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Your Experience with Machine Translation Post-Editing: Call for Participants
Thread poster: lnvieira

lnvieira
United Kingdom
May 25

Dear all

I'm working on a research project in a partnership between the University of Bristol (UK) and Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Spain), and we are interested in speaking to companies, translators and other language professionals who in one way or another are involved in post-editing of machine translation. The purpose of the project is to gather information on different practices, experiences and perceptions relating to the use of machine translation in human translation workflows. We are conducting short Skype interviews to gather the data. If you think you might be interested in getting involved, please drop me a line at l.nunesvieira[at]bristol.ac.uk and I can send you more details. The Skype chats normally last for about 30-45min, and this can be booked at a time that suits you. The only requirement for taking part is having had some professional experience with machine translation post-editing. This may be as a translator/post-editor (freelance or in-house), as a project manager, as the owner of a translation company, as a technology specialist, etc. We cannot offer payment for this, but participating should be an interesting experience nonetheless!

I look forward to hearing from you.
Lucas

Webpage: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sml/people/lucas-nunes-vieira/index.html


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:11
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
"Post-Editing" is a scam to cheat translators... May 26

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/303881-is_"post_editing"_a_pricing_scam.html

It's also a scam for clients because they believe they are getting almost identical quality, but at .01 to .03 a word, "post editors" will only spend seconds on each paragraph and critical errors will not be caught and go unnoticed. If they are noticed, then it's all the translators fault... Bad translator... Next translator please...



[Edited at 2017-05-26 16:29 GMT]


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lnvieira
United Kingdom
TOPIC STARTER
We are interested in all views May 26

LegalTransform,

We welcome all views of those who have experiences to share. If you have strong opinions (positive or negative) and have in one way or another been involved with post-editing, please feel free to get in touch!


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't knock it May 26

LegalTransform wrote:

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/303881-is_"post_editing"_a_pricing_scam.html

It's also a scam for clients because they believe they are getting almost identical quality, but at .01 to .03 a word, "post editors" will only spend seconds on each paragraph and critical errors will not be caught and go unnoticed. If they are noticed, then it's all the translators fault... Bad translator... Next translator please...



[Edited at 2017-05-26 16:29 GMT]


Have you worked on MT post editing? If not, please keep this space free from complaints. Thank you.


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Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:11
Serbian to English
+ ...
Please don't disturb... May 27

Mario Chavez wrote:

LegalTransform wrote:

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/303881-is_"post_editing"_a_pricing_scam.html

It's also a scam for clients because they believe they are getting almost identical quality, but at .01 to .03 a word, "post editors" will only spend seconds on each paragraph and critical errors will not be caught and go unnoticed. If they are noticed, then it's all the translators fault... Bad translator... Next translator please...



[Edited at 2017-05-26 16:29 GMT]


Have you worked on MT post editing? If not, please keep this space free from complaints. Thank you.


So...
Have you crossed the street without checking for oncoming vehicles?
No?
Never?
Then don't tell us how to cross the street!

"keep this space free from complaints"? you mean: please don't disturb - leave us in peace in our bubble ...

What next? "Urim and Thummim" are the best translation tools ever and "please keep this space free from complaints. Thank you."?

Unfortunately, so far I see ways more arguments to consider the "editing" of so-called Machine "Translation" as no more than a penny-pinching exercise of no real benefit for neither clients nor translators, rather than anything else.

What I know for sure is that anyone claiming than PEMT from (or into) Serbian [and probably for most of less used languages] is feasible is either deluded or a deliberate scammer looking for amateurs who have no idea what they getting into.

I was under the impression that lnvieira wanted to have a range of " information on different practices, experiences and perceptions ..."

I find it a very interesting method for conducting an objective research if "perceptions" you don't like are to be simply ignored / swept under the carpet on the ground of "please keep this space free from complaints" (Lysenko wouldn't say it better ...)





[Edited at 2017-05-27 11:29 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
Logic arguments, please May 29

Daryo, leaving aside your angry comments, I still see no iota of evidence that you have used MTPE. What Invieira has politely requested is perspectives and views on MTPE, good and bad. It follows, however, that one has to have some experience in MTPE (I do) before sharing just an opinion or, in someone else's case, diatribe or rant.

If you're interested in helping Invieira, you may put aside whatever it is that my comment about no complaints here triggered. Let's keep it professional, please.


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:11
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Agree with the sentiment May 30

LegalTransform wrote:

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/303881-is_"post_editing"_a_pricing_scam.html

It's also a scam for clients because they believe they are getting almost identical quality, but at .01 to .03 a word, "post editors" will only spend seconds on each paragraph and critical errors will not be caught and go unnoticed. If they are noticed, then it's all the translators fault... Bad translator... Next translator please...


It's just the nth way they came up with to cut costs and move the translation industry another step closer to an assembly line model with interchangeable "resources".

When I first worked with PEMT (in-house), quality was not very good and required extensive checking and editing, although it was (obviously) slightly better with very repetitive parts (such as road directions, for instance). However, the amount of work it required definitely did not warrant nor justify any discount on rates.

After that, I've been regularly receiving offers for PEMT, and saw them published here (one just today) and elsewhere, but always refused. A couple years ago I did take the time to look more carefully at an offer. They would've paid 2/3 of my translation rate. Field was IT. I took a look at the MT output and the quality was not that bad, although you had to be extremely careful to catch all the (recurring) wrong prepositions, noun genders, awkward syntax, etc. A bit like reviewing a translation made by a non native, and often having to rewrite entire segments/paragraphs...

All in all, I believe MT based on a customized engine can be useful in terms of consistency (general style and glossary), just like TMs and TBs are, but should not be used to turn translation into cheap menial labor, as it seems to be in many cases.


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Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:11
English to Russian
lol May 30

Mario Chavez wrote:

Have you worked on MT post editing?


Yes, I have. Once or twice... More than enough to stop doing that.
You just do translation for lower price. No way.

And I think, lnvieira would only hear 'positives' because people are usually reluctant to spend 30 to 45 minutes for discussion of what they dislike.

[Edited at 2017-05-30 12:40 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:11
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Impossible May 30

It is impossible to check/correct/edit a document that has been translated using MT unless the checker has access to the original document in the source language.

In effect, this means that the checker is going through the MT translation line by line, word for word, correcting it and more than likely, completely rewriting it.

I am occasionally asked to do this. On the very rare occasions on which I accept (only 1 so far), I charge my full rate.

[Edited at 2017-05-30 12:31 GMT]


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Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:11
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
MT comparable with Fuzzies May 30

Working with machine translation plugins is a bit like working with TMs and files that have lots of lowish match fuzzies, 70% to 80% matches for example (perhaps up to 90% for really good output). It therefore does yield a slight productivity gain. Some of us begrudgingly accept rate discounts on fuzzy matches, but usually only because there aren't too many in a given document, as the usefulness of anything below a 95% really starts to become questionable.

However, you have to be quite experienced working with the Machine in question in order to get a feel for how reliable the translation is for the given language pair and subject area. The worst scenarios for me are when it yields what looks like very good results, only to find that it reads well but is deceptively poor in accuracy.

All in all, it is a useful tool to add to CATs, TMs, TBs, Autosuggest Dictionaries and other productivity enhancing features, however not being paid your standard rate can either lead to you being significantly out of pocket, or, perhaps even worse, the client being delivered a pretty substandard translation which is not fit for purpose. I say not fit for purpose, since agencies and companies often try to sell it as "they just need to gain an understanding of the text"; well how can they achieve this if the translation is misleading or inaccurate?

MT still has a long way to go before it can be counted as reliable. At best, for me, it saves on a bit of typing (which helps with an old wrist injury) and offers terminology options. Once you get into a good rhythm of post-editing, I would say that it is more productive than translating from scratch, particularly when combined with other features inherent in CAT tools. Does this justify us being paid less? That's the age-old debate ever since CATs came on the scene.

[Edited at 2017-05-30 14:47 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:11
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Same here May 30

Huw Watkins wrote:

....At best, for me, it saves on a bit of typing ...and offers terminology options. Once you get into a good rhythm ... I would say that it is more productive than translating from scratch, when combined with other features ... Does this justify us being paid less?


In certain cases, for certain types of document, yes. But only as a tool, in combination with various other resources the translator may use.

Would it be justified to pay a surgeon less if they use keyhole surgery?

[Edited at 2017-05-30 13:24 GMT]


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:11
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Prepare yourself for flawed results May 30

Many of us are post-editing translations produced by algorithms on a regular basis but only the most ignorant among us will want to talk about it.

Participating in your research project would be equivalent to revealing our trade secrets. Why would we? Have you ever met a carpenter who would confess to gaining many hours by using machines.

If we pass on every technology benefit to our direct and indirect clients, we'll stay poor forever.

I predict that the results of your research project won't have any practical value.

Cheers,
Gerard


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:11
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Dear Lucas May 31

Gerard de Noord wrote:

Many of us are post-editing translations produced by algorithms on a regular basis but only the most ignorant among us will want to talk about it.

Participating in your research project would be equivalent to revealing our trade secrets. Why would we? Have you ever met a carpenter who would confess to gaining many hours by using machines.

If we pass on every technology benefit to our direct and indirect clients, we'll stay poor forever.

I predict that the results of your research project won't have any practical value.

Cheers,
Gerard


Dear Lucas,

Did you read my remarks?

I see only now
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sml/people/lucas-nunes-vieira/index.html
that you're not just a student looking for a subject but that you're already a doctor in translation studies.

What made you use the trigger term post-editing in your question? Your question was broader than PEMT, wasn't it?

Your PhD focused on the expenditure of cognitive effort in post-editing of machine translation and, more generally, on the nature of cognitive processes in language editing and how different editing behaviours might relate to editing quality.

So it is possible you didn't learn anything usefull.

To end with my insight: for seasoned translators, the process of on-the-fly post-editing suggestions from our CAT tools takes some getting used to. We can gain a bit of time while delivering quality translations. Post-editing complete documents that have been translated by algorithms is interesting from an expenditure viewpoint only. The cognitive processes in PEMT language editing would require editors who are too smart to take on the job or the process would yield meagre results.

Cheers,
Gerard

[Edited at 2017-05-31 21:25 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-05-31 21:30 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
A good point for analysis Jun 1

Tom in London wrote:

It is impossible to check/correct/edit a document that has been translated using MT unless the checker has access to the original document in the source language.

In effect, this means that the checker is going through the MT translation line by line, word for word, correcting it and more than likely, completely rewriting it.

I am occasionally asked to do this. On the very rare occasions on which I accept (only 1 so far), I charge my full rate.

[Edited at 2017-05-30 12:31 GMT]


During my 10 months working with MT output (customized MT engine paid for by the client), it was not possible for our team of translators (Korean, French, Italian, German and Spanish) to analyze the source text since it had already been processed by the MT. In our case, we were working with an online tool, and we only had the equivalent of Trados' Concordance search to gain access to much of the context.

Our advantage was that we had final word on how the translation would look and read. Sadly, our managers had no translation management experience nor did they understand the process, or the needs in different languages. In other words, the MT output for Italian might need fewer edits than the Korean or the Spanish.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not every MT project is the same Jun 1

Stepan Konev wrote:

Mario Chavez wrote:

Have you worked on MT post editing?


Yes, I have. Once or twice... More than enough to stop doing that.
You just do translation for lower price. No way.

And I think, lnvieira would only hear 'positives' because people are usually reluctant to spend 30 to 45 minutes for discussion of what they dislike.

[Edited at 2017-05-30 12:40 GMT]


Well, Stepan, what can I say? My experience with MT is completely different from yours, apparently. I worked with an information security company as part of a team of translators (several languages). We were paid a suitable hourly rate (not 10 or 20 dollars per hour, much more) and we were given leeway in how we changed the MT output for the final translation.

If you'd like to contribute more to the discussion, I would advise against using LOL as a heading.


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