Quality of text translation

Quality of text translation

Quality is a very general concept. All translation agencies, in-house translators and freelancers promise high quality, but that does not mean that you are always satisfied with the quality of translation.

  • How can we estimate service quality level at order negotiation stage?
  • What determines the quality of the final product, in our case the translation?
  • How do we choose the correct ratio of quality, price and terms?

A high quality translation is achieved when the result fully meets or exceeds your requirements. To achieve this we have developed three components : expertise, workflow efficiency, technology reliability and functionality.

Your choice of service provider takes all these factors into consideration. Trust the facts, not words. The service you receive may be poor quality, if:

  • When you play the order, you are not asked to specify the details;
  • The service provider cannot specify the stages of work and quality control procedures;
  • You do not receive a clear response when you ask about specific software used to implementation the work.

The following table shows how we ensure the quality of translations and how we compare with other service providers:

Company name/type Description


All newly recruited translators are selected in accordance with strict procedures: they take a test, their work is assessed and in some cases they are interviewed (e.g. interpreters). We give translations only to those specialists who have proved a high level of expertise.

The first 10 projects for each new translator form part of their probationary period. During this period, the translators only work on small or non-urgent orders under the maximum control of translation editors and managers.

We perform a comprehensive evaluation of each translation in accordance with LISA (Localization Industry Standards Association) standards and client feedback.

As a result, translators are given a combined rating to evaluate their quality, reliability, efficiency and ability to work in a team. Therefore, we always know the precise level of expertise of each expert and can make the right choice for any task.

We work with more than 2,500 translators who are mainly specialized in different fields of knowledge, industries and subjects. We know which translator is specialized in the translation of genetics patents and which interpreter to send to an economic forum at bilateral negotiations between the directors of oil and gas companies. Among the factors we take into consideration when hiring consecutive interpreters to work at the public events, we assess their ability to speak in public in front of audiences.

For major projects we create working groups which are able to undertake standard and urgent translations on certain themes or for regular customers on a consistent and effective basis.

We are constantly expanding our date base of expert consultants in subject areas who are involved in the most complex and non-urgent specialist projects.

Translation Editors:

Only those translators who have proven themselves in dozens of projects and whose expertise is beyond doubt are appointed as translation editors and theads of the working parties. When we undertake translations into foreign languages we work with native speaker editors.


Customer Managers deal with the specifics of translation in different subject fields. Thus whe we receive an order, they know what to ask the customer, in order to identify the relevant requirements and provide a high-quality translation as a result.

Translation Project Managers also know the specifics and subtleties of different types of translations (as well as the specifics of different translators) and organize the process in such as way as to monitor project quality and total time. They monitor intermediate results and completed translations (partly in extra urgent projects) and on-time delivery.

Other translation agencies(90% market share)

There are many agencies which do not impose specific requirements for staff and translators. They create a data base of students, amateurs and simply untested translators andwillingly accept urgent orders. However, due to a lack of reliability and working groups, they are frequently unable to meet their deadlines.

Specialized translation agencies(5% market share)

These agencies have a strict approach to translator selection, entrusting orders only to proven experts with proven experience in specific narrow themes. They form permanent project teams, but they usually they do not accept urgent orders, ensuring a high quality of translations. The main criterion of the quality of certain specialized agencies is exact meaning and precise terminology, although the translated texts may not be perfect stylistically.

Elite translation agencies(0.1% market share)

These agencies have a strict approach to the selection of experts entrusting orders only to proven translators, editors and consultants. Such specialist form the permanent working groups in different topics and for regular clients. This ensures a high quality of translation.


There are no guarantees when you work with a freelancer and you have to assume all the quality risks, unless you have a proven reliable executer. Freelancers boldly accept urgent orders and frequently transfer work to third parties. In the absence of established processes, deadlines are often missed, leading to an increase in material and time costs.

Many freelancers work without a registered IP or legal registration. Therefore, in the event of failures and problems, it will be difficult to protect your rights.

In-house translator

Since the costs of employing an an in-house translation department are high, employees are selected carefully. A candidate selected for the position is interviewed, tested and intensively trained in accordance with the specifics of corporate translations. Staff translators will soon begin to understand the subtleties of their subjects and normally produce consistent high-quality translations.

Company name/type Description

When the evaluation criteria of the staff responsible for each output result and the milestones of each project stage are clearly defined, the processes cease to be a formal declaration and the quality of the projects is actually maintained.

This works with us in the following way:

The role of the Customer Manager -
is to accurately and fully identify critical requirements and customer’s expectations. When it comes to interpretation, he/she collects information on the details of the event, requests worksheets and glossaries from the client. When discussing order for written translation he/she clarifies the purpose of the document / brochure / website, including who the materials are intended for and under what conditions they will be used The Customer Manager also requests good examples of previous translations.

Translation Project Manager -
is responsible for ensuring the right choice of implementers (translators, translation editors and consultants) for a specific project task. They distribute the work between those involved and organize their interaction, in accordance with the project plan. For written translations, he/she allocates 10 to 25% of the project time for editing and risks (exception are extra-urgent translations, where less time is allocated for risks).

His/her task is to monitor intermediate results on time, in order to track errors in the early stages and to prevent them in the remaining part of the text. This also allows for a reduction in project time, since translation and editing are performed simultaneously. The manager controls the quality of the fragments performed by each translator in the group. He/she knows the internal ratings of all the participants and determines whose work should be controlled more carefully on the basis of these assessments.

The completed translation is subject to first level formal monitoring for integrity, accuracy and consistency of proper nouns and numbers. If new translators are involved in the project or the manager notices problems, the translation is subjected to a selective or complete editorial review. Thus, the Translation Project Manager is largely responsible for the quality of the results.

A Translation Editor

(or a group of translation editors in a large project) is always involved in thematic translations. He/she actively uses translation memory and glossaries to ensure consistency of terminology within the document, website or a series of materials. A longstanding specialization in one or more subject areas allows the translation editor to select the text fragment for monitoring and can correctly and promptly perform a full scan of the material.

Other translation agencies (90% market share)

The reason for poor organization is usually the lack of professional staff and permanent working groups, rather than the process itself. In such agencies the replacement of translators and the translation editors in the process of the carrying out the project is a frequent phenomenon. Thus the efficiency of interaction, constant monitoring and verification of the completed project is not guaranteed


Elite and specialized translation agencies(5% market share)

Workflows are optimally aligned and run smoothly. They have responsible parties for every stage of a project, providing thorough monitoring of intermediate results and strict quality control.

Extra time for risk is allocated but not much reserve is needed, since proven and reliable performers are involved in the projects.


When working with a freelancer, the client is responsible for the processes and the monitoring of control points. If a freelancer organizes a working group, he supervises the translation. However, this does not take away the client’s responsibility for the monitoring of intermediate results, or the search for a translation editor.


In-house translators

In standard projects, the processes are quite simple. Complex orders requiring the participation of translation editors and subject consultants are often transferred to known translation agencies.

Company name/type Description

We use the XTRF Translation Management System which covers the whole production cycle: receiving the order, invoicing, selection of translators, translation delivery and the issuing of the closing documents.

The system integrates translation memory software, as well as glossaries and dictionaries which we create and develop for different themes / industries / customers

The XTRF system helps us to effectively organize collaborative work:

  • managers supervise the project;
  • translators receive the tasks and use glossaries and translation memory;
  • customers monitor the progress of their projects, share documents with us and create new applications.

Our translators use a wide range of computer programs and work with different types of files. Therefore, we have no restrictions for clients — we accept orders in any format. If the format and layout of the documents are not complicated, we deliver completed translation in the same format in which the original materials were received at no extra charge. In other cases, the formatting and the layout of documents are an extra service.

Other translation agencies (90% market share)

Many agencies work with thematic dictionaries which are available on the Internet. Not every agency has its own glossaries and translation memory software. Most of these agencies do not use the Translation Management System, and those who implement it are limited to the basic functionality.

Knowledge of special computer programs is not required on the part of translators, so clients often have to adjust to the capabilities of an agency and send the original documents in a specific format.

Elite and specialized translation agency (5-6% market share)

They use a wide range of technologies to automate and support the work of translators and translation project managers. The agency employs experts with knowledge of computer technologies, so customers can send original materials in all formats. Completed translations are formatted at the customer’s request at extra charge.


Only 2-3% of freelancers use a translation memory which they may have created personally. Many people use public themed online dictionaries. In most cases from a freelancer you will receive a simply translated text without the original document formatting.

In-house translators

In most companies, translators maintain corporate dictionaries and glossaries. A translation memory is used in large international companies or in companies where there is a constant large volume of translations on various subjects.

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