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5 Tips For Good Quality Control in Translation

It is essential in the translation industry that all projects, no matter their size or complexity, be translated accurately and meet a high-quality standard. The translation process is delicate and even the most experienced translator will inevitably make an error.
The quality of a translation can be crucial to the success and satisfaction of both the client and the translator. Many translators submit their work without revisions or checks, which leads to clients receiving poor outputs. Therefore, quality assurance processes are pivotal.

USTC’s workflow has its own department dedicated exclusively to checking up on translations and ensuring they are free from any errors. At USTC, we place great importance on quality control procedures because we are aware that they should not be overstated.


What is quality control and how does it function?

Quality control (QC) in translation is a process performed to ensure that translation meets predetermined standards of quality. QC involves setting standards for quality, testing translations to see if they meet those standards, and taking corrective action if they do not. Several different methods can be used to test translation for quality. These methods include visual inspection, measuring devices, and various types of testing. Visual inspection is the most basic form of QC, and it simply involves looking at the translated product to see if it meets the standards that have been set. Measuring devices can be used to more accurately identify whether or not a translation meets the required standards. Various types of testing can also be used to determine the quality of a product or service. Once the translation has been determined to not meet the required standards, corrective action must be taken. This corrective action can involve anything from making changes to the translation product to scrapping the entire batch of it. The goal of corrective action is to ensure that the final translated product meets the required standards of quality. Quality control is an important part of any translation industry. At USTC, we avoid costly mistakes and improve customer satisfaction by ensuring that the services meet predetermined standards.

5 Tips for effective quality control

It is important to have a clear and concise quality control plan in place before starting any translations. This should include guidelines on what constitutes an error, who is responsible for checking the quality of the translation, and how often checks should be conducted.
Below are 5 tips for an effective quality control process.

1. Understand customer’s requirements

When performing quality control in translation, it is important to understand the customer’s requirements and directives. This can be done by asking the following questions:

  • Is there any direction from the customer regarding the file format(s) they require? 
  • Have they inquired about signing a non-disclosure agreement? 
  • The target audience: Who will be reading the translated document?
  • What tone should be used in the translated text?
  • Are there any specific instructions from the customer regarding the translation?
  • Is the information true when it was last updated and if it is outdated?

    If you want to maintain a high level of quality control in a translation, you must ensure that all of those conditions are met and the answer to them is yes.


2. Provide translation details

When your document is sent to a translator for translation, it should be accompanied by a brief that provides context and information on how the translation will be utilized, including information about the audience reading the translation.
This will help the translator understand how to approach the task and produce a translation that is appropriate for its intended use. It will also eliminate the need to clarify these elements throughout the process, which, in turn, will help to speed up the translation process.

The following are some elements that should be included in a translation brief:


  • The purpose of the translation: Is it for internal use only, or will it be published?
  • Any specific terminology that needs to be used: industry-specific jargon or terms that may not be familiar to the translator.
  • Any regional considerations: If the target audience is located in a specific region, the translator should be aware of any cultural nuances that need to be taken.


3. Develop project guidelines

We believe that it is a great deed to collaborate with the top linguists in your target language for the best translation quality. Therefore, at USTC, we collaborate with local translation providers to develop officially sanctioned glossaries to use in translation. In addition to introducing your brand standards and corporate style rules, a dictionary should thoroughly explain the permitted vocabulary.
Ultimately, the key to success is clear and consistent communication with all of your translation partners. By ensuring that everyone is on the same page, we avoid many potential problems down the line.


4. Incorporate relevant source text

It is essential to have good source text when having something translated. If the source text is poorly written, it will most likely result in a poor translation. This happens when communications are poorly constructed, contain too many customer abbreviations, or utilize inconsistent terminology.
For instance, your workplace might employ two different terms for the same item. Some colleagues use the word collision guard while others use corner bumper; both are the same. This is tricky and can impair the translator’s work. 

At USTC, we make sure that these types of inconveniences are avoided. We communicate with our clients beforehand so that we can eliminate any potential issues. We also have a glossary of terms that we make sure to update regularly. This way, we are always on the same page as our clients and can provide high-quality translations.


5. Provide translation details

The proofreading stage is the final quality check before the translation is delivered to the client. The translator should check the translation for any errors or inaccuracies and make any necessary final corrections. This ensures that the client receives a high-quality, accurate translation.

Our professional translators at USTC believe that a good rule of thumb is to proofread the translation twice, once for content and once for form. Checking for content includes making sure that all the information in the original text has been translated accurately and completely. Checking for forms includes making sure that the grammar, punctuation, and spelling are all correct.

Once these simple steps are completed you can start performing quality control on the translated text.


Good quality control in translation is the very foundation of the translation process.
At USTC, we believe that commitment is the most important factor when it comes to providing high-quality translations. We go through rigorous checks and procedures so you can be sure your text was translated with care.
If you’re looking for high-quality translations, contact us today. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and provide a free quote. Thank you for choosing USTC!

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