//Translation Quality Evaluation: What Is It?

It is well known that content is created by humans to express, describe, or deliver meaning or messages. Thus, content is a purely personal product that represents personal thoughts and ideas. Content is a reflection of the author’s cognitive thinking, education, job, profession, environment and even mood.

Language developed to facilitate communication.
Grammar, syntax and other linguistic rules helped people create structured and conventional content that can be understood by others. Languages evolve and change over time to accommodate human needs and continuous development.

Translation is a job that comprises the comprehension of human thoughts and ideas represented in the source language (original content language) and conveying them in another language (target language). Accordingly, translation requires a deep understanding of both the source and target languages and cultures, as well as sincere efforts to recognize meanings, messages, and the intent of the original content.

If understanding original content is subject to individual comprehension, then translation is even more subjective since it requires the same level of comprehension of and the talent to convey it in another language.

From when the very concept of translation first entered the world through today, evaluating the quality of translation has sparked debate. For years and years, human beings have tried to standardize language to facilitate communication, both within a single language and for purposes of translation.

It is crucial to discuss and define the key fundamentals for evaluating translation quality. In this blog series, we will endeavor to reach a common understanding of various translation quality concepts, tools, process and metrics. In each post, we will tackle different concepts, techniques, and challenges in Translation Quality Evaluation, including:

  • Evaluation from subjectivity to objectivity
  • Evaluation Based on Measuring Defects
  • Defects (errors) categories and severity
  • The measurable and non-measurable in translation quality
  • Quality that fits (the “good enough”)
  • Quality content for quality translation (writing for global audience)
  • Planning for quality translation
  • Automated quality checks
  • Standards and metrics
  • Translation quality assurance and quality control
  • Quality translation as a collaborative process
  • Languages evolution and regional variations

Since everybody is looking for quality translation, then let’s define what translation quality is, the best practices necessary to proactively plan for quality translation, and how to objectively evaluate translation quality.

For more information on Vocalink’s language solutions, please visit us online at vocalink.net or call us at 877.492.7754.

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