Poll: As a translator, what is your quality assurance (QA) methodology?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

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Local time: 07:23
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Feb 14

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "As a translator, what is your quality assurance (QA) methodology?".

This poll was originally submitted by Assem AlKhallouf. View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Feb 14

I'd be hard pressed to tell you what my "quality assurance methodology" is. In fact, I doubt that I even have such a thing. To lapse into a similar business speak, I simply leverage my skills and those of my colleagues. In other words, if I think something needs someone else to look at it, I ask one of my friends/colleagues to give it a quick once over. Other than that, I'm pretty much confident in my own abilities. If that's a methodology, then fair enough.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:23
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Feb 14

To sum up, my quality assurance methodology: First of all, I compare the source text with the translation to be sure that nothing was missed, after that I check the whole translation regarding content, style, grammar, spelling and terminology, as well as formatting. Then I forward the document to my proofreader. The procedure is rather expensive but worth every penny!

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:23
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
mostly comparison then target only checking Feb 14

But I do refer back to the source even during target only checking because that's when I get the urge to rewrite bits and I have to make sure I'm not changing the actual meaning or straying too far.

Also, I start and finish the checking stage with a spell check. As an in-house proofreader I noticed that the good translators had always finished with a spell check, even if they only changed two words since the previous one.


 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 16:23
Member (2005)
English to German
It depends Feb 14

It depends on what is agreed with the client and, therefore, what they pay for. In IT, that's called a service-level agreement. I have everything from "just translate it, we'll finalize it inhouse anyway" to "we don't even read German, so make it publication ready".

[Edited at 2018-02-14 10:21 GMT]


 

Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 16:23
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Other Feb 14

Ricki Farn wrote:

It depends on what is agreed with the client and, therefore, what they pay for. In IT, that's called a service-level agreement. I have everything from "just translate it, we'll finalize it inhouse anyway" to "we don't even read German, so make it publication ready".


Pretty much the same here. Sometimes I do two rounds of futzing, honing and fine-tuning, sometimes I don't even do a read-through (I generally trust my initial work, and in these cases the occasional typo will be caught by a proofreader and/or a final eye, who are both paid to scrutinize the text for errors).
It depends on the project and the rate.


 

Daniel Frisano
Switzerland
Local time: 16:23
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Here's my checklist. After 20 years, I take none of these for granted. Feb 14

[First revision]

Completeness: Every piece of information should be translated. No content will be lost.

Correctness: Everything should be conveyed with its most appropriate meaning. No mistranslations or dubious choices. No ambiguity (unless intentional when the source text itself is ambiguous).

Consistency: All technical terms should be always rendered with the same equivalent. To this end, my trademark W4 method guarantees an exceptional level of consistency.

Conciseness: Unnecessary periphrases should be avoided. Direct and simple solutions are preferable.

[Second revision]

Special formatting: Superscripts, subscripts, Greek letters, formulas, everything that deviates from plain text should be rendered exactly with its proper format.

Syntax and grammar: Subject-verb and adjective-noun agreement, verb tenses, sentence structure.

Fluency, style, readability: Even technical documents can flow easily and be pleasant to read.

"The invisible translator": Ideally the text should not sound like a translation, but rather as it was written directly in the target language.

Basics: No double spaces, no spaces before paragraph breaks, smart quotes, no line breaks between a numerical value and its measurement unit, matching parentheses, etc.

Spell check: The number of acceptable typing errors is exactly 0.


 

Juzer Fakhri
Kenya
Local time: 17:23
Member (Jan 2018)
English to Arabic
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Very helpful! Feb 14

Daniel Frisano wrote:

[First revision]

Completeness: Every piece of information should be translated. No content will be lost.

Correctness: Everything should be conveyed with its most appropriate meaning. No mistranslations or dubious choices. No ambiguity (unless intentional when the source text itself is ambiguous).

Consistency: All technical terms should be always rendered with the same equivalent. To this end, my trademark W4 method guarantees an exceptional level of consistency.

Conciseness: Unnecessary periphrases should be avoided. Direct and simple solutions are preferable.

[Second revision]

Special formatting: Superscripts, subscripts, Greek letters, formulas, everything that deviates from plain text should be rendered exactly with its proper format.

Syntax and grammar: Subject-verb and adjective-noun agreement, verb tenses, sentence structure.

Fluency, style, readability: Even technical documents can flow easily and be pleasant to read.

"The invisible translator": Ideally the text should not sound like a translation, but rather as it was written directly in the target language.

Basics: No double spaces, no spaces before paragraph breaks, smart quotes, no line breaks between a numerical value and its measurement unit, matching parentheses, etc.

Spell check: The number of acceptable typing errors is exactly 0.



 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
@Daniel Feb 14

I like the 4Cs but what is the W4?

As for me, these days I just check it.


 

Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:23
Member (2004)
English to French
Comparative revision followed by target text QA check and other Feb 14

I also use a proofreader. When I am overworked and have to produce a lot, I trust my proofreader.

 

Assem AlKhallouf  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 17:23
Member
Arabic to English
+ ...
Very brilliant! Feb 14

Daniel Frisano wrote:

[First revision]

Completeness: Every piece of information should be translated. No content will be lost.

Correctness: Everything should be conveyed with its most appropriate meaning. No mistranslations or dubious choices. No ambiguity (unless intentional when the source text itself is ambiguous).

Consistency: All technical terms should be always rendered with the same equivalent. To this end, my trademark W4 method guarantees an exceptional level of consistency.

Conciseness: Unnecessary periphrases should be avoided. Direct and simple solutions are preferable.

[Second revision]

Special formatting: Superscripts, subscripts, Greek letters, formulas, everything that deviates from plain text should be rendered exactly with its proper format.

Syntax and grammar: Subject-verb and adjective-noun agreement, verb tenses, sentence structure.

Fluency, style, readability: Even technical documents can flow easily and be pleasant to read.

"The invisible translator": Ideally the text should not sound like a translation, but rather as it was written directly in the target language.

Basics: No double spaces, no spaces before paragraph breaks, smart quotes, no line breaks between a numerical value and its measurement unit, matching parentheses, etc.

Spell check: The number of acceptable typing errors is exactly 0.



 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:23
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
There is not a one-size-fits-all sequence Feb 15

In my experience, the right QA methodology should be devised based on many factors, including among others the subject matter, the type of text, and the specific task at hand.

It is very good to have a clear structure of all the QA requirements in mind, similar to the one proposed by Daniel, as far as one uses it for establishing the best QA process for the specific translation at hand. In general, I would not try to read a text concentrating on conciseness (when it is actually required) while ignoring grammar, or on meaning while ignoring readability, etc. Not only because it is mostly impractical to completely separate one QA task from the other, but also because I do not think this would provide the best results.

I find that, rather than on selective mental focus, the QA methodology applied for the specific job should be based more on the technique of each QA stage included for the specific translation: terminology improvement and verification (beyond pure consistency), multiple software checks, bilingual layout selection, etc. etc. In particular, in many cases, I find it very useful to add a final step as the last stage of each QA process: read aloud the entire translation (or, better, have it read aloud to me).

In an ideal world, the very last stage should be having the translation edited by a professional third party editor and proofread by a professional third party proofreader, with the respective corrections approved by the translator or by the editor, and the proofreading process repeated twice (or three times when necessary) on draft copies and then on the actual final layout at the end. This is mostly not applicable to our freelancing work, nor by translation agencies, but it shows what the "ultimate" QA methodology might look like - to me.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:23
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Feb 16

1. In-CAT spelling/grammar check
2. In-CAT Quality check
(These two usually take care of over 90% of issues not related to euphony)
3. Word Spelling/Grammar check
4. Grammarly suggestions
5. Forget the original text and review the target text for jargon, euphony, naturality, etc.

Complaints are very rare following this method.


 


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