Localization Quality Assurance

Glyph Language Services has built a reputation for unerring quality and rigorous attention to linguistic context. Glyph’s quality assurance program is based on three operational pillars: talent, workflows, and consultation.

Talent: Glyph is very selective about staffing linguists. We subject candidates to stringent vetting in order to ensure that they share our attention to detail and professionalism.

To start, all candidates must have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited university, in a field such as translation, linguistics, their own language of proficiency, or a domain in which they offer linguistic expertise, such as engineering, medicine, etc. We require that linguists translate only into their native language, in order to ensure that their control over idiom and lexicon is as precise as possible. We also subject candidates to an assessment in their language of expertise by one of our incumbent senior linguists, and bring in subject matter experts as needed to assess their domain expertise as well.

In short, our vetting goes beyond any that we’ve seen elsewhere in the industry, including for professional translator certifications, and our linguists tell us we are quite picky. The result is that our translators and editors are extraordinarily skilled and committed to our goal of providing ironclad quality in our localization services. The corollary of such a selective program is that when we find linguists who meet our criteria, they become very valuable to us, and we strive to ensure that we give them all the work they want.

Workflows: Our workflows are designed to maximize quality at every stage. Our default workflow includes a three-stage translation process:

After pre-production steps such as file preparation and applying translation memories, the first stage is translation by a human translator. In addition to rendering the material in the target language, the translator is responsible for adjusting and updating translation memories to match the source content where appropriate.

The second stage is editing by a separate human editor who is subject to the same staffing qualifications listed above. In addition to basic proofreading and checking for accuracy, the editor is able to view the content with an eye on the bigger picture, ensuring that each piece of content fits into a logically and stylistically coherent whole. This extra round of editing is built into all of our standard projects and reflected in our pricing.

(Note: Over time, we have found that some linguists excel as translators and some excel as editors, and we strive to establish long-running teams of linguists with complementary skillsets who know one another and understand their linguistic tendencies.)

The third stage is a series of automated checks by our computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool, assessing for consistency and accuracy with respect to both repetitions within the content and to existing translation memories and glossaries.

In short, we have designed our workflow to maximize quality above all else. There are many localization providers who offer similar services as a specialty, but very few implement it by default. By running this workflow on every project, we are able to maximize its efficiency, and our linguists are experienced with a quality-oriented workflow.

Consultation: The third pillar of our quality assurance program is our relationship and communication with our clients. One of our foundational principles is our consultative approach. It reflects our understanding that while we are localization experts, our clients understand what they need better than we do. The more you can tell us, the better we can do! With this information, we have found that there is much we can do before and after a localization project to maximize its quality, and the quality of future projects:

Discovery: The more information we have about the big picture, the better we can tailor every phase of our project, so where time permits, we love to have an initial discovery call to understand the broader context. With an understanding of your target audience, we can tweak tone and style to suit cultural and social norms in your destination locale. With an understanding of how this localization effort ties into your strategy, we can help plan a broader initiative in a way that maximizes efficiency from project to project. We understand that it is difficult for clients who are new to localization to know what is important, so this kind of call can help us identify the little things that might turn a good localization project into a legendary localization project - the kind that linguists and marketers alike talk about around the fire.

Market Review: Market review is an optional process in which client stakeholders who have native proficiency in the target language provide feedback at the end of the translation stage, but before formatting and delivery. The reviewer is usually a program manager or director in an overseas office of a US-based multinational corporation. For projects with a market review stage, we provide the translated output in a working format, with the source and target text strings side by side for easy comparison. The local stakeholder reviews the content and provides feedback, ranging from general impressions to granular terminology guidance. The content then goes back to our linguists, who assess the feedback, implement it as they see fit, and then package the content in its final format and deliver.

When implemented correctly, market review can be an incredibly powerful form of quality assurance for many reasons. It loops in local stakeholders who have a command of both the local language and the needs and goals of the client organization. Including these staff is useful both to gain their perspective and to get their buy-in for an initiative in their market. If you are interested in a market review stage, please let your account manager know, or simply make a note as you request your next quote, and we will discuss the fine points of maximizing the return on market review.

In short, quality assurance is built into every step of our work. We have designed our processes to be repeatable, scalable, measurable and transparent. That’s not to say that errors never occur, but that we have redundancies in place to find them, fix them and communicate about them. There is enough risk in business as it is - we don’t want our operations to introduce more variables into your global efforts, we want them to eliminate variables. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you step into new markets or strengthen existing ones with less risk.