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Computer-aided proofreading

Computer-aided proofreadingLocalization World Berlin is finished, and it ended on a high note. Our quality session on Wednesday attracted about 120 people and the three panelists kept the audience entertained and informed.

Some of the high points included:

  • discussion around objective (e.g., grammar) vs. subjective (e.g., meeting customer requirements) quality;
  • how to build quality into the process early;
  • business opportunities around "quality" - clients can save time and money, suppliers can proactively offer new solutions, standards are urgently needed;
  • computer-aided proofreading (CAP) via off-the-shelf and custom-built tools.
The discussion around CAP tools was particularly interesting. While CAP tools have been around for 20 years, they used to be limited to spell checkers, grammar checkers, and find-and-replace tools.

Not any more. Today, tools like ApSIC XBench, QA Distiller and Error Spy offer the ability to remove much of monotony from proofreading tasks by checking numbers, spaces, terminology adherence, formatting, and much more. While humans do a better job at proofreading, few people like proofreading. At a minimum, these tools allow translation service providers to work more efficiently.

Michal's company C&M Localization Center has taken CAP several steps further. C&M has developed a CAP toolkit that is file-format agnostic and is optimized for use with Slavic languages - something the other tools struggle with. It sounded very impressive!

During the discussion it became apparent again that the TEP model (translate, edit, proofreading) is dead. Today's reality is shrinking budgets and timelines that require a better use of technology and a realization that translation quality is not an absolute but rather that different quality levels are needed for different kinds of texts, formats, and situations.


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