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Google's new AI-powered translation tool

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realmayo

Lu, yep I appreciate it's 'easier' to proofread than translate, I was just wondering how the two compare when averaged out across payment per hour. But as lips points out, that would depend on the quality of the initial translating job.

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Lu

Kenny, Lips, I meant that some translators don't want to correct machine translations because they don't want to help the machine learn, since once the machine has learned enough it will take over their jobs. Which it probably will, but I don't think refusing to teach it will really slow down that process. So it's not simply the quality and the amount of work that ensues, that is actually a completely valid reason to refuse such work.

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Angelina

There is something called a CAT tool, and some agencies will pay a human translator less if the CAT tool gives a better match. 

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lips

...some translators don't want to correct machine translations because they don't want to help the machine learn...

:O

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Kenny同志
Kenny, Lips, I meant that some translators don't want to correct machine translations because they don't want to help the machine learn, since once the machine has learned enough it will take over their jobs. Which it probably will, but I don't think refusing to teach it will really slow down that process. So it's not simply the quality and the amount of work that ensues, that is actually a completely valid reason to refuse such work.

 

I see. : )

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Lu
There is something called a CAT tool, and some agencies will pay a human translator less if the CAT tool gives a better match.
I have a CAT tool (MemoQ, and I love it. I can wax lyrically a bit more if anyone is interested). I think it makes some amount of sense to give a discount for high-percentage matches. A good example is a manual: if explanations of various functions all start with 'press the power button', after the first appearance the translator only needs to note that yes, that translation fits here too, on to the next segment.

 

Of course, some translation agencies go too far and demand discounts for lower matches, and I think it's only right when translators push back against this.

Also, some people worry that CAT tools help machine translation programs learn and that that is dangerous, but there, too, I think there's no stopping that progress anyway.

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Angelina

Well, it is not CAT tools, it is how the technology is used. You must be happy to get MemoQ do the boring things instead of you, while you focus on translating literature, because you are not doing it for money, you would be doing that no matter what. 

 

 

On the Guardian long read:

 

This problem has a name: the paradox of automation. It applies in a wide variety of contexts, from the operators of nuclear power stations to the crew of cruise ships, from the simple fact that we can no longer remember phone numbers because we have them all stored in our mobile phones, to the way we now struggle with mental arithmetic because we are surrounded by electronic calculators. The better the automatic systems, the more out-of-practice human operators will beand the more extreme the situations they will have to face.

 

 

more like the other way around 

 

http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/cole.derry.final.pdf

 

Considerable research indicates that achieving high levels of skill in the use of the mental abacus are associated with improved mathematical performance that involves much more than bare calculation (summarized in Hatano, 1997). Moreover, current research has begun to direct itself toward understanding the brain basis of high levels of abacus training (Hanakawa et al., 2003 ; Tanaka, Michimata et al., 2002). Whether tested for digit memory or mental arithmetic, fmri recordings of abacus experts engaged in such tasks show right hemisphere activation of the parietal area and other structures related to spatial processing. The fmri activity in Non-experts engaged in such tasks is in the left hemisphere, including Broca’s area, indicating that they are solving the task by language-mediated, temporally sequential processing. When compared engaged in verbal tasks, experts and non-experts display the same forms of left- hemisphere-dominated fmri activity. Although a great deal more research is needed, the case of the abacus illustrates the way in which psychological tools, incorporated into cultural practices, both constitute those practices as technologies and that this experience reacts back on the human brain. Nurture becomes nature. 

 

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Lu
You must be happy to get MemoQ do the boring things instead of you, while you focus on translating literature, because you are not doing it for money, you would be doing that no matter what.
MemoQ is not exactly free, it was an investment. Translation is my profession, I rely on it to eat and live. That it probably won't make me rich doesn't mean I don't do it for money.

 

A CAT tool doesn't make a text more interesting, boring texts still need to be translated. It spots repetitions and words that have been translated before, so that you only need to think about them once and don't need to search through the text to find how you solved it last time around. It's also helpful in keeping a translation consistent: you can add words to your own personal database, so that next time you encounter them it tells you right away how this should be translated. Again, without having to search for it yourself. If a client has certain terms that it wants translated in certain ways, it helps in keeping these consistent across translators.

It's useful in other aspects as well. It makes note of figures and numbers, so if you miss one or mistype one, it warns you of that. It exports the translated document into the same layout as the source text, so you don't need to worry about that (or less, in any case). It makes sure you never forget a sentence (I know a literary translator from Hebrew who used a CAT for this reason: Hebrew doesn't have capitals, it turns out, so it was easy to miss sentences occasionally). It keeps track of how far along you are in the translation, and it can also keep track of deadlines (although this I don't use).

And for me, at the moment, using a CAT for translation is also fun: it's a new toy, so to speak, it's nice to go control-enter to confirm a segment and see that that takes the completion rate up another percent or two and the number of unedited segments down. This aspect may fade over time though.

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Angelina

Thanks for sharing your experience! 

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roddy

Downloaded a trial of MemoQ after your recommendation, Lu, and am quite enjoying it. Nature of my work means it's very rare I get the kind of full matches that translation memory is useful for, but I was sent a glossary for this particular job, which I've imported into a term base and that's proving helpful.

 

"I know a literary translator from Hebrew who used a CAT for this reason: Hebrew doesn't have capitals, it turns out, so it was easy to miss sentences occasionally"

On certain jobs, where there are lots of long run-on sentences, I've started doing an advanced find and replace in word to highlight all the full stops, just to make it easier to see where the damned things end...

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Lu

Glad you like it! There are other CAT tools too, so if you want you can look around a bit to see which one you prefer. If at some point you want to buy the full version, ProZ has group buys every few months that get you a 100+ euro discount. (That site does that for a number of other CATs as well.)

 

I sometimes have the kind of translations with full matches, but I also use it for highly specialised work with lots of specialised vocab, in the hopes of building a useful term base for myself.

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Demonic_Duck

^ Holy crap! For how long, though?

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realmayo

I heard google.com became available a couple of days ago.

And according to this, translate has been available for a while:

 

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2016/10/10/google-set-reap-china-rewards-after-re-entry/

 

While Google Maps, Gmail, Drive are all blocked in China, Google Translate is not.

 

Indeed, the Chinese government quietly stopped blocking it about a year ago. It’s the only one of Google’s major online offerings that can be readily accessed in China. The reason: Google Translate has become an essential tool for Chinese companies active internationally, as well as for many of the 150m middle class Chinese now vacationing abroad each year.

 

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艾墨本

Well, damn. Thanks @realmayo. I was hoping this was a sign of change but rather it is just me realizing how things already are. 

 

Really, I just want google store back on Chinese android phones. That'd take my Xiaomi from great to amazing.

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roddy

Long article from NYT about Google's AI efforts. It talks about translation, but also the wider field. If you're only interested in the translation aspect you can probably skip the bit in the middle, but do read the rest.

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