In translation, Time and Quality have a positive correlation

Posted by Josh Kroman on Mar 1, 2012 Mar 1, 2012

It should come as no surprise that in translation, the more time you spend on a project, the better the result. Yes, there can come a moment while proofreading when you’ve spent so much time on a project that it all starts to look the same, or you start second guessing yourself and begin editing sentences unnecessarily.

But overall, this concept holds true. Given 3 days instead of 3 hours, translation projects will generally be infinitely better!

Quality vs. Time

You may wonder why I am spending time writing this blog post, given that most people already know this concept. I've noticed more and more the public perception that translation can be done within an hour—that we have large computers that will churn out document after document, without the need for any more time than clicking a button. And it's also assumed that the quality of these projects will meet client expectations.

Machine translation can be an effective tool, but the quality of the resulting translation is far from what our clients expect and require for most of their projects (Past blog post: Is MT viable from a quality perspective?).

For the level of quality that is expected from a professional language service provider, we use human translation, which includes several steps: File Preparation, Translation, Review, Layout, Quality Control.

As much as we wish we could complete all projects within one day, it’s not possible for every request. We must take into account volume (word count), translator and reviewer availability, in-house resources, etc.

The translation industry is one that relies on great translators and reviewers. Unfortunately, the best ones are not sitting in front of their computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in hopes that a project will come in. Like everyone else, they have lives to live and quite often, jobs to choose from. And they’re not all in the same time zone.

Given all of these factors, our project managers do their best to calculate and manage quick turnaround times.

What we know is that with just the right combination of linguists during each step of the process, and with the right amount of time, our translation projects can be of the utmost quality—and something we, and our client, can be proud of!

Topics: Translation, Machine Translation