Facebook or Google? (machine translation)
Thread poster: Mary Stefan

Mary Stefan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:44
Member (2006)
Romanian to English
+ ...
Oct 7, 2009

Hi everyone,

If you haven't read the article yet, here is something of interest: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/10/07/language.facebook.google/index.html

Are we all going down the path of starvation?

To cheer you up, here are my favorite lines:

"Google uses mathematical equations to try to translate the Web's content" - don't we all?!? In 8 years, I've totally failed to realize what an easy job the literary translators have. Hahaha!

"Google's computers learn how to be translators by examining text that's already on the Web" - I'm sure they teach the computers how to differentiate between good and bad translations!

"Och said real-time translation of Internet chats is on the horizon" - imagine a man trying to practice 'the art of picking up a woman' in a chat room, and she suddenly logs off without saying goodbye because the "real-time translation" turned the original meaning into something offensive. How cute would that be? Does that sound mean? hahaha

I wish you a productive fall, and, maybe, the next proz conference should include a session called "How to make the world understand that translators are PRICELESS"

Best,
Mary

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-10-07 19:32 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Not our business! Oct 7, 2009

As I have expressed several times in the past, the kind of texts that can be translated with automatic translation to a certain degree of legible quality was not, is not, should not, and will not be the business of a professional translator. Without machine translation technology, most of it would never be translated in the first place!

We don't train, learn, or try to become better professionals just to translate "Click File > Open to open a file." We are here for things that require actual linguistic, technical, and creative capabilities which are and will be really hard to hammer into a machine translation system, no matter how good or powerful.

If any translator out there has click-File-Open-to-open-a-file texts as a main line of business... my advice is to hurry up and train to become a translator in anything else.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:44
French to German
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Joker Oct 7, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

If any translator out there has click-File-Open-to-open-a-file texts as a main line of business... my advice is to hurry up and train to become a translator in anything else.

Hi Tomás,
are you aiming at the IT/computer translators (just kidding)? For the rest I agree with you, which does not mean that I will ignore further developments in these areas - just in case...

[Edited at 2009-10-07 19:49 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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I meant simple IT/computer materials Oct 7, 2009

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
If any translator out there has click-File-Open-to-open-a-file texts as a main line of business... my advice is to hurry up and train to become a translator in anything else.

are you aiming at the IT/computer translators (just kidding)?

Indeed! I have been into that business long enough to know that IT companies and their strategic partners in translation/localisation are exactly the ones who will be very happy to point the way out to 90% of their human translators.

In IT/computer translation, rates keep going down and today it is already rather hard to make a decent living. This of course does not apply to translators translating articles, white papers, marketing stuff and other materials about leading-edge IT technology. I meant simpler translations like user manuals, online helps, etc. That is all bound to be fully done by machine translation sooner than we think.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:44
French to German
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No problem with this Oct 7, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

In IT/computer translation, rates keep going down and today it is already rather hard to make a decent living. This of course does not apply to translators translating articles, white papers, marketing stuff and other materials about leading-edge IT technology. I meant simpler translations like user manuals, online helps, etc. That is all bound to be fully done by machine translation sooner than we think.


I have no problems with that, except that I may spend too much time expressing my sympathy to the readers of such documents.
Anyway, and as "niches" were discussed in another thread, I think there will always be the Lone Ranger out there, offering a good and rather inexpensive software to the world and also investing much ***money*** in perfect translations (a somewhat biased view, I admit it, based on one of my direct clients)...


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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I share the view Oct 7, 2009

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
Anyway, and as "niches" were discussed in another thread, I think there will always be the Lone Ranger out there, offering a good and rather inexpensive software to the world and also investing much ***money*** in perfect translations (a somewhat biased view, I admit it, based on one of my direct clients)...

I do share this opinion too. That kind of customer will exist, but will not feed a myriander IT translators out there. It takes an attitude not everyone has.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:44
Multiplelanguages
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new set of video presentations on MT topic at recent conference Dec 31, 2009

Renato Beninatto just recently made a Keynote Presentation entitled "The On-going Evolution of the Localization Business" at Localization and Translation Thailand in which the use of MT by translators is one of the topics addressed.
Video of it at following link:
http://localizationandtranslation.com/PhotosAndVideos.aspx

This presentation is worth watching.

There are other videos there too. Note that the case study presentation by the COO of Lexis Nexis contains comments that I would object to because their specific implementation needs have specific workflow, file processing, rapidly innovative terminology and other types of constraints which require a very complex implementation of an MT system, yet this is not the case for all customer translation set-ups.

Jeff


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:44
German to Spanish
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Meaning of the other side of the barrier Dec 31, 2009

I will not give my opinion here. But, of the other barrier side meaning is and will remain quite different. Please, read.

From Jost Zetsches newsletter for translation professionals

2. Are you anticipating significant developments in terminology management tools after a long time of things being pretty static?


STAR Servicios Lingüísticos: Translation tool vendors should seriously consider how to interface with MT engines. They should be aware of their strengths, try to benefit from the renewed MT hype, and try to be the driving force behind the changes which are going to happen. With translation tools already integrated into the localization workflows of many multinational companies, it is actually the MT vendors who need the know-how of translation tool and CMS and IMS developers. MT and TEnTs combined together will change the role of translators. Instead of translating, translators will be more and more responsible for reviewing the translation proposals from combined TM / MT engines.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:44
French to German
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to be deleted please Dec 31, 2009

xxx

[Edited at 2009-12-31 11:25 GMT]


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:44
Multiplelanguages
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the next generation of translation tasks combining TM and MT Dec 31, 2009

Pablo and Laurent,

[oops, Laurent deleted his post in the meantime]

It is not about simple button-pushing but about focusing more on upfront preparation with added-value linguistic knowledge into the dictionaries, as well as translation stylistic variation. And then evaluating those through review cycles with interactive translation. It will be as, if not more, linguistically challenging as the translation tasks today. And in doing this, and having to educate the customers upfront about the necessity of it for MT, then it will help translators define, review, and approve language toolkits (glossaries, etc) upfront, which will significantly reduce the misaligned editing task today whereby an editor/proofer/reviser makes stylistic and terminology changes to the translation which actually can degrade the translation if the editor is not involved in the translation project from the start. This was also stated in the video mentioned above.

The problem is that Google translate, and its non customizable nature, have muddied the waters about what MT really is and how translators can use it efficiently.
Those who take the challenge to take this direction, and who only accept to work on serious well-planned MT projects (instead of the senseless push-button and review it all MT jobs), will have an advantage for the upcoming future of translation jobs.

Both the TM and the MT vendors have been working toward hybrid tools and connections for years. I've mentioned this in various examples in other posts here on Proz (below).
See:

the mixing of TM and MT technologies
http://www.proz.com/post/1000970#1000970

the merging of CAT, MT, MAHT, HAMT, etc
http://www.proz.com/post/328685#328685

Yes, there is embedded based TM module in Systran MT high-end desktop versions
http://www.proz.com/post/1038994#1038994

simply different MT types which now create hybrid/multi-engine MT
http://www.proz.com/post/1240684#1240684

CAT, MT, TM, MAHT, HAMT and other acronyms are related
http://www.proz.com/post/1128766#1128766

Wordfast + Machine Translation
http://www.proz.com/post/241987#241987

TM vs. MT
http://www.proz.com/post/174713#174713

MT is part of CAT & MT postediting is worthwhile
http://www.proz.com/post/189873#189873

Machine Translation: yes used for professional translation work
http://www.proz.com/post/177427#177427

does MT already repeat the same way of translating?
http://www.proz.com/post/181287#181287

réponse aux questions sur MT + TM
http://www.proz.com/post/191017#191017

posts describing combining MT and TM
http://www.proz.com/post/275366#275366

clarification about why TM is a daughter of Example-based MT (EBMT)
http://www.proz.com/post/492418#492418

MT preparation steps
http://www.proz.com/post/1123567#1123567

not all these points are required for MT
http://www.proz.com/post/1222060#1222060

don't give up so soon
http://www.proz.com/post/1210346#1210346

And Systran mentioned during their public demo on 2 Dec 2009 that they are working with customers in combination with Trados, Star Transit, Atril Deja Vu and other TM systems.

There are also posts in the Wordfast and the Alchemy support groups here at Proz on how those tools interface with MT tools.

Jeff

[Edited at 2009-12-31 12:18 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-12-31 12:19 GMT]


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:44
German to Spanish
+ ...
Facebook or Google? (machine translation)" Dec 31, 2009

Jeff Allen wrote:

Pablo and Laurent,

[oops, Laurent deleted his post in the meantime]

It will be as, if not more, linguistically challenging as the translation tasks today. And in doing this, and having to educate the customers upfront about the necessity of it for MT, then it will help translators define, review, and approve language toolkits (glossaries, etc) upfront, which will significantly reduce the misaligned editing task today whereby an editor/proofer/reviser makes stylistic and terminology changes to the translation which actually can degrade the translation if the editor is not involved in the translation project from the start. This was also stated in the video mentioned above.


Jeff



Hi, Jeff: I am neither against nor for MT, as MT+TM integration development will be a fact in more or less time. But, I think it is a double edged knife. I did a MT+TM project a few month ago and to my surprise MT was not useful at all, since MT translations were so bad, I needed to retranslate them from scratch.

The only benefit I got was that sometimes, I did not need to remember or look for some word or expression at dictionaries. Up to the date, my experience has been that MT only delays my jobs, since I have to check every automatically translated sentence and usually to translate it again. This means, MT makes me only work twice for the same price or less...

As for the customers education, after more than thirty years in translation bussines, I have given up. I believe that if it has not been achieved in more than three decades, it will never be achieved.


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