In-depth Guide to Evaluate Translation Quality


In-depth Guide to Evaluate Translation Quality
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

8/20/2020

A high-quality translation is all about translating the content of the original text with appropriate words, without any errors. A translation service provider will be unable to deliver the right translated content unless their translators are fluent in the language. However, numerous website translation services claim to deliver the best quality, so how can you judge if a translation service provider has done the best quality work?

How to assess the quality of a translation

A good quality translation should convey the tone and the message as precisely as possible. The translation services should consider regional and cultural factors while translating for the target customer. The following factors can determine translation quality:

  • Translated content rightly conveys the meaning of the original text
  • Words and expressions used are in-line with the target audience
  • No room for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
  • Follow guidelines for dates, addresses, and measurements
  • Preserve the style of the source material
  • Uphold consistency and flow
  • Meet all the requirements of the client

Evaluating errors

For any professional translation services, errors play a major role in assessing a translated piece. These errors could be in the form of using the wrong term, adding anew word, or excluding a word. Spelling, punctuations, or syntax is another form of error. Non-compliance with glossary and style/register guides fall under the error of compliance.

The gravity of errors is equally important. Some errors can be overlooked as they don’t affect the usability and understanding of the translated content. However, few mistakes are just not worth the risk. A good translation service provider will look into these errors and categorize them to produce a high-quality translation.

Double and triple quality check

A reliable document translation services will use editors and translators who speak the local language. It is crucial to have someone translate the document who understands the local language and lingo – a local resident. Expertise in the subject matter also goes a long way in assuring a high-quality translation.

To get the best quality translation, an experienced language translator plays a vital role, but that in itself is not enough. A translation process should go through a double and triple quality check.

Once the first round of translation is over, it should be sent to another experienced linguist for editing
The editor then compares the translated piece with the source text and ensures an error-free translation
The first translator incorporates changes and revises to finalize the translated document 
To ensure if all the client’s requirements are met, one last check of assessment is necessary 

Ways to assess the quality of translation

  • Look at whether all the meaning in the source document has been accurately translated. No addition or exclusion of sentences or important words
  • You need to check each sentence and phrase
  • The flow of the text should be easy to understand
  • The text should not be unclear, leading to misinterpretation
  • Should have a similar tone and style as of the original text
  • Check for spelling and grammar errors 
  • Use a spell checker
  • Double-check on names, dates, and numbers

How to make sure you receive a high-quality translation

  • Always go for business translation services that use experienced translators and editors for an error-free business document
  • Opinions can differ, especially when more than two people are involved. Try to resolve differences and come to a conclusion to not cause further delays
  • Discuss who will have the final say, translator, or the reviewer

A reliable company is one which understands the requirement of the client. But the success of a good translation project depends on the client as well. The client has to provide a clear timeline, provide sufficient material on time, quickly answer any questions, and above all, be flexible and approachable.

In conclusion

Translation is not easy, and to assess the translated document is even more taxing. A high-quality translation can be achieved when a translation services company follows best practices, adhere to strict checking policies, and communicate at all points in the process.


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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc an Orange County, California based company that has been providing accurate and affordable transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed success at GMR for almost ten years now and has helped the company grow. Within two years of Beth managing GMR Transcription, it had doubled in sales and was named one of the OC Business Journal’s fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she likes spending time with her husband and two kids.