Poll: Have any of your current clients approached you about doing post-editing work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:10
SITE STAFF
Feb 8

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have any of your current clients approached you about doing post-editing work?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Feb 8

Some of the non-native academic authors whose English works I revise are obviously using MT as an aid nowadays, so I suppose that's a kind of MT post-editing, but it's a service I already provide, under my own conditions. However, that doesn't mean I'll accept any old low-paying garbled nonsense from bottom-feeder agencies and the like.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Feb 8

I have been postediting machine translation for one of my current clients for over 20 years. I wouldn't be doing it if it didn't pay well.

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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:10
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Yes Feb 8

I did one, and never again unless it's paid as well as translation so I can just translate it then do a comparison and pretend I used track changes

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:10
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes Feb 8

but until now I declined, because I had more interesting offers

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Feb 8

Quite recently (last December) a very regular client (a translation agency) asked me if I would take part in an experiment for a client of theirs and check a machine-translated document [EN-PT(pt)]. As it was paid full rate, I accepted and I must say that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, though it had a lot of Brazilian terms mixed. Under the same circumstances, I wouldn’t mind doing that again.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:10
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not current clients... Feb 8

I have been approached by reasonably good clients in recent years. However, the rates they offered were very low for the effort required, and there was no real point in negotiating.

When my tax situation changed, I sorted clients into two groups, and dropped several, including the ones who offered post-editing. I have come round to the idea that it has to be done, but have also decided that it calls for a very different approach from reviewing and editing human translators' work.

You can NOT assume that the machine understands anything at all. Artificial intelligence is as close to the real thing as a photograph is to a real person. For all the talk of algorithms and deep layers or whatever, MT is a lottery, based on statistics. They win some and they lose some, and occasionally tip the balance the right way.

Post-editing is not what I am good at, and as long as there is a market for what I do well, that is where I am going to concentrate my efforts. (Or as long as I am capable of delivering what clients want, because I don't think the machines will really take over in my time!)

Good luck to anyone who can cope with post editing - I think it is a pain!


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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 03:10
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
sort of, once Feb 8

I was hired by a regular client for a translation project with enormous time pressure (it was a live interview event that was supposed to be translated and put online almost immediately).

The English source text was generated by speech recognition software, then fed into DeepL. I had to check and fix the German result, but was paid my regular translation rate.

The weakest link in this chain was actually the speech recognition software -- the English source text it generated often made no sense whatsoever.
Rubbish in, rubbish out.



[Edited at 2018-02-08 11:23 GMT]


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:10
English to Russian
+ ...
Being approached does not mean accepting Feb 8

My biggest client approached me with an offer of this kind, claiming that they had trained a specialised MT engine and its output was very good and almost human, and providing some strange quantitative metric to confirm that. I asked for some samples, and they turned out to be the usual MT garbage, even with clear signs of inadequate training. As to being "almost human", I did see some human work of similar quality, but then I could at least recommend the project manager to fire and blacklist that translator. In this case, they would need to fire their own department in its entirety...

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Agneta Pallinder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:10
Member (2014)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Once - and it was a good experience Feb 8

One of my (now) best and dearest clients, approached me the first time with a Google-translated quite technical manual, with the remit to edit the text and also to supply translations where Google hadn't noticed the text (picture captions etc.).

I was very doubtful, but had a look, and the text was not too awful - I suppose because it was technical and didn't contain any flights of fancy.

Payment would be by the hour, actual time used.

So, I accepted, and did the job, which took me almost exactly half the time it would have taken to translate it from scratch. Everybody was happy, it seems.

And the agency has continued to send me interesting work ever since - no more MT edits though.

[Edited at 2018-02-08 19:36 GMT]


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:10
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Feb 11

It's happening regularly, and becoming more common. I refused it for as long as I could, but I realized it's the current trend and we must adapt to it. So the deal is a price somewhere between the revision and the translation rate for good MTs/TMs that do not require retranslation, and the same rate as translation for poor MTs/TMs, such as Google Translate and the like. It must be clearly agreed with the client or agency that you have to see the entire document before accepting the job, and to decide if it is a post-editing or a translation job, and only then determine the applicable rate.

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