Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
"POST-EDITING" (yes or no)
Thread poster: Michael Beijer

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
May 3, 2011

I would like to open a debate here in the forums on the topic of

"POST-EDITING".

(Just like Satan), post-editing goes by many names ...

"post-editing",
"machine translation post-editing",
"MT post-editing",
"manual MT Post-editing",
"PEMT",
etc.

I assume you are familiar with the concept, however, if not, it basically means:

Translation agencies pay you to "proofread" machine transl... See more
I would like to open a debate here in the forums on the topic of

"POST-EDITING".

(Just like Satan), post-editing goes by many names ...

"post-editing",
"machine translation post-editing",
"MT post-editing",
"manual MT Post-editing",
"PEMT",
etc.

I assume you are familiar with the concept, however, if not, it basically means:

Translation agencies pay you to "proofread" machine translated output. They will pretend that they have access to an amazing system, but what you will generally end up editing is Google Translate output. Because you are proofreading MT output (rather than translating it), they will offer to pay you 5 euro cents/word. That is post-editing in a nutshell.

For a more in-depth explanation/definition, see e.g.
1. http://kv-emptypages.blogspot.com/2011/02/exploration-of-post-editing-mt-part-i.html (Kirti Vashee)
2. http://www.translationautomation.com/machine-translation-post-editing-guidelines.html (TAUS)
3. http://translationjournal.net/journal//42mt.htm (by Rafael Guzmán).


The Argument:

MT is a useful tool, and, if used properly, it can greatly assist you in your work.

(Hey, I have the GT plugin enabled in memoQ, and use it for gisting*. It's great and extremely useful.)

However: Keep it to yourself.

After all: why should you divulge your trade secrets to those that would make use of this information against you?

Therefore:

I would recommend that we all SAY NO to post-editing jobs, and instead use this information to our own advantage.

If you feel like using MT in your work, and find that it helps you, by all means do so. However, do not work for less because an agency pretends to have more knowledge than you about MT. They don't. So far, no one has managed to developed anything better than Google Translate or Microsoft Translator.

My experience tells me that they have in fact NOT invested in any form of high-tech MT systems. I have tested their systems**, and have consistently found that they are using nothing better than:

http://translate.google.com/# or http://www.microsofttranslator.com/

----------------------

Discuss.






* gisting: http://yndigotranslations.com/blog/2008/06/03/gist-right/
** their systems: www.crosslang.com + https://www.geoworkz.com/ (Lionbridge) (-> http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/197336-do_not_try_geoworkz.html),
Etc.
Collapse


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
This kind of job should be avoided like the plague ! May 3, 2011

I agree completely. Foolishly I recently accepted a job like this, for half of my usual rate, and ended up doing a major rewrite.

If in future I ever accept such work again I will charge 90% of my usual rate.


 

Clive Phillips  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Where post-editing can be rewarding... May 3, 2011

I agree there's nothing more disheartening, nay infuriating, than a post-editing job that becomes a re-write. And if it's not properly remunerated, you're not likely ever to want to do post-editing again.

Where it can be satisfying though, and I realise this is of little interest to freelances, is for a salaried in-house translator regularly post-editing texts in a limited specialist subject area. Over time, her/his "corrections" will improve the performance of the (procured) in-hou
... See more
I agree there's nothing more disheartening, nay infuriating, than a post-editing job that becomes a re-write. And if it's not properly remunerated, you're not likely ever to want to do post-editing again.

Where it can be satisfying though, and I realise this is of little interest to freelances, is for a salaried in-house translator regularly post-editing texts in a limited specialist subject area. Over time, her/his "corrections" will improve the performance of the (procured) in-house machine translation program (Systran or whatever) as post-editing effort gradually reduces. This has been my experience in the past.

While I see machine translation as a freelance's tool to be used with circumspection, I have much sympathy with the thrust of Michael's argument, especially as I feel a freelance should be paid at a level commensurate with her/his track record, experience, qualifications and skills, against the background of prevailing market rates.
Collapse


 

Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 23:39
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Why not full rate or higher? May 3, 2011

Tom in London wrote:

I agree completely. Foolishly I recently accepted a job like this, for half of my usual rate, and ended up doing a major rewrite.

If in future I ever accept such work again I will charge 90% of my usual rate.


One should even ask for 120 or 130% of the full rate because you will first read the original, then read the MT, sometimes delete all the sentence, replace the terms or change the word order.


 

Romeo Mlinar  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:39
English to Serbian
+ ...
What about a mix of TM and human translation? May 3, 2011

I received recently a project which required tactful translation of some key phrases (as usually is in PR world of big players).

After receiving the text I went through it and wrote back to the PM, stating that I suspect that one part of the text is machine translated. I pointed out that the rest of the text should also be heavily rewritten, since the quality is not very good. I strongly suggested editing instead of proofreading, before I started any work. (A note: I got translated
... See more
I received recently a project which required tactful translation of some key phrases (as usually is in PR world of big players).

After receiving the text I went through it and wrote back to the PM, stating that I suspect that one part of the text is machine translated. I pointed out that the rest of the text should also be heavily rewritten, since the quality is not very good. I strongly suggested editing instead of proofreading, before I started any work. (A note: I got translated text only, which is just fine for proofreading.)

In the reply I received no comments about TM.

I was asked to continue with the proofreading.

Anyway, this story had a happy ending for the translator, PM and customer. I'm still not clear what happened and how MT got in the text I received.
Collapse


 

sandymess  Identity Verified
Cameroon
Local time: 21:39
English to French
+ ...
Translation quality! May 3, 2011

MT cannot be blamed by those job provider, the sole responsibility is for the translator. That's why, those low rates should not be accepted. As linguist, we abide by full or higher rates like stated Selcuk Akyuz:

"One should even ask for 120 or 130% of the full rate because you will first read the original, then read the MT, sometimes delete all the sentence, replace the terms or change the word order. "


 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
Member
French to English
+ ...
Why "post"? May 3, 2011

I still fail to understand why it's called "post-editing" rather than MT editing (or retranslating, come to that...) In terms of when it occurs relative to translation, how does it differ from ordinary editing? And what should we call proofreaders/editors who check post-edited translations, post-post-editors?

I haven't been offered any post-editing jobs yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. I've seen recruitment postings placed by agencies seeking to persuade us that "the tr
... See more
I still fail to understand why it's called "post-editing" rather than MT editing (or retranslating, come to that...) In terms of when it occurs relative to translation, how does it differ from ordinary editing? And what should we call proofreaders/editors who check post-edited translations, post-post-editors?

I haven't been offered any post-editing jobs yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. I've seen recruitment postings placed by agencies seeking to persuade us that "the translation industry is changing...", and at least one of the corporate translation mega-mills (naming no names) has been predictably quick to jump on the bandwagon. I can just imagine the arguments they will come up with when translators try to justify their requests for higher rates than those on offer ("but it's already written for you, all you need to do is fix a few things here or there...")

There are several reasons why I can't see myself ever accepting MT editing jobs, not the least of which - aside from the obvious financial considerations - is the fact that I simply enjoy translating texts from scratch. Post-editing takes even that away from the translator. If it ever gets to the stage where the post-editing "industry" becomes so big that it becomes difficult for me to earn a living from what I'm doing now, I'll be off to pastures greener. So I'll gladly join the boycott!



[Edited at 2011-05-03 22:15 GMT]
Collapse


 

Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:39
Member (2008)
French to English
Post-editing May 4, 2011

I think it's called post-editing because with the earliest MT, at least, people used to pre-edit source documents as well. They would try to make the document as idiot proof as possible so the MT program would do a better job. I'm not sure it ever worked all that well.

 

Luis Arri Cibils  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:39
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I would accept any post-editing job if... May 4, 2011

the client accepts that I will charge for my work on a per hour basis, at my regular hourly fee, that I set at my pleasure, and he, she or it can only accept or reject. If I can post-edit it investing less time than I would need for translating the doc from scratch, more power to him, her or it. If I need more time, tough luck for him, her or it.
Luis

[Edited at 2011-05-04 01:34 GMT]


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
In memoriam
Trash to the Trash Can May 4, 2011

The few times I have done editing it has involved at least fair to middling human translation, and even then I have felt it would have been almost as easy to do it over again from scratch. The fact is, for that very reason I do not do proofing or editing. If someone comes to me with something that has already been translated but they are not satisfied with it, they can just give it to me as any other translation and they can trash the first one, I do not even want to see it. I figure that MT wou... See more
The few times I have done editing it has involved at least fair to middling human translation, and even then I have felt it would have been almost as easy to do it over again from scratch. The fact is, for that very reason I do not do proofing or editing. If someone comes to me with something that has already been translated but they are not satisfied with it, they can just give it to me as any other translation and they can trash the first one, I do not even want to see it. I figure that MT would even be far worse to deal with.

And I certainly agree with Luis.

[Editado a las 2011-05-04 02:40 GMT]
Collapse


 

Wiyanto Suroso  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 03:39
Member (2009)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
I say NO! May 4, 2011

@Michael: Now, I say NO to post-editing jobs. Agencies unlikely offer a higher post-editing rate than a normal editing one. I had an inconvenient experience before.

http://www.proz.com/virtual-conferences/257/program/5500?_click_=Y29tbWVudGluZ2ZlYXR1cmU6NzM3

@Luis: I agree with you that any post-editing work should be
... See more
@Michael: Now, I say NO to post-editing jobs. Agencies unlikely offer a higher post-editing rate than a normal editing one. I had an inconvenient experience before.

http://www.proz.com/virtual-conferences/257/program/5500?_click_=Y29tbWVudGluZ2ZlYXR1cmU6NzM3

@Luis: I agree with you that any post-editing work should be charged on a per-hour basis. Unfortunately, I found that some agencies use a basis of 1,000 words per hour for editing or proofreading. Is the basis of 1,000 words per hour a rule of thumb in this industry? If this is the case, it will not be interesting for me to adopt a per-hour basis of my normal fee. We all know that post-editing work needs more time than the normal editing of human translation.
Collapse


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:39
Chinese to English
It's a bit like editing a student translation May 4, 2011

Or a translation into a second language. In my pair, a lot of translators are native Chinese speakers translating into English. Translation companies try to get away with paying peanuts for a Chinese translator, then peanuts for a native English "polisher". I don't accept these jobs, but a lot of people do. Once you get into the "Chinglish", it becomes fairly easy. You can work out what the original was saying with little effort, and alter the English to fit.
Doesn't work for hard/interes
... See more
Or a translation into a second language. In my pair, a lot of translators are native Chinese speakers translating into English. Translation companies try to get away with paying peanuts for a Chinese translator, then peanuts for a native English "polisher". I don't accept these jobs, but a lot of people do. Once you get into the "Chinglish", it becomes fairly easy. You can work out what the original was saying with little effort, and alter the English to fit.
Doesn't work for hard/interesting texts, and doesn't interest me as a way of making money at all. But I don't mind if others do it. Let's face it, once computer translators get good enough to convey the gist *reliably* we're all out of a job. But I think that day is a good 30 years off yet. I've bet my career on it.
Collapse


 

Norbert Hermann  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
English to German
+ ...
proofreading, editing, reviewing ... what a confusion May 4, 2011

Michael J.W. Beijer wrote:

I would like to open a debate here in the forums on the topic of

"POST-EDITING".

(Just like Satan), post-editing goes by many names ...

"post-editing",
"machine translation post-editing",
"MT post-editing",
"manual MT Post-editing",
"PEMT",
etc.



Michael J.W. Beijer wrote: Translation agencies pay you to "proofread" machine translated output.


If an agency asks me to "proofread MT output" I would have to check with them what they mean by it.

I feel our industry - agencies and freelancers alike - needs to have proper definitions so everybody knows exactly what is required when we talk about proofreading, editing, revision, reviewing or TEP. In my experience, the expectations vary widely.

What's more, it is not just MT output we have to worry about. There are also pretty bad human translations - perhaps due to ridiculous rates, tight deadlines, chicken factory type online translation environments – which require an awful lot of post-editing (or whatever you want to call it). But since a great majority is willing to provide these services at roughly a third of their normal translation rate (i. e. a word rate) this problem will continue.

If these services are charged on an hourly basis (as in the past or by colleagues who like myself have always applied an hourly charge) we will soon see an end to it.

I am amazed how any professional can base the charge for these services on a word rate when the work is so unpredictable.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:39
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Practical business creativity May 4, 2011

Hermann wrote:
I feel our industry - agencies and freelancers alike - needs to have proper definitions so everybody knows exactly what is required when we talk about proofreading, editing, revision, reviewing or TEP. In my experience, the expectations vary widely.

But, don't you think all agents in an industry try to name things differently if the designation is unpleasant?

Doesn't it sound a lot better to do "post-editing" than "editing machine translation output"? In this sense, I am quite certain that, since we translators dislike to edit machine translation output, the companies interested in promoting it will find new names along time to try to fool us into this kind of work...


 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Exactly May 4, 2011

Luis Arri Cibils wrote:

the client accepts that I will charge for my work on a per hour basis, at my regular hourly fee, that I set at my pleasure, and he, she or it can only accept or reject. If I can post-edit it investing less time than I would need for translating the doc from scratch, more power to him, her or it. If I need more time, tough luck for him, her or it.
Luis

[Edited at 2011-05-04 01:34 GMT]


I agree with Luis and others in this thread. If I'm asked to proofread (edit, post-edit, call it what you will), I always say that I'll charge by the hour at a rate which I fix. If the client doesn't accept my terms, I don't take the job. I hate editing other people's (or a machine's) work, anyway.
But I guess it depends how badly the translator needs the work ...
Jenny


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

"POST-EDITING" (yes or no)

Advanced search







SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running and helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »
WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search