How does one measure language quality? What do you do to keep it under control? Learn the basics right here and discover more free resources on Linguistic Quality Management.
What is Translation Quality Management?
Understanding these 5 activities and differences between them is the key to unlocking the power of TQM for your translation organization.
Quality Planning
Start from defining the type of quality you need and how you'll know it's achieved. You can't do that without knowing where you want to go!
Quality Assurance
Next, inspect your process and make sure it gives you the best chance of success. You need to do this repeatedly, as things tend to break.
Quality Control
As translation is being done, inspect and assess the work in progress to minimize the chances of going off track and delivering wrong quality.
Quality Evaluation
Once translation is finished, evaluate the final result to determine whether it meets the expectations defined during planning.
Quality Improvement
After a project completes, analyze the data to understand what happened, make adjustments to processes and train people to avoid mistakes.
A person and an organization must have goals, take actions to achieve those goals, gather evidence of achievement, study and reflect on the data and from that take actions again. Thus, they are in a continuous feedback spiral toward continuous improvement.
W. Edwards Deming
father of modern quality management
How to measure translation quality?
Over the years, several solid approaches to evaluating linguistic quality have been developed and are now widely used across the industry. In many cases, the most balanced solution is a hybrid approach.
Analytic Evaluation
Translation is closely scrutinized for any errors of particular importance. All errors are meticulously logged and categorized. Also called Error Typology evaluation (since each error is assigned a type) and atomistic evaluation.
Holistic Evaluation
Translation is assessed as a whole and the evaluator's subjective feeling about different aspects of quality (e.g. Accuracy and Fluency) are recorded on a simple scale (e.g. Green-Yellow-Red or 1-4). Individual errors are not logged.
Outcome-based Evaluation
An indirect way of evaluating translation quality that can be used for most types of digital content. Requires understanding of business-level metrics being affected by translation and analyzing how they change over time.