How to Establish Criteria to Ensure High-Quality Translation
Tagged: quality translation
Different criteria will lead to different translations, meaning that could be thousands of ways of translating the same manuscript. Therefore, rules you believe to be the most important should be listed in order, after which you should then establish a series of translation criteria based on them. This will help you get the translation you desire.
Before translation begins, the translation company or the translation team should come to agreement with the client over the translation criteria; this is a vital factor in a successful translation. If the clients don’t make clear what kind of translation they want, or their requirements are not communicated promptly to the translators, there is little chance of receiving a good translation. Proofreading a manuscript with poor quality translation requires a lot of time and money, and almost every translation company has experienced wasting time and money due to poor quality translations.There are various reasons behind why a translation is successful, but they have one thing in common – which is that the two parties had come to an agreement in advance over translators, styles, standardization of specialized terms, as well as the use of the translation. Doing this will help you save considerable amount of time, money and energy.
It also seems to be important and necessary to establish criteria for a translation project, even for a short manuscript. This may require some time, but is totally worth it. Once the criteria have been established, there is no need for further communication during the translation process, or for repeated modifications. Having understood the importance of establishing translation criteria, the question now is who should establish the criteria. The answer is that it should be everyone involved in the translation project, including the client and the translation company or team.
The client first needs to inform the translation company or team what the source & target languages are, which is a fundamental point of translation work and which – ridiculously – always fails to be mentioned. Sometimes, some clients are unable to determine which translation company is able to provide higher-quality translations, and so make their choice based on personal preference. This may lead to a high-quality translation work being passed, whilst an average or lower-quality one is accepted. Some clients are unaware of the importance of “prior communication,” instead waiting until they find themselves highly disappointed by the finished translation – after which they have to spend time and money on repeated revisions.
The importance of establishing criteria for translation in advance has already been elaborated upon. The following are the points you should take into consideration.
1. Identify your target readers & the article’s special use, e.g. for publishing, internal communication, public speaking, etc.
2. Clarify your expected effect and goals, e.g. on what level an advertising copy should be understood and accepted.
3. Deadline: unlike an examination, translation is not a test of the translators’ skill within a given time. Providing a suitable deadline is recommended.
4. Identify both the theme of the original article and the language style of the target language, without which it is impossible to achieve the desired effects.
5. Clarify which region the target language is to be used in, e.g. there is a large difference in the Spanish used in Spain and in South American.
6. The workload involved in a translation project will have a direct impact on the time it takes to complete. Some IT articles can be finished promptly by a translation team, while for advertising copy it’s better to involve as few translators as possible.
7. There are also different criteria on translation quality for different translation manuscripts, e.g. publishing manuscripts require the highest level of quality and the proofreading process is indispensable. However, manuscripts used in internal communication only need to be accurate and easy to understand.