Words for Sale! (Blog Article)
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:37
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 20, 2010

http://translationcommentator.blogspot.com/2010/10/commodification-of-communication.html

See also:
Part One:
http://translationcommentator.blogspot.com/2010/10/are-we-just-selling-words.html





[Edited at 2010-10-20 18:14 GMT]


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interesting article Oct 20, 2010

Hi Jeff,

thanks for posting that link, it is a very interesting article.

I've just had a cursory look at it, and will read it in more depth later.

JP.


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Eugenia K.
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:37
English to Russian
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Thanks Oct 20, 2010

Thank you for the link.

Her other blog posts are no less interesting if you mentioned =)


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:37
Spanish to English
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More than interesting Oct 20, 2010

Jeff - Thanks for pointing us to this article.

I can feel the shackles being fitted, the heavy wooden oar, and the crack of the wordmaster's whip.


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Damian Harrison
Germany
Local time: 07:37
German to English
Thanks! Oct 20, 2010

These are immensely interesting articles - thanks Jeff!

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:37
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Software Oct 21, 2010

When business people look at CAT and MT software and see that the computer can translate 80% (for example) of a text, they automatically "translate" this into a savings of 80%, leaving the translator responsible for only the remaining 20% of the job. What they fail to realize is that the creation of a translation is not an even process (it does not take the same amount of effort to translate each "word").

In other words, the computer may "translate", "process", "pre-translate" or "match" 80% of a text, but this contribution may only be 10-20%. The translator may have to translate 80% fewer words, but the 20% that remain represent 80% or more of the effort involved in the project.

They may think that by having MT pre-translate the "easy" words (and, but, for, to, with, or) they will save tons of money, but in that case, the cost to translate "adversary proceedings" and "declaratory judgment" would not be .10 a word, but $1.00 a word.

[Edited at 2010-10-21 14:53 GMT]


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Alex Eames
Local time: 06:37
English to Polish
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article written to be impossible to MT Oct 21, 2010

I think that article was written so as to be impossible to translate by MT.

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riafontes
Spain
Local time: 06:37
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Thank you Oct 22, 2010

First, I would like to thank Jeff for the information provided about the sites. I think that all the translators should read them. They really put things in perspective.

The first time I came across programs for automatic translation was back in 1988 when I worked in a project for IBM Portugal translating software for programming education (Fortran and RPG). I hated them. Most of the time it took much longer to translate using them. They took me off the track and it was much more time consuming to reconstruct the phases than to make a direct translation. I know that there is a long way in the development of those programs and they are much better now (if you believe all the propaganda and marketing efforts placed to sell them). But I have to admit that, even today, I do prefer a direct translation than to use CAT tools. I already made a comparison translating 2 different sets of similar compositions and the direct translation won. There are several reasons for that. The speed of your internet connection, the power of your computer, the time of the day you do the job (busy periods make the response time longer), the construction of the sentence, etc. For instance, most of the words in a sentence in Portuguese or Spanish or French or English are in different sequence. So, although I have a CAT program, I normally use it when I want to have a good laugh. Let me give you an example. I tried to translate the sentence "Fly now, pay latter" from English to Spanish, in one of the translations I did, using the CAT tool. The translation suggested was "La mosca ahora pagado después". I am sure if you understand Spanish you would have a good laugh as well. The same goes for the automatic translations in the web pages. I wonder how, sometimes respectable companies, allow those translations to show in their web pages. But what annoys me the most is the fact that the majority of the translating companies demand, as a must, the use of SDL or similar CAT tool. I have already queried some of those companies the reason behind this request. Why do you care so much about what methodology or program do I use? Are you giving me the original files in a format that only SDL can read? Do you think that the quality of the translation is better using SDL? Are you concern about me not meeting the deadline? Is your company or you a shareholder of the company owing and/or distributing SDL? Do you have a commission on the sale of that program? I couldn't get one single answer so far and I do believe that I am now in the black list of those companies. The propaganda and the marketing pressure behind those tools and the passive attitude of the translators accepting those demands drives the situation deeper and deeper making it a standard in the translating world. In my opinion, the last entry of Jeff on this issue is a direct hit.


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