Off topic: Editing machine translation EN>DA
Thread poster: Suzanne Blangsted

Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:03
Danish to English
+ ...
Sep 16, 2011

I received an interesting editing job. The project was obviously a machine translation. I requested my full translation fee from the client, as the project needed to be "re-translated" completely and not just edited. My client insisted it was NOT a machine translation.

Was the client caught in a catch-22 ?

By that I mean - is it possible that the client had outsourced the project and the "translator" had used machine translation ? I doubt it.

Source English - Example: Power pole.
Translation into Danish: Magt stang.

And the grammar was awful - including many commas missing or placed incorrectly.

I couldn't negotiate with the client (located in Taiwan), so I refused the project.


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:03
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Machine translation or not Sep 16, 2011

I would have told the agency that if the document was translated by a human translator they should have used machine translation instead and saved themselves some money.

Seriously, you were right to refuse the project.

[Edited at 2011-09-16 22:16 GMT]

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autor  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:03
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Full rate for correcting machine translation Sep 17, 2011

I also think you did exactly the right thing.

Machine translations are very easy to spot in my language pairs (they are consistent in the mistakes they make), and I am happy to use them as a basis for translation provided I get the standard, full-rate for the work.

Agencies which try to get the work done using machine translations threaten the livelihood of translators, and are not doing their end-client any favours. A machine translation might be acceptable for an inconsequential letter, but not for a report about the safety systems at a nuclear power plant.

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:03
Chinese to English
Taiwanese industry is fairly dodgy Sep 17, 2011

Almost as bad as China - low prices, low quality. If the agency can't or won't be honest with you about what the material is, you don't want to do business with them.

Too many agencies here think that machine/bad translator + native "proofreader" is a viable model. They'll learn, but it's going to take time.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Absolutely Sep 17, 2011


I read your post with interest and I'd say your behaviour was 100% correct. Well done. I have just this minute received a job offer, through Proz, inviting me to submit a quote for "checking/editing" a technical translation.

I'm not even going to bother to respond, because I know what I'd have to do: completely re-translate the document, re-check all the terminology used, and rewrite it so that it flows and is free of grammatical errors.

I would of course have to quote my full price for that work.

Many other Prozians will also have received this job offer.

[Edited at 2011-09-17 09:50 GMT]

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Editing machine translation EN>DA

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