Re: How do you ensure the quality of translations?

Subject: Re: How do you ensure the quality of translations?
From: poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, "Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 17:12:02 +0000

Gene,

To address your second paragraph statement about translations being done best in the country of origin, it ain't necessarily so -- at least not in my case.

At the end of March, I started with a China-based company which makes heavy equipment. The engineering and sales office where I'm located is staffed by about 25 or 30 folks, pretty much split one-half U.S. citizens and the rest native Chinese who are very new to this country; they are all VERY great people and nice to work with; the company is sort of the Caterpillar company of China.

I like what I do and had already worked for some years documenting the same equipment for another other manufacturer. The problem here, though, is this company's practice of producing English-language documentation in China for U.S. distribution; the docs are _horribly_ written because (I've been told) they simply run the Chinese text through a software program and take what they get (so to speak).

The binding and physical appearance of the stuff is great and was done for surely pennies-on-the-dollar compared to what it would cost here. But with apparently no English-articulate personnel in China actually reading the stuff, my coworker and I spend hours and hours trying to decipher the actual intent of the text (it would be nice if it were only misspellings, but it's w-a-y worse than that). Plus, we here also write totally new docs for U.S.-targeted products.

So to re-state, make sure someone over "there" is English-articulate enough to review the translated docs before getting them to you.

Just my 2 cents (yep, they have those in China, too).

-- Kenpo in Atlanta
-------------- Original message from "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>: --------------


> By having someone who is knowledgeable in the subject matter *and* a
> native speaker of the target language review the result (service techs
> are my favorites). If possible, have the same person on the review
> cycle for the original English version as well.
>
> If possible, I prefer to have my translations done by translators in the
> target language's country. Not always possible, of course, and if not,
> I prefer translators who employ people who are native speakers of the
> target language.
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare,consultant)"
>
> > Does anyone have any tips on how to verify the quality of a translated
> > document? How do you *know* that the work you get is good, especially
> > if
> > you cannot read the translation?
> >
> > In a related vein, what are some tricks for picking out a good quality
> > translation company?
>

>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
How do you ensure the quality of translations?: From: Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)
Re: How do you ensure the quality of translations?: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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