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Proofread a translation done with googletranslator?!
Thread poster: Alessandra Vanni

Alessandra Vanni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:25
English to Italian
+ ...
Aug 6, 2009

Dear Colleagues
I have just received a request from a person to proofread a translation done using googletranslator, it goes without saying that the translation is full of mistakes and unreadable sentences. What would you suggest? Should i provide a quote for proofreading and then re-translate completely the whole text or just correct the most naive mistakes? I already know that if i do not accept the job someone else will do it!
Thank you for your precious help!

Alessandra

[Edited at 2009-08-06 17:17 GMT]


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 08:25
fix Aug 6, 2009

I'd fix it, as if it were a regular human translation. If you need to correct something, correct it.

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xxxPRen
Canada
Local time: 04:25
French to English
+ ...
Why in heaven's name Aug 6, 2009

Alessandra Vanni wrote:

Dear Colleagues
I have just received a request from a person to proofread a translation done using googletranslator, it goes without saying that the translation is full of mistakes and unreadable sentences. What would you suggest? Should i provide a quote for proofreading and then re-translate completely the whole text or just correct the most naive mistakes? I already know that if i do not accept the job someone else will do it!
Thank you for your precious help!

Alessandra

[Edited at 2009-08-06 17:17 GMT]


Why in heaven's name would you charge for proofreading and then translate? Tell them googletranslate does a shoddy job and that you are a translator/reviser/proofreader, not a fixer.

If you take the job and just fix the worst mistakes, you seriously risk ruining your reputation with this client - they won't care what google did, but they'll sure be mad at you if you give them a piece of junk.

Aim higher. If someone else takes the job, someone else is a fool, not you.


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:25
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
. Aug 6, 2009

If you want to take them literally... just proofread the translation.

For the QA stage of machine translated text, the term "post-editing" is pretty much accepted standard, including the understanding that this steps involves much more than just proofreading!

Since this is a rather tricky task, I would ask the client specifically what they expect. It's not uncommon that post-editing with the goal of a "perfectly" translated text can take much longer than translating it from scratch, as you have to analyze not only the source but also the target text. I.e. the costs of post-editing might turn out to be higher than having it done properly to begin with - in other words: doing it from scratch might be cheaper.

Since the client decided on MT in the first place, they might be satisfied with a text that adequately conveys the meaning of the source without necessarily being 100% idiomatic or grammatically correct. So you might get away with only the absolutely necessary changes. It really depends on the purpose of the translation. If it's for information only, great. If they want to use it "officially", let's say on a website or in a brochure, than I would reject that job right away because you'll end up spending a lot of time on fixing and polishing everything (although my choice would be: re-translating everything), unless the client is willing to pay adequately for your time.

[Edited at 2009-08-06 20:11 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:25
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A quotation to produce good final quality Aug 6, 2009

Personally I would try to calculate how much it will take you do deliver a final good text and would ask the customer whether you may go ahead with that quotation, charging an hourly rate.

My experience with an MT proofreading job I did recently (and it was a better tool than Google Translate) is that it takes roughly the same as translating from scratch if you are a reasonably fast typer.

[Edited at 2009-08-06 20:16 GMT]


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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
English to Serbian
+ ...
:) Aug 6, 2009

Run it a couple of more times in Google Translate, it should do the trick. Kidding of course. I think Tomás gave an excellent advice.

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Anne-Marie Grant  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:25
French to English
+ ...
Please heed PRen's advice, Aug 7, 2009

for the sake of your own reputation and the good of translation.

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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 00:25
English to Russian
+ ...
Tell the client that it's so bad, it's beyond repair, Aug 7, 2009

and then offer to translate from scratch at your regular rates. If you never hear from him again, that's his problem.

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Noe Tessmann  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
English to German
+ ...
Don't waste your time on it Aug 7, 2009

Hi,

don't waste a single second on it. Tell the client that it is a machine translation. If he did it by himself and send it to you for "proof-reading" - who knows - even worse. If the client paid for it he should arrange this with the translator in the first place.

If the client wants a decent translation ask for a longer deadline and apply your normal full rate.

Regards

Noe


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Milos Prudek  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:25
English to Czech
+ ...
Translate from scratch Aug 7, 2009

Should i provide a quote for proofreading and then re-translate completely the whole text or just correct the most naive mistakes?


Neither. Tell them that translation from scratch is better for them because editing google machine translation would be more expensive for them. Offer translating from scratch.


I already know that if i do not accept the job someone else will do it!


This is true for even the worst jobs and smallest fees. Someone else will always do it.


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Volodymyr Kukharenko
Ukraine
Local time: 10:25
Member (2009)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Tell them your normal translation rate Aug 7, 2009

...in case if you still decide to quote for the job. After all, you could do this google-translation yourself, so why should you discount.

I would just tell them full translation rate, put aside the automated translation and translate from the scratch. If they say "No" to your rate, well, that will be their problem.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 09:25
English to Croatian
+ ...
Proofing and sly offers Aug 7, 2009

I almost know in advance when a client is asking for my translation and my proofing price that they are comparing these two prices calculating how they would benefit from a naturally lower proofing price, and then send over some BS like machine translation to be proofed at that lower price.

That's why I always set my proofing price by hours.

Proofing in general takes as much research, effort, expertise and time as translation, if not more. Proofing bad material even more so. Then why on Earth do they all expect a smaller rate for proofing, I can't stop wondering?

On the top of all, you are the last person to confirm the quality of a translation, so there is a very important factor of responsibility here that they are trying to buy at the lowest prices.

[Edited at 2009-08-07 08:02 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Charge per hour Aug 7, 2009

Alessandra Vanni wrote:
Should i provide a quote for proofreading and then re-translate completely the whole text or just correct the most naive mistakes?


Do not retranslate it. Fix it, as you would do to any poorly translated text. Since some sentences are incomprehensible, it may turn out to be a difficult job to do. So charge per hour.

Optionally get your client's permission to retranslate incomprehensible sentences at your normal translation rate (and explain that it would typically save him money because you're likely to spend more time (at your hourly rate) trying to hack the sentence into shape than simply translating it at your full rate).


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Alessandra Vanni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:25
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks everybody Aug 7, 2009

You all gave me useful advices. I replied to the client offering an advantageous price for the translation, I won't ruin my reputation with such a thing especially because I am still at the beginning! But he has even replied to me, I can assure you that my email was very polite and nice. Yet, the problem is that in Italy translators are not fully recognized as professional and necessary people, everyone thinks that to spend money for a translator is useless and only a waste of time and resources. I am a novice in the field and so I am still waiting for a first proper job who knows how long will it take to get one?!)

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Starting out the way you intend to go on... Aug 7, 2009

... is always a good idea.

So is delivering the best quality you can - people remember you! So I wish you the best of luck, and hope that real job arrives soon!



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