to justify his decisions and accept other ideas without jumping to conclusions still being an active listener/attentive reader watching the P's and Q's.

So, could you be a little more specific, please?
What the aforementioned 'drivers' have to do with improving the translation market--for whom? You don't agree with (1) the low entry barriers paragraph, cast doubts on (2) the requirements passage, feel sad about (3) the foreign languages role, or wonder (4) why so many self-proclaimed free*lancers are so cheap, what exactly? Or it troubles you--
What qualifications and skills does it take to PEMT? Can PEMTers do without MT--are they really translators? Does PEMT increase the average rates--or dumps it badly?
Is PEMT the real troublemaker or there're far too many wrong assumptions and "pure" cheap translators? That's it.


I thank my lucky stars and colleagues who explained me that foreign language skills are but a minor and a valuable specialist should not count words only, let alone offer 'discounts' without gaining something useful in return. That's why a few direct clients lavishly keep paying me (often with royalties) for the personal brand (competence & experience), trust (guarantees), worthiness, contacts, problem-solving, consulting, and so on. Even if the situation might drastically change, I will never be a "pure" translator.

You have to be good to be lucky, you know; however, you just can't help everyone for many are to learn it the hard way.
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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:19
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Jumping to conclusions Jan 25

DZiW, it seems this thread is gradually turning into a Mexican standoff involving an arrogant younger know-it-all and the old agonizing "pure" cheap translator.

OK, I see now you are a self-proclaimed messiah. However, you know zero about me other than the information in my profile. Just several hard facts for you (you mentioned you loved hard facts):

• I was hired to translate Philip Kotler's Principles of Marketing in 1991, and I read Peter Drucker's work
... See more
DZiW, it seems this thread is gradually turning into a Mexican standoff involving an arrogant younger know-it-all and the old agonizing "pure" cheap translator.

OK, I see now you are a self-proclaimed messiah. However, you know zero about me other than the information in my profile. Just several hard facts for you (you mentioned you loved hard facts):

• I was hired to translate Philip Kotler's Principles of Marketing in 1991, and I read Peter Drucker's works as well.
• I negotiated various import contracts (e.g. 100 IBM PC/AT i286) in 1990-1992 while working at the foreign trade company of the Ulyanovsk Center for Microelectronics.
• In 1992-1994 I worked as the sales and marketing manager. Our small company distributed Hans Schwarzkopf products imported from Hamburg, Germany. At the time I dealt with wholesale buyers and I acted for the commercial director when necessary.
• I am the winner of the Project Management Competition, a three-day event held in 1999 under the aegis of Sergei Kirienko, Presidential Representative in the Volga Federal District at the time. There were 120 participants aged 23 to 35 (aged 37, I was the oldest participant) who made it through the first two playoff rounds. My winning business idea? - Setting up an offshore translation center similar to what Indians created in Bangalore, a.k.a. Bengaluru, which became the nation's leading information technology exporter eventually.
...
...

Hopefully, it is starting to dawn on you slowly that you are not the only pebble on the business community beach ... and that I am far from agonizing. No, I am still quite alive and kicking, thank you

[Edited at 2020-01-25 18:28 GMT]
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DZiW
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Avalanche times, whirlwind judgments Jan 26

Vladimir, once outstanding track record with titles and regalia proves nothing for people change (often not for better) and even a clever man can be fooled or earnestly mistaken. For instance, how do you know that translators deliberately agree to some $0.03/word offering huge 80+% “discounts” or they were forced to as a minority? So, calling to a real or implied authority is but irrelevant here.

It’s pretty ok we look at the same touchy situation at different angles (with dif
... See more
Vladimir, once outstanding track record with titles and regalia proves nothing for people change (often not for better) and even a clever man can be fooled or earnestly mistaken. For instance, how do you know that translators deliberately agree to some $0.03/word offering huge 80+% “discounts” or they were forced to as a minority? So, calling to a real or implied authority is but irrelevant here.

It’s pretty ok we look at the same touchy situation at different angles (with different priorities).
I did thoroughly read your question about the latest developments in the translation market landscape regarding
● Online translation management systems…
● Online CAT environments…
● Neural and adaptive neural machine translation systems…
● Post-edit machine translation (PEMT)
● Continuous speech recognition, a.k.a. voice-to-text…
and other ‘drivers’.

But it just doesn't add up. To my mind, it flows the wrong way for such drivers won’t improve the market, because they were specifically made to cut costs for clients and middlemen at the expense of very translators, aggravating the conditions for the latter.

Now,
- What ‘drivers’ could filter highly qualified specialists?
- How can CAT/MT/PEMT/SR improve the rates for freelancers?
- Which of them can help the translator secure their standing and win favorable terms?
- Don’t you agree for a good reason or out of spite?

Usually there’re two approaches to success: (1) at one’s own expense -or- (2) on someone else's dime (robbing a few rich or a zillion of poor).
The modern market is #2, it’s owned by intermediaries who dictate their contractual rules to the needy bottom-feeders aka self-proclaimed "pure" translators or even free*lancers.

The possible solution? As mentioned--an in-demand specialty and business awareness for a highly-qualified labor can’t be that cheap. As for the foreign language skills, they just help already successful biz go international--to communicate with foreign partners and connect customers abroad, if any.

Just IMO
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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:19
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My last response to DZiW in this thread Jan 26

DZiW wrote:

Vladimir, once outstanding track record with titles and regalia proves nothing for people change (often not for better) and even a clever man can be fooled or earnestly mistaken.


My motto, as featured in the "My Translation Philosophy" section on my profile page, reads "You are only as good as your last job." For this reason, I have never rested on my laurels.

● Online CAT environments…
● Neural and adaptive neural machine translation systems…
● Continuous speech recognition, a.k.a. voice-to-text… and other ‘drivers’.
...
- How can CAT/MT/PEMT/SR improve the rates for freelancers?


While these drivers do not improve the per-word rates, they can produce much better per-hour rates.

● Post-edit machine translation (PEMT)


Personally, I don't like PEMT (a.k.a. MTPE) at all, and I don't offer PEMT service, yet I understand that a rapidly growing number of end clients turn to PEMT in order to cut costs and increase productivity, whether I like it or not. And I do make use of an adaptive neural MT engine (secured with my private API key) in my personal projects and to my benefit.

- What ‘drivers’ could filter highly qualified specialists?


For vendor screening and pre-selection, one can use an applicant tracking system (ATS) that are aimed to 'filter' highly qualified candidates.

- Which of them can help the translator secure their standing and win favorable terms?


Each and every driver listed above can help. For instance, with all your theory background, in-demand specialty, business skills, business awareness, blah blah blah that you allegedly have, can you translate 150,000 words within five (5) days while delivering an impeccable product?

- Don’t you agree for a good reason or out of spite?


No spite whatsoever. I just don't like talking to strangers (perhaps, a lesson from my early childhood taught by my parents?) What is your real name? Is it DZiW? I doubt it.

The modern market is #2, it’s owned by intermediaries who dictate their contractual rules to the needy bottom-feeders aka self-proclaimed "pure" translators or even free*lancers.

The possible solution? As mentioned--an in-demand specialty and business awareness for highly-qualified labor can’t be that cheap. As for the foreign language skills, they just help already successful biz go international--to communicate with foreign partners and connect customers abroad, if any.


Basically, it seems we agree on many premises but we differ in our conclusions.

I went international in late 1999 when I joined ProZ.com soon after its launch in February 1999 (my membership number - 1526 - shows that I was an early adopter, as usual). I have been hearing complaints from some fellow translators ever since but it has nothing to do with the way I run my own business. I try to help younger colleagues whenever I can. I have taught at least five colleagues to use SDL Trados Studio more efficiently. I have helped at least ten people learn the ropes in our profession, both as a senior translator in the corporate settings and as a more or less successful freelancer.

When I outsource my overflow work, I pay decent rates (you may check it out with those who helped me with my projects).

N.B. This is my last response to DZiW in this thread. If you want to continue our dialogue, please provide your real name (your first name only, if you have any kind of paranoid fear.) You can disclose it to me in a private message together with an NDA to the effect that I must keep mum about it


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Oh, don’t stop now Jan 26

I’ve just ordered popcorn 😂

Fatine777
Jorge Payan
Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL
kd42
Mara Gerety
Sergey Lev
Gerard de Noord
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
More bread and bloody circuses! Jan 28

>This is my last response to DZiW in this thread.
Vladimir, actually, this is your first and the only relevant reply on the topic.
>150,000 words within five (5) days while delivering an impeccable product
No need to accept such terms solo for it requires either a team of dedicated specialists or a more flexible deadline.
>If you want to continue our dialogue
Why? I just doublechecked to make sure you really can’t see the faults with playing
... See more
>This is my last response to DZiW in this thread.
Vladimir, actually, this is your first and the only relevant reply on the topic.
>150,000 words within five (5) days while delivering an impeccable product
No need to accept such terms solo for it requires either a team of dedicated specialists or a more flexible deadline.
>If you want to continue our dialogue
Why? I just doublechecked to make sure you really can’t see the faults with playing spongers’ games by their rules. No gambling, no prob.
>please provide your real name
We're not exactly in the position to bargain here, unless you are officially able to document you don’t hear voices explaining in details why a Vladimir’s words are any better than DZiW’s and when/how you privatized this public thread to demand something... Besides, your ava is surely no slim beautiful blue-eyed natural blonde with a nice cups/WHR, yes?
(A hint: There’s a section for members only.)



@Chris, while I agree when one, allegedly in good faith, deliberately and proudly gives ≈88% “discounts” and asks about ‘drivers’ as if to make the translation market better, boasting and neglecting the unpleasant answers, it’s high time to find out exactly how he defines “better”—and for who. Luckily, you never know what's going on in other people's lives.

So-called translation market now is mostly run by middlemen abusing a grey zone of freelancers’ ignorance in a domain of “irrational—illogic—uncertain” suspense. Little wonder so many [wannabe] translators who neither know their absolute bottom nor can negotiate favorable terms just silently duffer suffer from imposed bad practices, induced stressors and apathy, let alone lack of business awareness, money, and respect.

Unlike biz, rather many laymen feel upset when they meet a nay-sayer or a whistleblower with different views. Even a polite ‘No’ makes them angry for raining on smile parade. That’s why most of us prefer to listen to always-positive shill-adguys and ever-hilarious yesmen in the uplifting pinky world. The big issue is such a comfortable self-deception works like a gaslighting vicious cycle, alas.

Not too much junk food, ok?)
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kd42
 

kd42
Estonia
Local time: 17:19
English to Russian
No future Jan 28

Quite an interesting exchange, witty and often amusing too, thank you. I’ll try to add a few points which might be of interest.

MT postediting.

I own a desktop MT package licence, a very good one, I maintain nice specialised dictionaries. One out of 5 sentences in my specialty fields does not need postediting at all, provided that the original is well-written (a very rare thing). So, basically, I don’t translate, but postedit MT output, so I am very skilled with MT
... See more
Quite an interesting exchange, witty and often amusing too, thank you. I’ll try to add a few points which might be of interest.

MT postediting.

I own a desktop MT package licence, a very good one, I maintain nice specialised dictionaries. One out of 5 sentences in my specialty fields does not need postediting at all, provided that the original is well-written (a very rare thing). So, basically, I don’t translate, but postedit MT output, so I am very skilled with MT use and maintenance, and my judgement on MT is highly relevant.

MT takes some of the work strain off me, so, when I work in team, it soon becomes apparent that I am slightly more productive, and my quality and consistency is much better, because MT (among other tools and skills) is ideal in ensuring consistency.

When the manual which I translate is written in English by a Czech engineer working for a German company, and the style is, therefore, clumsy, a patchwork of old texts by several authors, my MT is not such a great helper.

However, last December a good old client offered me an MTPE job at 60% of the normal word rate. I accepted it because I wanted to see the difference, to get the experience, and not to turn down a good client. As a result, my hourly rate was 120% of the normal. This is what has been discussed countless times: CATs and MT decrease word rate but increase output, so, with a much better quality and consistency they provide it is logical to use them on most texts.

I don’t know what MT system the client used, but 99% of my edits were minor improvements. Thanks to a very good original the MT output was 100% comprehensible to an expert in the field.

Another great thing which I noticed was the automatic adaptability of the MT. I delivered 5 documents, one by one, and the MT tracked the changes I made, understood and never repeated any terminology errors which I corrected. It is a very practical and useful MT system.

Now back to the rates. Of course, this 120% hourly rate increase will not last long, I am certain. The industry and the middlemen will do their best to make me work for 90% of the last year’s rate, because thanks to this MT system they can make me compete with a hungry English teacher from Saransk willing to work at a much lower rate than mine and still providing the final text which is not a complete disaster or even a great problem. The most likely scenario is that I will switch from MTPE to reviewing the MTPE performed by the teacher from Saransk, probably again at a lower word rate and a greater hourly rate, and this wonderful MT will make increasingly fewer errors, until the teacher from Saransk and I reach our top turnaround, and it will become clear to us whether we can survive on that income or not.

Most probably not.

Which makes me recall Uber. If we transpose the profession from translation to driving I would regard DZiW as a noble and proud chauffeur of some CEO or an aristocrat, while Vladimir would be an owner and driver of some highly specialized expedition cross country vehicle. Both are delivering great value to the clients, both are happy about it, and never think about Turkish students in Vienna who become Uber drivers in order to make ends meet, at least for a while. The value of both DZiW and Vladimir has nothing to do with their driving skills.

Technically we are all translators. Technically all drivers are the same, they steer the vehicle and transport passengers from A to B, but some drive CEO’s Bentley, some speed along the night streets in order to be able to buy some food and gas at the end of the shift.

An average (not median) Uber driver’s monthly income is about 300 USD. There are people who make 5000 USD per month, but the system itself is maintained by continuous influx of young, hopeful newbies who support it for a while, bring huge profits to its owners, realize that they cannot survive, and drop out.

The advent of good MT and fast Internet freelance translators get into the same category of used and abused labourers, expendable work force. Whatever they get above the average level does not relate to their driving skills, because it is either wealth of their employers, or some extra duties, or the ability to keep the mouth shut, to safely carry a money roll to a bureaucrat, etc., etc.

If you think a bit more, you will realize that the CEO with a Bentley, the expeditions prospecting minerals, and Uber are, most likely, all owned by the same financial group, and at some point the analysts will tell the owners that Uber drivers can get 50% instead of 55% of the fare, and cross-country vehicles should not be sourced from Vladimir, but owned and staffed by African Uber drivers, and the Bentley chauffeur should be fired, because with a proper insurance Bentley can be driven by Uber drivers too. Same old story – they only care about profit, and never about people, families, communities, sustainable development, environment, oceans, etc. If you disagree with this, reread Das Kapital, where Comrade Marx did his best to express it as simply as possible.

So, it would be safe to say that a translator in 2025 will be reduced to a girl at an apparel factory in Bangladesh. Humans still stitch garments only because robots cannot handle fabric 100% efficiently. Same with translation. Those who will become “intercultural facilitators” of some kind will survive, until Google rolls out a real-time interpreting system.

One more thing.
Dear DZiW and Vladimir.
From some of your statements I got an impression that you think you are both very important. Not a big deal, and quite irrelevant to the discussion, what I would like to warn you against is thinking that it is entirely your achievement.

It is not. Here’s friendly advice:

Ecclesiastes 9:11
11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
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Sergey Lev
 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
Not a problem Jan 28

kd42 wrote:

Quite an interesting exchange, witty and often amusing too, thank you. I’ll try to add a few points which might be of interest.

MT postediting.

I own a desktop MT package licence, a very good one, I maintain nice specialised dictionaries. One out of 5 sentences in my specialty fields does not need postediting at all, provided that the original is well-written (a very rare thing). So, basically, I don’t translate, but postedit MT output, so I am very skilled with MT use and maintenance, and my judgement on MT is highly relevant.

MT takes some of the work strain off me, so, when I work in team, it soon becomes apparent that I am slightly more productive, and my quality and consistency is much better, because MT (among other tools and skills) is ideal in ensuring consistency.

When the manual which I translate is written in English by a Czech engineer working for a German company, and the style is, therefore, clumsy, a patchwork of old texts by several authors, my MT is not such a great helper.

However, last December a good old client offered me an MTPE job at 60% of the normal word rate. I accepted it because I wanted to see the difference, to get the experience, and not to turn down a good client. As a result, my hourly rate was 120% of the normal. This is what has been discussed countless times: CATs and MT decrease word rate but increase output, so, with a much better quality and consistency they provide it is logical to use them on most texts.

I don’t know what MT system the client used, but 99% of my edits were minor improvements. Thanks to a very good original the MT output was 100% comprehensible to an expert in the field.

Another great thing which I noticed was the automatic adaptability of the MT. I delivered 5 documents, one by one, and the MT tracked the changes I made, understood and never repeated any terminology errors which I corrected. It is a very practical and useful MT system.

Now back to the rates. Of course, this 120% hourly rate increase will not last long, I am certain. The industry and the middlemen will do their best to make me work for 90% of the last year’s rate, because thanks to this MT system they can make me compete with a hungry English teacher from Saransk willing to work at a much lower rate than mine and still providing the final text which is not a complete disaster or even a great problem. The most likely scenario is that I will switch from MTPE to reviewing the MTPE performed by the teacher from Saransk, probably again at a lower word rate and a greater hourly rate, and this wonderful MT will make increasingly fewer errors, until the teacher from Saransk and I reach our top turnaround, and it will become clear to us whether we can survive on that income or not.

Most probably not.

Which makes me recall Uber. If we transpose the profession from translation to driving I would regard DZiW as a noble and proud chauffeur of some CEO or an aristocrat, while Vladimir would be an owner and driver of some highly specialized expedition cross country vehicle. Both are delivering great value to the clients, both are happy about it, and never think about Turkish students in Vienna who become Uber drivers in order to make ends meet, at least for a while. The value of both DZiW and Vladimir has nothing to do with their driving skills.

Technically we are all translators. Technically all drivers are the same, they steer the vehicle and transport passengers from A to B, but some drive CEO’s Bentley, some speed along the night streets in order to be able to buy some food and gas at the end of the shift.

An average (not median) Uber driver’s monthly income is about 300 USD. There are people who make 5000 USD per month, but the system itself is maintained by continuous influx of young, hopeful newbies who support it for a while, bring huge profits to its owners, realize that they cannot survive, and drop out.

The advent of good MT and fast Internet freelance translators get into the same category of used and abused labourers, expendable work force. Whatever they get above the average level does not relate to their driving skills, because it is either wealth of their employers, or some extra duties, or the ability to keep the mouth shut, to safely carry a money roll to a bureaucrat, etc., etc.

If you think a bit more, you will realize that the CEO with a Bentley, the expeditions prospecting minerals, and Uber are, most likely, all owned by the same financial group, and at some point the analysts will tell the owners that Uber drivers can get 50% instead of 55% of the fare, and cross-country vehicles should not be sourced from Vladimir, but owned and staffed by African Uber drivers, and the Bentley chauffeur should be fired, because with a proper insurance Bentley can be driven by Uber drivers too. Same old story – they only care about profit, and never about people, families, communities, sustainable development, environment, oceans, etc. If you disagree with this, reread Das Kapital, where Comrade Marx did his best to express it as simply as possible.

So, it would be safe to say that a translator in 2025 will be reduced to a girl at an apparel factory in Bangladesh. Humans still stitch garments only because robots cannot handle fabric 100% efficiently. Same with translation. Those who will become “intercultural facilitators” of some kind will survive, until Google rolls out a real-time interpreting system.

One more thing.
Dear DZiW and Vladimir.
From some of your statements I got an impression that you think you are both very important. Not a big deal, and quite irrelevant to the discussion, what I would like to warn you against is thinking that it is entirely your achievement.

It is not. Here’s friendly advice:

Ecclesiastes 9:11
11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.



“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”


 

kd42
Estonia
Local time: 17:19
English to Russian
Wise and to the point Jan 28

P.S. Overquoting is not kosher.

David GAY wrote:
kd42 wrote:
Ecclesiastes 9:11
11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

Thanks!
Your quote comes from some "starter" edition. It is incomplete.
The compltte statement is this:
"So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen."
Basically, it is a fairly accurate, 2020-year-old description of the Proz bidding system.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
basics Jan 28

[quote]kd42 wrote:

P.S. Overquoting is not kosher.


Your quote comes from some "starter" edition.

yes, only basics

[Modifié le 2020-01-28 19:40 GMT]


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:19
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The more you know the more you realize you don’t know © Aristotle Jan 28

kd42 wrote:
... One out of 5 sentences in my specialty fields does not need postediting at all, provided that the original is well-written (a very rare thing).
...
When the manual which I translate is written in English by a Czech engineer working for a German company, and the style is, therefore, clumsy, a patchwork of old texts by several authors, my MT is not such a great helper.


ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English is a controlled language developed in the early 1980s (as AECMA Simplified English) to help the users of English-language maintenance documentation understand what they read. It was initially applicable to commercial aviation. Today, many maintenance manuals are written in STE.

Simplified Technical English is claimed to:

- Reduce ambiguity
- Improve the clarity of technical writing, especially procedural writing
- Improve comprehension for people whose first language is not English
- Make human translation easier, faster and more cost effective
- Facilitate computer-assisted translation and machine translation
- Improve Reliability concerns of maintenance and assembly by reducing their probability to introduce defects

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_Technical_English

Another great thing which I noticed was the automatic adaptability of the MT. I delivered 5 documents, one by one, and the MT tracked the changes I made, understood and never repeated any terminology errors which I corrected. It is a very practical and useful MT system.


This is why the latest MT products are called adaptive neural MT systems.

I would regard DZiW as a noble and proud chauffeur of some CEO or an aristocrat, while Vladimir would be an owner and driver of some highly specialized expedition cross country vehicle. Both are delivering great value to the clients, both are happy about it, and never think about Turkish students in Vienna who become Uber drivers in order to make ends meet, at least for a while. The value of both DZiW and Vladimir has nothing to do with their driving skills.


I believe reasonable clients are willing to pay premium rates to skilled drivers (and translators), as they want to reach their destinations in one piece.

So, it would be safe to say that a translator in 2025 will be reduced to a girl at an apparel factory in Bangladesh. Humans still stitch garments only because robots cannot handle fabric 100% efficiently. Same with translation. Those who will become “intercultural facilitators” of some kind will survive, until Google rolls out a real-time interpreting system.


Big players are going by leaps and bounds in this area (e.g. Pocketalk - https://www.pocketalk.net/)

Dear DZiW and Vladimir.
From some of your statements I got an impression that you think you are both very important. Not a big deal, and quite irrelevant to the discussion, what I would like to warn you against is thinking that it is entirely your achievement.

It is not.


I must own up, I do think I am the most important person to myself and my family. And I have invested a lot of time, effort and money into securing a better place in the sun. And I still have an inquisitive mind, still keep a close eye on the latest developments, still learn a lot of new things that do not offer any immediate material benefit.

The more you know the more you realize you don’t know © Aristotle

Hat tip to Aristotle. These words have kept and are keeping me going.

[Edited at 2020-01-29 14:33 GMT]


 
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