Quality Assurance (QA), or the process of ensuring that the translation you request is the best quality possible when returned to you, should be promised by all language providers. If you are in the market for a translation, you are likely wondering what makes the QA process from one provider different from that of another. More importantly, you may also be wondering how this process will work for your translation project in particular. Here are three tips to help you feel more confident that your provider’s QA process works for your agency.
1. Ask about the overall process before you contract the provider. This can save you a lot of time and worry throughout the process if you know what to expect up front. Interview the provider and find out how the they will work to ensure the translation will be accurate and free of errors, and what their assessment process is like when they review your documents before delivery. Make sure they are able to work with linguists who specialize in the type of translations you require (and feel free to ask for their credentials). You should hear answers about the process that ensure proofreading, editing, final revisions and collaboration among the linguists who will work on your project. If you see any red flags, this could be a sign to shop elsewhere.
2. Require that changes made to the text be handled by the linguists themselves. This may seem apparent, but there are providers who will request more information from the linguist as they prepare your documents for delivery without having the linguist review the actual file. Ask that all revisions to files be made directly by the linguist (not over the phone, not via an instant email message or chat, but to the document itself). This way, you can rest assured that the linguist was able to review the file in its entirety when making the revision, which is crucial in the QA process. Without complete context, one might not have enough information to properly revise a phrase or paragraph, and this is where errors and inconsistencies can easily occur.
3. Ask what tools your provider uses in the QA process. Does your provider keep client-specific glossaries, Translation Memories (TMs) and a style guide on hand and provide these to the linguists who will work on the project? Will your provider be willing to work with your in-country reviewers if you have them? What evaluations does the provider have for its linguists and how are they reevaluated for their work?
These three tips will help you to understand the translation process and quality assurance of translations more and help you decide if the process works for you specifically, as you choose the best provider for your agency. Quality Assurance processes are found in all industries, and the translation and interpreting industry is no different.