Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control in Translations Explained
Many people use the terms quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) interchangeably. However, while they do have aspects in common, the two phrases actually refer to different concepts.
Additionally, what quality assurance and quality control can involve often varies by sector. How you apply the associated processes in the translation industry might not match the approaches you find in other sectors.
If you’re curious about quality assurance vs. quality control, particularly as it relates to translations, here’s what you need to know.
Quality Assurance for Translations
Quality assurance, according to Merriam-Webster, is defined as “a program for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects of a project, service, or facility to ensure that standards of quality are being met.” The phrase is more commonly associated with manufacturing. However, any sector where output reliability is critical can benefit from QA processes.
More often than not, QA is continuous, occurring throughout the document translation process. The foundation is often education and training, as that ensures linguists know how to create top-tier results. It also includes project planning, ensuring that linguists have details about the project requirements, execution plan, and needed outputs.
Feedback procedures are also part of the equation, as well as the integration of QA tools that can alert linguists to potential issues immediately, allowing them to be addressed on the fly. Even workload management for linguists can be involved. By ensuring linguists aren’t overburdened, it guarantees that they can give every project the necessary time and attention to generate incredible results.
Usually, QA focuses on how work is accomplished, not what is done. It’s about increasing output quality by creating sound, repeatable procedures to ensure accuracy. The primary goal of quality assurance is to be proactive, reducing mistakes by starting from a position that supports success.
Additionally, quality assurance is the responsibility of every member of the translation team. It’s ingrained in the base process, ensuring every person does their part to create exceptional documents.
Quality Control for Translations
Quality control is defined as, according to Merriam-Webster, “an aggregate of activities (such as design analysis and inspection for defects) designed to ensure adequate quality.” While the term is more often associated with the manufacturing industry, it can easily be applied to any service where achieving reliable, accurate results is essential.
In most cases, QC processes occur after a translation is initially complete. Every document is inspected by reviewers or editors to ensure it meets all of the requirements for the translation type. This can include specific formatting requirements – such as those required for translated birth certificates – as well as when it comes to the content itself.
Then, translated documents are reviewed to ensure they are entirely without language errors. In many languages, even small oversights, like a missing diacritical mark, can significantly alter the meaning of the text. As a result, a complete review by an editor or proofreader is necessary to ensure accurate results.
At the end of this comprehensive process, the resulting document reflects the highest quality output possible. That ensures that it meets the needs of clients, companies, regulatory authorities, and government bodies.
Overall, QC is reactive instead of proactive. It’s about finding problems that occurred and correcting them retroactively. However, it’s all completed before the final document is sent to the customer, ensuring the client receives the highest quality output.
Additionally, the bulk of the quality control work is typically managed by a QC team. While every linguist does handle some of the tasks, such as reviewing their own work for errors, most of the responsibilities fall on an editor, proofreader, or another kind of reviewer. That way, there is a second set of eyes checking for accuracy, increasing the odds that issues are identified and corrected before the translation is deemed complete.
Bringing QA and QC Together
Often, QA and QC are best viewed as two parts of a larger whole. By embracing both, service providers integrate a range of processes that ensure high-quality results. They can be simultaneously proactive and reactive, covering all of the necessary bases to prevent errors, correct missteps, and elevate the outputs at every stage.
Since accuracy and thoroughness are critical for translations, a combined QA/QC strategy is wise. Acutrans believes in bringing both together, ensuring that there are numerous checks in place at every level, allowing us to offer an exceptional level of exactness on every project.
Need to Accurate Translation Services? Acutrans Is Here!
At Acutrans, we understand the importance of accuracy. That’s why we use robust, reliable quality control and quality assurance processes on every project.
With our process, Acutrans can provide accurate document translations in less time. You don’t have to sacrifice quality in the name of speed, as our approach brings both together.
Additionally, if you require other language services, Acutrans can help. We offer dependable, accessible interpretation services – including in-person, over the phone, and video remote options – in 200 languages.
If you are looking for translation, interpretation, or other types of language services that you can count on, the Acutrans team offers reliable, professional solutions. Contact us for a free quote today.