Poll: Post-editing work will become increasingly common in the next few years:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:07
SITE STAFF
Feb 23

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Post-editing work will become increasingly common in the next few years:".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
True Feb 23

You can see it already on translation websites and social networks, where there are more and more offers of PEMT work, many of them for permanent in-house posts with agencies.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:07
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
True as a trend, but I’m still personally unsure Feb 23

For a few years I said no to all post-editing projects, until 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. So, under the same circumstances, I wouldn’t mind doing that again. The fact is that with age and experience I have become pretty picky about what I like doing and don't like when it comes to work. Post-editing is not something I particularly enjoy doing, but if the quality is good enough and I’m paid well, why not?

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:07
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It is important to explain to clients when PEMT is appropriate and when it is not! Feb 23

We still have to work hard to make sure clients understand that machine translation is a lottery, and with some texts there is simply no way you can win. Algorithms and artificial intelligence are about as close to the real thing as a photograph to a live person.

The latest example I heard about was a horticultural text in Danish which kept referring to a kindergarten. The German Kindergarten has been taken over in Danish, literally as a børnehave = 'child garden'. Plants, however, are grown in a planteskole/plant school... Google Translate cannot see the difference, of course, when English uses the same word - nursery - for both... icon_smile.gif

Dedicated translation engines and possibly PRE-edited source texts can reduce the numbers of errors like that. For things like Frequently Asked Questions, where the same problems turn up again and again, and the odd minor error will not upset anyone, MT may save time and effort.

Apart from that, there is the constant battle with clients who say 'just tidy it up', thinking you can get through ten pages in no time AND produce a reasonable result. Of course they have not budgeted to pay for more than an hour or two. icon_rolleyes.gif

Definitely a case for being picky, and letting the client know why when you turn their job down.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:07
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Stay about the same Feb 23

I have 37 years of experience with post-editing and observing the development of machine translation. I have trained and supervised more than 40 post-editors. I have seen the demand rise and fall for various applications.

It's impossible to have a world-wide picture of the translation market today, but I do not see the demand for post-editing increasing because effective post-editors are a small subset of translation professionals; it takes a very special skill set to figure out how not to redo everything and make the effort cost-effective. Factors that affect the outcome include the genre, the subject matter, the application, the purpose of the text, the extent to which the input has been constrained by a set of rules, the quality of the text, the style of the text, and **even the particular author**.

Let's say we are compiling reports on the same subject based on the same outline from 25 different countries. I used to do that regularly. I found that the success of machine translation varied widely depending on the author's style.

So unless translators can find that sweet spot at which the task is cost-effective, I do not see much growth in the use of post-editing.


 

Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 13:07
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
Halt PEMT Feb 23

I am sure, PEMT is seen by many agencies as a solution to save on translators without losing quality. The translators have to halt these unfair attempts if they don't want to lose their stake. I believe, we must be tough and clear about it: either you pay full price for a high-quality human translation or go make a deal with your machine alone.

 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
tips, hints, prompts... as if for translators' benefits, yet at their expense Feb 23

Fuzzy matches - to have client's costs cut (at the expense of the translator).
Fuzzy volume rates - to have client's costs cut (at the expense of the translator).
Internal matches - to have client's costs cut (at the expense of the translator).
Auto-suggest feature - to have client's costs cut (at the expense of the translator).
MT - to have client's costs cut (at the expense of the translator).
Effective words and other would-be know-how stuff - just to have client's costs cut (at the expense of the translator).
...
Why not PEMT?


 

Kristina Cosumano  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:07
Member (2015)
German to English
True Feb 23

I have done several proofreading jobs where I am fairly sure that the client put the text through some (fairly decent) MT program first, and then submitted it to the agency for a little polishing up. It's all discernible in the types of mistakes (word order, no spelling errors, etc.) If the agencies are not doing that themselves, it's probably only a matter of time. They won't call these jobs PEMT, they will simply call it proofreading.

Then again, the more I work with MT, the more I have come to realize how many translators are using it (and using it sloppily).


 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Another musical poll: variations on a theme Feb 23

https://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/322435-poll_have_you_ever_been_asked_to_"proofread"_instead_of_translate_a_machine_translated_document.html

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
True, unfortunately Feb 24

The algorithms, MTs and TMs are getting better and better each day.
At the same time, people are gradually less and less concerned about the correct use of language and communication is being deeply simplified. Former errors are being considered acceptable, jargon, live language, etc.
These two trends doubtlessly propitiate post-editing.
So be ready.


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 12:07
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Increasingly common if you fellow translators allow it to happen Feb 24

Mario Freitas wrote:

The algorithms, MTs and TMs are getting better and better each day.
At the same time, people are gradually less and less concerned about the correct use of language and communication is being deeply simplified. Former errors are being considered acceptable, jargon, live language, etc.
These two trends doubtlessly propitiate post-editing.
So be ready.



And the reason why: because there are good translators, who work with MT and do PEMT.
We should deny to work with such texts...
The problem is not whether you like it or not, but due to your MT and PEMT contributions whether you will have a job or not.

Ideally only translators who provide bad quality would work with MT and do PEMT, this is the only way our profession can be saved.


[Edited at 2018-02-24 08:04 GMT]


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Dynamics of the translation market Feb 25

Katalin Szilárd wrote:

And the reason why: because there are good translators, who work with MT and do PEMT.
We should deny to work with such texts...
The problem is not whether you like it or not, but due to your MT and PEMT contributions whether you will have a job or not.
Ideally only translators who provide bad quality would work with MT and do PEMT, this is the only way our profession can be saved.


If I add up all the post-editing work I've done in my life, it would hardly reach 1% of the total. I detest them and decline them as much as I can.
I've been translating for 30 years, and only in the past three years I have realized the pressure of post-editing in our market.
Right now, most of what you say is true. But there is an obvious trend that you either perceive and adapt yourself to or you will be out of the market within 20 years.
I don't have to worry about it. I'll be dead, retired or too old when it happens. But if you are less than 50 years old, you better start adpating yourself, because it will NOT be optional.

[Edited at 2018-02-25 04:40 GMT]


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:07
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
By the way Feb 25

Katalin Szilárd wrote:
...this is the only way our profession can be saved.


Our profession is not at risk. We will not be replaced by MTs in the next 50 years. So what you have to do is not to motivate your children and grandchildren to be translators, but we don't have to worry about it.


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 12:07
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
One swallow doesn't make a summer Feb 25

Mario Freitas wrote:

But there is an obvious trend that you either perceive and adapt yourself to or you will be out of the market within 20 years.
I don't have to worry about it. I'll be dead, retired or too old when it happens. But if you are less than 50 years old, you better start adpating yourself, because it will NOT be optional.

Katalin Szilárd wrote:
...this is the only way our profession can be saved.


Our profession is not at risk. We will not be replaced by MTs in the next 50 years. So what you have to do is not to motivate your children and grandchildren to be translators, but we don't have to worry about it.


There is a Hungarian saying: "One swallow does not make a summer" (meaning that 1 person is not enough to change things but more could change it).
I think our profession is at risk and translators who are blind-folded are putting us at risk.
You don't have to adapt to a trend that is counterproductive. It is optional and the more good translators resist the more likely we win.

You say you don't have to worry ... hmm ...
And what about young translators and what about your children/grandchildren?
The same will be true for physicians, nurses, lawyers, accountants etc.
Did you see the robot that draws blood from patients and the robot that makes a whole surgical intervention?

And what happens if MT's don't work any more, anything can happen and there will be no translators....
the same is true for physicians, accountants etc. We will depend on these robots, algorithms too much, which is very risky.

We can still decide or at least form what kind of future we want.
It depends on us, whether we are selfish to live only for the present and for ourselves or we do something for a better future.



[Edited at 2018-02-25 08:07 GMT]


 


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