Professional, highly skilled translators ensure that every word in their translation is presented in precisely the right way. Without translating and localizing your documents or marketing materials, it would be impossible to reach global audiences. Apart from just choosing what content should be included and which language you need to translate it to, there are a few other tactics you can deploy to ensure that you present an excellent translation.
QA and QC need to be on top of your agenda when translating and presenting your translation. But there is often some confusion between QA and QC.
QA stands for Quality Assurance and refers to providing confidence that quality requirements are fulfilled. QC, on the other hand, refers to the steps you take to ensure the translation meets user expectations. This includes running a spell check and reading the final copy to make sure the message is clear, and in cases where you are not working on a technical translation project, the content is translated in the right context.
As a translator, quality control falls into your hands, and thanks to technological advances, there is no excuse to deliver sub-standard work. Translation goes above and beyond just translating words and phrases. It requires human touch too. To deliver a high-quality translation, you’ll need to ensure you check all the QC boxes.
Quality Control Tips for Presenting a Translation
Familiarize Yourself with the Subject Matter and Language Style
Many translators will take on translation projects in fields that they aren’t necessarily experts in just for the sake of expanding their business. But the problem with this is that it’ll take much longer to master the terminology, which can significantly delay the timeline for project completion. When working on projects that you are not experienced in or uncomfortable with, QC and QA become even more critical.
Remember that professional translators usually specialize in a few subjects, over time becoming so specialized that they hardly take on anything outside of their expertise.
Avoid Being Literal
Translations that sound “corseted” or like a word-for-word carbon copy of a foreign language aren’t going to do you any good. In fact, literal translations are not acceptable unless you are translating technical content. Pharmaceutical translations, engineering, medical, and software material can be translated literally, and when it comes to legal translations, accuracy and precision always take priority over style.
Ensure the Content Flows Smoothly
Every line of text within your translation should serve a purpose, and its syntax must be intentional. Your sentence structure shouldn’t be just conceptually comprehensible, but it must also contain sensible transitions. Sentences that aren’t cohesive will make the reader lose focus and see them making assumptions rather than having a clear understanding of the message.
Understand Cultural Differences
Jokes are not the only things that get lost in translation. Cliches are just as tricky to translate and might lose their meaning once translated. Some words don’t even have direct translations or translate to words that make no sense at all. In Portuguese, the term “massa” can be used to describe pastry, cake mix, or batter, but in English, those three terms each have their own meanings. Small differences like this can alter the meaning of a piece of content, which is not what you want to do. It is your job to determine if specific phrases and words contribute to or reduce the value of a piece of content once translated.
Always Use Your Tools
It is imperative to run your spell checker tool and grammar tool once you have finished a translation. You need to be your own editor and read over the content and compare it to the original. Your translation needs to make perfect sense because readers will not have access to the source material. They also don’t care if the content was translated or how it was translated, they just want to read the material in their own language, and you are the link that allows them to do so. Your final version needs to read as if it was written in the language you translated it to, free of literal translations and directly transferred expressions.
Leave Comments or Notes
In your delivery file, be sure to include your notes or comments. If you have no remarks or notes, it might come across as if you didn’t even have time to do a quality check before submitting your translation. Even if you have no issues to raise, simply state that everything went smoothly. The human touch is what sets professional translators – like Day Translations – apart from Google Translate. Never forget to add your personal touch to the project.
Your colleagues are some of your most valuable resources. Before presenting a translation, ask one of your most qualified co-workers to review the content with the intent and target audience in mind. Constructive criticism and useful critique can help ensure you deliver a flawless translation that gets the exact message across.
Presenting an excellent translation is possible with every single project, as long as you deploy a few smart tactics during and after translating the content. Always remember to run the spelling and grammar check and read your translation out loud to determine if it sounds right and makes sense. Even if you have been translating for years, an additional check by one of your co-workers can help rule out any mistakes and ensure you are confident enough to present your translation.