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
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:
- 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.
- Quality is "Fitness for use" (Joseph M. Juran). Fitness is
defined by the customer; example: A software translation has to
respect space limitations.
- 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.
- Quality is "Value to some person" (Gerard M. Weinberg.
- 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
- 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
* From Wikipedia