Assuring translation quality

At Glossa Group, quality management not only refers to the process of regulating communication within the company, a key aspect is also the use of systematisation and standardisation methods for technical translation and terminology.

Additional processes include establishing criteria for the selection of suitable translators, specifying extensive linguistic requirements so that a “verifiable” language is created based on strict criteria, developing procedures for managing large translation volumes in teamwork, organising correction runs according to defined aspects, ensuring culture-specific adaptations, defining general rules for the creation of terminology databases and also project coordination and monitoring rules.

Our quality assurance system provides rules that can be generally applied to individual cases and automates repetitive processes.

Automatic workflow

Translation workflow refers to the automation of all processes relating to all aspects of translation management and completion.

Compliance is ensured with both pre-programmed structures in document management and routine procedures in the processing of translation-relevant data. Tasks such as preparing an offer, scheduling, selecting the translator, selecting translation references, carrying out pre-translations, sending data to the translator, returning the file to the project manager are conducted automatically according to an established sequence.

Quality assessment of translations

Six error categories are used to systemise our translation quality checks:


Points are awarded for the purpose of capturing the performance arithmetically. If a translator exceeds the maximum number of permitted errors, the translation is automatically returned to the translator for complete revision (rating »Rejected«). The errors themselves are weighted differently. There are »critical«, »serious« and »minor« errors.

The translation is thus systematically scanned for errors that are removed if found. The translator database is updated with an objectively-based evaluation entry and the translator receives feedback and an incentive to pay closer attention to certain contextual and formal aspects in his or her work.

Selection of translators

Since a human being is at the centre of the translation process, the selection of the suitable translator is of central importance for ensuring the successful conclusion of a translation project.

Translators are selected according to established criteria. These selection criteria can be of a general nature (overall profile) or of a special nature (aptitude for a specific project). The main selection criteria according to which translators are accepted into Glossa Group's translator database and assigned to particular translation projects can be summarised as follows:

Collaborative evaluations are completed on the basis of the above criteria and ongoing assessment of the quality of the translation work performed. Various status levels are assigned: These status levels are checked at regular intervals against the backdrop of ongoing evaluation and, if necessary, adjusted accordingly.

Assigning status levels is important in two respects; firstly, the top-performing translators are assigned to the more challenging projects and, secondly, the status levels assigned determine the scope of in-house quality checks which ensures efficient use of resources.

Culture-specific adaptations

The first task involving content that your contact person/project manager will dedicate himself to after receiving the assignment is to determine and organise all culture-sensitive areas in the source text. Taking into consideration the target country and the type of text (e.g. marketing text, operating instructions, user's manual, online help etc.) and/or the target group (consumers, operators, technical personnel), aspects of collaboration with the translator/localiser are clarified.


The sale of a product and above all its follow-on versions rely very heavily on the degree of recognition. In addition to ensuring consistency of product brands, trademarks, coloured symbols and creative distinctiveness, linguistic recognition, especially with a distinct form of articulation and a high level of text density, is of great importance.

Furthermore, in the case of technical manuals such as operating or installation instructions, verbal clarification of how something operates, explanations of the technical characteristics, understanding of the technical specifications, identification of safety risks and the illustration of the ergonomics are very important. What is at stake is the acceptance of the machine, minimisation of hazards that the machine could represent, the extent of additional work on the machine, the amount of training necessary for the technical staff, the frequency of maintenance and not least product liability issues.

For this reason, the technical writers put considerable effort into using »controlled« language (fixed and consistent terminology, fixed and consistent formulations and phrasing guidelines) during the technical description of the product in the source language and to change and/or adapt follow-up versions using text segmentation, so that the language remains consistent in its essential features.

Modern translations must comply with the same requirements.

The guiding principle is:


Glossa Group has special expertise in the creation of modularised translations by using advanced translation technology. Segment by segment, the foreign language operating and use instructions, the online documentation, the operating manuals, the spare parts lists and the contracts are set up in translation memory systems.

Recurring core activities are stored as pre-translated texts and form the invariable framework for all subsequent translations. Renewable and/or expandable activities are translated according to the stylistic and terminological standards of the core areas. Customer and project-specific standard texts as well as esoteric terminology and catchwords are consistently retained.

Glossa Group always ensures that the customer's reference directories are updated and maintained. The organisation of the reference files is based on various criteria (e.g. product category or language). Regular corrective jobs are conducted to ensure that the reference materials are revalidated and to avoid the recirculation of errors.

Coordination of translator teams

Putting together translator teams is indispensable if large translation projects have to be managed according to tight deadlines.

The risks involved in employing several translators have to do with possible inconsistencies in terminology and style. No matter whether internal or external translator teams are formed, the upcoming task can hardly be managed satisfactorily without the use of a web-based terminology and translation management system.

All translators assigned to the project must have similar language and technical skills. Glossa Group assigns the major portion of the project to one of the translators (generally an experienced translator). This translator is responsible for his translation and for the preparation of the core terminology for the project. The main translator has a time advantage over the other translators involved in the project. The translation is carried out with a translation memory tool so that it can be distributed to the other members of the team. This permits this core translation to automatically flow into their translation.

All participating translators work with the same translation memory tool so that it is possible to exchange data with each other during translation. Style and technical jargon are kept consistent.

Terminology is managed updated, expanded, checked and corrected online. The web-based terminology management program allows every participating translator – whether they live in Canada or in Japan – to access the glossary that has been created via the Internet and permits them to add comments, expand it or to correct it. The more translation work that is done the larger the online dictionary becomes.

After every translator has completed their portion of the project, all portions are assembled and made available to the main translator for final proofreading.

Using this tried and tested process, translator teams can be assembled in groups of any size and large projects can be handled with high standards of quality in the shortest possible time.

Layout adaption

The final step in project management is layout adaption. Several languages – including the main European languages French, Italian and Spanish – result in an additional text length of up to 30% compared to their sources (German or English). Therefore, the text in the target language needs to be matched to the diagrams and images in the current format. Table cells and text frames need to be enlarged and line breaks and page breaks need to be checked and adjusted.

The translators are provided with PDF files of their translations so that they can carry out final corrections and ensure the hyphenation is correct.

Project supervision

Incoming projects are assigned internally to individual project managers, who are given responsibility for project coordination and supervision. A second level of supervision is provided for; an additional person monitors the current status of all projects.

What is very important for monitoring the projects is the ability to edit a list of tasks that are yet to be accomplished in a project. The Glossa Group submission date is also displayed. When this date approaches, a warning appears in the display.

Document management

Document management is the responsibility of the project manager. The incoming and outgoing data are filed according to an established file management structure. The organisation is based on the customer, purpose of the data, project, project status and language.

Some of the companies that rely on the services of Glossa Group: