I will be attending the Swedish Association of Professional Translators annual conference May 4-6 in Gävle, Sweden, and as the language chair for the English into Swedish certification program, I have been invited to participate in a panel discussion on quality assurance of translations.
How can we provide quality assurance of translations? Some of the topics for the discussion are:
- Quality assurance of translators
- Quality assurance through translation standards
- How to deal with a poor source text
What do you think? Can we guarantee a certain quality of translators? How? By translation tests, certification, references and/or experience? I have previously discussed translation tests and also how to evaluate a translation, and as a member of the certification committee I am of course not against certification, even though there are many high quality translators that are not certified. When I use another translator I do look at their experience and references and I am hesitant to use someone that I do not know, so for me networking and personal contact also plays an important role. If I know a person well, I believe that person also makes an effort to provide good quality translations.
Can a translation company guarantee a certain quality by implementing translation standards and/or becoming ISO certified? I know several translation companies that are certified and have to follow certain procedures, but how can they make sure that the translators also follow them?
Lastly, it is very difficult to create a good translation if the source text is poor. How do you handle poor source texts? Personally, I try to make the best of it, but it is time consuming since I have to ask for many clarifications. I usually also point out typos and errors in the source text. I have yet not had a source text that has been so bad that I have had to turn down the job.
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