Guest blog by Yves Savourel, Vice President of R&D at Argos Multilingual
Machine translation (MT) has become a very important topic in the world of languages and translations. More and more companies have begun to apply MT as it can benefit their translation projects. But what exactly is machine translation and which different types exist? These are the points I’m going to look at more closely in the following post.
The Careers in Translation and Interpreting Conference in May 2013 at Aston University in Birmingham organised by Routes into Languages inspired me to apply for the MA Translation Theory & Practice at UCL as part of a career change. The application process was straightforward: BA (Hon) results of at least 2:1, IELTS (Academic) result of at least 7.6 and a written personal statement.
Back in July and August I ran a survey on revisions (one of my favourite topics!) using Google Forms to try to get an idea of colleagues’ experiences with and attitudes to revision.
As I stated in the survey:
By revisions I mean checking another translator’s translation against the source and making corrections as deemed necessary. This is often wrongly termed proofreading.
Today’s guest post, the last one in 2015, and the 11th in the ongoing MA review series, is by Nicolas Montagne on the Master’s programme traduction spécialisée multilingue : technologies et gestion de projets at Université de Lille 3.
If you completed your MA relatively recently and would like to write a review for this blog of your course and how it has shaped your career, you’ll find more information and a complete list of all past guest posts here.
The TSM Master’s programme was created about 10 years ago in Lille in northern France. Even though it is quite new in the French academic landscape, this dynamic programme has gradually been making a name for itself.
Some words about my background: after a one-year Erasmus exchange in Germany during which I completed a bachelor’s degree in applied languages, I moved back to France.
May 2020 update: The purchase order has been updated. Please see this post for 4 new versions of it (for translation, revision, editing and localisation), which you can also download.
For a while now I’ve been working on the type of purchase order I’d like to give to both my agency and direct clients (especially new ones) so that we all know where we stand and are clear about the price and what it does and does not include. Today I’ve been inspired by reading Two to Tango: Tips for Project Managers from a Freelance Translator (parts 1 and 2) by Igor Vesler on Lingua Greca’s blog to finally finish my first draft. I’m posting it here so I can get your feedback and comments, because I’m a little concerned that it might be overly long and put some clients off.
Have you heard of the latest trend in the translation industry? It’s called PEMT and it stands for post-editing machine translation. This is when clients use a program to translate their text before sending it to a translator for the final edit. Some clients use more sophisticated MT (machine translation) than online offerings, but in my experience Google Translate is the most popular translation tool, and, therefore, the one clients use more often than not to get a translation for the price of a revision, usually around 50% of the cost.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the bulk and premium market and whether ranting or complaining about the poor conditions found in the former will ever do any good, especially as what everyone should actually be doing is following the lead of the gurus, getting out there and grabbing the best jobs, charging a fortune, earning a six-figure salary and flying first class. Because then there wouldn’t be anything for them to complain about, now would there?
If only this were so easy or possible. The translation sector encompasses as many markets as there are language combinations and specialisms. How you fare or how much you might earn probably depends more on the market you operate in than where you live. It also depends on the subjects you have studied and your specialist knowledge, how good you are at translating and your personality; whether you have the drive, get-up-and-go and belief in yourself that will enable you to land direct clients and charge decent rates rather than relying on an agency to do that for you. So many factors are involved that it’s almost impossible to generalise. And it’s also impossible for anyone to know what it might be like for a colleague in a totally different situation to their own.