How to define quality in translation
Translation services have opened the global doors of business. Companies can now localize their content into languages their target audience can relate to. In order to stay relevant and increase market share in new markets, you need to offer quality translations. With numerous agencies and freelancers claiming to offer quality translation services, it is practically impossible to select the right partner. To make this selection easier, here are five elements for you to consider.
First make your content perfect
The content you’re creating is going to be translated eventually. Or at least that is what you need to assume. Being aware of this will improve the quality of translations in the long run.
- Adhere to good writing practices,
- use terminology consistently,
- write in clear and concise standards
All this will save you time, cost and hassle. You can also
- create a glossary of words that are frequently used in your content, and
- store your translated content in a translation memory database, effectively a library of your own translated sentences.
All this will reduce the subsequent need for translating the same content over and over again.
Choose the right language service provider (LSP)
In choosing the right translation agency, you can do several things:
- look at samples of their work so you can see if it meets your requirements
- work with certified agencies, as they should have more reliable procedures (such as NDAs, ISO certification, etc.).
Some agencies also specialize in technical fields such as medicine, technology, law or pharmaceuticals. Therefore, choosing a translation provider with experience and references in your industry will ensure you get a satisfactory service.
Keep open communication channels
- Make sure you are on the same page as your translation service provider,
- provide feedback to help them improve the quality of their service (this allows quick adjustments and preferences).
- build a professional relationship with your LSP by working with them over time (stick to one and try not to continuously swap suppliers before decided to request another service).
Allow time for research
Translation projects are always urgent. Customers are always in a hurry and we all have to meet deadlines. But bear in mind that your LSP will need time to research complex terminology or concepts. Be reasonable when negotiating delivery time.
Make sure the process includes quality assurance
Finally, decide what your QA strategy should be. Your translation agency should perform their own quality assurance. But subject matter experts (SMEs) within your own company (internal reviewers) should also review translated work for possible errors. Or simply to check that the translation uses your preferred terminology.
In conclusion, to achieve quality in translation, decide what is most important for you and for your project. Is it accuracy? Speed or timeliness? Is it actually all about formatting? The clearer your request, the easier it will be for your translator to produce the desired result.