What is PEMT (post-editing machine translation)?
PEMT is a free service we implemented recently in several language pairs to make the translation process more efficient while increasing consistency and quality. So keep that in mind, it is a free service. That’s one reason.
Now we understand there are some reservations regarding this service. How can you trust machines to translate the context of your argument in a correct manner? Nowadays we are quite used to Machine Translation services, but to use them for your academic work…. And what about replacing humans for machines? Should we really encourage that?
Yes we do get your hesitation. But just hear us out.
Human Translation services are already one of the busiest categories on our marketplace. Translation goes far deeper than just swapping words and terms between two languages. We always need to consider the tone of voice, language specific idioms and other linguistic nuances. The translated text should convey the true meaning of the original text. This is getting increasingly difficult as texts become more complex. On Peerwith, no client is looking for just another translator, they desire their research work to be translated by a peer who also understands the field of study. This combination is a challenge by itself.
The advancements made in recent history in the language industry, are very impressive. All eyes are on Machine Translation (MT) and on what machine learning could mean for the future of translation. In particular, there’s been a lively discussion about whether Neural Machine Translation (NMT) will eliminate the need for human translators. Many would believe the absence of translators in the near future is a sure possibility. And we have come to a point where we agree! It speaks for itself that we checked this bold statement with several Peerwith experts, and they seconded our opinion.
Peerwith Experts AGREE that we should explore this opportunity. So we now let our software machine translate from several source languages into English. As an end-result, you will receive your document back in English language on a level that we believe is like any non-native speaker would produce in a human translation.
At this moment, we support Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, German and Russian into English translation. Other source languages will follow. Please note that the resulting output will not be accepted for publication in any scientific journal – it still needs further editing. And that’s where the Experts come in again. So please note also that free language translation is only offered as a service complementary to English language editing offering on Peerwith.
Now let’s analyse some live action.
Let’s look at a request from Marcela from Colombia. She has a paper in Physics as an example. The request is posted on the Peerwith marketplace and Marcela asks the question:
- Advice if this paper is quality enough to get published?
- Suggest any Scopus-indexed journals that are a good fit.
- Tell what is needed to get this published, like e.g. language editing.
Clearly the requirement here is to gain some reputation with a publication in an “indexed” journal, which is what we see a lot at Peerwith. Marcela in this example is not the author of the paper, she is the Publication Manager at a mid-size university in Colombia. The paper is from a researcher on her university and Marcela is basically asking for help from an expert to judge about the chance of this manuscript getting published.
Now there is one issue, the source manuscript is in Spanish language. And there are only a few experts active on Peerwith that understand Spanish, even less also know Physics. So Marcela uses the free translation service offered by Peerwith, which is a Machine Translation (MT) service. So immediately after posting the request, the Peerwith Team run the Spanish manuscript through the MT engine and posts that on the platform. There is now a Spanish version and machine translated English version. Sufficient for many more experts to do the review.
The request was posted on Peerwith at 2PM CET and it took only two hours to get the first response. Several experts respond to Marcela’s request, including expert Gary Bentley. He responds:
Hello, for the quote below, I will provide the following:
1) provide recommendations about the publish-ability of the manuscript;
2) provide recommendations about the editing requirements needed before the manuscript is sent out for review;
3) provide a list of two to three journals appropriate for your manuscript.
It is important to note that I am not making any guarantees about the likelihood that your manuscript would be accepted at all or any of these journals. Regards Gary
See how Gary mentions in the last paragraph there is no guarantee for publication at this time. He does seem willing to help our Marcela with a review for US$80. Because Gary’s profile is the best fit with the subject, Marcela accepts the quote and connects, two days after posting the request.
See Gary’s Peerwith.Expert page: http://peerwith.expert/garybentley
RESULT OF THE REVIEW
Four days after the connection is made, Gary delivers the “work” in the form of a review report and Marcela accepts. The report starts with this:
I finished reading the oceanography paper and I recommend publication (see the uploaded review). While the English will need a lot of work to make it readable to a native speaker, the science is thorough, well-executed and useful to the field of coastal oceanography.
I compared the original Spanish version to the English machine translation and the text is remarkably good. There were a few problems and anomalies but I was able to figure out what they were supposed to be since I have a reading knowledge of Spanish. Peerwith can do the language editing of the paper if you wish to submit it on the platform.
I suggested five major journals that publish research similar to that which is in this paper, but I am not an oceanographer and can’t recommend one journal over the others. You’ll have to look at the type of research each journal publishes and decide where the paper would best fit.
Gary continues his report with recommendations for the author to work on (figures, footnotes, references) as well as a recommendation to post a new request on Peerwith and ask for English Language Editing services. He concludes with a list of five recommended journal titles that he believes are a good fit with the content of the manuscript, and should be willing to accept the paper for publication if it is fully prepared.
NEXT STEP: MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION
Marcela discusses the report with the researcher / authors and decides on further preparation. She posts a second request for that and an Expert quotes English Language Editing for only $180. A comparable translation service request we expect would have come out at above $500. This is of course because of the high-quality Machine Translation step already done.
The machine translation leverages services into non-English markets. It not only reduces the costs for translations in manuscript preparation significantly, it also increases the reach for Manuscript review as no longer human translation is needed. Most important, it enlarges the pool of experts that are a fit for the job, no longer do they need to understand the language. The selection of the right expert can focus on the Expert profile, no longer with a pre-requisite of speaking a specific language.
So how does it work?
Step 1: if you have a source document in any of the supported language, go to the Post-Editing after Machine Translation category on Peerwith and post your request. Once you followed the three steps, please upload the document into the conversation. Peerwith Team will pick it up.
Step 2: the document will be translated into English for free! That is right, if you use the post-editing service on Peerwith, we will do the translation for free. So yes, we will use machine translation for this, but you will be amazed by the result.
Step 3: now we will post a second request on your behalf in the English Language Editing category and upload the outcome of step 2 for editors to see it.
Step 4: proceed as usual. Pick the best expert for the job, connect and collaborate with the expert. Price indication for this service: US$0,05 per word.
Interested to give it a go? Try Machine Translation services now for free!
If you would like to learn more about this service, make sure to also read our other blog entries on this subject: