Quality assurance is a generic term that covers a number of processes that allow us to ensure the best possible translation to our clients.
This step is all the more important when dealing with voluminous projects.
Some of these processes fall under the purview of the client, others, the project manager, and others still, the translators.
Quality assurance starts with a good customer brief
When a client discusses a request with their Project Manager at TradOnline, the project manager with systematically request certain information:
- What is the general context of the request? What is the target audience of the document?
- Do you have a glossary/term base?
- Do you have reference documents?
- Are there product names that must not be translated in your document?
With these responses in hand, the project manager will be able to correctly brief the translator assigned to your project. It’s important for our translator to fully understand the challenges at hand and needs of the client in order to provide pertinent translations.
At the end of project, your project manager will export the documents in the initial file format and run a visual verification of the document before delivery to the client. This is notably to verify that nothing was left untranslated.
Professional translators: quality assurance an obligatory yet key skill
When it comes to translators, it is their responsibility, before accepting any project, to verify that the subject matter falls within their competencies.
It should be noted that while our translators are professionals, it is standard practice to use spell checkers because, to borrow the words of Alexander Pope, to err is human.
In 90% of cases our translators use translation memories (based on the client or the domain), which offers additional support when seeking coherent terminological translation.
It should also be noted that throughout their careers, professional translators cultivate the ability to identify any problematic segments that may lead to misinterpretations. Indeed, it’s far from rare that our project managers receive a list of questions from the translator seeking clarification from the client during a translation project. We view this as a sign of professionalism and a gauge of quality.
A translator who truly enjoys their work will always have it in their minds to grow and evolve as a translator over the years through lifelong learning, uncovering and learning about new tools, mastering and providing new services, etc. Our translators are constantly growing!
Technology in service of terminology
Before delivering a project, our translators are able to run an automatic QA on the CAT tool we use: memoQ. The QA feature highlights:
- Terminology inconsistent with the glossary or use of prohibited terms
- Segments missing translation as well as those where the source and translation are identical (though this isn’t always an error) or where the segment formatting is different (missing tags, tags in the wrong order, etc.)
- The difference in the length of the source and translated segments. If the difference is unexpected or unusual, the QA will throw an error for manual review.
- If an identical segment was not translated in exactly the same way. Generally speaking, the QA tool is a great asset for comparing the translation to the Memory and Term Base.
- Number formatting and punctuation are also verified against the target language standard formatting, including spaces before or after punctuation, double spaces, duplicate words, duplicate punctuation marks, capitalization, tags, etc.
- It is also possible to activate a spell checker in the QA tool for final verification
The automatic QA tool provides a valuable complement to the proofreading our translators carry out before delivering the project.
This QA tool and the terminological coherence provided by the Term Base and Translation Memory are the reason why 95% of the projects we handle at TradOnline are managed on our Computer Assisted Translation tool, memoQ. If you’re looking for any more information about our Quality Assurance procedures, or anything else, reach out to us on our contact form below and we’ll be happy to get back to you!