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Poll: Do you accept post-editing machine translation projects?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:15
SITE STAFF
Nov 4, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you accept post-editing machine translation projects?".

This poll was originally submitted by Sofía Bolontrade. View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Nov 4, 2015

Not if I can help it.
However, I do revise/correct/ edit texts written by non-native autors prior to publication who are obviously relying to some extent on MT, if the telltale howlers I come across are anything to go by...

[Edited at 2015-11-04 08:16 GMT]


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 18:15
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Nov 4, 2015

Never been asked.

Because of the ambiguity of the Japanese language, it would have to be heavily edited for a machine to begin to understand it. Hence, what comes out of a machine is generally gobbledygook.

Added last line

[Edited at 2015-11-04 12:43 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes, of course Nov 4, 2015

Only joking. I don't even accept post-editing human translation projects.

I'm an artist, darling, not a picture restorer.


 

Giovanna Alessandra Meloni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:15
Member (2012)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Other Nov 4, 2015

I don't but I had the doubt about some (short) texts I had to revise.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:15
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Nov 4, 2015

I have never been asked, but I doubt that I would as I refuse most proofreading projects...

 

Minna Bäckman  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:15
Swedish to Finnish
+ ...
Yes, of course Nov 4, 2015

... I accept them if I get paid my normal rate for translation services. And this has actually happened but only onceicon_smile.gif

When it comes to Finnish, post-editing a machine translation most often means translating the text again as there is very little usable in the MT translation.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:15
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Nov 4, 2015

I've been postediting MT for more than 30 years, using an excellent MT system (SPANAM, developed by the Pan American Health Organization). As long as I'm paid regular translation rates, I will accept the work.

My time is about the same. I work faster when I don't have to look at the screen, and of course postediting requires constant attention to both the source and target texts. It's more stressful that translating from scratch.


 

Robin Joensuu  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:15
Member
English to Swedish
+ ...
Interesting that so few accept Nov 4, 2015

It is interesting that so few translators say that they accept MT projects as it seems to be "the future" of translation, both according to CAT tool developers and a lot of people speaking at conferences and seminars.

Personally, I never accept MT work as I think it is tedious, utterly boring, and (as Muriel says) requires much more than regular work. The few times I have done MT projects, I have been exhausted by the end of the day. But then again: why not if it pays well?


 

Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 11:15
English to Italian
+ ...
Hilarious! Nov 4, 2015

Minna Bäckman wrote:

When it comes to Finnish, post-editing a machine translation most often means translating the text again as there is very little usable in the MT translation.


I have a Finnish friend and when we want to have a good laugh I use Bxxx to translate his Facebook posts into English and then send him the screenshots of them....I can't speak Finnish (would love to) but trust me, the Finnish posts were more intelligible for meicon_biggrin.gif

About the topic:
Would never accept. Once a friend of mine asked me to proofread a text she translated and I immediately noticed she used GT to translate it....had to ask her to send me the original and translate from scratch!

[Edited at 2015-11-04 10:25 GMT]


 

Yvonne Gallagher
Ireland
Local time: 10:15
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Yes Nov 4, 2015

I don't really understand why so many peple are so sniffy about MT. Are people afraid to admit they post-edit MT? Or is it just that people don't accept proofing jobs of any description?

Good MT is MUCH better than Google Translate so perhaps people are unaware such an animal exists (OK, possibly only in a few language pairs).

I did a lot of MT post-editing Sp>En and Fr>EN, mostly in the legal (contract) and financial fields for about 2 years and really, some of it was very good, better, in fact, than some human translations I've been asked to proof (with many having used CAT tools and then not having bothered to proof afterwards so a "ring road" becomes a "bull ring" for example, and yes, I have actually seen this sort of thing from humans with their CATs).

Obviously, this agency had developed a large corpus of terms and had developed/finetuned their own MT system. The end client is aware the material is being translated by MT and then post-edited by humans and pays accordingly. And gets a much shorter time frame for delivery.

And no, I know very little about the technology itself but from what I've seen and heard, MT is making great strides and will be the future for a lot of translation. If it eliminates some of the so-called "translators" on this and other sites, so much the better as there will always be room for good translators to take care of the stuff MT will continue to have problems with handling. However, there is likely to be a lot of MT post-editing work available in the future for good translators (poor translators need not apply as they wouldn't be able to do this work).

No, I didn't get paid my usual translation rate because, in general, it took me about 30% of the time it would take to translate from scratch (hence could do 3 or 4 times as many words in the same time) but I did get a higher rate than my usual proofing rate and in many cases it was much easier to do. Of course it means looking at the source and target first and then rereading target to check flow and style but surely we (should) all do that when translating as well?

The only reason I stopped doing this MT work (which earned me a lot of money) is because the agency's payments became later and later until I finally fired them (and gave a 1 on the BB) when it took them 5 months to pay an invoice. A pity, as I liked the work and didn't find it any more tedious or tiring than other proofing/editing jobs and also liked the PMs. (And some people seem to think that a 5-month payment period is OK as this agency is still getting 5s but that's a separate issue which has been discussed here already).

So, to summarise, don't assume that all MT is like Google Translate and dismiss it out of hand.

[Edited at 2015-11-04 11:06 GMT]


 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:15
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Not knowingly ... Nov 4, 2015

... but occasionally I get garbage to "proofread" which looks suspiciously as if a machine had been involved - or at any rate a machine whose native tongue was not English.☺

 

Manuella Lange
Belgium
Local time: 11:15
Member (2015)
Dutch to French
+ ...
NO Nov 4, 2015

Like many of you I would not accept such MT projects. A simple reason to it : the MT translation is often so bad in French that I would have to rewrite th text.

 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:15
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
No Nov 4, 2015

It's a huge can of worms and I'm reluctant to open it.

I suppose if it was a case of a known customer with a highly sophisticated system it might be ok, but most requests I receive come from unknown sources. I accepted one once and regretted it!


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:15
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Not intententionally Nov 4, 2015

Jenny Forbes wrote:

... but occasionally I get garbage to "proofread" which looks suspiciously as if a machine had been involved - or at any rate a machine whose native tongue was not English.☺


It is simply not worth my time to "proofread" MT at a lower rate and then end up having to retranslate most of it. To me, such an attempt to receive an almost free translation is inacceptable.


 
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