How to guarantee quality in translation | Stillman Translations
How to guarantee quality in translation

To determine and guarantee quality in translation, we must start by being able to measure it, and to do so, we need to be able to define it. This involves analyzing what it means to ensure quality within a translation. 

Our QA Manager, Cecilia Yalangozian shared some really important information with us about how to ensure quality when it comes to translation and why is it important.  

1.What is quality in translation?  

As a general definition, it is an end message that strikes the same chords as the original. 

But more precisely, a quality translation is two things — a job that complies with the client’s view on quality and a job that complies with Stillman’s view on quality.  

More than merely linguistically-accurate translations, for us, quality is a procedure well-adapted to a project’s needs, with an open, circulating communication between all involved parties, and a unified stance before our linguistic criteria.

To achieve such stance, we base our view on years of experience, and we provide daily updated references to our linguists so that we are all aligned with expectations. Our main goal is to use our best knowledge to provide clients with quality translations to their best knowledge. 

2.Why is there a need for high-quality language translation? 

There are plenty of reasons why we need high-quality translations. As linguists, we have a key role in communication, and the quality of our work can be crucial. We work towards contributing to the understanding and empathy between people and entities. In this way, we aim to reduce misunderstandings and consequent conflicts between them. We consider that, when aiding in the correct communication between people and entities, equal opportunities are available to all. Our goal as translators is also to treat clients and audiences with the same level of respect and professionalism. 

3.Which software or procedures are recommended to ensure quality within translation? 

As regards procedures, we recommend inhouse reviews when certain conditions are met. For instance, when dealing with big projects that have been set with rolling deliveries, having a second pair of eyes overseeing the whole process can be beneficial for all. 

In regards to technology, although there are widely-available tools that are used to guarantee quality in translation, we always aim to take a step further. Every time we face translation and QA software, we look for the advanced features and try to adapt their possibilities to our needs. As most linguists in our industry, we use the Verify feature in Trados, the Run QA feature in MemoQ, Xbench and its checklists, Verifika, etc.

However, our goal is to go the extra mile and improve the default settings with personalized options, either with macros, regular expressions, power searches, wildcards, and any other available option. If its customizable, we will customize it for sure! And, in doing so, we ensure that our client’s preferences, style guides and instructions have been considered when working on their projects. 

4. How do we provide high-quality translations at Stillman Translations? 

To get the results we want, we first need to clarify our expectations. For that, we have established a way of working in which we are always in close contact with all our linguists, answering their specific questions, providing necessary training sessions, offering detailed feedback, and making sure that the criteria is understood.

We care about quality

However, quality is not only achieved through the linguistic tasks, but also in the setup and adherence to appropriate processes. Our QA Department works closely with the Production and the Vendor Departments to design, create, test, apply, and assess different processes that will have a positive impact in overall quality. These processes are flexible and constantly evolving to better fit the needs of our clients. We are always ready to take on new challenges! 

At the same time, we have invested in recycling every piece of information that our clients have ever shared with us. Therefore, we put together folders with reference information for every account, as a means of ensuring consistency with our previous work and to avoid asking clients for the same information over and over again.

This is where the open, circulating information that I mentioned before has the greatest impact. Every person involved in a project is well-aware of what has happened with the same account before and can make informed decisions when the time comes. 

Of course, whenever there is a doubt, whether it is in the translation, proofreading, DTP, or review stage, we are always willing to clarify it or contact the client with the doubt. No question goes unanswered.