The Importance of Quality Assurance in Translation Projects

Feb 21, 2023 | Translation

Ensuring Quality Management

In the simplest terms, translation is the process of conveying the same message from one language to another. However, the translation process is never as simple or straightforward. To get a quality translation, you need to consider the target audience, the nuances of the language and the cultural factors. These factors combine to impact the translation quality.

For this reason, it is important to develop a system to ensure quality assurance in translation projects. But even the definition of a quality translation can divide linguistic experts. Setting a standard for quality assurance is the first step to ensure that translation quality management is consistent for all language services, regardless of the target language.

In this guide, you will discover the importance of quality translation and the steps to maintain quality assurance in translation.

Translation team looking at documentsWhat is Quality Assurance in Translation?

Quality assurance (QA) means that the translated text or project meets the predefined standard of translation quality. All translation projects should adhere to these standards to ensure that the final product maintains the contextual nuances of the source language, along with the meaning and the tone of the message.

Part of the reason why measuring the translated content’s quality is difficult to evaluate is due to the cultural and regional aspects that influence the original text. The professional translator must remain faithful to the linguistic and cultural factors of the original text.

To give you a better idea of the concept, here are the guidelines used when performing translation quality assurance:

• It is free of spelling or grammar mistakes.

• The translators employed the correct terminology throughout the translated content.

• The meaning of the source text is preserved accurately in the final output.

• The style is consistent with the source material.

• The quality of the translated content is consistent with the original text.

• It has adapted the cultural-specific elements of the translation project.

• The elements are adapted to fit the target audience.

• The translation meets the specific guidelines and requirements for the project.

How Quality Assurance Ensures Accurate Translation

Does quality assurance in translation automatically guarantee translation accuracy? The short answer is yes.

The process of translation quality assurance involves many elements and steps. Based on the components of quality assurance in the translation project listed above, accuracy is one of the areas evaluated for quality.

It guarantees that the text is translated correctly and follows the right format. It considers the linguistic elements of the translation while addressing the nuances of the source language and how that is adapted to the target language. A quality translator is someone who understands beyond the literal translation of the source text as well as the overall meaning of the document.

Benefits of Translation Quality Assurance

The translation quality assurance process can be lengthy and demanding, but it is critical to ensure that translations are accurate, reliable and appropriate for the target audience.

Quality assurance includes a range of tasks, such as proofreading, editing, reviewing, and testing to ensure that the translation meets the required standards of accuracy, fluency and consistency. Therefore, improving this process offers both translation agencies and clients several benefits.

Translator writing notesImproved Translation Accuracy

Accuracy is essential for any document, especially in the technical industries. Accuracy is a comprehensive term, but the best way to define it as it applies to the translation industry is to preserve the original document’s meaning upon translation. The meaning and tone of the content should not change, even during the translation process.

Therefore, translators consider cultural factors and nuances to maintain accuracy when dealing with translation projects. It requires a certain level of expertise in the language to ensure that they are correctly conveyed in another language.

Consistent Translation Terminology

Consistency is an important part of the quality assurance process. Performing editor checks help spot any inconsistencies with certain terminologies and phrases. Whether or not you rely on machine translation tools, being consistent in using certain terms for a specific industry impacts the overall quality of your translation services.

Translation companies committed to providing higher translation quality should focus on using tools to ensure that these terms are consistent throughout the text.

Better Client Satisfaction

Language providers that want to improve client satisfaction must invest in the translation quality assurance process. In today’s globalized world, accurate and consistent translation is crucial for businesses and organizations to communicate effectively with their audience.

As such, clients expect high-quality translations that accurately reflect their intended message. Accuracy and consistency are two factors that directly impact quality translation. If you meet these criteria, your translated text should satisfy your clients in any industry.

For example, in the medical or legal field, accurate translation is essential to ensure that documents are interpreted correctly, while consistency helps ensure that the terms and concepts are used in a consistent manner.

Increased Productivity and Efficiency

Quality translation does not happen by chance. It results from a systematic approach to the quality assurance process in translation. If you employ the most effective process, it improves your level of productivity and efficiency.

Woman sitting at a desk and working on her laptopEvery translation project is unique. Therefore, employing the services of a language industry expert and having the right quality assurance process work together to ensure that you achieve your translation goals without any errors or losing their meaning.

Common Techniques for Quality Assurance in Translation

Performing quality assurance in translation involves a range of methods to make sure that the translated text closely matches the source content. It is critical to use a combination of techniques to identify any errors or inconsistencies in the translation and make the necessary corrections.

Translation Memory

Translation memory is a database containing the sentences, paragraphs or texts used in previously translated content. It taps into the power of artificial intelligence to collect that information for you, such that you can rely on them for future translation projects.

The aim of translation memory is to improve the speed and accuracy of your language services. It is useful when working on documents that repeatedly use the same words and phrases. Translation memory enables you to stay consistent in translating those words, which helps maintain quality in your final output.

It supports your localization process but is not the only quality assurance tool you must rely on for translation. After all, the translation memory is only effective for a specific language pair. If you are a professional linguist working with translation in multiple languages, you must build target segments for each of these languages.

Leveraging the power of machine translation or computer-assisted translation brings many benefits to your projects, such as consistency and improving your efficiency.

Glossary Management

Man sitting at a desk and doing translation workGlossary management is different from machine translation or translation memory. However, it is a distinctive quality assurance tool in translation and is better suited for technical projects.

Glossary management is a system that collects data about specific terminology, termbase, or lexicon. It is a centralised database storing industry-specific terms pre-approved in a previously translated text. Translation companies rely on this glossary of terms to avoid translation errors, making it a vital aspect of the QA process.

Effective glossary management includes all the key terms used in the source text and the pre-approved translations. It eliminates the common mistakes when translating specialized content, which also helps save time for the localization engineer or project manager performing translation quality assurance. It also helps remove any ambiguities when dealing with those unique terms.

Linguistic Quality Assessment

The linguistic quality assessment marks the final step of the quality assurance of the translation process. The biggest challenge for performing linguistic quality assurance is quantifying the assessment process. Linguistic quality experts use various criteria to evaluate the translated content.

Linguistic quality assessment is an independent review process that helps to spot possible errors and ensure quality management. The goal of quality assurance in translation using an independent assessment is to ensure that the translated text fits the intended purpose and is on brand.

The most important benefit of linguistic quality assessment is the long-term improvement of translation quality. It identifies trends by pointing out common mistakes and successes in quality. Based on these trends, they can recommend systematically improving the quality of translations using tangible data and developing a translation management system.

Peer Review

Peer review is another technique you can use for quality assurance in translation. There are several types of translation reviews for quality assurance.

Translator peer review is one of the most common methods for translation QA, which requires another translator to look over the translation project. It is their intent to spot translation errors, inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Their expertise as translators will provide insight into quality management to improve the quality of the final document.

Woman translating documents on her laptopAnother form of translation QA process involves a subject matter expert. The proofreader checks any information translated into the document to ensure quality and accuracy; specifically, the editor makes sure that no essential information is missing from the source text upon translating into the new document. Preserving the original text is the primary goal when translating from one language to another.


You can get several benefits when you employ quality assurance in translation. Use the information in this guide to help you build an efficient quality management system to  improve quality, speed, and accuracy.

You should also employ different techniques to achieve the final product that meets the required standard. From working with a translator who is a native speaker of the subject, hiring linguistic experts to perform proofreader checks and using translation memory, every step is critical in the QA process.

My Language Connection provides expert translation services. From understanding your project to quality project management, and delivery and follow-up, we’ll ensure that your message is accurately conveyed so you can better communicate with your customers worldwide. Contact us today and find out how we can help you cross borders.

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