How to Get the Perfect Translation: Quality Assurance versus Quality Control

How to Get the Perfect Translation: Quality Assurance versus Quality Control

by Translation Guy on April 25, 2017
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When it comes to translation, quality assurance and quality control are like love and marriage. You hope they go hand in hand and walk off into the sunset together, like a horse and carriage, but when was the last time that happened.

Here I’ll explore why that might be and what you can do to get your own translation match made in heaven.

What Is Quality Assurance? What Is Quality Control?

The terms quality assurance and quality control are often used interchangeably, but in fact, they play two very distinct roles in the translation process.

Quality assurance is what translation teams do so they don’t mess up. Think of quality assurance as the appropriate processes and know-how to deftly avoid unnecessary conflicts.

Quality control, on the other hand, is what translation teams do to make corrections after they mess up. Think of quality assurance as knowing exactly how to make amends.

Of course quality assurance and quality control can be used independently, and in fact, some language service providers make it a practice to only use one or the other. When combined in the right way, however, quality assurance and quality control make for a truly terrific translation. Here’s how I know.

QA + QC = Quality Translation

At Responsive Translation we are a full-service translation agency, but we specialize in high-stakes medical, educational and legal translation. As you can imagine, error is not an option for our type of clients. That’s why we use a rigorous implementation of ISO 9001 quality standards for continuous quality improvement.

Quality assurance best practices help us prevent errors before they begin. We empower our translators by creating client-specific style guides, glossaries and translation memory. Next we perform quality assurance analyses (and make corrections as needed) after every step of the translation, editing and proofreading processes.

Then after the translation leaves our hands, we put on our quality control hats. We constantly monitor translation outcomes (and customer satisfaction) for continuous improvement. (Our Net Promoter Score was 93 in 2016.) This includes encouraging clients to have our translations checked for quality. If needed, we even train reviewers on how to check our translations.

Our quality control extends to others as well. Responsive Translation regularly audits and corrects the work of other translators and language service providers.

Quality Translation Services

Do you need a quality translation guaranteed by rigorous quality assurance AND quality control? Responsive Translation is a full-service translation agency certified for ISO 9001 and ISO 13485. If you would like further information about our approach to quality or our translation services, please get in touch at 212-355-4455 ext 208 or kclark@resptrans.com.

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