A devastating critique of machine translation
Thread poster: Michele Fauble

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:44
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Jan 31

The Shallowness of Google Translate


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:44
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Same as... Jan 31

This URL was also posted in the PEMT forum, but since there is no moderator for the PEMT forum, the post there will remain there and not be moved here, where it belongs.


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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:44
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
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GT has its pros, but Jan 31

a professional who's focused on the quality and results of his or her work must not rely on such tool. GT translates words, phrases that do not require linguistics processing(https://www.sltinfo.com/linguistic-processing/). Though technology is important and useful, we shall not forget that from birth to death, we experience constant human interactions, in the most variable styles, ways, and times and intensities.
I wish you all a successful human interaction in 2018.

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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:44
Member (2008)
Russian to English
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@Samuel Jan 31

You're right, I'll kill it at the other place if I can. I put it there because for some reason that's the forum that came up when I wanted to post it (instead of this one). I never noticed any PEMT forum before. I've posted a notice to the proz staff asking them to merge the two, and saying this is where they should be, rather than under the "art" of translation.

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Sharon James
Machine translation is good but Feb 1

Machine translation may appear as a good way to save money and time, but be careful. These kinds of translators first analyze the structure of each term or phrase within the source text. They then break this structure down into elements that can be easily translated and recompose a term of the same structure in the target language. This method may seem correct, but the quality of the translation is much lower than a human translation, because the structure of each language is different and it is something that most machine translators don’t take into account.

Human translators are most often native speakers of the target language. That’s why, unlike machine translators, they are perfectly familiar with all of its specificities, subtleties, expressions, slang, grammar etc. So to get the exact meaning and better context, one must go with human translation.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:44
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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Thank you so much for sharing! Feb 2

This confirms a lot of my vague ideas about machine translation.

I am not qualified, and have not the time to carry out the experiments described here, and could not have formulated it so well.

But this really is an important article to read and pass on. It provides a lot of food for thought and some good explanations of what translators REALLY do and why we are still needed.

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A devastating critique of machine translation

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