What is the harmonized DQF-MQM error typology?
To assess the quality of its translations, TWB uses the harmonized DQF-MQM error typology. This is a translation industry standard based on TAUS’s Dynamic Quality Framework and the EU’s Multidimensional Quality Metrics. These two standards were developed separately, but they were harmonized into one general standard that we use today.
The DQF-MQM error typology defines eight general error categories. We currently use a simplified version with five categories. Each category includes specific issues that translators and revisers should keep in mind.
Quality categories and issues
The categories and issues you need to assess when you revise your own or someone else’s translation are:
|Accuracy||Additions, omissions, and mistranslations||Added or omitted information; Mistranslated the text, changing its meaning (for example “cat” is translated as “dog”); Overtranslated, making the target text more specific (for example “cat” is translated as “tabby cat”); Undertranslated, making the target text more general (for example “cat” is translated as “animal”); Did not translate, left content in the source language|
|Fluency||Check spelling, punctuation, grammar, and register.||A text has errors in it that prevent it from being understood.|
|Terminology||Check the terms used. Are they consistent and accurate, or has the translator||Used an inappropriate word for the field, domain or topic, or not the one specified in the glossary; Translated a term inconsistently throughout the text|
|Style||Is the text natural, or is it awkward or unidiomatic? Can readers understand it easily on first reading?||The translation of a light-hearted and humorous advertising campaign is in a serious and “heavy” style even though specifications said it should match the style of the source text.|
|Design||Length of the translation, format, conventions applied||Check the length of the translation (much longer or much shorter than the original), the format (the translation looks different than the original), the convention (using a period where a comma should be used)|
Each error should be classified according to the impact it has on the translation. Please, remember to be fair and balanced on your assessment.
|Critical||Can have a significant impact on the outcome. For example, a mistranslation of a key technical term. These errors may carry health, safety, legal or financial implications, violate geopolitical usage guidelines, damage the organization’s reputation, cause the application to crash or negatively modify/misrepresent the functionality of a product or service, or which could be seen as offensive.|
|Major||Requires correction, with considerable impact on the outcome. These errors may confuse or mislead the user or hinder proper use of the product/service.|
|Minor||Needs correction, but has only a slight impact on the outcome. These don’t lead to loss of meaning and wouldn’t confuse or mislead the user but would be noticed, would decrease stylistic quality, fluency or clarity, or would make the content less appealing.|
|Neutral||Done well, but could be done better. Used to log additional information, problems or changes to be made that don’t count as errors, e.g. they reflect a reviewer’s choice or preferred style, they are repeated errors or instruction/glossary changes not yet implemented, a change to be made that the translator is not aware of.|
|Kudos||Praise for exceptional work|