Determining the Quality of a Translation

Determining the Quality of a Translation | One Hour Translation

When editing a translation, we’re often faced with the task of determining whether the translation we’re checking is accurate and high-quality, or not.

When editing a translation, we’re often faced with the task of determining whether the translation we’re checking is accurate and high-quality, or not.

Our opinions as professionals must always be well grounded, and have nothing to do with the friendship we may or may not have with the translator who delivered the finished product. Fortunately, there are some clear objective factors that help us determine which translations may not meet minimum quality standards; as listed below –

  • As per the original document, the final translation must contain all the sentences and paragraphs. By this we mean that, if there’s a list of synonyms such as dwelling, house, home and so on, all these synonyms must be translated. Failure to do this would mean that the translation is incomplete and would therefore not contain all the ideas expressed in the original document.
  • In no way whatsoever should the translation blatantly modify the meaning or purpose of the original document. By this we mean that you must avoid bringing forth any errors from the original document into the translated document, and translating too literally.
  • Prior to final delivery of the translation, it’s a translator’s job to read through the document to ensure that it complies with the above two points, and to correct any grammatical and/or spelling errors. The use of automatic grammar and spell checkers are very handy for this purpose.
  • The final translated document should consist of a fluid writing style, making it easy to both read and comprehend, because it’s in this way that the message will be effectively delivered. It’s worth noting at this point that language preferences do not necessarily constitute errors.
  • Again, prior to delivering the final translation document, it’s a translator’s responsibility to ensure that all the project’s files are delivered, to prevent appearing inefficient and having to make a second delivery. It’s very important that the translator deliver the translated document on time, thus ensuring that the editing process can commence in a timely manner.
  • Perhaps the most important point to make here is that everyone involved in the translation project must communicate and clarify any doubts immediately, and as professionally as possible. Good communication is the key to a successful translation.

Because we’re all human, it’s only natural that certain problems may arise while working on a translation project, so it’s vitally important that good communication exists between both the client and the translation agency (or translator) in order to prevent, or correct if necessary, any errors that may occur.