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Poll: Will machine translation ever replace human translators?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:47
SITE STAFF
Oct 11, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Will machine translation ever replace human translators?".

This poll was originally submitted by Takako Shibuya. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:47
Member
German to English
+ ...
I don't know. Oct 11, 2011

Never is a very long time. But not in my lifetime, I imagine.

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#JuliaC#  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:47
German to Italian
+ ...
No, never Oct 11, 2011

Yesterday the quick poll was about what gets more often lost in translation.

Well, I wonder, how could a machine succeed in not getting lost in translation if we (human being) cannot.


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Mohammed Fahim  Identity Verified
Sri Lanka
Member (2010)
English to Tamil
+ ...
Have sense but not sure Oct 11, 2011

I think machine translation would have some good effects in generally used or everyday language. Otherwise, I think, it is not possible to replace a human translator as the man always seeks the real sense in the original and the machine cannot feel anythingl

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 11, 2011

It already has, to some extent.

I don't wish to go into this at length as I feel strongly about it and end up ranting, but the rot has already set in, evidenced by the rise in demands for "proofing" or revision/corrrection services, especially from companies arising in the eastern hemisphere. As a result, I am currently refusing any revision (or "proofing") work on texts translated by other translators (both native and non-native), or anything done using automatic translation SW.

The only revision work I am accepting nowadays consists of academic papers written in English by non-native speaker authers, or special one-offs for favoured clients.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:47
English to German
+ ...
No, never. Oct 11, 2011

Each human is unique and there is no machine that can even remotely replace you. Sure, machine translation might reach a certain level of perfection in grammar or whatever - but they will never, ever be able to replace any verve, humor, love, passion, fire and whatnot.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:47
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No - and I speak from experience Oct 11, 2011

I have been postediting output from a very good machine translation system since 1980, and I can promise my colleagues that there's no competition to worry about, now or in the future.

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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:47
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
A perfect translation machine is pure science fiction Oct 11, 2011

As it already has, machine translation will replace humans in some specific areas where imperfect language is admissible.

However, since a big part of language production is creative (on a regular basis we all utter sentences that have probably never been said before), the perfect translation machine would need human-like creativity, something which at the moment is pure science fiction. The machine would also have to be capable of taking into account extra-textual factors like the client's special requirements, cultural preferences in the target audience, the evolution of the languages involved etc etc.


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enricobr  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:47
English to Italian
It will when you'll be able to replace a human being with a machine Oct 11, 2011

Linguistic capabilities are quite interconnected with intelligence. Maybe when Artificial Intelligence will fully replace humans.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:47
English to German
+ ...
No such thing. Oct 11, 2011

enricobr wrote:

Linguistic capabilities are quite interconnected with intelligence. Maybe when Artificial Intelligence will fully replace humans.


A computer can only do what he has been told. By previous humans. Which means that he can never exceed the next human being.


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:47
German to English
+ ...
Special requirements Oct 11, 2011

Example of Client discussing the kind of editing needed of the text with me face to face:
Client: I don't want it to be too ...[no words, just makes a face, groans, and gesticulates] - 'know what I mean?
Me: Yes. Don't worry. I think I have a good idea of what you are after.

With Nicole on all qualities that humans possess and machines do not, particularly the whatnot.

Question is: When will human translators be able to use machine translation to their *significantly* greater advantage?

I guess part of the answer is when we become more efficient human beings.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:47
Member (2006)
German to English
not sure, Oct 11, 2011

but I cannot imagine it. And never say never ...

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:47
English to German
+ ...
Depends. Evolution or devolution? Oct 11, 2011

Michael Harris wrote:

but I cannot imagine it. And never say never ...


I highly recommend the delight of this gorgeous movie:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy



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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:47
Member (2003)
German to English
Ever? Oct 11, 2011

Ever? Sure. Soon, before it's time for me to retire? Not so much.

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Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 23:47
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Confident about artificial intelligence Oct 11, 2011



I highly recommend the delight of this gorgeous movie:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy



I second that, watch the movie!

However, most of the time I find myself in a more optimistic mood and dream of a distant future where machines will function exactly as our brains do.

Remember, all the verve, humor, love, passion, fire are just some neurons firing away in our brains - why shouldn't we be able to replicate that one day?


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