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How can I guarantee the quality of my work?
Thread poster: Mariana Postolache

Mariana Postolache  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:47
English to Romanian
+ ...
Aug 29, 2005

Hello!
I am rather new to this business, and I need a lot of help. Recently, I have received an e-mail from a foreign agency interested in including me in their database. They have asked me the following question:
"What is your method of guaranteeing the highest quality of your
translations?"
I am not sure how I can guarantee the quality of my work... I have searched through the forum, but I couldn't find something helpful. What do you think?

[Edited at 2005-08-29 13:03]


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Patricia Fierro, M. Sc.  Identity Verified
Ecuador
Local time: 18:47
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Proofreading and experience Aug 29, 2005

Hi,

You could ask an experienced translator to proofread your translations. I think that this would be the best way to prove your translations' quality. Another way would be by indicating the amount of experience and / or education that you have.

Good luck,
Patricia


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:47
some methods Aug 29, 2005

It is not that complicated really. For example, do you run a spell-check, get someone else to read your text? Do you leave yourself enough time to translate the text, leave it, and then read it a day later with a fresh eye? Do you research jargon words?

It may sound pretty obvious, but you would be surprised how many translators forget to check their spelling before they deliver a text. (says she who had to fail a translation this morning on account of 30+ spelling errors! Grrrr!!)

O.


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:47
German to English
+ ...
Just one point of many Aug 29, 2005

I was amazed to see on a recent Proz poll how many translators said they didn't check their work on paper after spellchecking etc. Believe me, it's worthwhile doing. Source as well as target file.

Good luck
Chris


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Kurt Porter  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:47
Russian to English
+ ...
How can I guarantee the quality of my work? Aug 29, 2005

Mariana Postolache wrote:

Hello!
I am rather new to this business, and I need a lot of help. Recently, I have received an e-mail from a foreign agency interested in including me in their database. They have asked me the following question:
"What is your method of guaranteeing the highest quality of your
translations?"
I am not sure how I can guarantee the quality of my work... I have searched through the forum, but I couldn't find something helpful. What do you think?

[Edited at 2005-08-29 13:03]


Proofreading is paramount! Here is an excellent article:
http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/29/1/Proofreading-Your-Work

Select highlights from the article (I'm sure you do them),
Then include them in your letter back to the agency.

Regards,
Kurt

[Edited at 2005-08-29 14:23]


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:47
Member (2003)
German to English
Obvious answers that some translators choose to ignore Aug 29, 2005

Basic quality assurance for translators involves setting good habits.

--Don't take on work in areas/subjects you don't know. Even if you need the cash.
--Don't translate out of your native tongue. Exception: highly (!) technical areas where style is trumped by a knowledge of the jargon.
--Don't take on more work than you can handle. Learn your working speed, and heed it.
--Spellcheck. religiously.

Sounds easy, but I'm constantly reminded that too few of us do these things every time.

Good luck!

Steven


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:47
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
links to metrics for guaranteeing translation quality Aug 29, 2005

see the following previous threads on this topic:

http://www.proz.com/post/257925#257925

http://www.proz.com/post/255458#255458

http://www.proz.com/post/255473#255473

http://www.proz.com/post/209331#209331


Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/about-jeffallen.htm


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Turn the spear around Aug 30, 2005

Mariana Postolache wrote:
How can I guarantee the quality of my work?

By meticulously studying (and discussing) the feedback from the proofreaders of the agencies or direct clients.

"Feedback? What feedback?"

[Edited at 2005-08-30 07:36]


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
There are many procedures and many prices... Aug 30, 2005

Textklick wrote:
...check their work on paper after spellchecking etc...
Chris

I agree that this is an ever yielding method. I am using a similar effect by translating in Déjà Vu and then doing the spell check, formatting, and (more or less) proofreading in Word, thus saving a lot of paper and ink.

But quite a number of clients sacrifice any quality improving extras to get the lowest possible rate, so this method as well as other measures are a privilege for those who agree with the corresponding rate. (In my experience, these are the most happy ones in the end.)

[Edited at 2005-08-30 07:34]


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:47
German to English
+ ...
Turn the spear and raise the shield Aug 30, 2005

[/quote]
By meticulously studying the feedback from the proofreaders of the agencies or direct clients.
[/quote]

Harry is only too right.

But as you develop your business relationships you will also discover that some agencies/clients don't use reviewers/proofreaders for various reasons.

It's therefore not a bad idea to say "Your feedback is very much appreciated as an essential element of my quality assurance process".

Serious outsourcers will respect this.

HTH
Chris


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 02:47
English to Arabic
+ ...
Translation consistency (harmony) Aug 30, 2005

Just a tiny addition:

One technique to judge the quality of translation is to assess “to what degree you feel your output seems to be a translated material or an original one”.


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Mariana Postolache  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:47
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Aug 30, 2005

Thank you all for your answers, they were really helpful. I felt I could rely on my friends. I have sent my response, so keep your fingers crossed for me!
Mariana


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:47
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
Specially note this... Aug 30, 2005

Jeff Allen wrote:
http://www.proz.com/post/209331#209331


Note the following sentences quoted from Jeff's links:
ISO won't guarantee that the end resulting product will be high quality or not. What it does do is help provide a framework for you to show that you know what you are doing, that you know how you do it, and that you know how to deliver it in a way that demonstrates a good and improvable process.


In ISO usage, Quality has a different meaning than in everyday usage. The ISO meaning is more or less equivalent to producing red tape. Even when you implement ISO Quality measures to the fullest, you can still wind up with products that have no quality at all.

You can then proceed with implementing indefinite improvements to indefinite lack of quality. You are the one that defines what you want to specifically do, and not ISO; so nobody is going to stop you from producing no quality as long as you wish.

You will leave a long paper trail in the process, but since the typical ISO documentation is so boringly written, the chances are very slim that many people will read up on you (as soon as the auditors have left).

P.

[Edited at 2005-08-30 17:06]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Google for prEN 15038 Aug 30, 2005

Mariana Postolache wrote:
"What is your method of guaranteeing the highest quality of your
translations?"


I can't give you a direct URL, but Google for "prEN 15038". It's a draft proposal for translation standard procedures. Draw up your own, based on that, and live by it.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:47
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
links to prEN 15038 are provided higher in this thread Aug 30, 2005

Samuel Murray wrote:
I can't give you a direct URL, but Google for "prEN 15038". It's a draft proposal for translation standard procedures. Draw up your own, based on that, and live by it.


For the EN-15038 European Quality Standard for Translation Services, see the links I provided above in this thread. The last I heard directly on this topic (last week) from those responsible for it, is that the standard is scheduled to appear about mid-2006.

Jeff Allen
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/about-jeffallen.htm


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