Dec 18, 2012

Do we need a marketplace for MT post-editing?

Today technology guru Jost Zetzsche posed this question:

Jost's newsletter - the Tool Box (yes, it used to be called Tool Kit, and he has a great book on tools by the same name, so the new name is a bit confusing) - is one of my favorite... er... tools... for keeping an overview of the rapid developments in translation technology. I have subscribed to the premium edition for years and find it well worth the modest investment, about the price of a lunch. Jost is offering a holiday special on premium edition subscriptions. He writes:

... if you would like to spread some holiday cheer among your contractors or colleagues (and at the same time help them up their technical ante), make sure that they receive a Premium edition of the Tool Box newsletter during the next year. Rather than the regular $25 per year, for a limited time you can pay only $10 per subscriber for packages of five subscribers or more. Just send me an email with the names of the subscribers and I will check to see whether they already receive the Premium edition.
Have a blessed holiday season.

P.S. For 20 subscribers or more, pay only $5 per subscriber!
He can be contacted at jzetzsche [at]

Regarding the marketplace for post-editors of machine translation, I take a conservative view. I feel that the traditional marketplace is perfectly well suited to handling this sort of commerce:

What do you think?


  1. I take your view also, Kevin, which is the one expected from translators.

    A marketplace (what a word) for jobs in PE would encourage that slave driver practice, would show it as something normal, good for the profession (while it's the opposite).

    Have a nice day,

    ps: Can I borrow your posteditors JPG?

    1. Of course you can borrow it, Aurora. This was a quick and sloppy job in MS Paint, so if you make any improvements, I'd appreciate a copy. If I can find a higher resolution copy of the original poster, I'd like to get this scaled up at least to A3 size for a small poster. Post-editing is obviously becoming a factor in language services now, and as such deserves appropriate advertising.

  2. Slavery? Come on...

    Our word is getting faster and faster, companies produce more and more content and run business in more and more countries. There are situations where MT+post-editing combo is the only viable alternative, based on the deadline, the budget and the amount. There are documents that simply do not deserve the highest quality of translation. You can deny it, but machine translation is the future.

    Just look back in the history of our business (or practically in the technical history, in general) and give me one valid example where people managed to boycott the technical evolution. Typewriter? PC? CAT tools? These tools used to be the arch enemies of our predecessors/us and became our closest friends.

    On the other hand, there is one important factor in the equation:
    I accept proofreading jobs exclusively on hourly basis and would do the same with PE jobs. In this case, this is not slavery, you simply sell your professional time for your customer.

    Best regards,
    Gyula Erdész

  3. Gyula nails it.

    Crap translation remains crap translation and good translation remains good translation. As someone astute blogged earlier this month, you don't translate words, you translate ideas. Scrap that, you don't translate ideas... you enable PEOPLE to COMMUNICATE.

    No have this skill? No have place in this business as G-translate is fit for purpose and virtually free.

    Do have this skill? A rising tide lifts all boats...

  4. I was told that one of the first sentences that Russian children learned in the textbooks used for first graders in Soviet Russia, was "My ne raby, raby ne my!".

    It means in English "We are not slaves, slaves are not we".

    It is a really clever sentence because it is so simple, it rhymes, and the repetition emphasizes the meaning, perfect for first graders.

    The Soviets knew that if you want to create a new class of obedient slaves, the first thing you have to do is to convince them that they are free.

  5. Servus est in hortus...


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