When buying translation, clients should keep in mind that linguistic quality should be guaranteed. In various contexts, quality is loosely thrown around. There are many levels of quality. What an individual thinks of as high quality may not be the same for another.
The level of quality is very much applicable to translation, which is generally subjective but also objective. Language is interpreted differently by people and the quality of translation is often judged subjectively when it comes to choice of terminology and style but judged objectively on other aspects like grammar.
The degree to which something meets the inherent and defined needs is called quality. If the sets of requirements are not met, then poor or low level of product quality is produced. Thus, there are defined degrees of quality that provide points of reference.
Level of quality
Clients have to be very careful when buying translation, as there are language services providers (LSPs) that declare that they provide quality translation. It is a very common claim. However, there are global LSPs that truly aim to provide the highest quality of translation, whatever the size of the project.
Clients have to understand that even if the translation is done accurately it does not mean that the translation is of good quality. The client has to know that there is more to a quality translation than merely conveying the meaning of the original source of the text. What are more important is how the translation meets the established requirements required by the client, and how the translation fits its purpose, which is what Day Translations, Inc. constantly delivers.
Clients have the responsibility to ensure that the LSP meets their specific requirements. It is not for linguists to guess client preferences. Clients need to define their specifications when they order document translation. Their specifications and purpose are used to measure the linguistic quality of the translation, which is specific to every project. The terminology to be used by the translator should also be defined by the client. Several more parameters should be client-defined. Where the translation is to be published, such as for a brochure with limited dimensions, footnotes for foreign acronyms, change in currency system, and more should be pre-defined. Furthermore, the purpose and the target audience of the translation must be clearly stated by the client to see to it that the translation fits its intended purpose.
Clients cannot order translation and leave it at that, and expect the LSP to come up with quality translation. All the specific requirements for the particular translation project should come from the client, including glossaries for the source language, style guides, glossaries for the target language, notes and reference materials as well as the target audience, context and other requirements to ensure that the expected quality is met.
Defining and measuring quality
As quality comes in varying degrees, defining and measuring quality is needed. Linguistic quality is measured through varying systems, such as the Canadian Language Quality Measurement System and the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) QA model.
What is needed in a good linguistic quality measuring system is a way to check the types of errors such as terminology, style, omission, grammar, spelling, etc.), how severe the errors are (with definitions on the level of severity) and putting weights on the error types. However, this is a difficult task because assigning levels of severity for errors can be subjective. Therefore reviewing terminology and style should have the right specifications. Determining the scales for the level of quality will be useful in determining which translation is poor, good or excellent.
Measuring the quality of translation
The amount of content published grows with the business. Many people do not realize that more persons become involved in the creation and publication of more content. The amount of materials affects the localization process of a company. It becomes more time-consuming to control the quality of international localization as people, technology and processes greatly affect the final result.
Measuring linguistic quality depends on the resources and capability of the language services provider. An LSP can have an in-house linguistic quality auditor comprising the subject matter experts of the company who undergo in-depth qualification and onboarding procedures to become certified subject matter experts. They can act independently and offer their services to assess your own content and the quality of work delivered by your LSP. An independent linguistic auditor identifies the gaps in translation quality and propose alternative solutions for the LSP in order for them to up the level of their translation process to meet the expectations and needs of clients.
Benefits of linguistic assessment
As stated, the volume of content you produce grows exponentially increases as your business grows. When it is time to localize, it is critical to have all your content assessed. It helps you get rid of obsolete and duplicate content and select only those that are vital to your company.
To explain this further, clients will have several benefits from having an independent content assessment that can help improve the quality of the localization project.
Having your translation quality assessed helps to make your content a quality benchmark for your global strategies. When the linguistic quality of your content is assured, you'll ensure that you are working with the right language services provider. You'll know that your translation projects are all of high quality and they all fit your needs and purposes. You learn to come up with a better list of parameters to ensure that you get quality translation that is commensurate to what you pay for them.
With an independent quality assessor, you'll be able to compare the LSPs you work with (assuming that you use different translation companies). The quality assessment can identify problems, which you can share with your suppliers so they can implement the solutions to your ongoing and future translation projects. You'll have the proper benchmark that will aid you in tracking the performance of your LSPs.
The consistency of your translation will greatly improve. You'll find that you'll be able to create a better glossary and terminology set. You can identify the best style when content is created and translated. The quality of your linguistic assets will be higher, which equates to higher quality of translated materials.
Support for international marketing strategies
While a high level of linguistic quality is important for all types of translation, its benefits manifest more during localization. The quality of your content helps your international marketing strategies. Translating quality content to cater to foreign markets or tap into a domestic target audience that speaks a language different from yours is critical to your marketing success.
Due to the intensity of competition in the global business arena, accuracy and quality of content are of utmost importance. Winning in the any business, whether it is local or international depends on how a company conducts its business. You do not win because you make the best product. The winner is the company that completely understands the best standards of quality and controls the production processes in order to meet those quality standards.
Relating that to translation, the client should not be looking for absolute quality. Remember that translation is generally subjective, so your benchmark for translation quality is how the translation meets the requirements that you have set and how it conforms to the preferences of your target audience.
What quality means to you
You can say that the global market is shrinking as competition keeps coming. To be competitive, you have to establish your own metrics and definitions of linguistic quality, especially for your localization project. If you do not have access to an independent linguistic assessment group, it is important to find the right LSP partner who thinks like you. You need a partner that cares for your company's success as you and one with all the necessary tools to achieve high quality translations, based on your own metrics. You may also work with your own in-country operations or sales staff to review parts or the entire translated materials, since they are native speakers and know the target audience and culture better.
What all this means it that achieving linguistic quality and the methods of measuring it depend on the collaborative effort of the client and the LSP. The client must provide all the guidelines, resources and requirements. The LSP must conform to all of the requirements of the client without setting aside the needs of the target language, the creativity of the translator and the inherent quality control system of the service provider.
Day Translations, Inc. is a global language services provider that works with a variety of clients with offshore offices. We assure all clients that we have quality assurance system in place to ensure that you get the highest level of quality and accuracy. We also issue a certificate of accuracy for each translation project we do. Our translators are native speakers. They are professionals, qualified and certified and adhere to our company's strict standards and guidelines. Whenever you need translation service of the highest quality, contact Day Translations at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact us. We are available any time of the day throughout the year, wherever you may be.
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