Using Google Translate etc...
Thread poster: junior.K
junior.K
Cote D'ivoire
Local time: 19:17
English to French
+ ...
Oct 14, 2014

Hi,

I am working as Interpreter and translator for a company for 2 years now and I first started with translating latters from english to french then I Started to translate bigger files and even very technical documents.(Electricity, Electromecanics, civil engeneering etc..)
I have learned to use GOOGLE TRANSLATE which makes my job easier, of course, the translation is not accurate and it will not give the appropriate technical words.

I have never studied Translation and I would like to know if its good to use GOOGLE TRANSLATE for translating.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:17
Russian to English
+ ...
No--it isn't. Not for professional translation, Oct 14, 2014

perhaps just for fun--if you do not care if the translation is 100% accurate or not. It is good for checking or learning phrases in other languages. It may be good for some educational purposes, if you know a certain language well enough to be able to judge if those phrases are correct.

[Edited at 2014-10-14 19:30 GMT]


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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
No! Oct 14, 2014

If you're referring to Google Translator Toolkit, it can be helpful to learn how a CAT works. However, it isn't very good at all when compared to the 'real' CAT programs (I used to think GTT was okay until I tried others!!). One main thing is that you can't send/receive txml files! Within other CAT tools though, you can incorporate a Google Translate API (or Microsoft Translate API), which can give you helpful suggestions to the segment you're working on.

Try downloading the free trial of Wordfast Pro. There are plenty of videos on youtube to teach you and there is a huge support base on ProZ for help.

I don't know much about Trados, except that it's expensive and doesn't work on a Mac unless you use parallels/bootcamp etc.

Good luck!


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:17
German to English
Sometimes good for terminology Oct 14, 2014

In German > English, terminology searches sometimes turn up useful alternatives to other sources, but as a reliable tool Google leaves a lot to be desired.

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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:17
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Also NO! Oct 14, 2014

When I updated a few years ago to SDL 2009, I used Google translate for a translation job, just to try. Unfortunately machine translated words leave a code in SDL, which can also be seen by the client. I lost this client, never heard of him again.

The translation actually took much more time, because I had to figure out the automated translation, which didnt made any sense, so I ended up retranslating everything.

SO:

Double translation time + lost client = never again (untill they invent a "Star trek computer", but then we will all be out of business).


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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:17
English to French
+ ...
What I don't understand... Oct 14, 2014

... is how someone can write in the same sentence "... makes my job easier..." and "... translation not accurate... not [...] the appropriate [...] words.

What counts, especially in technical translation, is that the translation is clear, unambiguous, easy to understand, written in simple and grammatically correct style, with the correct terminology.

Draw your own conclusions.



junior.K wrote:


I have learned to use GOOGLE TRANSLATE which makes my job easier, of course, the translation is not accurate and it will not give the appropriate technical words.

I have never studied Translation and I would like to know if its good to use GOOGLE TRANSLATE for translating.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good for a laugh Oct 15, 2014

I use GT4T and it is often hilarious, like having the class clown sitting beside you. I occasionally pop in a sentence or chunk of text to see what it spews up, and most of the time the results leave a lot to be desired. Perhaps the most worrying mistake it makes consists of translating negative statements into positives and vice versa.

Until several similar kinks are ironed out, I definitely wouldn't recommend it as a serious tool for a professional translator.


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not really Oct 15, 2014

I tried, just for fun, to "Google translate" a passage and then edit it to arrive to the final product. Then I took another very similar passage and did the "real job" to arrive to the final product. To my surprise it took me more time to edit the "Google translated" text than to translate it from the scratch all by myself.

The thing is that MTs do not "get it right". If you are to translate "Nick has a cap", it is quite ok. Now, if you go for longer and more complex phrases where you have multiple subordinates (which is 80% of our work, I presume), the machine just is not getting the proper relationship between those and spits out something nonsensical (which is not that bad, as you can easily spot it) or even worse, makes improper "assumptions" and completely ruins the text by altering the meaning (hence you need more time to fix it). And, of course you get the bonus of monkey terminology that you also have to fix. Is it worth it after all?

The only thing, perhaps, when you've done 4k words already and get completely "dry" at the end of the day, you "Google translate" a passage and say: how could I forget that word? However, this is not about MT being good, it is about you being tired and that's about the time when you have to actually stop, take a shower and go to bed.


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:17
German to Spanish
Preconceptions... Oct 15, 2014

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Translate
To acquire this huge amount of linguistic data, Google used United Nations documents.[34] The UN typically publishes documents in all six official UN languages, which has produced a very large 6-language corpus.
Google representatives have been involved with domestic conferences in Japan where Google has solicited bilingual data from researchers.[35]
When Google Translate generates a translation, it looks for patterns in hundreds of millions of documents to help decide on the best translation. By detecting patterns in documents that have already been translated by human translators, Google Translate makes intelligent guesses (AI) as to what an appropriate translation should be.[36]


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:17
German to Spanish
Wrong Oct 15, 2014

Merab Dekano wrote:

If you are to translate "Nick has a cap", it is quite ok. Now, if you go for longer and more complex phrases where you have multiple subordinates



GT may make a mistake while translating "I can eat". But you get (often) a better translation than yours if you have to translate a complicated paragraph in a contract that is already in his database.


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Eileen Cartoon  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:17
Italian to English
No but... Oct 15, 2014

I have tried it and use it a lot when I am studying another Language. Andit is much better in some subject areas than others.

It has been a help to me in certain areas. I don't do legal translations but have had legalish sections in some technical documents and I found it did help me get a handle on the legalese. But it is true, the post editing time takes much longer than the actual translation would. But, like Merab said, it sometimes gives you a quick take when you are fresh out of ideas. And in that it can save you time (and brain power) but it is no substitute for a true translator.

Eileen


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Neil Ashby
Spain
Local time: 21:17
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Potentially fatal mistakes Oct 15, 2014

neilmac wrote:

Perhaps the most worrying mistake it makes consists of translating negative statements into positives and vice versa.

Until several similar kinks are ironed out, I definitely wouldn't recommend it as a serious tool for a professional translator.



I strongly agree, the potential for serious consequences arising from these sort of mistakes is very real. I've also seen plenty of examples of the meaning being totally lost (such as negative to positive, as stated by Neil).


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:17
German to Spanish
It is a tool Oct 15, 2014

Neil Ashby wrote:

neilmac wrote:

Perhaps the most worrying mistake it makes consists of translating negative statements into positives and vice versa.

Until several similar kinks are ironed out, I definitely wouldn't recommend it as a serious tool for a professional translator.



I strongly agree, the potential for serious consequences arising from these sort of mistakes is very real. I've also seen plenty of examples of the meaning being totally lost (such as negative to positive, as stated by Neil).


Just a tool more, and it is funny (sad?) to see that the principal problem with this tool is that it is feed with human translators... How to filter the millions of bad translations?


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:17
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Security is another issue Oct 15, 2014

Several of my quality clients have written to their translators that Google Translate is NOT to be used for their work.

They are not happy with the security issues when confidential material is released - however fragmented - into an open system like that.

I do not even work online, although I use online dictionaries and reference sites. If these clients do use online translation memories to link up groups of translators, the links are only available to the agency and the translators, with suitable security in place.

Like others, I do not find Google Translate helpful in my language pairs.
On the other hand, I find Trados is, as it allows me to exchange translation memories and terminology databases with colleagues and agencies.

If you find Trados too expensive, or it doesn't suit your style, look at MemoQ or one of the other CAT tools. (Most offer free demos, even if you have to pay later for the full version.) For technical translation a CAT of some sort is a worthwile investment, and I use mine for almost everything, to keep track of terminology.
______________________________

Dedicated machine translation engines with restricted subject areas and so-called Post Editing of Machine Translation (PEMT) are another matter. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it is a waste of time, but there will be plenty of work in that field in the future.

I would advise you to do at least some serious training in translation too. It is not necessary, but the rihgt kind of training is an enormous help, and more and more clients will demand it.

This is especially true of the serious clients who are willing to pay rates you can live on. Translation is a profession, and it is NOT something any bilingual can do at the kitchen table.


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:17
German to Spanish
Hmm Oct 15, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:

Several of my quality clients have written to their translators that Google Translate is NOT to be used for their work.

They are not happy with the security issues when confidential material is released - however fragmented - into an open system like that.


I agree 100%


On the other hand, I find Trados is, as it allows me to exchange translation memories and terminology databases with colleagues and agencies.


You share your TMs to agencies? From other clients projects?



[Edited at 2014-10-15 12:03 GMT]


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