Accuracy as standard
It seems obvious that a good translation should be “accurate”, but we need to be careful about how we measure accuracy.
For a technical manual, or a legal contract, it’s normal to aim for a translation which exactly captures the detail and sense of the original text. But, if we were to translate a client’s homepage and mission statement, the likelihood is that we should be aiming for something that has a bit of spirit and reads better than a word-by-word literal translation. Instead the client would want us to be “accurate” in capturing the way they want to present themselves.
How do we ensure accuracy?
First, we need to make sure everyone involved understands the purpose and context of the translation. So we employ Project Managers who are qualified professional linguists and have a wide range of experience. We use creative briefs to make sure we’ve understood the context and goals. We have several techniques, which include business practice / policies as well as technology, to try and ensure that if we pick the right team of translators, we can then keep that team available for that account over time. This use of teams is at the heart of what we do. We have a deep pool of native, professionally qualified translators and we select the people with exactly the right experience and brief them properly.
Once a translation has been done it’s revised. The reviser will look at the brief, look at what’s been done, and revise the translation. When returning the work he or she will also complete a detailed quality assurance scorecard which is assessed by the Project Manager, fed back to the Translator, and permanently attached to the job. The scorecard, together with any Client feedback which we of course welcome, helps us implement a process of continual Quality Assurance. Translators are not only ranked but also given all the information they need to stay right at the top of their game.
Lastly, where appropriate, we make full use of glossaries and the technical tools that help ensure consistency of terms.