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Poll: Do you think DeepL is something for human translators to worry about?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Not for serious work Nov 7

Ekhangel wrote:

..... I am pretty sure this industry is going down pretty soon (meaning significant reduction in demand, not complete death)


I think you're correct, but only for commercial documents; not for scholarly texts, research papers, technically complex documents, etc.


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 09:31
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I don't think so Nov 7

Tom in London wrote:

Ekhangel wrote:

..... I am pretty sure this industry is going down pretty soon (meaning significant reduction in demand, not complete death)


I think you're correct, but only for commercial documents; not for scholarly texts, research papers, technically complex documents, etc.


Commercial documents also need creativity, human creativity...
All translated documents need a language that we humans understand and we appreciate witty and creative language, even if we talk about a device's user manual, or a new medical research. Things are very complex nowadays and we must make them understandable for those who hear about them at first time, even if the audience works within that field, but they have never heard about it. It happened previously that I suggested not to translate a term, because even in English it was so brand new, the people who started to using it were explaining its definition differently. So I rather suggested to use the English and explain it in Hungarian till the term's definition is finalized. But I could mention so many great medical Hungarian terms from clinical practice or device parts that actually sound much better than the original English thankful to human creative translation.


 

Guofei_LIN  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 18:31
Chinese
The short answer is YES Nov 8

For the time being, for argument's sake, let's say DeepL will never produce the same quality that the best human translators can produce. Is this sufficient to support the belief that humans do not need to worry about DeepL? I think not.

Even if we accept that DeepL will never be as good as the best human translators, the competition between them will be one between a mediocre translator (DeepL) with the best marketing (who has not heard of machine translation?) and with the added b
... See more
For the time being, for argument's sake, let's say DeepL will never produce the same quality that the best human translators can produce. Is this sufficient to support the belief that humans do not need to worry about DeepL? I think not.

Even if we accept that DeepL will never be as good as the best human translators, the competition between them will be one between a mediocre translator (DeepL) with the best marketing (who has not heard of machine translation?) and with the added benefit of being instantaneous and free (after the initial outlay) vs the best (or is it?) human translators with mediocre marketing who are slow and expensive and who often need to be pampered like prima donnas and with limited production capacity. Besides, the former already has the advantage of being (will be) the default unpaid in-house translators (as common as MS Office suite to every office and home) and is available at the click of a mouse.

What happens to human translators then?

Say, previously clients need human translators to do 100 jobs a year. Now we can safely assume they will only ask human translators to do 20 of them. And even in these situations, the project manager will have to convince his boss that human translators "have human creativity" etc., assuming the role of salesman on behalf of translators in order to ask his boss to approve the budget, while at the same time, the boss (who in the pre-DeepL age had to accept the project manager's arguments on faith without the benefit of a sight of the work produced by DeepL) is now looking at his computer screen checking the free translation already produced by DeepL five minutes ago, and say: "We are under budget constraint, so we are not going to hire an expensive human translator for this one. Do you know a cheap human translator that can do better than this quality? How about you ask Jones in engineering department to get someone to look over this DeepL translation?" The project manager, knowing this is going to happen every time he asks for budget approval, will reduce his requests.

On the rare occasions that he does succeed in getting budget approvals for hiring a human translator, will he be confident that the quality he gets from a human translator will defenitely beat the machine? Here we need to remember that quality is often a subjective perception. For DeepL version 1.0, it is easy for everyone in the company to agree that human translators beat DeepL. As version 1.0 turns to 2.0, 3.0,....1000.00, the number of people agreeing that human tranlsators are better will become less and less.

Meanwhile, among human translators, the best translators still have to fight with mediocre ones for the crumbs and spending four-years in college to get a degree or more years on self-education becomes less and less justifiable. Quality of human translation in general will go down.

I'm sure when that time comes, you will still find one or two human translators arguing that they don't need to worry about DeepL. And occasionally they can cite academic studies showing that DeepL fails to capture many nuances etc. and not as good as human translators, but outside academic world, in the real world, DeepL reigns like a king.

[Edited at 2019-11-08 04:56 GMT]
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Jorge Payan
 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
Very true Nov 8

Guofei_LIN wrote:

For the time being, for argument's sake, let's say DeepL will never produce the same quality that the best human translators can produce. Is this sufficient to support the belief that humans do not need to worry about DeepL? I think not.

Even if we accept that DeepL will never be as good as the best human translators, the competition between them will be one between a mediocre translator (DeepL) with the best marketing (who has not heard of machine translation?) vs the best human translators (maybe mediocre human translators, who knows?) with dediocre marketing. And the former already has the advantage of being (will be) the unpaid in-house translators (as common as MS Office suite to every office and home) and is available at the click of a mouse.

What happens to human translators then?

Say, previously clients need human translators to do 100 jobs a year. Now we can safely assume they will only ask human translators to do 20 of them. And even in these situations, the project manager will have to convince his boss that human translators "have human creativity" etc., assuming the role of salesman on behalf of translators in order to ask his boss to approve the budget, while at the same time, the boss is looking at his computer screen checking the free translation produced by DeepL five minutes ago, and say: "We are under budget constraint, so we are not going to hire an expensive human translator for this one. Do you know a cheap human translator that can do better than this quality? How about you ask Jones in engineering department to get someone to look over this DeepL translation?" The project manager, knowing this is going to happen every time he asks for budget approval, will reduce his requests.

On the rare occasions that he does succeed in getting budget approvals for hiring a human translator, will he be confident that the quality he gets from a human translator will defenitely beat the machine? Here we need to remember that quality is often a subjective perception. For DeepL version 1.0, it is easy for everyone in the company to agree that human translators beat DeepL. As version 1.0 turns to 2.0, 3.0,....1000.00, the number of people agreeing that human tranlsators are better will become less and less.

Meanwhile, among human translators, the best translators still have to fight with mediocre ones for the crumbs and spending four-years in college to get a degree or more years on self-education becomes less and less justifiable. Quality of human translation in general will go down.

I'm sure when that time comes, you will still find one or two human translators arguing that they don't need to worry about DeepL. And occasionally they can cite academic studies showing that DeepL fails to capture many nuances etc. and not as good as human translators, but outside academic world, in the real world, DeepL reigns like a king.

[Edited at 2019-11-08 00:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-11-08 00:52 GMT]


I don't understand how people fail to see that. I'm also amazed to see that some agencies which have a dominant position on the market now turn to the cheapest translators because they think clients have no other choice but to turn to them, at the risk of losing their client base to MT, which will happen very soon. Definitely the wrong strategy, some kind of a lose-lose strategy... CAVEAT EMPTOR

It's also worth noting that commercial translations make up at least 90 pc of the market.
Food for thought

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Jorge Payan
 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 09:31
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Fight against.. ? Nov 9

Guofei_LIN wrote:



Meanwhile, among human translators, the best translators still have to fight with mediocre ones for the crumbs and spending four-years in college to get a degree or more years on self-education becomes less and less justifiable. Quality of human translation in general will go down.

I'm sure when that time comes, you will still find one or two human translators arguing that they don't need to worry about DeepL. And occasionally they can cite academic studies showing that DeepL fails to capture many nuances etc. and not as good as human translators, but outside academic world, in the real world, DeepL reigns like a king.

[Edited at 2019-11-08 04:56 GMT]


Do you know why I had to "fight" in the last couple of years?
Let's see:

1. Who knows why but more times my profile was messed up. By whom or what? I don't know.
2. It also happened that although my profile was in the directory but I didn't get any visitors for months although I'm nr 1. in my main specialization: medical/pharmaceutical.
3. No valuable visitors for months, no valuable jobs for months. Now I can see a dozens of visitors from Hong Kong or China before that the US, Virgina, and Amazonaws, before that Russia, so these are crawlers... but from the directories almost no valuable visitors ...
4. No notifications (it also happened once that somehow my settings were messed up not to receive jobs and notifications)
5. When I sent support tickets, they were investigated but I had to wait many times weeks or months or it is still pending, and when it was fixed then finally jobs that were worth to answer were coming!! Hallelujah!
6. So it was like someone closed the "virtual tap" and then opened it when I was complaining...

It was not DeepL or MT or low rates I had to fight with...
And it all started when I started to broaden my clientele to end-clients (not the low-end ones)...




[Edited at 2019-11-09 10:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-11-09 10:18 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-11-09 10:45 GMT]


 

Alexandra Hirsch  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 09:31
English to German
+ ...
Just a sample Nov 9

'It is the prosecutor’s last case before promotion to Attorney General, and he is determined to win it and go out in glory.'

DeepL felt it had to add a bit of action:

'Es ist der letzte Fall für den Staatsanwalt vor seiner Beförderung zum Generalstaatsanwalt, und er ist entschlossen, ihn zu gewinnen und in Ruhm zu erlöschen.'

And the one from my blog:

'Any type of or style of photography presents endless challenges. Whether you’re captur
... See more
'It is the prosecutor’s last case before promotion to Attorney General, and he is determined to win it and go out in glory.'

DeepL felt it had to add a bit of action:

'Es ist der letzte Fall für den Staatsanwalt vor seiner Beförderung zum Generalstaatsanwalt, und er ist entschlossen, ihn zu gewinnen und in Ruhm zu erlöschen.'

And the one from my blog:

'Any type of or style of photography presents endless challenges. Whether you’re capturing people, buildings, or wildlife, there are a million different ways things can go wrong or take unexpected turns. Now, throw in working with the ever-changing sun, random weather, and unpredictable clients, and you’ve just scratched the surface of using and shooting with natural light.'

'Jede Art von Fotografie stellt eine endlose Herausforderung dar. Egal, ob Sie Menschen, Gebäude oder Wildtiere einfangen, es gibt eine Million verschiedene Möglichkeiten, wie Dinge schief gehen oder unerwartete Wendungen nehmen können. Jetzt können Sie mit der sich ständig ändernden Sonne, dem zufälligen Wetter und unvorhersehbaren Kunden arbeiten, und Sie haben gerade die Oberfläche der Verwendung und Aufnahme mit natürlichem Licht zerkratzt.'

(Metaphors, oh those ***metaphors…)
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes, but.... Nov 9

Guofei_LIN wrote:

I'm sure when that time comes, you will still find one or two human translators arguing that they don't need to worry about DeepL. And occasionally they can cite academic studies showing that DeepL fails to capture many nuances etc. and not as good as human translators, but outside academic world, in the real world, DeepL reigns like a king.


Sure; if you're only looking for something you can read quickly for your own private use or to discuss in-house with your colleagues- go ahead and use Deepl.

But if you need a translation for business use, or for publication, Deepl is not reliable. It could lead to serious trouble that could adversely affect your business.


Katalin Szilárd
Merab Dekano
 

Guofei_LIN  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 18:31
Chinese
Who is reliable? Nov 9

Tom in London wrote:

Deepl is not reliable.


Compared to?


Jorge Payan
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Me Nov 9

Guofei_LIN wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

Deepl is not reliable.


Compared to?


Me, for instance.


 

Guofei_LIN  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 18:31
Chinese
It doesn't make a difference Nov 10

Tom in London wrote:

Guofei_LIN wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

Deepl is not reliable.


Compared to?


Me, for instance.


And I think DeepL (the current version at least) is not as reliable as me either. But no matter what we think, the price of fish wouldn't be altered by a farthing.


 
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