ProZ.com Freelancer Success Summit

Join ProZ.com/TV for a FREE online event April 7-9th! Empowering Freelance Translators & Interpreters to achieve their business objectives and reach their full potential 30+ hours of content, Live Q&A, Virtual Powwows, Access to Free Training, giveaways & more. Join 1,000's of linguists from around the globe at the ProZ.com/TV Freelancer Success Summit

Click for Full Participation
PROZ.COM COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER
Access Covid-19 jobs, answer relevant terminology questions, read industry news and more.

"Future translators may be closer to editors and quality-control experts"
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Mar 6, 2019

Ben McIntyre is a good writer and his description of what's happening with MT seems like a reasonable, if over-enthusiastic summation of where we're at now. Your thoughts?

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/sci-fi-translating-machines-are-now-reality-pqbddvnjc


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:05
Member (2004)
English to Italian
No thoughts Mar 6, 2019

You have to register to be able to read the entire article.

Angie Garbarino
 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:05
German to English
I think he probably opens the article with ... Mar 6, 2019

... a rhetorical flourish that is masked as a statement of fact and which provides the basis for the rest of his argument. I don't believe he really read and understood a 250-page MT version of a Russian book from cover to cover.

If I'm wrong about that, then I have to rethink everything I think about MT. However, the odds of that being the case don't seem high enough to justify spending a few minutes jumping through hoops to get my free one-month peek behind The Times' paywall.


Dan Lucas
Tom in London
Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Alistair Gainey
Gareth Callagy
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Tomasz Sienicki
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
I agree Mar 6, 2019

Michael Wetzel wrote:

I don't believe he really read and understood a 250-page MT version of a Russian book from cover to cover.


I agree


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:05
Member
Italian to English
"Future translators" Mar 6, 2019

As if all the world's translators were part of some huge, amorphous mass, all doing the same work. Like those who believe there is only "one translation market".
I haven't read the article either. But it depends on what kind of translation you do. As the amount of information out there needing translation grows exponentially, and MT continues to increase in quality, it's only reasonable that a lot of output will be translated this way, and those translators who choose to head down the MTPE
... See more
As if all the world's translators were part of some huge, amorphous mass, all doing the same work. Like those who believe there is only "one translation market".
I haven't read the article either. But it depends on what kind of translation you do. As the amount of information out there needing translation grows exponentially, and MT continues to increase in quality, it's only reasonable that a lot of output will be translated this way, and those translators who choose to head down the MTPE route will be acting more as editors and quality-control experts.

But there will still be a need for translators able to handle highly technical and demanding material such as medicine and lofty art texts, where MT is still a long way from being able to handle.
Collapse


Vera Schoen
Oksana Weiss
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Sign up Mar 6, 2019

As a non-subscriber I get access to one Times article per week- which is how I was able to read this one.

I have copy/pasted the whole article into a text file. But I don't think it would it be legitimate to post the whole thing here.

If you want it - ask me privately.

[Edited at 2019-03-06 14:06 GMT]


Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
. Mar 6, 2019

.

[Edited at 2019-03-06 14:14 GMT]


Tom in London
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Absolutely Mar 6, 2019

Samuel Murray wrote:

.

[Edited at 2019-03-06 14:14 GMT]


I agree. That's the best post you've ever written !

[Edited at 2019-03-06 14:16 GMT]


Gerard de Noord
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:05
Member (2004)
English to Italian
ok... Mar 6, 2019

Tom in London wrote:

As a non-subscriber I get access to one Times article per week- which is how I was able to read this one.

I have copy/pasted the whole article into a text file. But I don't think it would it be legitimate to post the whole thing here.

If you want it - ask me privately.

[Edited at 2019-03-06 14:06 GMT]


I managed to read it, thanks... and it sounds like total BS to me...


Recep Kurt
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:05
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
This one phrase (almost) says it all Mar 6, 2019

"… a jolting, imperfect, grammatically dodgy version, but entirely comprehensible. It was like reading with a bilingual nine-year-old."

If anyone can bear to wade through 250 pages of that, then good luck to them. I very much doubt whether Ben MacIntyre really has.

You may get a 'spoiler' that tells you the plot, but you will not get the flavour of the real thing. A machine that can come anywhere near a work of art that compares with the original is going to b
... See more
"… a jolting, imperfect, grammatically dodgy version, but entirely comprehensible. It was like reading with a bilingual nine-year-old."

If anyone can bear to wade through 250 pages of that, then good luck to them. I very much doubt whether Ben MacIntyre really has.

You may get a 'spoiler' that tells you the plot, but you will not get the flavour of the real thing. A machine that can come anywhere near a work of art that compares with the original is going to be sci-fi for a long time. It may be comprehensible, but whether you actually comprehend what the author intended is probably another matter.

Maybe machines can churn out legalese as well as the average lawyer. A colleague who has looked into it says MT is sometimes frighteningly good.
Many of the legal documents I am asked to translate are amazingly similar and stereotyped, apart from the odd sentence here and there which has to be invented or adapted to a specific situation. My CAT does half the work… but I seriously have to do the rest. I check the CAT's efforts carefully too, although in fact they are simply my own work from earlier occasions!

I honestly do not believe we are going to see machines that can do justice to literature. English is a convenient language to translate into, with very few inflections, and often the strangest syntax is not strictly wrong. Yet grammatically dodgy it undeniably is. Machines translating out of English can run into problems which a human simply would not be aware of. The difference is that a well-trained human understands the text, and does not need to run a lottery and go through a lot of algorithms to find a way of rendering it in another language.

I would never read more than a page or two of a machine-translated novel; it would be unbearable. If I am going to settle down and read, I have dozens of well-written books waiting on my shelves, and I can get hold of enough to last several lifetimes, well written and/or well translated.

I find that trying to edit machine translation is a pain. It is actually slower than translating from scratch. It is an entirely different job from translating. That is just my opinion, but I am not alone.
Collapse


Joe France
Maria Pia Giuseppina Nuzzolese
Tanja Oresnik
Rytis G
Oksana Weiss
Tomasz Sienicki
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Agree Mar 6, 2019

Christine Andersen wrote:
I find that trying to edit machine translation is a pain. It is actually slower than translating from scratch. It is an entirely different job from translating. That is just my opinion, but I am not alone.


I agree. I get a sense that Ben McIntyre doesn't realise how misled he is. But I meet a lot of people like him who have the same idea, because they don't know anything about what translation involves. I would even dare to say that most people who are not translators think that IT will make translating completely automated. That's why his article is significant. I don't agree with it, but it is an example of what's going on.


Here's a very good book by him about how the proto-Nazis tried to set up a racially pure "Aryan" colony in Paraguay and why it was a disaster. When he visited, he discovered that the only people who had survived were the ones who had interbred with the indigenous people. The others had become cross-eyed halfwits.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Fatherland-search-Elisabeth-Nietzsche/dp/140883815X


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

"Future translators may be closer to editors and quality-control experts"

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search