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New trick: TM cheating
Thread poster: Paula Borges

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:06
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Nov 25, 2011

Dear Colleagues:

I'm not sure if this will make you laugh or cry - I'm still undecided.

This morning an agency that had been quiet for months approached me with a potential translation about fashion, something I do regularly. They sent me the text and I said I could do it. The total volume was of 1,700 words and I'd just wait for the PO to start.

However, when it arrived the total value was a lot less than I was expecting. They tell me they have previously translated TM and in reality I'd only have to translate 700 words, more or less.

So I open the TM and surprise: it's ALL machine translation.

Is this a mistake, a joke or do people actually get away with that?

What worries me is that this only came up after I had seen the text and accepted the assignment.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Have a greaat weekend.

Paula


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:06
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
TM vs translation Nov 25, 2011

What you've accepted was a 1,700 word translation and not a post-editing job. This gives you the right to turn the post-editing job down.

Yes, there are some agency that believe they can get away with offering real transdlation jobs which then turn out to be MT post-editing.

You might want to contact them and give them your per word rate or, perhaps even better yet, your hourly rate, because MT post-editing can be more time consuming than a translation. No matter hoiw they try to make it look, you would still have to work on every word. See if they still want you to do the job.icon_smile.gif


 

Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Member (2007)
Russian to English
+ ...
* Nov 25, 2011

Paula Borges wrote:

Dear Colleagues:

I'm not sure if this will make you laugh or cry - I'm still undecided.

This morning an agency that had been quiet for months approached me with a potential translation about fashion, something I do regularly. They sent me the text and I said I could do it. The total volume was of 1,700 words and I'd just wait for the PO to start.

However, when it arrived the total value was a lot less than I was expecting. They tell me they have previously translated TM and in reality I'd only have to translate 700 words, more or less.

So I open the TM and surprise: it's ALL machine translation.

Is this a mistake, a joke or do people actually get away with that?

What worries me is that this only came up after I had seen the text and accepted the assignment.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Have a greaat weekend.

Paula


You have 2 ways out:

1) refuse teh translation

2) tell them you will translate your 700 words and take no responsibility for teh rest


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:06
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It takes time, but correct the TM and ask for payment Nov 25, 2011

You probably will not get paid, but with a text that size it would be worth it to make a point.

I never adhere slavishly to the TM if I know better, and I tell the client it does not fit in the new context.

Obviously I check thoroughly first, but then they can take it or leave it. If it is only a couple of words, I reckon it is all part of the service, but most of my clients pay me to proofread fuzzy matches and that is fine...

Irritating, but for that size of job I would correct the worst rubbish and make a fuss. I would not waste all my weekend on it though, unless it really made an impression!
________________

Having seen Thayenga's posting, that's an even better plan.
Fashion simply will not work with MT - the output is sure to be rubbish anyway.

[Edited at 2011-11-25 15:33 GMT]


 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:06
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No post-editing, please! Nov 25, 2011

They know I don't do post-editing - life is too short for that kind of pain!icon_smile.gif

Christine - you are right. It's pointless to even try with the kind of text I work with.

I sent two emails saying I'm turning the job down and got no replies. I'm afraid by Monday they will be saying they didn't get it and are expecting the translation. I mean, if they have the nerve to try what they have why wouldn't I expect that? I'll keep them saved just in case.

[Edited at 2011-11-25 15:46 GMT]


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:06
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Time to pick up the phone Nov 25, 2011

Paula Borges wrote:

I sent two emails saying I'm turning the job down and got no replies. I'm afraid by Monday they will be saying they didn't get it and are expecting the translation.


Can you call them on the phone right away?
Katalin


 

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:06
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hi Paula Nov 25, 2011

I don't know what am I missing here, but why don't you tell them? They may be simply unaware. In any case, this should be absolutely discussed with the outsourcer.

Natalia

PS If your client is in the USA, they have a long weekend there

[Edited at 2011-11-25 18:37 GMT]


 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:06
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Of course I have told them! Nov 25, 2011

Like I said, I sent an email right away saying I couldn't accept those terms and asking them if they were aware the TM was machine translation. At that point, I thought it could be a mistake.

They replied by saying that "as you know, the TM has to be checked and may require adjustments". They also said I could request some extra pay if I felt those "adjustments" took too much of my time, but that they don't pay full rate for text that has already been translated. Of course, that seems quite reasonable if the text has been translated, which is not the case.

So, once again, I ask if they had seen what the TM really is.

To that they simply say:

"This is our new method and if you can't agree with it I can assure you there are many translators who do".

I feel like replying:

"will see if I'm there in the corner"

Which is machine translation gibberish for a Brazilian idiom that basically means "leave me alone".

[Edited at 2011-11-25 19:09 GMT]


 

Rodion Shein  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:06
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
Fabulous Nov 25, 2011

Paula Borges wrote:

To that they simply say:

"This is our new method and if you can't agree with it I can assure you there are many translators who do".

I feel like replying:

"will see if I'm there in the corner"

Which is machine translation gibberish for a Brazilian idiom that basically means "leave me alone".


I would even recommend them a couple of low-quality translators who would match their innovative method. Great results guaranteed!


 

Raúl Casanova  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 08:06
English to Spanish
If you are unable to fight, you'd better joint your enemy. Nov 25, 2011

First af all, you have full right to decline the job because they have changed the volumen or the class of the job after your acceptance Should you suspect malintention on the part of the outsoucer, you can tell them that your acceptance is conditioned to a previous analysis of the source file.
On another track, and expresing my very personal position, there is nothing wrong with postediting MT, provide you know it in advance and set your rates accordingly to avoid being cheated. All in all, if you take the raw MT output, and charge by the hour, you will end collecting an amount proportional to the time devoted to the job. It doesn't matter how you or the outsorce names the job (translation o MTPE) you could charge for the hours actually used to complete the job. (there are free tools for compiling the exact time employed, like Timestamp). You might be surprised by the way MT can increase your productivity. If I charge USD 40 an hour, and translate 350 words in that time (quite a common figure), I'm charging roughly USD 0.115 per word. If I perform MTPE and have a throughput of 500-550 wph (you will discover this or even more is a very common figure too), you will be charging little more than 7 cents per word, but still the same USD 40 and hour. Does the per word rate matters at all? I believe not. If the outsourcer insist in paying per word as Editing rates, after you have explained him you care about the time applied to the job and not the name, just tell him to go elsewere. If he is a reasonable outsourcer, he will still be able to get some increased revenue, but it has not to be a your expenses.
Just think about it. Good luck
Raúl

[Edited at 2011-11-25 19:37 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-11-25 19:43 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:06
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
This makes sense to me. Nov 25, 2011

Alexander Onishko wrote:

Paula Borges wrote:

Dear Colleagues:

I'm not sure if this will make you laugh or cry - I'm still undecided.

This morning an agency that had been quiet for months approached me with a potential translation about fashion, something I do regularly. They sent me the text and I said I could do it. The total volume was of 1,700 words and I'd just wait for the PO to start.

However, when it arrived the total value was a lot less than I was expecting. They tell me they have previously translated TM and in reality I'd only have to translate 700 words, more or less.

So I open the TM and surprise: it's ALL machine translation.

Is this a mistake, a joke or do people actually get away with that?

What worries me is that this only came up after I had seen the text and accepted the assignment.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Have a greaat weekend.

Paula


You have 2 ways out:

1) refuse teh translation

2) tell them you will translate your 700 words and take no responsibility for teh rest


 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:06
English to German
+ ...
Question Nov 25, 2011

What is TM and what is MT?

 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:06
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Perhaps for technical texts Nov 25, 2011

Raúl Casanova wrote:

First af all, you have full right to decline the job because they have changed the volumen or the class of the job after your acceptance Should you suspect malintention on the part of the outsoucer, you can tell them that your acceptance is conditioned to a previous analysis of the source file.
On another track, and expresing my very personal position, there is nothing wrong with postediting MT, provide you know it in advance and set your rates accordingly to avoid being cheated. All in all, if you take the raw MT output, and charge by the hour, you will end collecting an amount proportional to the time devoted to the job. It doesn't matter how you or the outsorce names the job (translation o MTPE) you could charge for the hours actually used to complete the job. (there are free tools for compiling the exact time employed, like Timestamp). You might be surprised by the way MT can increase your productivity. If I charge USD 40 an hour, and translate 350 words in that time (quite a common figure), I'm charging roughly USD 0.115 per word. If I perform MTPE and have a throughput of 500-550 wph (you will discover this or even more is a very common figure too), you will be charging little more than 7 cents per word, but still the same USD 40 and hour. Does the per word rate matters at all? I believe not. If the outsourcer insist in paying per word as Editing rates, after you have explained him you care about the time applied to the job and not the name, just tell him to go elsewere. If he is a reasonable outsourcer, he will still be able to get some increased revenue, but it has not to be a your expenses.
Just think about it. Good luck
Raúl

[Edited at 2011-11-25 19:37 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-11-25 19:43 GMT]


Hi Raul,

First of all, thanks for your input.

Perhaps post-editing MT can increase productivity if you work with highly technical, repetitive texts.

I specialise in Marketing, Advertising, Fashion, Cinema & Television, Communications, Arts, Music, Copywriting - nothing standardised or technical. My work requires a lot of local adaptation so that the clients can actually communicate the ideas that they're trying to sell to a specific target audience. Lately I've been doing a lot of transcreation so MT is completely useless in that sense.

However, if the agency is not at all concerned with delivering a poorly constructed, unnatural, mistranslated text that is not appealing in the slighest and is certain to damage the client in terms of corporate image and sales I just don't want to be part of it.

Also, if that really is their method they could have been honest right away which didn't happen. I felt like I was tricked.






[Edited at 2011-11-25 20:19 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-11-25 20:20 GMT]


 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Like Nov 25, 2011

Paula Borges wrote:

However, if the agency is not at all concerned with delivering a poorly constructed, unnatural, mistranslated text that is not appealing in the slightest and is certain to damage the client in terms of corporate image and sales I just don't want to be part of it.


 
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