The Consequences of the Coming Machine Translation Armageddon Are Difficult to Predict

Patenttranslator's Blog

The consequences of a nuclear war are difficult to predict.

Difficult, but not completely impossible to prepare for and anticipate.

In fact, the world has been preparing for nuclear Armageddon for about 70 years now. Regular people were being prepared for just such an eventuality by being instructed by their teachers from an early age to duck and hide under the desks in their classrooms, or by running in an orderly fashion to take shelter in the school’s basement. This was by far my favorite part of atomic bomb drills when I was a kid because the basement of the old school, which was built in 1886, was dark, spooky and totally awesome.

Not that running to the basement would help very much, of course, depending on how far the bomb would fall and the extent of the radioactive fallout.

Important people, such as presidents of various governments, have been…

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Translator Power’s New Twitter Account!

Have you seen our new Twitter account?

It’s here: https://twitter.com/translatorpower 

You’re welcome anytime 🙂

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Does Your Website Have a “Hack Me” Sign?

Translation Wordshop

Getting your own business website is a huge milestone. I loved the excitement of the the design phase, creating the content, and finally seeing it out there “live” on the internet. Of course I’d heard about hackers and such but that seemed like one of those things that happens to other people. There’s a saying among con artists, though, that if you look around the room and you can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you. If I’d looked a little closer I might have seen the “hack me” sign on my back.

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How Much Does an Average Translator Make?

Patenttranslator's Blog

This is a question I often see asked on social media, usually but not always by beginning translators or those who are relatively new to the profession.

I of course don’t have an answer to this question because the answer depends on many variables. It’s like asking the question: How much does an average writer make? Well, from nothing, to millions. And if you can sell the captivating plots of your books to Hollywood, it will be many more millions. So what is the average between zero and many millions?

There is no such thing.

How much does an average adult person weigh? Well, from about a hundred pounds, to maybe five or six hundred pounds. If you weigh more than that, you will probably not live for much longer.

The most important variables when it comes to a writer’s income are how many books said writer can sell and…

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Globalization Blowback in the Translation Industry?

Patenttranslator's Blog

“Globalization”, “Globalizierung”, “globalizace”, “mondalization” – I hear or read this word in various languages whenever I watch news or read a newspaper online.

Globalization has had a major impact on our world: it made some people much richer, mostly those who were already very rich, and some people poorer, mostly those who were not very rich to begin with. I am told that it also lifted some people out of grinding poverty, mostly people in what is still called the third world. I have no way to verify the statement in the previous sentence, but it probably is true to some extent.

Globalization not only made billionaires out of people who only had a few hundred million before it started reshaping the world in the mid 1990s. This after Bill Clinton, who felt our pain so convincingly in 1992, signed NAFTA (North American Free Trade Association) a few years later.

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Are they trying to fool the interpreters and translators?

The Professional Interpreter

Dear Colleagues:

We have been under constant and merciless attacks from the big multinational language “industry” corporations for several years. These uninvited guests at the professional language services table have stubbornly fought to take away the market from the professionals who should service the clients through systematically minimizing the role of the interpreter and translator, and dehumanizing the profession by launching a campaign to convince the weak and uninformed that what we do is an “industry”, not a profession.

In the past we have discussed the oddity of having pharmaceutical companies in the same professional associations with the physicians, and we have talked of the way attorneys defend their craft so it continues to be known as the legal profession, not the legal “industry”. Sadly, as you know, there are individual interpreters, translators, and even professional associations in our field that have decided to tear down that barrier…

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Too Many Tools Spoil the Translation

Patenttranslator's Blog

I made an interesting discovery recently when I was translating a fairly long Japanese utility model into English. Usually, when I am translating the text of Japanese patent applications, I automatically download a version of the machine translation of the Japanese text either from the Japan Patent Office, or from the European Patent Office website to use as an expanded dictionary, although with many caveats, of course. Machine translations into many languages, including into English, are available for all relatively recent Japanese patent applications going back more than 20 years. But they are not available for older patents and utility models, which belong to a lower category, inventively speaking.

Even in a case like that, I can simply convert a PDF file to MS Word and create machine translation manually, for example with GoogleTranslate or with Microsoft Translator. If there are just a few very slight imperfections in the printed…

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