Have you ever considered a career in machine translation?
Thread poster: Richard Bartholomew

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:05
Member (2007)
German to English
Jul 15, 2010

Or, conversely, has anyone here ever left a career in machine translation to become a translator? If so, could you explain your reasons for having done so? Do you find your machine-translation experience helpful in your career as a translator?

There are jobs to be had in machine translation, but they tend to be R&D positions requiring an MS or PhD with a lot of heavy mathematical lifting. Nevertheless, have your feet ever gotten so cold that you considered trying to retrain?

For those who have made the switch from translator to machine-translation professional (if any), how does your employer view your translation experience? Does he or she ignore it, consider it an asset or even a liability? Do you find your translation experience helpful to your new career?


 

Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 02:05
English to French
+ ...
I'm interested by any opportunity like that ! Jul 15, 2010

Richard Bartholomew wrote:

Or, conversely, has anyone here ever left a career in machine translation to become a translator? If so, could you explain your reasons for having done so? Do you find your machine-translation experience helpful in your career as a translator?

There are jobs to be had in machine translation, but they tend to be R&D positions requiring an MS or PhD with a lot of heavy mathematical lifting. Nevertheless, have your feet ever gotten so cold that you considered trying to retrain?

For those who have made the switch from translator to machine-translation professional (if any), how does your employer view your translation experience? Does he or she ignore it, consider it an asset or even a liability? Do you find your translation experience helpful to your new career?


Hello,

Personnally I am really interested by such offers as it will help me use my background as an engineer while still in the translation world.


 

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:05
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Here are some possibilities for you, Mr. Mehenoun. Jul 15, 2010

I see from your resume that you have a BSEE. Congratulations, Mr. Mehenoun, that's a long, hard slog. If you can convince DSS to grant you a security clearance, you might want to consider working at Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA. I worked there for years and I can vouch for their integrity. Here's a possibility in Division 6:

Job Title: Machine Translation Engineer
State: Massachusetts
City: Lexington
Description: Group 62—Information Systems Technology
...
Associate Staff: Machine Translation
The Information System Technology Group (Group 62) is seeking a candidate to work on machine translation algorithm development with focus on speech-to-speech machine translation. Design and run experiments for core technology by constructing systems from off-the-shelf components, developing in-house software, and integrating existing systems.


Background requirements include:
Education: MS in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or related field. In lieu of a MS, a BS and 3 years of directly related experience may be considered.
...

-- https://www.ll.apply2jobs.com/ProfExt/index.cfm?fuseaction=mExternal.showJob&RID=1539&CurrentPage=1

You could also try BBN in Cambridge, MA. I interviewed with them once, but they were really, really demanding. If you're up for a challenge, try

Title: Staff Research Scientist - Language Understanding Technologies
Department: Speech & Language Technologies
Location: Cambridge MA

BBN currently has a great career opportunity available for a Research Scientist in Statistical Modeling Techniques for Language Understanding Technologies.

Desired Qualifications:

* An exceptional individual interested in transforming the capabilities of natural language understanding systems
* A combination of research and implementation skills, including significant programming experience in C++
* US Citizenship is preferred

Minimum Education:

* Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or other relevant technical field.

Minimum Experience:

* 0 years experience required with a Master's degree in Computer Science.
* 3-6 years of experience in a relevant technical field with undergraduate degree in Computer Science.

-- http://careers.bbn.com/servlet/av/jd?ai=715&ji=2367446&sn=I

You'd have to get around the US citizenship preference, but if you can convince them that your that good, I'm sure they'd make an exception.

You can suss out lots of other opportunities with some judicious Google search strings. Good luck, this stuff is for the young. I think I'll stick with good old translation for the forseeable future.


 

Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 02:05
English to French
+ ...
Thanks a lot ! Jul 15, 2010

Hello,

Thanks a lot for those tips !

Right now, I'm open to any opportunity, so I'll give it a try, even though the security clearance is a bit of a problem in my case.

Thanks again.


 

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:05
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Good luck Jul 15, 2010

Rather than trying to go through Human Resources at Lincoln, Mr. Mehenoun, I suggest you try some of the many subcontractor agencies that do business with them. HR at Lincoln can be, how to put this diplomatically—difficult.

Try

Aerotek - Woburn Staffing Location
100 Unicorn Park Dr.
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: (781)938-3000
Toll-Free: (800)775-2905
http://www.aerotek.com/Locations/United-States/Massachusetts/Woburn.aspx#location
Wendy Durkin, Director of Business Operations

or

Technical Aid Corporation
888 Washington St.
Dedham MA 02026
http://www.tacworldwide.com

This last link takes you to Advantage Technical Resourcing, which may be a successor to TAC. Who knows these days, things are changing so quickly. Anyway, I've worked for both of these outfits and they were on the up and up.


 


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