Pushing The Translation Quality Envelope Further

by | Jun 9, 2020

Translation quality is an evergreen topic as well as a pain point within the localization industry. In the Wordbee blog, we’ve already tackled this subject with two articles about the right terminology to use when talking about quality and a holistic approach to quality evaluation. In this article, we want to talk about why it makes sense to invest in translation quality measurement and how companies can benefit from the collaboration between Wordbee and ContentQuo.

ContentQuo is an Estonia-based translation technology startup serving a few Global Top-10 LSPs and several corporate localization departments. Based on the request of a global enterprise client, ContentQuo developed an integration to connect their translation quality management technology with the Wordbee translation management system in 2019. To understand how ContentQuo can integrate in Wordbee and what its benefits are, we met virtually with its founder and CEO, Kirill Soloviev. Here is what he had to say.

Investing in translation quality

Kirill Soloviev founded ContentQuo in 2015 drawing on his 18+ years in the language industry as a translation buyer. ContentQuo aims at improving the collaboration between buyers and vendors as the key to increase translation quality.

Nevertheless, collaboration requires quality measurement and investment in the associated technologies. As an investor, you don’t want to put all your eggs into one basket; you want to spread your budget into different buckets to attain the maximum return with the minimum risk. “The same goes for translation quality”, explains Soloviev. “Look at your budget and consider carefully all the languages and content streams: where do you want to deploy your investment to reduce the risk of losing quality?

A translation assembly line

A translation organization is very similar to an assembly line. Soloviev: “You take your content, usually in one language, and enter it in the translation factory. Different people in the organization work on the content, revising it, translating it, adapting it while the translation is still ongoing. At the end of the line, the content is localized in as many languages as you’ve planned.

Just like in most assembly lines, the end product is usually compliant to set criteria. But, sometimes, something can go wrong along the assembly line. The outcome can then be flawed, i.e. contain some minor or major errors, or not be fit for the target group.

With the help of a quality measurement tool, a quality manager can look at every single step of the localization process: inspect the deliverables and detect if something went wrong; fix the problem and get everything right the next time. Or, even better, detect a potential risk, remove it and get everything right from the start.

Methodology agnosticism

There is no one-standard-fits-all approach to quality, says Soloviev: “We’re not here to change the way people measure translation quality (unless they ask us to); we want to help localization professionals measure it in the way they want - efficiently and effectively.”

Each content stream requires a different evaluation method. The quality evaluation of perishable content might require a time-saving holistic approach (e.g. based on adequacy and fluency), while the evaluation of publishable content is supposed to be analytical and in some cases it might require sub-segment annotation.

Translation quality for humans and machines

The integration of ContentQuo in Wordbee offers three main opportunities to its users.

  1. Vendor management
    Whether your company has already the core translation workflow in place and wants to adopt a more sophisticated approach or you’re just starting out with quality evaluation, “this integration will allow you to measure vendor performance and give feedback to vendors to allow you to have the best translation possible (at the given conditions) with the best collaboration.
    As a localization manager, by using targeted audits and routine checks, you’ll be able to answer your supervisor’s basic and recurrent question: Are we getting what we are paying for?
  2. Use of machine translation. Neural machine translation (NMT) is getting more and more traction. For customers that use NMT (stock or custom engines), “the integration of ContentQuo in Wordbee contributes to monitoring the quality of an NMT engine, to see whether it’s improving, stagnating or degrading. And when it comes to post-editing, you can analyze the post-editing effort and find ways to improve your methodology and NMT system, when customizable.”
  3. Continuous improvement. By analyzing the available historical data, you can set your own benchmarks and see whether your translation effort is improving, or, if necessary, monitor translation quality on a daily basis. 

For more on the topic of translation quality management, you can listen to Wordbee’s International Buzz podcast interview with Kirill Soloviev.

Quality assurance is all about meeting the client’s needs and expectations. In this perspective, the Wordbee translation management system enables users to create multiple QA profiles and define the rules to be followed when performing a QA check. If you would like to know more about translation quality management in Wordbee, get in touch!

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