The Importance of Linguistic QA

Category: Language, Translation Services

When you think of certain brands, you automatically think of high quality. You trust that brand and its products or services. You may pay a little more for it (the $100,000 Porsche, for instance). You may recommend it to a colleague or friend.

Quality can be more than the physical craftsmanship of a product or the expertise of a particular service. It can also be linguistic. Linguistic quality assurance (QA) goes the extra step to make your brand stand out among your competitors in any language. Instead of just getting the general meaning across, with linguistic QA you now have more clarity, eloquence and adherence to your overall brand guidelines. Linguistic QA is a best practice for anything that is translated or localized: documents, advertisements, brochures, websites, multimedia, software anything. Even the language jumble of the sign above needs linguistic QA!

Professional translation ensures a correct translation, but when coupled with QA, it really makes it shine. If you’ve done your translation internally or through in-country partners, you should consider professional QA to double check that the overall meaning follows the original content, that the brand personality is adhered to, and that the translation is of the highest quality.

What happens when QA is not done post translation? More than likely, the translation is perfectly fine and the reader understands the general message: Buy this. Do this. Learn about us. Contact us.

However, what you don’t want to happen is a slightly “off” or “stiff” translation that really does not represent your brand and your products. In addition, while a lot of contemporary media is now editable on the fly and able to be corrected and re-posted (i.e. websites, SAAS software, blogs, banner ads, etc.), some are still permanent. Place so-so translation on your freeway billboard, printed ad, packaging, printed brochures and the like and it’s there for people to see and read for a long time.

Consider these examples of translations that need just a quick linguistic QA to make them smoother, more professional, and more importantly, a better reflection of the product they are promoting:

Printed enclosure for a high end skin care product
“The skin tends to sustain damage from inside and outside due to pollution in the environment, and every day stress….[the product] provides balanced essential beauty science, not to serve your skin type, but to answer the purpose and desires of the skin.”

A four-color, high quality printed program for a concert
“The existence of a mysterious man who had commissioned Requiem, the premonition of his own illness and bad financial situation caused by well-known Schikaneder’s machination became an unbearable psychic burden for the overworked Mozart and caused his oversensitiveness, exhaustion and, in the end, his death.”

Webpage of a hotel that’s a member of a major central European hotel chain
“New modern hotel located in the sensitively reconstructed building dating back to 30s of the 19th century known as the Old Market.”

The original writers of the items above obviously spent a lot of time on the source language messaging. And more than likely, the original language went through its own editing and quality check. The target language should also be as carefully thought out and include a translation with linguistic QA. That’s what your brand deserves.