Global communication has never been more important than now and that means that translators are busy helping aid communication wherever there is a language barrier. If your business or organisation needs a lot of translation done for them, then you will want to be assured of the quality of the translation. Good translators and translation companies ensure they have effective translation quality assurance steps embedded in how they deal with translation requests. How can you be sure that a translator you approach does take quality assurance seriously?
Translation quality depends on a number of factors being present. The most important ones are described below.
1. Language fluency is essential
You should expect that the translator you have given your work to has the necessary fluency in your own language as well as the language you want your documents or material translated into. You don’t want someone who is able to translate English and Spanish as a language pair to tackle Portuguese unless they definitely state that they are proficient in that language as well. Language fluency does not include depending on computer tools like Google Translate, which is only suitable for amateur or non essential translation tasks.
2. Subject matter knowledge may be needed
While some translators may profess to be ‘generalists’ many others will specialise in one type of translation task or another. It is important that for quality assurance purposes that the translator you use is familiar with the subject matter and terminology used in the document or text you want translating. There are specialised legal translators, medical translators, scientific translators, literary translators and marketing translators just to mention a few.
3. Check for national standards in translation quality.
Many countries have developed standards that govern translation quality. In the E.U., for example, EN 10538 is the standard used by the European Committee for Standardisation in Translation. Not all translators are capable of providing the assurance that meets this standard. In Australia, many translations must by law be performed by professional translators who have been accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). These sorts of examples are ways in which the client seeking a translation can be more confident that its quality is what they expect to obtain.
4. Quality assurance provided by internal editing and proofreading
Good translators and translation agencies ensure that there is a system in place to check all translated documents. This may or may not mean that more than one person is involved in the translation as well as the all important editing and proofreading phases, but without the latter two steps, there is no guarantee that the translation performed is accurate or modified in such a way that it matches who the eventual readers are.