Language services: Is there a better way to track and measure translation quality?

translation qualityAs your company grows and expands across the globe, your language and content needs are also evolving. From video to social media to product documentation—you’ve got a lot of multilingual content to keep up with (in multiple languages).

Naturally, you want to be sure that it’s effective. After all, you’ve invested a lot of time and money into it—and there can be a lot at stake if translation quality levels aren’t where they should be.

Poor quality can put your corporate brand at risk and, in some cases, your clients and customers, too.

Let’s talk about some challenges companies face in this arena and some potential solutions available to help you get a better grasp on translation quality management in your company.

Why measuring and tracking quality can be difficult

With language services, quality tends to be pretty subjective. Mistakes can be more than grammar and spelling. Style, brand terminology, regulation requirements—all these areas need to be considered when measuring translation quality.

This can be daunting to track and measure when processing thousands of words daily in multiple languages. Take Microsoft. The company provides over 60 applications and services, and has continuous releases. With over 3,000 people involved in the language services process and translating into over 100 languages, it can be difficult to measure translation quality levels.

Not to mention that companies may have different quality requirements—and processes—for each type of content they produce. Their messages may change in purpose, possibly giving rise to different definitions of quality. For example, high-quality advertising content may require a witty, stylized tone, whereas product instructions need to be clear and to the point.

These are just some reasons why it can be difficult to get a solid understanding of translation quality levels for each language and content type produced.

Getting your arms around it all

Because of these challenges, some companies choose to outsource translation quality management to global language solutions companies like PK.

PK does this for many global companies, acting as a true partner in their international market-spanning endeavors. We become experts on your products and service offerings as well as your brand terminology and goals. With this information we draft quality plans and solutions to help you get translation quality where it needs to be. Just think of us as an extension of your own team—your independent language services quality experts.

One of the ways we do this is through our robust translation management system. There are many human touch points in the translation workflow. Our technology can pinpoint any changes made in the translation process, show who made the changes and also show why they were made.

With this data we can implement new solutions to help you see fewer changes to your translated content over time—which can make your process much more efficient.

For example, if we see your internal reviewers making changes repeatedly because of brand terminology or stylistic reasons, we can help you create style guides and glossaries that outline exactly how your brand terms should be used and addressed, as well as punctuation guidelines and more. Maybe you want all bullets to end in a period or each bullet to start with a capital letter. Creating these multilingual resources helps ensure these expectations are met right away. Then we’ll take these language services resources and actually train your linguist teams on them so they understand how you want content translated.

We’ll highlight any trends we see and provide you with these quality reports so you can see how each language is performing and where to focus your time when it comes to improving translation quality levels.

This information also helps you have meaningful discussions with your internal and external teams about translation quality, giving you peace of mind that what you release to market is fully checked and validated.

Now we want to hear from you! How do you ensure that your translations meet your quality expectations?

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