| 12:08 am on Jun 18, 2009 (gmt 0)|
|I wanted to use an auto translator |
Boo! Hiss! Bad idea! Auto translation is evil!
| 12:45 am on Jun 18, 2009 (gmt 0)|
I wouldn't say that auto-translation is evil, in fact if it worked it would be quite cool. However, auto-translation simply doesn't work, the quality of auto-translated copy remains extremely poor. It's not a viable option for any serious use, the technology isn't capable at the moment. Try again in ten years. ;)
| 5:13 am on Jun 18, 2009 (gmt 0)|
No guys.... its not for an "evil" purpose, it will help me to promote my brand, logo and at least give readers a jist about what my website is about.
The problem is that If I had that service in say Sharepoint Designer (which i use) or Dreamweaver (which I have no idea how it works) then that would be great. Is there some service that can capture my webpages and translate them and give the html webpages so I can upload them as a completely new website?
| 6:21 am on Jun 18, 2009 (gmt 0)|
|No guys.... its not for an "evil" purpose, it will help me to promote my brand, logo and at least give readers a jist about what my website is about. |
"Not expensive .... its not a "perverse" effect, it will help me promote my brand, logo and readers at least give a jista on my site is concerned."
I translated your comment to another language and back again with an auto-translator. These are the kind of sentences your readers will have to read if you use one.
| 6:51 am on Jun 18, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Your best bet is to locate students to do the translations (at reasonable cost, of course!) because machine translations leave too much to be desired. Then again, if you speak the "other language" you can do it yourself and be sure it is done correctly. Not what you wanted to hear, but that's the best way to go.
| 3:29 pm on Jun 18, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Encyclo- true. I should have said, "auto-translation in its current form is evil."
| 10:23 pm on Jun 24, 2009 (gmt 0)|
For self experience over the years with several cases... don't.
Translated websites are visible from miles away and don't perform well, not even close to natural written language from the beginning. Remember, write for people. (write, not translate)
| 4:03 pm on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)|
I am thinking of a three stage process for translating a few (maybe a dozen or so) pages of a hobby site (no income, so no budget to pay for translation!).
My guess is that some sentences could be used as is from Google Translate, others would need some work, while a final group would need re-writing from scratch.
- Use Google Translate to get a very rough first draft.
- Use my (not too good) knowledge of the target language to improve the translation.
- Ask a few friends fluent in the target language to review my improved draft.
Does anyone have any experience with that approach?
| 12:57 am on Aug 20, 2009 (gmt 0)|
I am an American that came very late to making a serious attempt at learning a second language (Spanish) - with very limited success - though I enjoyed the experience.
I have used most every auto-translator available. Great for 'dictionary' type use - words and short phrases. Anything more - don't embarrass yourself.
tangor's suggestion is a good one. Having interacted (as on oldster) with quite a number of students, I would hire the native speaker that has has a good command of English. They might lose a little of the flavor of idioms and such, but they will convert to a solid native understanding. Foreign students tend to already be skilled in multiple languages - especially English. You know going in that the translation will be good in the native language, and after speaking with them in English, maybe a reading/writing 'audition', you will have a good feel for whether the person it right. It might get a great deal and quite good quality.
If you want to 'back up' the translation, it should by then, at a minimum, be 'ready to go' for a professional translator. They are expensive, but if simply tweaking the wording, they can churn out a lot of fully edited and vetted pages in a big hurry. If hiring a professional translator from the start, the cost will be considerable.
I, personally, would not be likely to hire an American student to translate to another language.
1 Use Google Translate to get a very rough first draft.
2 Use my (not too good) knowledge of the target language to improve the translation.
3 Ask a few friends fluent in the target language to review my improved draft.
No. No. No. My reasoning is lack of qualification n both langauges for all three.
The only language that I would be interested in translating for is Spanish (my only need), and I would NOT do it myself. However, my cousin went to South America as an exchange student while in high school. Didn't officially return for a number of years - married, kids, and 100% fluent - native level. So - I can hire 'as needed', and don't have to worry about any of the above considerations in quality control; just have to stress that she be cautious of being too 'regional' in the translation if y'all know what I mean. (Got to watch out for that too.)
| 10:31 pm on Aug 20, 2009 (gmt 0)|
No one use those qualified as sworn translators? If so, why not?
| 11:01 pm on Aug 20, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Because in France ( au moins ) they are crap ..and having seen what they produce ..I swear they all use autotrans..( per 50 words the "official sworn" ..here it's called agréee .( thats right 3 ees )..they give you .. 4 to 5 errors in vocabulary ..plus 3 to 4 errors in syntax or grammar or both ) and thats going both from english to french or vice versa ..
And we're not even touching upon translating for different demographics ..like teens to "crumblies" ..
Nor business ..
I have a friend ..very highly placed in the french civil service .( permanent private secretary level for the Brits ).he's learned english , italian , german as result of traveling and living outside of France ..his two daughters are university ( degree ) qualified in english and italian and german ..they both phone dad when they are stuck ..one is an official translator at the criminal court in Rennes ..the other in Paris ..his phone rings 2 or 3 times every hour ..because his daughters need to ask .."Dad ..how do you say this ?" ....
This happens all the time when I talk with him on the phone ..sometimes he asks me ...and we have 3 way conversations ..his daughters have only been outside of France one time ..each ..so have only been "immersed" once each ..in the languages which they are supposedly qualified to translate legal documents in both commercial and criminal cases in ..
He and I both think it's tragic ..and ridiculous ... his daughters ( like their friends ) think they are onto "a good little earner for life" ( try that phrase through auto trans ..you wont get the french equivalent ..because it depends on the context of the phrase and who said it ) ..But the Brits will know what it means ..wheras the Americans wont ..which proves that US english and UK english are worlds apart also ..not counting the Auzzies , Indians etc etc etc ..
on est bien
ca'y est ..royale
| 11:54 pm on Aug 20, 2009 (gmt 0)|
the latter parts of that post are to use as an example ..autotrans wont get the all the meanings ..all innocuous
one you can find easily translated on the net ..one you can get half translated ..one ..one third translated ..and one ..totally mistranslated because I threw in what is normal usage ..but skews the search on the net to the wrong answer ..
so in percentage terms you'd get at best 35% accuracy ..not enough to stake your site or your business on ..forget autotrans ..and IMO "sworn" translation ..unless the latter gives you total insurance that they will make good financially or legally any problems / losses ..arising from their non accurate translation ..at any time in the future that you can prove they were in error ..and even then I would not trust them ..their grammar might be on occassion.. perfect ..their vocabulary rarely is
| 12:32 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)|
So, attempting to translate even when using qualified professionals is a waste of time...?
All translation, is of course, open to, err... interpretranslation, but what do you offer as a genuinely viable route? I suspect though you just decry whatever is offered here as advice because you're an argumentative and contrary sort of cove...
| 1:23 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)|
|I suspect though you just decry whatever is offered here as advice because you're an argumentative and contrary sort of cove... |
Twixt muckers "troll" is easier and faster to type even if it's one letter longer than cove :))
The problem with "qualified" is in the "by whom" ..almost by definition anyone hiring qualified translators cant do it themselves and so isnt ideally placed to verify the accuracy of what they get ..
My ( now ) second language ..I learned here "cold" since arriving in 1990 ..took 3 years to get reasonable ..5 to speed read with total retention and comprehension in it ..and I started late at age 37 ..
I see regularly what is supposd to be official sworn translators work ..usually french natives with english degrees ..but occasionally the other way around ..and the errors are horrifying ..and on product and service websites and especially official tourist office sites it's worse ..
We've also hired people here ..front office staff ( when we were in the south ..Cannes , St tropez etc ) ..they all claimed to be fluent ..spoken and written english on their CV's ..but within 5 minutes ( and I speak clearly and slowly compared with "estuary english" brits ) ..our candidates were lost and I went back to my not always perfectly grammatical french ..
We used to take on 3 or 4 at a time ..on "appro" ..and I'd sit in the back office and listen to how they got on ..faced with our international clientelle ( we were in real estate ) ..most of whom use English ..
Took me no more than a day to see who had the "paper" qulifications but couldn't actually follow anything .( usually the case )...and those who frequently had less paperwork ( but had spent some time living and working in english speaking countries ) made some small grammatical errors but got the clients meaning and could be trusted to run the office and initiate and close deals if we went to lunch ..
simple example ..if you tell the customer the price ..and the customer says 'kin'ell..'sa bit steep' to their wife ..the qualified translator doesnt know to negotiate ..they may think the client is reffering to the steps to your office :))
the non paper qualified person ( who has lived in London for a couple of years and speaks fluent albiet accented "posh n beck" knows to negotiate or to rapidly start enumerating the properties unique "des res" points ..such as proximaty to local gym and sports club :))
upshot ? ..
get everything translated 3 times ..by three different people ..have them translated "on the fly" verbally back to you by some visiting language students ( place small ads to get them ..visit bars ..look for where foreign au pairs hang out on weekends ..who knows you may even get lucky :)) whatever ..even ask your local religious ( did I just suggest that ? ) rep.. if they have foriegn students in the parish or whatever ..
triple or quadruple check ..sure it's more work ..but if you dont think your sites content is worth it ..then it aint worth much ..
| 9:19 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Troll is indeed the more accurate word. I shall use it from here on in :-)
My partner recently had her site text translated from English into the local tongue (Nederlandse). Although able to communicate in her second tongue very well, she realises the limitations of her abilities. Her line of work, like all markets, has its own jargon, technical or otherwise, and it was in these areas that she wanted to ensure the greatest accuracy.
The cost of translation was not that expensive; in fact, we both thought that it was very good value - although that's always relative and subjective. My own mental comparison (although not really relevant) was that the cost per 1,000 words was considerably less than that charged by your average freelance writer (in my world).
For the sake of quality control my partner asked a number of local friends - Dutch natives - to go over the translated text. Only one error was picked out, and that was a mistake I'd made when doing a cut & paste on the text!
I have to tell you that since getting the local site up and running with copy in the local language (and with adwords running locally in Dutch) enquiries have picked up markedly. In turn, business is such that my partner has had to bring in outside help in order to cope with the increase in demand.
Any costs involved in getting the copy translated professionally have already been recovered. Sure, my partner could quite easily have written the copy in the local language herself, and anyone reading it would have understood the content. However, she wouldn't want the native language site to offer poorly written texts (why would anyone want their site to be poorly written?), so why do so on a site aimed at native speakers of a different language?
| 1:03 pm on Aug 25, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Leosghost, you appear to be missing an imperative with translation: only ever use native speakers of the destination language...?
I don't speak a word of German but I can translate to English from it, by using Google Translate, getting the gist, and correcting it into decent English! - a trite example, but if you wanted decent German, you must find a native German speaker and instruct them to write as "neutral" as possible if there are issues of regionalization. I would never use an Anglophone student of German, or even an Anglo that has spent their entire adult life in a German speaking country. Don't care how fluent they claim to be.
You are of course dependent on their general writing abilities, linguistic skills notwithstanding, so some reliable testimonial would be worthwhile.
None of this is so hard.
| 1:04 pm on Aug 25, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Oh by the way, it is normal with translation to use two people: one to translate, the other to proof-read. The proof-reading (which implies correction) will add another 30-50% to the translation cost. I would use the one you consider superior to do the proof-reading.
| 2:29 pm on Aug 25, 2009 (gmt 0)|
|Leosghost, you appear to be missing an imperative with translation: only ever use native speakers of the destination language...? |
I was taking it as read ..:)
Actually ..for the proof-reading , yes "native speakers" ( and grammatically correct writers ) only ..
I can translate from french to perfect english ( inspite of what my postings here may lead one to believe about my level of literacy in english :))..and can translate from english to french with some orthographical errors ( primarily concerned with the ludicrous french practice of attributing inanimate objects with gender ) ..fortunately my wife then corrects my texts ;)
|Oh by the way, it is normal with translation to use two people: one to translate, the other to proof-read. |
Not here :(
I just finished a phone call with a french company who have had their website "professionally translated" to english ..totally unreadable ..every sentence absolute gibberish ..they didnt know ..
I'm fixing it for them ( about 1 days work ) in exchange for the exclusive distribution rights of their products to North America ( written contract natch ) ..they only had it translated previously "because it looks more international and serious" ..non of their staff have better than rudimentary english ( and as such can't reply to enquiries in english which they might get as a result of having their site translated ;)..( I'll quote them an ongoing fee for that "service" when I send them the link to the server where their translated pages are ..) ..
<lots of "vanity translation of sites to english here" ..nearly always badly done ..pointless too if they cant handle enquiries in english >
BTW I didn't phone them to offer translation ..I actually wanted to buy their product ..and needed clarification on pricing ..found them on the net ( searching in french ) ..read their pages( in french ) and then clicked the little union jack ..
and actually said out loud " Oh lah " ( been here a long time )"skwah c bordel?" ..
low hanging fruit ..is everywhere :)