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General Chat Thread, Translation software for letters home? in General; I'm tempted to put this behind red door, but won't! I have been asked if there is any software out ...
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    reggiep's Avatar
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    Translation software for letters home?

    I'm tempted to put this behind red door, but won't!
    I have been asked if there is any software out there that could translate outgoing letters into Bengali or other languages of equal importance to our Parents?

    I suggested that I wouldn't be happy with something like this as it could come out a bit garbled but I have been overuled.

    So in desperation I ask all edugeekers, does this software exist?

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    akidosaint's Avatar
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    I am with you re software translating ie will translate words but not phrases. Hopefully we would use native speaker to do translation not sure if we do though
    .

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    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    In my "other career" I translate professionally. If it might help to point your SLT in my direction, I could explain through experience and examples exactly why using software to do this is a very bad idea.

    Many translation agencies and freelance professionals exist out there, some with very favourable rates, who could complete this kind of work for the school. You could post your jobs on sites like these:

    Freelance translators & Translation companies | ProZ.com
    www.translatorscafe.com

    Freelancers or agencies can then "bid on" them to offer pricing and the school can choose a partner to work with. Translations should always be carried out by a native speaker of the target language with a very good grasp of the source (not the other way round). It's a guarantee of a reliable, professionally-written response which ought to be the minimum for any educational institution communicating with parents.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    This opens up a whole world of problems, as you can never guarantee that they wont muck up the letter and be highly offensive. Happened to a school I know, they hired in a translater, one day he snapped and made a letter full of profanities in Urdu, wasn't until it was sent home and a teacher who spoke/read urdu picked it up and spotted it.

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    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    That's why you use a more reputable agency; they always have the work proofread by at least one other translator before it gets to the client. That will definitely catch cases like the one you mention. If you've gone so far as a service agreement or contract, if anything did ever happen you could sue.

    Cases where almost no context to the text was provided or it's something really obscure are always problematic but the school should have no problem setting out its requirements correctly beforehand.

    Freelancers are cheaper but yes, as you say, if you've no-one on hand yourself to proofread that can be an issue.

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    Galway's Avatar
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    Surely your languages teacher can do this as its in their field of experience. Just like when I was asked to root a ipad for a member of the sports dept.

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    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    Unfortunately getting a real human to translate doesn't always work out well

    BBC News - E-mail error ends up on road sign

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    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    That's to do with lack of proofreading and the nonsensical routine of "copy and paste whatever the freelancer replies with"... hilarious though! xD

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