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Quality Assurance in Translation: What Are the Limits?


It’s extremely important to meet the public’s expectations respecting functionality, price, and… presentation. For customers, the better a product is presented, the more reliable a company is. Making a great input into the company’s image on foreign markets, translation quality must be assured.

Digital quality assurance tools are numerous, but the thing is that they are not always perfect. The same relates to the QA done by any human. There are certain limits that need to be considered.

Automated QA tools

CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools brought good progress to the translation industry. Formatting of original documents and consistency of terminology are carefully guarded by tags and glossaries, while quality is not.

Most CAT tools nowadays contain a QA function, that’s true. Unfortunately, the verification process is still unable to catch plenty of errors. The QA tools aren’t good at identifying linguistic errors, which can be harmful to the overall impression of the end product.

Human QA

The quality assessed by a digital QA tool might be not enough for a customer, even if the document seems technically perfect. In this case, it’s checked by a proofreader who uses the quality assessment form and can improve such linguistic details as style and appropriate word choice.

The Limits of the QA Process

Both ways to conduct QA have their drawbacks. An automated QA lacks linguistic judgment; a human QA may ignore technical errors. Remember this: quality control can also lack control. Unless new approaches to QA are found, the only way out is to look through automatically marked errors, read the text once again, and make sure the most important linguistic issues are resolved.

For more details, please check out the source article on the topic here.

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