During translation, it is almost impossible to avoid accuracy errors only with carefulness and attention. Process management systems can be used to improve translation accuracy. This article describes how to use processes and systems to prevent accidental and objective errors based on personal experience.
The year of 2019 is "Year Pursuing Best Quality" for the translation team of the company. The summary report of the management level for 2018 shows the company's expectation and determination to achieve quality improvement in 2019. The year of 2018 was also the first whole year I spent in the reviewer team in the company. I hope to share my experience of this year to facilitate the quality improvement.
Quality is critical to the survival of an enterprise, but quality is defined differently for different industries. Even for translation and review, quality can be understood from different perspectives. Based on past learning and work experience, I have found the quality of translation has two main aspects: accuracy and readability. Accuracy includes linguistic accuracy and technical accuracy. Linguistic accuracy refers to the absence of language errors in translation, for example, spelling errors, punctuation errors, and grammatical errors. Technical accuracy refers to correct professional terms, knowledge points and logic. The definition of readability is more ambiguous than that of accuracy, and it can be basically determined from the following aspects: whether the translation is simplified, whether the translation conforms to the habit of target readers, and whether the language is natural. From my understanding, in translation quality management, the linguistic accuracy is the basis of the whole quality, and the readability is the final decisive factor of the quality. Translations with uncertain accuracy certainly cannot meet the quality requirements of customers. Translations with the absence of accuracy are unreadable. Therefore, I will focus on how to improve the linguistic accuracy.
In my daily work, I find it almost impossible to avoid accuracy errors only with carefulness and attention, especially in long-time word processing where lack of attention is almost inevitable. Therefore, from my point of view, there is a high probability of occurrence of accuracy errors if you have been doing translation and review for a long time, or even accuracy errors definitely occur. Based on such an understanding, we hope to avoid accuracy errors through processes and systems.
In my work summary of 2018 and my future work objectives, I expressed my desire to have zero quality complaints from clients in 2019. To achieve this goal, I put forward the following ideas in terms of how to improve the quality with processes and systems. As a whole, it has been proved by the practice that they have positive effect on quality assurance.
1. Work out an appropriate task schedule to avoid delivery in haste. Time pressure is a major cause of quality problems. In the review process, we find that quality problems are more likely to occur at the end of translation. One of the reasons is that translators are under great pressure as the deadline is approaching, resulting in a significant decrease in attention and concentration.
2. Effectively implement the translation and review processes. After continual improvement, it can be ensured all translation and review steps, including tool-based check and Q&A processes, are effectively completed by translators and reviewers through translation and review processes. Failure to comply with translation and review processes may lead to serious accuracy problems such as incorrect terms, spelling, and expression.
3. Use all kinds of quality assurance tools. Many accuracy errors occur due to improper software settings or use. Proper use of software can help us significantly reduce the probability of occurrence of errors.
4. Carry out quality check during translation and review. Check is usually made after the translation and review based on the translation and review processes. We can learn from experience that carrying out quality check during translation and review can increase the efficiency of the check and also reduce the workload and difficulty of check steps before final delivery. In addition, this further ensures quality while not increasing the work time.
The foregoing points derive from my personal experience. From a team's perspective, we can also brainstorm and work out some methods to improve the quality using the system and process approach.