How I Evaluate Translations

July 20th, 2012
How I Evaluate Translations

Due to my experience in the translation industry, I am frequently called upon to review others’ work and to help train other translators in how to evaluate and review an initial translation.

The first thing I do when evaluating a translation is to read the source text completely, focusing on the message and the delivery style. Next, I compare the translation to the source text to verify that the same message and delivery style were carried over into the target language as closely as possible.

Once I have completed these two tasks, I then go back through the translated text word by word looking for the following:

 

1.  Did the translator comprehend the source text, and is that expertise conveyed in the translated text?

2.  Does the translation flow naturally in the target language or would a different choice of words be better?

3.  Is the translation correct for the intended audience? Did the translator use the correct dialect and localized language?

4.  Is the text consistent? Were words and phrases consistent throughout the translation?

5.  How accurate is the translated text? Are there any typographical, spelling or grammar mistakes?

6.  Were the numbers and/or measurements translated correctly? Are the conversions accurate?

7.  Are names, trademarks and other non-translatable words preserved from the source text?

8.  Was proper punctuation used for the target language?

 

With this handy checklist and a consistent routine, I am able to effectively evaluate a translation to ensure accuracy, quality and professionalism. I am also able to then provide substantive feedback to the client and the translator based on my evaluation. This not only builds value to our client but also improves the skills of our translators, resulting in a win-win situation for everyone.