Quality in language services: beyond linguistic errors

Quality in language services: beyond linguistic errors

What is quality? In our quality section we provide general information on what quality in language services means for us. Make sure to read it! There is an additional section on how you can assure quality.
We have also prepared some tips on how to review your own content.

We want to provide meaningful content to our target audiences. At the same time, we want to meet the quality requirements of the projects we deliver.

Frequently, when we think about quality requirements, we focus on the linguistic aspects, such as typos, wrong meaning or grammar issues. But there are other things that you should have in mind when working on TWB assignments.

Here, we will talk about purpose, domain (subject matter), audience, and tone.

Purpose

  • Do you know if the text is going to be published, or is it rather an internal document? Who is going to read or listen to it and in what circumstances? We might perceive quality requirements differently, depending on those factors.

We look for quality that fits content’s intended use. Familiarize yourself with the project instructions, and clarify any doubts with your project officer.

Domain

At CLEAR Global / TWB we classify content into domains. They are specific subject areas such as technical, medical or scientific topics.

One person will not have knowledge of all domains. Our projects usually have a glossary with domain-specific terminology

  • Domain-specific terminology means words that are well-known to people working in a specific field or topic. Sometimes these words do not exist in common, everyday language. Or, they have a different meaning in a different context.

At times, our staff might look for specific subject matter expertise for a project. In such cases, help us understand if your experience matches the project requirements.

Know your audience

Part of your job is to make sure the target audience can easily understand what you have written, edited or translated. If you know the main audience reading or listening to the text, you know better which style, tone, words, etc. to use.

  • Carefully review the project information on the target audience. Choose terms based on how your target audience would understand the domain or topic.
  • Write in a style that the target audience can relate to in terms of language and culture. Make sure the style gives the target audience the same meaning and feeling that the source text gives its readers.

Remember: some people in your target audience do not speak the target language as their native or first language. Some native speakers may have a lower level of reading and understanding.

Tone

You should understand the feeling, mood and attitude of an original source text. Keep that tone in the target document.

  • Match the tone to the audience, text and situation. Texts have different tones depending on the target audience, the subject/sector and the “localisation” (where a text is going to be used, e.g. a poster, a speech, a social media post, a publication).

For example, the tone for literary, technical and educational texts may be different. Check to see how many different tones are in the source text and make sure to keep them.