Ask the Expert: How to Maintain Quality In The Translation Process?
Quality Control (QC) is the process by which products and services are tested and measured to secure that they meet a standard. This standard has two main aspects: that products and deliverables are as uniform as possible and minimize errors and inconsistencies.
Originally this was a notion applied in the manufacturing industry on which products needed to be equal in quality and characteristics. Over time, services companies, such as Language Service Providers (LSP) were increasingly required to meet standards and apply the QC process. Even if the “product” is not always the same, errors and inconsistencies need to be almost inexistent to keep the standard as high as possible.
In OXO, the Quality Control process relies on the Head of Language Services, Sophia Dias. Sophia has been working for eight years in OXO. She has a specialized Bachelor’s degree in English-to-French translation and in Italian studies, as well as a Master’s degree in Administration and hold the titles of Certified Translator (C. Tr.) and Chartered Administrator (Adm.A.).
1-What are the main aspects of your work as Head of Language Services?
I oversee the day-to-day operations of the Language Department and work closely with my peers in other departments on a daily basis. On any given day, I could be meeting with colleagues or clients, managing cross-departmental projects, revising or translating, problem-solving, etc. Every day is different than the last!
2-How important is quality control in the translation workflow?
It is very important! Not only is it important to plan for a revision step in the standard translation process as much as possible, it is key to know how to self-revise oneself properly. This ensures the finished translation is of the highest quality possible before another pair of eyes goes through it.
3-What types of QC processes do we have at OXO?
On the tech side, we use spell check tools as well as specialized quality control and terminology softwares. Most CAT tools also offer an integrated QA feature. In addition to those, we ensure a second person does a bilingual revision of the translation to avoid any meaning errors, additions, omissions, style issues, etc. Combining technology and human eyes in the Quality Assurance process maximizes efficiency while ensuring the best possible quality.
4-How important are the cultural aspects in the localization process?
Being mindful of the cultural aspects in the localization process is essential, as that is what will give the translation its flavour and spirit. No one wants to read a translation hat seems like it’s been translated and not originally written in the target language. Thus, it’s important to engage linguists who are well-acquainted with the target locale
and its unique linguistic requirements.
5-How do you match the resources with the project’s quality requirements, and how important is it to find that perfect match?
The main thing that goes into finding the perfect team for a client or project is knowing your team. Having close relationships with your team members means you know what their strengths, preferences and specializations are, which is very important when building a project team. The best part is bringing to light someone’s hidden talents that we didn’t necessarily know about before, and watching them flourish. I am so fortunate to work alongside extremely talented individuals, and we all get to learn from each other every day.
6-What are the challenges and benefits presented by the use of machine translation?
I don’t believe machine translation can be used on every type of text at this stage in its development, but when used on source texts that lend themselves well to MTPE, it speeds up the translation process. Linguists can then spend more time doing what they do best, which is interpreting complex linguistic intricacies and rendering them in the
target text as if they were originally written in the target language. Moreover, they can solidify their position as linguistic consultants and be the client’s go-to person for all language-related questions.
7- Finally: how does the Canadian market differentiate itself from other markets?
In my opinion, the Canadian market places great emphasis on the profession and on the importance of translation in general. For instance, several provinces have their own professional order that issues reserved titles to language professionals with recognized qualifications in order to protect the public. In addition, various Canadian universities
offer very strong translation programs to further the profession, and some of them work directly with their local professional order to set students up for success as soon as they finish university.
I was born and raised in Montréal, Quebec. My cultural background is Portuguese and Italian. Fun fact: French is actually my third language (out of five). I particularly enjoy living in Montréal because it perfectly marries francophone and anglophone cultures. I have always loved reading. my favourite books are fantasy and historical novels, but I am trying to branch out to new genres. I am also enjoying having the opportunity to travel again. I would love to visit Japan, Spain and Argentina in the near future