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Appendix 9 Cost Estimates of Various Types of Translation Before attempting to determine the costs of various types of trans- lation, it might be instructive to see what the costs would be for an operation that made no use of translations, that is, a system that utilized subject specialists who were also skilled in a second language. Let us assume that we have an agency that employs 100 analysts and let us further assume the following: 1. that 50 of the analysts are competent in Russian in their subject field, 2. that each analyst earns $12,000 per year, 3. that each analyst reads 1,000 words of Russian per day in his work, 4. that each analyst works 220 days per year, arid 5. that, therefore, the agency consumes a total of 11,000,000 Russian words a year. Since the major effort in past work on machine translation (MT) has been to develop a program to translate Russian into English, let us now restrict our discussion to the 50 analysts who are proficient in Russian. Salaries for these 50 would amount to $600,000 per year Other costs such as Social Security, annual and sick leave, and re- tirement could be calculated at approximately 33 1/3 percent of their gross salaries. Thus the cost for these analysts would be approximately $800,000 per year. Obviously, no duplication checks would be necessary to determine whether a translation of any given work was already in existence. The Committee has no figures on the cost of maintaining facili- ties necessary for the making of checks to prevent the duplication of translation. If these costs could be determined and if they proved to be substantial, it might be the case that it would be more economi- cal not to make duplication checks of documents less than some specific number of pages in length. In any event, the duplication 57

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checks would be superfluous for an agency employing persons proficient in a for eign language. MAJOR COSTS OF ITEMS OF AN AGENCY UTILIZING 50 ANALYSTS PROFICIENT IN RUSSIAN 50 Analysts at $12,000 per annum Direct cost overhead at 33 1/3 percent of the above Duplication checks Total $600, 000 200, 000 o $800, coo Figured at 220 working days per analyst the total volume of words of Russian read would amount to 11,000,000 or about $75 for each 1, 000 words read. Time lag after receipt of document Total Cost of Translation MONOLI NGUALS none o If the 50 analysts could not read Russian and had to rely on trans- lation, a number of possibilities exist for providing them with English translation. The agency could 1. employ in-house translators in the conventional method, 2. employ translation using the dictation (or sight) method of translation, 3 . employ contract translators, 4. utilize the services of JPRS, 5. provide the analysts with unedited "raw" (MT) output, 6. provide the analysts with postedited MT, or use a system of machine-aided translation. 7. Throughout the subsequent discussion, the Committee has relied heavily on the cost figures developed by Arthur D. Little, Inc., and contained in An Evaluation of Machine-Aided Translation Activities at FTD "Contract AF33~657~-13616, May 1, 1965~. References to this study are indicated below by (ADL) followed by the appropriate page number. IN-HOUSE TRANSLATORS At the Foreign Technology Division, the in-house translators work at a rate of about 240 Russian words per hour (ADL, p. 29), yielding a daily output of approximately 2,000 words. Thus one translator can produce enough to keep two analysts in translations. 58

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Since ADL estimates (ADL, p. 21) that the cost for in-house translation is $22.97 per 1,000 Russian words, the cost for 1 1, 000, 000 Russian words would be $252,670. We assume that direct costs were included in this figure ($5.60 per hr) for trans- lator time. Other costs that must be included in this type of opera- tion are those of space, equipment, Decomposition, and proofreading and review. MAJOR COSTS FOR IN-HOUSE HUMAN TRANSLATION 25 Translators' salaries and direct cost overhead Recomposition ($14.15 per 1,000 words, ADL, p. 21) Proofreading and review ($2.97 per 1,000 words, ADL, p. 21) Duplication checks Total IN-HOUSE TRANSLATION EMPLOYING DICTATION $252, 670 155, 650 32, 6 70 ? $432, 990 The Committee's study described in Appendix 14 revealed that the average typing speed of the translator was only 18 words a minute and that typing took approximately 25 percent of the total time needed to produce the translation. It would seem there to be advan- tageous to use the translator for translating and to use trained typists to do the typing. One agency (see Appendix 1, page 35) found that on suitable texts (those with few graphics to be inserted), the daily output of the translator was doubled. A typist trained in the use of dictating equipment can type about 8,000 words of English per day. To convert this to the number of Russian words one must employ a factor of 1.35 English words per Russian word. Thus the 8,000 English words would represent 6,000 words of original Rus- sian text. If the over-all output of the translator were to be in- creased by as little as 25 percent, his output would amount to 2,500 words per day. At this rate of output, only 20 translators would be needed instead of 25, and about eight typists would be needed to keep up with the output of the translators. Although some savings are realized from this type of system, owing to the fact that typists are paid at about half the rate of trans- lators, such savings are offset to some extent by the additional space and equipment required. It seems likely, however, that the use of this system would result in a more attractive product, the copy having been prepared by well-trained typists. Furthermore, an estimated increase of only 25 percent, upon which we have 59 . ~

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based our computations, may be unduly conservative. If this is so and the Committee would like to see studies made to determine more accurately the actual advantages of various systemsthe dictation method would be even more attractive. CONTRACT TRANSLATION Since contract translation costs vary widely, we will once more base our computations on data in the Arthur D. Little, Inc., report. The ADL team found that the cost per 1,000 Russian words was $24.57 for the translation process, $5.40 for insertion of graphics, and $2.97 for proofreading and review, or a total of $32.94 (ADL, p. 21~. The Committee has been told by a reliable and knowledgeable individual connected with the translation at FTD that the proofread- ing and review procedure was unnecessary since the translations produced by the contractor were of excellent quality. Trusting this individual's judgment, but at the same time being aware that the ADL report is a careful study of what practices were in force (re- gardless of their necessity or degree of efficiency) at FTD, the Com- mittee conjectured that $1.50 per 1,000 Russian words, rather than $2.97, might be a reasonable cost for the proofreading and review procedure; therefore, our computation differs from the ADL study. It is a fact that contractors have a lower overhead than in-house translators, and it is hoped that the significance of this item will not be overlooked by the reader. An annual production of 11,000,000 Russian words by contract would cost the using agency $270 270 59,400 16, 500 - $346, 170 for translation for graphics for proofreading and review Total Since the average document to be translated is about 8, 000 (Russian) words in length (ADL, p . A- 8), our hypothetical agency would have to handle and control only six or seven documents a day, and few or no additional personnel would be needed for this task. Thus the $346,170 estimated above would approximate the total cost. THE JOINT PUBLICATIONS RESEARCH SERVICE (JPRS) The JPRS (Appendix 3) utilizes subject matter specialists who work at home on a part-time, contract basis. Thus, JPRS is able to 60

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handle a large quantity of translations in many languages in many fields at low rates. Because it does handle a large quantity of translations, JPRS is able to charge the same price for all trans- lations regardless of subject matter or language. The current price is $16 per 1,000 words of English. Applying the factor of 1.35 English words for each Russian word, one can see that 11,000,000 Russian words are the equivalent of 14,850,000 English words and that, therefore, the JPRS charge for such translation would amount to $237,600. Once again, as with any contract translation, the number of additional personnel would be minimal, and the cost above would be close to the true cost. , , (, , UNEDITED MACHINE TRANSLATION (MT) The development of an MT program capable of producing transla- tions of such a quality that they would be useful to the reader with- out requiring the intervention of a translator anywhere in the process has long been the goal of researchers in MT. As far as the Committee can determine, two attempts have been made to give analysts "raw" or unedited machine output. Neither proved to be satisfactory. The FTD experience is stated with admirable succinctness: "This Acceptance of postedited MT] marks a con- siderable change in attitude toward MT's which, in their earlier unedited form, were generally regarded as unsatisfactory" (ADL, p. F-5~. We have worked out a simple equation that shows how many dollars may be saved by using the unedited machine output. Let Cal = cost of human translation (dollars/1000 words), CM = cost of MT Dollars/1000 words), W = loaded salary of user of the translation (dollars/hr), TH = reading time for human translation ~r/1000 words), TM = reading time for MT ~r/1000 words), N = number of people who read the translation, S = saving by MT Dollars/1000 words). Then S = CH - CM- WN (TM ~ TH)- Presumably the saving would be greatest if the reader merely read machine print-out, referring to the untranslated original for 61

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figures and equations. Here the cost of machine output could best be compared, not with the cost of JPRS translations, but with the cost of dictated and uncorrected human translations, either voice on tape, or a typewritten transcription of the tape. As we have pointed out in Appendix 1, such translation can be carried out several times as fast as "full translation." Unfortunately, we do not know what the costs are for translations that are dictated but not typed. It would seem likely, however, that savings would be substantial, since there would be no costs (a) for typist-transcriptionists or (b) for decomposition. Whether the savings involved would be offset by increased difficulty of use by the analyst is not known. Although the analyst would not be presented with a written translation, he would at least be assured of having all the words translated, unlike the raw MT output. Most translations are apparently read by more than one reader. According to one agency, the preparation of 175 copies of a trans- lation for distribution is standard for documents that appeared originally in the open literature and this distribution accounts for about 90 percent of the documents translated. For the remaining 10 percent (the classified documents) only one copy is prepared, but the requester has the privilege of making as many copies as he deems fit. Even more astonishing is the estimate of the Arthur D. Little, Inc., team that "about 615 members of the Air Force R & D community (40,000 members) would be expected to have a common interest in the average translated document" (ADL, p. F-9~. It was shown by John B. Carroll, in the study that he did for the Committee (see Appendix 10), that the average reader tested took twice as long to read raw MT as he did to read a human translation. The ADL team found that the average reading rate of those tested was 200 words per minute for well-written English (ADL, p. D-6) or 0.08 hr per 1,000 words. From these two studies we determined the reading rate for raw MT to be 100 words per minute or 0.16 hr per 1,000 words. Raw MT should be compared, as has been mentioned, with an equally inelegant product. But the Committee has no idea of the cost of a comparable product or the time required to read (or listen to) it, and these factors are crucial in the calculation of savings according to our equation. Prudence demands that we compare raw MT with a product about which we have more certain knowledge concerning cost and reading rates even though such translations are of higher quality. For the purposes of comparison, we have chosen the JPRS for the simple reasons that (1) it is relatively inexpensive and (2) the costs are known and stable. Applying our equation, we have 62

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CH = $21.60 (the JPRS cost per 1,000 Russian words, the conversion factor of 1.35 being applied to $16.00, the cost per 1,000 English words), C M = $ 7. 6 3 [input typing $4. 0 9, machine co sts $3. 21, output typing $0.33 (ADL, p. 20)], W = $10.00 [$12,000 salary per annum . 220 working days = $60.00, $60. 00 ~ (60/3) (direct costs) = $80. 00 loaded salary per day, $80. 00 . 8 = $10. 00 (loaded salary per hour) ], T. = 0.08, H To = 0.16. Utilizing the figures above, but varying N (the number of readers), we arrive at the savings made by the use of raw output. If the number of readers is 1: S = $21. 60 - 7.63 - [~10 x 1) (0. 16 - 0. 08) ], S= $21.60 - 7.63 - 0.80, S= $13.17. If the number of readers is 10: S= $5.97. If the number of readers is 15: S= $1.97. If the number of readers is 17: S= $0.37. If the number of readers is 18: S = - $0. 43. If the number of readers is 20: S = -$2.03. If the number of readers is 80: S = -$40. 13. If the number of readers is 175: S = -$127.03. If the number of readers is 615: S = -$478. 13. Obviously, the break-even point occurs between 17 and 18 readers. But we have seen that, in one agency at least, about 90 percent of the translations are distributed to 175 readers, whereas only 10 percent are prepared for a single reader. By simple com- putation it can be determined that whereas the use of JPRS for all translation would result in a loss of $14,487, the use of MT for all translation would result in a loss of $1,257,597. It might be argued that MT is still economical when used to provide translations that 63

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are user-limited; but, since relatively few translations seem to be destined for use by less than 18 readers, the volume would probably be too small to warrant the maintenance of an elaborate computer facility with its attendant personnel. To the Committee, machine output (such as that shown on pages 20-23) seems very unattractive. We believe that the only valid argument for its use would be a compelling economic argument. If it can be shown that the use of unedited machine output, taking proper account of increased reading time on the part of the readers, would result in worthwhile savings over efficient human translation of the most nearly comparable kind, then there is a cogent reason for using unedited MT. But, unless such a worthwhile saving can be convincingly demonstrated, we regard the use of unedited ma- chine output as regressive and unkind to readers. In considering the cost of producing unedited machine output we must use the real current cost. It is nice to think that savings may be made someday by using automatic character recognition, but actual savings should be demonstrated conclusively before machine output is inflicted on users in any operational manner. POSTEDITED MACHINE TRANSLATION (MT) To provide 11,000,000 words of postedited Russian-to-English MT per year would cost $397,980 t$36.18 per 1,000 Russian words (ADL, p. B-7~. This estimate should be regarded as a very low one, since the ADL team did not include overhead costs (ADL, p. 3~. ADL figures (ADL, p. E-5) that for 100,000 words per day, 44 individuals would be required; for input typing, 14; for machine operation, 1.6; for output typing, 1.4; and for postediting, 28. Since we are assum- ing a 50,000-word-per-day consumption, we will halve this estimate, giving a total of 22 personnel. The point the Committee would like to make in this connection is that since 22 personnel would be re- quired, 14 of whom (the posteditors) have to be proficient in Russian, one might as well hire a few more translators and have the trans- lations done by humans. Another, perhaps better, alternative would be to take part of the money spent on MT and use it either (1) to raise salaries in order to hire bilingual analyststhus avoiding translation altogetheror, (2) to use the money to teach the analysts Russian. MACHINE-AIDED TRANSLATION (M-AT ) We will call M-AT any system of human translation that utilizes the computer to assist the translator and that was designed originally 64

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for such a purpose. A system such as that at the FTD might prop- erly be called human-aided machine translation, since the post- editing process was added after it became apparent that raw output was unsatisfactory and since humans are employed essentially to make up for the deficiencies of the computer output. Specific costs for the two types of M-AT systems in operation (see Appendixes 12 and 13) are not known to the Committee, but from the given figures that show the proportion of translator time saved, it is possible to make some rough estimates. Both the Federal Armed Forces Translation Agency and the European Coal and Steel Community indicate that a saving of about 50 percent of the translator's time could be expected by the use of a machine- aided system. Since translators' salaries constitute the largest item in the budget for a human-translation facility, such savings would probably be substantial. Input typing costs would not be as great as those at FTD, where the entire document to be translated is keypunched, since only the individual words or sentences with which the translator desires help are keypunched. Furthermore, the programming involved is relatively simple and small, and in- expensive computers are adequate. The relatively modest increases in staff, equipment, and money necessary for the production of translator aids are likely to be offset by the increase in quality of the product. It is possible, therefore, that the savings of an M-AT system might approach 50 percent of the cost of translator salaries in a conventional human-translation system. If this estimate is sound, then the cost for an M-AT system to produce 11,000,000 words of Russian-to- English translation would be $314, 655 ($126,335 for salaries, $155,650 for Decomposition, $32,670 for proofreading and review). SUMMARY Throughout our discussion of costs, we have been conscious of the fact that we were not in possession of all the necessary data. We present the following estimates with diffidence and would welcome any studies that would more precisely determine actual translation costs and quality, whether they affirm or deny the validity of our estimate. 65

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ESTIMATES OF COSTS AND QUALITY FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF TRANSLATION Type Quality In-house (conventional translation) In-house (dictation) Contract JPRS Raw MT Postedited MT M-AT Analysts proficient In Russian CONCLUSION Good Good Fair to good Fair Unsatisfactory Fair Excellent Cost for 11, 000, 000 Russian Words $ 440 000 440, o00 - 350, 000 240, 000 80 000+ 400, o00 310 000 o Since no one can be proficient in all languages, there will always be a need for translation. Yet, publication is not evenly distributed among the some 4,000 languages of the world, and this is especially so in the areas of science and technology. Russian-to-English trans- lation constitutes a large part of the total translation done in the United States, and there are no signs that this situation is likely to change radically in the foreseeable future. This being the case, the present policy of using monolingual analysts and providing them with translations year after year seems lacking in foresight, par- ticularly since the time required for a scientist to learn a foreign language well enough to read an article in his own field of speciali- zation is not very long, and since the facilities are available to train him. In our hypothetical agency, the costs of providing fair and good translations were from 30 to 55 percent greater than the estimated costs of a facility using analysts proficient in Russian. To allow heavy users of Soviet literature to continue to rely on translations seems unwise. 66