5 easy tips for checking translation quality – without being an expert

May 15th, 2020 by dutchlink

How do you know you’re getting your money’s worth when you hire a translator? Luckily, there are five simple checks you can run to get an overall idea of translation quality.

You can run these checks yourself if the translation is in your mother tongue. Otherwise, find a native speaker who can read through the translation for you.

  1. Does the translation read well?

If the translation is unclear or difficult to read, there could be room for improvement.

  1. Are there spelling errors, typos and sloppy formatting?

Numerous spelling errors, typos and sloppy formatting should raise alarm bells. Translators should always carry out a final check of their work to catch these preventable mistakes.

  1. Are the dates and figures correct?

For languages that use the Roman alphabet, these are facts you can check yourself.

  1. Are the names of people and places correct?

Proper names can be checked, but be aware of some exceptions, e.g. Hannover in German, but Hanover in English.

  1. Is everything in the translation that should be there?

A paragraph-by-paragraph comparison of the translation against the original can highlight omissions. Be aware that translators often shorten (or lengthen) translations to improve flow.

These tips are guidelines only. After all, translators everywhere are up against tight deadlines, complex subject matter and sometimes poorly written documents.

A good translator will produce something that is passable. An excellent translator will work with these challenges to go the extra mile, do the extra research and provide a translation that is extraordinary.

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