Unlike other popular translation environment tools, OmegaT doesn’t provide a full spectrum of built-in quality assurance functions out of the box. Automated quality assurance is, however, paramount to high performance in our line of work, so translators or translation agencies working in OmegaT will need to use mainly external solutions. This post is intended to briefly discuss the most essential QA tools available to OmegaT users.
Spelling and Grammar Checker
OmegaT makes it possible to check spelling and various style or grammar errors from within the program. For information on how to enable these types of checks, please refer to our previous post. These checks are performed as you go through the file, by highlighting potential errors. But you can’t perform them on the entire file as you can, say, in Microsoft Word or Wordfast. If you wish to do so (and you normally do, because it’s way too easy to miss an error if you simply look through your file for highlighted errors, rather than focus on these errors by running a specific type of check), you can use external QA tools mentioned below.
OmegaT provides a built-in tag checker. All you need to do is run it by pressing Ctrl+T. This is a very important step in your QA process, since OmegaT doesn’t protect tags. The risk of deleting a tag partially or completely and missing it during editing is therefore very high, so it is imperative to run this checker on each project that involves tagged text.
Quality Assurance Checker
There are at least three reliable tools that you can use to check for errors such as inconsistent translations, untranslated segments, numbers, glossary entries, and many more: QA Distiller, ApSIC Xbench, and CheckMate. The latter two are available for free. While we use mainly QA Distiller, the free ApSIC Xbench and CheckMate provide basically the same functionality.
Whichever program you choose, you start by loading a TMX file. This file is either the “project_save.tmx” that includes all translations committed to the translation memory in your current project or one of the TMX files created whenever you save target documents in OmegaT. After loading such TMX file, you can process it in the QA tool just as any other bilingual file. If you find any errors during QA, you can return to your OmegaT project, use the search feature to find the respective segment, and then make the correction. QA Distiller has a built-in TMX editor, which makes it possible to conveniently edit the loaded file from within this program, i.e. without returning to OmegaT. By using this feature, you can close the project in OmegaT, load the “project_save.tmx” in QA Distiller, process it, and then make changes directly to the “project_save.tmx” by clicking an error and using the editor to change the translation. When you reopen the project after finishing QA, you will see updated translations.
Summing it up, you can easily use various external tools to perform QA on OmegaT projects. Our experience of using OmegaT for English to Russian translations on a day-to-day basis shows that the quality of QA performed within these projects is just as high as with other translation environment tools that provide built-in capabilities. If you have any questions on the subject, our translation company will be happy to assist.
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