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'[MT] is most often used alongside [TM] as an adjunct to human translation'. Are you using it?
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:35
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
the advanced features Nov 22, 2009

Jeff Allen wrote:

If I can extend my analogy of cycling a little more, you can see that the free online PROMT would be the 1-speed bike, PROMT personal would be the 5-speed, PROMT Office would be a 10-speed, PROMT Professional would be the 18-speed, PROMT Expert would be the 21-speed, etc.


Susan Welsh wrote:
Now, back to bicycles:
....If I had a 21-speed bike, what's your guess about whether I would be able to ride it without running into a tree?


thanks for the comments about the bikes and gears. Darn, I thought I had finally found an analogy that would be a little more closer to the real world. Sometimes analogies are made with restaurants and food, but that doesn't always cut it either. But now I know that my new bike analogy won't suffice for everyone, and will work on another one.
How about digital cameras for the next round? I've had my share of comparing lots of those too to make buying decisions, and this would be a better example than a car, because there are users of digital cameras who just want a quick snapshot, and then those who really need a full range of features as a (semi-)professional.


Now back to the MT features

Jeff Allen wrote:
But you should really check out the product comparison chart on their site (Compare v8 products) for the chart that compares all of their product models in a matrix chart.


Susan Welsh wrote:
Actually, I did check this out a few weeks ago, but the chart doesn't mean as much to me as it does to you.


I just directed you to the comparison chart. Several years ago, I did go through such types of marketing charts and explain them point by point to a group, and how they surface in the product.
But I don't read those charts anymore, since I'm not doing the product management for any MT vendor and I've worked directly with the products for so long.
So I've copied the comparative feature list of PROMT models into an Excel sheet and am looking at them. And I get your point and agree that there is information missing for you to know what a short phrase means in real-life.

[quote]Susan Welsh wrote:
Looking at just the Professional and Expert in Promt 8, they are identical up to the last three items. [quote]

The chart isn't quite intuitive, and when I go over it, and knowing how the different modules are presented in the different models, I see what they are trying to say.

You have to look very carefully at the * referred to as Simplified because that seems to be their way of distinguishing between novice and advanced dictionary modes.

and I see that the way then have done the checkmarks on the following 2 items can be confusing:
Full-featured linguistic editor
Lightweight linguistic editor

But this is because the advanced versions provide 2 different interface. The simple user one and then the full translation environment for advanced users. But if you can't see this visually, then it doesn't make so much sense in a chart.


Susan Welsh wrote:
Professional does not have, but Expert does have:

"Advanced tools for vocabulary management" - Now what the heck does that mean? Do I need advanced tools? Would I know what to do with them if I had them? If I wanted to learn, how long and steep would the learning curve be?

"Automatic terminology extraction for fast subject dictionary creation" - Now, who could not want that? But what does it mean by "automatic"? Is it worth almost $200 more, for just one of my two language pairs? (I also need a new pair of shoes....)

Plug-in for TRADOS TMs - I don't have TRADOS and have no interest in getting it. If I did, I would certainly not be able to afford an MT package. I use OmegaT, sometimes Across, and may start using Wordfast.

But I certainly would want an MT package that allowed me to modify the dictionaries. Buying a cheap MT package plus add-on specialized dictionaries that are locked by the manufacturer would not seem like a sensible way to go.



As for Advanced tools for vocab mgment, no it would not be self-explanatory. But yes it is powerful, but takes time to learn. I recall that a couple of years ago, they offered a 20 or 30 minute online training session for one of the more advanced versions. But maybe that isn't done any longer.

Plug-in for TRADOS. Granted, you don't use it. Trados is the only one that such plug-ins have been made for, and it is easy to understand why. Lot of effort, need to have a market. Note to all: Be careful on the version of Trados that is supported.

Now, as for Wordfast, do a search for my alias (mtpostediting) and the word PROMT here on Proz because I put a note in the Wordfast support forum a couple of months ago about the support of PROMT desktop software, and there was finally a reply from Wordfast in the forum. They are working on fixing it (it used to work).

and as for Automatic terminology extraction:
if you read through my case study from 2006, you will see that I did everything manual, all tasks from end to end of the workflow, in 19.1 hours.

With automatic terminology extraction, which I have done for other projects more recently using other terminology extractors (such as SDL's just because I didn't have the PROMT one installed on the workstation), I was able to "significantly" speed up the terminology identification and selection process. (something like 1-2 hours of review for over 6000 possible candidates.)

And in just 4 hours, I was able to create custom dictionary entries to handle the specifica terminology of product descriptions and technical fact sheets for websites on consumer electronics products.

I can't publish any information about that project, but can just say that it was that fast.

So a terminology extractor would definitely be a major advantage.

I see now that I do have the PROMT terminology extractor from v6 and I'll give it a try and provide some info.


and last quick note: It's important to know that if you look at the matrix for SYSTRAN products, you won't get a direct comparison, because SYSTRAN has a different type of way of organizing their modules in the products.


Wait a couple of days. Even though PROMT has a lot more flexibility and features, it might be better for you to just use one of the SYSTRAN software product that has the intuitive dictionary coding feature, that pre-codes the entries for you.
And then I just found out a couple of months ago that someone created and published online for free a special MS Excel template in a format that allows you to create the SYSTRAN entries in the more user friendly Excel sheet, and then you can automatically upload them into SYSTRAN, rather than having to learn all the ins- and outs of doing it directly in the SYSTRAN dictionary manager.

Jeff


 

Kirti Vashee  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:35
MT + Human Steering: The more likely combination? Jan 16, 2010

I think we will see more examples of MT being used to make critical information available. The driving forces are the sheer volume of data and the urgency and need for the information.

My sense is that the model that will make the most sense is one where MT and humans work together in a symbiotic relationship - to build increasing productivity. Being deeply involved with SMT (Statistical Machine Translation) I can see that ongoing and continuous human feedback is essential to high q
... See more
I think we will see more examples of MT being used to make critical information available. The driving forces are the sheer volume of data and the urgency and need for the information.

My sense is that the model that will make the most sense is one where MT and humans work together in a symbiotic relationship - to build increasing productivity. Being deeply involved with SMT (Statistical Machine Translation) I can see that ongoing and continuous human feedback is essential to high quality MT output.

There are industry leaders who are already saying that TM as a technology is ALREADY passe - see the presentation by Renato on the link below. It has already been viewed 790 times in the last month and already subtitled in Portuguese and partly in Spanish by volunteers.

The video presentations below are from from the Localization & Translation Conference in Thailand December 2009 ( a joint LISA, ProZ, RTI and Asia Online event.)

The On-going Evolution of the Localization Business by Renato Beninatto CEO Milengo where he talks about the increasing use of MT by translators and also several comments about the decreasing value of TM
http://dotsub.com/view/7da1f3a0-4df2-45a4-b62d-99434c2cf75f

Dion Wiggins of Asia Online Vision clearly states and warns that the best MT systems need intensive human linguistic and translator feedback and that MT without human feedback will often produce garbage. The way forward is a new model with continuously learning MT systems and humans who know how to steer them
http://dotsub.com/view/727cdacf-9653-40ef-b6f3-6145ca107db0

There is also much discussion about post-editing in the Linked In group on Automated Language Translation

I think that in future we are looking at 10X to 100X volume growth in content demanding to be translated and linguistically talented humans who know how to steer and manage technology will be in high demand.
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Kirti Vashee  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:35
Why MT Matters Feb 4, 2010

I think it is short-sighted to write off MT based on what you see on Google and Systran.

The forces that are pushing the technology are much broader and bigger than the professional translation industry. It is critical to expanding access to life saving knowledge and information.

I have written two blog entries on this for anybody who might be interested;

Why Machine Translation Matters: See more
I think it is short-sighted to write off MT based on what you see on Google and Systran.

The forces that are pushing the technology are much broader and bigger than the professional translation industry. It is critical to expanding access to life saving knowledge and information.

I have written two blog entries on this for anybody who might be interested;

Why Machine Translation Matters: http://kv-emptypages.blogspot.com/2010/01/why-machine-translation-matters.html

Why MT Matters for LSPs and the Professional Translation Industry: http://kv-emptypages.blogspot.com/2010/01/why-machine-translation-matters-for.html
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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:35
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
My experience since last interchange with Jeff Feb 4, 2010

Jeff Allen wrote:


Wait a couple of days. Even though PROMT has a lot more flexibility and features, it might be better for you to just use one of the SYSTRAN software product that has the intuitive dictionary coding feature, that pre-codes the entries for you.
And then I just found out a couple of months ago that someone created and published online for free a special MS Excel template in a format that allows you to create the SYSTRAN entries in the more user friendly Excel sheet, and then you can automatically upload them into SYSTRAN, rather than having to learn all the ins- and outs of doing it directly in the SYSTRAN dictionary manager.



I have gotten nowhere fast with this matter. I sent PROMT an email asking some questions 2-3 months ago, and they have PROMPTLY not replied yet. When I called Systran's sales office, the young man at the other end of the phone said he had never heard of Systran, and what did I say the name of the company was? I asked for a supervisor and he said the system was down and he would not put me through. So I sent them the form that's on their site for interested customer inquiries. That was 1-2 months ago and I have heard nothing.

If this is the sales end, I hate to think what the tech support is like. I don't think these people are organized for individual translator customers.

Furthermore, since I am all set up working with Linux and OmegaT and Open Office products, and these MT products require Windows, I am not moving ahead real fast to try them out. I have Windows in a Virtual Box, but it is now as slow as molasses, for some reason, and I only use it when I have compelling need.

I am not against MT in principle (any more), but it seems like it has a way to go before a freelance translator is going to get much out of it.

Susan


 

Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:35
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
contacting Systran Feb 4, 2010

Susan Welsh wrote:

I have gotten nowhere fast with this matter. I sent PROMT an email asking some questions 2-3 months ago, and they have PROMPTLY not replied yet. When I called Systran's sales office, the young man at the other end of the phone said he had never heard of Systran, and what did I say the name of the company was? I asked for a supervisor and he said the system was down and he would not put me through. So I sent them the form that's on their site for interested customer inquiries. That was 1-2 months ago and I have heard nothing.

If this is the sales end, I hate to think what the tech support is like. I don't think these people are organized for individual translator customers.

Furthermore, since I am all set up working with Linux and OmegaT and Open Office products, and these MT products require Windows, I am not moving ahead real fast to try them out. I have Windows in a Virtual Box, but it is now as slow as molasses, for some reason, and I only use it when I have compelling need.

I am not against MT in principle (any more), but it seems like it has a way to go before a freelance translator is going to get much out of it.


Susan,

I just heard of the same problem in another forum with another freelancer. So I pinged Systran customer support and market last night, and they immediately checked in their database and could find the person's name/info. When you filled out the internet form, did you received an auto-reply email with a customer ticket ID number and title of your request? If not, then customer support never received it.
It sounds like this is what happened. And I know that context well because I was previously the Dir of customer support at Systran in Europe.

Which sales office? In the US? San Diego office or a different city? if a different city, then that could explain the issue.

They do have have a trouble ticketing system that is designed to handle requests come from mass sales. Questions and issues do come from people who buy the tools over the counter at software and games stores.

As for platforms, Windows is definitely the supported platform for desktop software. The server version is in Java, which can handle linux and Unix boxes. They never had a Mac version. Reverso-Promt v4 did have a Mac desktop version.

Jeff


 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:35
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Systran sales Feb 4, 2010

Jeff Allen wrote:

Which sales office? In the US? San Diego office or a different city? if a different city, then that could explain the issue.

Jeff


It was the online distributor Digital River, which is in the Minneapolis area. That's what's listed on the Systran site as the contact point.

As to filling out the Systran online inquiry form, I don't remember whether I received an auto-confirm email.

Susan


 
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