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The quality, to eyes of the client
04 Sea 2019

The quality, to eyes of the client

As in other many sectors, the clients of services of translation not always count on a sufficient knowledge on the service that they contract and the operation of the sector. Frequently, we verified that certain €obvious€ aspects as, for example, that a translation (theoretically) must be realised by a native translator, not always are known by our clients.

This ignorance (whose person in charge we are the own suppliers) weakens the quality concept to a great extent: what understands the client by quality and what it understands the supplier by quality. And here we have a great debate.

Distinctive aspects of the quality

Between the aspects that influence at the time of defining the quality we can establish two differentiated categories good: linguistic aspects and extralinguistic aspects.

In numerous occasions the client defines the quality being based, mainly, in aspects that nothing they have to do with the translation in himself. This group includes aspects of diverse importance: tariff, downtimes, phelp attention, rapidity in the communications, transparency, resolution of problems, correction of errors in the original one, adaptation to its specific exigencies, etc.

On the other hand, the evaluation of the quality based on the purely linguistic aspects usually is less frequent. This category includes, among others: the correct interpretation of the original text, the pursuit of the indications of the client, the fidelity to the original text, the use of the appropriate terminology, the use of expert translators in the matter, the applied quality controls, the terminological consistency, the quality in the writing, the adjustment to the registry, the sector and the objective public, the maintenance of the format, etc.

Programs of quality

Normally, the quality concept that establishes the translation companies is rigid and applicable to any type of client. Thus, the quality usually is moderate in the same way independent of the client.

Nevertheless, the reality even says us that the quality concept varies enormously from a client to another one, from a project to another one within a same client. Then, why we defined the concept of quality of a so general form? She is the client who must define the quality. It is the one who must communicate to him to the translation company what wishes and what it hopes.

In an optimistic scene, the process of standard translation (TEP is applied: translation, revision, correction) for all the projects and clients. Nevertheless, the ideal would be to count on a process of translation and a flexible program of quality that adapt easily to the needs of each client.

If a client asks for budget to us for the translation of an economic dossier of 150 000 words to translate of English to peninsular Spanish and Spanish of Bolivia, the program of quality for this project will be completely different from the one from, for example, a project of translation of a corporative summary of 20,000 words of Russian to Spanish for internal use.

It is responsibility of the company to secure the greater amount of possible information about the needs of the client, in order to offer a totally customized answer to him. In the same way, the company will have to communicate to him to the client with total transparency what aspects are covered by the offered service and the possible risks that can exist, if there were them.

When offering an only program of more or less rigid quality, the company of translation (unconsciously) one shows preference for a type of client. If one decides on the flexibility in the processes of translation and the programs of quality, the company will be able to extend the fan of clients and to respond to the needs of these of better way.


The quality concept varies of client to client, based on its specific needs and of the own conditions of each case. It is responsibility of the translation companies to know with exactitude what his client needs and to offer a service to him that adapts to the maximum to this necessity, putting the emphasis in those linguistic and extralinguistic aspects that the client has identified as critics.