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Poll: Do you use any machine translation tools to assist you with your work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:30
SITE STAFF
Jun 5, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you use any machine translation tools to assist you with your work?".

View the poll results »



 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:30
Member
German to English
+ ...
No Jun 5, 2013

Machine translation: no. Computer-assisted translation: yes.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:30
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Jun 5, 2013

Like Mary says, CAT isn't MT.

Isn't this poll like asking "Do you cheat when you translate?" icon_confused.gif


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:30
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
What is the difference between CAT and MT? Jun 5, 2013

Please excuse my ignorance, but does CAT refer to a tool for translators which can remember things and suggest things, but ultimately the translation is yours, whereas MT means putting the entire text into some software programme and then accepting the results as a completed 'translation'?

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:30
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
NO! Jun 5, 2013

Well, in the first place, I am a translator and I love translating to the point that sometimes I agonize and torture myself endlessly over just the right word in a particular phrase. Secondly, I am really serious about my work. So, out of respect for my profession, I am among those who do not use machine translation. As Julian says, it would be cheating…

 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:30
Member (2006)
German to English
No Jun 5, 2013

and as with the other, CAT tools yes, but machine translation, never. The results are terrible, unreliable and completely inconsistent. Made the mistake of proofreading one of those sort of files and wow it was expensive for my customer that they and myself will not be doing that again!

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Ish Jun 5, 2013

I can't see how MT is cheating and CAT isn't, it's just a matter of degrees surely?

When I run a set of accounts through CAT and it does 95% for me, isn't that a form of MT?

But I wouldn't touch full-on MT with a bargepole, it must be like using other people's CAT memories...


 

Josef Šoltes  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 00:30
Member (2013)
English to Czech
MT Jun 5, 2013

I reviewed and fixed MT translation, as some big companies do this kind of work. And personally I would say NEVER MORE (yup Poe). No one was satisfied. Client, agency, me (as they thought, it would be faster, they proposed lower rates). Finally it was disaster.

 

Alan Corbo, CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 19:30
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Pre-translation + CAT tool Jun 5, 2013

MT can be useful to generate pre-translations with which a TM can be created, which you can later use on the file in question (with a CAT tool) to edit and polish on a segment-by-segment basis.

That's what I do on the (very rare) occasions when I need to translate into my second (source) language.


 

njweatherdon
Canada
French to English
+ ...
sorta ... Jun 5, 2013

It's good to be able to refer to an MT for some ideas if stuck, even if it's wrong. It's certainly more work to start from MT and translate than the start by translating and use MT as one of numerous resources when looking for the most suitable translation for something.

There is no such thing as cheating in the real world if a tool helps you do a better and/or faster job, as needed. Most of the time, however, MT does not save time or improve quality, in particular by taking you away from conveying the feeling of the language in the original as well as its literal and/or more explicit meanings. Other tools are often better, and the enormous variation and diversity in the ways language is used means that this situation will not change too quickly either.

But yes, I do refer to MT when stuck. Why not?


 

Alan Corbo, CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 19:30
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cheating? Jun 5, 2013

Julian Holmes wrote:

Like Mary says, CAT isn't MT.

Isn't this poll like asking "Do you cheat when you translate?" icon_confused.gif


I don't think so, as long as you edit it thoroughly. Machine translation ALWAYS shows through, so any translator who delivers unedited MT output is seriously compromising his/her future chances of getting work.

I'd say it's just another one in the long list of tools and shortcuts we can use to speed up work.


 

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 00:30
French to English
+ ...
Not "cheating" Jun 5, 2013

The fact that so many people see MT as "cheating" tells me that there are far too many translators who consider translation as some sort of religious calling rather than a business.

The reason not to use MT (as it currently is) is that it is garbage and produces garbage output. If there was an MT that produced translations better than 90% correct, I would use it. I doubt very much that there will be such MT in my lifetime as it is not a question of incremental improvement but more of a fundemental design issue - we won't have accurate MT until we have "real" AI.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:30
Hebrew to English
Today's Poll Jun 5, 2013

Brought to you by Google Translate, in association with SDL.

 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:30
Member (2008)
English to Italian
No and my opinion is Jun 5, 2013

NO, and I think that thanks to the large use someone makes of this "tool" (?!), a lot of client are using it themselves, and then ask professional translators to edit the text.... which is a sort of a nightmare.
Machine translation is not reliable, and editing a text translated by using MT is the same as translating it from scratch, just paid less, cause the level of attention needed to do it properly takes a lot of time.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:30
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Poll results so far Jun 5, 2013

Over 36% of pollsters have voted that they use MT. Shock. Horror icon_eek.gif

Just to set the record straight, Wikipedia says:

"Machine translation, sometimes referred to by the abbreviation MT (not to be confused with computer-aided translation, machine-aided human translation (MAHT) or interactive translation) is a sub-field of computational linguistics that investigates the use of software to translate text or speech from one natural language to another."

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

I'm sure that a lot of people are confusing MT with CAT.

And, I can't tell my customers "All my own work" if I run their source text throught MT and deliver it to them even in an unadulterated or edited form.

@Ty
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Small edits and added more laughs icon_biggrin.gif

[Edited at 2013-06-05 11:59 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-06-05 12:00 GMT]


 
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