Post-editing for Professional Translators: Cheer or Fear? – Sergi Alvarez Vidal, Antoni Oliver, Toni Badia

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Currently, post-editing of machine translation (MT) has been introduced as a regular practice in the translation workflow, especially since the good results in quality obtained by neural MT (NMT). This fact is linked to the efforts LSPs and customers have done to reduce costs due to the recent global crisis and the increasing globalization, which has had a negative impact on translators’ revenues and on their working practices. In this context, post-editing is often perceived with a negative bias by translators. We study attitudes of translators post-editing for the first time and relate them to their productivity rates. We also compare the results with a survey answered by professional post-editors assessing their perception of the task in the current marketplace
Actualment, la postedició de traducció automàtica (TA) és considerada una pràctica habitual en el flux de treball de la traducció, sobretot per la bona qualitat que s’obté amb la traducció automàtica neuronal (TAN). Aquest fet està assocat als esforços que han fet els proveïdors de serveis lingüístics i els clients per reduir els costos a causa de la crisi mundial dels darrers temps i la creixent globalització, que ha tingut un impacte negatiu sobre els ingressos dels traductors i sobre les seves pràctiques professionals. En aquest cotext, els traductors acostumen a percebre la postedició amb un biaix negatiu. En aquest article es presenta un dels primers estudis sobre les actituds dels traductors envers la postedició i es relacionen amb les seves taxes de productivitat. També acarem els resultats amb una enquesta contestada per posteditors professionals que avaluen la seva percepció de la tasca en el mercat actual
Actualmente, la posedición de traducción automática (TA) se considera una práctica habitual en el flujo de trabajo de traducción, sobre todo por la buena calidad que se obtiene con la traducción automática neuronal (TAN). Este hecho está asociado a los esfuerzos que han hecho los proveedores de servicios lingüísticos y los clientes para reducir los costos debido a la reciente crisis mundial y a la creciente globalización, que ha tenido un impacto negativo en los ingresos de los traductores y en sus prácticas profesionales. En este contexto, los traductores suelen percibir la posedición con un sesgo negativo. En este artículo se presenta uno de los primeros estudios estudio sobre las actitudes de los traductores ante la posedición y se relacionan con sus tasas de productividad. También cotejamos los resultados con una encuesta contestada por poseditores profesionales que evalúan su percepción de la tarea en el mercado actual.

Conclusions and further discusión
Translators who post-edited for the first time showed prejudices and a general negative attitude before post-editing. In part it was due to the characteristics of the task but also because of other external elements such as rates and the future of the translation profession. However, once they had finished post-editing, their opinions were not so negative and most of them would be willing to post-edit in a regular basis even though they all enjoyed more translating. The main challenges of post-editing were related to the constraints it imposes, mainly to creativity. Another important problem was the unpredictable errors in the MT output, which were sometimes difficult to spot. Regarding productivity, post-editing reduced in half the time spent by word.
Experienced post-editors also considered this task to be more repetitive, more tiring and less paid than translating from scratch. However, they highlighted post-editing productivity increases with experience and proper training. Moreover, post-editing reduces typing, which usually helps to increase productivity. In general, translators are less satisfied with post-editing than with translation from scratch.
According to the opinions of the participants, training and experience are key elements to post-editing with more confidence. There is also a need for a more fluent communication throughout the translation workflow, mainly related to information regarding the origin of the MT output. As Vieira and Alonso explain (2018), one of the main problems for translators is the lack of communication from project managers regarding what they are asked to do and how to do it. The focus of the translation workflow should be the human translator and MT should be used as a way to improve a human-centered process. Finally, as post-editors believe it is a more tiring task, one possibility would be to limit the time spent post-editing and always combine it with translation from scratch as part of the industrial workflow.
All in all, post-editing is a task that offers a new specialization for current translators. However, current market practices have to be improved and tuned in order to make it more attractive and enjoyable for professional translators.
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