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Assessment Translation Tips

While every successful test or assessment destined for an additional target market needs a great translation, the work does not begin and end with translation. In fact, there are three things you can do before, during and after an assessment translation that can greatly increase the translation’s value and effectiveness. Here are our top tips:

Don’t Neglect the Terminology Glossary

A great translation is built on a foundation of correctly and consistently translated terms. If previous versions of the assessment were translated, then make sure that you have the glossaries of key terms from those projects available for your translation provider. Authorize qualified subject matter experts to refine, update or, if necessary, create a glossary of key terms for this project. This ensures that when it comes time to translate, the translators are using the right language. As a result, test takers will be able to correctly understand the terms and concepts in the translated test or assessment.

Love Quality Assurance and Validate for a Defensible Process

Validation is a process that helps determine the effectiveness of a particular translation. While you should be able to trust the talents of your translation services provider, review and validation ensure that you get what you need from the assessment translation and that the trust is well founded. When assembling a validation team, consider the following questions: Who should validate the translation? How are they going to validate it? Do they know that they are doing? How are they qualified? Do they need back translation to help them in their task? You can always ask your translation services provider if you need help assembling your validation team, but do involve yourself in the quality assurance process.

Translate Related Materials, Too

For a test or assessment to be most successful, test takers should be well informed about the test and well prepared for it. It is not enough that the assessment itself is in the target language: related materials should be as well. Have information like application forms, test preparation guides, websites, marketing information and terms and conditions available in the test takers’ native language. This allows them to be comfortable with and informed about the test at a level that is comparable to what the native speakers of the original test receive.

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