PEMT
Thread poster: Robert Rietvelt

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
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Oct 30

Today I followed a webinar about PEMT to get more insight in the subject. Among other things, the translation agency who hosted the online event, divided PEMT in Light / Standard / Full (at which Full PEMT = handwritten translation quality).

For 'Light' the translator is expected to handle 6000 words, 'Standard' about 2000 and for 'Full' 1500 words p/h.

Are those amounts realistic?


 

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Just wondering Oct 30

What are they dreaming of at night?

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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
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Swedish Amazon MT Oct 30

Were they by any chance involved in the launch of the Swedish Amazon site?

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/oct/29/amazon-hits-trouble-with-sweden-launch-over-lewd-pussy-translation

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Were they by any chance involved in the launch of the Swedish Amazon site?

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/oct/29/amazon-hits-trouble-with-sweden-launch-over-lewd-pussy-translation

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/10/28/amazon-launches-sweden-wrong-flag-rude-translations/
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
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English to Afrikaans
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@Robert Oct 30

Robert Rietvelt wrote:
For 'Light' the translator is expected to handle 6000 words, 'Standard' about 2000 and for 'Full' 1500 words p/h.


I regularly use machine translation when translating, and even in cases where I deliberately change as little as possible, I very rarely make 1500 words per hour. I can't edit/proofread nearly flawless human translations at speeds faster than 2500-3000 words per hour. In fact, I don't think I can read (i.e. critically) 6000 words per hour.

However, it may be that these are not intended as realistic goals, but as a way of stating the rate. In other words, if they send the translator 6000 words and they request a "light" PEMT, then the translator knows that he'll be paid the equivalent of 1 hour's work. This is not a problem at all, as long as the translator realises this and sets his hourly rate high enough to allow "1 hour's work" to cover the PEMT of 6000 words.


[Edited at 2020-10-30 14:39 GMT]


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:30
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
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TOPIC STARTER
@Samuel Oct 30

Light PEMT, in their words, is just doing a 'quick check'.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
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I cannot check 6000 words in an hour Oct 30

Robert Rietvelt wrote:

Light PEMT, in their words, is just doing a 'quick check'.


As a comparison, I recently checked 5500 words of excellent academic English, written by a non-native who really knew what she was doing both language and terminology-wise.
There was no source to compare with, but there were six files, and I have just made out an invoice for 3½ hours. (Some of that time went on checking the reference list, 1500 words, for correct spelling of names and citation according to the style guide.)

OK, that was a thorough check with several passes through the main text, but apart from the reference list I made very few corrections.

Reading 6000 words in an hour is totally unrealistic, even without allowing time to catch and correct any errors!
If I had to compare with a source text, then it would take much longer, as it involves switching back and forth between source and target, and I can rarely manage more than 1000-1200 words per hour if I actually have to stop and correct errors.

Given the quality of most of the MT I have seen, the 'standard' editing would only allow time to correct the most glaring errors, and 'light' is totally impossible.
Even the 'Full' editing would require a very high standard to begin with, if it involved comparing with a source text.


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Paolo Sebastiani  Identity Verified
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That would be a good ratio for those who have to pay CERTAINLY NOT for those who have to be paid Oct 30

if the Full Level equals to Human Made Translation, that means that in a standard 8-hour working day you should be able to translate 12,000 words Human Quality!!!

That would be excellent if anyone could even think to manage it!


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
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@Paulo - Not exactly Oct 30

Paolo Sebastiani wrote:

if the Full Level equals to Human Made Translation, that means that in a standard 8-hour working day you should be able to translate 12,000 words Human Quality!!!


PEMT is not about translating, but more about 'correcting'.


 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
English to French
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In-salt Oct 30

Based on this, I would take the whole webinar content with a grain of salt.

Because it's not worth its salt...

[Edited at 2020-10-31 05:41 GMT]


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Alex Ossa  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 09:30
Member (2017)
Spanish to English
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I'd give that LSP a wide berth Oct 30

No, those speeds are not realistic at all. The speed of PEMT actually depends heavily of how technical your ST is, the quality of the MT output (some are better than others, and there will be a *big* difference between output from a readable file and output from an OCR file) and the expected quality of output.

I've done several PEMT projects (financial texts, about 80,000 words) and for a poor quality MToutput, good (human but not perfect) quality editing output (let's call it 'st
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No, those speeds are not realistic at all. The speed of PEMT actually depends heavily of how technical your ST is, the quality of the MT output (some are better than others, and there will be a *big* difference between output from a readable file and output from an OCR file) and the expected quality of output.

I've done several PEMT projects (financial texts, about 80,000 words) and for a poor quality MToutput, good (human but not perfect) quality editing output (let's call it 'standard'), then I average about 800 words per hour. A lot of time is spent looking for the original place in the text (image pdfs) and correcting garbage MT output. Even for text that looks good in general you must be very careful, because MT can often translate something different (which looks fine in the TL but was not what was said in the SL), including the literal opposite of the ST.

So how many words per hour you need for a 'light PEMT' will depend on the specific text your working with, but even if everything is favourable -general text, original file is readable not requiring OCR, the MT is generally good (rarely the case) and the human output is expected to be understandable, not error-free (not publishable quality), then I would agree to 1,500 words per hour. If all the above conditions hold but the human output is expected to be publishable quality, then around 800-1,000 words/hours might be more realistic.

As it's an LSP giving those speeds, I'd expect them to understand what PEMT takes, and at those given speed they clearly don't. They are unlikely to be flexible enough with their rates to allow you to incorporate the miscalculation into your final hourly rate so I would just give th a wide berth and wish well upon the unfortunate translators who agree to their terms.

As for you comment about 'PEMT is about correcting not translating', I have to disagree with you there. MT is often very poor and requires you to go back to the ST to check what was said before deleting the useless MT output and translating what the correct text should be. Never be complacent about checking the ST against the TT often, because MT can often make a mistake look fine if no comparison is being made. About 30% of my time with PEMT is spent re-translating, and a lot of time is spent simply comparing the two texts to catch hidden (but relevant) errors.
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Katrin Braams  Identity Verified
Germany
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Not realistic Oct 30

I was in the same webinar this morning and my jaws dropped when I heard these numbers. They are completely unrealistic. I can’t even do normal proofreading at a rate of 6000 words/hour.

As for full PE in my experience 800 to 1000 words/hour is a much more realistic number. I have never been asked to do light PE, and I think I couldn’t do it, because it is against my professional standards to deliver a text which is hardly understandable.

On the other hand I did some
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I was in the same webinar this morning and my jaws dropped when I heard these numbers. They are completely unrealistic. I can’t even do normal proofreading at a rate of 6000 words/hour.

As for full PE in my experience 800 to 1000 words/hour is a much more realistic number. I have never been asked to do light PE, and I think I couldn’t do it, because it is against my professional standards to deliver a text which is hardly understandable.

On the other hand I did some MTPE for said agency in the past and they always accepted a much lower number of words/hour.
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Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
English to French
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Quote Oct 31

Actually, this reminds me of a quote by Woody Allen:

"I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia."


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