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Why is Proz.com supporting free human translation?
Thread poster: texjax DDS PhD

texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Apr 22, 2014

I just noticed an ad looking for free human translation on our main page:

Get started by registering and creating a project. Then check out the recent projects and have fun proving your language proficiency by translating projects for others!

http://ackuna.com/

What is the reasoning behind this?

I believe many of us are more than happy to offer our expertise for not-for-profit projects and causes such as those promoted by organizations such as TWB - just to name one - but translating apps, websites and software for free and a badge is a totally different matter.

Can the staff please elaborate? Thank you.



[Edited at 2014-04-22 20:28 GMT]


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Mohd shadab  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:37
Hindi to English
+ ...
Doing for Money.. Apr 22, 2014

Proz earn money by placing ads on their pages..

Regards
Shadab


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I do it too! Apr 22, 2014

I had this interchange about half an hour ago...

Message received:

XXX wrote, On 22/4/2014 10:03:
>
> Hi there,
>
> am currently looking for a linguist to work on a 2,000 and 6,000 word project for us. The deadlines are:
>
> project 1: 2,000 words (needed later today)
> project 2: 6,500 words (needed Thursday / Friday)
>
> Please let me know if you are available. Rate are 0.04 USD per word.
>
> Looking forward to be hearing from you. Payment is made via paypal 30 days upon receipt of your invoice to the end of the month.
>
> Best regards,
> - XXX


My reply:
Dear XXX,

Now and then I am hired to fix/redo translation work at the price level you are offering, so I've seen exactly what it looks like.

Your rate is further lowered by your payment terms and methods: PayPal deducts 11% of the amount received, and the interest rate in Brazil is currently 11%/month. So, considering a 45-day payment term, this would reduce your offered rates by 30%, if compared to COD.

So I strongly suggest you use free online machine translation, like Google Translate, instead. Though the flaws will differ in their nature, the overall quality will actually be better than what you'll get from a human translator (?) who accepts ~USD 0.028/word COD. The best of it is that GT is immediate and free. You can have both translations finished today, and you'll save $320, to afford having it later redone by a professional translator, yet only if your end-client rejects it.

Best regards,
Jose


I see no harm for professional translators to advertise free machine translation. As soon as clients get reliable feedback on the results, they'll seek us and never look back.

On the other hand, machine translation may have a devastating effect on cheap amateur and otherwise unskilled or incompetent translators. It is expected to cleanse the marketplace for truly professional translators, so these may avoid wasting time and effort to compete at fair prices.


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Joanna Carroll  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:07
Polish to English
+ ...
Jose, I salute you! Apr 22, 2014

Just a quick note to say this was a brilliant reply, Jose! Permission to plagiarise

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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Free human translation Apr 22, 2014

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

I see no harm for professional translators to advertise free machine translation.



Hi José,

And thank you for your input.

Please note that the ad in question advertises free human translation. They ask translators to register and translate apps, websites and software for free so somebody else can make a profit.

I find it disturbing.


PS. I changed the title of the thread slightly, I hope it's clearer now.



[Edited at 2014-04-22 14:42 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:07
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Earnings +... Apr 22, 2014

As always, José has provided the perfect replye, and has once again contributed to a forum regarding unacceptably low rates. Hat off to you, José!

ProZ.com is a business and therefore needs to earn money in order to keep this great site up and running, aside from the prizes to be won in translation contest. So there is absolutely nothing wrong with posting ads on the site. Yes, not even those coming from free translation sites.

As José has pointed out, advertising free MT sites will lead to a natural selection in the long run. There are certain fields that can never be machine translated. And even though the outsourcers might safe money at first glance by using MT, they will have to pay a human translator to correct the MT'ed text, provided their end client complains about the quality. Sooner or later the "less professional" translators will disappear for the simple reason that no outsourcer can afford to lose their clients due to poorly (MT) translated files, or to keep paying twice to have a human professional correct the translations.


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Please note Apr 22, 2014

The ad looks for free human translation.

I changed my previous post to make it clearer. I apologize for any misunderstanding.

I am not complaining about MT.

Please take a moment to go to the provided links. Thank you.

[Edited at 2014-04-22 14:50 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Free haircut? Apr 22, 2014

texjax DDS PhD wrote:

Please note that the ad in question advertises free human translation. They ask translators to register and translate apps, websites and software for free so somebody else can make a profit.


Once I was driving in town here, and saw a sign in front of a shabby house:
"Atlas Barber/Hairdresser School
Get a free haircut/style here!"

Of course, students must practice on some living person, before they are unleashed to work on any innocent citizen. It would be unviable - not to mention disrespectful - to have them practice at the local morgue, or to rely on an endless supply of cheap factory-defective wigs.

However nobody would entrust these brave learners with the hair style of the 8 o'clock news anchorperson, nor the soap opera's leading character (though they may wear wigs).

In translation, the immediate effect of unskilled work may not be immediately visible.

My late Polish father spent a good deal of WWII in labor camps in Siberia, until he escaped to Uzbekistan. He told me that once, when his hair was about to reach his shoulders, he was told that there was a barber, some 20 km away through the forest. So he went there. The 'barber' had him sit on a log, put a chamberpot on the top of my father's head, got a razor, shaved everything else, and charged nothing!
I guess that by then Edith Piaf hadn't yet invented the self-haircut.

However it depicts the quality I'd expect from such an outfit. The analogy to a news anchorperson here would be getting, e.g. the safety manual for an offshore oil operation translated this way.

Buy cheap, pay twice.
Pay nothing, buy a good one next time... provided there IS a next time.

[Edited at 2014-04-22 16:24 GMT]


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:07
Italian to English
The Tom Sawyer approach to translation Apr 22, 2014

Hi Bruna.

Remember Tom Sawyer?

Tom Sawyer lived with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother, Sid. Tom dirties his clothes in a fight and is made to whitewash the fence the next day, as a punishment. He cleverly persuades his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work. He trades the treasures for Sunday School tickets which one normally receives for memorizing scriptures, redeeming them for a bible, much to the surprise and bewilderment of the superintendent who thought "it was simply preposterous that this boy had warehoused two thousand sheaves of Scriptural wisdom on his premises—a dozen would strain his capacity, without a doubt."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventures_of_Tom_Sawyer

@ José

In Britain, pudding bowls were traditionally used to administer amateur trims. Hence the sign you might see in a barber's window: "Haircuts repaired".

In many ways, MT is the pudding bowl (or chamber pot) of our craft, and post-editing its "haircut repair".


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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interesting thread about Free Human Translation Apr 22, 2014

I agree that advertisements seeking humans to do translation tasks "for fun" (and for free) do not belong on the professional pages of ProZ.com. Although we may love our work, we are not translating for fun, and ads like that are an insult to us as professionals.

[Edited at 2014-04-22 16:38 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The usual criteria for online ads Apr 22, 2014

Jessica Noyes wrote:

I agree that advertisements seeking humans to do translation tasks "for fun" (and for free) do not belong on the professional pages of ProZ.com. Although we may love our work, we are not translating for fun, and ads like that are an insult to us as professionals.


Quite often, the criteria for screening out online ads are:
- Is it porn?
- Is it a worthy competitor?

If the answer to both is 'NO' and it entails some reward - pecuniary, cross-linking, etc - the ad is usually cleared without a second thought. They trust the advertiser's judgment on which are the worthy sites for them to place their ads.


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:07
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Exactly my thoughts Apr 22, 2014

Jessica Noyes wrote:

I agree that advertisements seeking humans to do translation tasks "for fun" (and for free) do not belong on the professional pages of ProZ.com. Although we may love our work, we are not translating for fun, and ads like that are an insult to us as professionals.

[Edited at 2014-04-22 16:38 GMT]


ProZ.com must have made a mistake allowing the ads.

Cheers,
Gerard


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:07
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I'm with texjax Apr 22, 2014

...and I shall wait to see how the discussion develops (whilst hopefully remaining on-topic!)

[Edited at 2014-04-22 21:23 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:07
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The irony of all this Apr 23, 2014

is that a quick research on Google showed some surprising results… (http://www.lackuna.com/2012/03/19/the-magic-of-proz-com/

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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 12:07
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
The Antichrist Apr 23, 2014

is what he is.

Am I allowed to say that here? I hope so.


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