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Trying to see if French translation was made by a person vs. machine translation
Persoa que publicou o fío: dbsfwr
dbsfwr
United States
Jun 14

Hello:

Let me start off by saying that I do not speak French.

I am a software developer. I had my free software translated from English to French. The person doing the translation seemed to have done it in a very short time. So my fear is that he simply put the English text into Google translate and did it that way.

Below are the screenshots of his work. I'm not asking to proofread anything. What I want to know from the native French speakers is if the French translation sounds "human made" or like something that came out from a Google Translate service -- i.e. incomprehensible?

Thank you in advance!

ex_4

ex_1

ex_2

ex_3


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:11
Membro (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Several errors, in any case Jun 17

Have you tried this: http://www.cheatingtranslators.com/ ?

My native language is not French, but I've lived 15 years in France and also worked as an IT specialist there.

There are several errors in it, in any case, particularly in the IT terminology, spanning from moderate errors the reader will survive to outright nonsense (e.g. "Tourner l'écran sur", which means to literally turn the physical screen on a surface, which is not specified). Also, the plural of "réseau" is "réseaux", not "réseaus". There are other errors.

You can check the IT vocabulary on https://www.microsoft.com/Language/en-US/Search.aspx .

I'd say it can be saved by a native French translator knowledgeable about IT reviewing it.

But let's hear what the natives say.


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Meriadec Perrin  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:11
English to French
+ ...
machine translation - or by someone who is not French Jun 18

In many places that doesn't even make sense, the same object is randomly translated (not the same term from one place to another), some translation choices are totally out of the context of a software: even a non-IT specialist would not write such nonsense.

So if not purely machine translation, at least a machine translation post-edited by someone who is not French and doesn't even have the minimum skills in logic to stick to a given term.

Sorry to come with bad news, but that should be re-done from scratch.

Mériadec

[Edited at 2017-06-18 00:28 GMT]


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Lorraine Dubuc  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:11
Membro (2013)
French to English
+ ...
At first sight it does not seem to be that bad Jun 18

The translator did not make up his/her mind on whether they would use 'planification' or ' annexes' but the right term could be 'horaire'.

See, in French there are many ways to express one single idea and this makes it all the more complicated to stick to a single terminology, although it would be the best thing to be able to have a consistent TM.


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:11
Membro (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Terminology Jun 18

Lorraine Dubuc wrote:

See, in French there are many ways to express one single idea and this makes it all the more complicated to stick to a single terminology, although it would be the best thing to be able to have a consistent TM.


There are many ways to say things in many languages, but a writer or translator nevertheless needs to use accepted terminology for the subject matter. A TM (translation memory) or a term base may help if it is correct (or be a nightmare if it isn't), but even without one, the translator still needs to look up the correct terminology.

Another example: shut down does not mean "fermer" but "arrêter" when it's about software.

The translator has not translated the English imperative consistently (when telling the user to do something), but some places to the French infinitive and others to imperative. Both are correct, but the French infinitive is often preferred, as the imperative can come across as 'commanding' and impolite.

Was this translation purchased via a site such as Fiverr?


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David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
not MT Jun 18

I've recently accepted my 1st PEMT project: the quality of MT is astonishingly bad

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Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:11
Membro (2012)
French to English
+ ...
I would guess it is MT Jun 18

but don't take my word for it: I'm in the lucky position not to have had to deal with it much. I am however able to say that in any case it is not a good translation. Some examples:
- 'What wakes this computer?' => 'Quels sillages cet ordinateur ?' ('sillage' is a noun meaning the wake... of a boat!)
- 'Schedules Report' is translated three different ways in its first three appearances
- 'If checked will attempt to' => (The French rough equivalent of) 'If checked, YOU will attempt to...'
- 'If checked will open a file' => (The French rough equivalent of) 'If the checkbox opens a file....'

I would conclude that if it isn't machine translation, it's the human equivalent - a non-French speaker armed with a dictionary (though one would expect a human being not to give three different translations for the same term in such quick succession!).

FWIW


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 10:11
German to Serbian
+ ...
On MT... Jun 18

The translation does not have to be machine translated for it to be bad, unprofessional and inaccurate.

Lorraine gave a good example how you actually have to take your time to think and pick the best term/the term that will work in the context out of several that come to mind. This will probably not be done by cheap translators working for €0.03 per word. How much did you pay for this translation?

I translate from French, not into French, but as a non-native speaker I spotted several errors - at some places it seems like the translator just used word-for-word replacement system just for it to "appear" like a translation.

[Edited at 2017-06-18 15:15 GMT]


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David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
do you expect a robot to give three different translations for the same term? Jun 18

Victoria Britten wrote:

one would expect a human being not to give three different translations for the same term in such quick succession!.

FWIW


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:11
Membro (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
MT vs human Jun 18

Victoria Britten wrote:

- 'What wakes this computer?' => 'Quels sillages cet ordinateur ?' ('sillage' is a noun meaning the wake... of a boat!)


It's hard to imagine that a human who had even basic proficiency in the target language would make such a mistake.


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Adrien Esparron
France
Local time: 10:11
Membro (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Human made... Jun 18

... by a non native french speaker and somebody who is not familiar with the french Windows terminology.

[Modifié le 2017-06-19 08:56 GMT]


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David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
Literary translator Jun 18

My guess is that it has been translated by a literary translator

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dbsfwr
United States
INICIO DE TEMA
Thank you, all! Jun 19

Thank you, all! I very much appreciate your input. Sorry for the delay in my reply. Somehow I didn't receive an email that replies were posted here.

Yes, I knew that something was up. My clue was this. When I was checking his translation by putting translated French sentences into Google Translate service to translate it back into English, I was getting exact same English phrases as the original. I don't speak French, but even I know that English and French aren't that similar.

This translation was done via a service that translates software UI. I contacted them and they're looking into it. (Sorry I can't reveal more until this is resolved.)

But I definitely appreciate all your takes on it!


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Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:11
Membro (2008)
English to French
Just to echo other comments Jun 19

Whether the source of this foul piece of 'translation', and I use the word loosely, is human on machine, is secondary to the fact that it is in no way fit for purpose, it is, in essence, unusable.

The most blatant absurdity that I see is 'Turn screen on', which is translated as 'Rotate the screen on top of' (Tourner l'écran sur)... so in the spirit of debate, my vote is for machine, even a non-native with an elementary school education wouldn't confuse 'turn on' with 'rotate on top of'.

I would nix the translator/agency - there's obviously zero quality control, proofreading or editing going on since blatant machine translation was delivered to the client with no-one the wiser.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:11
Membro
English to French
DST/Daylight Saving Time Jun 19

To me it's raw Google Translate (GT), and it's a textbook case.
GT is still uncomfortable with a number of issues: abbreviations, amperands, plural alternatives and spacing, word order, active/passive voice, awkward expressions, infinitive/imperative, lack of consistency, typos, tags/codes translated... Even mistakes don't sound quite "natural". And given the horrors remaining, there's been no human touch whatsoever. You could have got this translation for free using GT yourself.

The thing about GT is that from a distance, a raw output (ie without human editing) can look fit for purpose, especially with IT UI/UA. Software user interface and online documentation are very robotic and mechanical in nature, if only to be as clear and straightforward as poss to the masses (and translators), and as such are very MT-friendly indeed. So UI/UA does lend itself well to MT, provided your stylistic expectations are low.

But as we see here, there's still a bit of work required to clean up the raw output and make this translation usable. If this work is not done well, the translation is worthless.

Consistency - or lack thereof - is driven by statistics: even systems such as GT don't think yet, so within a given fuzzy context, I suppose it comes up with the word that fuzzily appears/"matches" most within the gazillions of bilingual fuzzy sentences that statistical MT systems draw upon. To ensure consistency with MT systems, I gather you need a hybrid/rule-based system with a glossary that it must follow.

For the time being, with Google Translate readily available for free and integrated into most translation tools, EN>FR machine translation is the new trend. At least the French spelling is no longer an issue, and ISO-compatible QA sheets yield improved results on that SP entry.

Good luck with your UI translation service.

Machine translation is the future of translation... And will always be.

Philippe


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