The Importance of a Thorough QA

As a result of the experience I’ve gained through the coordination and planning of translation and localization projects, I’ve discovered the importance of setting aside enough time to perform a thorough quality control, which is often the key to getting good customer feedback.

It’s in the quality control stage when we check to see if the files are complete, if there’s coherence among them, if the vocabulary is sound (the use of a glossary is ideal), and whether there are spelling mistakes or inconsistencies throughout the text . All these points should be subject to a rigorous check before making the final delivery. In this way, we can save time and ensure that the customer receives a product of the highest quality. And as we all know, quality standards in the world of translation are of the essence.

It is advisable that we generate translation memories, glossaries and terminology databases for each customer, as well as databases for each area or field of study that we face, such as technology, finance, law, medicine, etc. With the help of these control engines, we can more easily verify the level of excellence of the translations.

It is very important that we go through all the necessary steps of a translation project (TEP) to detect serious errors and to verify that the text as a whole is cohesive. Therefore, as project manager, it is very important when planning the schedule of a project, to leave an adequate amount of time for the proofreading step.

Design and formatting also come into play during the quality control stage. The design team in charge of DTP should perform their own quality control prior to the project manager’s last check before sending the files to the client.

Luckily, we have tools that help us accomplish this objective control over the translations. Tools such as XBench, Search and Replace, QA Distiller and Error Spy are a translation’s QA best friends.

The last step is a “side-by-side” comparison of the original file with the translated document to ensure that it has been rendered as close to the original as possible.

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