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What do you think about DeepL?
Thread poster: kakapo77

kakapo77  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:12
French to Italian
+ ...
Aug 31, 2017

Hello everybody,

What do you think about the new DeepL Translator? According to me, it is really incredible. It is far better than Gooogle Translator, and it is extremely precise and nuanced.

In my opinion, it can already replace human translators in a lot of contexts. I mean, it really outcompetes Google Translator, which was already impressive.

What do you think about that? What is your opinion? Do you fear it?

Kakapo77


 

Dušan Ján Hlísta  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 19:12
English to Slovak
+ ...
no wonder at all Aug 31, 2017

it is functioning only for some languages not every as in the Google Trnaslator so no victory at all - why are you so excited?

 

kakapo77  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:12
French to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It's just a matter of time... Aug 31, 2017

Well,

I think it's just a matter of time before more languages are added. I am excited because I did not expect such an improvement in such a short delay, and at the same time I am scared about the future of the translation market.

Kakapo77


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:12
Member (2008)
French to English
A tool Aug 31, 2017

I tried it yesterday, FR>EN. I was impressed with the readability of the results. However, I gave it the transcript of an interview and it got lost quite a few times where the speaker hesitated or didn't speak smoothly. In some cases, as with all MT systems, it got the meaning completely wrong.

Another tool in the toolbox, but still only a tool.

[Edited at 2017-08-31 16:37 GMT]


 

Daniel Frisano
Switzerland
Local time: 19:12
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Slightly better than Google T. Aug 31, 2017

I tried it EN to IT, and it gives better results that ca. 70% of all human translations that I've ever proofread.

I tried it DE to IT, admittedly without context, and it was hilarious:

ncmjetmwr2mlhfrauios.jpg

Obviously it still goes through English when translating between other languages.


 

Otha Nash
United States
Local time: 13:12
Member (2017)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Pretty Good Aug 31, 2017

I tried it with FR > EN, and it was impressive with straightforward general purpose text. Less so with nuanced ideas and complex phrases. A useful tool.

 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:12
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
btw, this is already being discussed @ Aug 31, 2017

http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/318095-deepl.html

Michael


 

Frank Zou  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 01:12
Member (2016)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Chinese Aug 31, 2017

It has nothing to do with Chinese language. I doubt it can work fine with Sino-Tibetan languages.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Just testing… Sep 2, 2017

I'm currently checking it out with the odd phrase or string to see what comes up.
So, I've just put "Benzoato de 7-dihidrocolesterilo" in... and DeepL translated it as "7-dihydrochesteryl benzoate". As my knowledge of chemistry nomenclature is minimal, I then ran a Google search on the result and got the response "Results for 7-dihydro cholesteryl benzoate (No results found for 7-dihydrochesteryl benzoate).

So, in this particular case, Google wins the points for accuracy.

[Edited at 2017-09-02 09:33 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-09-02 09:33 GMT]


 

Maurice Koopman  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:12
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes I fear it Sep 11, 2017

I tried a few text - a technical text, an introduction to Kant, a legal piece - and I think it produces great quality. So yes I do fear it. This is really a breakthrough in the automation of the translation process. According to me it is just a matter of time before translation agencies and companies find it and adapt the way they work to it. I read the comments in the threads on DeepL and I find a lot of them naive. Translation agencies and companies will not opt for a translator if they can have the text translate for free by DeepL and have it checked for a small amount because the quality is just too good to not use it.

 

kakapo77  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:12
French to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree with Maurice. It's normal to fear it and people have to face reality Sep 11, 2017

Hello Maurice,

Thanks for your reply. I totally agree with you, especially when you say that many comments on DeepL - I am not necessarily speaking of the ones included in this thread, I am speaking by a general point of view - are incredibly naive.

I mean, let's face it, this tool works in an excellent way and it outperforms a big chunk of the translators on Proz. Just take a look to the terminology section, and you will see that a lot of people need help about really basic stuff, as if they were not even translators.

In my opinion, most translators only have a humanistic background, which leads them to think that translation will never be mastered by computers, and that only human beings will ever be able to provide good results. But this is just a sort of cognitive bias.

I am sure that poetry and literature need humans, that is obvious. But this kind of translation just represents a part of the market. I guess that most people here work on technical stuff, and I think that this type of texts can already be largely automated. Only limited post-editing is be required.

Regards,

Marco


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:12
Member (2008)
Italian to English
NOthing to fear Sep 11, 2017

Maurice Koopman wrote:

So yes I do fear it



There is nothing to fear but fear itself (as someone once said).


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:12
Member (2004)
English to Italian
yes but... Sep 11, 2017

Maurice Koopman wrote:

Translation agencies and companies will not opt for a translator if they can have the text translate for free by DeepL and have it checked for a small amount because the quality is just too good to not use it.


It's up to us, isn't it? Just say no to the checking... if we all refuse, the "problem" goes away... icon_smile.gif


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 19:12
Member (2016)
English to German
The understanding is still missing Sep 11, 2017

kakapo77 wrote:

Hello Maurice,

Thanks for your reply. I totally agree with you, especially when you say that many comments on DeepL - I am not necessarily speaking of the ones included in this thread, I am speaking by a general point of view - are incredibly naive.

I mean, let's face it, this tool works in an excellent way and it outperforms a big chunk of the translators on Proz. Just take a look to the terminology section, and you will see that a lot of people need help about really basic stuff, as if they were not even translators.

In my opinion, most translators only have a humanistic background, which leads them to think that translation will never be mastered by computers, and that only human beings will ever be able to provide good results. But this is just a sort of cognitive bias.

I am sure that poetry and literature need humans, that is obvious. But this kind of translation just represents a part of the market. I guess that most people here work on technical stuff, and I think that this type of texts can already be largely automated. Only limited post-editing is be required.

Regards,

Marco


Marco, I believe that the naivete is on the side of the MT-believers. (Let me add that I have a technical and IT background, not a "humanistic" one, at least not in a professional sense ...)

The claim that DeepL "outperforms a big chunk of Proz translators" is just that, a claim. I think that this is far from the truth. Please prove it. I can only say that in my pair DeepL outperforms other MT engines only, which is a good thing in itself, but the DeepL results are still a far cry from anything a native translator would produce.

And the reason for the still lousy results of DeepL are simple. What DeepL does is not translating. The process of translating includes the understanding of the source text and the reproduction of the meaning in the target text. No MT engine yet is able to do this. There is no such thing as artificial intelligence, which would be required for this. (Note that not even the Turing test, a rather crude idea to confirm the existence of artificial intelligence, has ever beed passed yet by any system. If that happens, there might be reason for concern.)

What DeepL does, like any other MT system, is applying algorithms and heuristics on huge amounts of data in order to create a target text that has a certain probability to imitate the result of a translation. It seems that this probability has been improved, compared with other MT systems. But that's about it. It is obvious that the rate of errors and outright embarrassments this MT produces makes it still unusable for any serious purpose. Algorithmic MT (and you can call it neural all day long, it's still algorithmic) will never be able to translate accurately. As you know, the same sentence can have more than one translation, depending on context. Understanding the context is one requirement for an accurate translation. You need AI for that, and AI does not exist. AI will probably exist at some point in the future, but right now it is nothing but science fiction.

For example, a truly intelligent MT system would simply not be able to translate right away a sentence you enter. A truly intelligent MT system would ask questions about the context, before suggesting a translation.

[Edited at 2017-09-11 14:34 GMT]


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:12
Member
English to Italian
As with rates... Sep 11, 2017

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Maurice Koopman wrote:

Translation agencies and companies will not opt for a translator if they can have the text translate for free by DeepL and have it checked for a small amount because the quality is just too good to not use it.


It's up to us, isn't it? Just say no to the checking... if we all refuse, the "problem" goes away... icon_smile.gif


Same thing with low rates, "discounts" for fuzzies, "mandatory" cat tools, absurd clauses in SLAs/NDAs, no minimum/rush fees, etc. etc. In other words, PEMT is here to stay, DeepL, ShallowL or whatever are just details.


 
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