Poll: Do you ever use machine translation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:05
SITE STAFF
Aug 1, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ever use machine translation?".

This poll was originally submitted by Natalie Soper. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, but caveat emptor Aug 1, 2015

I do use MT, but judiciously and with caution. I sometimes use Google translate on a a word or phrase to see what it comes up with compared to my own translation. The results can be interesting and amusing, for example when it turns a negative statement into a positive.




[Edited at 2015-08-01 08:20 GMT]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:05
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 1, 2015

I have been postediting machine translation on a regular basis for 35 years. I have learned how to deal with it. I developed macros for speeding up my work. My client has an excellent system (which I helped to develop in the 1980s) and I am paid very well when I use it.

Postediting requires tremendous concentration, as you have to keep constant keep tabs on the source text. It's not for novices. I'm keenly aware of its disadvantages, but it can also save time, depending on the document.

It's not my favorite mode of translating, but I'd rather postedit than translate a PowerPoint presentation, an Excel file, or a PDF.

[Edited at 2015-08-01 08:45 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:05
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Only for communication purposes Aug 1, 2015

Sometimes prospects read my surname, and feel justified in writing me outright in German. I know two fellow English translators in the Sao Paulo state who often face the same trouble, their surnames being respectively Von Randow and Schönberger. None of us three understands any Deutsch. In these cases I use Google Translate.

Some others are better informed. For some reason they know that my same-surname ancestors lived in Krakow as early as in the 1700 (none remaining there since 1949 - my father was the last one to leave). Yet they write me in Polish. In these cases I use Poltran. In one of them, a prospect in Warsaw apparently had 180 "towels" (sic!) for me to translate.

Apart from that, I use MT as often as a physician would knowingly take placebo for any health condition s/he self-diagnosed.


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:05
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
social network sites Aug 1, 2015

to understand some comments on social network sites

[Edited at 2015-08-01 12:02 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:05
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Define "use", please Aug 1, 2015

In marketing, the problem is not how to create an accurate translation - that's often a second's work. I'll "use" everything at my disposal when necessary to come up with the best rendering within the context. I use thesaurus, dictionary, Linguee, Google search, and yes, MT.

But do I submit a word or phrase to an MT program, then paste the output into my target text? Of course not!


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Marina Minute  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:05
English to Italian
+ ...
DVX Aug 1, 2015

It's one of DVX features. It took me time to understand how to use it, but now I find it really useful.

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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:05
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The standard ambiguity Aug 1, 2015

What is machine translation? Does it only include Google Translator and its cousins (A) or does the term refer to translations done by a machine in general (B)?

What does "Use" refer to? Do you mean use it professionally to translate for you (C) or do you ever use it for any purpose (D)?

The problem with the quick poll questions, in general, is that they are useless for statistical purposes because the questions are too generic to measure anything at all.

So I answered "other". Because I use a CAT/TM regularly, and that is a type of machine translation. So, yes for (B). But I have dismissed a few translators from my group and never contacted them again when I found out they used (A) to pre-translate their jobs. A translator who uses (A) for (C) purposes does not deserve that title, IMO.

And I do use (A) for purposes other than professional translations, to communicate in languages I do not speak, as of course everyone else does, so there should be no answers "No" to this question.

Ah, well, just let it be, and the question will be added to a thousand others alike.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:05
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
@ Mario- definitions Aug 2, 2015

The definitions of 'machine translation' and 'computer-aided translation' have been sorted out. There's no confusion. You can see a good basic article about machine translation at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_translation

Also, I wrote a basic article on what MT in Byte magazine. You can see a copy at:
http://www.murieltranslations.com/articles/machine_translation/machine_translatioin-byte.pdf


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:05
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Perfectly, Muriel Aug 2, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

The definitions of 'machine translation' and 'computer-aided translation' have been sorted out. There's no confusion. You can see a good basic article about machine translation at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_translation

Also, I wrote a basic article on what MT in Byte magazine. You can see a copy at:
http://www.murieltranslations.com/articles/machine_translation/machine_translatioin-byte.pdf




Yet, the ambiguity still remains, regarding the "use". The pole is nevertheless statistically null.

Thanks for confirming the two concepts are officially distinct, though. Good to know that. And thanks for the links.


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SPJ Perera
Sri Lanka
English to Sinhala (Sinhalese)
Occasionally, but not for professional purposes Aug 23, 2015

I am an English-Sinhala translator working for the Sri Lankan government. I use Google Translate occasionally to find words. I also use certain offline and online dictionaries for the same purpose. However Google Translate fails to make an impression when it comes to translating text into Sinhala. Frankly, it is hopeless to use any CAT tool to translate from Sinhala (specially, oral Sinhala) into any other language.

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