Quality Assurance (QA) in translation can be defined as all the systematic and planned actions established to ensure translation services adhere to client requirements and meet the expectations of the target market. The translation service provider bears the responsibility of establishing the methodologies and processes necessary to meet customer quality requirements.
To ensure the highest quality translation, I only accept translation jobs where I am a native speaker of the target language and possess professional expertise in the subject matter. Having a "near-native fluency" in the target language is not be sufficient to accurately relay cultural idioms or inherent language subtleties and nuances. Additionally, appropriate educational certifications and professional credentials are essential for technical translations. As part of my language and technical quality strategy, my translation goes through editing and proof-reading stages, besides the translation stage. After I've completed my translation, I have it reviewed by an editor to verify its accuracy. This final, edited version is then proofread for the consistency, fluency and integrity of its content.
Any mistakes, omissions or inaccuracy in the source text will inevitably be repeated in the target language, unless an initial review is carried out. That's why I analyze the linguistic and technical quality of the source text and make any necessary modifications - be they simple or extensive - to incorporate quality. I always contact my clients and advise them of any initial review I deem necessary.
Culture is an integral part of language, so I always try to know my target audience. O ask myself the two-simple questions of Where and Why on every single translation project I work on. I ask my self "why translate this text": is it to educate, persuade or sell? The objective of each translation project will determine the language register, as well as the translation style I will use. Another important question to ask is "Where to translate"? Am I translating to a Portuguese audience in Portugal or in Angola? Is the translation intended for professional PC expert or the casual user? An understanding of the target audience of my translation, as well as a thorough knowledge of regional as well as group-specific language variations eliminates the risk of any misunderstanding and assures the quality and integrity of my translation.
I think it's essential to verify the quality of the presentation and functionality of the translation to make sure it accurately reflects the quality of the source material. Visual checks include the verification of typography, page flow and cross references. Functional checks test the functionality and output features of the translation, be it documentation, software or website. These may include the duplication of the functionality of the source software, compatibility with respective platforms and hardware, and correct output, such as publishing and printing standards.
Im my opinion, establishing translation quality assurance processes does not only yield increased quality but ultimately facilitates successful translation projects and reduces turnaround times as future translation projects come into the mix.