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Why 98.5% ... or more about quality index and how we measure it

But first off, what stands behind words “high quality”? We don’t rely on such illusory judgements. Neither should you. We prefer to test translation quality & get some tangible, quantitative characteristics.

To test your translation we take a sample, like a blood sample to study patient’s DNA. A trained expert will try to find any wrong terms, typos, stylistic errors etc. So all discoveries will fall into one of the 6 categories according to MQM quality framework:

  • Accuracy
  • Fluency
  • Terminology
  • Locale conventions
  • Style
  • Verity

Then the expert defines the error severity, like a study doctor grades side effects. It can be a mild or a potentially life-threatening side effect error. The framework divides errors into 4 groups:

 

  • Preferential (0 points)
  • Minor (1 point)
  • Major (10 points)
  • Critical (100 points — Ouch!)

What happens next?

Despite the fact that we’re linguists we still have to do some math here. Thanks to our laziness we’ve made a web app to automate the workflow and do the math. It counts the amount of errors, its severity points and sample size of the translation.

How 98.5% quality index looks like?

It looks like no more than 1 major & 5 minor errors in 3 pages of your text. For example, major error is a wrong term while minor — double space or tpyo.

Have we mentioned that we do translation quality test 2 times per project? First time after translation step — to measure the performance of translator. And second time — before delivery to you (after editing & QA steps).

So our average quality index, based on real data, is 98.5%

Because we’re so serious about quality we even made a software to measure it. This tool is based on MQM quality metrics and it helps us to evaluate quality of all our jobs that we deliver. We use it to measure test translations of new linguists, to create ratings of all our experts, to control quality before delivery. Moreover, it’s really useful for providing a comprehensive & timely feedback to our translators allowing them to learn continuously. To learn more visit www.linguisticquality.com

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