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Thoughts on Translation Evaluation Process: Part 1

Translation error classificationWe are now revamping the process Velior uses to evaluate all work produced by our translators. The ultimate goal is to make the metrics more effective in terms of employees’ development, while lightening evaluator’s task and ensuring more meaningful statistics are available for performance management.

There is a host of existing methods and opinions on this subject. For instance, a recent post by Corinne McKay mentions the classification of errors in certification tests used by the American Translators Association. While it is very detailed, which is probably driven by the need to achieve objective and specific evaluation, it might be too complicated for everyday use in a translation agency environment. My general idea for this environment is to keep the classification as short, and the categories as broad, as possible. This is a three-fold strategy. First, by allowing to map categories to main competencies, this strategy makes it easier for a translator to identify and focus on improving their weaknesses. Second, it provides an editor with a straightforward selection of categories for grading translations, preventing them from overthinking about which category an error belongs to. Finally, it plays a key role in managing employees’ performance, e.g. by providing meaningful statistics as to which jobs cause most problems and what training is necessary.

The refined system I am thinking of now will include five types of errors mapped to respective competencies:

  1. Mistranslation: Knowledge of the source language
  2. Inaccurate translation: Attention to detail and concentration
  3. Style: General command of the target language
  4. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation: Knowledge of the most basic language rules
  5. Technical: Knowledge of translation technology and best practices, as well as disciplined thought

As mentioned above, one reason for such mapping is to make the translator aware of those competencies that should be on their development plan. The selected competencies are probably among the most important in our profession.

Another aspect of the evaluation process that I am trying to improve now is communication of the changes made by the editor to the translator. This aspect will be discussed in the next part of this post.

Contact us to receive a quote for your English to Russian translation to benefit from our quality evaluation and assurance processes.

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About the Author

Roman Mironov
Roman Mironov
CEO & Founder

As the founder of Velior, Roman has had the privilege of being able to turn his passion for languages into a business. He has over 15 years of experience in the translation industry. Roman has helped dozens of clients increase sales by making their products appealing for speakers of other languages.