Top-down or bottom-up: Industry approaches to translation quality, standards and tools

Drugan, Joanna ORCID: (2014) Top-down or bottom-up: Industry approaches to translation quality, standards and tools. In: Translating and the Computer 36. Asling, GBR, pp. 109-117.

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The diverse approaches to translation quality in the industry can be grouped in two broad camps: top-down and bottom-up. The author has recently published a decade-long study of the language services (Quality in Professional Translation, Bloomsbury, 2013). Research for the study covered translation providers from individual freelance translators working at home, to large-scale institutions including the European Union Directorate-General for Translation, commercial translation companies and divisions, and not-for-profit translation groups. Within the two broad ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ camps, a range of further sub-models was identified and catalogued (e.g. ‘minimalist’ or ‘experience-dependent’). The shared distinctive features of each sub-group were described, with a particular focus on their use of technologies. These different approaches have significant implications for, first, the integration of industry standards on quality, and, second, the efficient harnessing of technology throughout the translation workflow. This contribution explains the range of industry approaches to translation quality then asks how these map on to successful integration of standards, and features of the leading tools which are designed to support or enhance quality. Are standards and technologies inevitably experienced as an imposition by translators and others involved in the translation process? Significantly, no straightforward link was found between a ‘top-down’ or ‘bottom-up’ approach to assessing or improving translation quality and effective use of tools or standards. Instead, positive practice was identified across a range of approaches. The discussion outlines some painless ways these developments are being channelled to improve quality, or more frequently, to maintain it while meeting tighter deadlines. Some models existed beyond, or were partially integrated in, ‘professional’ translation (e.g. pro bono translators, and volunteer Open Source localizers). What lessons can we learn from enthusiasts in such communities, who sometimes adopt or create approaches voluntarily?

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: arts and humanities(all),computer science(all),business, management and accounting(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 16:08
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2022 23:47

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