Quality of translation, quality of the translator



Quality Translator, Quality of the translator




Quality of translation


Quality of translation depends upon the quality of the translator



It is a well known fact that the quality of a translation depends upon the quality of the translator and the quality of the translator depends on the translator's education, talent, the source text and reference material given to him/her.

We at TRADUguide believe that the quality of a translation depends on both professional commitment and professional competency and we again believe in John Ruskin's ideology that "Quality is never an accident it is always the result of intelligent effort." (John Ruskin, 1819-1900)

What is quality of translation?


The term quality of translation is used to refer to the desirability of properties or characteristics of a translated text or content. 


The term quality of translation is often used in opposition to quantity of translation.

Different concepts of quality


"In manufacturing quality is the concept of making products fit for a purpose and with fewest defects. Many different techniques and concepts have been tried to minimize defects in production, including Zero Defects, Six Sigma, and the House of Quality."*


Thus, in the translation process quality would be the concept of making the target text (the translated text) fit for a purpose and with the fewest errors (in terms of sense, grammar, orthography, style, omissions, etc.)


Different meanings for the term quality


The meaning for the term quality has developed over time. Five distinctive interpretations:

  1. Quality is "Conformance to specifications" (Phil Crosby in the 1980s). The difficulty with this is that the specifications may not be what the customer wants; example: A translated song text has no errors (in terms of orthography, grammar ...) but it has not enough vocals; the musical texture is destroyed.
  2. Quality is "Fitness for use" (Joseph M. Juran). Fitness is defined by the customer; example: A software translation has to respect space limitations.
  3.  A two-dimensional model of quality (Noriaki Kano and others). The quality has two dimensions: "must-be quality" and "attractive quality". The former is near to fitness for use and the latter is what the customer would love, but has not yet thought about: example: The translation of my tattoo looks great, mystic, etc. Supporters characterize this model more succinctly as: "Products and services that meet or exceed customers' expectations". An encyclopedia* says that this is today the most used interpretation for the term quality.
  4. Quality is "Value to some person" (Gerard M. Weinberg.
  5. Quality as "Result of intelligent effort" (John Ruskin); Translation is understanding.

Quality objectives of translators


  • Attract and retain customers through consistently superior service
  • Understand and analyze the requirements of customers and work towards meeting them - for instance use of corporate terms in the translated document
  • Plan and implement schedules such that customer expectations on delivery are met - the translation is needed for a trade fair
  • Develop and implement review and / or editing plans to ensure that only reliable translations are delivered



Test the quality of translation


It is impossible to know for sure whether the translator you choose is providing the quality of translation s/he says. 

Therefore, we recommend asking for a free translation sample to verify his/her skills.


* From Wikipedia


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