Translation quality control

You may have read several times about the quality of translations completed by professionals. But have you ever stopped to think about how it’s achieved? In this article, we’ll discuss quality control, the tools that can help, and what its advantages are.

What is it?

Translation quality control consists of error detection with the help of software tools, and this is done before it is delivered or published. Spelling is checked, and multiple spaces, word repetitions, punctuation errors, and terminological or numerical inconsistencies are detected. Additionally, it helps ensure that no segments have been omitted, especially in orders with a larger volume of words. It is, in essence, a thorough review. 

In smaller orders, the original translator conducts the quality control. However, in orders where two or more translators are completing the translation work, it may be necessary to have another professional responsible for detecting errors and unifying the terminology and linguistic conventions of the target language, such as the use of quotation marks. In these cases, an external translator or reviewer ensures cohesion and consistency throughout the text.

Tools

There are tools that help us during the translation process. These are called computer-assisted translation (or CAT) tools, such as SDL Trados Studio or MemoQ. They locate errors and include a spell checker that prevents us from relying on other programs. However, we can still check our text on Microsoft Word for a quick and easy way to make sure the spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct.

XBench is one of the most widely used tools for controlling the quality of translations. It has three categories: Basic, Content, and Checklists. Common errors, such as omissions, are listed under Basic; Content focuses on the content of the text; and Checklists allows you to set up words in advance that may be used incorrectly in a given context. Additionally, it works as a terminology manager, search engine, and spell checker.

QA Distiller is a similar program and also one of the best known. It is characterized by having a very wide file recognition system, so it is compatible with almost any format, and it allows you to edit the text directly in the interface.

In addition to the tools we’ve mentioned, there are others we may use for a fee, such as Error Spy, as well as open source options, such as the LanguageTool and Okapi Framework app, and CheckMate, which are primarily used to check spelling, grammar, and style.

Advantages

These tools make our work much faster and easier, and help us meet tighter deadlines effectively. On the other hand, thanks to quality control, you’re able to convey your message accurately and faithfully, and it will have the effect you desire on your audience. Moreover, the absence of errors helps you maintain your professional image and makes a good impression among your customers, because they see that you take into account even the smallest details. Now that you know this, we encourage you to hire professional translation services to obtain quality translation.

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This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)