Comparison with automatic translation - José Henrique Lamensdorf - translation - tradução

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Comparison with automatic translation

ENGLISH > TRANSLATION

COMPARISON:
AUTOMATIC x PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATION

I see a relentless search for low rates in translation. No doubt about it, everyone wants to spend as little as possible in everything they buy, yet how far is this viable when there is a free alternative?

Now and then a translation agency goes overboard on the cheap side upon hiring a translator, and the end-client rejects the entire job. Sometimes they call me to fix it, begging to salvage as much as possible (often nothing or almost nothing; redoing is required), so they can deliver it. Hence I have seen what cheap translation looks like. On top of the expected mistakes, the individual learns a flock of new things on the way. Of course, they are not getting paid enough to go back and fix all their previous misdoings. Yet if the text is long, they'll often "unlearn" some of these new lessons before they are through, either resuming their previous slips or inventing new ones.

However it beats me why it has become a habit to offer the translator a price. I can only imagine this as the outcome of some people, whenever they need a translation, calling bilingual people*, not translators, with the proposal: "Can you translate this for me? I'll pay you X."  This is the only profession where I see this happening.

* According to my book: A bilingual person is someone capable of expressing their own ideas in two different languages; a translator is a professional trained and qualified to faithfully and accurately express someone else's ideas in a language different from the one in which they were originally issued.

Have you ever imagined a department store where no product has a price tag? The customer would walk in, make their offer and, if the salesperson accepted it, they'd take that product home for that very amount.

So when I am offered half of my normal price, or less, for a translation, and the person won't budge, I emphatically recommend they use free automatic translation, available on the web. The overall quality will be about the same, the most obvious flaws being balanced by a higher consistency.

Automatic translation has evolved a lot lately. I recall a test I did with Babelfish years ago. I asked it to translate "ACME uses the latest technology", and got "A Acme usa a tecnologia mais atrasada"... precisely the opposite! They have fixed it since, however many things still elude automatic translation systems.

What led me to write this page was a file I found on my computer. Old stuff, it was the test required by a translation agency who bragged about their quality, and yet was willing to pay less than half the average market rates. Observe the difference below. If the text on the right column is good enough for your needs, don't waste money on cheap amateurs, use free automatic translation!

ORIGINAL TEXT
MY TRANSLATION
FREE AUTOMATIC TRANSLATION
by Google Translate
Breathe in the scent of desert sage in this spunky Southwest city filled with sunshine, Native American history, and plenty of New Mexico activities. Stay at your choice of Albuquerque hotels and enjoy everything from hot air ballooning and golfing to gallery hopping and shopping for regional treasures.
Sinta o aroma agreste do deserto nesta ensolarada cidade do Sudoeste, repleta de história indígena americana e atividades do Novo México. Hospede-se num hotel dentre as várias opções de Albuquerque, e desfrute de tudo, passeios em balão, golfe, galerias de arte e compras de artefatos regionais.
Respire o perfume de sálvia deserto nesta cidade do sudoeste spunky cheia de sol, os nativos americanos da história, e muitas das atividades do Novo México. Fique na sua escolha de hotéis Albuquerque e desfrutar de tudo de balão de ar quente e golfe galeria de salto e as compras de tesouros regional.
With just a little reasearch you can add some volunteer work into almost any trip, with any budget. You can make it the primary reason for traveling, immersing yourself in another culture, spending two weeks or more focusing on intensive volunteer work, or you can spend as little as half a day working on a community project. Either way, it's still good.
Se procurar um pouco, você poderá acrescentar trabalho voluntário a praticamente qualquer viagem, com qualquer orçamento. Este pode ser tanto o motivo principal da viagem, a imersão numa cultura diferente, ficar duas ou mais semanas concentrado em trabalho voiluntário intensivo, como passar apenas meio dia trabalhando num projeto comunitário. Seja como for, é muito bom.
Com apenas um pouco reasearch você pode adicionar algum trabalho voluntário em quase qualquer viagem, com todo o orçamento. Você pode fazê-lo o principal motivo para viajar, imergindo-se em outra cultura, de passar duas semanas ou mais centrado no trabalho voluntário intensiva, ou você pode gastar tão pouco quanto metade do dia trabalhando em um projeto da comunidade. De qualquer forma, ainda é bom.
The Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival celebrates the gift of 3000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington DC in 1912. The spectacular parade takes an entire morning to move along Constitution Avenue. Marching bands from across the nation and around the world fill this grand avenue from 7-17th Streets, with colour and music. Spectacular floats, costumed dance troupes, giant helium ballons, celebrity guests and the stunning Cherry Blossom queen herself all appear in the parade, which gathers donations for charities which give opportunities to disadvantaged young people.
O Festival e Desfile da Floração das Cerejeiras comemora o presente de 3.000 cerejeiras da cidade de Tóquio ao povo de Washington, DC em 1912. Essa parada espetacular dura uma manhã inteira percorrendo a Constitution Avenue. Fanfarras do país inteiro e de todo o mundo lotam a majestosa avenida entre as ruas 7 e 17 com cores e música. Carros alegóricos espetaculares, blocos de dança fantasiados, balões de gás gigantes, convidados famosos e a maravilhosa Rainha das Cerejeiras em pessoa, todos participam do desfile, que arrecada contribuições para entidades de assistência a jovens carentes.
The Cherry Blossom Festival Parade e celebra o dom de 3.000 cerejeiras da cidade de Tóquio para o povo de Washington DC em 1912. O desfile espetacular toma uma manhã inteira para se mover ao longo Constitution Avenue. Bandas de todo o país e no mundo preencher esta grande avenida de Ruas 7-17, com cor e música. Espetacular carros alegóricos, grupos de dança fantasiado, balões de hélio gigantes, convidados da celebridade e do Cherry Blossom deslumbrante rainha se todos aparecem na parada, que reúne doações para instituições de caridade que dão oportunidades para jovens desfavorecidos.
In another few minutes my little band of tourists will rejoin the hordes of other sightseers visiting the National Museum of American History, boarding a tour bus, standing in line at the Capitol. And by day's end, back at the hotel, they will be regretting that they didn't wear sunscreen, or resolving to rise earlier tomorrow to secure a ticket to tour the Newseum.
Daqui a pouco o meu pequeno bando de turistas irá se juntar à multidão de visitantes no Museu Nacional de História Americana, embarcando num ônibus de turismo e ficando na fila do Capitólio. E no final do dia, já de volta ao hotel, estarão se lamentando por não terem passado protetor solar, ou decidindo acordar cedo amanhã para conseguir um ingresso para visitar o Newseum.
Em mais alguns minutos o meu pequeno grupo de turistas vai reunir as hordas de turistas visitando outras do Museu Nacional de História Americana, embarcar em um ônibus, em pé na fila do Capitólio. E ao fim do dia, de volta ao hotel, eles serão lamentando que não usar protetor solar, ou resolver a subir mais cedo amanhã para garantir um ingresso para a turnê Newseum.

This comparison should make it easy to decide (if you understand Portuguese). If automatic translation fulfills your needs, it is not worthwhile to pay cheap for a translation that is just as bad.

This search for lower prices reminds me of the story of a woman. When younger, she had been a model for bra packaging pictures. After having breastfed two children, she was no longer the same. She carried out a private bidding in search for a plastic surgeon, and selected the cheapest one. As she told me herself: After all the swelling was gone, I undressed and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked like a crashed Beetle! As soon as possible, she had a new surgery with another doctor.

Fortunately, it is possible to redo translations from scratch. However neither the lost time nor the money spent in something that behooves rework can be recouped. This is why if quality is not important, i recommend using the free alternative. Buy cheap, pay twice!

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