German to English: will using Google's premium service reduce post-editing effort?
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Dec 3, 2016

Hello everyone

This question is specifically to people who translate or post-edit German to English. You may be aware that Google Translate is currently trialling their "premium" service on a limited basis. This is that "neural" mumbo jumbo that you may have heard about, in which Google translates sentences as whole sentences, and not as individual chunks of 3-5 words. The translations "appear" to be far more natural. But... the big question is whether the translations will actually require less post-editing.

Here is an example of such a translation:

premium versus standard

A 1000-word translation is here. I'd be interested to hear from German to English translators if the absolute minimum amount of post-editing required to produce a barely acceptable translation is going to be much less with the premium service. Some examples would be nice.

Samuel

PS. At the moment, only German/English/German is available via the API, which is what I used to translate the sample.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 11:00
English to Croatian
+ ...
What is barely acceptable translation? Dec 3, 2016

Translation can't be barely acceptable, just acceptable and unacceptable. Nobody will be paying for barely acceptable translation.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Barely acceptable Dec 3, 2016

Lingua 5B wrote:
Translation can't be barely acceptable, just acceptable and unacceptable.


No, I disagree. It is perfectly possible to create a translation that adequately captures all of the intended meaning and which contains no grammar or spelling errors, without winning any literary prizes.

I realise that many translators are perfectionists and will not "let go" of a translation unless they've beaten it into something that is beautiful in addition to being faithful. Such translators keep on beautifying and prettifying the translation long after it reached the level of "barely adequate", but I was interested in hearing from translators who are able to stop if they are told to stop the moment the translation crosses the "adequate" threshold.

The premium Google translations are prettier than the standard ones, and this may lead members of the public to believe that they are better. But the post-editor still needs to compare it to the source text and ensure that all meaning has been correctly captured, no matter how pleasant the machine translation sounds out of the box.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 11:00
English to Croatian
+ ...
??? Dec 3, 2016

Samuel Murray wrote:
But the post-editor still needs to compare it to the source text and ensure that all meaning has been correctly captured, no matter how pleasant the machine translation sounds out of the box.


It doesn't sound "pleasant", it sounds machine translated? If somebody has to go through all that text that doesn't make any sense and redo it completely, how is the tool of any use?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Lingua Dec 3, 2016

Lingua 5B wrote:
It doesn't sound "pleasant", it sounds machine translated?


The premium translations sound more pleasant than the standard translations.

If somebody has to go through all that text that doesn't make any sense and redo it completely, how is the tool of any use?


I agree. If it has to be "redone completely", then the tool is of no use. But with both standard and premium machine translations, it doesn't have to be redone "completely", so the tool saves time. My question is whether the premium translation saves more time than the standard one does.


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CafeTran Training
Netherlands
Local time: 11:00
Opposite direction Dec 4, 2016

Could you please post a sample translation in the opposite direction?

Thanks in advance!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Opposite direction Dec 4, 2016

CafeTran Training wrote:
Could you please post a sample translation in the opposite direction?


Sure, here it is:

premium versus standard en-de

You'll notice that the last segment was split at an abbreviation -- that was done by my tool and not by Google, but it's interesting anyway to see how Premium deals with it, because it does happen in CAT tools too.

By the way, when I signed up for the Premium beta service two weeks ago, only German/English was available, but since then, all of the supported language pairs are now available via API. They are: EN/DE/EN, EN/ES/EN, EN/FR/EN, EN/JA/EN, EN/KO/EN, EN/PT/EN, EN/TR/EN, and EN/ZH-CN/EN. So I could actually repost this thread with samples from each of those languages (-: if anyone's interested.

Samuel


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German to English: will using Google's premium service reduce post-editing effort?

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