The Most Important Part of the Translation Process is QA
“A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” This classic adage can be applied to translation as well. After all, a translator who is his own proofreader and editor will likely fail at quality assurance. Instead, it takes a team to produce accurate, top-quality translations.
As with Any Industry, QA Is a Must for Translators
The translation industry necessitates a perfect balance of experience and skills. Yet, it is also a discipline that utilizes several processes that other sectors use to keep their work on time, on budget, and on track. This is why your localization project can benefit from a translation agency.
One of the processes that the translation industry has in common with just about every other discipline is quality assurance. Whatever you may do for a living, the chances are that you have a quality assurance (QA) process set up to keep your work to a certain standard.
People in your organization will be on the look out to ensure your clients are happy with the services or products they are receiving, whether you are in service, retail, manufacturing, or any other industry. The most reputable translation agencies work in much the same way.
How Translators Handle QA
In addition to utilizing an automated tool to check spelling and grammar, a translator will also use manual checks to catch what the computer programs missed and make sure everything is accurate and proper. When necessary, they will refer to style manuals, dictionaries, and other outside resources.
Since spelling is essentially a binary, right or wrong problem, it is perhaps the easiest aspect of a QA analysis. Yet, it is very important and requires real attention to the minutiae and care.
Additionally, they must consider other factors, such as readability, factual accuracy, and the more subjective issue of whether the text sounds right. A skilled translator will identify the difference and will take their translation through numerous edits before turning it in to the project manager.
Sajan lists a number of QA items that are crucial to the translation process.
A Single Translator Is Not Enough
The translator is just the start of QA. When considering writing, two heads are always better than one. Just through constantly seeing their own work, even the best translators overlook errors. Consequently, quality can improve drastically when another person takes a new look at the text.
There are several different roles that dedicated QA workers fill. Theoretically, one QA expert could do it all, but it helps to have more people. The quality assurance chain might include dozens of reviewers depending on the visibility, importance, and size of the project.
A language service provider (LSP) will balance considerations like sheer practicality, budget and time constraints, and deadlines to create your ideal QA process. For the most part, the QA process moves from the translator to the proofreader, who checks and corrects layout issues as well as typos.
Next, the target text moves on to the editor, who goes a little deeper. They look at fluency, style, and other linguistic aspects. They also make sure consistent terminology is used and that punctuation is accurate. For a text to make sense in its target industry, it must be thoroughly edited.
For materials that require the utmost quality, subject matter experts (SMEs) will need to take a look at the text. These are specialists in the material’s industry. For instance, SMEs are crucial when translating medical content or drawing up a contract in another language, as well as in other fields that require specialized training to enter.
In-Country Reviewers And Client Feedback Improve Quality Over Time
Throughout the translation process, you may want your own quality checks. This may involve back translations or even passing the materials over to your “boots on the ground” in the new market you are entering. People who are familiar with the target culture will best be able to identify the quality of the translation.
Another important aspect of the process is feedback. This allows professionals at every part of the chain to improve for the future or it lets them know to keep up the good work. Translation project managers generally dole out the feedback.
According to Common Sense Advisory, the earlier in the translation process you tackle quality issues, the more time and money you will save.
This should demonstrate for you how necessary it is to choose a qualified LSP. Even if they are meticulously detailed, incredibly conscientious, and highly skilled, freelancers cannot compete with an LSP’s multi-stage QA. Ivannovation lists some more reasons why LSP are important.
At Accelingo, our agile language services integrate seamlessly with your current processes for unparalleled quality in localized content for any market your startup is looking to enter.