While there are any number of project management styles in use for translation and localization work, we have found that using both expert project managers (who can seamlessly manage the different phases of production as well as communicate well with both linguists and clients) and a system that makes it easy to know where each piece of a project is in the deployment process makes ongoing quality assurance possible.
Highly qualified linguists in a 2-deep or 3-deep translation workflow. Obviously, the goal of any language services firm is to employ only the best language experts. At Glyph, we’ve learned that having both expert linguists and additional editors and/or proofreaders has a marked impact on the quality of the end language product. Rather than using a single layer of translation/localization production and then engaging in QA review “at the end”, we have found that having linguist staff work with an editor (2 – layers) or an editor and proofreader (3 – layers) as work is produced yields the most benefit. Not only are any errors caught quickly, but this also provides an active feedback loop for work in progress.
In cases where we are localizing for a client facility in a new market, valuable quality feedback often comes from local staffers who understand the market and the balance between liberal and literal translation necessary to convey meaning. In addition, local market staff are a terrific resource for helping the translation team develop a comprehensive style guide and glossary to be used throughout the project.
This concentration on key players and the process that drives their work is more labor intensive than the model used by many firms, but it consistently produces the highest quality of work. And surprisingly, it also results in lower overall project costs for clients. By building QA so tightly into the development process, we find a much smaller and shorter revision cycle and much more rapid “final check” phase before launching in the target market.
That’s our take on quality control – what’s yours? We’d love to hear from you.