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How do you use MT?
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Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:14
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Chri$t Sep 6, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
I think it would be a good idea to learn your definition of MT. We have been discussing this topic for a while now here on Proz.com. Plenty of threads.


Many of those "plenty of" threads were started by Bernhard (-:

In those threads Bernhard explained that he believes that the term "translation" has a particular definition which he believes everyone else should have as well. He explained that he believes that the term "translation" can only refer to some kind of cognitive process in the brain, and that if a human and a machine produces an identical target text, the human produced a "translation" (because the human is sentient) and the machine did not.


That takes me back to my philosophy studies, doing stuff re the philosophy of language and the origins of human consciousness (Dennet's Consciousness Explained, Thomas Nagel's "What Is it Like to Be a Bat?", Oliver Sacks, Douglas Hofstadter's "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid", etc.). All very interesting, but pretty darned irrelevant to my life today as a new father and sole breadwinner.

Michael


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:14
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Far away from identical Sep 6, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
I think it would be a good idea to learn your definition of MT. We have been discussing this topic for a while now here on Proz.com. Plenty of threads.


Many of those "plenty of" threads were started by Bernhard (-:

In those threads Bernhard explained that he believes that the term "translation" has a particular definition which he believes everyone else should have as well. He explained that he believes that the term "translation" can only refer to some kind of cognitive process in the brain, and that if a human and a machine produces an identical target text, the human produced a "translation" (because the human is sentient) and the machine did not.


I don't think I started many of those threads. I started a few and only participated in others. Anyway, you're right about the cognitive/sentient angle. But if the machine would indeed produce something identical to a human, or at least acceptable for what we today would consider editing/revision, I wouldn't be against using it. But we're a far way off from that and giving the impression that MT is a valid base ( a "translation") for editing is a bit over-optimistic to say the least.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:14
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
How do you use X-tool? Sep 6, 2015

Michael Beijer wrote:

Bernhard,

I am not in any camp. I don't give two hoots whether people use MT or not. That's their business. I just don't want the topic to get all confusing because someone starts arguing endlessly about the words we use, rather than their referents. The terminology of translation is very interesting, but completely irrelevant (in this thread).

Think about it:

Kevin asks: How do you use MT (when translating)?

And you answer: "Translation is not machine translation!", "TMs are not MT!", and finally, "I am against MT!".

How does that make any sense?

These might be interesting topics (for a separate thread), but how do they relate to the current thread? I don't mind arguing about stuff, but not if it is all so confusingly put that no one knows what is going on. Then it's just a waste of our time. That's why I used my special blue font for Oh no, here we go again.


I didn't just answer Kevin's question "How do you use MT" with "translation is not machine translation" or (I think I used this:) "machine translation is not translation" but asked to define machine translation because it surely implies to mean "translation" as in a target text ready for editing.


In other words, before I discuss how someone uses or should use MT, I want to know what people mean by it. This goes to the fundamental meaning of "translation" and the use of this word in "machine translation."

I understand that you might not be interested in what this is called and we could call this new technology (advancement) X tool" instead.
You could then call for "finalizing X tool texts." Fine.
But would you care to define or describe the X-tool?

This thread implies (I am sure) to many that MT is used a lot and makes sense to be the basis for an editing job. By simply talking about how something is used we skip over the questions of "what is it really" and "why should it be used or not?" I understand you rather see this dealt with in another thread but that means simply accepting some implied definition of "what MT is" and that "MT should be used" (even though Kevin certainly leaves open the option of not using it). If no one points to the more fundamental questions related to this term (MT), we basically will have an unpaid ad campaign for MT and post-editing MT.

And Jeff claimed that TM is just a sub-type of MT, which I then disagreed with.

And when I state that I don't support the concept of MT as something acceptable as a "translation" or the basis for editing, it wasn't just put out there as a stubborn anti-statement but I really listed quite a few reasons why. If in some way you think you can can profit/get something out of MT, then please be specific and discuss what it is and how you do it. But, and here is what MT means to a lot of people, a target text generated entirely by a translation engine, is supposed to be very similar to what a human could have produced, a "translation" of a source text that is ready to be simply edited at editing rates.

Michael Beijer wrote:
You said:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
"Fact is, there are many people not in your camp (the MT camp), and if I believe that what people here usually refer to as MT is not a valid term, I will say so. You can agree or disagree."


But what do you actually mean by "what people here usually refer to as MT is not a valid term"? I can't agree or disagree with it because I don't understand it.


See above.

Michael Beijer wrote:
I too get offered those idiot post-editing jobs. I just say "No thanks, !*$$! off". Arguing about whether MT is a form of translation isn’t going to stop anyone from offering them.


That's good to hear. But I do think discussing what MT really is might be beneficial to a lot of translators who otherwise believe it to be some kind of advanced super technology providing acceptable draft translations that would make their job rather simple.

And let me say this. You can use and not use whatever you want. That's not my business. So please don't get offended. I just want to talk about the concept.

[Edited at 2015-09-06 21:47 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-09-06 23:06 GMT]


 

..... (X)
Local time: 08:14
TOPIC STARTER
Different ways to use MT (PEMT is only one) Sep 6, 2015

Hi Bernhard,


Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
But, and here is what MT means to a lot of people, a target text generated entirely by a translation engine, is supposed to be very similar to what a human could have produced, a "translation" of a source text that is ready to be simply edited at editing rates.


In my last post I summarized some different ways translators have mentioned using MT in their workflow so far in this thread. Running the entire source text through a machine and then post-editing it is one way, but certainly not the only way mentioned.

Again, I understand that you do not like companies / agencies out there offering PEMT jobs for low rates (You and Michael are in agreement - see his thread), but let's leave that discussion for another thread. I'm more interested in the different ways MT might be used in one's personal workflow.

Kevin


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:14
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Definition of "machine translation" + how I use MT personally Sep 6, 2015

Oxforddictionaries.com defines "machine translation" as:

"Translation carried out by a computer."

Some might change this to, "Crap translation carried out by a computer.", or "Pseudo translation carried out by a computer.", but to me it's all translation.

You will then say, aha, but I don't accept "Translation carried out by a computer." because it is not real "translation" that a machine performs. I disagree. Although obviously wildly differ
... See more
Oxforddictionaries.com defines "machine translation" as:

"Translation carried out by a computer."

Some might change this to, "Crap translation carried out by a computer.", or "Pseudo translation carried out by a computer.", but to me it's all translation.

You will then say, aha, but I don't accept "Translation carried out by a computer." because it is not real "translation" that a machine performs. I disagree. Although obviously wildly different in terms of the physical and mental (or lack thereof) systems that underlie it, the effects are the same, albeit qualitatively less good. And the effects are what matter to those of use who earn a living doing it.

See also:

"Machine translation, sometimes referred to by the abbreviation MT (not to be confused with computer-aided translation, machine-aided human translation (MAHT) or interactive translation) is a sub-field of computational linguistics that investigates the use of software to translate text or speech from one language to another.

[…] etc."

src: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_translation

And here are a few attempts (again by Oxforddictionaries.com) at defining "translation":

(1) The process of translating [see below] words or text from one language into another:
(1.1) A written or spoken rendering of the meaning of a word or text in another language
(2) The conversion of something from one form or medium into another

and "translate":

(1) Express the sense of (words or text) in another language
(1.1) Be expressed or be capable of being expressed in another language
(2) Convert something or be converted into (another form or medium):

#################################

As to how I use MT in my own personal workflow: it depends on the type of text, and how anal the client is re confidentiality. If allowed, I always have Google Translate & Microsoft Translator switched on in my CAT tool (in two little boxes). If the output is good, I might copy it into my target box wholesale (with a keyboard shortcut), and then change a few things. If it isn’t good, I'll just ignore it. Sometimes it's terrible, but it might contain one very clever term that I wouldn't have thought of, in which case I will use it as a dictionary of sorts. As I said, it really depends on the kind of text.
I used to use it a lot more than I do nowadays, and this is primarily due to the fact that I have been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking (and various voice-controlled macros) a lot more lately. Just as I use two mice (one left and one right), two monitors, a ton of AutoHotkey scipts and custom keyboard shortcuts, and a few other little tricks: it's just another tool.




[Edited at 2015-09-06 22:13 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-09-06 22:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-09-07 11:09 GMT]
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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:14
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Definitions are quite necessary for the big picture Sep 7, 2015

Michael Beijer wrote:

Oxforddictionaries.com defines "machine translation" as:

"Translation carried out by a computer."

Some might change this to, "Crap translation carried out by a computer.", or "Pseudo translation carried out by a computer.", but to me it's all translation.

You will then say, aha, but I don't accept "Translation carried out by a computer." because it is not real "translation" that a machine performs. I disagree. Although obviously wildly different in terms of the physical and mental (or lack thereof) systems that underlie it, the effects are the same, albeit qualitatively less good. And the effects are what matter to those of use who earn a living doing it.


So what you do is use text bits, individual sentences, phrases that were generated by a translation engine (say Google Translate or any other, if you will, more sophisticated engine) and then you decide if and how you want to use it in your "translation." Is that what MT usually means today? Probably not. When people speak of MT they often mean the result, not the engine per se. You might argue that difference is irrelevant, you just work with the results anyway. Even though I don't use translation engines, I am not the one to tell anyone not to use them in some way - like you do to get some term you didn't think of for example or to speed up your process when the result is good enough that you simply switch words around to make it acceptable.
In any case, you say you currently don't use it (=translation engine/MT) too much anyway. It's certainly not that important to you, even though one could say without voice-recording, it could be. Still, I don't use the engines.

My major concern with MT is that a whole document created by MT/the translation engine cannot be trusted - and you don't trust these tiny little target bits either - you first evaluate them before you use them in your "translation," the text that you, the human translator, create.

Point is that we should say that MT technology is not at a point that it can in any way rival human translators. Worse, it creates a completely unnaturally arrived target text (and language type) which forces the human to rework the machine language into human language. (I am not talking about simple everyday phrases and short sentences. I don't get too many of those in my work and wouldn't need any help with them anyway unless there were tons and I'd save a lot of time by automated processes.)

Thus, I don't use translation engines/MT, neither the technology nor the end result. That's "how I (don't) use it."

But ..... we have all these techno-experts telling us how advanced their engines are.


Michael Beijer wrote:
See also:

"Machine translation, sometimes referred to by the abbreviation MT (not to be confused with computer-aided translation, machine-aided human translation (MAHT) or interactive translation) is a sub-field of computational linguistics that investigates the use of software to translate text or speech from one language to another.

[…] etc."

src: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_translation

And here are a few attempts (again by Oxforddictionaries.com) at defining "translation":

(1) The process of translating [see below] words or text from one language into another:
(1.1) A written or spoken rendering of the meaning of a word or text in another language
(2) The conversion of something from one form or medium into another

and "translate":

(1) Express the sense of (words or text) in another language
(1.1) Be expressed or be capable of being expressed in another language
(2) Convert something or be converted into (another form or medium):


As is obvious from the definitions (thank you), MT can mainly refer to either the actual translation process (= carried out by a translation engine) or the end result, the target text. Well, or just the translation engine - but that implies using it.

We should keep that in mind because it makes a difference when we say we accept or reject one or both of these things.
Some will use translation engines but they will decide whether or not to use the result in their "translation" = the text the human translator creates.

In other words, it's only becomes an acceptable "translation" through the involvement of the human translator.

And that's certainly different from defining MT as the result, the target text itself, more specifically, a document or longer text that has been generated by the translation engine in its entirety, now called a translation, before a human translator begins his/her editing process (= editing a translation or something acceptable at least as a draft translation).

Now that one, I completely reject.

But ..... people are trying to sell it to some of us translators as valid "translation."

So if nothing else, let's/let me distinguish between the different things MT can be/mean to be clear.

[Edited at 2015-09-08 01:55 GMT]


 

Tom Hoar
United States
Local time: 18:14
English
Slate Desktop: personalized translation engine for professionals Sep 12, 2015

This is a great discussion. Here's another ProZ.com discussion about this subject:

http://www.proz.com/forum/machine_translation_mt/290872-slate_desktop_your_personal_mt_engine.html

It's interesting how this discussion started on Sept 2. BTW, I do not know Kevin Dias who started this discussion. I know Mohamed who
... See more
This is a great discussion. Here's another ProZ.com discussion about this subject:

http://www.proz.com/forum/machine_translation_mt/290872-slate_desktop_your_personal_mt_engine.html

It's interesting how this discussion started on Sept 2. BTW, I do not know Kevin Dias who started this discussion. I know Mohamed who started the other discussion, but he only told me of the other discussion after he had posted it.

The day before this discussion started, we launched our Indiegogo market research campaign about our personalized translation engine for the desktop.

http://igg.me/at/domt-desktop

We have received many requests to see how it works. So thanks to Siegfried Armbruster and The Alexandria Library, we can now demo a pre-release version in a free webinar. I'll present a free, live demo of the pre-release Windows version training an engine and integration with a CAT. There will be time for Q&A. Here's the link to register:

https://alexandria-translation-resources.com/product/webinar-slate-desktop/

If you have questions about quality, privacy, confidentiality, performance, languages, complexity or any other aspects of running this technology on your own desktop, please attend the webinar and be prepared to ask questions.

[Edited at 2015-09-12 04:09 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-09-12 04:19 GMT]
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Tom Hoar
United States
Local time: 18:14
English
Re: Definitions are quite necessary for the big picture Sep 12, 2015

@ Bernhard Sulzer, I absolutely agree and as good at Oxford is, it is not the only defining source.

In 1966, the Automatic Language Processing Advisory Committee (ALPAC) published a report through the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council titled "LANGUAGE AND MACHINES - COMPUTERS IN TRANSLATION AND LINGUISTICS."

The original report is in this PDF:

...
See more
@ Bernhard Sulzer, I absolutely agree and as good at Oxford is, it is not the only defining source.

In 1966, the Automatic Language Processing Advisory Committee (ALPAC) published a report through the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council titled "LANGUAGE AND MACHINES - COMPUTERS IN TRANSLATION AND LINGUISTICS."

The original report is in this PDF:

http://www.nap.edu/html/alpac_lm/ARC000005.pdf

The Wikipedia review is here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALPAC

This report defines Machine Translation as "going by algorithm from machine-readable source text to useful target text, without recourse to human translation or editing." This definition says nothing about computers, software, hardware or Internet. The 4 keys that trigger me are "algorithm," "machine-readable," "useful" and "without recourse to human translation."

By this definition, a system or process IS NOT a machine translation if its design INCLUDES recourse to human translation or editing. By this strict definition, our new Slate Desktop software is not machine translation because we specifically designed to engage human translation and editing.

Agree or not, I think everyone will find this 1966 report enlightening.

[Edited at 2015-09-12 03:57 GMT]
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Tom Hoar
United States
Local time: 18:14
English
Re: Confidentiality concerns Sep 12, 2015

Please consider this. When Google engages agencies for outsourced translation services for their products, they forbid contractors from using GT for the work. I don't pretend to know why. I simply leave it to everyone here to consider.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:14
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Google uses Google Translate, too Sep 12, 2015

tahoar wrote:
When Google engages agencies for outsourced translation services for their products, they forbid contractors from using GT for the work.


In your language maybe, but not in mine. In mine, it is encouraged officially.


 

Tom Hoar
United States
Local time: 18:14
English
Re: Google uses Google Translate, too Sep 13, 2015

That's interesting, Samuel. Maybe my information is dated. An official Google rep presented this information at a conference a couple years ago. Times change.

[Edited at 2015-09-13 03:20 GMT]


 
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