RE: Document Translation Quality

Subject: RE: Document Translation Quality
From: "Technical Writing Plus" <doc-x -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "'Combs, Richard'" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>, "'Richard Melanson'" <rmelanson -at- spirecorp -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 11:35:07 -0600

This seems to be good advice. The back translation thing might not work very
well but it might be helpful to a limited extent. And Sally's post was good

Another option is for your company to hire, occasionally, a professional
translator who also will do checking for accuracy (or QA). Engagement of
such a person would be for just a representative sample of the work that has
been completed. This almost goes without saying: Make sure that the
translator is not connected with your agencies.

This is a workable and not-too-expensive solution. This solution, combined
with a proper initial hiring of the translation agencies, along with input
that you garner from your local sales offices, should be sufficient.

I myself do this kind of work but only I do it for my language pairs
(Chinese, German, and Spanish into English) I also do editing and technical
editing of US English.

Jim Jones Sr Member, STC

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+doc-x=earthlink -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+doc-x=earthlink -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Combs, Richard
Sent: Monday, February 22, 2010 11:06 AM
To: Richard Melanson; TECHWR-L
Subject: RE: Document Translation Quality

Richard Melanson wrote:

<snip> How do we
> determine the actually quality of the translations we are getting. We
> not have access to persons who first language is what we are
> to. Thank you for any advice you guys can give me.

I can't imagine there's any adequate substitute for review by a native
speaker. If you're translating to a language, it must be because you plan to
sell (or are already selling) to speakers of that language. So, as Sally
suggested, you must have or be developing sales offices, or channel
partners, or some kind of presence. Maybe you already have a customer or two
who can be recruited to provide feedback on the translations.

If none of those are possibilities, you might be able to locate native
speakers for at least some languages at a nearby college or university. With
any luck, you might even find someone in a discipline that makes them
familiar with some of your technical terminology.

A few days' work reviewing translations every now and then, at a nice hourly
rate, is something a college student or faculty member might jump at. Just
check references carefully and think about how you can validate that they're
doing good reviews -- maybe have them translate selected paragraphs back to


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RE: Document Translation Quality: From: Combs, Richard

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