The use of software tools that assist during the translation process, such as computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools and Quality Assurance (QA) tools, have become essential enablers for global business. These tools optimize the entire process and enable localization programs to be significantly faster and more efficient – deadlines are met and translation quality can be improved.
Automation Creates Efficiency
Once a document has been translated, and enters the linguistic review stage, QA technology plays a very important role. It automates the necessary checks that would otherwise be time-consuming and inefficient if completed manually and errors could be missed. It is true that QA tools are software programs that work with metrics, so anything that falls out of the parameters will not be covered. Furthermore, software can’t read and analyze a text like a human, so no QA technology tool will be able to replace a professional when it comes to the linguistic review of a complicated translated document. However, automating parts of the QA process frees a lot of time so that the professional linguist performing the review can dedicate more time to other aspects of the program.
Preparation is Key
For an efficient and smooth linguistic review, we need to use QA tools to our advantage by going beyond the basic checks offered by them. The first step is the preparation before receiving the translated files. Preparing client-specific term bases and translation memories (TM) from previous translated documentation, as well as client feedback received, is essential. QA tools can be updated with this information and automatically check the translated documents against them. This ensures nothing is missed and the translation complies as much as possible with the expectations of the client and, ultimately, the brand expectations of their customers.
Update Style Guides
Once the project has been delivered to the client, the terminology databases and TM’s must be updated with the latest information from the translated documents. They must also be updated with client feedback and this feedback must also be used to develop and update the client-specific style guide. When new projects are received, the linguistic team can build on existing brand and product knowledge and the QA tools are properly configured to obtain the best result.
With the time that is saved by using QA technology, the language review team can focus on other important client requirements and preferences, updating client-specific style guides and confirming references and sources. This can be especially important for translation projects relating to the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. Translation of clinical trial documentation can involve cross-referencing other studies and accuracy in line with the source is key.
QA technology tools can’t replace a professional, but the use of QA technology frees up more time to focus on improving the
text quality for the client. The goal is to keep adding value to the linguistic review by improving QA technology and customizing the available tools. This means more projects can be completed to the desired levels of quality.
Based in Barcelona, Mireia Vilalta is Lead Quality Controller at Welocalize
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