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How To Evaluate The Quality Of A Translation?

Posted on: May 22, 2023 by admin

Translating a text to another language is never a straightforward process. A number of factors need to come together to form a clear cohesive translation that can be easily understood. Poor translations can result in misunderstandings and confusion from the reader. So, how can you tell if you’re looking at a high-quality translation?


What Are The Signs Of A High-Quality Translation?

When assessing translation quality, there are a few key elements to look for including text flow, grammar, spelling, style and information accuracy.

The Flow Of The Text

A poor translation can result in text being choppy, awkward and unpleasant to read. The flow refers to the way text has been composed using logical structures and varied language. A translated text that purely focuses on conveying the meaning without consideration of how well its been composed will often have a poor flow. A quality translation will flow naturally and shouldn’t be recognisable as being translated.


Correct Spelling and Grammar

Spelling and grammar errors are a clear sign that the translated text is not of high quality. Translated texts should adhere to proper spelling and grammar conventions of the translated language. For example, text translated into English for Australians should use British English spelling and punctuation. In order to ensure correct spelling and grammar, the translated text should be proofread by a second person to pick up on errors missed.

The Tone and Style Of The Text

Each text has a unique tone and style, usually created for specific audiences. For example, an academic text will tend to use formal tones and academic formatting. To produce a high-quality translation, the translator needs to be familiar with the tone and style of the original text. Direct translations that ignore tone and style can appear sloppy and even misunderstandings.


Accurate Information

The bare minimum requirement for any translation is that it accurately conveys the source text’s information. It is easy for poor-quality translations to miss out on small but crucial information. This can occur when a word from the source text is used and has no direct translation. If so, the translator must use their knowledge to find a solution to convey the meaning of the source text without altering it.


How To Assess The Quality Of The Translation?

So how can you tell if you’re looking at a high-quality translation or a piece of text that isn’t quite up to scratch? There are three simple steps you can take to check the quality of a translated text.


  • Assess accuracy

An accurate translation that includes all the information in the source text with nothing else added is a baseline requirement. In order to assess this, you should place both texts side-by-side and systematically compare each phrase.


  • Assess flow, tone, and style

In this step, you should ensure that the text is easy to read and flows naturally. In order to assess this, it may help to read other similar texts in the translated language to get a feel for that type of text. For example, if an academic article needs to be translated, it could help to read through a few academic articles before assessing the flow of the translated text. During this step, you should look for phrases that seem clunky or ambiguous.


  • Spell and grammar check

It is important to check whether the document has any spelling or grammar errors. This can be done by simply running it through a grammar checker. However, it’s worthwhile to have a native reader double-check the texts for any errors that may have been missed. Spelling and grammar errors are a hint that the document may have not been translated correctly. Translated text with several mistakes often has accuracy, flow and tone issues.


How Can You Ensure That You Will Receive An Accurate Translation?

If you’ve got a document that needs to be translated, chances are you want it done to a high standard. Relying on translation software is likely to result in a number of translation issues in terms of accuracy, flow, tone, style, spelling and punctuation. In order to ensure you receive a high-quality translation, the best option is to use a human translator that has been certified.

Translating and evaluating the quality of the text can be complicated. High-quality translations should not only convey all the information accurately but also contain no spelling or grammar errors. If you are looking for certified quality translation services that will meet all your translation needs, contact Speak Your Language today.