木曜日 12 23, 2010

JTF Translation Festival 2010 - MT&Post Editing

さきほどのエントリに続き、次は MT とポストエディットについて。今回は日本語で話します。(I will write in English after the Japanese section).

機械翻訳 (Machine Translation, MT) が導入されて、ずいぶん改良が進んできました。一般的な表現なら、無料翻訳エンジンを使えば、だいたいの内容が正しく出力されます。では、翻訳業界ではどうでしょうか。翻訳会社で MT を導入してソリューションを提供する場合と、発注する会社が MT を導入してコスト削減・ボリューム増量を図る場合が考えられます。

しかし、いずれの場合も、MT の結果をそのまま使用するのはごく一部です。まだ、事後処理、つまりポストエディットが必要です。このポストエディットが翻訳者を悩ませます。どこまで直せばいいのか?こんなことなら自分で翻訳した方が早い... おしまいには、何のためにポストエディットしているのかわからなくなります。ポストエディットの効率を計測するテストでは、不満を持ちながらポストエディットした人の方が、そうでない人より効率が下がることがわかっています。

どうして不満を持ってしまうのか?それは、「こうであるべき」という目標設定を達成できないからです。もっといい方法 (支援ツールを使いながら自分で訳す) がわかっているのに、違う方法 (MT のポストエディット) をしないといけないからです。でも、その「こうあるべき」は、正しい前提でしょうか?

MT は、これまでの翻訳市場に割り込むものではなく、市場を広げるものだと考えてたらどうでしょう。今までは翻訳されていなかったものを、翻訳するためのツールであると。そうすると、MT のポストエディットは、これまでとは違う目標設定とマインドセットで行う必要があります。それは、何か?

上記のようなテーマで、お話した内容がこちらのスライドです。Q&A では、たくさんの質問をいただいて、楽しかったです。また機会があれば、みなさんともっとお話したいと思っています。


It has been a while since Machine Translation (MT) appeared in the world, and it's been improved in the quality quite a lot.  We can see the common expression is translated correctly with most of the free translation engines.  Now, how about in the translation industry ?  More and more companies started to consider MT as a realistic solution to provide information more quickly and more reasonably to the customers, and some translation companies started to use MT as one of the solutions to those companies.

However, still it is only a part of the translation to use MT output without editing.  MT needs Post Editing.  This is a head ache of translators.  How far should I correct MT output ?  I could have translated more correctly.  Why should I edit this !?  In the end, I do not understand why I should edit MT output.  I cannot find a reason.  ... that's was my case at the beginning.  It is true unhappy translators are less productive in post editing, which was confirmed in one of the post editing productivity test. 

Why are they unhappy ?  It is because they cannot meet the goal that they have in their mind.  They know the better way, but they have to stick to the MT+Post Editing.  Now, let's think about the goal.  Is it appropriate to this case ?

How about thinking this way - MT is not the invader or intruder to the existing translation market, but it is the one to create a new market ?  How about taking MT as a tool to translate the new contents which we cannot translate because of the volume and cost restriction ?  Then, we should create a new goal and mindset to work with MT.  What are they ?

I talked about such kind of details in my session, and here is the slide.  I wanted to make it interactive session with many Q&As, and I am happy about the results.  But I wanted to have more time... maybe next time.  Talk to you all again :-)

JTF Translation Festival 2010 - English as an official language in Japan

I joined JTF Translation Festival 2010 last week.  JTF stands for Japan Translation Federation, which consists of translation companies, client companies, and translators in Japan.  I have been joining this event as an audience, but this year, I spoke in one of the panel discussion and in the seminar about Machine Translation and Post Editing.  It was my first time to deliver such a presentation to professional translators, so I was so excited and very very happy.

First one was the discussion about "English as an official language in Japan - Is it realistic ?  How would it affect translation business ?".  The discussion followed the interesting presentation about India - the history and the latest trend of English as an official language in India".  It was presented by Doctor Giri (Yoshisato) Suzuki, Accosiate Professor at Taisho University.  It was really interesting to see now English is less and less popular in India.  The reason is the people who can read and write is increasing and the contents in Hindi are also increasing.  Hindi is one of the major languages spoken in India.  The key is, in India, English has been "official language" because of the the communication needs to balance the language variety.  Yes, that is the strong motivation.

Now looking at Japan, I have to admit we do not have enough motivation currently to use English.  So, the answer is No ? - to the question "English as an official language in Japan - Is it realistic ?".  I believe the answer is Yes, in the business field.  The reason why more companies chose English as the 1st language is not to make their employees good at speaking English, but to build the basics to hire more English-speaking people.  The purpose is to work with the world more dynamically. 

So, my answer is "Yes, we need English to work in the world".  Speaking English more often, I realized my communication style changes.  I used to keep quiet in public and ask questions personally after the presentation finishes.  I used to start with details and come to the conclusion at the end.  Now I do not hesitate to ask questions in public, and express the conclusion first or state the number of reasons first, such as "That's true.  There are 3 reasons.  They are...".  Whichever language we speak, such an open and clear communication style is important, I believe.  Speaking a specific language means sharing the culture that language is built with, to some extent.  Knowing different culture and sharing it with other countries' people is a benefit.  It will broaden our mind and reduce the worries.  

Suppose more and more companies use English as a second language in the daily work, what will happen to the translation industry ?  The translation market will shrink because they read, write, speak in English ?  My answer is No.  Do the professional translators translate the meeting materials, presentation slides, or email messages which are used in daily work ?  No.  They translate the documents or products which should be shared with customers of such a company.  Those products have to be translated as one of the localization process. 

Then, there is no change expected in the industry ?  ... No.  We should change the communication style like we speak in English.   With more communication done in English, the translators or translation company should change the style.  Rather than wait for direction, ask or suggest more pro-actively.  Use English to explain why you believe the source sentence includes an error.  Once you acquire different style, you can be very strong and unique.  That's because you can switch or balance the communication style.  For example, you can keep politeness which is a good part of Japanese, while you can show your enthusiasm and professionalism like you speak in English.  If you can do the both, you can be very unique and strong.

Well, I realized I wrote too much about the panel discussion.  But this is what I wanted to say if I had more time.  Let me talk about MT & Post Editing in the next entry.




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