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Automating QA in translation

Our recent article on checking inline tags with Word and Excel referred to an interesting post on the Gloc247 blog. Their article Game localization tips: checking inline tags with Word and Excel ended with the following postscript:

If you are using Apsic Xbench you can use this technique in order to create a "tag glossary" for your automated checks. You just need to extract the tags as shown above, put them side by side in Excel, fire up TMBuilder and you're done.
While this method seems to work for the post's author, at ForeignExchange, we use a different methodology for our QA checks.

The ForeignExchange QA team has implemented processes and tools to ensure the quality of our deliverables. Yes, we use The ForeignExchange Apsic Xbench as well. In fact, editors are required to run either Apsic Xbench or QA Distiller on most of project deliverables.

In addition to tags, these tools find many other mechanical errors like missing punctuation, extra spaces, mismatched numbers, inconsistent target translations for the same source segment, and so on.

Additionally, when we translate content with a large number of tags, rather than trying to quality check the content with a series of manual manipulation, we tend to use a more systematic approach. We translate using TagEditor or MemoQ (or other CAT tools) which handle the tags more efficiently and accurately than allowing the linguists direct access within MS Word. Using TagEditor is a preventative measure for tag errors.

In general, ForeignExchange's proprietary quality methodology METRiQ, combined with the tools mentioned above (Apsic, QA Distiller, TagEditor and MemoQ), allows us to address quality upstream and ensures that we provide our pharmaceutical and medical device clients with the translation quality that they expect.

To read more about managing translation quality, take a look at the following articles:
ForeignExchange localizes software applications and training programs for medical device and pharmaceutical companies. For specialized medical software localization services, contact us today!


  1. GLOC Game localization 24/7 said...

    I'm Alain, the author of said post. Your remark is quite interesting, because we actually use memoQ ourselves!

    However, I also believe that knowing how to do these tasks manually is essential in the training of translator. Using the terms of Joel Spolsky (https://bitly.com/), memoQ is an abstraction layer. It simplifies and automates the menial tasks so that you can work at higher level.

    But all abstractions are, by nature, limited by what's happening at low level. Just like knowing how to use a manual transmission makes you more efficient with an automatic, knowing how to do you checks by hand will make you more proficient with memoQ.

    Actually, I believe translators should have a direct experience of each step of production, even if brief, down to the lowly interface testing. But I guess this will be a topic for another day!

    Thank you for the kind link and good work.

    Cheers, Alain
    Stillman Translations said...
    Hi, I read this comments regarding QA tools and, as a "heavy user" of them, I have reached to some conclusions. First of all: they are necessary to detect and avoid KO punches in translations. They are highly reliable to detect numeric mismatch, inconsistencies and other kind of "structural" errors.
    Secondly, they remind me to a kind of popular say of a poet down here in Argentina: "women are great; they take care of you, so you can take care of important things". This is not a very politically correct say, however in terms of QA tools it applicable: QA tools take care of structural issues, so you can take care of important things in the translation: distortions, mistranslations, key terms (if not glossary available), etc. I think that a T2-T3 (XEROX QA method) plus an intelligent use of QA tools assures an acceptable delivery.

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