Ubiquitous Automation: Quality Assurance Tools

It’s true that, at least for now, no computerized tool can replace the linguistic knowledge inside a reviewer’s mind; AI solutions have difficulties reading tone, register or the nuances of context and how it affects meaning. However, they can assist translators and editors in different ways. For example, there is software that detects errors that the human eye may fail to catch. This is why these tools have become necessary in order to comply with quality standards.

Automated quality assurance software is part of the wide range of technology solutions that addresses different needs within the localization industry. Basically, they allow reviewers to instantly perform quality checks of bilingual files or translation memories, supporting a variety of different formats.

Linguistic Checks

Quality assurance tools scan bilingual files in search of linguistic and formatting errors. This can be specifically helpful to perform a final check on a very large project that includes a considerable amount of files and/or text to review. Furthermore, they are also a useful resource to spot and remedy inconsistencies among files translated or edited by different teams of vendors.

Most of the tools perform the following checks:

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Number or tag mismatches
  • Missing translations
  • Formatting
  • Repeated words
  • Double spaces or punctuation marks
  • Untranslatables
  • Inconsistencies: identical source segments with different target text; identical translations for different source segments

Extra Help

Auto quality assurance tools also allow reviewers to check terminology issues. Users can import glossaries or term bases into the software, so that it can find any key term mismatch. On the other hand, quality assurance tools always update and redefine their settings to reduce the amount of false positives on their evaluations. False positives are correct segments wrongly flagged as errors. In this regard, quality assurance applications include features that allow the user to create rules in order to reduce the number of false positives in a report.  

One Feature for Every Need

Different quality assurance tools offer the same core function, but vary in other aspects. For example, some are specifically intended to integrate with other CAT tools (e.g., LexiQA’s special integration with Transifex or Memsource), while others only work as an independent program. There are other quality assurance tools that are part of a more comprehensive solution, such as ContentQuo, a quality management platform that can integrate into translation management systems (TMS). Besides that, if considering opting for a quality assurance tool, price is also a factor. Some applications are free, like Okapi Framework CheckMate, or paid, like XBench or Verifika.

Another salient factor to consider is the internal editor of some of the applications. While all the tools generate reports of the errors found, only some offer the possibility to correct those mistakes directly from the report, like Verifika does. This refrains the reviewer from having to be switching in between applications: detecting the error in one working environment, applying the correction in another. In any event, reports are a very necessary function of these tools. They can be used as a required deliverable, since they ensure that a quality control has been performed and that most of the evitable errors have been avoided.


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