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Gambling Quality

July 19, 2011 1 Comment »

A 100% quality guarantee is always a phrase a paying customer likes to hear before starting any given project.  When this promise is presented, customers regularly feel the potential provider is confident and reliable enough to take on the proposed task.  All too often, providers use this tactic to their advantage with the interest of only making the sell.  Without taking the proper steps in regards to identifying all project constraints, including and , a 100% guarantee is worthless and ends up being a waste for all parties involved.

With a few years under my belt working as an account manager within the translation industry, I have found this type of guarantee is very hard to positively provide customers with, mainly due to the following two reasons:

  1. The Human Aspect


When relying on human beings to process a translation, often times there are many different correct translations for any given technical term, common phrase, saying, etc.

One example to help come to an agreement regarding preferences in terminology is to create a prior to the start of translation.  This way both sides are on the same page from the beginning and will minimize any post delivery delay or inconsistent translations over the long term .  Another one lies on the use of style or reference materials.


  1. Tight Deadlines


Short turnaround times usually mean shortcuts are being implemented during the work flow in order to deliver on time.  When there is not enough time to apply a proper translation or quality assessment (DTP QA), there is a high risk of mistranslation, grammatical mistakes, formatting issues and loss of .   This happens especially when post delivery translated documents are printed in high volumes or financial figures and conversions within contracts are wrong (100.00 vs. 10,000.00).


In conclusion, the key to a successful project (when quality is the driver) lies within proper planning, realistic timelines and post delivery communication.

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