Going rates for MTPE
Thread poster: Helene van der Westhuizen

Helene van der Westhuizen  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 12:51
Member (2013)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
May 31, 2019

Good afternoon,

Can I ask what the going rates are among translators who do Post-editing on machine translations?

I apologise if it has been discussed before, but I haven't been able to find it on a quick search and my time is very limited.

I am asking in the context of MTPEs really being new translations more often than not?


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:51
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Helene May 31, 2019

I admittedly don't have much experience with MTPE but regarding the few cases I have worked so far I only quoted after having a good look at the text. If it’s good (it happens) I quote the same as proofreading, if it is a disgrace (it happens) I either decline or I quote as a translation from scratch…

Josephine Cassar
farolingo
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:51
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
@Helene May 31, 2019

Helene van der Westhuizen wrote:
Can I ask what the going rates are among translators who do post-editing on machine translations?


I do not often do PEMT, but here are my views:

Some agencies (particularly middle-man agencies) want to pay an editing rate for PEMT, so unless you quote a rate that is 1/3 or 1/4 of the translation rate that they accept, you won't get the job. Realistically, PEMT should be charged per hour, because you never know whether the client's machine translation system produces good or bad translations. However, many agencies prefer to hear a per-word rate, not an hourly rate (or: they accept an hourly rate, but then cap the number of hours). The problem with per-word rates for PEMT, as you can imagine, is that you seldom know what quality of translations get pumped out by the client's machine translation system.

I usually say that for once-off jobs or for the first few jobs of a longer project, my PEMT rate is the same as or within 80% of my usual translation rate. For long-term projects (i.e. where I'm able to evaluate the client's machine translation system and determine how good or bad it is), I'm willing to reduce my PEMT rate eventually, if the machine translation system produces good and/or consistent machine translations.

There are agencies offering PEMT who are willing to pay a fair rate (i.e. per hour, or high per-word rate), but most offers of PEMT that I get these says are for clients who believe they can save a buck by pre-translating their text against a machine.

In addition, when you're offered PEMT, ask the client whether he wants you to stick to the machine translation as closely as possible or whether he wants you to assume all freedom in how you translate (using the machine translation simply as a typing aid).

Samuel


Barbara Sickor
 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:51
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
@Helene May 31, 2019

I typically charge my clients 80% of my rate for translation for MTPE. My reason for this is that the process I apply is very different to the one I use for editing or proofreading a human translation even if quality of the MT is better than average. Consequently, more work is consequently involved on my part as for instance I have to do all the terminology research that would normally be done by thee human translator and that is time consuming especially when acronyms are involved.

Valérie Ourset
Helene van der Westhuizen
Fitria Dewi Wiharyani
 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:51
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
@ Helene Jun 2, 2019

In the end PEMT is nothing more and nothing less then proofing a bad text, whatever they say (my experience). Some clients want you to edit it into a perfect text, others are happy when it is 'readable', whatever that is.

In either way, you will spent more time on the first one and less time on the second. And since 1 hour in South Africa also has 60 minutes, as anywhere else in the world, I would suggest you ask an hourly rate. Only seems fare, except for the agency: 'Hey, it is a
... See more
In the end PEMT is nothing more and nothing less then proofing a bad text, whatever they say (my experience). Some clients want you to edit it into a perfect text, others are happy when it is 'readable', whatever that is.

In either way, you will spent more time on the first one and less time on the second. And since 1 hour in South Africa also has 60 minutes, as anywhere else in the world, I would suggest you ask an hourly rate. Only seems fare, except for the agency: 'Hey, it is a MT-translation'. The logic still beats me.

[Edited at 2019-06-02 22:11 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-06-02 22:13 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-06-02 22:45 GMT]
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cls_nl
 

Frank van Overveld
France
Local time: 11:51
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
It depends Aug 2, 2019

I think it greatly depends on the type of text you're translating.

I do a lot of financial/investment related work, and for those texts, as well as legal texts, I think machine translations can speed up the work because they require little creativity, the text simply has to be very accurate and readable. So you can do that work fairly quickly and a rate of 60% - 80% of your normal translation rate should be as profitable as a normal translation.

Problems start when the
... See more
I think it greatly depends on the type of text you're translating.

I do a lot of financial/investment related work, and for those texts, as well as legal texts, I think machine translations can speed up the work because they require little creativity, the text simply has to be very accurate and readable. So you can do that work fairly quickly and a rate of 60% - 80% of your normal translation rate should be as profitable as a normal translation.

Problems start when the source is not so straightforward, when translations require much more creativity or source sentences are simply too long for the machine to produce something readable. You can easily be tricked into believing a machine translated sentence makes sense, while in reality there are weird wordings or even mistranslations you simply overlook.

So in that case, you may need multiple very good reviews in order to filter out all the crap, and it will take a lot more time than translation from scratch would probably take. In that case, I would say refuse, or charge the same rate as your translation rate. You probably won't get the job, but who cares, I'm sure you have plenty of other useful things to do for your business, things that will lead to more profit than wasting time on a crappy machine translation, with the risk of receiving bad feedback because you were fooled by the machine's ability to produce bad, but seemingly good texts.

Yeah, been there, done that!

[Edited at 2019-08-02 20:19 GMT]
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Florian Stauber
cls_nl
 

Wojciech Sztukowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:51
Member (2009)
English to Polish
It's worthless Nov 11, 2019

and I charge the full rate. I have yet to see an MTPE output better than Google Translate's one. It's extorsion and I don't submit to extorsionists. And no, I don't provide "readable" texts any longer. In 6 out of 10 cases they came back with me being the one to be blamed for the inadequate quality. Not any longer.

Magnus Rubensson
farolingo
Florence Bremond
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Vladimir Filipenko
 

farolingo
Local time: 10:51
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Reply Nov 15, 2019

Wojciech Sztukowski wrote:

and I charge the full rate. I have yet to see an MTPE output better than Google Translate's one. It's extorsion and I don't submit to extorsionists. And no, I don't provide "readable" texts any longer. In 6 out of 10 cases they came back with me being the one to be blamed for the inadequate quality. Not any longer.


Absolutely correct. They expect you to do it at 50% of your translation rate on the assumption that it takes half the time! (Excuse me while I roll on the floor laughing.) The output I have seen from one particular very large agency that shall remain nameless is absolutely appalling even after 5 years of supposed 'learning'. And, as you rightly say, the hilarious thing is that Google Translate and Microsoft Translate are significantly better.

All joking aside, however, I do believe that more and more firms are using Google Translate as its output improves or are investing in proprietary models. I wonder how many firms stop to think what happens to the confidential texts they happily submit to Google's servers though.... 🤣

[Edited at 2019-11-15 16:19 GMT]


Florence Bremond
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:51
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
That's the key issue Nov 15, 2019

farolingo wrote:
I wonder how many firms stop to think what happens to the confidential texts they happily submit to Google's servers though....

I suspect that among smaller firms in particular they don't often stop to think.
I deal with a lot of large Japanese companies and they are keenly aware of the potential for problems involved here, to the point where I am forbidden from using MT (not that I use it for others). Probably a side-effect of the extremely risk-averse nature of Japanese culture.

Regards,
Dan


 


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