News for Translators March-April 2021

News for translators March-April 2021 article image

Written by Lucy Williams

Spanish-to-English translator and translator trainer

A lot of our recent news is connected to machine translation. With International Women’s Day on 8 March, we were particularly interested in this observation on LinkedIn from María Scheibengraf, about gender in machine translation. In short, Finnish has only one gender-neutral pronoun for he and she. The data used for the automatic translation led to gender-stereotyped translations like “he is a leader” and “she is a cleaner”, an interesting point for reflection.

Another cautionary tale sourced from LinkedIn is an article about a Polish court ruling on liability with regards to machine translation. This story of malpractice in book translation led a court to declare a translated work as being unfit for purpose. The cause? Unprofessional translation agencies and unqualified translators combined with Google Translate. It’s a very interesting read (article in English by Polish lawyer-linguist Wojciech Woloszyk).

If you want to know more about machine translation, don’t miss our article all about its origins to the present day.

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