Although Machine Translation (MT) is becoming more acceptable, it is understandable that some reservations for using the service persist. Some frequent concerns include the degree of trust we give machines to correctly translate the context of academic texts, or the problems computers have with translating idiomatic and figurative language, where humans have the clear advantage. Moreover, why would it be a good thing anyway, to replace humans with machines? Let’s take a step back for a second …
Noam Chomsky, the founder of generative linguistics, penned the famous expression “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously” to Illustrate that elements of grammar, independent of meaning, are interrelated. Of course, this sentence is meaningless, but only on the surface. Underlyingly, we understand that a “kind of something did something to X degree”. This is what translation software sees, the dependencies between grammatical elements. It does not care about the figurative meaning (if there were any) of this sentence, and Peerwith believes it shouldn’t. Academic texts most importantly, should be translated literally, in order to properly convey the original scholarly content. The human expert then comes in, during the post-editing process, and compares the original and the translation side-by-side to ensure that any figurative expressions are properly conveyed in the translation.
Until MT achieves the ability to correctly analyse and reproduce figurative speech (something not expected in the foreseeable future), it will continue to be absolutely dependant on the help of its wiser, human masters.
On a less facetious note, though, what does this all mean for you, our client, who wants to publish your academic work in English, but also maximize cost effectiveness?
At this moment, we offer Machine Translation from Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, German, French and Russian into English FOR FREE. That’s pretty cost-effective, we think. Just send your manuscript by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will return an English version within 24 hours. No questions asked.
Now is the quality of that English manuscript sufficient to get published in an international impact journal? Without human assistance, not by a long shot! So you would still need to find yourself an Expert that can edit your manuscript, improve the quality and submit that version. We call that post-editing. We offer peer-to-peer editing services on Peerwith starting at USD 4 cent per word.
So what is the difference?
- Pricing. Translation services are available anywhere in the range of 12 – 15 cent with an agency, 8 – 12 cent with a quality freelancer and pricing below 8 cent USD probably means you won’t work with a native speaker. Machine Translation + post-editing on Peerwith would cost you (max) 6 cent per word fixed price.
- Quality. The post-editing is offered by native-speakers and subject matter experts. More importantly, the Machine will focus on the easy part, the translation. And the Expert will focus entirely on improving what is important, the English version.
The MT + post-editing service offered through Peerwith is therefore not only cheap, but also the outcome is better. We truly believe this service is the best “bang for your buck” on the market.
Do you need Expert translation services (MT + post-editing)? Request it at Peerwith.
We are lucky with clients like Dr. Marques that try us out and the result is clear. The service Josh delivered was invaluable for this client, as it was fast, high quality and at a very competitive price, saving almost 500 USD.
Read the case study here: http://blog.peerwith.com/case-study-editing-machine-translation-service/