The Dirty Little Secret Buggy Whips and Carriages




  • Greater than 6 minutes, my friend!

    A translator who first contacted me during my Indiegogo campaign sent me an instant message a couple days ago. “I follow you and a few other sources to keep up with current developments in machine translation.” Wow! Thanks!!!

    Then he continued… “When I started using translation memories (around 2000), there were still a lot of translators who said, ‘Machines can’t translate.’ My reply was, ‘Not now, but they will someday. I don’t want to be making buggy whips when people stop riding in carriages.’”

    In this fourth article of my series about Productivity, Time, Money and Opportunity, I share The Dirty Little Secret… the secret that obsolete buggy whips and carriages ring true… and I share how you can play your own game… design a life without buggy whips or carriages.


    It’s almost time… we’re almost ready…

    • to walk you through personalized machine translation I created 3 years ago…
    • to reveal how you can setup personalized machine translation minutes…
    • to share how you can quickly monetize your purchase in weeks…
    • and to show how to continue monetizing on autopilot (while you do the things you love doing)

    like dozens of your colleagues and competitors are doing every day. But listen, I know what you might already be thinking…

    I’ve already tried to
    post-edit machine translation!
    — Every Translator

    Dirty Little Secret

    Blind leading the blind

    Well, here’s the truth… most of what you’re being told about machine translation and post-editing… is flat out wrong. What they’re telling you about the technology… about their goals and strategies… it’s all wrong.

    The dirty little secret is, they’re teaching you to make buggy whips and all the while… in the background… they’re planning… they’re working towards the obsolescence of carriages.

    As a result… many translation agencies out there mindlessly stuff broken pre-translated segments into a project… They hire “machine translation post-editors” and instruct them to fix it… They teach them to:

    • work hastily with minimal changes…
    • accept glaringly awkward translation…
    • settle for menial word rates for doing lower quality work…
    • appreciate the privilege of doing A LOT of menial work to have barely enough money to pay your bills.

    Why? Well… some of them don’t know the dirty little secret themselves. Some simply believe and mindlessly regurgitate the hype. Regardless of whether they know the dirty little secret… they’re not in business to help you make more money. They’re telling you what helps the AGENCY to:

    • lower their cost (spend less money with you)…
    • satisfy their bean counters…
    • make them look good to their shareholders…
    • squeeze out every last penny from creativity and sacrifice…
    • reduce every last redundant expense…
    • make more money with higher profit margins.

    Bean Counters

    Latest & greatest technology hype

    Six months later… after all the beans are counted… after the customers publish the inferior edited crap… the market, the translators and the customers themselves are left wondering… “were the beans worth the haste and sacrifice?”

    Listen, making machine translation post-editing work for you isn’t about helping the agency. It’s NOT about swallowing… hook, line and sinker… the AGENCY‘s latest and greatest technology hype… It’s not about working hastily, tolerating poor quality and scraping the bottom for low-paying work…

    What It’s REALLY All About

    • It’s about knowing what the technology is capable of doing
    • It’s about recognizing when the technology reaches its potential…
    • It’s about using the technology when it serves you
    • It’s about you stepping in with your expertise to deliver your best…
    • It’s about your productivity giving you time to fulfill your dream.

    And most of all… it’s about the technology serving you… assisting you… augmenting you… while protecting your competitive edge… i.e. not exposing your competitive edge to your customers and competitors… it’s about natural, stressless productivity gains without lowering your per-unit pay rate.

    It’s about you… elevating yourself… planning… working towards a life without bugging whips and carriages… playing your game, not theirs.

    Natural gains

    Because… machine translation doesn’t pay your bills… your productivity and pay rates do. So, what good is a machine translation if you’re not able to make it work for you?

    The Biggest Mistake

    Big mistake!

    The biggest mistake people make when working with machine translation is believing the hype. And no, I’m not talking about bashing your current machine translation service provider or hitting you over the head with sleazy sales tactics with hyped-up claims… those tactics are dead… All of us are tired of the machine translation experts (aka assholes) who hype the hype about the hype.

    In today’s world of personalized machine translation, people see through all that crap. That’s actually an advantage for you because, most likely, your dream didn’t grow from a desire to mislead your customers… and if it did, please stop right here… don’t go any further. I’d rather find and serve honest customers with integrity.

    What’s Your Dream?

    Your dream is inside you because you actually want to serve customers…

    • You want to deliver quality translations…
    • You want to meet turnarounds…
    • You want to get paid fair fees for doing it.

    And that’s exactly why using personalized machine translation is so damn powerful… With personalized machine translation, you:

    work smarter not harder… experience translation quality the way you define quality… protect your competitive edge and customers’ confidentiality. Is Your Post-editing Experience Broken? Personalized machine translation is the single greatest asset driving translators to success with machine translation post-editing… But you might be thinking…

    • I’ve heard this before…
    • or I already work machine translation post-edit jobs…
    • or I have an another feature in my CAT that does something similar.

    Well the truth is, if machine translation post-editing isn’t delivering on its promise to help you work faster… to turn time into money… to achieve your dreams… your post-editing experience is exactly what those propagating the dirty little secret called for… They’ve successfully trapped you in their world. But it’s not too late. You have a choice. PERIOD!


    On Part 3, I shared Step 1 of six steps that make personalized machine translation work. Here I share Step 2 that you can use regardless of which personalized machine translation software or platform you choose. This step is usually the easiest… You just point, click and let the system do it’s work… before you know it, your on your way to productivity that gives you more time… and helps you fulfills your dreams…

    STEP 2 – Build Your Engine

    Here’s another the dirty little secret… The one that gets you out of their trap… You have all the necessary skills to build the best machine translation system for you.

    You have the skills to organize your translation memory files. You know how to point-and-click. Once your translation memories are organized, just a few mouse clicks create the best machine translation for you… the technology does the rest… in the background while you do your other work… or while you sleep… In a matter of hours… it’s done.

    Engine in dashboard

    Your personalized machine translation engine looks exactly like this… an entry in a dashboard with the language pair and the name you assigned.

    Actually, after all the hype… after all the warnings that machine translation is complicated… personalized machine translation simplifies the everything so anyone can build an engine. When it’s over, the result is quite anticlimacticalmost boring… and that’s a good thing!

    You see, I know… you just want to be productive and translate… and I promised… your personalized machine translation would be the best machine translation for you. That’s why I made a user-friendly application… an application that gets out of your way… a technology that works for you… so you can be more productive and realize your dream.

    REMEMBER: When you work with your translation memories… when you organized them as outlined in Step #1… when you keep it simple… building your personalized machine translation is a one time event… and then personalized machine translation stays out of your way. While you working… it runs quietly… in the background… on autopilot… and you’ll have the best machine translation for you… propelling you to your dream.


    Coming up…

    So, if you want to know how to replicate this kind of success for your own translation businesses.. if you, too, suffer from tight turnarounds… if you, too, work weekends to keep up… Follow my Part 5 series as we explore six steps to productivity with personalized machine translation.


    If you missed Part 3, click here — “Personalized machine translation and the personal computer (PC) put you in control. Ask yourself, which machine translation platforms you in control to do things your way?”

    Tom Hoar

    About Tom Hoar

    Language technology veteran serving translation professionals for 30 years with technologies that augment translators from IBM Selectric II typewriters to dictation and translation software.

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