Jul 10 2009
Translation and Localization Quality Assurance Checklist
• What is the source language? (e.g. English)
• What is the source locale? (e.g. British English, American English)
• Is controlled language used? If so, supply your vendor with the rules.
• What is the subject field and sub field if any (e.g. energy, medicine, law)
• What is the document type? (e.g. article, letter, manual, contract)
• What is the format? (e.g. electronic, hardcopy, MS Word, HTML, QuarkXPress)
• What character set and encoding are used?
• Are there graphics included. If so, is the text within them extractable?
•Are reference materials, support documents, or surrounding documents available? If so, supply your vendor with these items.
• Is a sample of the product referenced in the source document or screenshots or photos of the same available? If so, supply your vendor with these items.
• Are there parallel texts available in the source language? (e.g. company literature) If so, supply your vendor with these texts.
• Are there parallel texts available in the target language? If so, supply your vendor with these texts.
• Who is the target audience? (including education and socioeconomic background)
• What is the target locale (e.g. French for Belgium, not just French)
• What is the purpose of the translation? (e.g. to inform, to persuade, to bind legally)
• Do you require back translation? (retranslation of translated text back into its source language)
• Should currency, date and time formats, units of measure, and names be retained or replaced with cultural equivalents? (e.g. John to Jean, Dollars to Francs)
• What is your preferred text delivery medium? (e.g. hardcopy, electronic)
• How should graphic text be handled?
• Are desktop publishing or other ancillary services needed?
• What work location requirements do you have, if any? (e.g. onsite, offsite, Stateside)
• What will be your level of participation throughout the project?
• What communication methods will be used? (including time zones and work hours)
• Will there be a third party review? If so, by whom and when?
• Are there any other procedural issues to be considered?
• Are specific translation tools to be used (e.g. machine translation, translation memory lookup, terminology lookup, terminology consistency checking). If so, specify these to your vendor.
• Will there be an in-country review? If so, what are the parameters for reviewer comments?
• Will there be a formal quality control method applied? If so, provide your vendor with the metric and method of application.
• How will comments be implemented?
• Are there glossaries to be used? If so, supply your vendor with these glossaries.
• Are there bilingual and multilingual terminology databases and translation memory databases to be used? If so, supply your vendor with these databases.
• Have you established a terminology development process? (consider industry standard terminology databases, organization-specific terminology databases, and project-specific terminology databases)
• What is the relative priority to be given to each terminology database in case of conflicting terminology?
• How should discrepancies between terminology databases and translation memory databases be handled?
• What is your timeline for the project?
• What is your deadline for the project?
• What are your provisions for adjusting the timeline or deadline?
• What are the final deliverables? (list them)
• Are translation memory databases part of the deliverables? If so, who retains ownership of these databases?
• Are translation memory databases part of the deliverables? If so, specify them in your work order, purchase order, or otherwise as work for hire.
• Do you require any ancillary services? (e.g. desktop publishing)
Legal and Ethical Issues
• Is certification required?
• Are there any copyright or confidentiality issues?
• Are there any liability issues?
• Are there any potential conflicts of interest?
• Who owns the translation components? (e.g. source text, target text, translation memory databases)
• How will the translation be billed? (e.g. per character, per word, per line, per page, per hour)
• How is the billing unit defined (e.g. if per word, what constitutes a word)
• What word count method will be applied?
• What are your payment terms?
• Will the translator, editor or any other member of the translation team be named on the product?
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