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Poll: Do you use a quality control method for your translations?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Dec 22, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you use a quality control method for your translations?".

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 01:01
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes Dec 22, 2014

Well, I said yes, and I think so. My quality control method is to read through the translation again and again making any necessary changes until I am satisfied. Perhaps something else is meant here.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:01
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Me, too Dec 22, 2014

Tim Drayton wrote:

Well, I said yes, and I think so. My quality control method is to read through the translation again and again making any necessary changes until I am satisfied. Perhaps something else is meant here.


I also use the MS Word spelling and grammar checkers PLUS PerfectIt software to keep my capitalization and punctuation consistent. I recommend PerfectIt.


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Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:01
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
This is a bit of a leading question, isn't it? Dec 22, 2014

What professional translator would not methodically control the quality of their translations?

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:01
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes, of course Dec 22, 2014

Oliver Lawrence wrote:

What professional translator would not methodically control the quality of their translations?


Agree with you here, Oliver. This is a bit of a no-brainer.

But wait! What is this 38% - just over 1/3 of all pollsters - who answered 'No?' And, 15% who answered 'Other - N/A'?



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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oh, the no-brainers! Dec 22, 2014

Oliver Lawrence wrote:

What professional translator would not methodically control the quality of their translations?


In agreement with Oliver here and Julian there. Julian, I'm one of those who responded no and I'll tell you why ♪ in song ♫

Well, not really

A wise colleague wrote in a LinkedIn discussion one day about how we translators are treated like an assembly line. I argued some time ago against the quality control language that is so popular among language service providers (i.e. agencies and other bureaucratic entities) as well as among self-appointed gurus (Beninnato from Moravia comes to mind).

We are craftsmen, we are artists of the written word, we are writers, editors, proofreaders all rolled in one. Even if we work with the same original the second time around, without the benefit of a translation memory or with a glossary, just trusting our wet brains, we are likely to produce a slightly different, slightly better, slightly more polished translation the second time around.

The care and diligence we all naturally put into our translations is all the quality control we need, really.


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Helenp  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:01
Member (2010)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Well put! Dec 22, 2014

Mario Chavez wrote:

Oliver Lawrence wrote:

What professional translator would not methodically control the quality of their translations?


In agreement with Oliver here and Julian there. Julian, I'm one of those who responded no and I'll tell you why ♪ in song ♫

Well, not really

A wise colleague wrote in a LinkedIn discussion one day about how we translators are treated like an assembly line. I argued some time ago against the quality control language that is so popular among language service providers (i.e. agencies and other bureaucratic entities) as well as among self-appointed gurus (Beninnato from Moravia comes to mind).

We are craftsmen, we are artists of the written word, we are writers, editors, proofreaders all rolled in one. Even if we work with the same original the second time around, without the benefit of a translation memory or with a glossary, just trusting our wet brains, we are likely to produce a slightly different, slightly better, slightly more polished translation the second time around.

The care and diligence we all naturally put into our translations is all the quality control we need, really.


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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:01
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes Dec 22, 2014

1. Translate text in Studio 2014, doing all necessary research as I go along.
2. Read through the translated segments in Studio to check that I haven't missed or misunderstood something.
3. Save target text as an end file, then read through it to check that it is adequately localised.
4. Run MS Word spell check.
5. Check for any formatting issues.

Sometimes, of course, I manage to do some of these simultaneously.

But hey, doesn't everybody do these basic things in some form or another?


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:01
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It does depend what you mean of course Dec 22, 2014

I answered yes, because I do systematically check for typos and spelling, and things with fancy names like congruence, consistency where applicable, and other things.

Have I translated the whole of the source text and nothing but the source text, not my own interpretations?

I read the PO and the mails again to check for details.

Did the client ask for Oxford commas?
-ize instead of -ise and so on.

Then I simply read the translation straight through, preferably after 'sleeping on it', and make a few final adjustments before delivering it.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Our own interpretations Dec 22, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:

Have I translated the whole of the source text and nothing but the source text, not my own interpretations?




I think I know what you're saying, that you are not adding meanings that are not in the original. However, all translations are the translator's own interpretations of the original. A translation is, by definition, a new original.


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Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 01:01
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
. Dec 22, 2014

Edited to delete a repeated post

[Edited at 2014-12-22 22:57 GMT]


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Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 01:01
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Well.. No? Dec 22, 2014

I answered no. Isn't it the normal practice for every professional translator to review his/her own work before delivering? Is that supposed to be considered a Quality Control method to be questioned in a poll? :-/

I assumed that the poll refers to other "methods" than your own eyes and brains, such as a spell checker, or getting your work reviewed by a colleague, etc.

On a side note, Arabic translators rarely benefit from any "Quality Control" software. Spell check is practically useless in our language, for example. And CAT tools give us all sorts of headaches. Not sure if this applies to other Right-to-Left languages as well.

Good thing is, Google Translate is totally USELESS for English to Arabic translations


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Jon Hedemann  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:01
English to Danish
+ ...
;) Dec 22, 2014

Yes. It's called proofreading ...

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:01
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I took it to mean some sort of checklist or procedure Dec 22, 2014

I doubt that it means "do you check your work?". I hope not anyway as that would be a bit pointless. But then so is publishing a poll that isn't 100% clear.

But I do have a mental checklist that I keep in mind through the various stages of the translation process. It includes:
- have I got all the info I need to do the job and invoice for it, and my client's authorisation?
- have I translated everything?
- have I checked everything possible (re-reading, consistency checks (using PerfectIt if it's a big file), spell-check, formatting...)?
- have I actually delivered it (attachment included) within the deadline?
- have I received confirmation of receipt?
- have I invoiced?
- have I received the payment?

I don't actually have a checklist, but I still do it. I have things like labels and stars on my emails, a paper copy of the invoice (not wasting paper as my accountant needs it) that I shift from pending to paid, and an excel spreadsheet that gets updated with time taken etc.


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Luiz Barucke
Brazil
Local time: 20:01
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
Always Dec 22, 2014

After translating, I always

1. "proofread" the whole text after translating it. Sometimes twice;
2. run CAT tool spellchecker;
3. export to Word and run also its spelling and grammar checker;
4. run Transcheck (if working with WF Pro) or Xbench (if working with another CAT);

and, when I have to deliver a clean file (not always), I also

5. take a final look at the clean file searching for anomalies.


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