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Misleading advert? 34,501 words translated in 10 hours by only one translator
Thread poster: Yasutomo Kanazawa

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:37
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Right. Nov 24, 2009

words@large wrote:

or simply puffery which is commonly used and seen in advertising.


An ad is an ad. No ad is without the fact being exagerated. The audience should use their own judgement. They shouldn't be so easily misled.


 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
English to Italian
+ ...
Misleading... Nov 24, 2009

...only if you don't have a clue on how CAT tools work. And if you don't, then it's pretty much your fault...
Anyway, I bought Trados many years ago. It's a mistake I won't do again...


 

Laura Tridico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:37
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Surprised to see the ad... Nov 24, 2009

I've met Marion Greenfield - she's an excellent translator and former president of the ATA. So the ad definitely caught my eye and raised my curiosity...

Laura


 

Anne Bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:37
English to French
XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX is a former president of the ATA Nov 25, 2009

Laura Tridico wrote:
I've met XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX - she's an excellent translator and former president of the ATA. Laura


Glad you mentionned it. Personnally, I've not met her, just seen her in public occasions. It's not the first time that XXXXXX deeply chocks translators. She made comments to the Press, during ATA 2007 congress in SF, which sparked off sharp reactions.
Although she's not President any more, she still has responsibilities in the ATA, and her name is, in my opinion, still associated with this organization.

I really want to know what is the position of the ATA concerning such a behavior. This kind of declaration is harming the whole profession.

[Modifié le 2009-11-25 17:20 GMT]


 

Anne Bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:37
English to French
different countries, different laws Nov 25, 2009

jyuan_us wrote:
An ad is an ad. No ad is without the fact being exagerated. The audience should use their own judgement. They shouldn't be so easily misled.

You're speaking about the States. But this ad from a U.S. company is spread all around the world, and translated in a number of languages. (Eh, eh... are the translations done with AutoSuggest, and at the rate of 3,500 words an hour?)
In many countries (France for instance), advertisers mentionning misleading or dishonest facts are liable. In my opinion, SDL should be liable for the misleading news it spreads.


 

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:37
French to English
Someone could ask.... Nov 25, 2009

bohy wrote:

I really want to know what is the position of the ATA concerning such a behavior. This kind of declaration is harming the whole profession.


Only if it is not actually true, surely. I confess I find it hard, but not impossible, to believe - it would rather depend on the full circumstances. Since she is registered on proz, perhaps someone who knows well her could ask her to come into this thread and explain exactly (or roughly!) how it was done.


 

Aguas de Mar (X)
More informationn, please Nov 25, 2009

Could someone clarify if the words in the ad "I just completed a 34,501 word project in 10 hours thanks to AutoSuggest™, Context Match and the other nifty time-saving features within SDL Trados Studio 2009 SP1. That’s without having much of anything in the pre-existing TM!" are attributed to Ms Greenfield?

Ms. Greenfield is currently president of ATA's Professional Development Committee, whose activities include to "identify current and future professional development needs of
... See more
Could someone clarify if the words in the ad "I just completed a 34,501 word project in 10 hours thanks to AutoSuggest™, Context Match and the other nifty time-saving features within SDL Trados Studio 2009 SP1. That’s without having much of anything in the pre-existing TM!" are attributed to Ms Greenfield?

Ms. Greenfield is currently president of ATA's Professional Development Committee, whose activities include to "identify current and future professional development needs of working translators and interpreters;" and "plan, implement, and market workshops and seminars to meet these needs;", among others.

Given her position and responsibilities within the ATA, if she indeed said what the ad says she said, she might be putting herself in a delicate position by endorsing one CAT tool over others. Even though she might not be violating any specific rule, I believe there might be a conflict of interest in promoting one product and impartially "planning, implementing and marketing workshops and seminars to meet these (translators' and interpreters') needs."

I am not so much surprised by what the ad claims, as by who said it.
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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:37
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
There is a similar thread in French. Nov 25, 2009

Jean-Pierre Artigau wrote:

Many years ago I have known very intellingent young Japanese people who started learning English, and they tended to confuse "word" and "letter". Later I understood that this was because of the structure of the Japanese language, where they use signs which are not really equivalent to word nor to letters. Could this be the cause of this confusion?


http://www.proz.com/forum/french/151705-nouvelles_fadaises.html

P.S. No confusion at all. And as to my knowledge of French, the advert and the taglines are exactly the same as what I wrote when I started the topic.


 

Anne Bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:37
English to French
Truth and consequences Nov 25, 2009

Charlie Bavington wrote:
bohy wrote:
I really want to know what is the position of the ATA concerning such a behavior. This kind of declaration is harming the whole profession.

Only if it is not actually true, surely.


I have no doubt that the figures are true! It is not difficult to produce 34,000 words of rubbish - or even more - in 10 hours, with automated tools whatever. It is not impossible either to dictate a simple text at that speed.
But a distinguished member of the ATA making people believe that she translated so much and so quickly, on one of her usual jobs (legal/financial according to her resume), and at her usual quality level (which supposedly is very good), well...
There is at least one thing which is not true here (specialized source document, word number, duration, quality of the result). Personally, I do not believe in Santa Claus.


[Modifié le 2009-11-25 03:00 GMT]


 

David Jessop  Identity Verified
Spain
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Marian Greenfield, please comment Nov 25, 2009

My hope is that Ms. Greenfield will take it upon herself to comment in this thread in regards to this issue.

Best,
David


 

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:37
French to English
We should be careful Nov 25, 2009

bohy wrote:

But a distinguished member of the ATA making people believe that she translated so much and so quickly, on one of her usual jobs (legal/financial according to her resume), and at her usual quality level (which supposedly is very good), well...
There is at least one thing which is not true here (specialized source document, word number, duration, quality of the result). Personally, I do not believe in Santa Claus.

There is a great deal of supposition there. And if we want MG to come in and explain herself, I think we should refrain from bandying about too many assumptions and allegations. There is, clearly, a lot omitted from the original description of the task as described, but that does not make it "not true".

Personally, I can only assume that the blank segments, if there were any, must have been incredibly simple, and surely very short. Voice recognition, as you say, speeds things up, but probably not to the extent of 3,400 words an hour (I can manage about 500 on a good day!). There surely must have been a substantial proportion of repetition and/or 100% matches since the idea is to promote a CAT tool. The last aspect which could skew the figures is - was it 10 consecutive hours?

But you know, I wonder whether if you took a large set of accounts, where many of the "words" are figures, automatically reformatted by the wonders of modern technology, and where the text segments (accounts entry descriptions, no sentences as such) are nearly all in the TM already, and if they aren't in the TM, a specialist like MG can recall them (and either type or say them) in a trice.... you reckon that could be 34K "words" churned out in a long day?


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:37
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Could somebody paste the tagline for this advert in English? Nov 25, 2009

As I wrote earlier, I received this mail in my native language, Japanese. And there is another thread in French about a similar topic.

I wonder if there are any of the English native speakers who received the same ad in English. I'm curious what the tagline says originally in English (I could make a good guess, but still) and would like to compare it to other language(s).

Would anybody be kind enough to do that?


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:37
French to German
+ ...
Tagline in French and English Nov 25, 2009

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:
I wonder if there are any of the English native speakers who received the same ad in English. I'm curious what the tagline says originally in English (I could make a good guess, but still) and would like to compare it to other language(s).

Would anybody be kind enough to do that?


No problem, Yasutomo, here it is - for some strange reason, I always receive bilingual (FR/EN) emails from that source:

34 501 mots. 10 heures. Un traducteur. Cela vous paraît impossible ? - 34,501 words. 10 hours. One translator. Sound impossible?


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:37
French to German
+ ...
Little detail Nov 25, 2009

bohy wrote:

jyuan_us wrote:
An ad is an ad. No ad is without the fact being exagerated. The audience should use their own judgement. They shouldn't be so easily misled.

You're speaking about the States. But this ad from a U.S. company is spread all around the world, and translated in a number of languages.


SDL is a British company - at least according to their LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/companies/sdl-international and to some other references.

[Edited at 2009-11-25 06:20 GMT]


 

XX789 (X)  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:37
English to Dutch
+ ...
Of course the statement can be true Nov 25, 2009

Of course the statement can be true, even if the TM were empty. Theoretically the text could contain one word and 34500 repetitions.

But that still makes the ad very misleading. In those kind of exceptional circumstances, any CAT tool could have done what Trados did. It's like stating a fairy-cycle can go 20.000 km/h (in orbit around the Earth that is).

The only way you can translate that number of words in the conditions stated is if the text contains loads and loads
... See more
Of course the statement can be true, even if the TM were empty. Theoretically the text could contain one word and 34500 repetitions.

But that still makes the ad very misleading. In those kind of exceptional circumstances, any CAT tool could have done what Trados did. It's like stating a fairy-cycle can go 20.000 km/h (in orbit around the Earth that is).

The only way you can translate that number of words in the conditions stated is if the text contains loads and loads of repetitions. But in that case, the number of words stated is very artificial and doesn't mean anything.
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