Poll: Do you have a quality assurance procedure should your clients require it?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:53
SITE STAFF
Apr 27, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you have a quality assurance procedure should your clients require it?".

This poll was originally submitted by Oana Apetrei

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:53
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Translation Quality sites Apr 27, 2006

For those that are interested in translation quality, translation quality assurance, translation quality control:

We have created a web site devoted to translation quality (http://www.translationquality.com) where you'll be able to find presentations and articles on the work we have presented on the subject in recent years.

We also have started a blog (http://translationquality.blogspot.com/) for posting news and discussions about translation quality; among the posts there there is one specifically outlining the steps for establishing a translation quality measurement system (http://translationquality.blogspot.com/2006/03/how-to-set-up-language-quality.html).

[Edited at 2006-04-27 05:45]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Oana Apetrei  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 15:53
English to Romanian
+ ...
What is a QA procedure supposed to look like? Apr 27, 2006

Hi everyone!

I'm curious how many of you are interested in this aspect (obviously that's why I posted the poll), but, getting down to it, what should a QA procedure, intended both to the translator and to the client, contain? Is there a pre-set table of contents or it's up to each translator to define what quality assurance means to him/ her?
For me, quality assurance and quality control are two sparate things (I have an ISO background); does this apply also to translations? How would you define the diffrence between these two concepts?

And last but not least, how important is it for the translator to have such a document (I refer here only to written translations, but I imagine such a procedure may inlcude also oral translations)? On the other hand, how does the client value such a document? and again, here I refer to the clients that are professionals and not those who deal occasionally with the field of translations.

Your comments are more than welcome as I believe we can all learn something and, why not, improve our work with the help of our collegues' points of view. Thaks!

All the best!
Oana


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:53
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Definitely a difference between quality assurance and quality control Apr 27, 2006

In our system (see links in my previous post... unfortunately for whatever reason I cannot make them work as links, but you can copy and paste them in your browser) we define translation quality control as the procedures and work to be done in order to improve the quality of the translation; for example, assigning the translation to a translator and editing to a second professional, but also providing such things as glossaries and style guides, as well as the instructions on how to use such supporting material.

On the other hand, translation quality assurance is the set of the procedures and steps that verify that the translation is up to the necessary standard, (in fact measure the quality of the translation, in the system that we advocate) check the effectiveness of the translation quality control procedures, etc.

Most translation companies don't really have a translation quality assurance system: many have some bare-bone quality control procedure (e.g., making sure that translations are edited), and many others not even that.

Some of the largest translation companies do have quality assurance systems in place (I personally worked as a consultant for one of the largest translation companies, to set up a translation quality measurement system); one problem, though, is that there is no standard in place (or rather, there are several different public and several different proprietary standards), so the various systems differ widely.



[Edited at 2006-04-27 06:11]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marie-Céline GEORG  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:53
English to French
+ ...
Is this useful for a freelance translator? Apr 27, 2006

I wonder if all these procedures are really useful to a freelance translator. It seems to me that they are intended for big firms where several people perform the same activities, in order to ensure that everybody will work the same way.
But from the definitions of QC and QA given above (btw, thanks for explaining), is there a real difference for a freelance translator who is doing his/her best to make good translations? Of course I'm using glossaries and tools and resources - and first of all my brain. Of course I'm checking my translations once done.
Should I write down what steps I perform when I translate to be sure that I'm doing a good work? Is that QC? They are so obvious to me that I don't feel the need to.
Should I write down what I feel/know I could improve in my work? Well, it might help me find solutions. Should I write down that I have to spend time after each translation to review it, ask myself what I could have done better and do it next time? Is that QA?

None of my customers has ever asked for such a procedure - translation is my business, not theirs, so they are not really interested in the means I apply, only in the result: good translations, i.e. no mistakes, adapted style and vocabulary, useable format, available on the day they need it, at a reasonable price. I always ask them for feedback to be sure I remain on the right track and that's it.

Well, that's a interesting poll and I'm curious to see other reactions.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:53
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I voted no... Apr 27, 2006

I voted no, because I do not have a fixed procedure or a set of rules I invariably follow.

Depending on the type of job and the client, I do try very hard to check that my work is the best I can do, and one form of quality control is simply saying no thanks to potential jobs I am not happy about. There are always other translators who are better qualified in those fields.

I do have a set of guidelines - practically none of them apply to all texts, but they are a basis for good habits.

Sometimes wordlists and glosaries are a godsend, and other times a thesaurus is a good tool!

Sometimes 'quality' is gut feeling. Does a marketing text sell the product? If it does and the client is happy, new jobs come. If it is simply not a product I can enthuse about at least fictively, I say no to the job.

(I regularly get quite lyrical about cosmetics that I personally cannot use because of intolerance, but if a little lipstick and perfume brightens your day, then you just enjoy it!)

I read legal and medical texts through and check terminology in ways that would be ridiculous applied to instructions for lacquering your nails... But the safety warnings get the same treatment.

Some clients proof read my work when I have finished, or have me proof read other translators' work before sending it to the end client. I like that. It makes no difference to the standard I deliver, but we're all human, and typos happen.

Great way of learning new tricks too!

Keep up the discussion - I'll be checking those quality sites out.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 08:53
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
With our without customer request! Apr 27, 2006

Spell check, grammar check, sentence length, check against original, read out loud.

These are the steps I always take after finishing a translation. I have them written out and I follow them to the T. I am always looking for ways to improve QA (proofreading) techniques.

I believe that quality should be independent of time constraints, the client's needs and the subject matter. Quality comes first no matter what.

Reed


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The biggest "quality" problem is omissions! Apr 28, 2006

In my decades of experience reviewing other translators' work and debating standards for translation quality control, the one thing that stands out for me is that translators unintentionally OMIT stuff. I once heard an agent at an ATA meeting say that that was her number one problem, which she encountered in most translations, even by the best translators.

My "quality assurance" system consists of at least two re-reads: the first a review for meaning, and the second a quick check to make sure it's all there. I used to also re-read for typos, but most of them show up when I read for meaning, and these days other misspellings will have already been preempted by the spell checker.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Oana Apetrei  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 15:53
English to Romanian
+ ...
Thanks for all the answers! Apr 28, 2006

...It was indeed very helpful! From your opinions, I dare to extract a conclusion for myself: it is of high importance to have a quality system set up in a translation company, but not vital to a freelancer.
As freelancers, we do our best to keep our clients, and, of course, we check over and over the translated text for typos or for any other kind of mistake. We know what we have to do before delivery, we feel it's natural to perform those checks, and we don't need to look on a "to do list" in order to go through all the steps.
Basically, in the freelancers' case, a QA procedure is only intended to the client, to make him/her feel better that the supplier (translator) is aware of what he/ she should do for the quality of the work. But again, there's always the proofreader/ reviewer/ editor if the client is not confident enough....
Nevertheless I will consider the option of drawing up such a procedure (when I have time!), because I believe that when you think about something, more aspects of that matter come up than you imagined, and who knows what I may discover?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:53
Italian to English
+ ...
Written procedure? Apr 28, 2006

I assume you intend a written procedure, as of course I do have a general procedure I follow to control and assure the quality of my work, but it's not written down and I don't think it's necessary to do so.

As for omitting things (I've done it a couple of times), use of a CAT really helps in that respect - it's virtually impossible to omit an entire sentence, and in any case the segmentation helps visual clarity with lists too.

With pdfs, I tick off each item with a pencil once I've translated/proofread it, to be sure that nothing gets left out - it's certainly part of my procedure, but it's not written down anywhere!


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Do you have a quality assurance procedure should your clients require it?

Advanced search






BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs