Multilingual Solutions Meet Multilingual QA Managers

Global Needs, Multilingual Solutions: Meet Multilingual QA Managers

Due to the fact that some language service providers offer integral solutions for globalized markets or products, they sometimes tackle projects that don’t involve a unique language pair, but rather multiple combinations. To assist in these endeavors, there are specialized reviewers that know how to perform quality checks in multilingual projects: the Multilingual Quality Assurance Managers (QAMs). Like any other QAMs, Multilingual QAMs review the material and manage resources and instructions, but for projects with more than one language pair—three, ten, fifteen or more! This doesn’t mean they master all the potential languages a project may involve. Multilingual QAMs rather use their linguistic knowledge from the languages they do speak to comprehend glossaries or instructions for other combinations. In addition, they use Quality Assurance (QA) automation tools in their favor.

We talked to two of our most experienced Multilingual QAMs at Terra to offer expert insight on this challenging task.

The Three Functions

Both Verónica Ríos (Senior Multilingual QAM) and José Antonio Buzón Carbajo (Multilingual QAM) agree that the position has three main functions. On the one hand, they perform the final quality checks before delivery. They use QA features in CAT tools or specific software to do so. “We have the capability of searching for severe errors or incompliances with client’s instructions or glossaries in any language,” José explained. Stylistic or preferential changes are not under their scope, since that’s what native editors review.

On the other hand, their second function is to make all the client’s preferences, style guides and instructions easily accessible to vendors. As Verónica said, “We manage and update all the resources and instructions regularly, because our job is both corrective and preventive. We try to define guidelines for issues that we know may pose challenges among vendors. By doing so, we try to avoid mistakes or incompliances before they happen.” Because of this, Multilingual QAMs need to be very rigorous and organized to correctly classify and update the materials and instructions for every language pair.

Lastly, QAMs manage feedback. They receive and analyze clients’ evaluations, and try to translate them into clear instructions for the teams. However, they also provide feedback to vendors. “At this point, building a solid communicational approach is key for us,” José added. As he explained, it’s the basis to provide constructive feedback to receptive linguists, who likewise help QAMs when they have questions about text in their native languages.

QAM Starter Pack

QAM in general and Multilingual QAM in particular rely on specific IT resources, such as CAT tools’ features or QA software. These are mandatory tools that ensure quality by avoiding or detecting evitable errors that the human eye may fail to catch. “We as QAMs take full advantage of the resources memoQ offer,” Verónica explained. Term bases, translation memories, QA rules, auto-translation rules, non-translatable lists, all allow integrating important guidelines into CAT tools, and that reduces the margin of error or incompliance.

Moreover, José and Verónica recommend collaborative online resources to share information, like Google Spreadsheets. If supervised, updated and organized, they allow sharing in real-time valuable information with vendors around the globe. They can be helpful for many uses, like Q&A sheets, instructions or feedback.

Curiosity and Imagination

Regarding the skills needed for Multilingual QAMs, Verónica thinks that experienced editors “have a trained eye to know what to correct and what to prevent,” she explained. Furthermore, being enthusiastic about QA automation and organized with time management and resources are, for her, mandatory assets.

Apart from that, as José sees it, a Multilingual QAM must be creative and willing to find new solutions to the projects’ needs. “Too much imagination is never enough in this role,” he concluded. Any challenge is a new opportunity to search for ways to boost a team’s capabilities, always with QA tools as allies.

An Insider’s Guide to the Role of a Quality Assurance Manager

An Insider’s Guide to the Role of a Quality Assurance Manager

The key to any successful translation project is quality. Assuring the highest quality work is what sets Terra Translations apart from other language service providers. With quality as a cornerstone of our workflow, we designed a process that supports error-free deliverables. One of the essential steps in this flow is led by the Quality Assurance Manager (QAM). 

The Role of a Quality Assurance Manager

After the translation and editing process, the Project Manager (PM) assigns the translated project to the QAM for a final review. The primary role of the QAM is to check the accuracy of the edition. 

“I ensure that the text reads naturally and smoothly in the target language,” explained Celeste Moreno, QAM for Terra. “The reader shouldn’t notice that the text is a translation.” 

Accuracy includes grammar and style. The QAM may also compare the edition to the original text to ensure the sentiment and meaning remains intact. It’s important that the translator properly conveys the tone and register of the original text to the target market.

“We’re the last step of the quality control chain,” Celeste said. “So it’s a great responsibility.” 

In addition to this process, the QAM will use the quality assurance features offered by Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. The technology is leveraged by the QAM to catch mistakes and achieve consistency. The audit of the software provides another layer of quality assurance.

After the QAM reviews and finalizes the project, he or she sends it to the Account Manager (AM) for client delivery. The QAM will also send feedback to the translator and the editor. This step is valuable because, through this, the linguists have an opportunity to improve. Constructive feedback will enhance the overall quality of the team.

A Quality Assurance Manager’s Core Skills

Similar to a PM or AM, a QAM’s day is highly deadline-driven. The QAM must ensure that all assignments are reviewed and returned within the allotted timeline. This requires an individual both organized and self-motivated to remain on track. Another pivotal skill is attention to detail. Because some errors can be as minor as format consistency, the QAM must be precise and thorough when reviewing the edition as well as the original brief. There could be special instructions in the brief that were overlooked and need to be addressed. Lastly, an asset a QAM can hold is confidence. There are many moving parts to any translation process. Projects can quickly present unforeseen challenges and easily trigger stress. A proficient QAM will remain calm under pressure and tackle their work with certainty and focus. 

Why is a Quality Assurance Manager Essential?

The additional oversight the QAM provides is fundamental and should be a requirement for every translation project. Even one poorly translated word can affect the entire meaning of content. This, in turn, affects the credibility of what needs to be conveyed and audiences will never connect with the translation. Quality assurance is at the core of an impactful and meaningful translation project. 

“If a company doesn’t have a Quality Assurance Manager, an editor, or someone who reviews a translation, it could be a recipe for disaster,” said Celeste, “You always need an extra set of eyes on a translation.”