Proofreading of machine and human translations
Thread poster: elmnas

elmnas
Sweden
Oct 22, 2015

Dear Proz members,

I work as a technician at a translation agency.
When our project managers creates projects is it both machine translated files and not machine translated files that we send to translators. We send out a large number of orders per day and sometimes have a problem with translations where the translator has accidentally missed small words (prepositions/articles) or used the wrong grammatical ending on longer words. Is there a way to check for these technically, in other words over and above human proofreading? Can you use a termlist for this function? Any suggestions?

[Edited at 2015-10-22 12:51 GMT]


 

Nicole Coesel  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:19
Member (2012)
Dutch to English
+ ...
There is a solution! Oct 22, 2015

I suggest you start hiring different translators because no professional translator would ever 'accidentally miss small words (prepositions/articles) or use the wrong grammatical ending on longer words'.

Wouldn't Machine Proofreading be fantastic? Then we, as translators, can all go home.


[Edited at 2015-10-22 13:03 GMT]


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Francis Marche  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:19
English to French
+ ...
Can't agree more Oct 22, 2015

I concur with Nicole's : IMHO hiring professional translators instead of students and bored housewives will probably provide the best fix to this "technical" problem.

 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:19
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Certainly not possible for Italian Oct 23, 2015

The details that you mention (missing prepositions, wrong articles, wrong word terminations) are among those that no grammar or spelling correction software could ever manage for Italian.

As far as I know, MS Word spelling and grammar check remains the best effort available and occasionally finds wrong inflections, but misses the vast majority of this type of errors or proposes wrong corrections.

I believe that if a software could fix these errors, the best MT systmes would integrate it and you would not need to do it separately.


 

Adrien Esparron
Local time: 11:19
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
As a technician... Oct 23, 2015

it seems that you don't know what translation is. To be "over and above human proofreading", just create a machine able to control and correct another machine. Why should humans, and of course translators, care about it?

Enjoy!


 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:19
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
Human translator Oct 23, 2015

Concerning translation from French to German machine translation is so bad that in nearly every case you need a complete retranslation by a human translator...

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:19
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Language is far more complicated than machines can cope with. Oct 23, 2015

Is this sentence machine translated?

When our project managers create*s* projects is it both machine translated files and not machine translated files that we send to translators.


It sounds distinctly Swenglish or Deutchlish to me.
The position of the main verb makes it into a question in English.

When our project managers create projects, some of the files we send to translators are machine translated and some are not.

That is one way to make it sound more English.

OK, we know what you mean, and English is really one of the difficult languages for non-natives, partly because there are so many varieties. Don't feel I am criticising you too hard! that is just one of those things a computer MIGHT pick up on as an error, but it would have far more trouble rearranging the sentence into idiomatic English.

We language enthusiasts would love to see a program that can pick up on the little errors we make, so that we could concentrate on the important things.

Even in English, which does not have all the inflections that many others have, there is a problem. We have to find other ways of expressing what for instance German expresses through its use of cases and inflections.
THAT can in fact make English more complicated rather than simpler!

Translating the other way can only be reliably done by someone who has spent years studying the ins and outs of both languages, and preferably German from childhood... Even the logical Germans have not succeeded in getting a computer to do it. There are just too many different options and variables.

Of course, correct grammar IS important, which means getting all those little endings right among other things. They make the text readable, and using them wrongly will change the meaning. They are definitely part of the quality check, but not all of it.
A patient, alert and well-qualified human is still your best bet!

I have done a lot of proofreading over the years, but have to admit that I now find it difficult to concentrate long enough. I can still manage my own translations after a break, but a second pair of eyes is always a help. I no longer do much proofreading for others. When I retire sometime before 2020, I am NOT expecting computers will be able to take over!!


 

Álvaro Espantaleón Moreno  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:19
Member (2015)
English to Spanish
Completely agree; however... Oct 23, 2015

Christine Andersen wrote:

Is this sentence machine translated?

When our project managers create*s* projects is it both machine translated files and not machine translated files that we send to translators.


It sounds distinctly Swenglish or Deutchlish to me.
The position of the main verb makes it into a question in English.

When our project managers create projects, some of the files we send to translators are machine translated and some are not.

That is one way to make it sound more English.

OK, we know what you mean, and English is really one of the difficult languages for non-natives, partly because there are so many varieties. Don't feel I am criticising you too hard! that is just one of those things a computer MIGHT pick up on as an error, but it would have far more trouble rearranging the sentence into idiomatic English.

We language enthusiasts would love to see a program that can pick up on the little errors we make, so that we could concentrate on the important things.

Even in English, which does not have all the inflections that many others have, there is a problem. We have to find other ways of expressing what for instance German expresses through its use of cases and inflections.
THAT can in fact make English more complicated rather than simpler!

Translating the other way can only be reliably done by someone who has spent years studying the ins and outs of both languages, and preferably German from childhood... Even the logical Germans have not succeeded in getting a computer to do it. There are just too many different options and variables.

Of course, correct grammar IS important, which means getting all those little endings right among other things. They make the text readable, and using them wrongly will change the meaning. They are definitely part of the quality check, but not all of it.
A patient, alert and well-qualified human is still your best bet!

I have done a lot of proofreading over the years, but have to admit that I now find it difficult to concentrate long enough. I can still manage my own translations after a break, but a second pair of eyes is always a help. I no longer do much proofreading for others. When I retire sometime before 2020, I am NOT expecting computers will be able to take over!!



(I don't know if this applies to your country). In my country, new generations can hardly write, and what I mean by this is not that they are illiterate but that:

- they can't compose a text (introduction-climax-conclusion)

- they know nothing about rhythm, punctuation, use of language, etc.

- they get bored after 5 minutes of reading

Then, newspapers' texts, at least in their online versions, are full of grammar mistakes and the writing is confusing (hard to tell who did what, what happened, etc.), our leading authors' writing is, at best, mediocre, university teachers can't write (properly, I mean) and so on.

In this scenario, MT + human post-editing could very well become the standard of what is acceptable for the masses: something that is more or less readable and that more or less makes sense.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:19
English to German
+ ...
Post-editing rubbish? Oct 23, 2015

Alvaro Espantaleon wrote:

(I don't know if this applies to your country). In my country, new generations can hardly write, and what I mean by this is not that they are illiterate but that:

- they can't compose a text (introduction-climax-conclusion)

- they know nothing about rhythm, punctuation, use of language, etc.

- they get bored after 5 minutes of reading

Then, newspapers' texts, at least in their online versions, are full of grammar mistakes and the writing is confusing (hard to tell who did what, what happened, etc.), our leading authors' writing is, at best, mediocre, university teachers can't write (properly, I mean) and so on.

In this scenario, MT + human post-editing could very well become the standard of what is acceptable for the masses: something that is more or less readable and that more or less makes sense.


You paint quite a gloomy picture of your country and countrymen. Not sure they will all agree. From the standpoint of a professional translator that works with serious clients, I can tell you that a) I would never agree to submit or edit rubbish and b) my clients would never accept rubbish. They would never expect it from me either.

[Edited at 2015-10-23 14:08 GMT]


 

joana_diter
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:19
English to Bulgarian
Using professional proofreaders might be an option Oct 26, 2015

I believe that you will benefit greatly if you go for professional proofreading services. There are many websites where you can hire proofreaders to take a look after the translation has been completed. One option is to proofread with Proofable.com or Elance.com. These are both freelance platforms where you can hire freelancers. Hope this helps.

 


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Proofreading of machine and human translations

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