Translation services quick reference guide

Translation services quick reference guide


Translation, Editing, Proofreading

The industry minimum standard for a full translation process should always involve a native speaker of the target language as the main translator undertaking initial translations. It is also important to ensure that your provider isn’t ‘splitting’ the translation task into many different translators (usually the least expensive resource) to minimise costs and therefore maximise their margins.

Following this first step, the expectation is that a linguist fluent in both the target and source languages, undertakes a review and editing process to ensure the translations are accurate. For example, a unique feature of the NZTC ‘Quality Assured Translation’ (QAT) process is a particularly intensive editing stage, which incorporates a form of back translation carried out by a native speaker of the source language (click here for more on this).

Through this cognitive process, our editors can verify that the translator understood and correctly conveyed the intended meaning and any subtle nuances within your original text.

The amount of experience required of the translator will usually be determined by the nature or subject of the translation at hand. For example, if the requirement is of publication-quality and involves subjects such as websites, marketing communications, scientific, engineering, medical, government communications our recommendation is that an experienced professional translation team handles the entire translation, editing and proofreading stages.

In some instances variances to the above process can be utilised to ensure a much faster and less expensive process. These include selective translations, express translations and a machine translation process followed by an intelligent human editing step.

Express Translations should be produced by professional translators who are native speakers of the target language, and checked for completeness and readability. Our advice to our clients is that generally speaking, this type of service should only be undertaken for projects involving content that is for information purposes only.

A Selective Translation is another service that is relatively simple to administer and therefore a service that should be asked of language service providers especially when only parts of the document are relevant to you. This service is particularly relevant when translating into English from a foreign language. 

Your language service provider should be able to help you identify the parts of a foreign-language text that are of interest to you. A common method to identifying content that needs to be translated translating a section heading.

Machine translation (MT) is an automated translation process where translation software is used to produce a translation of a source language into another language. This machine-based process must be followed by an intelligent human editing process to ensure accuracy.

Based on a combination of linguistic guidelines, existing terminology, multi-lingual dictionaries and millions of previously stored translations, the MT process can be secure, fast and, in the right circumstances, a lot less costly solution compared to using a human translation and editing process. Our advice is that generally, the content for translation is meant for our client’s internal information only and not for publication purposes.

For general advice and consultancy on any of your language needs please contact NZTC International on or click here.