Apr 20, 2014

New Frontiers in Electroconvulsive Translation

Linguistic Sausage Providers and corporate commodity traders have struggled for years to come to grips with the shocking persistence of translator resistance to advanced technologies such as Human Assisted Machine Synthesis of Translation and Editing of Rubbish (HAMSTER) and Clownsourced Rendering of All Price Sensitive Translations for Utterly Fantastic Text (CRAPSTUFT). Attempts to incentivize wordworkers with faith-based rate reports from the Common Nonsense Advisory, bonus bags of peanutZ, letters of encouragement and even working vacations in Across re-education camps have failed to increase cooperation of "professional" translators to target levels.

There is good news at last, however. As a result of close collaboration and exchange with key LSPs and government agencies in Russia, North Korea and the United States with an advanced understanding of motivational techniques, new electrical feedback methods have been developed to bring even expert translators into line with the expectations and requirements of our Brave New Information Age. Thus it was with pleasure that I learned of funding by the EU's Ministry of Information Access (MIA) for a new research initiative and summer Ph.D. indoctrination program at universities across Europe. Already, major LSPs such as Liarsbridge, thepigturd and Moreslavia have agreed to divert postediting resources from the Soylent Rainbow project in the Russian Republic to feed the new initiative.

Contributions from German and Chinese translation research in the solar industry will also ensure that the new motivational technologies are totally green, like optimally motivated translators. Improvements in speech recognition technology have facilitated the use of green geothermal blanketing methods, in which translators are buried up to the neck in warm sand near anthills and their heads smeared with honey as they are taught to dictate text quickly and accurately to cope with the explosion of demand for affordable corporate wordwork. Combined with the latest solar-powered convulsive motivators keyed to throughput rates and edit distance, considerable advances in cost savings and human resource recycling are expected.

SDL has also announced its contribution to the new productivity initiative: an OpenExchange extension modeled on Kilgray's memoQ Zen feature. As is always the case when it follows the leader, the Maidenhead-based company has introduced a clever twist developed by Securitate-trained programmers at its new development center in Cluj, Romania. Instead of the trippy hippie space music used by the Hungarian company to produce an unproductive, trance-like state of Translation Enlightenment, the improved SDL plug-in will electrify translators with exciting buzzer sounds and a USB-powered surge of motivation to optimize acceptance of machine-translated content. This can be delivered anywhere, but it is expected that most will find their muse with the wired underpants included with delivery, which bear the inspirational message "I ❤ Sodrat".

The pilot launch of the program is planned as part of this summer's Translation Data Analytics program in Copenhagen. Volunteer applications will be accepted by the organizers until the end of May, after which the required numbers will be made up by lottery from the membership of ProZ.com and Translators Cafe.


  1. Kevin, you are a great writer. Thanks a lot!
    ... Sharing!

    1. Thanks, Ana, though in this case I'm afraid that the truth which inspired the piece is more frightening and bizarre than anything I can dream up.


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