Achieving Quality Translation

Translation is a fairly subjective art which as a result needs stringent practices and procedures to ensure the translation is the best it can be. Although an end user may not be 100% happy with a translated file due to local linguistic variations or to personal preferences, it is important to have a good QA process in place in order to limit liability and demonstrate due diligence.
There are three steps to ensuring a quality translation for your client – these make sure translations are carried out well, checked and delivered back to the client looking their best. The three steps are translating, editing and internal checks (QA and proofreading).

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1. Translation

Source material should always be translated by the most appropriate translator. This should of course always be a native speaker of the language. However, importance should also be placed on your translator’s country of residence, skills, background and importantly, their experience in the subject matter to be translated and the associated vocabulary.

It is important that translations should have a natural feel as if the text was originally written in the language rather than being recognisable as a stiff translation from another language. The style of the translation should also be in accordance with the clients brief in terms and be stylistically in keeping with the tone, specifications and target audience.

2. Editing

Editing of the initial translation should be undertaken by a second independent translator to ensure impartiality. This will make sure that the translation is not only grammatically correct, but also its spelling and syntax are appropriate. The editing process also needs to take account of the message of the source document and that it remains accurate to this as well as that it meets the client’s requirements in terms of style.

The end result of the editing step should be a completely polished text.

3. Internal Checks

The third and final step involves an in-house check of the final document. This process is not only about the actual translation but also a thorough checking of the document for factors such as missing sections, figures, dates/times, page number consistency, images, etc. This step is vital in providing the client with a document which is as accurate as possible in fulfilling the brief.

The three step process outlined above is a proven way of achieving the best possible translation results and providing your clients with natural, accurate and plausible translations.