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Poll: Would you say there is less human interaction during a translation project now than 3 years ago?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:23
SITE STAFF
Jan 30

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you say there is less human interaction during a translation project now than 3 years ago?".

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George Kihanda
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:23
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Jan 30

Not much difference in the last three years.

Of course, when I started translating the process began with a staff member counting the words in the source document by hand, then we wrote a triple-spaced draft on a typewriter, sometimes (I kid you not) there was a fellow standing by to replace typewriter ribbons and font balls; a librarian would bring us references and dictionaries; a reviewer went over our work and filled in the space between the lines with "improvements"; the typing
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Not much difference in the last three years.

Of course, when I started translating the process began with a staff member counting the words in the source document by hand, then we wrote a triple-spaced draft on a typewriter, sometimes (I kid you not) there was a fellow standing by to replace typewriter ribbons and font balls; a librarian would bring us references and dictionaries; a reviewer went over our work and filled in the space between the lines with "improvements"; the typing pool retyped everything on mimeograph sheets; a mimeograph operator printed the document on paper, and a crew assembled the copies.

We've come a long way, Baby!

[Edited at 2020-01-30 08:34 GMT]
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Teresa Borges
Christine Andersen
Kay Denney
Philip Lees
Laura Kingdon
 

George Kihanda
Tanzania
Local time: 20:23
Swahili to English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Yes. There is due to advancement in Machine Translation (MT). Jan 30

The technology is struggling to replace human interaction. There is less human interaction in translation but more interaction in communication with the help of Machine Translation. (MT)

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Only in some cases Jan 30

Given the constant ongoing discussions about MT and its affects on "the translation industry", I surmise that there may be less human effort involved, with increasing reliance on machines to do the donkey work. On the other hand, the widespread use of MT will require more revision/proofreading efforts, so perhaps the amount of human interaction is the same, but is simply lower paid.

This is conjecture on my part, but I don't think it's all that far-fetched.


Elaine Ruby
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:23
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Jan 30

The way I work hasn’t changed much these last three years, but like Muriel things have changed dramatically since I started translating...

Muriel Vasconcellos
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:23
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No. Jan 30

Q. "Would you say there is less human interaction during a translation project now than 3 years ago?".

A. No. If anything, there's more.

[Edited at 2020-01-30 09:22 GMT]


123Translations
Andrew Morris
svetlana cosquéric
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:23
German to English
+ ...
Not at all. If anything, more. Jan 30

I'm curious how that thought came up.

Kaisa I
 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:23
English to German
+ ...
Yes Jan 30

For most of my projects, the assignment, delivery, feedback and invoicing steps are more automated (= less human interaction, often even no human interaction at all) than they were 3 years ago.

Liena Vijupe
Slama-Clauzel Traductions
Benoit Esmein
Thomas Pfann
Gibril Koroma
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:23
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not for me Jan 30

I go way back - I started as one of those librarians Muriel mentions, though not directly for translators!
Now I only take on work where there is human contact, and if anything there has been more in the last three years, because roughly three years ago I hit pension age and sorted firmly among my clients.

I think it will be necessary to differentiate between the translation ´industry´ that is going further with MT and automation, and what I still prefer to call a profession
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I go way back - I started as one of those librarians Muriel mentions, though not directly for translators!
Now I only take on work where there is human contact, and if anything there has been more in the last three years, because roughly three years ago I hit pension age and sorted firmly among my clients.

I think it will be necessary to differentiate between the translation ´industry´ that is going further with MT and automation, and what I still prefer to call a profession, where humans are still indispensable.

For one thing the old-style translators will be a lot happier when they can concentrate on what they are good at - and often they are not the best people to ask to do PEMT! In my opinion the difference in approach is at least as great as the difference between written translation and spoken interpretation. Those who are good at one are often less good at the other: I have never been able to interpret much at all.

Then the people who willingly work with MT, where it is adequate, will not have to listen to human translators moaning about how awful machine translation is and how much better things were in the good old days!
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Muriel Vasconcellos
Teresa Borges
Elaine Ruby
 

Justin Peterson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:23
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
No, that started a long time ago Jan 30

No. People stopped using phones and talking with the rise of the Internet, but that's going on ... what? 30 years now.

I notice the generation gap, clearly. Only older people want to talk to the translator on the phone.

For everyone else ... it's all email and texts.

I think we will end up with robot friends... and spouses. And no one will ever have to actually talk to a human being again. :/

They're already talking about robots as a viable so
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No. People stopped using phones and talking with the rise of the Internet, but that's going on ... what? 30 years now.

I notice the generation gap, clearly. Only older people want to talk to the translator on the phone.

For everyone else ... it's all email and texts.

I think we will end up with robot friends... and spouses. And no one will ever have to actually talk to a human being again. :/

They're already talking about robots as a viable solution for the lonely ... seriously.
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Kay Denney
 

Elke Fehling  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:23
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Yes Jan 30

More and more agencies just use automated systems to send me work. Invoicing is automated, too. There is no interaction between humans necessary anymore - in many cases.

Karen Wooddissee
Laura Kingdon
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:23
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Lonely Jan 30

Justin Peterson wrote:

They're already talking about robots as a viable solution for the lonely ... seriously.


That's until we invent a robot that is intelligent enough to feel lonely. Still some distance to go with AI








[Edited at 2020-01-30 12:46 GMT]


Jan Truper
Thayenga
 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
Two worlds Jan 30

In the agency world, that may be the case with some of them who have turned towards automated processes, although not in my limited experience.

With my tiny handful of agencies, there are more emails, texts, WhatsApps, phone calls than before, and their clients are also spouting more than ever, not only on their sites but via a whole bunch of social media channels.

Meanwhile, over in the direct client world, the air is abuzz with communication. Offers, quotes,
... See more
In the agency world, that may be the case with some of them who have turned towards automated processes, although not in my limited experience.

With my tiny handful of agencies, there are more emails, texts, WhatsApps, phone calls than before, and their clients are also spouting more than ever, not only on their sites but via a whole bunch of social media channels.

Meanwhile, over in the direct client world, the air is abuzz with communication. Offers, quotes, acceptance, queries, back and forth feedback. Nothing has changed – except that there's more of it, and it's faster-paced.
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kazue onari
Japan
Local time: 02:23
Member (2010)
Japanese to English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


No for Japanese Jan 30

As the use of MT increases in EN to JP translation, human interaction also increases in order to make revisions, which is headache to me! Due to famous “Japanese particle” in our language, MT sometimes makes very bizarre JP targets from EN sources. I believe MT never works for JP translation. Thus, human interaction never becomes less.

[Edited at 2020-01-30 14:46 GMT]


Muriel Vasconcellos
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Only for some clients Jan 30

"Would you say there is less human interaction during a translation project now than 3 years ago?"


A few clients have moved to a portal system for awarding jobs and handling invoicing, but in many of those cases I still have contact with an actual human during some of the process. In particular the initial e-mail is often from a human being, and when I say "I'm available", I'm issued the portal details. There are, of course, clients who try to handle everything via their portals, and I have learnt to write cheat sheets for each client's portal (they're often unintuitive to use, so unless you write down how to use them, you have to figure it out all over again every time you get the mail). But even if I do most of my interaction with the agency via their portal instead of by e-mail, I still feel like I'm interacting with an actual human being for much of the process.


Laura Kingdon
 
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