News item: ProZ.com Profiled in Inc. Magazine
Thread poster: Russell Jones

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:52
Italian to English
Apr 20, 2008

Surely this news item warrants some explanation!
If I have understood it correctly, it is about machine translation for various purposes.
It compares a "human translation" of a Russian sentence with the results obtained using various "translation tools", one of which is Proz.com!
While I have no knowledge of Russian, the ProZ.com version appears to me to be in better English even than the "human version".
But how was it obtained? The sentence is far too long to have been obtained via a KudoZ request.
Some explanation is badly needed.

[Edited at 2008-04-20 17:14]


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 23:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
??? Apr 20, 2008

I don`t know what you are talking about.

Are you refering to any news article? Which one? Can you provide a link to it?






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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:52
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Link on Home Page Apr 20, 2008

Hi Walter
This is top right on the Home Page: "New at ProZ.com".
Happy reading.


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 23:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
link Apr 20, 2008

This is the article then:
- ProZ.com Profiled in Inc. Magazine
http://www.inc.com/magazine/20080401/what-are-you-trying-to-say.html


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:52
Italian to English
If I understand correctly... Apr 20, 2008

Russell Jones wrote:

Surely this news item warrants some explanation!
If I have understood it correctly, it is about machine translation for various purposes.



The article is about various ways in which you can get texts translated.

The Proz translation was apparently obtained by posting and paying for a Proz job, although the writer notes that outsourcers need to pay to access the full Proz service.

There honestly doesn't seem to be anything to get worked up about

Giles


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:52
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
They got most of the details wrong Apr 20, 2008

In detail:


Best For: Finding freelance translators

This is correct.

ProZ

What it is: An online social network of human translators

This is almost correct, but ProZ.com is not only a network.


What's cool: ProZ is a helpful resource for small translation projects.

Incorrect. Not only for small projects, but also for medium to large projects.

Companies post listings on the job board and receive bids from translators.

Not quite correct. ProZ.com is not a bidding site, as there is no direct bidding on price between perspective vendors. We can offer our services, and try to be competitive on both, price and quality, knowing that we are not the only person interested in acquiring that project or client.

You can also search its freelancer directory for, say, a certified Chinese translator with a speciality in human resources.

Correct. Any specialization in any language can be searched in the directory.


Drawback: Only paid members have access to a list of the going rates. Nonmembers may have trouble figuring out how much to offer.

Translators interested in a project will provide their quotations and the person in need of a translation service will have a fairly good idea about the current prices and a possible fair price.


Price: Posting to the job board is free. A corporate membership, which includes telephone support and access to the ProZ translator discussion boards, costs $320 a year.

Support and access to the forum are also both free. Corporate members only have special tools to manage better their projects.

In general, the authors of the article appear to not have really investigated the site features and mechanisms and got many details quite wrong. They also make a distinction between "human translation" and "ProZ.com translation", which is incorrect because ProZ.com is not a MT software but human translation too.



Gianfranco



[Edited at 2008-04-20 21:26]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
A bit off Apr 20, 2008

They were a bit off on a number of details. Perhaps Proz.com should explore the idea of contacting different media to get them to do articles on the site, while making sure that all details are accurate and well-presented.

No doubt some good, accurate publicity in the media would be very positive for Proz.com's future.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:52
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Just mildly surprised Apr 20, 2008

There is obviously a plethora of articles in the press demonstrating a lack of understanding of the translation process and the translation industry, some highlighted in the forums but many that are best ignored.
What I'm getting worked up about here - actually no, not at all worked up, just mildly surprised - is that staff have drawn it to our attention - rather like a feather in their cap for getting their name in the paper - with no background comment in relation to the obvious questions it raises about the use of the site and no indication of any steps taken or planned to correct the misrepresentations that Gianfranco has so comprehensively detailed - especially as the impression the article conveys is so clearly at odds with the image that Henry & Co. seem intent on creating with the Connect programme, WWA etc.

[Edited at 2008-04-20 22:34]


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 23:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You have a point Apr 20, 2008

Yes, Russel, I see your point.

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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 23:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hear! Hear! Apr 20, 2008

Russell Jones wrote:
What I'm getting worked up about here - actually no, not at all worked up, just mildly surprised - is that staff have drawn it to our attention - rather like a feather in their cap for getting their name in the paper.


That was exactly my reaction too. If you're getting stupid press coverage the best thing is to ignore it completely, not draw attention to it.

I was more than somewhat surprised, too, to read:
Inc.com wrote:
Only paid members have access to a list of the going rates.

since, as I understand it there is a site-wide ban on the publication of 'going rates' here, or even proper discussion of this key topic.

MediaMatrix


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Drew MacFadyen
SITE STAFF
Thank you for your feedback Apr 21, 2008

The article was written by Inc Magazine without any prior contact or opportunity to provide our standard media information. I did attempt to contact the author and suggest corrections and to provide Inc Magazine with the accurate information - at this time the author has not returned my calls.

I certainly did not wish to "highlight" inaccuracies in the article but rather to show that ProZ.com is gaining wider media and news coverage (especially outside of our industry). I placed that article on the home page as a "ProZ.com in the news" piece, but seeing that it has been viewed by those on this thread as potentially negative, and the wider benefit of demonstrating our brands recognition has been lost due to the articles innacuracies, I have since hidden the story.

Thank you all for your thoughtfull comments and concerns.

Regards,

Drew


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:52
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Drew Apr 21, 2008

Thank you Drew for your response. It is good to know that representations were made.
I'm sure it does no harm for ProZ.com members to see what is being said in the media, however distasteful or disappointing.
However, if items signposted in "New at ProZ.com" had the option of an editorial comment and / or a prearranged thread for discussion, rather than just a direct link, there might be some benefits.
When posted without comment, there is a tendency to believe that the opinions expressed are shared - or at least accepted - by ProZ.com "management".


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gad
United States
Local time: 21:52
Member
French to English
Interesting... Apr 23, 2008

Drew MacFadyen wrote:

The article was written by Inc Magazine without any prior contact or opportunity to provide our standard media information. I did attempt to contact the author and suggest corrections and to provide Inc Magazine with the accurate information - at this time the author has not returned my calls.


That is interesting that not only did they not contact ProZ.com, but they have not returned calls either? That seems irresponsible at best.

It would be nice to see a more accurate article, but since this article has already been published, I think that some mention of these corrections is in order, somewhere in a future issue. That may be just my opinion, of course.


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News item: ProZ.com Profiled in Inc. Magazine

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