Those preachers did include the wondersome Renato Beninatto, a self-professed agent provocateur and erstwhile owner of Common Sense Advisory (and truly he is clever for he doth qualify all of his doings with the words ‘but no promises’). And so it was that the great Renato spake unto those assembled before him, to inspire them and let them be informed of the principles of Machine Translation so that they might practice them. And yea, his words fell on them like rain and they did listen to his preachings unquestioningly.
One of his audience spake of quality, a truly reprehensible word, but Renato was not angry and was gentle with him and did explain to him at great length and with supreme patience why the word quality shall not be uttered, for it is verily vanity to speak of quality in thyself: quality is subjective and translators shall not allow the word quality to pass their lips, nor shall they worship at the shrine of quality; he who speaks of quality and Machine Translation in the same breath shall be cast asunder. Many of the assembled throng did agree with him wholeheartedly that this was true.
And Renato was a kind preacher, for he did make no mention of the lowly translator or the need or otherwise for such a loathsome beast. And he did say unto the people before him that when the mighty computer was unable to understand or cope with the complexities of language - such as accents - those complexities would be banished in order that the computer might understand and in order that language might be ‘more present’. For he is truly a prophet and he doth know what the present means and what the future holds.
His disciples did learn from the great Renato that they should practice the principles of simplification and lowest common denominator and they did learn from one of his acolytes that they should speak and write in tongues that the Machine Translation can understand, lest they receive garbled messages.
The mighty Renato did also allow Jaap, another ‘visionary', to spread the Machine Translation gospel and tho Jaap did indeed attempt to extol the wonders of Machine Technology and predicted for those before him that the world shall be unrecognisable in only two years, he was lacking in charm and was unable to equal the persuasive talents of Renato. The translators could not warm to him since he spake of their labours as repetitive and did say unto them that they could not survive unless they worshipped the Machine. He did make them restless with his dire warnings that their translations memories were already obsolete and he did verily cast aspersions on even the most technological of them.
And the translators did mutter amongst themselves, for they were unsure. Whilst they did acknowledge the existence of Machine Translation, they did feel that language is a truly wonderful thing that shall be treasured. Renato had preached to them that quality is a vile word that must henceforth not be spoken and that he who doth use that word should be cast asunder yet they were not persuaded. And so they left the gathering, reassured in the knowledge that theirs is a valuable profession, even though it is not valued by all of those who seek to profit from them.
Yea, that is the task of the translator – that tho his is good work when it goes unnoticed, he shall not be a Doubting Thomas. He shall not be shunned for his belief in the beauty of language, for language is a truly wonderful thing and his is a truly valuable talent.