The Importance of Good Quality Control Policies in Language Translation

Any project manager who has handled a translation project – from coordination and planning to localization – will tell you how important it is to have enough time for quality assessment and control in the translated document. In this way, pilule you can be sure the final document meets the client’s expectation, try and hence earn good reviews and positive referrals from the client for future work.

Why Quality control?

Even where computer-aided translation tools have been used, well trained and experienced translators should be on the job to countercheck aspects of the project that cannot be informed by the computer. These include confirming that the file has been fully translated, sound vocabulary has been used (where or not a glossary was used), whether there is coherence and flow in the document and any spelling and punctuation typos and inconsistencies in the final document.

Prior to delivering the final script/file to the client, the document should be rigorously inspected by multiple parties in order to give the client the best work possible. The success of a translation business relies on delivery of accurate and high quality translations to every client, after all.

Tips for Robust QC in Translation businesses

  • Using Computer-aided Translation (CAT) Tools

The advantage of using a language translation tool comes with the amount of options these present to the translator. It is important to create glossaries and terminology databases for every client’s project. Where there are too numerous, you can divide them according to the business field such as finance, law, medicine or technology. CAT tools make it possible to save a lot of information which makes translation, editing and proofing of future projects much easier.

  • Proofreading

Once the translated script has been edited using the CAT tool, it is important to go through the document carefully in its entirety to verify that the text flows coherently and to detect any errors that could have been missed during the previous stage. As the project manager, your project planning schedule should allow enough time for proofreading by at least two people on the translation team.

  • Design and formatting

Design and formatting become important once the document has been edited and proofread and is ready for delivery. Every translation team should include desktop publishing experts who have their own quality checks to institute. The DTP people will be responsible for ensuring that the final document is in a format comfortable for the client’s use.

If you don’t have a DTP team, you should find tools that can help you switch between formats according to the needs of the client as well as the target audience. Tools such as Error Spy, QA Distiller, Search and Replace and XBench are every translator’s best friend.

The project manager

You can go through the final document before submitting to the client, after both proofreads and the DTP modifications. At this time, conduct a side-by-side check of the original and translated document, ensuring that the client’s requests and instructions have been complied with, and the translated document is closest as possible to the material provided by the client.


The author has amassed a wealth of experienced during how 20+ years working in the translation industry. He likes to share useful information for both clients and service providers concerning language translation, localization, DTP and interpretation among related services.

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