Having high-quality translations is essential to standing out in a global market, protects your brand, increases your trustworthiness and helps you win customers. To make sure you’re producing high-quality translations, it’s important to have a feedback mechanism with your customers and follow a consistent, repeatable quality process with your language service provider (LSP). If you’re not sure what your translation quality is, here are three tips to check it.
1. Get a Translation Quality Assessment
You need to have a foundation of data to assess quality. If you don’t have much or any feedback from customers, an LSP can do a translation quality assessment to give you a baseline. Even if you do have a lot of feedback, it’s still important to get an independent quality check because it’s human nature to insert biases and you need objective data. At Net-Translators, we’ve developed a quality methodology that’s repeatable, objective and accurate. Our Quality Assurance (QA) teams use a 40+ point checklist to measure translation quality. We look for all kinds of linguistic, cosmetic and functional things, and assign quality severity levels to each item. We then prepare a detailed report with the results for our clients. We’re one of the few LSPs with a multilingual testing center where all the testing for over 30 languages takes place in one facility. Learn more about our quality method and see some examples of our quality checklist and severity levels. We hosted an online roundtable discussion with experts from Netflix, eBay and Tableau Software where we discussed localization quality; you can watch the discussion here.
2. Solicit Feedback from Your Customers
Getting direct feedback from your customers on translation quality is always a best practice because they are your core audience. If you haven’t gotten any feedback on your translations, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re fine. It often takes an extreme situation, whether it’s positive or negative, for someone to take the time to contact a business. So do what you can to get feedback from customers:
- Meet with your customers – face-to-face, on the phone or through email
- Make yourself accessible – put a phone number or email on your website and / or documentation so that customers can contact you
- Talk to salespeople – they’re a great source of information since they have direct, daily contact with customers
- Put out a survey
As you’re interacting with people, try to get as specific feedback as possible (e.g., “the translations on your set-up graphic were incorrect”) because generalities won’t help much (e.g., “the translations are bad”). Once you have some feedback, it’s still helpful to run the feedback past an LSP because as I mentioned earlier, we all have biases. For example, someone may like a certain word but it may be the preferred term to use for that industry.
3. Know Your LSP’s Quality Process
If you’re using an LSP for translations, do you know what their quality process is? And do they have any quality certifications? Ask your LSP if you’re not sure. You’ve very likely paying for some kind of quality check and it’s beneficial to understand what’s behind that charge. At Net-Translators, we strongly believe in producing the highest-quality content possible. We have quality control checks in place with experienced professionals during each step of the process, including translation, proofreading, desktop publishing (DTP) and QA. We also use tools such as a translation memory (TM) to store translated content and a glossary to manage terminology, which helps increase consistency from project to project while also reducing costs. The TM is always updated with the latest translations, so the translation quality improves over time as more and more content is translated. Many companies require their vendors to have various ISO 9000 quality management certifications because quality is so important. We have the following ISO certifications:
- ISO 13485:2003 – a standard that outlines specific quality management system requirements for companies that provide medical devices and related services
- ISO 9001:2015 – a standard for any business in any industry that outlines general requirements for a quality management system
- ISO 17100:2015 – a standard for translation service providers that outlines specific processes, resources and other items in order to deliver high-quality translations
It’s important to have high-quality translations in order to best serve your global customers. At Net-Translators, we’re devoted to giving our clients the highest-quality translations possible. I invite you to contact our nearest office to get a translation assessment and to join our LinkedIn Group Measuring Localization Quality to learn more about quality.
Webinar “A Practical Approach to Measuring Translation Quality” will give you additional insights and tips about this topic: