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Tools: QA Distiller

QA Distiller: One more step towards quality in translationWe have previously sung the praises of QA tool ApSic Xbench and how it helps improve the quality of translated files. We would now like to highlight a different tool: QA Distiller. This tool is quite similar to ApSIC, however it is more comprehensive and generally has more functionality.

QA Distiller automatically detects formal errors in translations and TMs, and enables their quick and easy correction. It also batch processes files (it QAs multiple files at a time) and supports language dependent settings. QA Distiller allows you to check for errors in bilingual TTX, RTF, TMX, XML, translation memories and bilingual STF (Framemaker) files. You can also do terminology checks using TBX (TermBase eXchange) dictionaries and QA Distiller Dictionary files.

Just like XBench, QA Distiller checks for omissions, inconsistencies, formatting errors (both grammatical and linguistic), and terminology issues throughout the translated text. You can edit your files directly in the program by double-clicking on the error messages that appear once you have run your QA.

These links take you directly to the location of the mistake in the original bilingual file and you can correct it on the spot. The TMX files (TMs) are opened in an internal editor where you can easily make the necessary corrections and update your translation memory. You can also produce project-specific reports to use either internally or to send to linguistic teams for revision of the mistakes found.

Here are some of the additional features that differentiate QA Distiller from Xbench. QA Distiller can:

  • convert Excel glossaries to QA Distiller dictionary files so you don’t need MultiTerm to convert them to XML (which is necessary in Xbench);
  • look for corrupted characters;
  • assign a “Severity” level to the errors found;
  • do "Language Dependent Checks", where parameters can be set for a specific language (decimals, number format, quotation marks format, measurement system, etc.).
One of the main problems with similar QA tools is that they generate long lists of errors that, in many cases, are not all true mistakes. Review of these "false positives" can be quite time consuming.

QA Distiller contains extensive options for reducing the number of false error messages. You can build generic or language specific exception lists to ensure that certain strings are ignored when running QA checks. Additionally, regular expressions can be used to make sure QA Distiller ignores or checks certain pattern matches.

In summary, the use of QA Distiller can make an important difference in the final quality of translated files, as it can both prevent common issues and detect errors that are easily overlooked. The use of this tool can therefore save a significant amount of time during quality control steps.

For more information about this tool and purchasing options, please visit the QA Distiller website.

ForeignExchange's METRiQ quality system provides medical device and pharmaceutical companies with measurable, known translation quality. To learn more, contact ForeignExchange Translations.


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